Saturday, February 20, 2016

Church Planting Mathematics; Judge Orders California Pregnancy Centers to Give Abortion Info...more

For movie cast and producers, ‘Risen’ was a life-altering experience

Judge Orders California Pregnancy Centers to Give Abortion Info A federal judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction on Feb. 12 against a California law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers to advocate for abortion...

Under the law, pro-life pregnancy centers must give information about abortion even though they exist to offer abortion alternatives, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Matt Bowman argued during a Jan. 28 hearing.

Twitter Shadowbanning 'Real and Happening Every Day' Says Inside Source ...However, Twitter isn’t merely targeting spammers. For weeks, users have been reporting that tweets from populist conservatives, members of the alternative right, cultural libertarians, and other anti-PC dissidents have disappeared from their timelines...

Multinational Task Force Seizes Town from Boko Haram Cameroonian special forces killed 162 Boko Haram militants during a raid to regain control of Goshi, a town in northeastern Nigeria.
During the three-day operation that began Feb. 11, the Cameroonian force freed about 100 captives held by the militants, including Nigerians and Cameroonians. Two members of Cameroon’s military were killed, including a senior commander...
Church Planting Mathematics: 10 x 100 > 1 x 1000? ...Most of us have probably thought, at some time or another, that it would be better to seek out and call an extraordinarily gifted man who will be able to plant a large, fast growing church in a metropolis than it would be to call a man with ordinary gifts to plant in a rural setting. There are, however, only so many men who have the unique gift set and/or the resources and situational dynamic necessary to plant a 1000+ member church–even in a city. There are, however, many godly and faithful men with ministerial gifts who are ready and able to use them to advance the kingdom of God by planting smaller, but healthy and steadily growing churches. The advantage of calling a man to plant a church that will reach 1000+ is that there will be, in turn, many more resources for ministry both inside the church as well as potential for more widespread Gospel outreach and influence in the community. However, there are quite a number of benefits of planting 10 church plants that will reach 100+ throughout a geographical region. Here are 4 such benefits that can be gained by adopting this approach...

Man strips in front of girls in locker room, says transgender law allows it ...Some patrons feel the man, who has yet to be identified, exploited the law to peep at women. "Either identify yourself as a transgender or you're not, and you're just taking advantage of a loophole," MaryAnne Sato, who visits the pool several times a week, told USA Today...

The Thinking Man’s Guide to Bernie’s Socialism

The Maker from Patrick Kehoe on Vimeo.

Too funny! H/T to Anne Kennedy's blog-check it out

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Anglicans For Life: Summit 2016 – Mobilizing the Church for Life

For those who did not attend the Summit, here are some of the videos of the speakers and sermons below.

Jan 27, 2016
Dr. J.I. Packer

Jan 26, 2016
John Stonestreet

Jan 22, 2016
Archbishop Foley Beach

More videos here

Anglican Unscripted Episode 218

Feb 17, 2016

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.
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State Department Turns Its Back on Middle Eastern Christians...more

UK Police Arrest Man For ‘Offensive’ Facebook Post About Migrants British police have promised not to tolerate any speech that could cause offence on social media regarding Syrian migrants, after arresting a man for Facebook comments made about recent arrivals on his small Scottish Island.

The tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, which had a total population of just 6,498 in 2011, is expected to take in around 1,000 Syrian migrants, with 12 families already arriving since December last year...

However, commenting on the comparatively huge and sudden influx of Muslim immigrants online just became a very risky business for local residents.

Police have confirmed they have arrested a 41-year-old local man under the Communications Act, after receiving a report of a supposedly “offensive” comment made on Facebook regarding the migrants...

Fearing the ‘G’ Word, the State Department Turns Its Back on Middle Eastern Christians ...Despite a foreign-policy mandate to speak out against religious persecution, the United States government has so far been silent on whether this epic religious cleansing of Christians,Yazidis, and other minorities from the heart of the Middle East ranks among the gravest of crimes.

With pressure mounting, the State Department in October leaked word that an official genocide designation would be forthcoming but made clear that State would recognize only a Yazidi genocide and not one against Christians. This prompted Congress to mandate that Secretary John Kerry make a determination by March 16 on the precise question of whether “persecution . . . of Christians and people of other religions in the Middle East by violent Islamic extremists . . . constitutes genocide.”

While other administrations have committed the sin of silence where genocide was concerned, none has officially signaled that it believes a brutally persecuted and displaced minority is not suffering ongoing genocide. Yet that would be the effect of excluding the Christians from an official listing of genocide victims. Despite foreseeable harm this would cause these Christians, the administration appears on track to do just that...

South Dakota Senate Passes Bill to Prohibit Transgender Students from Using Bathroom Based on Gender Identity  ...The bill, known as HB 1008, “would mandate that students use facilities corresponding with their 'physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person's chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth,' not the gender with which they identify," according to the Huffington Post.
Gov. Daugaard “has said the measure seems like a good idea and plans to research the issue and listen to recorded testimony before making up his mind on whether to make the bill law.” 
If the bill is approved by Daugaard, South Dakota would become the first state to make such a mandate...

Feb 14, 2016

See the winning run from the 2016 Masters Agility Championship contest at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

GAFCON chairman's Lenten pastoral letter

18 Feb 2016
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

My dear brothers and sisters,

Receive Christian greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the Servant King. I am so grateful to you for being faithful in prayer as we met with the other Anglican Primates in Canterbury last month and to the many who sent  messages  of encouragement and support.

During this Lenten season we walk with the Lord Jesus on his road to the cross and we cannot fail to be aware of Jesus’ clear sense of purpose. Luke tells us that ‘Jesus set his face’. He knew his destiny and never wavered in fulfilling God’s costly yet wonderful plan of salvation. Even as he prays in agony in Gethsemane, he is fully surrendered to the Father’s will.

While we can all go to Jerusalem in heart and mind, some of you will have unforgettable memories of being physically present in Jerusalem in 2008 as the GAFCON movement was birthed. After years of frustration, as the Anglican Communion seemed to fall into deeper confusion and disarray, here was a moment of joy and hope.

Ever since, God has graciously used this movement as we have built upon the solid foundation of the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which was one of the lasting fruits of that time together. It shone the light of God’s Word into the fog of confusion that had descended upon the Anglican Communion and enabled us to chart a way forward.

For the GAFCON Primates  in Canterbury last month, it was the light shining from Jerusalem that enabled us to give a lead in the steps taken to sanction the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) as a step towards restoring godly faith and order. Sadly, the meeting had hardly finished before it was made very clear that there would be no repentance or change of direction on the part of TEC and their delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council Meeting in April expect it to be business as usual.

As the GAFCON Vice Chairman, Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria, has already said, it is now clear that nothing has changed as a result of the Canterbury meeting. The fabric of the Communion is still badly torn and there can be no true walking together until there is repentance for what is acknowledged even by TEC as a breach of core doctrine. There is a strong possibility that this year we shall see other Provinces taking the same step.

Some of you are asking what GAFCON’s approach will be during the three years that TEC are subject to sanctions and what will happen at the end of that time, given that TEC appear to have moved well beyond the possibility of changing course.

At our Primates Council in April, we will take counsel together on these matters, but I can say that all of us in the GAFCON movement need to set our faces to go to Jerusalem. While we honour Canterbury as the mother See of the Anglican Communion, it was at Jerusalem that we placed our hope for the future in Jesus and the truth of the Bible. The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration reflects that reality and expresses the core truths that guide us today: the rise of a false gospel in the Anglican Communion, that our identity is found first and foremost in the faith we confess, the need to support and recognise those who have been excluded from their Anglican homes, and the duty to reject the authority of churches and leaders who deny orthodox faith in word or deed.

In a compromised Communion these are not comfortable truths, but we must set our faces to Jerusalem and keep to them, because this is the way of the cross and therefore of true resurrection.

Finally, may I ask you to remember especially in your prayers the people of Uganda as they go to the polls in a presidential election on 18th February. Pray that there will be honesty, calmness and restraint, that whatever leadership results will be a blessing to all the people of Uganda, and for my brother GAFCON Primate Archbishop Ntagali as he and other Christian leaders urge their their people to pray and to pursue peace.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala,
Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Canon Phil Ashey: Anglicanism in spite of Canterbury?

 Posted February 17, 2016

I read with some interest the remarks of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on the Primates gathering we returned from just a few weeks ago. In his recent address to the Church of England’s General Synod he made a number of significant statements—significant because they are signs of the future that lies ahead for a deeply divided Anglican Communion. You can find his whole address here, but let me focus on three significant statements:
1. “The meeting was set for Canterbury because that would recall to people the way in which Canterbury, and especially its cathedral, represent the center of the Anglican Communion.”
Really? Is the center of the Anglican Communion really an Archbishop, or a Cathedral? For the vast majority of Anglicans now living in the Global South, the center of the Anglican Communion is where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, where the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” is being accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit, and where peoples’ lives are being transformed spiritually, emotionally and physically by the love of Jesus Christ. The center of the Anglican Communion is where Jesus is being exalted as Savior and Lord, and where people are faithfully living their lives as Jesus would according to the Scriptures. And if that place has a geographic center, it is the Global South—not Canterbury.

Elsewhere the Archbishop of Canterbury rightly observed: “What are the limits of diversity? Who is in control? British colonial history makes the laying down of edicts by white, middle-class Christians from the Global North, citizens of the former colonial power in many places, a process that is rightly deeply resented.” But in claiming himself and Canterbury as the center, is he not contradicting himself and simply reasserting continuity with that British colonial past? Shouldn’t we be wary of a leader who says that we should avoid old “colonial ways”—and then insists that his See, Canterbury, is the hub around which the Communion revolves?

In reality, it was the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and Global South Primates who had to take leadership in this Primates gathering to get any “limits on diversity,” and any “relational consequences” at all upon The Episcopal Church (TEC) for its actions since 2003 in unilaterally violating Biblically teaching on human sexuality, along with Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998)...

Essay continues here

Church of England’s centuries-old teaching on marriage 'up for discussion'

Talks behind closed doors will deal with Church’s official teaching on homosexuality and the ‘outcome’ is still open, say Archbishops of Canterbury and York
By John Bingham
16 Feb 2016
The Church of England is poised to rethink its centuries-old doctrine of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have signalled.
In a letter to a leading Anglican gay rights campaigner, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said that Church's teaching on sexuality was a “matter for discussion” during a series of special meetings being held behind closed doors.
The letter, sent on behalf of himself and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, he said the “outcome” of the discussions was still open.
His comments make clear that the Church has not ruled out reconsidering its traditional teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sex outside of marriage is a “sin”...  the rest

TEC will go to the ACC meeting in Lusaka and they will vote, ACC chairman says ...The “bottom line is that the Episcopal Church cannot be kicked out of the Anglican Communion and will never be kicked out of the Anglican Communion,” Dr. Tengatenga said, adding the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council will be held in two months’ time in Lusaka.

“Are the Americans going there? Yes. Are they going there to be rude?”

They were not, he said “because it is their right and responsibility” to attend the meeting.
“Are they going to vote? Yes, they are going to vote as it is their right and responsibility,” the ACC chairman said...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Archbishop Welby reflects on Primates’ meeting in Synod address

Monday 15th February 2016

Full Text

Hawaii: dengue fever emergency: The religious right is being left behind...more

The religious right is being left behind ...Perhaps the biggest impact may be on demographics. There is, as demographer Wendell Cox has demonstrated with regard to the United States, a direct connection between religiosity and birth rates. The two global regions with the least religious engagement, Europe and East Asia, already suffer very low birth rates and hyperpaced societal aging. In contrast, virtually all religions, whether Hindu, monotheistic or Confucianism-based, are familialistic – much of the rituals of religious life center on kinship. Secularism, however, turns many of these values upside-down. It simply cannot, as author Eric Kauffman puts it, “inspire the commitment to generations past and sacrifices for those yet to come.”...

Tim Challies: Sex on the Silver Screen
...Nakedness and sexuality are common themes in today’s movies and television. It seems increasingly rare to find a movie or show that doesn’t have at least one lingering shot of nudity or one steamy scene of passion. And even while so many Christians feel freedom to watch it all, I am increasingly convinced that we should not. I am increasingly convinced that Christians should avoid watching movies with scenes of nudity and sexuality. There are many reasons for this, but today I will constrain myself to just one—one that I have found particularly compelling and convicting.

Let’s begin here: What we see on the screen is both fact and fiction. When it comes to nakedness and sex in movies, we sometimes lose the fact in the fiction. What we watch is a fictional story, but one that has been acted out in real ways by real people. This has important implications when it comes to a bedroom scene. To film that scene, real people had to remove real clothes, bare real bodies, touch each other in real places, and move together in a real bed. It may not have been full-on sexual intercourse, but it still involved real acts between real people. The reason sex scenes look real is that to a large degree they are real. Those are not fake breasts you see, the actors are not exchanging fake kisses or fake caresses, she is not pretending to straddle him...

The BBC has become obsessed with sex ...I know it’s expecting a lot, but imagine for a minute, if you can, that we live in a sane world – a world in which the national broadcasting channel had other things on its mind than the twelve-month US presidential campaign, the mawkish and extensive coverage of the deaths of pop-stars and the tawdriness of the film and TV awards. It’s instructive, by the way, to notice that the annual presentations of tat to tat are called awards ceremonies. But that is exactly what they are: the pseudo-religious rites of our decadent and solipsistic consumerism. But please, if you can, suspend your disbelief for a second and imagine the modern world as a better place. Further, imagine the BBC as an intelligent, knowledgeable institution with an interest in matters a little higher than the bread and circuses of pop trash. If you can manage to imagine that, then ask yourself what sort of questions the guys and gals on Panorama might have asked...

Doctors 3D-print 'living' body parts
Custom-made, living body parts have been 3D-printed in a significant advance for regenerative medicine, say scientists.

The sections of bone, muscle and cartilage all functioned normally when implanted into animals.

The breakthrough, published in Nature Biotechnology, raises the hope of using living tissues to repair the body.

Experts described the technology, developed in the US, as a "goose that really does lay golden eggs"...

Hawaii declares state of emergency over Zika virus, dengue fever outbreak ...The state has been in the midst of a dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii's Big Island, where there were more than 250 confirmed cases.

There have been no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in Hawaii, Ige said in a news conference Friday. But there's concern that the islands could be at risk because mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever also can carry the Zika virus...

Germany blames wave of sex assaults mostly on refugees ...The crimes, described as unprecedented by authorities, sparked uproar in Germany and a heated debate about the country's ability to integrate almost 1.1 million people who sought asylum there last year.

The incident has led to both a political and a personal backlash against the mostly Middle Eastern and North African asylum seekers that flooded the country last year.

Numerous migrants reported being attacked themselves randomly in the wake of the Cologne assaults, and Chancellor Angela Merkel's soaring popularity took a major nosedive afterwards. The Cologne sexual assaults even almost led to an international incident with Russia...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Justice Scalia-A Giant Has Fallen...other news

Portrait of Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
A.S. Haley: Antonin Scalia, RIP
In today's highly polarized political atmosphere, the death of a sitting Supreme Court Justice is a guaranteed flash point. To have a sitting conservative Justice like Antonin Scalia die in an election year, however, in which different parties control the White House and Congress, is a true test of our political system.

Justice Scalia's was one of the most articulate and penetrating intellects ever to grace the Court. His colleagues could disagree with him, but that was because he always made it perfectly clear where he stood. He never knuckled under to public pressure or opinion polls, and for nearly 30 years he applied his originalist jurisprudence consistently to the cases that came before him....

The Economist:A judge’s death starts a political battle IT HAS been 11 years since an American Supreme Court justice has died while on the bench. And the death of that judge, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, had much narrower political and legal repercussions than the surprise demise of Antonin Scalia, the court’s longest-serving justice and most acerbic conservative, who has died in his sleep, promises to.

In 2005, George W. Bush was simply able to nominate John Roberts, another conservative, to succeed Mr Rehnquist. Barack Obama, now in the last year of his presidency, would love to nominate a justice in the mould of Mr Scalia’s fellow opera-lover, liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Such an appointment could tip the balance on the court decidedly toward the left for a generation or more. But any nominee must be confirmed by the Senate, and with an intransigent Republican majority there, there is no chance Mr Obama would try to do that...

A Giant has Fallen—The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the Future of Constitutional Government  Justice Scalia firmly believed in the right of the people to establish a constitutional government that would recognize the ultimate authority of the people, not an elite of unelected judges, to establish laws. ...Albert Mohler

How Scalia Inspired a Generation to Defend the Constitution ...Perhaps Justice Scalia’s most important contribution to a generation of lawyers, and to our legal system, was his articulation and defense of a theory of constitutional interpretation called originalism. Originalism says that judges should interpret the Constitution according to its “original meaning,” which is the public meaning of the text when it was ratified. For instance, to ascertain the meaning of “religion” in the First Amendment, an originalist will identify the public meaning of the word religion in 1791 by looking at historical evidence...

A play that portrays Jesus as a transgender woman who refers to God as 'Mum' is to be performed in a Church of England church today.

To the fury of critics who say the play is deeply offensive, the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will not block the staging of The Gospel According To Jesus, Queen Of Heaven.

The one-woman play by Jo Clifford, an award-winning Scottish playwright who has herself changed gender, imagines Jesus returning to earth as a 'trans woman' and retelling the parables with a transsexual slant...

Drugs Bust: Australia Seizes Meth-Filled Bra Inserts-$1 Billion Narcotics Haul Australian police have seized more than Aus$1 billion (US$712 million) in crystal methamphetamine, or ice, some concealed in gel bra inserts in one of the country’s biggest drug busts, authorities said on Monday.

Three Hong Kongers and a Chinese national were arrested during the operation which Justice Minister Michael Keenan described as the largest seizure of liquid methamphetamine in Australian history.

“This has resulted in 3.6 million individual hits of ice being taken off our streets with a street value of Aus$1.26 billion,” he said...