Welcome to Transfigurations! This blog is intended to serve the orthodox Anglican community and the wider Christian community. We pray that all that is posted here will be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired word of God, speak the truth in love, edify, bless and transform this local body of Christ, and be an impetus for revival, repentance, prayer and intercession!
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Anglican Unscripted Episode 230
May 21, 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. Please Donate - http://anglicanink.com/donate
Target, however, is no stranger to charges that it puts parochial corporate politics ahead of its customers’ safety.
Target has come under fire recently after announcing thatall retail locations would allow customers to use whatever restroom they want regardless of their biological sex. As a result, women may suddenly find themselves sharing a bathroom with grown men. Many women’s rights activists believe Target’s new policy needlessly puts vulnerable women at risk of sexual assault and deprives them of their right to safety and privacy...
“So people can basically force us — on pain of massive legal liability — to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie,” writes Volokh.
Failure to comply with the new mandate could result in losing a job or being forced out of an apartment. It could also result in “civil penalties up to $125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.”...
A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads ‘Thou shalt not disagree;’ and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins ‘Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.’ It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. . . . Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences. ...AW Tozer image
Plodding bloggers; How to block companies tracking you on Facebook...more stories
Challies: A Call for Plodding Bloggers
I believe that blogs have been a blessing to the church in the twenty-first century. Maybe I have to believe this since I have blogged nearly every day of the century. Still, with every bit of objectivity I can muster, I say it and believe it: For all their problems and all their shortcomings, blogs have been a blessing. They have served the church and the cause of the church.
Over my years of reading and writing blogs, I have seen thousands of blogs and bloggers come and go. There are many reasons people have stopped writing: Some have had life’s responsibilities overwhelm the time they would otherwise dedicate to writing, some have had to refocus on family or local church, some grew weary of critics and criticism, some have simply run out of things to say. But I think the most common reason people have given up is that they grew tired of the plodding. Over time they grew discouraged by the distance between the effort and the reward, between the investment and the result.
And let’s not kid ourselves: Blogging is hard work. Far more often than not, it is mundane, unglamorous, thankless work. In that way blogging is a lot like most of what we do in this world. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes skill, and at the end of it all you wonder if it has made any difference to you or to anyone else...
If you're using Facebook, you're giving up a ton of information about yourself, mainly to advertisers who track you.
Most people forget that when they download an app or sign into a website with Facebook, they are giving those companies a look into their Facebook profile. Your profile can often include your email address and phone number as well as your work history and current location....
Human Rights Watch recounts "scenes of horror" that followed the city's seizure by ISIS militants in February 2015, with beheadings of dozens of residents accused of being spies or sorcerers.
Men were flogged for acts such as smoking or listening to music, and fathers were ordered to "marry off their daughters" to the group's fighters as ISIS spread a wave of terror among the townspeople...
Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About The Little Sisters Of The Poor' ... A case of “Little Sisters of the Poor” vs. “Powerful Men in Government” is a gift from the editorial gods. But our media are too busy scare-quoting “religious liberty” and pushing an authoritarian agenda. Actually identifying the Little Sisters, much less neutrally profiling them, much less giving their story the weight it deserves, that just won’t do. We have stories to cover poorly and narrative agendas to push.
It’s not just the Washington Post that is hiding the name and story of the Little Sisters of the Poor. A reader noticed that David G. Savage of the Tribune News Service also hid their name. His piece, very sympathetic to the bureaucracy that seeks to limit religious freedom, waited until deep in the story to even mention the Little Sisters. Seriously, the piece reads like a press release from HHS if HHS had its press releases written by the savvy public relations teams funded by Planned Parenthood. He finally mentions the sisters in the 13th paragraph because he’s forced to put in a quote from their attorney and their attorney had the decency to name them. Here’s how it ran in the Los Angeles Times...
Why Transgender Advocates Don’t Believe Anything They Say ...Many conservatives, especially conservative Christians, are convinced that the root cause of this reality-denying self-identification insanity is the heavy diet of moral relativism that most Americans have been consuming for several generations. But moral relativism is really just the accelerant.
The cause is moral despair, a crisis of conscience that has grown and festered in those who desperately need to hear the Author of righteousness tell them how to find it yet have cut themselves off from the book and the house where the answers are given. The man created by God needs to find peace in the light of God, and when that man refuses to see the light where it shines, he will grow so tired trying to find peace in the darkness that he’ll gladly latch on to any ideology that promises it with little effort, no matter how absurd that ideology is...
Anne Kennedy: Because Of Course: The Transgender Jesus ...The writer of the piece self identifies as a Christian, and reasons it all the way out, sort of, and makes some amazing claims about the DNA of Jesus and Mary, which I guess she knows about by faith, or something. Funnily enough, we don’t have Jesus’ dead bones to DNA test, so we’ll just have to take her word for it.
Matt was all confused by the article. “I thought Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and was gay,” he said, “how can he be transgender?”...
GOP Blocks Bill Requiring Women to Register for Draft The U.S. House of Representatives House Rules Committee, which is led by Republicans, has blocked a provision of the annual defense policy bill that would have required women ages 18 through 25 to register for a military draft.
FoxNews.com reports that last month the House Armed Services Committee voted 32-30 in favor of requiring women to register for the draft. Six Republicans voted for the measure, but most opposed it...
Court-Ordered Same-Sex Marriage Cannot Deliver on Its Promise
How authoritarian socialism caused Venezuela's collapse
May 18, 2016
Venezuela's economy is in freefall. It's probably the worst in the world — literally. The country tops Bloomberg's "Economic Misery Index," which looks at measures including inflation and unemployment to find the economy where things are worst for regular people.
Venezuela's GDP is expected to plunge by a jaw-dropping 8 percent this year, and inflation is an even more gut-churning 720 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Venezuelan government is imposing rolling blackouts on its citizens. Food shortages are rife, leading to lines and even looting. As The New York Timesreports, in Venezuela's hospitals children are dying for lack of medicine. The country is on the brink of collapse. And let's keep in mind, Venezuela is one of the world's most oil-rich countries.
What's going on?
Venezuela's president blames foreign companies, the United States, and other dark foreign forces. But the actual reason is a mix of socialism and authoritarianism, which has systematically destroyed Venezuela's productive capacities. the rest
Misplaced Compassion and Truncated Tolerance...more
Misplaced Compassion and Truncated Tolerance (Don't miss this!)
...The perversion of compassion is part and parcel of the perversion of tolerance. We have bought a fundamentally flawed understanding of tolerance, and run with it just as any non-Christian will. Instead of thinking clearly and biblically, we simply embrace whatever mental and moral mushiness the world is dishing up at the time.
It is time to get biblical here, and say no to the world’s falsehoods and deceits. Some people were aware of all this decades ago. For example Bishop Fulton J. Sheen penned a terrific piece back in 1931 called “A Plea for Intolerance”. It is an absolute winner of an essay, and we all should have a read of it. You can read the whole article here: www.northamericanmartyrs.org/pdf/Plea-for-Intolerance.pdf
Let me offer a few snippets from it. He begins:
America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance. It is not. It is suffering from tolerance: tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so much overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. The man who can make up his mind in an orderly way, as a man might make up his bed, is called a bigot; but a man who cannot make up his mind, any more than he can make up for lost time, is called tolerant and broadminded. A bigoted man is one who refuses to accept a reason for anything; a broadminded man is one who will accept anything for a reason – providing it is not a good reason.
And one more great quote:
What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.
Others have also sought to give us some clarity on these vital matters. For example, in his 1992 volume Uncommon Decency Richard Mouw wrote:
Christian civility does not commit us to a relativistic perspective. Being civil doesn’t mean that we cannot criticize what goes on around us. Civility doesn’t require us to approve of what other people believe and do. It is one thing to insist that other people have the right to express their basic convictions; it is another thing to say that they are right in doing so. Civility requires us to live by the first of these principles. But it does not commit us to the second formula. To say that all beliefs and values deserve to be treated as if they were on a par is to endorse relativism – a perspective that is incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Christian civility does not mean refusing to make judgments about what is good and true. For one thing, it really isn’t possible to be completely nonjudgmental. Even telling someone else that she is being judgmental is a rather judgmental thing to do!
John Stott put it this way:
Tolerance is not a spiritual gift; it is the distinguishing mark of postmodernism; and sadly, it has permeated the very fiber of Christianity. Why is it that those who have no biblical convictions or theology to govern and direct their actions are tolerated and the standard or truth of God’s Word rightly divided and applied is dismissed as extreme opinion or legalism?
A.S. Haley: ECUSA Loses (Again) in Quincy; San Joaquin Seeks Review 17 May 2016
[Note to new readers: You may be surprised at the degree of bias evident in this post, but I do not apologize. After eight years of participating in and writing about all of the matters collected under the links at this page, your Curmudgeon can no longer even try to appear neutral. The long and short of it is that the Episcopal Church (USA) is a bully, and is a bully with unlimited funds behind it. So it would be inhuman not to sound delighted when -- now and again -- it loses a case in court.]
Two of the four pending court cases involving realigning dioceses had further developments this week. In Illinois, the Episcopal Church's protracted efforts to punish the Anglican Diocese of Quincy by freezing its bank accounts and suing for possession of its real property met with a resounding rebuff from the Fourth District Court of Appeals -- for the second time in two years. In California, the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to review the inexplicably obtuse decision by the Court of Appeal in Fresno to stand by its clearly erroneous reading of California corporate law. (I will write more about the latter case in a separate post.)
As we saw earlier with the Illinois Court of Appeals, its decision yesterday is a model of clear and succinct reasoning. Anyone reading it will be able to follow what happened in the case. Briefly, the Episcopal Church (USA) and its Potemkin shell of a plaintiff diocese sued the Anglican Diocese for everything it owned, based on their claims of "hierarchy" and the permanent, irrevocable trust supposedly embodied in the Dennis Canon; they lost their case in the Adams County Circuit Court in Quincy, Illinois, as reported in this earlier post. They appealed to the Fourth District in Peoria, which affirmed Judge Ortbal's thorough and thoughtful decision, as described in this post. Then they asked the Illinois Supreme Court for leave to appeal the case to that tribunal. In November 2014, it refused, so the decision by the Court of Appeals became final...
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: At this point, why should we care about the Anglican Communion? ...Christ-centered Anglican leaders should have no more part in perpetuating the current corrupt and broken system of Anglican Communion governance. Christ-following Anglican leaders (it’s a shame I must put it that way) should not contribute to efforts to undermine the ancient, catholic authority of bishops to guard the faith and order of the Church, a special responsibility that is inherent in their office. They ought to “stand up and stand out” [see sermon below] against any thought that exalts itself against the knowledge and glory of God uniquely in the face of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 10: 3-5; 4:3-5). These leaders must speak up and stand out even when those thoughts and actions are within the Church itself.
While structures are not the only answer, orthodox Anglican leaders need to create new structures that are genuinely conciliar and recognizable to other Biblically faithful Christians across the world. Such structures must serve the Church in fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations.
It’s painfully obvious that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby cannot or will not do any of these things. However, there are leaders who could. I ask for your prayers that God would encourage such leaders to be courageous, stand up and stand out...
Big Win for Little Sisters; Kids Will 'Torture and Kill for ISIS,'...more
Big Win for Little Sisters
First the good news: Though it was more a TKO than a straight-up ruling, the Little Sisters of the Poor prevailed at the Supreme Court on Monday in their fight against the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate.
True, the justices made clear that they were not ruling on the merits, which is why so many headlines speak of the court’s having “punted” on the case. Even so, in a unanimous decision they made the path forward much easier for the sisters and much more difficult for the Obama administration...
The head of the Germany's domestic intelligence service said authorities there had identified children aged as young as 13 who have left for ISIS territory or who are "prepared to stage attacks" in the country...
China to buy $90 billion gold vault in London
The Chinese state-owned ICBC Standard Bank (IDCBF), the world's biggest bank by assets, has agreed to buy Barclays precious metals storage business, including its state-of-the-art storage facility in London.
The deal will boost China's access to London's gold market, and expand the country's role in the gold business...
About a half-dozen times this year, shoplifters have stolen expensive drones or another of the remote-controlled toys he sells in HobbyTown USA, a small shop in Rocklin, northeast of Sacramento. "It's just pretty much open season," Lutz said. "They'll pick the $800 unit and just grab it and run out the door."
Anything below $950 keeps the crime a misdemeanor — and likely means the thieves face no pursuit and no punishment, say retailers and law enforcement officials. Large retailers including Safeway, Target, Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies say shoplifting increased at least 15 percent, and in some cases, doubled since voters approved Proposition 47 and ended the possibility of charging shoplifting as a felony with the potential for a prison sentence...
Amy Moses and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created New York State exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: “We don’t take Obamacare,” the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president’s signature health legislation.
“Anyone who is on these plans knows it’s a two-tiered system,” said Ms. Moses, describing the emotional sting of those words to a successful entrepreneur.
“Anytime one of us needs a doctor,” she continued, “we send out an alert: ‘Does anyone have anyone on an exchange plan that does mammography or colonoscopy? Who takes our insurance?’ It’s really a problem.”...
Some are accusing their regulators of bullying and coercion for threatening disciplinary action if they don’t provide an “effective referral.” Groups such as the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada are demanding legislative protections for conscience rights across the country similar to those given priests who refuse to perform same-sex marriages.
Others, including a prominent bioethicist, argue no health system in the country should be obligated to accommodate doctors’ conscientious objections...
Millennials Embrace Socialism, but Do They Know What It Is? ...Writing in The Federalist, Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann note that many of these young people think socialism is federally mandated niceness. A 2014 Reason-Rupe survey asked Millennials to define socialism. They had in mind a more generous safety net, more kindness and, as one put it, more “being together.”
But when asked if they agreed with a more technically accurate definition of socialism — government control of the economy — support dropped considerably (though not nearly enough). Given a choice between a government-managed economy and a free-market economy, Millennials overwhelmingly chose the latter. It seems young people realize that putting bureaucrats in charge of Uber wouldn’t work too well.
Still, it boggles the mind that anyone can see the folly of having the government take over Amazon or Facebook but be blind to the problems of having the government run health care...
Last night, ‘appalled’ MPs said Prof Warwick should resign, and thousands of midwives and members of the public signed a ‘Not in our name’ petition, demanding that she reverses the policy which ‘represents a disgraceful betrayal of her profession’....
“Ten to 15 years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to 20 times that of comparable peers,” said McHugh...
The Cruel Compassion of Transgender Acceptance
... Transgender people descend into despair when even all the medicine and medical advances that everyone encouraged can't change their biological reality. In fact, the medicine used on younger individuals prior to surgeries causes its own harms.
As gender dysphoria becomes more accepted as normal for children, "supportive" adults lead children to "helpful" doctors who use various "treatments" to block puberty. Some can merely delay puberty for a few years. But the blockers lock the child into sterility and health risks in their tweens and early teens...