Friday, February 17, 2017

Gov’t can force florist to participate in gay ‘wedding’; Christian couple tortured in India...more links

U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood    The U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama’s "eleventh hour" HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions.

Title X money comes from the government to fund "family planning services," but technically not abortion.

Before he left office, Obama pushed through an HHS regulation that essentially forces states to give Planned Parenthood Title X funding. Under this rule, states must give Planned Parenthood or abortionists Title X grants and may not choose to redirect those funds to comprehensive healthcare clinics...

ICE: Raid reports fake news, Obama grabbed 350% more    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is pushing back hard on media reports that President Trump has unleashed a mean-spirited national raid on immigrants, noting that it rounded up over 350 percent more during one sweep under former President Obama.

In a series of tweets, ICE called the reports, in the Washington Post and elsewhere, "dangerous and irresponsible."...

Washington Supreme Court: Gov’t can force florist to participate in gay ‘wedding’ ...“This case is about crushing dissent. In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court together with co-counsel George Ahrend in November of last year. “It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.”...

How an Anglican explained where Catholic parishes are going wrong About six years ago I wrote an article entitled, Why do Catholics become Anglicans?. It recently drew this response from a Canadian reader, sent by email, which I think is interesting, and which I pass on with permission:

“I have recently come across your story that you wrote several years ago about why Catholics become Anglicans. Some of the reasons you listed apply to me. I was brought up Roman but switched over the Anglican Church when I was 19. I have been away from the Catholic Church for over 20 years and was seeking to reconnect with my roots and even go back to Rome...

Apparently, unborn babies are only human when they belong to Beyonce ...Those who are not atheists and idol-worshiping neo-pagans know that, in truth, it is God — not society or celebrity — who grants life to all children from the moment of conception. A life in the womb derives its worth from its relation to Him. All people have an objective and indestructible dignity because He has made it so.

If the exaggerated adulation of Beyonce’s baby bump brought people closer to this view, I would encourage it. But it doesn’t. It takes them further away because it reinforces the view that a child’s mother — and, secondarily, society — has the power to determine whether he possesses value or dignity. And if that mother happens to be Beyonce, well then the child will have more value and dignity than any other. No wonder she thinks she’s god...

India: Christian Couple Who Refused to Deny Christ Forced to Stand in Freezing Pond for 17 Hours  A Christian couple in India was severely punished by being made to stand in frigid water for 17 hours because they refused to deny their Christian faith.

The Christian Post reports that Bartu Urawn and his wife, who both converted to Christianity from their village’s tribal religion, Sarna Dharam, over 10 years ago, were targeted by members of Kubuaa village in the Jharkhand state.

Village members who adhere to Sarna Dharam abducted Urawn and his wife, tied their hands, and forced them to stand neck-deep in the frigid pond water from 5 p.m. through 10 a.m. the next morning. They also forced the couple’s son, Beneswar, to watch his parents endure this torture...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Anglican Unscripted Episode 271

Feb 16, 2017
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan and Gavin bring you news and prospective from around the globe.
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CofE takes step towards gay marriage after vote rejects controversial report...more

Church takes step towards gay marriage after vote rejects controversial report Church of England clergy have appeared to signal support for gay marriage after they rejected a bishops’ report which said that only a man and woman could marry in church.

The report recommended that the bar on same-sex church marriages continue but that a more welcoming attitude towards homosexuals should be shown by congregations.

However, the motion was rejected by clergy at the General Synod who voted 100 to 93 against. Sources said they believed the recommendation had been rejected by the more liberal members of the clergy who thought the Church should ultimately drop its opposition to gay marriage...

David Ould: CofE Clergy Refuse to “Take Note” of “Orthodox” Bishops’ Report on Marriage ...There was a bit of an earthquake in central London today as the General Synod of the Church of England (effectively its national parliament) refused to “take note” of a report given to them by the Bishops [pdf] in conclusion to the “Shared Conversations” exercise that the Church of England has been undergoing for a number of years in order to make progress on the vexed question of same-sex marriage. The report was criticised from both poles of the debate. For the liberals, the bishops’ reaffirmation of an orthodox understanding of marriage and sexual ethics (para. 26(a) in the report). For many conservatives the bishops’ desire to allow “maximum freedom” under current guidelines (paras. 22-23) was nothing but an undermining of their statements about upholding orthodoxy; how can one uphold a Biblical sexual ethic and at the same time in any way bless same-sex unions?...

Statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury following today’s General Synod
Wednesday 15th February 2017

Statement from Archbishop Justin Welby following the General Synod’s vote “not to take note” of a Report by the House of Bishops on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships.
"No person is a problem, or an issue. People are made in the image of God. All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no ‘problems’, there are simply people.

How we deal with the real and profound disagreement - put so passionately and so clearly by many at the Church of England’s General Synod debate on marriage and same-sex relationships today - is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ.
To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual. 
We need to work together - not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone - to move forward with confidence.
The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon. 
The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ - all of us, without exception, without exclusion."

Church of England gay marriage vote thrown into chaos after members 'get confused and press wrong button'

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Welby risks a fatal Anglican split over homosexuality; UK GAFCON statement...more

Welby risks a fatal Anglican split over homosexuality
(Rev Jules Gomes interviews Susie Leafe, Director of Reform, a conservative evangelical pressure group within the Church of England.)

JG: To many the exchange between conservatives like yourself and liberals looks like a game of never-ending ping-pong as statement followed by counter-statement is batted across the net and slammed on the table. Where will it all end? Can there ever be a resolution to completely contradictory positions on the issue of homosexual practice within the Church of England?

SL: In short, the answer is no—not without a clear decision one way or the other—but sadly the House of Bishops are too divided amongst themselves to offer that kind of clear leadership. The real problem is that at the heart of the debate are very different views of God’s character, the extent to which God has revealed himself in the Scriptures, the nature of human flourishing and ultimately our need and the means of our salvation.  Personally, I think it is a pastoral disaster that instead of having honest debate about these matters, the argument has been personalised in issues of sexuality, but I guess that is how identity politics works.

GAFCON UK's response to the lobby group OneBodyOneFaith
GAFCON UK welcomes the publication of the OneBodyOneFaith statement “A time to build”.
The statement is admirably clear in its wholesale abandonment of any pretence that OneBodyOneFaith has any respect for Biblical authority or any interest in the wellbeing of global Anglicanism.

While “A time to build” suggests that it seeks “theological diversity” it in fact requires that the whole Church worldwide submit to a view that God has not spoken clearly in his Word about the nature of humanity and human sexuality.

The authors of the statement suggest that they are wiser than 4,000 years of Biblical revelation, 2,000 years of Christian theology and the overwhelming majority of Christians down the ages and around the world.

We note with a degree of amazement that OneBodyOneFaith’s attempt to discredit GAFCON, which represents the majority of the world’s Anglicans, relies entirely on an ad hominem attack which entirely misrepresents the position of a Primate whom the authors have never had the pleasure of meeting. We trust that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion will use his comments to General Synod tomorrow to distance himself from the manifest nonsense asserted by OBOF concerning Archbishop Okoh, Primate of Nigeria.

It is a remarkable thing that a tiny English campaign group sees fit to be so disrespectful to the Godly leader of a vibrant, growing Church of many millions. As we hope OBOF is aware, at the present time, rather than criticism the Church of Nigeria desperately needs our prayers given the price many are paying for their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

Albert Mohler: In upcoming synod, Church of England to "take note" of retired bishops' letter encouraging LGBT reform
Listen at the link

The Rapidly Diminishing Anglican Church of Canada
By any measurable standard, the Anglican Church of Canada is in serious decline with little hope that the numbers can or will be reversed in the foreseeable future.

In one diocese after another the third largest denomination in Canada is declining, its demise now almost certain as it focuses on a host of social justice issues to the neglect of evangelism, discipleship and church planting.

The Anglican Church of Canada which is squeamishly shy about publicizing how many people attend its churches, has published no complete statistics for membership and average Sunday attendance since 2001, although the ACoC did claim a membership of 545,957 in 2007...

Northern Nigeria-Persecution and Slaughter of Christians

‘Disgraceful’ Church of England leaves persecuted Nigerians to their fate      Douglas Murray, scourge of politically correct liberals, and president baiter who launched 'the President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition’, has turned his guns on the Anglican Church for its ‘pathetic’ stance on Northern Nigeria.

The influential Spectator columnist and Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society has accused the church of ‘wilful self-deception’ in its analysis of the trials of Christians still being slaughtered by militarised Fulani Muslims as the world looks away.

Murray spent four days visiting massacre sites and interviewing victims in and around Jos, capital of Plateau State, in the contested Muslim north of the country.

‘The simple evidence from the map of the diminishment of the Christian community is demonstrable,’ he told Lapido.

He accused the new government of Fulani Muslim President Buhari of ‘impunity and connivance’ in killings that go on under the noses of soldiers sent to protect the villages.

Over and over again witnesses spoke to him independently and in similar vein of the use of military helicopters to drop munitions in Fulani areas.

Despite this, he was struck by the lack of pressure being brought to bear through diplomatic channels on the Nigerian government, whose president was greeted by the Queen and Archbishop Justin Welby in Britain last year...
Murray is convinced the Church of England is averting its gaze.  ‘It’s pathetic.  There seems to me to be a deliberate desire to avoid the facts’, he said. 
‘I think there’s a problem with the Nigerian churches.  There’s an unpleasant underlying thing “they’re not quite like Christians in the West any more because they don’t support gay marriage.  They don’t hold the right views.”
Who will protect Nigeria’s northern Christians?
Another day in northern Nigeria, another Christian village reeling from an attack by the Muslim Fulani herdsmen who used to be their neighbours — and who are now cleansing them from the area. The locals daren’t collect the freshest bodies. Some who tried earlier have already been killed, spotted by the waiting militia and hacked down or shot. The Fulani are watching everything closely from the surrounding mountains. Every week, their progress across the northern states of Plateau and Kaduna continues. Every week, more massacres — another village burned, its church razed, its inhabitants slaughtered, raped or chased away. A young woman, whose husband and two children have just been killed in front of her, tells me blankly, ‘Our parents told us about these people. But we lived in relative peace and we forgot what they said.’

For the outside world, what is happening to the Christians of northern Nigeria is both beyond our imagination and beneath our interest. These tribal-led villages, each with their own ‘paramount ruler’, were converted by missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. But now these Christians — from the bishop down — sense that they have become unsympathetic figures, perhaps even an embarrassment, to the West. The international community pretends that this situation is a tit-for-tat problem, rather than a one-sided slaughter. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the press fails to report or actively obscures the situation. Christians in the south of the country feel little solidarity with their co-religionists suffering from this Islamic revivalism and territorial conquest in the north. And worst of all, the plight of these people is of no interest to their own government. In fact, this ethnic and religious cleansing appears to be taking place with that government’s complicity or connivance...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Beyoncé and fertility goddesses at the Grammys; America’s Cult-Like Education System...more

The African, Hindu and Roman goddesses who inspired Beyoncé's Grammy performance ...But what those unfamiliar with her Grammy-nominated album Lemonade may have missed was that the gold and glitz on display were serving a greater purpose.

Beyoncé was teaching.

As in Lemonade and her pregnancy announcement photos released earlier this month, the singer’s Grammy performance was packed with artistic nods to African, Hindu and Roman goddesses who signify the womanhood Beyoncé has been reflecting in her most recent work...

-African water spirit Mami Wata
-Oshun, a Yoruba water goddess of “female sensuality, love and fertility
-Kali, the many-armed Hindu goddess who is associated with death, sexuality and motherly love
-Venus, the Roman goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility

Albert Mohler: Beyoncé and fertility goddesses at the Grammys
Listen at the link

Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System   ...Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free. Those features include freedom of expression, civil discourse, the Socratic method of figuring out truth, value of the individual, and a common knowledge of the classics of history and literature that help us understand what’s universal in the human experience. All of that had to go.

Now, as we see students marching to demonize as “fascists” proponents of free speech, their ignorance is in full view. This is really a full frontal attack on the rule of law, the Constitution, and a system of checks and balances that guards against the consolidation of centralized power.

That’s the whole point of the education these students have been fed. In fact, a lot of 1960s agitators, including domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, decided to place their bets on radical education revision. For at least 40 years, Ayers has been devoted to transforming schools from places of actual education to places of coercive thought reform. As Andrew McCarthy recently pointed out in National Review: “It was a comfy fit for him and many of his confederates, once it dawned on them that indoctrination inside the schoolhouse was more effective than blowing up the schoolhouse.”...

Fake News: Muslim Olympian 'detained because of President Trump's travel ban' was detained under Obama ...To put it plainly, reports suggesting, and alleging, that the executive order had ensnared an American champion are totally false.

Before we go, a few points bear further discussion, and none of them reflect well on Muhammad or the press.

First, it's mind-boggling that no one in that room on Feb. 7 thought to ask her for the exact date on which she was detained. It's a basic duty of journalism to get the who, what, where, when, why and how to every story. That Muhammad's interviewers didn't think to pursue the "when" is astounding...

No return home in sight for thousands of Californians sheltering from damTens of thousands of Californians faced an indefinite stay in shelters as engineers worked for a second day on Tuesday to fix the United States' tallest dam before more storms sweep the region.

After what looks set to be the wettest winter in Northern California following years of drought, more rain was forecast for as early as Wednesday and through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Crews were working to shore up an overflow channel and drain the reservoir at the Lake Oroville Dam but authorities gave no indication of when it would be safe for people to go home.

Late on Sunday, about 188,000 residents were ordered to evacuate their homes in the Feather River valley below the dam, 65 miles (105 km) north of Sacramento...

Tell Me Again There's No Link Between Darwinism and Eugenics    "...Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.”
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man