Thursday, January 30, 2014

Message from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Here in Nairobi we are preparing with great anticipation for our second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON 2013, and this is the first of what I intend to be monthly pastoral messages as we move forward together in the unfolding purposes of God.

I am confident that this great gathering of over 1,300 delegates will touch the lives of you all, whether or not you are able to be present, and will be a decisive moment in a movement which will shape the future of the Anglican Communion for generations to come.

The reason I have such confidence is not simply because of the commitment and energy that is going into the planning of this great occasion, but above all because God is faithful. At the heart of our gathering will be the Lord Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19) and as we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to that purpose, we can trust in the promise that comes with the command, the promise of his presence ‘to the end of the age’ (v20).

Here in Kenya, we know the reality of this promise because we are a nation which has benefited profoundly from the East African Revival. The fires of revival spread spontaneously through East Africa in the 1930’s at a time when many of the churches were cold and formal, deeply shaping what it means to be a Christian and an Anglican here today... the rest

Gafcon archbishop chastises a pusillanimous Church of England

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cat battling the USPS

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When the knowledge of God doesn't exist anymore...

When the knowledge of God doesn't exist anymore there is no truth or mercy. God's Word is our only reliable source of truth and God's love is the only source of true mercy. We are now living in a day in which the knowledge of God is being suppressed there's an organized effort to remove the consciousness of God from our national life . The result is and will increasingly be less truth and mercy. Deception is on the increase and heavy cruel treatment of others is running rampant. 
...Chuck Smith image

A.S. Haley: Mere Anglicanism Conference: a Report

January 28, 2014

...All in all, this was one of the most satisfying and remarkable experiences of my life. To be in the midst of such intellects, to be able to interact with them and respond to their insights, all the while enjoying the company of kindred souls and friends whom I had previously known only at a distance, was a great blessing, for which I am deeply grateful to the Conference’s organizers and facilitators. This was not just “Mere” Anglicanism; this was Anglicanism at Its Top-level Best, for the Questioning Faithful. I have to believe that the clergy who attended came away with a multitude of facts and arguments with which to disarm skeptics and to strengthen their own pastoral abilities, while the lay attendees gained no less for their daily forays into the secular world...

 Full report here

National Defense Authorization Act; 5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church; Christ Called Me Off the Minaret; Secret abortion fees...more

Worldview Responses to the 2014 Grammys
Entertainment award shows aren't known as wellsprings of class and restraint, but after this year's particularly distasteful Grammys, we've assembled a crack team of worldview thinkers to offer perspective on what this means for our culture, and suggest ways families and churches can process the award show millions will be talking about for weeks to come...

Russia to set up pregnancy centers as it seeks to decrease abortion rates
Population loss through abortions in the 1960s to 1980s cost Russia more than double the number of lives it had lost in the First World War, the Civil War and the Second World War combined.

Although during the last five years, the number of abortions in the country has decreased, it has not yet made much impact on Russia’s population growth. To address the issue, the Health Ministry plans to focus on setting up crisis centers for pregnant women and providing them with psychological help.

During the Soviet Union, abortion statistics were classified information. When they were revealed in the 1980s, it transpired that the country was one of the world's leaders in terms of the number of pregnancy terminations...

5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church
Let’s be honest, while there are some good reasons for leaving a church, there are a lot more bad ones. As a pastor, I hear some of them every now and then as people walk out the door. As a church planter, I hear them constantly as people walk in the door.

If you’re thinking about looking for a new church home, please don’t use one of these five reasons to make the jump...

Christ Called Me Off the Minaret
...After three years of investigating the origins of Christianity, I concluded that the case for Christianity was strong—that the Bible could be trusted and that Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, and claimed to be God.

Then David challenged me to study Islam as critically as I had studied Christianity. I had learned about Muhammad from imams and my parents, not from the historical sources themselves. When I finally read the sources, I found that Muhammad was not the man I had thought. Violence and sensuality dripped from the pages of his earliest biographies, the life stories of the man I revered as the holiest in history.

Shocked by what I learned, I began to lean on the Qur'an as my defense. But when I turned an eye there, that foundation crumbled just as quickly. I relied on its miraculous knowledge and perfect preservation as a sign that it was inspired by God, but both beliefs faltered.

Overwhelmed and confused by the evidence for Christianity and the weakness of the Islamic case, I began seeking Allah for help. Or was he Jesus? I didn't know any longer. I needed to hear from God himself who he was. Thankfully, growing up in a Muslim community, I had seen others implore Allah for guidance. The way that Muslims expect to hear from God is through dreams and visions...

Jan 14, 2014

Congress grants Obama 'free rein for martial law'
America officially became a police state on Dec. 19, 2013, according to critics of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill was fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate, with no time for discussion or amendments, while most Americans were distracted by the scandal surrounding A&E’s troubles with “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson. Eighty-five of 100 senators votedto renew President Obama’s power to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities, denying them of their fundamental right to due process. The new version of the NDAA had already been quietly passed by the House of Representatives. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the Obama administration to challenge the legality of an earlier version of the NDAA. Now, several of the nation’s most-respected legal teams are asking the Supreme Court to take up the Hedges case challenging the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA because without review, the framework is in place for a police state. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces...

Michigan Passes Law Nullifying NDAA Indefinite Detention
On December 26, 2013, President Barack Obama took time off from his Hawaiian holiday to sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2014 into law. On that same day, a state governor denied the president the power to exercise many of the powers granted to him in the NDAA within the sovereign borders of the governor’s state.

Just after 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed Senate Bill No. 94, nullifying sections 1021 of the 2012 version of the NDAA. “It is important to recall that indefinite detention first appeared in section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which provided warrant for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens,” said Snyder.

Islamic Extremists in Nigeria Attack Christians at Sunday Worship Every Week in January
Fulani herdsmen raid villages in broad daylight; Boko Haram continues onslaught...

Secret abortion fees hidden in Obamacare premiums
Insurance companies working under the Obamacare umbrella have secretly added a surcharge to cover the cost of abortions, an apparent violation of federal law that forbids the practice, congressional leaders charge.

Consumers signing up for insurance in an Obamacare exchange won’t find a single sentence telling them that they will pay at least $1 a month to fund abortions...

Upsurge in gay people slows war on HIV in Kenya
...However, as Kenya hopes to move towards zero HIV infections from 100,000 annually, the gains made in the sector are being threatened by an upsurge in the number of gay people.

The practice is fast gaining currency in the country with more young people embracing it as it appears cool and trendy.

Gay shops, restaurants and nightclubs are being set up in the East African nation, attracting tens of young women and men into the practice that is largely viewed Western...

So what is happening with Anglican gay marriage?

January 28, 2014
By George Conger

Wire service reporting takes a special skill that not all writers posses. In less than 300 words, for most stories, a reporter must present the relevant facts and sufficient context to allow a reader to understand the story, while also be entertaining and interesting.

A problem arises when a wire service story substitutes news for analysis or opinion. While some stories are labeled news analysis or opinion — and as such it is proper to load a story with the author’s views of what should be rather than what is — when a news story substitutes opinion for journalism we have a problem.

An item from the Religion News Service that came across my desk yesterday illustrates this peril. In a story entitled “Church of England’s bishops defer gay marriage decision” that came in at a little under 300 words, RNS devotes only half of the story to reporting on what happened at the meeting of the Church of England’s House of Bishops and what they said and the balance to what RNS thinks we should think about the story.

And RNS neglects to mention the most news worthy portions of the report — that the bishops are hopelessly divided over the issue of homosexuality... the rest

Statement from the College of Bishops on the Pilling Report

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brit Hume on the Moral Case for Defending Life

Jan 22, 2014


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
-Jeremiah 1:5 image

March for Life 2014 Washington DC

January 22, 2014

Anglican Bishops March For Life

March For Life Testimonies

Babies Aborted in NYC in 1 Yr Would Fill Super Bowl Stadium
Abortionists terminated the lives 83,750 babies in New York City in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest "Abortion Surveillance" report, which was published on Nov. 29, 2013. That is more than enough people to sell out MetLife Stadium, the site of this year’s Super Bowl, which is located in East Rutherford, N.J., and is home to both the New York Jets and the New York Giants. According to its official website, MetLife has a capacity of 82,500...

Hundreds of thousands march for end of abortion in Washington on Roe anniversary (PHOTOS)

Pope Francis tweet supports, prays for US pro-life march
Pope Francis sent a tweet offering support for the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., praying that all human life would be valued.

“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable,” he told his 3.5 million English-speaking Twitter followers Jan. 22.

The Pope sent the same message in Spanish to his Spanish-speaking Twitter followers, who number over 4.5 million.

United States Lost 56 Million Lives through Abortions Since 1973’s Roe Vs Wade
...The exact number of abortions reported to have been conducted after the ruling of January 22, 1973 is 56,662,169...

Obama: Abortion means everyone gets to “fulfill their dreams”
“Everyone”? Well, not exactly, but only if you think for more than a few seconds about human biology and the consequences of abortion. The White House put out this statement today hailing Roe v Wade on its 41st anniversary...

Cuomo the Intolerant   
...Last Friday, in a public-radio interview, New York governor Andrew Cuomo offered the sort of potted analysis of the national Republican party one would expect from an MSNBC talk show. But he went a bit further. After nodding to the fact that, historically, the New York state Republican party has been the most ideologically gelded of the breed (it is the birthplace of Rockefeller Republicanism, after all), Cuomo proclaimed that “extreme conservatives” have “no place in the state of New York.” 

Who are extreme conservatives? People who are “right-to-life, pro–assault weapon, anti-gay.”...

 What’s Really Outrageous About Cuomo’s Abortion Remarks

Albert Mohler: Abortion and the American Conscience

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

America has been at war over abortion for the last four decades and more. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, the court’s majority attempted to put an end to the abortion question. To the contrary, that decision both enlarged and revealed the great moral divide that runs through the center of our culture.

Most Americans seem completely unaware of the actual contours of the abortion debate as it emerged in the early 1970s. In 1973, the primary opposition to abortion on demand came from the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals — representative of the larger American culture — were largely out of the debate. At that time, a majority of evangelicals seemed to see abortion as a largely Catholic issue. It took the shock of Roe v. Wade and the reality of abortion on demand to awaken the Evangelical conscience.

Roe v. Wade was championed as one of the great victories achieved by the feminist movement. The leaders of that movement claimed — and continue to claim — that the availability of abortion on demand is necessary in order for women to be equal with men with respect to the absence of pregnancy as an obstacle to career advancement. Furthermore, the moral logic of Roe v. Wade was a thunderous affirmation of the ideal of personal autonomy that had already taken hold of the American mind. As the decision made all too clear, rights talk had displaced what had been seen as the higher concern of right versus wrong. the rest image

Monday, January 20, 2014

Waiting on God prepares for greater blessing...

Waiting on God prepares for greater blessing. God has greater plans than you have realized. Prayer has one function, and that is to answer 'Yes' when He knocks, to open the soul and give Him the opportunity to bring us the answer. ...O. Hallesby image

Pastor's Response to NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

Jan 19, 2014
This week Governor Andew Cuomo said that extreme conservatives who are pro-life are not welcome in the state of new york. Pastor Jeremy Lundmark responded in a message entitled "Should We Care About Babies Being Murdered."

Full Sermon Link is here:

The reality of the demonic

File:Ary Scheffer - The Temptation of Christ (1854).jpg
20 Jan 2014
Gavin Ashenden

As the Church of England debates whether or not it should be specific about rejecting the devil at baptism I joined the debate by writing an article for the Church Times.

I wrote to try to convince people that the devil existed.

At one level, ‘professionally’ one might say, that a rather stupid thing to do.

It is not the position that a theologically sophisticated person ought to take; let alone someone who has for a while earned a living and developed a reputation for teaching in a university founded on intellectual competence. So why risk a sneer or two from clever people who are sure that something they have never experienced cannot exist? Because in the summer of 2008 I experienced several direct and overwhelming assaults that were demonic. The worst one I won’t write about here. It lasted three nights and I thought in the middle of it, that it might drive me mad. Of course I suspected a nervous breakdown. But nervous breakdown don’t start at 1.05 a.m. and end about 5.05 am, switching on and off. And anyway, it wasn’t one.

Another one, which I will write a little about here, happened when I went to a small weekly mass in an ancient Church perched on a small volcanic hill with sheer sides in S.W.France. It was the Chapel of St Michael in Le Puy en Velais.

I had gone there to pray before hosting a visit to the Cathedral at Chichester of Vassula Ryden who was going to speak about the True Life in God Messages. I had invited nearly 400 Anglican and 400 Catholic priests to come and hear about the unity to which God was urgently calling the Church.

Mass was only celebrated there once a week. One of the Cathedral clergy used to be dragged in on a rota to do it. I met the celebrant at the steps. I looked closely at his eyes – as I do with most priests. They were clear and good. I could expect a good mass. But what happened was totally outside the boundaries of my expectations and my experience. the rest at Anglican Ink image 

The Bible's Many gods
...The drift of these passages is that the gods—which are sometimes regarded in the Hebrew Bible as fallen angels and arguably are the genesis of Paul’s “principalities and powers”—are condemned to death not simply because of their failure to rule with justice, but more importantly, for their rebellion against their Maker, Yahweh. Their unjust rule of the nations was simply one of many expressions of their rebellion, which was the principal reason for Yahweh’s discipline.

Christians later came to see these two stories in the prophets as allusions to Satan’s fall from grace. Once created as God’s most gifted and beautiful supernatural being, Satan abused his authority and then led a rebellion against Yahweh. God punished him by limiting his authority on earth; he is still the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) but his authority is checked by God’s sovereign purposes, and his final destruction is decreed.

N. T. Wright calls this “creational monotheism,” which means that Yahweh rules over a cosmos thick with not only good angels but also fallen angels masquerading as the true God. Wright insists that “we have very few examples of ‘pure’ monotheism anywhere, including in the Hebrew Bible." ...First Things

Joni Erikson-Tada sings Alone Yet Not Alone; Cuomo says pro-lifers have no place in NY; Global Cooling...more

All hell breaks loose over Christian Oscar nod
...Instead, mainstream-media Oscar watchers across the nation have blasted the Academy for choosing the hymn-like testament to God’s presence over hits by pop artists like Jay-Z and Taylor Swift...The song and the singer are just beautiful! -PD

Peyton Manning’s Christian Faith
...Any fan of Peyton Manning or the NFL generally knows that Manning is the consummate professional. He treats the fans, media personnel, teammates, and opponents with respect. He works as hard—and probably harder—at his craft than any other player in the league. And he produces one fun, family-friendly commercial after another, showing his sense of humor and a humble assessment of his own importance. But what many fans of Manning and the NFL may not be aware of is Manning’s Christian faith. In the excerpt below from Peyton’s book Manning, which he co-wrote with his father Archie Manning in 2001, the record-setting quarterback gives a rare description of his faith and its importance to him. The description is a rare one, not because Peyton’s faith is an insignificant part of his life, but because, as Peyton explains in the excerpt, he has intentionally chosen to speak more by his actions than by his words...

Appeals court rules NYC anti-pregnancy center law largely unconstitutional
“Pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer free help and hope to women and their preborn children, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” said attorney Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented a number of CPCs in the case, including Slattery’s. “The appeals court rightly affirmed that the city cannot force pregnancy centers to communicate some city-crafted messages that encourage women to go elsewhere, but the court left one provision in place that still does that. Because this type of compelled speech is not constitutional, we are considering our options for appeal regarding the remaining provision of New York City’s ordinance.”

Andrew Cuomo Puts Up a ‘Catholics Need Not Reside’ Sign in New York
...This is an outrageous intolerance from a governor looking toward his political future in the Democratic party, securing his good graces with the abortion industry who his party – and all too many politicians – are content to serve. This is the same intolerance and culture-war-waging that Catholics who oppose abortion and assisted suicide, and who support traditional marriage, are accused of waging...
Cuomo: Pro-life people have “no place in the state of New York”
Forty-eight percent of Americans and all priests and nuns are no longer welcome in the Empire State, according to its governor...

Rise in Bird Flu Cases in China Stokes Worry Before Peak Travel Time
...China is disclosing a steadily growing number of cases of H7N9 bird flu, including four more cases announced on Friday, reviving concerns among health experts that the disease may be spreading and could pose a further threat as the world’s largest annual human migration begins ahead of Chinese New Year.

Mainland China has confirmed 14 cases this week alone, including the four announced on Friday, and seven on Thursday...

Do we face a disastrous century due to global cooling?
...Global warming alarmists have been claiming for decade that increases in carbon dioxide emissions associated with human activity will produce disastrous climate events. Certainly if carbon dioxide emissions were the only factor affecting climate, increases in those emissions would indeed produce global warming. Inconveniently for this theory, world temperatures have not increased in the last 15 years. But surely there are other things that affect climate, including variations in solar activity—sunspots. And as Bjorn Lomberg has often written, global cooling would be much more dangerous to human beings than global warming. Parker’s 697-page book (no, I haven’t read the whole thing) is an account of the political and demographic disasters in a global cooling century. Something to think about the next time you hear warnings of the inevitable disasters coming thanks to global warming.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

March for Life Syracuse 2014

 Some scenes from the annual Syracuse March for Life yesterday (January 18th).  I believe this Syracuse event has happened annually since the Roe V. Wade decision in 1973.
(Photos by Raymond Dague)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: What should we do when Christians disagree – really

January 17, 2014

I am writing in response to an article published today by the Anglican Communion’s news office “What should we do when Christians disagree?”  by the Rev. Dr. Phil Groves, facilitator of the Continuing Indaba Project. In the article, Groves writes that when Christians disagree, “when disunity appears, facilitated conversations are the Biblical way forwards.”

With all due respect, his analysis misses the mark by a longshot.

First, he cites the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2-3 as the Biblical paradigm for all disagreement within the Church. But what about differences over Christian doctrine itself? In his landmark study Conciliarism: A History of Decision making in the Church (Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 56-60) Paul Valliere notes meticulously the doctrinal disagreements that gave rise to the Councils of the Early Church. Disagreements over doctrine often present themselves first as disciplinary issues– such as how do you deal with the “re-baptism” of people who vacillated or apostasized in the face of persecution (Council of Carthage, 256 AD), or how do you respond to public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions and the consecration as bishop of a person living in such a union? (Anglican Communion, 2003).

Groves seems to have forgotten his history. The crisis in the Anglican Communion since at least 2003 has been and continues to be over the very definition of the Gospel. Disagreements and innovations in the Communion have been described, time and again, as a crisis of Gospel truth. This is exactly what 1358 bishops, other clergy and lay delegates to GAFCON 2013 re-asserted unanimously in the Nairobi Communique (26 October 2013):

“In 2008, the first GAFCON was convened in order to counter a false gospel which was spreading throughout the Communion. This false gospel questioned the uniqueness of Christ and his substitutionary death, despite the Bible’s clear revelation that he is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It undermined the authority of God’s Word written. It sought to mask sinful behaviour with the language of human rights. It promoted homosexual practice as consistent with holiness, despite the fact that the Bible clearly identifies it as sinful. A crisis point was reached in 2003 when a man in an active same-sex relationship was consecrated bishop in the USA. In the years that followed, there were repeated attempts to resolve the crisis within the Communion, none of which succeeded. To the contrary, the situation worsened with further defiance.” the rest
This is the heart of the new religion of reconciliation:  facilitated conversations (Indaba) that can have only two possible results:  eventual acceptance of the innovations, or a never- ending process of facilitated conversations, until all resistance is vanquished.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bishop Julian Dobbs Appointed To Lead CANA

January 17, 2014

The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in consultation with the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, has appointed the Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs as Missionary Bishop of CANA.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, a missionary jurisdiction of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and consists of congregations under diocesan structures. Bishop Dobbs will remain in his current role as Bishop of the CANA East Diocese while taking on the additional responsibilities of providing oversight and leadership to CANA’s overall ministry.

Archbishop Duncan commented: “I was officially notified by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of this appointment earlier today. I am delighted this appointment has been made. Bishop Julian already serves as a member of my Archbishop’s Cabinet, and has previously served on the Provincial Executive Committee, to which he was elected by Provincial Council. He is a great leader and will continue the process by which CANA is fully integrated into the Anglican Church in North America, at the same time that CANA’s important place as a missionary work of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is strengthened.”

Bishop Dobbs and his wife Brenda, have made their home in Northern Virginia since 2006. He was elected and consecrated as bishop by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in 2011, and is a member of the College of Bishops in Nigeria and also the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) where he is a member of the Archbishop’s Cabinet and the Governance Task Force and has also served on the Executive Committee.

Archbishop Okoh said, “On behalf of the Archbishops, Bishops, clergy and numerous members of the laity, including those in CANA, I commend [Bishop Julian Dobbs and his wife] to the prayers of the church for a fruitful ministry, dedication to God and loyalty to Him and His Church authorities.”

Registrar Abraham Yisa, Chairman of CANA’s Board of Trustees said, “We thank God for this appointment. We thank the Primate and the house of bishops of our church. Please let us commend the new Missionary Bishop, his wife and children to God’s care and keeping. I congratulate Bishop Dobbs on behalf of CANA Board of Trustees and all CANA congregations. Here

Rejoicing!!! -PD

Thursday, January 16, 2014

God thinks his choice is so important...

 Jonah teaches us that this storm, whose physical causes are the same as those of all other storms, is there only for Jonah and because of Jonah. It has other effects. It sweeps the coasts, disperses fish, causes ships to founder. But its purpose is to smash inflexible Jonah. Thus the elements and many men, especially the sailors, are engaged in the adventure of Jonah with him and because of him. One sees here the weight and seriousness of vocation. God thinks his choice is so important, and takes the one elected so seriously, that he brings nature into play to see that this man fulfills his vocation. ...Jacques Ellul image

Hiring Professors Who Want To Teach; Common Core Sexualizes American School Children; PP Won't let Lawmakers See Their Curriculum...more

President Obama: “I’ve got a pen…”
We have a Constitution.

Archbishop Chaput to Lead 3,000 Philadelphians in D.C. March for Life

Small, New University Does Something Radical -- Only Hires Professors Who Want To Teach And Only Admits Students Who Want To Learn
...But just because much of our higher education system is now a poor value for students who really want to study, we shouldn’t think that worthwhile schools have disappeared. In fact, just a few years ago, a new, very small university was created — t he University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) – that does just what a college is supposed to do.

While online education is getting most of the attention these days when the subject of change in higher education comes up, UMR shows that the old-fashioned professor-facing-students-in-a-classroom model can be reworked so that it gives serious students a true education at reasonable cost...

Common Core Sexualizes American School Children
Newburgh New York school district yanked a ninth grade book considered by teachers to be “pornographic.” An Arizona mother launched an avalanche of protest that forced Arizona schools to pull an eleventh grade book that portrays teens in a sado-masochistic relationship. A Catholic school superintendent admits there were two first grade books about families—that included pictures of homosexual pairs—listed on the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative website, a resource for Catholic schools nationwide. These “family” books—The Family Book and Who’s in a Family—were removed from the website after parental protest.

Across the nation, in public and Catholic schools, parents and teachers have found sexually inappropriate materials in the exemplars recommended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In some cases the offending material is removed. In others, parents are offered “opt out” choices for their children. However, the question that looms large is, why has so much disturbing material been systematically built into the CCSS recommended texts? Should a small cadre of unelected ideologues have nationwide power to decide that American first graders should be exposed to homosexual “families,” or, that ninth graders be given pornography in the guise of literature? These questions and the examples outlined below shout for parental scrutiny and a return to local control of school districts...

Planned Parenthood Denies Lawmakers’ Request to See Its Graphic Sex Ed Curriculum
...After parents told state representative Bob McDermott about Pono Choices—the program that teaches middle school students about same sex relationships and oral and anal sex—McDermott attempted to get copies of the entire curriculum from the state department of education, but incredibly, his request was denied. He then approached the University of Hawaii, which received, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, almost a million dollars in a teen pregnancy prevention grant to develop and implement the program. The state legislator was once again turned down. He was instead invited to review the curriculum under supervision, which he declined...

Six-Year-Old Girl Rebuked by Teacher: 'No Talking About Bible in School'
Brynn Williams was interrupted and rebuked by her teacher at an elementary school in Temecula, California last month while giving a speech for a school assignment on Christmas family traditions about her family's celebration of Jesus Christ's birth...

TEC denied again by Judge in attempt to seize Diocese of SC identity

15 Jan 2014
Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ‘rehash’ previously presented arguments. … As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”

Bishop vonRosenberg had asked Judge Houck to effectively overturn a state court injunction preventing him and his followers from claiming to be the Diocese of South Carolina.

“We are grateful Judge Houck saw through The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) efforts to distract from the real issues in this case,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their attempt to claim violation of trademark rights was little more than a stalling tactic.

“It’s understandable that TECSC wants to postpone the adjudication of the actual issues involved, but we’re confident the courts will not be distracted,” Lewis said.  “Sadly, all the legal shenanigans simply add to the tens of millions of dollars the denomination has spent on legal bills aimed at bullying disaffected members to remain with TEC.” the rest

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A.S. Haley: San Joaquin Trial Concludes; Judge Sets Briefing Schedule

January 15, 2014

The trial in the case of Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin vs. Schofield finished in Fresno Superior Court on Monday, with the videotaped testimony of Bishop John-David Schofield played in a courtroom packed with both his admirers and his opponents. (Bishop Schofield passed away at his home last October, but his testimony had been preserved in 2011 in anticipation of the trial.)

At the conclusion of his testimony, both sides rested—the plaintiffs declined to put on any rebuttal evidence—and the court then put questions to counsel in lieu of closing arguments. Judge Donald Black began by asking the plaintiffs point-blank: “Can you show me just where in the Episcopal Church’s Constitution and Canons it says that a member diocese may not amend its constitution so as to remove its accession clause?”

(The former Diocese of San Joaquin, under the leadership of then-Bishop Schofield, had voted on December 8, 2007 to amend its constitution and canons to replace language acceding to ECUSA’s constitution with language that affiliated the Diocese with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Since then, the Diocese has called itself “the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.” However, when the newly formed rump Episcopal diocese brought this lawsuit in April 2008, it did not join the Anglican Diocese as a defendant, but only its bishop and its subsidiary property-holding entities.)

The plaintiffs’ counsel, of course, could point to no such language, because it does not exist. And with that one question, Judge Black put his finger on the crux of the case.

The Anglican parties contend that their 2007 amendments to disaffiliate from ECUSA were fully proper and valid under California secular law, as well as not contrary to any language in ECUSA’s governing documents. the rest

A Canterbury Tale: Gerald Bray on Gafcon II and the future of the Anglican Communion

14 Jan 2014
Gerald Bray

GAFCON II has come and gone, and a great time was had by all 1300 participants, including over 300 bishops, who represented twenty-eight of the Anglican Communion’s thirty-eight provinces. It sounds impressive and in many ways it was, but statistics of this kind conceal as much as they reveal. Many of the bigger African provinces turned out in force, but representation from the developed world was patchy and at the episcopal level almost non-existent. Much as it wants to be a movement for the renewal of worldwide Anglicanism, GAFCON is a bit like the curate’s egg—good in parts. Its leadership is committed, its followers are loyal and expectant, but its influence remains limited to the sorts of people who would support its aims even if it did not exist. It has not yet reached out beyond its predictable support base, and unless it does so, the energy that has gone into it will be dissipated and it will go the way of other initiatives that never got anywhere.

Having said that, there is no denying that GAFCON has come a long way in a short time. The improvised character of GAFCON I has gone and in its place has come a much more sophisticated and responsible organisation. No other group of Anglicans could stage an event with as broad a participation, and that alone ought to persuade people to take it seriously.

Unfortunately, things do not work like that in the real Anglican world. The archbishop of Canterbury could not attend but he was good enough to find time in his diary to make a quick trip to Kenya just before it opened, and to send greetings to it on a video that was played to the assembled delegates. He meant well, and those who met him testified to the warm relations that they had with him. Unfortunately everything he said and did betrayed the fact that the English church establishment had been outflanked and had effectively missed the bus. The official communiqué from Lambeth Palace stated that the main reason for the archbishop’s visit to Kenya was to express solidarity with the victims of the Westgate Shopping Centre atrocity the previous month, but laudable though sympathy for them was, it was an implausible excuse. The archbishop did not rush off to Peshawar to show his support for Christian victims of Muslim terrorism in Pakistan, nor would anyone have expected him to.

Unless of course, GAFCON had been meeting there at the same time…In the end things got so bad that Lambeth Palace was citing the baptism of Prince George as a reason for the archbishop’s non-attendance, as if the royal family would not have been willing to find a more convenient date for the ceremony. The impression left is one of incompetence and dysfunctionality in which almost any excuse to downplay the significance of GAFCON has been eagerly seized on and exploited for far more than it is worth... the rest at Anglican Ink

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The New Age of Christian Martyrdom; Communism and the Environment

Kirsten Powers: The New Age of Christian Martyrdom
Lions have been replaced by firing squads and concentration camps as record numbers of Jesus’ worshipers are persecuted from Syria to North Korea.
The concept of Christian martyrdom may seem like something from a bygone, uncivilized era when believers were mercilessly thrown to the lions. Not so. This week, Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, reported that Christian martyrdom has grown into a pervasive and horrifying human rights crisis. 

In their annual report of the worst 50 countries for Christian persecution, Open Doors found that Christian martyr deaths around the globe doubled in 2013.  Their report documented 2,123 killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. In Syria alone, there were 1,213 such deaths last year. In addition to losing their lives, Christians around the world continue to suffer discrimination, imprisonment, harassment, sexual assaults, and expulsion from countries merely for practicing their faith...

If You Think Communism Is Bad For People, Check Out What It Did To The Environment
...When the Berlin Wall came down and the Iron Curtain was finally lifted to expose the inner workings of communism to Western eyes, one of the more shocking discoveries was the nightmarish scale of environmental destruction. The statistics for East Germany alone tell a horrific tale: at the time of its reunification with West Germany an estimated 42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted that they could not be used to process drinking water, almost half of the country’s lakes were considered dead or dying and unable to sustain fish or other forms of life, and only one-third of industrial sewage along with half of domestic sewage received treatment...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 89

Jan 13, 2014
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

Show Index
00:00 2013 year in review
13:47 Our 2014 Predictions
22:14 Conversation with Archbishop Duncan
42:04 AS Haley on how to sue yourself
52:31 Closing and Bloopers

Monday, January 13, 2014

Insurance companies bailout ($1.071 trillion); Voter fraud; The End of Morality Laws? Not Exactly...more

Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.

For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses...

Voter fraud in Texas and New York
...New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures...

Albert Mohler: The End of Morality Laws? Not Exactly
...Turley wants the law to continue to have sanctions against bestiality and incest. Why bestiality? Well, he says, there are obvious consent issues and very real harm. What about incest? He says laws against incest are not morality laws, but rather matters of health. Well let’s look at that for just a moment. That’s an argument that has been used before, but it can’t hold water. What about couples who are beyond the ages of childbearing? The medical issues related to incest have to do with a far-greater likelihood of genetic abnormalities in the offspring of closely-related couples. But if those closely-related couples—brother and sister, mother and son, father and daughter, or any kind of permutation thereabouts—if that intimate pair is beyond the age of childbearing, then what is the medical issue? It disappears. Nevertheless, Mr. Turley is not advocating the striking down of laws against incest. Why? It is because what he’s actually promoting is the progressive striking down of one set of laws and then another: first the laws against same-sex marriage; then the laws against plural marriage. Even he wants some morality laws to remain, but he claims to celebrate the end of all morals legislation...

A defining moment for the court
...Monday’s argument will be another manifestation of America’s intermittent efforts to tame executive power, efforts that predate nationhood: The Declaration of Independence is a menu of complaints against “a long train of abuses and usurpations” by “the present King of Great Britain.” The present president’s cavalier approach to statutes (as with his unilateral rewriting of the Affordable Care Act) and the Constitution (see four paragraphs above) make Monday’s argument important...

Two Christian centers attacked in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
A group of extremist Buddhist monks and laymen attacked two Christian religious centers yesterday in Hikkaduwa, local media reported...

Why Egypt's Christian Families Are Paying Ransoms
...Coptic bishop Kyrillos of Nag Hammadi, 300 miles south of Cairo, recently held a press conference to complain of 34 kidnapping cases in his diocese since the revolution. Of these, 11 were returned after ransom payments, which totaled $435,000...

the-funniest-notes-from-kids-struggling-to-express-their-emotions (6)
The 35 Funniest Moments When Kids Decided To Be Brutally Honest Just for a good laugh...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It is only by being grafted into Christ...

It is only by being grafted into Christ that we produce good fruit. Other religions say, “Do good and you will become good.” Christianity says, “Be in Christ, and you will do good.” The meaning of the Atonement and the Blood that washes away our sins is that we are grafted into Christ, I in Him, and He in me. It is a bitter sprig which is grafted into the tree, but, once it is grafted in, the sweet juice of the tree flows through the bitter sprig and makes it sweet. ...Sadhu Sundar Singh image

ACNA College of Bishops Communique

10 Jan 2014

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1

The bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met in Orlando, Florida from January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, to January 10th. We were blessed to be joined by the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar, Pakistan. This has been our largest meeting, with only a few bishops absent due to inclement weather or overseas assignment. The bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have made it clear that it is a high priority to be together to pray and meet in council to carry forward the apostolic ministry of the Church. This week we again met in an atmosphere of mutual support and affection, with much prayer for one other. Bishop William Ilgenfritz, Missionary Diocese of All Saints, served as Chaplain for the College.

In our opening Eucharist, the Rt. Rev. Todd Hunter was invested as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, commonly called “C4SO.”

We were blessed by Biblical teaching each morning from Dr. Wesley Hill, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry. In this season of Epiphany, we were encouraged by Dr. Hill’s teaching on the nature of our triune God as both transcendent above his creation and present with us in our suffering.

It was a thoroughly productive gathering in which the bishops were able to address a range of topics, working to establish consensus and maintain fraternal relations. We were encouraged by our times of sharing about the fruitful ministries in our dioceses and by testimonies of God’s grace and answered prayers...  Full Communique here

Arial Sharon Dead at 85; Obamacare mandate; Texas homeschoolers continue battle; Updates on Jahi McMath...more...

Christians killed for faith nearly doubled in 2013, group finds
...Musa, according to the group, was one of 2,123 Christians killed last year due to their faith, compared to 1,201 in 2012. More than half of those reported killings (1,213) occurred in Syria, followed by Nigeria (612) and Pakistan (88).

But North Korea — a country of more than 24 million, with an estimated 300,000 Christians — remained the most dangerous country worldwide for Christians for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Somalia, Syria and Iraq...

Ariel Sharon Dead at 85
Israel's 11th premier passes away eight years after a stroke left him comatose; Sharon was one of Israel’s legendary politicians and military leaders; Sharon's son Gilad: "He went when he decided to go."

Why HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea are rising among homosexuals
...Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, young MSM (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all MSM. At the end of 2010, an estimated 489,121 (56%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States were MSM or MSM-IDU...

'Hand of God'
...The cosmic "hand of God" photo was produced when a star exploded and ejected an enormous cloud of material, which NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, glimpsed in high-energy X-rays, shown in blue in the photo. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory had imaged the green and red parts previously, using lower-energy X-rays...

Family-Run Business Tells Supreme Court: Stop Obama’s HHS Mandate
...The brief filed Friday explains that the Obama administration’s “argument is inconsistent with the reality of religious activity in Americans’ daily lives. There is no separating the Hahns’ faith from their business or its actions. The members of the Hahn family, as Mennonite Christians, practice their faith in everything they do, including the running of their business…. The Mandate…forces them to choose between violating their religious convictions and incurring ruinous fines and lawsuits. No compelling interest justifies imposing such a Hobson’s choice, particularly given the government’s exclusion of thousands of other employers from the Mandate’s scope.”...
Are There Any Parts of Obamacare the President Can’t Suspend?

Obama admin. announces it will recognize Utah gay ‘marriages’ after state says it won’t
...U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the federal government will recognize same-sex “marriages” contracted during the brief period between December and January when such unions took place legally in Utah, before the U.S. Supreme Court put a halt to them...

Christian Couple Fights Texas Officials After Homeschooled Children Forcibly Removed From Home
...During a second hearing this week, a local judge once again considered the Tutt family’s case. According to an update from friends of the family, the judge admitted that there was no evidence of abuse or neglect found in the Tutts’ home and conceded that the children should not have been removed from their home in the first place. She thus overturned Olvera’s ruling, which was not based on abuse findings, but rather complaints about homeschooling.

As a result, four of the children have now been returned to their parents, but are required to attend public school while officials conduct an educational evaluation. The other three children have not yet been returned home, according to reports. Supporters of the Tutt family describe this latest development as “not a victory or defeat” but rather “a sidestep,” and they confirm that “home schooling was the main issue” with the legal proceedings...

Albert Mohler: “Downton Abbey” and the Modern Age—What Are We Really Watching?
...There are countless lessons for American Christians to observe as we watch Downton Abbey. But we ought not to miss the larger story of which tales like Downton are only a part. The world that was passing away was not only a world of footmen, but also of faith. Britain would never be the same again, and that loss of faith and certitude would eventually become a tide that would sweep across every aspect of British culture...

Lawyer: Brain-dead teen Jahi McMath stabilizing after move from hospital
Under the care of "optimistic" doctors, Jahi McMath -- whom a judge and other doctors have declared brain-dead, over her family's objections -- is "improving" days after her release from an Oakland, California, hospital, her family's lawyer said...

Wesley Smith: Reflections on the Jahi McMath Tragedy

Almost a tenth of babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, census figures show
Census figures reveal a ‘startling’ shift in Britain’s demographic trend with almost a tenth of babies and toddlers born in England and Wales being Muslim.

The percentage of Muslims among the under-fives is almost twice as high as in the general population. Less than one in 200 over 85s are Muslims – an indication of the extent to which birth rate is changing the UK’s religious demographic...

Parliament hears call to make attacks on clergy 'hate crimes'
...Some 200 attacks over the last five years have been uncovered so far. They range from low level cases of assault, to cases of stalking by obsessive parishioners, priests being beaten in their own churches, as well as dog and on at least one occasion human bites...


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Transcript of Justin Welby's remarks on Nigeria

Transcript of the Archbishop of Canterbury's interview with BBC World Service's Newsday for its special programme on the Nigerian economy
08 Jan 2014

BBC World Service Newsday interview, Monday 6 January 2014, approx. 7.30am

Interviewer: Just tell us a bit about your history with Nigeria.
Justin Welby: Well, I first went to Nigeria in I think either the end of 1978 when I was in the oil industry and visited there for several years, working on a particular project there; and then have been going back quite regularly over the last, many years now as a clergyman working in areas both of reconciliation and also issues of development in the Delta in the north and in the Middle Belt.

Interviewer: Archbishop, how big a deal is the problem of security in Nigeria, because you regularly speak to people because of course there’s an insurgency in the north.
JW: Well, I think what we heard illustrates a very typically Nigerian response to this. There was the courage, the determination, the realism, but also the sort of vigorous approach, which means that people are not deterred by it. It’s a real problem, a very serious problem; people don’t travel so much at night, and the sort of violence is used to intimidate, as the Finance Minister was saying, to try and intimidate her. But we also heard in those two interviews the reality of the Nigerian determination, which is not to be overcome by that.

Interviewer: And with colleagues you’ve been speaking to in northern Nigeria, because quite often it’s very difficult to get information from northern Nigeria, especially in the far north-east where there are troubles. What are you hearing from there? the rest at Anglican Ink

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A Charismatic Invasion of Anglicanism?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Dale M. Coulter

In December Peter Berger wrote a brief reflection on Archbishop Justin Welby’s inviting four members of the Catholic Charismatic community Chemin Neuf to live and pray at Lambeth Palace. His reflection was based on a story in The Tablet. For Berger, this development was a pleasant surprise and represented a kind of invasion by global Pentecostalism into the heart of Anglicanism. I have a strong appreciation for Berger’s sympathetic interest in the dynamics and spread of Pentecostalism, which he uses as a short hand for the entire Pentecostal and charismatic movement. As I have said before, Pentecostals need friends like Berger who combine sensitivity with constructive dialogue.

Having said that, from my vantage point the event at Lambeth was neither an invasion nor surprising. It was, instead, a natural extension of a growing charismatic movement within the Church of England. In some ways, it could be seen as the fruition of a relationship between Pentecostals and Anglicans forged in 1907 when the Anglican vicar Alexander Boddy invited Thomas B. Barratt to speak at his parish, All Saints’ Church in Sunderland just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne in the north of England. Boddy had already been impacted by the Welsh Revival (1904-1905) and the preceding conventions at Keswick. Barratt, on the other hand, was a Methodist who had experienced a Pentecostal-type Spirit baptism through the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909). From Barratt’s ministry, Boddy had his own Pentecostal experience. Beginning in 1908, he sponsored annual Whitsundtide Conferences at All Saints’, which became the epicenter of early Pentecostalism in England. He also began publishing Confidence, a periodical that served as the voice of British Pentecostalism...  the rest at First Things

Monday, January 06, 2014

What star is this, with beams so bright...

What star is this, with beams so bright,
More lovely than the noonday light?
’Tis sent to announce a newborn King,
Glad tidings of our God to bring.

’Tis now fulfilled what God decreed,
“From Jacob shall a star proceed”;
And lo! the Eastern sages stand
To read in heaven the Lord’s command.

While outward signs the star displays,
An inward light the Lord conveys,
And urges them, with force benign,
To seek the Giver of the sign.

True love can brook no dull delay;
Nor toil nor dangers stop their way
Home, kindred, father land and all
They leave at their Creator’s call.

O, while the star of heavenly grace
Invites us, Lord, to seek Thy face,
May we no more that grace repel,
Or quench that light which shines so well!

To God the Father, God the Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One,
May every tongue and nation raise
An endless song of thankful praise!
...Charles Coffin image

Birds at the feeder on a cold winter morning

Sparrows swarming the feeder
Male cardinal
I love watching the birds at the backyard feeder.  Raymond got some great shots by setting his camera on a tripod outside about 20 feet away and then using a radio- controlled shutter trigger from inside the house to capture these photos. -PD
 (click on pictures to enlarge)

Church of England Removes “Sin” from Baptism Rite

Brian Miller
January 6, 2014

The Church of England has once again rewritten the rites of the Church by no longer requiring a rejection of sin before performing a Christening. In the old version, the parents would be asked before the baptism, “Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?” and “Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbor?”

However, in the new version that is being promoted as an “alternative,” the parents are only asked “Do you reject evil…and all its empty promises?”

According to the Daily Mail, a senior member of the General Synod explains, ‘the trouble is that large parts of the Church of England don’t believe in hell, sin or repentance.” Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who opposed the revisions, argued that “Rather than the constant ‘dumbing down’ of Christian teaching, whether for baptism, marriage or death, we should be spending time preparing people for these great rites of passage.” He closed by suggesting “to call a halt to this perhaps well-meant effort before it further reduces the fullness of the Church’s faith to easily swallowed soundbites.”

The revisers, who are supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, however, only claim that they want to be more relevant and “use the language of EastEnders rather than Shakespeare in services.” the rest

Church of England accused of 'dumbing down' christening service
The Church of England has been accused of “dumbing down” its traditional christening ceremony after rewriting the service for a modern congregation.

Parents and godparents are no longer asked to “reject the devil”, “repent of sins” or “submit” to Christ under the new wording, aimed at making the service easier to understand...

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A.S. Haley: Legal News Updates in South Carolina and San Joaquin

January 3, 2014

On Monday of this week, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein denied the motion by the ECUSA parties to expand their counterclaims against Bishop Mark Lawrence and certain of his clergy—a motion which I previously predicted would be denied in this earlier post. In ruling from the bench, Judge Goodstein noted that the counterclaimants had failed to show any good reason to single out specific members of the clergy for acting in accordance with the wishes of the Diocese they served—actions that were ratified and approved by literally thousands of its members.

The Diocese’s Canon to the Ordinary, the Rev. Jim Lewis, responded to the ruling with this statement: ““We are grateful that Judge Goodstein dismissed this most recent effort to harass our people with time-consuming, expensive litigation. Attorneys for both TEC and TECSC have tried to distract attention from the denomination’s efforts to seize our property by suing our clergy and pursuing our lay leadership.  The judge’s decision ends the legal fishing expedition and forces all to focus on the only issue that matters: whether our religious freedom is protected.” 

Judge Goodstein also denied TECSC’s motion to reconsider her earlier grant of a preliminary injunction (to which TECSC’s attorneys originally stipulated), which forbids that group from appropriating the name, trademarks and insignia of Bishop Lawrence’s Diocese. As a result, the injunction will remain in force until the conclusion of the trial of the case, now scheduled for July... the rest