Wednesday, April 29, 2015

United prayer...

Aurora Borealis
"There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer." A.T. Pierson image

Anglican Unscripted Episode 174

Apr 29, 2015

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.

National Cathedral Sees No Islamic Evil; Westminster Abbey acknowledges Mohammed...more

Nigeria Says It Rescued Hundreds From Suspected Boko Haram Territory...The army asserted in a Twitter post on Tuesday that it had rescued 200 girls and 93 abducted women in the Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram has long been suspected of operating. The army offered few details, but the hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok more than a year ago were not among those rescued, a spokesman later told Reuters.
The mass abduction ignited international alarm at Boko Haram’s unchecked rampages across northern Nigeria. In response, the government has repeatedly declared in the past year that it had reached a cease-fire with Boko Haram, that the girls would soon be rescued, that they had been located and even, on a previous occasion, that they had been rescued. The claims quickly proved to be untrue.
Human rights groups say Boko Haram has kidnapped hundreds of women, and possibly thousands, in recent years...

200 Women and Girls Rescued from Sambia Forest are Not from Chibok

Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Passes 5,000 People; Samaritan's Purse Reports 'Incredible Destruction, Death, and Tragedy'

The Blue-City Model: Baltimore shows how progressivism has failed urban America ...Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning...

Update from Dean of Nepal on the Nepal Earthquake

National Cathedral Presentation Sees No Islamic Evil  “My Christian faith coexists happily with the largely Muslim culture in which I grew up” in the Middle East, stated counterfactually Grace Said while introducing the April 7 National Cathedral presentation “An Introduction of Islam in the U.S.”  Said, sister of the late leftist academic and Arab/Islam apologist Edward Said, set the tone for an event before a conference hall audience of about 60 that glossed over the troubling Islamist and anti-Israel aspects of its participants.

The Episcopalian Said revealed a strange priority of religious repression concerns.  Overlooking a long history of Islamic persecution of Christians and other minorities (see here, here, here, and here), Said worried that “Islamophobia is on the rise” in the United States “based in large part on fear of the other.”  National Cathedral Canon Patty Johnson’s opening prayer emphasized Said’s and the evening’s ecumenical theme by imploring the “Holy One” to unite Christians with “Muslim brothers and sisters” into “one loving people.”...

Westminster Abbey acknowledges Mohammed in succession of prophets  ...In Islamic theology, Mohammed was ‘The Prophet’ who came to fulfil and complete the partial revelations of all preceding prophets. Muslims believe that his coming was prophesied by Jesus: ‘But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father..‘ (Jn 15:26). The ‘Comforter’ or ‘Advocate’ (NIV) whom Christians believe to be the Holy Spirit is, for Muslims, Mohammed. So when he is declared in Westminster Abbey to be ‘The Chosen One’, it is not simply a benign multifaith expression of ecumenical respect in a commemorative service of reconciliation: it is a dogmatic affirmation of a perfected prophethood to which Jesus is subordinate, and His divinity thereby denied.

It may not be very PC or neighbourly or conducive to interfaith relations to say it, but Mohammed was a false prophet (Jer 14:14-16; 1Jn 4:1; Acts 4:12; 2Cor 11:3f). By rejecting the crucifixion and denying the resurrection of Christ (who is not the ‘Chosen One’), Islam espouses ‘another Jesus’, ‘another spirit’ and ‘another gospel’. They are and ought to remain free to proclaim their religiosity, however false and erroneous it may be. But not, please God, in The Collegiate Church of St Peter (aka Westminster Abbey), which is a Royal Peculiar of the Supreme Governor.

Are Millennials Really Leaving the Church? Yes — but Mostly White Millennials ...About a third of young (18-29 year old) Americans — and more than half of younger Christians — are people of color, according to data from the Public Religion Research Institute. White Christians, on the other hand, make up only a quarter of younger Americans. In fact there are more Nones — those with no religion — than white Christians in this age group.

That’s a remarkable demographic change from older Americans, where nearly 7 in 10 are White Christians, according to PRRI. “What you have in American religion today are the nonwhite Christians and the Nones,” says Mark Silk, professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

But the switch from most Christians being white to the majority being non-white has largely gone unnoticed. Instead, most of the focus has been on the idea that “young people are leaving the church.” That idea is true among white evangelicals, who show a dramatic decline in PRRI’s polling. Among Americans 65 and older, nearly 3 in 10 (29 percent) are evangelicals. That number drops to 1 in 10 for younger Americans...

Albert Mohler: Religious Liberty in the Crosshairs

Crosshairs on Austin's suburbanized tree canopy
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Make no mistake. The Solicitor General of the United States just announced that the rights of a religious school to operate on the basis of its own religious faith will survive only as an “accommodation” on a state by state basis, and only until the federal government passes its own legislation, with whatever “accommodation” might be included in that law. Note also that the President he represented in court has called for the very legislation Verrilli said does not exist … for now.

Verrilli’s answer puts the nation’s religious institutions, including Christian colleges, schools, and seminaries, on notice. The Chief Justice asked the unavoidable question when he asked specifically about campus housing. If a school cannot define its housing policies on the basis of its religious beliefs, then it is denied the ability to operate on the basis of those beliefs. The “big three” issues for religious schools are the freedoms to maintain admission, hiring, and student services on the basis of religious conviction. By asking about student housing, the Chief Justice asked one of the most practical questions involved in student services. The same principles would apply to the admission of students and the hiring of faculty. All three are now directly threatened. The Solicitor General admitted that these liberties will be “accommodated” or not depending on how states define their laws. And the laws of the states would lose relevance the moment the federal government adopts its own law.

The third exchange on religious liberty came as Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli about the right of religious institutions to maintain tax-exempt status, citing the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Internal Revenue Service to strip Bob Jones University because of that school’s policy against interracial dating and interracial marriage. That policy of Bob Jones University remains a moral blight to this day, even though the university has since rescinded the policy. Bob Jones University stood virtually alone in this unconscionable policy, but the Court’s decision in that lamentable case also set the stage for Justice Alito’s question — “would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?”

Pay close attention to Solicitor General Verrilli’s response:

“You know, I — I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I — I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue.”

Verrilli’s pauses no doubt indicate that he understood the importance of what he was saying — “It’s going to be an issue.” the rest image

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Anglican Unscripted Episode 173

Apr 22, 2015

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 -

ACNA conversation on race and America

Monday, April 27, 2015

You will not stroll into Christlikeness...

You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one's leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting... It takes all one's strength, and all one's heart, and all one's mind, and all one's soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint. This is a business for adventurous spirits; others would shrink out of it. And so Christ had a way of pulling up would-be recruits with sobering and disconcerting questions, of meeting applicants - breathless and panting in their eagerness - by asking them if they really thought they had the grit, the stamina, the gallantry, required. For many, He explained, begin, but quickly become cowed, and slink away, leaving a thing unfinished as a pathetic monument of their own lack of courage and of staying power. ...AJ Gossip image

Death toll rises to 3600 in Nepal earthquake; Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God...more

Abortionist Who Did Over 40,000 Abortions Becomes a Pro-Life Activist   ...As I pull out the mess, thinking it will be bone fragments I lay it on the cloth, I look, and I see a human heart, contracting and expanding and beating, beating, beating. I thought I would go mad. I can see that the heartbeat is slowing, ever more slowly, and more slowly still, until it finally stops completely. Nobody could’ve seen what I had seen with my very own eyes, and be more convinced than I was — I had killed a human being...

Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God ...: “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed"...

Why Multiple Generations of Families Choose to Live Together and Why It’s Not Such a Bad Idea ...A recent University of Oxford study found that teenagers are happier when grandparents are involved in their upbringing. The study, which followed over 1,500 school-age kids in the U.K., reported that teens who spent more quality time with a grandparent had fewer emotional and behavioral problems than their peers. They were also better prepared to handle adversities such as a divorce, a death in the family or a school bullying incident. The same study has been replicated in Israel, Malaysia and South Africa with similar results. A Boston College study found that both adult grandchildren and their grandparents showed fewer symptoms of depression if they maintained an “emotionally close relationship.”...

No, Hanging Out With Your Friends is Not the Church  
Who doesn’t like getting together for a fun dinner with friends and sharing about life? What’s not to love about having deep conversations about spiritual truths with those close to you?

Those things are great and we should do more of them, but—I’m sorry to break this to you—they aren’t church.

Increasingly, I see younger evangelicals (like the one in this Relevant blog post) wondering if they can call their spiritual hang outs with friends a congregation. They are exploring the question: What is church?...

Where the Left and Islam Intersect ...Curious how the godless left and Islam share a critical aim. They both wish to subjugate infidels, though how infidel is defined differs. But who the infidels are isn’t. We are, of course, the infidels. We of western virtues and values. We who hold to Judeo-Christian beliefs. We’re obstacles to glorious futures for both. Both want us consigned to dhimmitude. Yes, dhimmitude. That’s second class status, with tribute being paid for the privilege.

Marked differences and tensions exist between the left and Islam, to be sure. But is the left using Islam for its ends, and Islam -- for the time being -- willingly being used?...

Death toll rises to 3600 in Nepal earthquake 
With international aid beginning to flow but desperation still rising, rescue crews in Nepal expanded helicopter searches Monday into remote villages believed to be the worst hit from a massive earthquake that’s already claimed more than 3,600 lives.

The flights highlighted worries that the death toll could rise from Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake that flattened densely populated areas near Kathmandu, toppled historical monuments and buried Everest base camp with a deadly avalanche of snow and jagged ice...

Race against death: Rescuers struggle to reach remote Nepal villages as death toll rises

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Anglican missionaries murdered in Nigeria

25 Apr 2015
George Conger

The Church of Nigeria’s Archbishop of Lokoja has called for swift police action following the murder of two diocesan missionaries. On 7 April 2015 at approximately 4:00 pm, Mrs. Lolo Alhassan and Mr. Olugbenga Kekere were stopped outside the village of Gboloko and shot to death. In a statement given to Anglican Ink, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu said the two were in the village to prepare the church for the his annual visitation. On 14 April 2015 he wrote:

Today completes one full week since our diocese was rattled by the shocking news of unwarranted attack by gunmen while our members were on their way from a missionary assignment in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State, leaving several wounded and traumatized, and two dead. One of the wounded is still in critical condition. We commiserate with the affected families.

Among the dead are Architect Mrs L.N. Alassan, General Manager in Kogi Properties and Investments Ltd (also a Layreader in our diocese); and Mr Olugbenga Kekere, a young man of rare musical ability. They have left behind a grief-stricken Mr Joe Alassan, mni, children, family members, friends and colleagues; and in the case of Mr Olugbenga Kekere, a young wife (Helen) with their nearly 3-year old little daughter (ErinOluwa), elderly parents (Chief Jacob and Chief Mrs Racheal Kekere, siblings and friends. The two deceased are members of Crowther Memorial Church, Lokoja. There is no doubt about the magnitude and impact of this loss on our diocese, on the Christian Community, the state, and far beyond. These are people who would have continued to be the pride of Kogi state, now cut down in cold-blooded murder.

This gruesome act was carried out in broad daylight (about 4:00pm) against harmless, unarmed, and highly valued citizens of our state, who were going about their legitimate commitments in the service of God and humanity. This coming only a couple of months after the abduction of an 80-year old American missionary, Phyllis Sortor, also at gunpoint and in broad daylight also in our state, is again raising serious and widespread concerns about the security threats in our state... the rest

Friday, April 24, 2015

A.S. Haley: When Is a Church Not a Church? When It’s a Debt Collector

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Episcopal Church (USA) has two primary sources of income: according to its latest audited financial statements for the calendar year 2013, it received a little over $27 million from its member dioceses, and it received half as much again, or $13.8 million, from the federal government. (Its total income for 2013 from invested funds was $8 million.)

The money ECUSA received from the federal government was in connection with the services provided by Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), an office within the Church organization at 815 Second Avenue in New York that assists the State Department in relocating refugees throughout the United States.

As I noted in this earlier post, the Church is very dependent upon Government reimbursements for its EMM expenditures in order to balance its books. For calendar 2014, for example, ECUSA reported a supposed operating surplus of $2.4 million, but that claim ignored the fact that as of the end of 2014, ECUSA had spent nearly $3.5 million more through EMM than it had yet received back from the Government.

So we have a national Church that depends for approximately one-third of its annual budget on money from the U.S. Government. Nevertheless, this still does not tell the full tale. Buried in a Note (#13, at page 27) to the audited financial statements is this remarkable statistic (with my bold added, for emphasis)...  the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

He shines on my path to show me the way...

Any lights shining on the wrong subject will mislead you. I focus on my Lord Jesus, the true light that enlightens every man. He does not blind me, dazzle me, or confuse me. He shines on my path to show me the way, shines on my thoughts to show me the truth, and shines on my life to lead me to Life, because He is the way, the truth, and the life. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot resist it. ...Luis Fernando Aragón image

Anglican Unscripted Episode 173

Apr 22, 2015

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 -

Judicially Mandating Same-Sex Marriage; Peter Singer: Hey, Government Should Kill Disabled Infants...more

Peter Singer: Hey, Government Should Kill Disabled Infants
Princeton University "ethics" professor Peter Singer is at it again, now arguing that it is eminently “reasonable” for the government to refuse treatment to severely disabled babies.

This is nothing new for Singer but what's new is that he thinks his ideas are winning. Spoiler alert: They are.

WND pulled the quotes from Singer's appearance on the Aaron Klein radio show. Oh, and notice how he calls the baby in question "it" constantly...

AG Nominee Defending Partial-Birth Abortion: 'The Phrase "Living Fetus"' is 'Hopelessly Vague'  ...In the amicus she signed, Lynch and her fellow former U.S. attorneys argued that this definition did not provide sufficient “clarity” as to what it prohibited.

“The statute purports to prohibit all abortions where the doctor ‘deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus’ up until a point on the fetus ‘for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered fetus’ and ‘perform[s] the overt act, other than completion of delivery,’” said the amicus brief. “But, this definition fails to provide any clarity as to what procedures are prohibited, and thus fails constitutional due process requirements.”...

Judicially Mandating Same-Sex Marriage Would Put the US at Odds with the Western World ...Courts worldwide have refused to freeze the discussion about same-sex marriage. Instead, they have invited legislative action in this arena. They have explained such legislative deference by citing the democratic legitimacy of legislation, the need for nuanced compromises in a socially and morally complex area, and the need to ensure firmly grounded, lasting solutions on this topic. All of these can only come through legislative processes.

In countries around the world, respect for legislative processes in resolving questions of same-sex marriage has paid dividends for all.

If the US Supreme Court is concerned about being out of step with the world’s leading democracies, it couldn’t make a bigger mistake than becoming one of only two nations in the world to cut democracy off at its knees and force its judicial will upon the people.

Marriage group calls on Ginsburg to recuse

Lesbian teacher: How I convince kids to accept gay ‘marriage’, starting at 4-years-old
Strong, who is in an open relationship with another woman and who has been a teacher for about five years, focused her workshop on what she called the “power of conversation” for promoting LGBTQ issues in an elementary classroom. She began her talk by relating how she reacted the first time one of her students called another student ‘gay’ as a putdown.

“With [the principal’s] encouragement, we decided that I would go from class to class and talk about what ‘gay’ means, what does ‘LGBTQ’ mean, what do ‘I’ mean,” she told about 40 attendees, all educators, at her workshop.

Strong related how she began with the junior kindergarten class.

“And I read a [pro-gay child’s] book [King and King], and I started to realize that conversations can be very difficult, and they can have the most power when they are the most difficult.”...

Does the Constitution Require Same-Sex Marriage in All 50 States?

..."There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage," Anderson asserted. "The Constitution is simply silent on whether the consent-based vision of marriage or the comprehensive vision of marriage is the true definition of marriage. It is silent on whether the states should devise their marriage policy to serve."...

GAFCON – threat, option, or only future?

April 21, 2015
By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream

Two Archbishops walk into a bar for a relaxing drink after a hard day’s work in committee. One of them, in placing his order, starts a conversation with the man serving the drinks. He beckons to his purple shirted companion and over the next few minutes, the two of them share the Gospel with the bartender, and lead him to faith in Christ. Later both prelates testify that for them, this was the highlight of the conference. Thankfully its not impossible to imagine that this story involved Most Reverends Welby and Sentamu, but in fact it was related by one of the GAFCON Primates who had been told the story by his two fellow Archbishop-evangelists at their meeting last week.

If we have Archbishops in the C of E who believe and preach the same Gospel as that which grips and motivates the GAFCON leaders, why do we need GAFCON at all? Isn’t it a threat and a challenge to the Anglican Communion which already exists under the leadership of a Gospel hearted man? And doesn’t this story of foreign GAFCON leaders engaging in informal mission in our sovereign territory undermine the Church of England’s work? Ruth Gledhill in her report chooses to lead with this idea that GAFCON is seen by the C of E establishment as a “schismatic rival” to Canterbury. Is this a correct understanding of the GAFCON/GFCA phenomenon?

The truth is that GAFCON is not splitting away from the Anglican Communion, with new ideas to form an independent church. The clue is in the “A” of GAFCON and GFCA. The movement is an expression of authentic Christian faith in a valid form of Anglican ecclesiology. The men who lead it are recognized Anglican Archbishops. And the ‘split’ or division has not been caused by GAFCON. It is a response to the irreconcileable divisions that already exist in worldwide Anglicanism and many other churches. These divisions exist because the societies of the economically developed West, much of whose success has been based on Christian worldview, are in the process of abandoning those foundations, and embracing a radical secular humanism. There has been rejection of Christianity as public truth and increasing hostility to authentic Christian faith. Part of the church has tried to remain ‘chaplain’ to the culture and accommodate to it, hoping to retain influence by speaking the culture’s language and accepting many of its values. Another part remains committed to sacrificial service of Christ in the world, calling people to repentance and faith and building communities of hope and alternative vision. This has resulted in mutually incompatible understandings of God, ethics and ecclesiology within the same church... the rest
While the Church of England allows authentic Christian ministry to flourish and in its official statements and practice does not deny the clear testimony of Scripture, GAFCON stands as an encouragement to the faithful and a prophetic witness, keeping us accountable to Christ in company with the worldwide church. It also will continue to develop options for oversight, through AMiE, in cases where Anglicans are unable to accept the ministry of a Bishop with heterodox beliefs, or for example where official protocols stand in the way of evangelistic initiatives. But if the Church of England makes a major change in its doctrine and practice that is contrary to Scripture, then GAFCON will, in the minds of many, be the only future for confessing Anglicans in these islands.

Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Democrat Abortion Policies More Extreme Than Killing 7-Pound Babies; but Obama Admits That Unborn Babies Have Feet That Kick...more

5 Democrat Abortion Policies More Extreme Than Killing 7-Pound Babies
1. Democrats Support Aborting Babies for Race, Sex, and Down Syndrome
2. Democrats Oppose Offering Women Other Alternatives
3. Democrats Want to Make Pro-Life Doctors and Nurses Perform Abortions
4. Democrats Want to Make You—and Your Church—Pay for Abortions
5. Democrats Want to Permit the Most Barbaric and Dehumanizing Abortion Methods

Islamic State Shoots and Beheads Thirty Ethiopian Christians in Libya ...
The video, in which militants call Christians "crusaders" who are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size, in an area of shrubland, being shot in the head.

Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as "worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church"...

Muslim Migrants Throw Christians Overboard into Mediterranean Fifteen Muslim migrants face charges of murder fueled by religious hatred after allegedly throwing a dozen Christian migrants overboard this week during a sea crossing from northern Africa to Italy.

Refugees who survived the crossing “burst into tears” as they described the violence to Italian police, AsiaNews reports. Italy and other countries have welcomed more than 10,000 refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea in recent days. Such migrations hit a record high last year, reports the BBC, which has mapped the problem...

Obama Admits That Unborn Babies Have Feet That Kick In a speech yesterday about working families--while trying to explain why he thinks too many women face "being reprimanded or fired for taking too many bathroom breaks when you're pregnant"--President Obama let it slip that he knows unborn babies have feet that kick...

Finally the BBC has woken up to the war on Middle Eastern Christians ...The documentary 'Kill the Christians' forces Britons to confront the plight of the suffering Church...

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Communique from the GAFCON Primates Council

April 17, 2015

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. ~ Isaiah 61:11

This week, from 13th to 17th April 2015, we have met in London for prayer and fellowship in order to help chart the future of global Anglicanism. We are uniting faithful Anglicans, growing in momentum, structured for the future, and committed to the Anglican Communion.

Uniting Faithful Anglicans: GAFCON 2018

We are excited to announce that the next GAFCON conference will be in 2018. This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans.

Delegations representing every continent and all orders of the church (lay and ordained) will again be invited to share in this powerful time of fellowship, worship, and teaching. An organising committee comprising global delegates and local representatives of the likely location has been formed. A further announcement will be made when the details of the venue have been confirmed.

Growing Momentum: Newest Province and Fellowships

We were encouraged to hear reports from some of the newest GAFCON provinces and fellowships.


At the beginning of our meeting, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America was unanimously elected to the GAFCON Primates Council. Archbishop Beach shared about the remarkable growth being experienced in North America, evidenced by the planting of 483 new congregations since 2009.


We celebrated the recent launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Australia (FCA AU), the newest GAFCON fellowship, led by the Venerable Richard Condie, Archdeacon of Melbourne. Over 450 participants attended the inaugural conference in March 2015 and this fellowship is now well positioned to contend for the faith in the years to come.

FCA UK and Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.

We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered.

Wherever they are and whatever their circumstances, GAFCON continues to unite faithful Anglicans under a common confession of Christ’s Lordship and a desire to make disciples.

Structured for the Future

We have planned for the expansion of our movement in order to touch the lives of many more Anglicans with gospel fellowship. As part of this we have identified a clear need for theological education and the training of leaders, especially bishops, and we have started work on both of these priorities. We also recognise an increasing need to be able to respond both to calls for affiliation from other provinces, and requests for support from emerging fellowships where the biblical gospel is under threat.

In order to carry this forward we have put in place the necessary operating structures, people, and financial resources. We invite all of our supporters to be involved in this work.

Committed to the Communion

We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are committed to its renewal. We belong to the mainstream, and we are moving forward.

GAFCON embodies an inclusive and confessionally grounded orthodoxy in continuity with the Scriptures, apostolic tradition, and ethos of the Book of Common Prayer. There is much room for variety within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy, but when the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way. As followers of Jesus we know that it is the narrow way that leads to life.

We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith we can defend and proclaim the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America

The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Nigeria
Emmanuel Kampouris, Esq.
The Most Rev. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney
The Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop (ret.), Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar
The Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester (ret.)
The Rt Rev. Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes (ret.)


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by Muslim extremists...more

Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by young extremists ...Nauman died last night and his funeral service was held today at 1pm (local time) in Gulshan Ravi, Shera Kot, in Lahore, CLAAS said.

In Nauman’s statement to the Superintendent of Police he said that two Muslims approached him on a motorbike and asked him about his religion. When he said he was Christian they started to beat him up and after he ran away, folllowed him and subsequently threw kerosene over him and set him alight...

Redefining Marriage Redefines Parenthood ...Indeed, Faust recounts how she felt the pressure to go along. “I remember how many times,” she wrote, “I repeated my speech: ‘I’m so happy that my parents got divorced so that I could know all of you wonderful women’,” Then she continues, “I cringe when I think of it now, because it was a lie. My parents’ divorce has been the most traumatic event in my thirty-eight years of life. While I did love my mother’s partner and her friends, I would have traded every one of them to have my mom and my dad loving me under the same roof.”...

"Conservative" Judicial Activism for Gay Marriage: With Amici Like These, Who Needs Enemies?  A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument...

An education is a terrible thing to waste
...Having taught college students for some 36 years of my life, I cannot refrain from offering a few bromides. They emerge from a realization that grew increasing toward the end of my teaching career. So many students were wasting precious years of their lives and vast amounts of dollars attending college. They were drifting, mechanically taking courses that were of little personal interest. Few were taking advantage of the huge opportunities their colleges were offering. So many seemed unhappy and disengaged...

The federal debt is worse than you think-America's unsustainable debt path ...Of all the failures of recent Congresses and Presidents, none is more important than their failure to deal with the nation's long-term debt. Although Congress tied itself in knots trying to address the problem, the growth of debt remains, in the words of the Congressional Budget Office, "unsustainable."

Debt figures tell part of the story. When the Great Recession hit, the federal debt was equal to about 40 percent of GDP. But to fight the recession, Congress enacted an $800 billion dollar stimulus bill. Stimulus spending, combined with already enacted spending and tax policy, resulted in four years of trillion dollar deficits. As a result, the debt ballooned to 78 percent of GDP in 2013, almost twice the pre-recession level. The annual deficit is now declining at a stately pace, but by 2016 it will begin increasing again, and by 2020 under CBO's alternative fiscal scenario, we will once again return to annual deficits above a trillion dollars, thereby once again greatly increasing the national debt...

American Christians wear orange in solidarity with those persecuted for faith A number of campaigns to get American Christians to wear orange in solidarity with persecuted Christians are gradually gathering momentum.

In February, Islamic State (IS) released footage showing the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians captured in Libya. The group were lined up, wearing the orange jumpsuits which have become a characteristic feature of their brutal videos.

Now, Christians across America are calling on the church to use the colour orange to identify with those who are suffering, to pray for them, and to donate to initiatives which support the persecuted...

Anglican Unscripted Episode 172: GAFCON Opportunities

Apr 14, 2015

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 -

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

16 Apr 2015   

Late yesterday the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a brief order transferring to itself the jurisdiction over the appeal filed by ECUSA and its rump group (ECSC) from the February 3, 2015 judgment and order against them entered by Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein. ECUSA and ECSC had themselves requested the transfer of the case in order to expedite a final decision in the case by the State's highest court, without having to wait for any intermediate decision from the Court of Appeals.

The Court's order declined further to expedite the case's briefing schedule, set oral argument in the case for September 23, 2015, and then added: "No further extensions of time will be granted." In view of the great number of parties to the case (Bishop Lawrence's Episcopal Diocese and thirty-six of its member parishes are all respondents in the appeal, represented each by their own attorneys), the Court's order relaxes some of the filing and service requirements, and urges the attorneys to compress the multi-volume record on appeal to just the documents necessary for meaningful review of the decision below.

This order will enable a written, final decision in the case to be rendered before the end of the current calendar year, and should be welcome news to those on both sides who want to put this litigation behind them, and get on with the real work of the Church.

Also, in the federal case in South Carolina, Bishop Mark Lawrence has asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond to grant a rehearing, either by the three-judge panel that decided the case a few weeks ago, or else by all the judges of the Circuit Court sitting en banc (as a group).  The petition is based largely on technical distinctions between the panel's recent decision and earlier cases, both reported and unreported, from the Fourth Circuit which Bishop Lawrence's attorneys maintain are inconsistent with that decision. Whether or not the petition is granted, the underlying federal case should be dead in the water pending the outcome of the case in the South Carolina Supreme Court, for the reasons discussed in this earlier post.

Finally, in the San Joaquin case (which is currently also on appeal), ECUSA and its rump diocese had filed a motion with the trial court in Fresno that sought to have all of the real and personal property transferred into their possession immediately, without waiting for the outcome of the current appeal. But the trial court yesterday issued a tentative ruling denying that motion, explaining that it lacked the authority to do what the plaintiffs asked. Since plaintiffs did not request oral argument after the issuance of the ruling, that tentative decision now becomes the final ruling of the court on the plaintiff's motion, and the status of all the property pending the appeal will not change.

The entities that hold the bare legal title to that property (in trust for the Anglican Diocese and its member parishes) have filed their opening brief in that appeal. The ECUSA parties' brief is due to be filed by June 1, after which I shall have more to say about the appeal.  Here

Leaving home: The Future of the Faith in England

16 Apr 2015
Gavin Ashenden

The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas a Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop.

But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.

I often wonder how I could explain our present difficulties to St Augustine who came here to evangelise in 597. I think I would say that “just as you, blessed brother in Christ, are still struggling with the Arians, who are powerful in Eastern Europe at the moment, we are struggling with the new Arians. Just as you will overcome them by the 8th Century, we will too, by the power of the Spirit.

But our Arians have assaulted the apostolic faith not by a full on assault on the Holy Trinity, but by a sideways undermining of it. Jesus has become less than the 2nd person of the Trinity because he has been reduced by claiming he suffered from cultural ignorance; he is thought to be captive to a 1st century culture with its misogyny and restricted sexual ethics. Our heretics have decided that Jesus did not come to reveal the Father, because they have adopted a new secular and essentially Marxist idea, that gender is an oppressive cultural construct. And they join that idea to a second piece of Marxism, that ‘equality’ is the most important social value to strive after. The masculinity of the Father, and that of the Son, are for them unwelcome cultural constraints. The revelation of a hierarchy of glory inverted by love became an anathema to them, because they worship equality... the rest
And I think St Augustine might then say, “but are there no orthodox bishops left you could turn to?”

And the answer would be “Yes, many. All round the world there are faithful Archbishops and bishops faithful to what Canterbury planted in their cultures and hearts. They are called the Global Anglican Fellowship.”

“So then” he would reply, “your question is not where, but when – you re-align your allegiance to my successors?”

And that is the question.

 The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church ...Now, three years later, we find General Convention once again considering patently unconstitutional actions. What is noteworthy this time is that the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music is not only proposing these unconstitutional actions, it is also acknowledging that they are unconstitutional and proposing an amendment to Article X that would (presumably retroactively since the amendment could not be approved before 2018) give General Convention the authority it has attempted to exercise for years without constitutional mandate...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Archbishop Peter Jensen: Anglican Conflicts Coming to Denomination Near You

Jeffrey Walton
April 14, 2015

An orthodox renewal leader in the Anglican Communion has warned that the pressures which divided his family of churches are on the doorstep of every other Christian Church.

“What the Anglicans are suffering is already, or will be, the fate of us all,” warned Archbishop Peter Jensen. “Even evangelical and catholic denominations and movements will not be exempt in years to come. Do not think that you are living in a safe haven. You are not.”

The emeritus Archbishop of Sydney, Australia spoke March 18 at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania for the school’s eighth annual Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. Lecture on Theology, Culture, and Mission. Jensen’s lecture was entitled “Beginning in Jerusalem: The Theological Significance of the 2008 Global Anglican Future Conference.” (GAFCON)

Speaking to an audience of mostly non-Anglicans, Jensen outlined the crisis within the third largest family of Christian churches, explaining why other Christians should take note, and what lessons they could bring back to their own Christian communities.

“This may all seem very remote to you,” Jensen noted. “Your church home may be comfortably orthodox – but so fast is change coming and so massive are the forces at play that no one is safe. You need perhaps to enter into our experience so that you can prepare yourself for what may come. You too may need to form a new confessional fellowship.”... the rest

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pakistan: Boy set on fire 'because he was a Christian'; 9-Year-Old Pregnant from ISIS Gang Rape...more

The Logic of Economic Discrimination  ...Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation powerfully summarizes this dynamic: “Businesses are saying they’ll boycott Indiana over this religious liberty law. So they want the freedom to run their businesses in accordance with their beliefs—so they’ll boycott a state that tries to protect that freedom for all citizens? Do they not see that the baker, photographer and florist are simply asking for the same liberty?”

Why should big businesses like Apple, Angie’s List, or Salesforce be able to discriminate against an entire state like Indiana, while Christian small-business owners cannot likewise decide who they want to do business with? If Apple can boycott Indiana, why can’t evangelicals boycott same-sex weddings? The reality is that such economic discrimination depends on a complex of freedoms, including but not limited to religious liberty. Also at issue in these debates is the fundamental freedom of association, and when government power is used to coerce economic exchange, there ought to be a convincing reason to do so. Otherwise, the presumption should be in favor of liberty and the burden of proof should lie on those who want to compel exchange...

Pakistan: Boy set on fire 'because he was a Christian' ...Nauman Masih has said that two men approached him and asked him about his religion. When he said he was a Christian, they beat him, and when he tried to run away they followed him, threw kerosene over him and set him on fire, Mehwish Bhatti, Pakistan officer for the British Pakistani Christian Association, told Christian Today.
The young man was training to be a tailor, and was on his way to the tailor's shop when the attack took place...

9-Year-Old Pregnant from ISIS Gang Rape, Could Die if She Delivers Baby ...A nine-year-old Yazidi girl who was released by ISIS last week is pregnant from 10 ISIS militants raping on her. The child is one of over 200 women and children that were released from ISIS captivity last week, according to The Christian Post.

A Canadian aid worker said the girl is too young to be pregnant and delivering a baby could kill her...

Obama administration: Catholic school upholding marriage is ‘sex discrimination’ ...Under this interpretation, Catholic schools are not allowed to expect their employees to live by the Catholic understanding of marriage. They are legally forbidden to uphold Catholic doctrine...

...Social media and television allow for abstraction, a stripping away of the humanity of both the target and the attacker. We are left with a form of spirit. It is why the perpetually offended are always playing to a sense of moral and spiritual guilt rather than actual guilt stemming from a person’s actions.

The reality is that Internet trolls are probably not crying into their lattes and, if they are, no one should listen to them because, by any account, they are irrational and unstable. People who should probably be placed in the psychiatric ward should not drive culture. Rather, these poor, darlings, the psuedo-offended, are plying for power, and often achiev it through mass manipulation with no bearing in reality...

Will Bible-Carrying Hillary Address Churches and Public Square? ...As soon as Hillary Clinton enters into a serious campaign mode — and this has been true for her husband’s campaigns as well as her own — the citizenry becomes informed that Mrs. Clinton is a “staunch Methodist” and bible-believing Christian. It is always one of the very first cards she plays in her attempts to “connect” with the
rubes and yahoosyearning masses whose causes she wants to champion, and whose votes usually factor in religion. I recall reading, during Bill Clinton’s campaigns, that Hillary kept “Christian tracts” in her purse for inspirational reading.

Possibly she does. Possibly Mrs. Clinton prays more than I do, or you do; I’m not going to gainsay any of that. But it is remarkable to me how her faith is always the first information that comes up in any new campaign. The cynic in me wonders about political expediency; the naif in me gives the benefit of a doubt. Perhaps, say my better angels, it comes up first because her faith really is a super-important part of her life, period.

So, over the weekend, concurrent with her unsurprising announcement of her candidacy for president, “Hillary is religious” was once again the very first card out of the play-pack, and presented this time in a handy listicle: 5 faith facts about Hillary Clinton, social gospel Methodist to the core...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Must Christianity change its sexual ethics?; The Potemkin Economy...more

Must Christianity change its sexual ethics? History may hold the key ...Over time, the effort to save the kernel of Christianity and leave aside its shell had the opposite effect. The distinctiveness of Christian teaching disappeared, and the shell of church rituals was all that remained. This is why, even today in some denominations, bishops and pastors and parishioners openly reject the core tenets of the faith but continue to attend worship and go through certain rites. The denominations that followed this course have since entered a sharp and steady decline...

‘Being raised by two mothers ruined my life’ ...She said: “And far from being a healthy, nurturing state of affairs, this arrangement — where I was caught in a destructive, triangular battle for my mother’s affection with another woman, while forced to watch helplessly as my father was emasculated and airbrushed from our lives — was simultaneously damaging and confusing”.

She added: “With so many people vying for space and prominence within the family, I know, from experience, they can become hotbeds for resentment and jealousies which can cause irreparable, long-term damage to a child.”...

The Potemkin Economy-the press has hidden the holes in the economy for months ...During the past several months, business scribes and broadcasters have largely pretended that all is well, constructing and maintaining a Potemkin-like facade of a prosperous economy, even as the vast majority of hard-number economic indicators turned in performances ranging from middling to awful. To prop up their false image, they concentrated most of the commerce-related news they delivered to low-information voters and low-awareness news consumers on the job market, the economy’s one supposedly strong area, and positive consumer and corporate sentiment surveys...

Mosul: Isis Kidnaps 120 Children from Local Schools, to Recruit them in 'Terror' Training Camps

By Johnlee Varghese
April 13, 2015

Islamic State (Isis) has kidnapped as many as 120 children from various schools in Mosul to recruit them to terror training camps run by the Sunni militant group, Iraqi media states.

Isis reportedly stormed a number of schools on Sunday in al-Qayyarah, al-Shura, Badoush and al-Baaj neighbourhoods of the city, located 400 km from Baghdad and loaded the children into military trucks. The children who were taken away from their respective schools in the southern and western districts on Sunday, are being trained at the Isis cub camps.

In Isis-controlled areas, the militant group has special training schools for children where they are "brainwashed" and desensitised.

In these Islamic boot camps, referred to as "Cubs of Islamic State" or "Cubs of al-Baghdadi", children are given weapons training and taught how to be a suicide bomber. And to graduate from the school, the Cubs of al-Baghdadi have to behead someone... the rest

'Yazidi women and children used as sex slaves, raped in public by IS fighters' ..."If you come and sit with the girls you will find different stories from girl to girl. A lot of them have been sold to Isis fighters, they have been raped in [...] public, and by more than two or three people at a time," he told the International Business Times. "They were tortured, beaten and subject to any type of violence."...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Upstate NY: How high taxes and regulation are killing one of the most prosperous states in the nation

William Tucker, American Media Institute
Friday, April 10, 2015

Upstate New York is becoming Detroit with grass.

Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it's a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.

Upstate New York, the portion that lies beyond the New York metropolitan area, has become “The Land That Time Forgot,” a broad swath of depressed cities and low-profit farmlands that stretches from Newburgh and Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley through the old manufacturing centers of Schenectady and Troy, across the Allegheny Plateau to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, all the way west to Jamestown, the city with the lowest percentage of college graduates in America.  the rest
Syracuse was devastated when Carrier, the nation’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners, General Electric and auto-parts manufacturer Magna International shuttered their last manufacturing plants in Onandago County. A Wall Street Journal survey of the nation’s 2,737 counties, shows that only nine other counties have suffered greater job losses per capita than Onandago [sic Onondaga] County since 2009.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Prayer and a holy life are one...

Bench Silhouette
Prayer and a holy life are one. They mutually act and react. Neither can survive alone...We are in danger of substituting churchly work and a ceaseless round of showy activities for prayer and holy living. A holy life does not live in the closet, but it cannot live without the closet. If, by any chance, a prayer chamber should be established without a holy life, it would be a chamber without the presence of God in it. ...E.M. Bounds image

ISIS Burns US Food Donations Intended for Syrian Refugees; Omnivorous Liturgy...more

Naive Young Evangelicals and the Illiberal DNA of the Gay Rights Movement  ...I have sometimes said that the central question facing our society is whether there can be mercy in the gay marriage debate. I am not the only person to ask it, nor was I the first to think of it. But it captured me the moment I first heard it, and it haunts me still. It is mercy that is at stake in our current moment. For mercy is a response to a wrong done, and I have no doubt that conservatives have in the past occasionally fallen prey to hubris in their zeal to maintain norms that they think are true. There are few more liberal qualities than mercy, for mercy is a kind of permissiveness where judgment is owed. And mercy refuses to treat the status quo as determinative: it recognizes the freedom of humanity to rise above our current state of wronging each other, a freedom which is itself constituted by the giving of mercy in the first place. Such a mercy is what Andrew Sullivan defended in the excommunication of Brendan Eich from the Church of Silicon Valley.
The surest and easiest way the LGBT community could prove me wrong would be to begin extending mercy toward those of us who are hopelessly and cheerfully lost on the wrong side of history, and to somehow convince themselves that the usefulness of the fiction for their cause that religious conservatives are intrinsically bigoted in their views has come to an end. Whether they will remains to be seen. But regardless of how implausible such a reversal seems or how the structural forces of our society are opposed to it, as long as the possibility of conversion remains I will continue to stay foolish in my hope...

ISIS Burns US Food Donations Intended for Syrian Refugees ISIS militants have reportedly intercepted packages of food sent from the U.S. for Syrian refugees and burned them. Christian Today reports the terrorist group posted photos of the packages burning social media, sparking widespread outrage.

The food was intended to be distributed to Syrian refugees, as the nation is experiencing a food crisis due to the ISIS takeover and its civil war...

New York Times Columnist Suggests Rewriting Bible to Embrace LGBT Community
In a column for the New York Times, Frank Bruni writes that the view of “gays, lesbians and bisexuals as sinners is a decision” based on “ancient texts.”
Bruni argues in the opinion column that the Bible keeps Christians stuck in ancient beliefs and suggests rewriting the Bible to be more accepting of the LGBT community. 
“It’s a choice,” Bruni says. “It prioritizes scattered passages of ancient texts over all that has been learned since — as if time had stood still, as if the advances of science and knowledge meant nothing...

No Babies, Please, We’re Europeans
 ...It is all part of a not-so-subtle push in Europe to encourage people to have more babies. Denmark, like a number of European countries, is growing increasingly anxious about low birthrates. Those concerns have only been intensified by the region’s financial and economic crisis, with high unemployment rates among the young viewed as discouraging potential parents.

The Italian health minister described Italy as a dying country in February. Germany has spent heavily on family subsidies but has little to show for it. Greece’s depression has further stalled its birthrate. And in Denmark, the birthrate has been below the so-called replacement rate needed to keep a population from declining — just over two children per woman — since the early 1970s...

Omnivorous Liturgy ...We are trained, Griffiths says, in “radical gratitude.” The liturgy trains us as recipients, as “being one who who has received” and received gratefully (234). The liturgy doesn't leave any corner of life untouched by its habituation. What Griffiths calls “the liturgy's imperialistic omnivorousness” involves “a complete embrace of those who undertake it.” We die and rise n baptism, having received a “renaming, reclothing, the gift of something radically new” (234-5). Other liturgical acts “depict and endlessly repeat the subsumption of the individual into, first, the community, and then, second, the LORD.”

Griffiths means this quite literally: “The individual's language is overtaken and framed by the language of the canon of Scripture: he is written into its margins as an ornament to the illustrated capitals of its pages. And the individual's very physical life is shown to him to be given its meaning by his membership in the communion of saints, a body of people extending far in time and space beyond what he can directly sense.”

The liturgy “constantly signals that there is nothing external to it, nothing belonging to the individual that cannot be taken p into it, and nothing anywhere that will not, finally, be embraced by it.”...

Obama: Ban Parents from Having Children Counseled Not to be ‘LGBTQ+’  President Barack Obama, through a statement posted Wednesday night on the White House website by adviser Valerie Jarrett, backed legislation that would ban parents from having their children counseled not to be what Jarrett called "LGBTQ+".

“As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors,” Jarrett said in the White House statement...

Thursday, April 09, 2015

In the resurrection of Jesus from the dead...

Lamb of God
In the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we see God’s decisive victory not only over death but over all God’s other enemies as well. In that one climactic event, we see the certainty that someday, in the kingdom of God, there will be no more violence, war, jealousy, or death...These forces are still alive and at work in the world, but because of the victory that God won at Easter, their doom is certain. One day death will die.
...Stephen T. Davis image

Douthat: Interview with a Christian; Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids...more

...We have come to believe that only those who have passion find fulfillment and success professionally. It’s as if passion is life’s magic pixie dust. We want success for our children and believe that only passion can lead them there. We hold on to this myth despite considerable evidence that millions of people have lived long, happy, useful lives filled with joy and contentment and devoid of a defining passion.

And if passion is what makes our children look as special to colleges as they are to us, it’s also what lets us off the pushy parent hook. If a child has a “passion,” we’re not overdoing it in our zeal, or pursuing our own agenda. We’re just making their dream possible. Really, it has nothing to do with us.

If passion were just a matter of semantics, a word heedlessly thrown around in place of interest or pastime, this might not be a problem. But seeking a passion in childhood or adolescence has become an obsession in itself, and it is not without costs.

When children can’t find their elusive passions, yet feel compelled to proclaim one, they grab onto an interest, label it a passion and buy the requisite instrument or equipment. This is not a harmless charade, because fake passions crowd out real ones. When you are busy playing on the lacrosse field six days a week because in seventh grade you liked going to practices with your friends and your coach once mentioned you might have some talent, you may never discover that computer graphic design is your calling. When you take every opportunity to play piano daily in a band, orchestra and private lessons, you could easily miss the once-in-a-lifetime joy of being a member of a field hockey team. Pseudo passions can eat up our days and lay waste to any chance of finding a real ones...

Judge Officially Declares Open Season on Children
...A California judge has reduced a child rapist's mandatory 25-year sentence down to only 10 - saying anything longer would be 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly told an Orange County jury that 20-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto 'did not intend to harm' the three-year-old girl he raped at his family home in June...

   ...Nevertheless, the grand mufti - who is also the head of the Supreme Court of Ulema (Islamic Scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas – said that as part of the Arabian Peninsula, it is necessary that Kuwait destroy all of its churches...

Tikrit mass grave may contain bodies of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers killed by ISIS

Nebraska newspaper overdoes it on 'injustice' faced by gay Catholic teacher ...Mr. Eledge must have known when he applied to teach at this school that certain behaviors would be required of him. The key question, as always, is whether the school had any kind of written covenant signed by teachers as they accepted jobs at what is clearly a Catholic school that, to some degree or another, is under the authority of Catholic teachings.

This is a no-brainer, folks. When I taught for a year at a Baptist university, I was asked to sign a statement agreeing to live a moral lifestyle and not drink alcohol, even in the privacy of my home. Brigham Young University requires applicants for teaching positions to adhere to Mormon teachings forbidding the consumption of coffee. Eledge may have been a poor choice for a tearjerker piece in that no one is forcing him to teach at a Catholic school plus there are options for him at public schools.

True, it’s idiotic for the Omaha diocese to refuse to comment. With them being ripped apart in social media, putting one’s head in the sand is not the way to go. But couldn’t the reporter have tried a bit harder to find a valid voice that could be used to accurately insert Catholic teaching on this issue? Was there no one who could comment about a Catholic school needing its staff to adhere to Catholic teachings?...

Douthat: Interview with a Christian
...O.K., enough pleasantries. You’re a semi-reasonable Christian. What do you think about the terrible Indiana “religious liberty” bill?
I favored the original version. Based on past experience, laws like this protect religious minorities from real burdens. As written, the Indiana law probably wouldn’t have protected vendors from being fined for declining to work at a same-sex wedding. But I would favor that protection as well.

Seriously? Shouldn’t businesses have to serve all comers?
I think they should be able to decline service for various reasons, religious scruples included. A liberal printer shouldn’t be forced to print tracts for a right-wing cause. A Jewish deli shouldn’t be required to cater events for the Nation of Islam.

But those are issues of belief, not identity. Denying service to gays is like denying service to blacks under Jim Crow.
None of the businesses facing sanctions are saying they wouldn’t serve gay people as a class; they just don’t want to work at nuptials. This isn’t a structural system of oppression, a society-wide conspiracy like Jim Crow; we’re talking about a handful of shops across the country. It seems possible, and reasonable, to live and let live...

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Guilty Verdict Reached in Boston Bombing Trial...other news

Guilty Verdict Reached in Boston Bombing Trial
A federal jury has returned a guilty verdict against Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, almost two years after the attack he and his brother orchestrated killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and brought the city to a standstill.

The jury found him guilty on the first nine counts to be returned, charges that carry the death penalty. The jury is in the process of delivering its decisions on 30 separate counts...

Judge Slams Justice Department For “Misconduct” In Immigration Case ...In granting additional discovery on Tuesday night, Hanen harshly criticized the federal government’s actions — clearly siding with the states on this side-issue.

“[E]ven under the most charitable interpretation of these circumstances, and based solely upon what counsel for the Government told the Court, the Government knew its representations had created ‘confusion,’ but kept quiet about it for two weeks while simultaneously pressing this Court to rule on the merits of its motion,” Hanen wrote.

Later, he noted, “Fabrications, misstatements, half-truths, artful omissions, and the failure to correct misstatements may be acceptable, albeit lamentable, in other aspects of life; but in the courtroom, when an attorney knows that both the Court and the other side are relying on complete frankness, such conduct is unacceptable.”...

PCUSA Stalling Korean Church's Effort to Leave Denomination?
A Presbyterian Church (USA) regional body located in California has been accused of putting a Korean congregation's effort to leave the mainline denomination to a standstill.

Last year, Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church of Rowland Heights voted overwhelmingly to seek dismissal from PCUSA over the denomination's growing acceptance of homosexuality...Despite that, the PCUSA Presbytery of San Gabriel has not apparently finalized the dismissal as of this month, according to the Korean-American Christian publication Christianity Daily...Despite that, the PCUSA Presbytery of San Gabriel has not apparently finalized the dismissal as of this month, according to the Korean-American Christian publication Christianity Daily....