Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rev. Billy Graham 1918-2018

Billy Graham Funeral to Take Place Under a 'Canvas Cathedral' March 2 Billy Graham will finish the same way he started – under a large white tent in front of thousands of people.

Family spokesman Mark DeMoss announced Wednesday evening that Graham's funeral service will be held Friday, March 2, at 12 noon in a canvas tent set up near The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina...

Evangelist Billy Graham Has Died
Billy Graham was perhaps the most significant religious figure of the 20th century, and the organizations and the movement he helped spawn continue to shape the 21st.

During his life, Graham preached in person to more than 100 million people and to millions more via television, satellite, and film. Nearly 3 million have responded to his invitation to "accept Jesus into your heart" at the end of his sermons. He proclaimed the gospel to more persons than any other preacher in history. In the process, Graham became "America's Pastor," participating in presidential inaugurations and speaking during national crises such as the memorial services following the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks.

"He became the friend and confidante of popes and presidents, queens and dictators, and yet, even in his 80s, he possesses the boyish charm and unprepossessing demeanor to communicate with the masses," said Columbia University historian Randall Balmer....Christianity Today

Reflections on the Passing of Rev. Billy Graham, One of the Greatest Christian Heroes of Our Time Ed Stetzer, who holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair at Wheaton College (Billy Graham's alma mater), shares his thoughts...

10 Beautiful Tributes from Christian Leaders on the Death of Billy Graham  Famed evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham passed away from natural causes this morning at his home in North Carolina. He was undoubtedly one of the most influential people, and certainly Christian figures, of all time.
He influence extended around the globe and his platform allowed him to meet with world leaders from American presidents to Martin Luther King Jr. to Queen Elizabeth II.

But at the heart of his ministry was his passion for the Gospel and his commitment to spreading this Good News around the world. He was known as "America's pastor."

Today, so many people are mourning his death, but we are also rejoicing that he is in heaven with the Lord. Here is what several Christian leaders had to say in response to this news...

Billy Graham 1918-2018 Evangelist Billy Graham, who died today at age 99, was one of the great figures of the last century, of America and the history of Christianity. He preached to millions globally, helped make Evangelicalism America’s largest religious group, and knew every USA president since Truman. Indeed, he knew almost every major world leader and celebrity of the last 70 years. An episode of the recent Netflix series The Crown focused on his 1950s visits to Queen Elizabeth. He’s the only major character from that series, except for the royals themselves, who was still alive at its broadcast, highlighting his incredible longevity...IRD


Thursday, February 08, 2018

GAFCON Chairman's February 2018 letter

7th February 2018
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

My dear people of God,

‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.’
2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s words are powerful words. They are never empty. At the beginning of creation ‘God said, “Let there be light” and there was light’ (Genesis 1:3) and when God’s word is proclaimed faithfully today there is new creation. It was this conviction that drew us to Jerusalem in 2008 and our Jerusalem Statement and Declaration began by affirming that we had gathered as ‘a spiritual movement to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we Anglicans have received it’.

We cannot truly promote the gospel if we are not also careful to preserve it from distortion or dilution and I therefore commend the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) for their recent document ‘Gospel, Church & Marriage: Preserving Apostolic Faith and Life’. At a time when the Church of England’s senior leadership seems unable to resist the pressure to compromise with a highly secular culture, it is a sign of hope that evangelical leaders are able to come together in this way.

They affirm that biblical and apostolic teaching on marriage and sexuality is not a secondary matter over which we can agree to disagree, but is essential to the integrity of the Church’s witness and to Christian discipleship. As the New Testament shows, ‘the apostles had to guard the Church’s distinctive boundaries on matters of both doctrine and ethics, including sexual morality’.

The statement insists that this does not in any way narrow the inclusivity of the gospel message, but to retain the integrity of that message the Church of England ‘should not accept teaching or affirm behaviour—whether implicitly or explicitly—which contradicts or undermines the boundaries laid down by apostolic teaching and practice’. Where such teaching is accepted, the statement concludes, there needs to be ‘visible differentiation’, a distancing so that the Church is ‘able to offer a faithful and coherent witness to a confused and needy world’.

However, the question I humbly wish to ask my brothers and sisters in England is this: will you take courage and act on these words? As members of the Mother Church of our beloved Communion you have a great responsibility. We will pray for you and stand with you, but we cannot stand for you. If you do not act, sexual practices and gender identities which represent a radical rejection of God’s will and purpose will become entrenched and lead to a tragic separation from the great majority of the Communion.

Our urgent need is for the Bible to be restored to the heart of our life together so that our Anglican identity can be shaped and ordered by God’s Word. There is much in our shared history that we can thank God for, but that alone will not hold us together in the present. In a globalised world, Gafcon’s vision is to see the full potential of our Communion realised as faithful Anglicans from every nation, race and culture unite in a clear, confident and joyful witness to Jesus Christ who makes all things new.

Please pray therefore for a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit as we prepare for our third global conference in Jerusalem in June. I also commend to your prayers those elected last month to lead two Gafcon-aligned provinces, the Bishop of Maridi, Justin Badi Arama, chosen as the next Primate of South Sudan, and the Bishop of Shyira, Dr Laurent Mbanda, chosen as the next Primate of Rwanda. Pray for them as they prepare to take on the burden of this great responsibility as leaders in their Provinces and the wider Communion.

The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Tucker Carlson, The Episcopal Church has Gone to Hell; Child Flesh Used For Enhancement Pills...more

February 6, 2018
Tucker Carlson, The Episcopal Church has Gone to Hell with Rev. Alex Dyer

Child Flesh Used For Enhancement Pills
“Powdered human baby flesh” marketed as an aphrodisiac is still being smuggled from China to South Korea...

Thursday, February 01, 2018

The Secret Small Churches Know Best; France's anti-Semitic attack problem...more

The Secret Small Churches Know Best
...We have another, better way to respond to our small church’s manifest weakness and fragility. Yes, prayerfully improve what we can. Yes, plead with God for conversions. And then receive — as a gift from God — the manifest weakness of our small church in our small place.

Every church, big or little, urban or rural, is utterly dependent upon its Head. Without Christ’s sustaining grace, no church will last, or have any lasting impact. Every church must receive and reckon with this knowledge. But the particular gift God gives to small churches in small places is that their weakness is so very evident.

Your weakness cannot hide behind an excellent band, or a beautiful new building, or the excitement generated by packing 1,000+ people into a big room. It can’t hide behind a large budget surplus, or big cash reserves. And if your small, unimpressive church is plopped down in the middle of an equally small, unimpressive town, you will also be denied the pleasures of what E.B. White once called (in his 1949 essay “Here Is New York”) “the excitement of participation” — the sense of belonging to something “unique, cosmopolitan, mighty, and unparalleled.” As a small church in a small place, you won’t have access to the illusion of greatness through proximity. Your church’s weakness will be evident to you and to all – and this is God’s gift...

No, We’re Not All Doomed by Earth’s Magnetic Field Flip
Many times over our planet’s history, Earth’s magnetic poles have reversed, meaning that sometimes a compass pointing north will be aimed at Antarctica rather than the Arctic. This might sound strange, but it’s a relatively predictable quirk. Powered by the machinations of the planet’s spinning iron core, this process of geomagnetic reversal has been doing its thing without much fanfare for eons.

That is, until this week, when a book excerpt describing the phenomenon appeared online. Shortly afterward, numerous websites began trumpeting the doomsday around the corner, a geomagnetic apocalypse in which tumors run rampant, satellites fall from the sky, and life on Earth will cease to exist as we know it.

True, life on Earth almost certainly will be different than it is today in multiple thousands of years. But will these polar acrobatics have much to do with that?...

Exploring France's anti-Semitic attack problem
The attack on Monday against a Jewish schoolboy indicates France's growing problem with anti-Semitism. In the latest incident, an 8-year-old boy was walking to an evening class just outside Paris when he was set upon by two teenagers.

It’s far from an exceptional case. Earlier this month, a Jewish store in Paris was targeted by arsonists and a 15-year-old Jewish girl had her face slashed around the same neighborhood as where this boy has now been attacked. In another incident last September, a Jewish family was held hostage as a gang ransacked their home looking for hidden jewelry and money (a typical anti-Semitic trope is that Jews horde expensive items)...