VIEWPOINTS: December 5, 2014

David Virtue david at virtueonline.org
Fri Dec 5 13:04:18 EST 2014


"The Redeemer invites us always to preach the Gospel to all. We must
announce the Good News, not bend to the whims of men." --- Pope Francis

The church and the Word. The dependence of the church on the Word is not
a doctrine readily acceptable to all. In former days of Roman Catholic
polemic, for example, its champions would insist that 'the church wrote
the Bible' and therefore has authority over it. Still today one
sometimes hears this rather simplistic argument. Now it is true, of
course, that both Testaments were written within the context of the
believing community, and that the substance of the New Testament in
God's providence ... was to some extent determined by the needs of the
local Christian congregations. In consequence, the Bible can neither be
detached from the milieu in which it originated, nor be understood in
isolation from it. Nevertheless, as Protestants have always emphasized,
it is misleading to the point of inaccuracy to say that 'the church
wrote the Bible'; the truth is almost the opposite, namely that 'God's
Word created the church'. For the people of God may be said to have come
into existence when his Word came to Abraham, calling him and making a
covenant with him. Similarly, it was through the apostolic preaching of
God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that
the people of God became the Spirit-filled body of Christ. --- John R.W.
Stott

"When we try to create unity through our own human designs, we end up
with uniformity and homogenization. If we let ourselves be led by the
Spirit, however, richness, variety and diversity will never create
conflict, because the Spirit spurs us to experience variety in the
communion of the Church." --- Pope Francis

The Anglican Church of Canada is made up of the clergy, and the common
cannon fodder, the poor bloody people. Lied to, cheated, and generally
oppressed by revisionist ministers, the fate of the Anglican masses is
now entirely in the hands of a merciful God, who will hold them less
blameless than their corrupt ecclesiastical handlers on the Day of
Judgment. --- Brian McGregor-Foxcroft

Unless some people are commissioned for the task, there will be no
gospel preachers; unless the gospel is preached, sinners will not hear
Christ's message and voice; unless they hear him, they will not believe
the truths of his death and resurrection; unless they believe these
truths, they will not call on him; and unless they call on his name,
they will not be saved. --- John R.W. Stott, The Message of Romans

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
December 5, 2014

Before we end the year, it is important to tell the one single truth
about the Episcopal Church that no one else will tell you: the
pansexualists, who have driven the agenda over the past 40 years, have
had just one goal -- the complete emancipation of the Episcopal Church
from biblical morality and traditional sexual ethics. They don't care
about what it costs, the damage they have caused, the consequences of
their actions or the Church's ultimate demise.

Beginning with Louie Clay (nee Crew), the one goal has been to destroy
Christian marriage as we know it and usher in an age of (pan)sexual
inclusivity that "broadens" marriage to make it mean whatever you want
it to mean and thereby declare victory that God has spoken in and
through General Convention resolutions (but not necessarily the Holy
Spirit) and thus turn the Church upside down on sexuality.

By any standard, it has been an enormous success. They don't care if, in
the course of pushing their sexual agenda, The Episcopal Church dies;
they really don't care. They will have gotten what they wanted and to
hell with anything else. Those parishioners still sitting in the pews
will have been so dumbed down they won't know what has happened to them,
even when the last geriatric is carried out of the last parish in a pine
box, the final prayers said and the church doors are forever shuttered.

For pansexualists their identity is> their sexuality. It is not to be
found in Christ. He has nothing to do with it. Their identity is totally
caught up in what they think they are. They have become blinded by sex
as the all-embracive issue; the future existence of the church be
damned.

Most modern historians agree that within a generation there will be
little that is left of The Episcopal Church. The deeper truth is that
the pansexualists don't care if the Church dies; it is not their
problem. Those gay and lesbian bishops and priests who have bought into
and pushed the sodomist agenda will have either retired on fabulous
pensions or died; it will be too late to repent. Spong's theological
revolution will also die with him, never more to be remembered except as
a footnote to an historian's bibliography. Future archaeologists will
marvel that a Church could set out to destroy itself.

*****

Full time Church Positions in The Episcopal Church have dropped by 20%.
Part-time clergy has risen by 10%, the Church Pension Group reports.

The combination of the two trends is changing the landscape of work and
retirement for clergy. First, the proportion of part-time and
bi-vocational clergy has been steadily increasing. CPG data indicates
that the number of part-time clergy has increased by 10% in the last
five years, while the number of full-time positions has fallen by 20%.

Second, the increase in late ordinands is even more marked. In 1980, 63%
of those ordained to the priesthood were under 35, and fewer than 5%
were over 55. By 2013, only 23% of those ordained were under 35, and
nearly 40% were 55 or older.

This means that, for many clergy, work in the Church will not be their
sole employment experience, and the benefits provided by The Church
Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan (Clergy Pension Plan) will be just part
of a mosaic of benefits they may have. Because they will have far fewer
years of credited service, late ordinands will have a greater need to
supplement their Clergy Pension Plan retirement benefit with personal
savings.

Part-time and bi-vocational clergy are in the same situation, but for a
slightly different reason: many are accumulating credited service at a
lower compensation level. For all of these groups, the Clergy Pension
Plan will not provide them with the level of pension benefits it
provides for a long-term, full-time, career cleric -- 30 years ago there
were many more available.

There is also an increasing proportion of clergy who are going directly
from seminary into positions where they are running a parish. This is
due both to a decreasing number of assistant and associate positions and
a rise in the number of retirements (which has increased from
approximately 350 per year in the mid-2000s to over 400 per year over
the past five years).

*****

The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth (TEC) has made its final pitch to
keep their properties. Episcopal parties filed a motion for partial
summary judgment under Neutral Principles.

As the motion states:

"Defendants are former Episcopalians who served as officers of The
Episcopal Church's Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. They gained access
to more than $100 million of property in that capacity. They committed
to use that property only for the benefit of the Church and its Diocese,
and without those commitments, they never would have had access to the
property. Now, Defendants have broken those agreements and purported to
take the Episcopal Diocese and its Congregations, and along with them,
all the property, out of The Episcopal Church and into another
denomination.

"This conduct is unacceptable under the most basic neutral principles of
Texas law, including express contractual trust, constructive trust,
associations law, and corporate control. Any one of these neutral
principles is sufficient. So many apply because Texas does not
countenance violations of plain commitments regarding property. In Texas
and in America, people can leave their Church. But they cannot take
property they held for that Church."

The Texas Supreme Court ordered the parties to litigate this case under
neutral principles of Texas law. Plaintiffs' motion shows that the
breakaway Defendants must return the property under any one of several
neutral principles.

A spokesperson for Bishop Jack Iker sent a note saying, "This brief
wrap-up (without any editorial bravado from the Episcopal Cafe) makes it
clear that the Fort Worth case represents the last chance for TEC to
turn things around and win big. But they don't have an argument that
will hold water in court."

Perhaps the tide has finally turned. It would appear that way in Quincy
and South Carolina. What a Christmas gift for all three dioceses and a
blow to all the millions TEC has spent fighting for properties they will
never again own.

In their spin on the situation, a liberal Episcopal blogger headlined,
that those parishes who fled with Bishop Iker were "anti-gay" parishes.
Not true of course. They were anti gay behavior which is quite another
matter altogether. Furthermore other besetting issues include the
ordination of women and the general abandonment of doctrine and the
historic faith which has been eroding the Episcopal Church.

*****

Bishops in the Sudan will evaluate their partnerships with Anglican
dioceses that deny traditional marriage. They met recently and cited the
Bishop of Salisbury Nicholas Holtam, a leading supporter of "gay
marriage"

In a stinging rebuke to Western pan Anglican acceptance of homosexual
marriage, the bishops of the Episcopal church of South Sudan and Sudan
(ECSSS) said in a communique they would issue a "proposed memorandum of
understanding".

Bishop Nicholas Holtam (Salisbury) became the first Church of England
bishop to publicly support same-sex marriage in 2012, and is a supporter
of Inclusive Church. Ruth Gledhill reported in The Times that Holtam has
changed his thinking, "I've changed my mind, and I now support gay
marriage. I think same-sex couples that I know who have formed a
partnership have in many respects a relationship which is similar to a
marriage and which I now think of as marriage. And of course, now you
can't really say that a marriage is defined by the possibility of having
children."

You can read the full story in today's digest.

*****

The Archbishop of Canterbury made his final pit stop with the Anglican
Communion's 37 provinces this past week in Scotland with the Primus of
the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth. He is
a TEC clone. It was a fitting end to a sojourn by the ABC that revealed
that the Communion is bitterly divided and possibly won't see another
Lambeth Conference or even another gathering of Primates, the Anglican
Communion being de facto, if not de jure, split.

A source has told VOL when Archbishop Justin Welby met with Nigerian
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh that, following a public appearance, the two
men retired to talk but NOT once in their discussion was there any talk
of the state of the Anglican Communion. Not a word. Now what does that
tell you!

The other word is that Archbishop Okoh and other African primates will
NEVER talk about sex again. EVER. That day is done.

*****

The Anglican Church of Canada has finally woken up to the reality that
The Anglican Church in North America is overtaking them and they are
fighting back. Archdeacon Bruce Myers, The Anglican Church of Canada's
(ACNA) coordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, blasted the
ACNA for failing to repent of its "scandalous contradictions" over
divisions in the Communion, and called on its leaders to manifest
reconciliation "in prayer, dialogue and action."

In a column in the December issue of the Anglican Journal, Myers berated
the ACNA leadership saying that to be an ecumenical partner means
recognizing that the other with whom you seek to reconcile demonstrates
signs of the Holy Spirit at work, even if you are in disagreement about
some significant issues.

"It's far from clear that ACNA yet manifests these qualities of an
ecumenical partner. Its repentance is, according to its constitution,
limited to 'things done and left undone that have contributed to or
tolerated the rise of false teaching' in the Anglican churches from
which it has chosen to walk apart.

"It's still in a legal fight over property with two dioceses in the
United States. It seeks recognition as a new North American province of
the Anglican Communion without desiring reconciliation with those
already existing."

Really.

The truth is that Myers and the ACoC should repent of its apostasies;
they may then possibly have a shot at survival. The ASA of the ACNA,
which includes the ANiC, is bigger than the ACoC so they don't need to
repent of anything. They have the gospel witness; the ACoC does not.

*****

Then there was the weird case this week of Bishop Leo Frade of Southeast
Florida calling President Obama a sodomite! I kid you not. He apparently
wasn't using the term "sodomite," for the usual reasons. The Bishop was
not suggesting that our happily married with children Commander-in-Chief
is anything other than heterosexual. He was using the term to denounce
the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Frade commented on the deportations, particularly the ones that separate
families, "It is horrible to see the people being deported, being
separated from their children, being separated from the people that they
love because we have insisted on not doing what we need to do as a
country.

"He has been the president that has deported more people than even Bush
did! And I am asking President Obama to stop being a sodomite! I want
him to stop being a sodomite! It's time for him to stop being a
sodomite, and start being a man."

Frade used Biblical scripture to explain his use of the word "sodomite"
to condemn the President's deportations. He says that Obama is like the
people of Sodom, enjoying comfort, luxury, and abundance while the
poorest people in our society suffer.

That is probably the worst etymological use of the word sodomite in
contemporary history.

*****

The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and leaders of the main faiths
joined forces in Rome this week to sign a declaration pledging to fight
to end modern slavery.

More than 30 million people worldwide are believe to be trapped in some
form of slavery, ranging from trafficking, forced labor and prostitution
to the trade in human organs and other human rights abuses.

Archbishop Justin Welby, who has spent months finessing the details of
the campaign with Pope Francis, who has become a close friend, has made
it one of the key planks of his archiepiscopacy.

He noted in a speech at the signing in Rome, "The suffering is
unimaginable. The challenge is acute and growing, facilitated by a
globalized economy that is too easily without moral or conscience."

At a time when faiths are seen wrongly as a cause of conflict, it was a
sign of "real hope" that global faith leaders have committed themselves
publicly to battle to end it.

He said Christians are bound to regard every human as part of God's
divine plan. "This means that no human body can, in any circumstance, be
simply an object to be traded, trafficked or enslaved," he added. "God
treated humanity with such loving respect by choosing to take human form
among us -- so we must share that love and respect for all human
beings."

However, the Archbishop warned that the "evil" behind modern slavery
would not yield without a struggle. This is why national governments
need to collaborate, along with the business sector, police forces,
civil society, and faith communities.

*****

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach's profile is changing and growing even as
the Anglican Communion is devolving and fracturing...and becoming more
relational.

The ACNA Primate received invitations from Anglican Churches in South
East Asia and Australia. Recently, he completed an eighteen-day trip
through Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Australia.

He was accompanied by his Provincial Canon, the Ven. Cn. Dr. Jack
Lumanog. First, he met with the Missions Consultation Roundtable, hosted
by Bishop Rennis Ponniah and Assistant Bishop Kim Kuan Seng in the
Diocese of Singapore. Some 37-mission leaders from the ACNA were invited
to participate in the roundtable that was held November 11-14, 2014 at
St. Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore. In all, there were 171 participants
representing 19 countries in attendance at the conference.

Following Singapore, Archbishop Beach, preached to capacity crowds at
St. Thomas's Cathedral in the city of Kuching. From there, Archbishop
Beach was taken to the Bengoh housing project where more than 3,000
Anglicans have been resettled due to a government dam-building project.
The official visit concluded with a festive lunch hosted by the rural
Archdeaconries of the Diocese of Kuching.

>From Malaysia, the tour through South East Asia continued with a visit
to the Church of the Province of Myanmar. The Most Rev. Stephen Than and
his wife, Nan, welcomed Archbishop Beach and Canon Lumanog to the
Diocese of Yangon. The visit to Myanmar concluded with a service of
Evensong at Holy Cross Theological College where Archbishop Beach
preached to over 50 young men and women preparing for vocational
ministry.

His trip to South East Asia concluded in Sydney, Australia, where
Archbishop Beach met with leadership of the Diocese of Sydney and
retired Archbishop Peter Jensen who continues to serve as General
Secretary of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA).
Archbishop Beach preached at St. Andrew's Cathedral at the invitation of
Archbishop Glenn Davies of the Diocese of Sydney. The visit ended with a
formal meeting between Archbishop Beach and all of the Anglican bishops
of the Diocese of Sydney at Bishopscourt.

*****

The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion has developed a toolkit
for the Bible in Life.

A communique stated: Stephen Lyon began the day by sharing with the
Standing Committee that the Bible in the Life of the Church's project
stage will come to an end in 2016. He hoped the project would leave the
Communion a legacy of "a toolkit to do the Bible better".

An anonymous source has informed VOL that the primary "do the Bible
better" item in the toolkit will be a pair of TEC supplied and paid for
rainbow tinted glasses.

*****

Prince Charles's coronation should include a reading from the Koran, a
Church of England Bishop has opined. Lord Harries of Pentregarth, a
retired Bishop of Oxford, believes that such a gesture at the
traditionally Anglican service would be "creative" and make Muslims feel
"embraced" by the nation

Speaking in the House of Lords, the retired bishop, who continues to
serve as an assistant in the Anglican diocese of Southwark, said that
the Church of England should be "exercising its historic position in a
hospitable way."

Speaking of a civic service held at Bristol Cathedral last year, where
authorities had agreed that a passage from the Koran should be read out
before the Christian service started, he added "It was a brilliant
creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as
she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation."

Prince Charles has previously stated that when he becomes king, he wants
to be seen as "Defender of Faith", rather than "Defender of the Faith"
-- a title traditionally used by British monarchs, first bestowed on
Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521.

However, some Christian groups have criticized the idea. Simon Calvert
of the Christian Institute told the Daily Mail: "Most people will be
amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the
Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey. People are just so
disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in
the claims of the Christian faith."

*****

The Pro-Life Movement is winning; abortions are at a record low since
Roe vs. Wade, screamed a headline this week.

The government's latest report confirms the good news reported by
Guttmacher earlier this year. Not only has the number of abortions in
the U.S. dropped to lows not seen since the earliest days of legal
abortion in America, so, too, have abortion rates and abortion ratios.

The 730,322 abortions reported to the federal Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) in 2011 do not include any from California, Maryland, or
New Hampshire, which did not make them available. Guttmacher reported
1,058,470 for the same year. (Guttmacher's numbers will always be higher
because it directly surveys abortion "providers.")

It is significant that this is the lowest figure the CDC has reported
since dropping California, New Hampshire, and at least one other state
in 1998.

*****

"The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On", according to a
report in the New York Times. The cumulative share of marriages ending
in divorce increased in the 1970s and 1980s; in the last 20 years they
have dropped.

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin "consciously uncoupled" this year,
ABC News said it was the latest example of the out-of-control divorce
rate, "50 percent and climbing."

When Fox News anchors were recently lamenting high poverty levels, one
of them blamed the fact that "the divorce rate is going up."

When Bravo introduced its divorce reality show, "Untying the Knot," this
summer, an executive at the network called it "a way to look at a
situation that 50 percent of married couples unfortunately end up in."

But here is the thing: It is no longer true that the divorce rate is
rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been
for some time. Even though social scientists have tried to debunk those
myths, somehow the conventional wisdom has held.

Despite hand-wringing about the institution of marriage, marriages in
this country are stronger today than they have been in a long time. The
divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has been declining
for the three decades since.

About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th
anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65
percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in
the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends
continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce,
according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan
economist.

*****

Advent is a wonderful time of year. It reminds us not just of the coming
of Jesus as a babe in Bethlehem, but it also reminds us of the second
coming of Jesus. We have seen Him come, live the life that neither you
nor I could live, die the death that you and I deserve, and given us
eternal life. What better reason for us to give of our resources that
God has freely given to us that we might share them with others, says
Archbishop Glenn Davies.

During the second week of Advent, readers are encouraged by our Global
Anglican Family. Watch all the Advent videos and find out more here:
http://anglicanaid.net/awaiting-christ-together-messages-global-anglican-family/

Please consider a tax deductible donation to the Anglican Relief and
Development Fund as the year-end approaches.
http://anglicanaid.net/donate/

*****

VOL will be making its annual end of year appeal for funds to take us
into the New Year and we hope that you will open your hearts and wallets
to keep VOL coming into your e-mail. The time has come to give this
everything we have. We are struggling for funding as we end the year and
go into the New Year. If struggle is what it takes, we are prepared. VOL
is worth it, the thousands of you who come daily to VOL's website think
so or you would not come back time and time again. Clearly the work we
are doing has your attention.

I want to challenge ALL of VOLs readers, please make a tax deductible
donation. If you come to VOL's website regularly YOU ARE
committed...committed not only to the stands we take but to our Anglican
faith and tradition. To keep our staff paid, stories written, research
done and website maintained we need your help. We are a lean ministry
with minimal overhead. We are stripped down for survival. We do not
receive corporate money. Still we are falling short on our Fall
fundraising drive. If you are not an active donor, and you believe in
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Thanks for your support,
In Christ,

David




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