VIEWPOINTS: October 6, 2017

David Virtue david at virtueonline.org
Fri Oct 6 20:35:56 EDT 2017


If the archbishop [of Canterbury] wants to create a kinder society he
should do something really revolutionary. He should start robustly
upholding and promoting the values and beliefs on which his church is
based. --- Melanie Phillips

GAFCON primates were 'concerned' about divisions and insisted: 'The
Primates are not walking together. At best, they say, "they are walking
at a distance". At worst, they are walking in different directions.' ---
GAFCON statement on Canterbury Primates

Homosexuals, by their very nature, cannot procreate. So, if they wish to
expand their numbers, they can only do it by recruitment --- Bill
Muehlenberg

I foresaw that the progressive party would not be content with "mutual
flourishing" but would work to remove those who believed different
things from them both from the places of influence within the Church [of
England] and then from the Church itself. --- Bishop Gavin Ashenden

Testimony to Christ. The words 'witness' and 'testimony' have been much
devalued, and are sometimes employed to describe what is little more
than an essay in religious autobiography. But Christian witness is
witness to Christ. And the Christ to whom we have a responsibility to
witness is not merely the Christ of our personal experience, but the
historic Christ, the Christ of apostolic testimony. There is no other
Christ. So if Scripture leads to witness, witness also depends on
Scripture. --- John R.W. Stott

But what is really worrying is when folks claiming to be Christians come
pushing the same anti-biblical agendas as the secular left does. ---
Bill Muehlenberg

Many conservatives will look to GAFCON while liberals will look to the
Scottish Episcopal Church, which recently recognized same-sex marriage.
How can we look to you when you have nothing to say? Increasingly a
split looks inevitable. --- David Baker

Stephen Paddock said his brother had no political agenda, no terrorist
leanings, and "no religious affiliation." In other words, here was a man
who did not have a cause. He had nothing to live for and everything to
die for. It would seem he had his gambling, his girlfriend and his money
and that was about it. No religion. No faith. No love. No hope. --- Fr.
Dwight Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
October 6, 2017

ENGLAND
"Yes," said Justin Welby, "I am dodging question of whether gay sex is a
sin."

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he is not giving a clear answer on
whether homosexual sex is a sin because of 'irreconcilable' differences
in the Anglican church worldwide. He admitted "copping out" on the
question of gay sex in an interview with GQ magazine.

The Archbishop told Campbell, "within myself, the things that seem to me
to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of
relationships and loving relationships".

Asked whether such relationships could be between two people of the same
sex, he said: "I know it could be. I am also aware -- a view deeply held
by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition
-- that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a
woman."

"But I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this
in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us,
and we are -- the vast majority of the Church is -- deeply against gay
sex."

The Archbishop went on to say that the differences in the communion were
"irreconcilable".

British theologian Ian Paul fired back; "I am afraid to say that my
heart absolutely sinks when reading this. If Justin is not himself
convinced of the teaching position not only of the Church of England,
but the church catholic's teaching on sex and sexuality through the
ages, not to mention what scripture says, I don't understand how he can
possibly lead the Church forward in this area."

Now you know why GAFCON exists and why the situation in the Anglican
Communion is intolerable and must, at some point, lead to formal schism.

In Canterbury this week, where 33 Anglican primates met, it was not all
sweetness and light as Archbishop Welby had hoped for.

On day one they wrestled over the actions of the Scottish Episcopal
Church to formally allow same-sex marriage, and they agreed that
sanctions must apply and that the SEC should step away from any decision
making in the Anglican Communion for three years. Now we have heard that
before when the same sanctions were applied to The Episcopal Church and,
of course, nothing happened. Welby lied and deceived the primates and he
will probably do the same again.

At this gabfest, he threw the GAFCON primates under the bus. He had no
intention of listening to anything they had to say and after the SEC
bruhaha,he managed to get the primates on board with such heady topics
as climate change, injustices to Native Americans and reaffirming
commitments made in 2016 regarding the LGBTI community, specifically the
Communion's sorrow for previous failures to support LGBTI people and its
condemnation of homophobic prejudice and violence.

An incident arose over the call to prayer for the victims and families
of the Nevada massacre. Welby asked Curry to lead in prayer over the
horrific event, which brought a reprimand from Canon Andy Gross,
GAFCON's representative in Canterbury.

The ACNS new service, the official voice of the Anglican Communion,
carried an account of that action, entitled: 'Archbishop Welby "taken
aback" by Las Vegas prayer criticism'. It was shocking in its content --
that, basically, conservative Anglican Primates were "put... in a
difficult spot" when Bishop Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the
US Episcopal Church (currently under discipline for permitting same-sex
marriage), had been asked to lead them in a prayer at Evensong following
the Las Vegas shooting atrocity. Speaking at a press conference, the
media spokesman for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the
Rev'd Canon Andrew Gross, who also speaks on behalf of the Global
Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), was reported to have said that the
GAFCON Primates were "forced to look like they are walking together when
they are not walking together".

So trustworthy and reliable was this report deemed to be, that it
circled the Worldwide Anglican Twittersphere and Blogosphere in 40
minutes: 'Las Vegas shooting: Anglican Primates complain about having to
pray together'. Tweet after condemnatory tweet after incredulous
Facebook post followed. What petty, narrow-minded, not to say bigoted
and self-righteous pharisees these GAFCON Primates must be. And what a
piece of uncharitable work the Rev'd Canon Andrew Gross must be, totally
devoid of grace, mercy or compassion.

At some point the next day, the Anglican Communion News Service issued a
correction, or, rather, a clarification:

This article was amended on 4 October, to make clear that Canon Gross
was not thought to be speaking on behalf of any Anglican primates and
that his church, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is not part
of the Anglican Communion or involved in the Primates' Meeting.

And this is a church that consistently talks up reconciliation!

Of course, there was no mention of the bullying that went on at the last
calling of Primates, the isolating of orthodox primates and Welby's
refusal to invite ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach back this time, because
technically, he is not an Anglican, even though he was invited last time
because, presumably, he is an Anglican and could not be ignored.

Welby welcomed the news that the Church of England has embarked on a
major study of human sexuality in its cultural, scientific, scriptural
and theological aspects and anticipated considering the results of this
work at a future meeting. Let me tell you how this will go. They will
affirm marriage between a man and a woman, but will allow that in
certain "life-giving, affirming, supportive, committed, devoted, stable,
unwavering, established, permanent, monogamous, loving, tender" way,
that persons in a same-sex (but no sex please) relationship will be
fully embraced by the Church. GAFCON primates will not be amused or
fooled by any of this.

This meeting of Primates did not repair the fabric of the communion nor
did it allay the fears and concerns of orthodox Anglican primates from
Africa and South America that repentance was forthcoming. It was not,
and all the sweet talk of evangelism and discipleship which liberals pay
lip service to, can't or won't make churches grow.

You can read a number of stories in today's digest on this Canterbury
gabfest, their communique and the responses from GAFCON bishops and
archbishops. It will be interesting to see what happens next year in
Jerusalem when GAFCON primates and their followers meet and what they
might just decide to do. Stay tuned.

UNITED STATES

Four Continuing Anglican bodies made history this week, 40 years after
they broke away from The Episcopal Church over the ordination of women.
In Atlanta, The Anglican Catholic Church, The Anglican Church in
America, The Anglican Province of America and The Diocese of the Holy
Cross signed a Communio in sacris establishing full communion with each
other. You can read the full story here: http://tinyurl.com/ycwyza6x

A disciplinary board for the Episcopal Church is maintaining
restrictions on Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles while he appeals
sanctions stemming from his attempted sale of the shuttered St. James
the Great church property in Newport Beach.

The Disciplinary Board of Bishops ordered that Bishop J. Jon Bruno
refrain from ministry and exercising any authority over property or
affairs within the church while he appeals the finding of a hearing
panel that he had engaged in misconduct when he tried to sell the St.
James site at 3209 Via Lido in 2015. That planned sale to would-be
townhouse developer Legacy Partners fell through.

On Aug. 1, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry removed Bruno from any
jurisdiction over St. James and transferred pastoral and property
oversight to Bishop John Taylor, who has been named Bruno's successor
upon Bruno's planned retirement at the end of the year. The board's
restrictions will be effective Jan. 1 through the length of the appeal.

The diocese announced in August that it planned to proceed with selling
the church property for an undisclosed sum to Newport Beach-based
developer Burnham Ward Properties, citing a legal obligation created by
Bruno. The St. James congregation currently worships at the Newport
Beach Civic Center.

The two dioceses in South Carolina, in legal loggerhead over more than
half a billion dollars' worth of properties announced that they would
seek mediation. The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis of the Diocese of South
Carolina wrote that pre-mediation meetings took place this week with
Judge Joseph Anderson, and it was determined that mediation would be
conducted November 6-8 in Columbia, South Carolina. Both State and
Federal cases will be addressed by the mediation. Confidentiality will
be expected from all parties concerning these discussions.

In an analysis of the state of The Episcopal Church, I examined four
markers that reveal why the collapse of the Episcopal Church is
inevitable.

Recent statistics (2016) on the state of The Episcopal Church offer
insights not normally tapped by the media, but looked at more closely,
reveal a Church in faster decline than initially thought.

There are four distinct demographic markers and they include: Aging
parishioners and clergy, smaller parishes and no new clergy to fill
pulpits; lower baptisms and confirmations; higher death rates and lower
Average Sunday Attendance. You can read the full story in today's digest
or here: http://tinyurl.com/yb6ehyff

Nashotah House found itself once again center stage over its philosophy
over who it owes its allegiance too. Is it TEC or to some other orthodox
Anglican bodies?

A decision to award Presiding Bishop Curry the Archbishop Ramsey award
for excellence in the areas of Ecclesiology, Ecumenism and Liturgy, was
met with a furious response by The Rt. Rev. Eric Menees, Bishop of The
Diocese of San Joaquin, Anglican Church in North America, and he wrote a
letter to the chairman of the seminary, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, TEC
Bishop of Springfield, expressing his disgust at that action.

Here is what he said; "Regarding ecclesiology Bishop Curry has chosen to
disregard the will of the primates of the Anglican Communion and
continues to act willfully as one not under authority. Regarding
ecumenism relations between TEC and the vast majority of Catholic,
Orthodox and Evangelical churches are at an all-time low. Regarding
liturgy, Bishop Curry is presiding over the creation of new rites that
defy scripture, tradition and reason. In the last few years Seabury,
General and EDS have all but folded. Recently, with the abrupt
transitions of the dean and several faculty members I suspect that
Nashotah House will not be far behind.

"Lastly, while Bishop Curry preaches reconciliation at every turn he
fails to practice what he preaches with his continued support for the
ongoing lawsuits in Quincy, Fort Worth and South Carolina. Given this
reality, Bp. Martins, can [you] give me a reason to send my men to
Nashotah House? San Joaquin has had a long and positive past with
Nashotah but at this point I am really shaking my head and wondering
what in the world has happened?"
VOL wrote to Martins for his response and he said he would not go public
with a response, as he resented the "leaked letter" and would reply to
Menees privately. You can read the full letter here or in today's
digest. http://tinyurl.com/y8tabc63

ENGLAND

A growing number of educational authorities in England are ditching the
use of the traditional calendar terms BC and AD in favor of the more
bland and neutral BCE and CE. Their anxiety is that the older terms
might upset "non-Christians".

BC stands for Before Christ and AD for Anno Domini -- Latin for 'In The
Year Of Our Lord'. The new terms stand for Before the Common Era and
Common Era.

You can spot immediately what a silly and bogus move this is by the
country's educational apparatchiks. Only the letters are being changed,
as if to disguise something shameful. The date -- 2017 -- will still
mean 2017 years after the birth of Christ, as calculated by the Church.

So, the new terms really alter nothing. What they do indicate are some
quite absurd preconceptions and delusions on the part of those decreeing
the changes.

This throws up any number of questions, the first of which is: What
about those who are Christians? What about their sensitivities, and
perhaps their preference for terms which reflect their own faith in a
supposedly Christian country? Why should their sensitivities be
secondary to those of other religions?

And what members of other religions are actually offended anyway?

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In Christ,

David



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