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Church of England Synod kicks talk of Homosexual Marriage down the road; okays Transgendered Liturgies; Ignores Persecuted Christians; Repealed Reparative Therapies * GAFCON Primates to snub Welby's October Gabfest * More TEC Scandals

What kind of Christianity? In my own conviction, the visible unity of the church (in each region or country) is both biblically right and practically desirable, and we should be actively seeking it. At the same time, we should ask ourselves a simple but searching question. If we are to meet the enemies of Christ with a united Christian front, with what kind of Christianity are we going to face them? The only weapon with which the opponents of the gospel can be overthrown is the gospel itself. It would be a tragedy if, in our desire for their overthrow, the only effective weapon in our armoury were to drop from our hands. United Christianity which is not true Christianity will not gain the victory over non-Christian forces, but will itself succumb to them. --- John R. W. Stott

On the Church of England: There must come a new episcopal jurisdiction to whom the faithful can look for comfort, fidelity and leadership -- a new Anglicanism that is in fact the old Anglicanism recaptured from the secular civil servants who serve this new religion. -- Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden

The Christian population [of China] is guessed at between 80 to 130 (or more) million. --- Brian C. Stiller

False teaching is restless and relentless, and the Church of England itself is in grave spiritual danger. It is much to be regretted that there has been far more concern about alleged 'boundary crossing' than about the contempt of God's Word that made a missionary bishop [Andy Lines] necessary --- Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

"...I am talking about the common tradition of Christianity which has made Europe what it is...It is in Christianity that our arts have developed...that the laws of Europe have -- until recently -- been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance......I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian faith...If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism.... ---T.S. Eliot

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
July 14, 2017

THE foundations of the Church of England are cracking and with it the Anglican Communion. This week at the Church of England's General Synod, the fissures opened even wider over a number of hot button issues.

Church of England Synod delayed same-sex equality notions; instead they created new working groups to address the issue, as leaders were accused of "waffle".

Justin Welby said the intention of the working groups was to "map, to set out clearly where we agree and where we disagree, to help us understand better the issues and the points of conflict."

Church of England bishops have been accused of kicking the issue of same-sex equality into the long grass by offloading the topic to a series of working groups that will not report until 2020 at the earliest.

Notice the date. This will be after Lambeth Conference 2020 so no one can accuse Welby and Sentamu of changing the Church's teaching.

Reporting to the C of E's synod meeting in York, Justin Welby said the processes "aim to take a reasonable time for profound thought by a large number of people across a wide range of views, and during that time provide pastoral guidance".

Other issues included the repeal of reparative therapies for homosexuals who voluntarily seek to change their same-sex attractions, being unanimously passed by people who have never examined the evidence, but have listened to the emotional appeals of a handful of people without examining any of the available medical, ethical and theological evidence, along with the testimonies of tens of thousands who have benefitted from such therapies.

It is quackery at best and theological and spiritual rubbish at worst.

The Synod debated services for transgender people and ignored the plight of persecuted Christians, while holding out hope for homosexuals that one day, God willing (or whoever), in the not too distant future, when the can, can no longer be kicked down the road, the Church of England will fully embrace activist homosexuals who desire not only to get married in a church, but also be allowed to be priests and bishops.

The playbook for all this has already been written by the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Church of England is hell bent on emulating their brothers and sisters across the Atlantic. The results will be the same and just as disastrous.

There seemed to be little real theology taking place at this Synod. The appalling prospect of a special liturgy to mark gender transition has no basis in 'sound teaching', especially as someone called Nicholas Land, declared: "It is absolutely right we seek to help people with gender variance... But at present it is difficult to see how this can be achieved in the absence of clear theological opinion." Therefore they passed a resolution without doing any theological homework. Amazing.

There was a ton of irony in the opposition of sexual conversion therapy, when a Mr. Ed Shaw, himself a homosexual, rose up and said he voted against the motion to ban conversion therapy because there was no clear definition of what exactly they were banning. "Plenty of appalling past practices were movingly shared and if the motion had been specific enough to give me a chance to clearly condemn such damaging behavior I would have gladly taken it."

As one blogger noted, "The absence of theological reflection is disturbing. The Rev. Mark Lucas -- a usually mild-mannered and irenic evangelical Synod member -- was moved to thunder on his blog: 'The debating chamber has been, almost solely, a pink fluffy, theology-free, Bible-mocking, sin-affirming, solipsism of multitudinous, anthropocentric anecdote!'"

Stephen Lynas, Senior Chaplain to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, wrote: 'There was little theological reflection (apart from a few nods to Scripture, Tradition and Reason). He opined that while Synod was intensely pastoral, they were not as analytical as befits a major Synod with carefully-designed processes of scrutiny and decision-making.

Perhaps the final irony is that one of the last items Synod discussed was clergy stress. How appropriate indeed, given that for many of us ordinary church ministers, at least some of our pressure comes from trying to explain to our wondering parishioners what is going on during these debates, queried another blogger.

In the same debate, Synod, again led by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, rejected the following amendment:

"Urge all bishops, clergy, and lay people at this time of anxiety and uncertainty to take every opportunity to commend to all the people of England faith in Jesus Christ, who is King of kings, the Prince of peace and the Hope of every nation."

The motion was rejected on the basis that taking every opportunity was inappropriate and rather "silly", and that it would encourage antisemitism and groups like Britain First. REALLY!

This is nothing short of spiritual adultery. The Church of England can no longer proclaim the uniqueness of Christ and the salvation he offers to Jews and an archbishop calls it "silly"! St. Paul may well have ordered a public stoning just to relieve the Church of yet another apostate bishop.

How ironic. Sentamu grew up in Uganda, saw and experienced persecution, knows the history of the Martyrs of Uganda who gave their lives rather than bow to a sodomite king because they did believe in the uniqueness of Christ! And he calls "silly" a statement reaffirming the faith. Now you know why GAFCON ordained a bishop for England and Europe. A new Anglican branch not affiliated with the Church of England is surely on its way. Think ACNA. It's only a matter of time.

Several REFORM members spoke in favor of the motion.

*****

A story from the Christian Post says that two African bishops plan to snub an October summit with the Archbishop of Canterbury over homosexual marriage because Justin Welby is seen as too liberal on homosexuality to orthodox Anglicans, is not quite accurate.

A source told VOL that all the GAFCON primates will not be attending the summit, realizing that, while the CofE still has it on the books opposing homosexual marriage, the blessing of same sex couples is going on, and the ban is only temporary until the next Synod, when such measures will surely be passed and the ban lifted...in the name of inclusion. The triumph of lesbian activist, Jayne Ozanne, will be complete.

Welby felt obligated to apologize to homosexuals following a primates' gathering in Canterbury last year, after sanctions were imposed on The Episcopal Church because it allowed, ordained and changed its marriage canons on sexuality to embrace pansexuality.

The heat was turned up with the consecration of a "missionary" bishop by GAFCON primates to minister to orthodox Anglicans in England and Europe following the Scottish Episcopal Church's changing of its canons to allow homosexuals to marry.

I have posted several stories on the CofE Synod, including some excellent commentary that I hope you will take time to read.

*****

To cement the madness of transgenderism in the Church of England, the Diocese of Ely recently ordained to the diaconate, someone called Diane Johnson (formerly a man). While ordaining trannies is not new to the Church of England, he was, according to my source, the first military person to turn his gender around (or try). The madness continues.

*****

GAFCON chairman and Nigerian Primate, Nicholas Okoh, issued a blistering letter to his followers this week, blasting the church of England, saying that it is in "grave spiritual danger."

In a strongly-worded letter to GAFCON followers and fellow primates, Okoh accused Archbishop Justin Welby of being more concerned about alleged 'boundary crossing' than about the contempt for God's Word that made a missionary bishop [Andy Lines] necessary.

Okoh ripped Church of England leaders for inviting the Bishop of Edinburgh, who strongly supported the Scottish Episcopal Church's adoption of same sex "marriage" to the Church of England's July General Synod meeting as an honored guest. False teaching is restless and relentless.

"Although the Church of England's legal position on marriage has not changed, its understanding of sexual morality has. Same sex relationships, which were described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998 as 'incompatible with Scripture' now receive approval at the highest level." You can read the full report in today's digest.

*****

The Episcopal Church continues its Gadarene slide with a trio of notable, but hardly surprising of acts of stupidity and venality.

The first was the case of the Rev. William Rian Adams, 35, a former U.S. Air Force Chaplain, now serving as the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, North Carolina, who was arrested and charged in Florida with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon last Wednesday, after he allegedly pointed a handgun at another vehicle.

A Florida Highway Patrol report said Adams was driving a red Chevrolet Corvette when he attempted to brake check a Chevrolet Silverado pickup that was closely following his vehicle, according to the Palm Beach Post. The driver of the pickup then tried to go around Adams' vehicle, which caused the priest to point the gun, authorities charge.

Adams' vehicle was pulled over by troopers in St. Lucie County shortly after his accusers, a 24-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from St. Cloud, called police. No word on whether he has been inhibited by his bishop.

The second issue is the case of St. Paul's School, the elite New England Episcopal boarding school in Concord, NH, that has been dogged in recent months by allegations of past sexual abuse and misconduct. It is now the target of a criminal investigation by local and state authorities.

In a statement released this week, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced investigators will examine whether the school engaged in conduct that endangered the welfare of a child.

"Protection of children is a paramount priority for law enforcement," MacDonald said in the release. "I am confident that an institution such as St. Paul's School will be fully cooperative with this investigation as it has pledged."

The attorney general's office stated the investigation was triggered by a series of issues that have come out at the school. How ironic that all the talk of "safeguarding" by high minded TEC bishops and homosexualists only reveals how farcical all the talk is. The sodomite fox has been in the TEC henhouse for so long now, that we will only see it erupt more and more over the coming months. Is it any wonder that certain Episcopal homosexualists want to lower the age of consent!

Then there is the ongoing saga of Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno, who makes your school yard bully look mild by comparison to his bullying.

This week he got yet another rap on the knuckles when he lost an appeal of an order not to sell St. James the Great, Newport Beach.

A disciplinary board for the Episcopal Church upheld a lower panel's order blocking the bishop of the Los Angeles diocese from completing a planned sale of the property. An ecclesiastical hearing panel had warned him in June not to sell the property before that panel reaches a decision on misconduct allegations related to a separate attempt to sell the church site in 2015. The result was that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had to jump in and issue a similar sale-blocking order.

The diocese now has a new bishop lined up to take over from Bruno. He is John H. Taylor and he takes the helm now. If Bruno is not officially booted out, he's a dead duck anyway.

Of course, none of these stories feature in the official TEC news briefs. Way too explosive and might lead people not to go on supporting a moribund church that long ago abandoned the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

*****

From New Zealand (the land of the long white cloud) we learned that the Church there has issued an Interim report in a (vain) effort to keep the NZ church from splitting.

The Archbishops (they have three) released the interim report of a small working group charged with seeking "structural arrangements" to allow people who hold differing convictions about the blessing of same-sex relationships to remain within the church.

The idea here is to avoid any debate by a General Synod resolution by allowing dioceses to make changes to church law to safeguard theological convictions" and to create a space for theological debate about sexuality. Rather than forcing the issue the Motion 29 working group argued that as there was no clear way forward, they would let the matter lie on the table. They were to steer clear of theological debate, and instead look for structures that would allow people who hold strong convictions about the blessing of same-sex relationships (in the working group's own words) "to coexist peacefully in same church".

It's not going to work. These compromises never do. A source told VOL that next year GAFCON plans to plant a gospel flag in New Zealand, which really puts an orthodox cat among the liberal pigeons. Only the diocese of Nelson is truly orthodox in faith and morals in New Zealand. Watch for more in this space.

*****

There are two new bishops in Polynesia, including a first-ever bishop for Tonga, according to a news release from Anglican Taonga

Archbishop Winston Halapua, the diocesan Bishop of Polynesia, says the Rev. Dr 'Afa Vaka will become the first bishop of the newly-constituted episcopal unit of Tonga -- and Archdeacon Henry Bull is to be the next bishop in Vanua Levu and Taveuni in Fiji.

The Rev. 'Afa Vaka's election as Tonga's first constitutionally-mandated bishop, is the fulfilment of long-held desires among Anglicans in Tonga for a greater level of autonomy within the Diocese of Polynesia. His election follows the decision taken by the Diocese of Polynesia synod in May to establish the Archdeaconry of Tonga as an episcopal unit.

*****

The close-fisted hand of the state erupted in Sweden this week when the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, said that if priests in the Church of Sweden--a Lutheran national church--don't want to perform same-sex "marriages," they should "do something else." He went on to say that a willingness to participate in a gay wedding "should be a requirement for ordination", and his party "is working to ensure all Church of Sweden priests will 'marry' same-sex couples."

Priests Who Don't Want to Marry Same-Sex Couples? "Do Something Else", screamed a newspaper headline.

Although the Church of Sweden is quite liberal (for example, they allow gay "marriages" and openly gay or lesbian clergy), they do allow priests to choose whether or not they want to perform a gay "marriage." Half of the bishops in this denomination signed a letter "condemning the introduction of same-sex 'marriage' into the church."

You want to be a Lutheran priest in Sweden, then ignore the Bible and agree with the Government!

Of course, it is only a matter of time when the Episcopal Church will make sodomite marriage mandatory for its priests. It happened with women's ordination. There is no stopping the sodomite steamroller in TEC. Nothing.

*****

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In Christ,

David

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