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Gulf Widens Between Western Provinces and Global South * Christchurch, NZ Ratifies Gay Marriage * PB Curry Pushes Pseudo Evangelism * Pittsburgh Episcopalians/Anglicans Settle Property Dispute * TEC-SC Files New Lawsuit *Albany Bishop Rips Interfaith talk

"God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that he may love and perfect them." --- C.S. Lewis

Deserving to perish. Some are too inclined, I thing, to praise the good they see in others, and I may be too inclined to blame the evil. But the reason in my case is that I believe I know myself. To be sure, I welcome and affirm all those noble gifts of God which are part of his image in me (rationality and curiosity, moral aspirations, the primacy of love, artistic creativity, the urge to worship), but it is this very glory which highlights the shame -- the vanity, obstinacy, selfishness, envy, impatience, malice, and lack of self-control. My perceptions of God and of myself, however distorted, convince me that in myself I am completely unfit to spend eternity in his presence. I need to be 'made fit' to share in the saints' inheritance in light. Without those white robes made clean in the blood of the Lamb, I could never stand before God's throne. 'Hell-deserving sinner' sounds an absurdly antiquated phrase, but I believe it is the sober truth. Without Christ I am 'perishing', and deserve to perish. --- John R.W. Stott

The joy of the Christian life comes through spending time In His Presence. His Presence is where He gives us guidance and shows us what we have in Him. His Presence is where we learn more about our Saviour. The more time we spend In His Presence, the more we look like Christ. This is the key to overcoming sin. This is the key to growing in maturity. This is the key to having fullness of joy no matter the circumstance. --- Gospel Folio Press

We live in a culture where the prevailing wisdom is that we are justified in our actions if we believe that God or Nature has made us the way we are. "We are born this way...." This is the justification for many who choose alternative lifestyles, differing sexual identities, and genders. It is also the justification for anti-social behavior and refusal to accept the work requirements necessary for education attainments, occupational training, and healthy family life. Some people justify their lifestyles on their conception of their ethnic identity or a stereotype of masculinity or femininity. Instead of seeing ourselves as all made in the image of God with a vocation to wholeness and holiness in Christ, there is the temptation to see ourselves as members of one identity group or another with the freedom to fulfill that group's vision of itself as different from others yet mainstreamed into society so that we can be accepted. --- Rev. Ted Schroder

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 9, 2018

If you had any doubts about the trajectory of the Anglican Communion, your doubts and suspicions should now be completely confirmed.

The theological and moral gulf between Western Anglican provinces and the Global South (with GAFCON) grows exponentially wider by the week.

Nigerian Primate and GAFCON chairman Nicholas Okoh hit out yet again at unnamed (you can guess) leaders who, he says, have rejected the authority of the Bible and says the divisions are deepening and will not be healed by the techniques of the corporate world, (a reference, no doubt to Justin Welby, a former oil executive). "Where there is no repentance, there must be realignment," roared the Lion of Nigeria.

You can read what he says here in his March letter to GAFCON people: https://tinyurl.com/y8jumo6a


Nary a week goes by when some fresh craziness erupts proving that rapidly declining Western provinces are heading into the sunset of their days.

IN NEW ZEALAND, the Diocese of Christchurch ratified at their recent diocesan convention to allow same sex marriage by a significant margin with the promise that their vote will go forward to their next General Synod where Bishop Victoria Matthews (formerly a Canadian bishop) will joyfully and triumphantly announce the will of her people and press the case that the national church should follow suit or be forever labelled homophobic and hate filled. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/ycyxd6wn

It's a forgone conclusion that the rest of the Aotearoa province will, in time, fall in line with the only holdout being the Diocese of Nelson. This, of course, now leaves open the real possibility of GAFCON establishing a beachhead, perhaps a GAFCON bishop for Australasia!

A knowledgeable insider made this observation: "I see no way forward except for the Diocese of Nelson to become extra-territorial. It has its own theological college and is solidly evangelical. If the Maori and Pacifica Tikengas can have extra-territorial dioceses so can the evangelicals. Nelson can then become a missionary diocese."

IN SCOTLAND, The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), Bishop Mark Strange, consecrated the province's first female bishop during a service in St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen. Bishop Anne Dyer was elected by the Province's Episcopal Synod last November as the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney after the diocese twice failed to complete the electoral process. Bishop Anne is the first female selected in Scotland.

In January, the Primus issued a public rebuke to 18 clergy from the diocese who published an open letter criticizing the selection of Anne Dyer, saying it "directly goes against the established wishes of the Diocese on the views it would hope that our new Bishop would hold, and minister to us from the perspective of them." Dyer has said, "the Scottish Episcopal Church officially acknowledges that there is not one view on marriage within our church today. We hold differing views according to our consciences, but also after varied readings of the Bible and prayer." Now you know why GAFCON Bishop Andy Lines was consecrated a bishop for Scotland and Europe. One hopes the orthodox parishes in Scotland come under his authority sooner rather than later.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/yb2mzkth


The consecration of the Rt. Rev. Elizabeth Awut Ngor on Dec. 31, 2016, as assistant bishop of the Diocese of Rumbek, South Sudan, has met with resistance within the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and one American Anglican bishop.
GAFCON had set a voluntary moratorium on consecrating women as bishops, which was broken by the ordination of this woman in the Sudan.
A hard-hitting letter to the GAFCON Primates by Bishop Jack Iker of the Anglo-Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, and the Rev. Christopher Culpepper, president of the diocese's standing committee, expressed "our deepest concerns" about the consecration. It questioned why GAFCON said nothing despite knowing about the consecration for more than a year and disputed explanations offered by the GAFCON leadership.

Archbishop Deng Bul, after he had retired, confirmed news of the consecration in a radio interview. "It was in my dream to ordain a woman as bishop in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan before I leave."
This is not an impairment in the Global South but a glitch in the road. Nothing has changed for GAFCON and there is no slippery pathway to sodomy by this action.


Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry now describes himself as Chief Evangelism Officer, and he is doing his best to jump start the Church, in the hope that he can undo the mess his predecessors left behind. But will it work?

Michael Curry is no Billy Graham despite his call to evangelize the Church. He still glosses over sexual sin.

A recent article in The Living Church would have you believe that Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has adopted the mantle of Billy Graham, and while not his public successor, he has become the Episcopal Church's imitator in chief, hoping to lead TEC into a better future and brighter evangelical tomorrow, hopefully reversing a nationwide decline that sees dioceses conducting more funerals than baptisms.

Since taking office, Curry, has moved evangelism to the front burner, appointing a canon for evangelism, reconciliation and stewardship of creation (I have yet to find the latter in Scripture) and a team of six practitioners on evangelism, even hiring a digital evangelist to take the gospel into the digital mission field.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/ych9ewkf


The Episcopal Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. William Love, ripped Christian leaders who seemed unwilling or unable to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, while offering a prayer and asking God's blessing on people gathered for a service.

"I was amazed at how much creativity went into making vague references to our Lord in the prayer and blessings without actually saying His name. It was all I could do to keep from standing up at the end of the prayer and saying, "His name is Jesus!"

Bishop Love, an Evangelical Catholic, is one of a handful (literally) of orthodox bishops still in The Episcopal Church who will not permit same sex marriages or openly gay priests to minister in his diocese.

In a letter to The Albany Episcopalian, Love said he realized that while an inter-faith service is not just for Christians, with Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., in attendance and not wanting to do something offensive, Christians have tragically come to believe that mentioning Jesus' name in public, or praying in the name of Jesus Christ during an inter-faith service should be avoided in order not to offend non-Christians.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y6u97eh4


The Episcopal Diocese of Newark is looking for a new bishop. Four candidates have applied -- two women, one black male and one white male. All are liberals, of course. An orthodox priest would never make it through the net of Louis Crew, the Episcopal Church's arch lay homosexualist, who has lived most of his life in the diocese.

But one male wannabee candidate, The Rev. Canon Scott Slater, had the courage to say this; "The decline in attendance and engagement in the Church will continue to be a challenge. If we were to determine the aggregate empty-pew ratio in the diocese, I suspect it would be staggeringly large. Who wants to attend a church where more than half the seats are empty? It's also bad stewardship of property and resources."

That will certainly go down like a lead balloon.

Then there was this from another candidate, the Rev. Carlye Hughes; "The slow death of congregations across our denomination cries out for our attention. We may be tempted to look away from the evidence of decline, yet acknowledging the truth allows us to see/seek what God has next for us. Resurrection may begin when we look at tough circumstances and ask for God's help to determine next steps. It takes courage to see the truth, a courage that God gives us and blesses with pathways to new life."

Of course, you will remember that this is the diocese of former Bishop John Shelby Spong, who degraded the diocese over sodomy and more. The diocese has never recovered and never will.

Recent statistics reveal that in 2000 there were 36,327 baptized members. By
2016 that figure was 25,252. They lost another 1% between 2015 and 2016. ASA was even more troubling. In 2000 it was 10,954, by 2016 it was 7,631 for a loss of over 30%. Between 2015-2016 the diocese lost another 4.7%. The diocese is top heavy with homosexual priests. The average age of all its priests is 59, which means that most will be gone in ten years, even less. The percentage aged 44 and under is a mere 14%. The percentage age between 55-64 is 39% and those aged 65+ is a whopping 32%. In short, over 70% will be out the door with no replacements in sight. As things now stand, only 52% of all parishes have a full-time priest of one congregation. Whoever gets the job as bishop will, of course, look forward to a good pension. That's the only upside.


The TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh reached a "Comprehensive Agreement" with the ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh over the future of nine parishes which seceded from the diocese in October 2008. In a joint statement they said they had "resolved disputed questions over the ownership and use of the church property that have lingered since the congregations voted to leave The Episcopal Church."

The nine parishes and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh are members of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), an independent Anglican body recognized by the vast majority of the Global South and GAFCON, though not by Archbishop Justin Welby and the Anglican Communion. Three parishes did not agree to the settlement.

In effect, the agreement does not declare a winner in each side's claims to control the properties -- the parishes as title holders or the diocese as legal beneficiary.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/yajflop5


The Episcopal and Anglican Dioceses of Pittsburgh might have cut a deal and settled all its property claims, but not so in the TEC Diocese of South Carolina, where the battle rages for properties and more.

The latest news is that the Episcopal diocese has filed motions to ask the judge to expand federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court asking the court to declare that Bishop Lawrence's diocese has been engaged in false advertising and trademark infringement and is seeking an injunction to prevent the group from using words and symbols that cause confusion about which group they are affiliated with.

The amended complaint also asks the court to identify leaders in the breakaway churches who want to remain with The Episcopal Church, so they can begin working with Bishop Skip Adams and TECSC on transitions aimed at assisting parishioners who want to remain in their churches.

Late last year, the State Supreme Court ruled The Episcopal Church could reclaim 29 properties from breakaway parishes involving potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in church property, much of it historic.

In February, Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese of South Carolina, along with a number of member parishes filed a petition for writ of certiorari (review) in the United States Supreme Court. The petition asks the Court to bring harmony to the multiple lower court decisions that diverge over the meaning of "neutral principles of law" as used by the Court in its seminal case of Jones v. Wolf, 445 U.S. 595 (1979).


THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND is reeling from one crisis to the next, with one never knowing how and where it will all end.

Here is the latest: The Church of England was warned by the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Peter Hancock, that sexual abuse crimes would be on the front page of newspapers and television for the next two years. This, after years of institutional neglect and lethargy. This week is perhaps the start of the purging of complacency, said one report.

The opening of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into the deficiencies of the Established Church took the headlines, but other stories also arose. The poor handling of Fr Matt Ineson's complaints against five bishops was featured in the BBC Inside Out programme, and the substance of it appeared on the BBC website. It was also covered by Christian Today.

Further stories are beginning to emerge which have not yet been published but will add to our institutional woes, said another report.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y9agjjom

It was learned that Archbishop John Sentamu ordered 'no action' against paedophile priest -- leaving him to abuse again and then commit suicide.
You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y8dk9bec

There were attacks on Lord Carey again with one headline that ran:
'An Attack On Lord Carey Is An Attack On Us All', Say Church of England Figures.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, 10 signatories including the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, former bishop of Rochester, suggested that the former Archbishop of Canterbury was being targeted for his involvement in the Bishop Peter Ball case because of "what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity".

The letter, also signed by Simon Rufus Isaacs, Marquess of Reading, who is a friend of Prince Charles, former bishop of Woolwich Colin Buchanan, and campaigner Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, says that similar high-profile cases have not resulted in prosecutions for misconduct in public office.

You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/ydg8hhd3

But the week ended on a moderately high note when the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia visited the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at Lambeth Palace and discussed a range of issues including religious freedom for Christians in Saudi Arabia and the conflict in the Yemen.

In a statement, a Lambeth Palace spokeswoman said that Archbishop Justin was "encouraged" to hear about Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 roadmap. "The Crown Prince made a strong commitment to promote the flourishing of those of different faith traditions, and to interfaith dialogue within the Kingdom and beyond," the statement said.

"The Archbishop shared his concern about limits placed on Christian worship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and highlighted the importance for leaders of all faiths to support freedom of religion or belief, drawing on the experience of the UK.

Canadian blogger Samizdat wryly noted on seeing Welby bowing to the Saudi prince, "Welby may be pointing out to Mohammed bin Salman that his shoelace is undone; or warning him not to slip on a banana peel; or inviting the prince to inspect his head for lice.

"Or he might have been bowing.

"Welby is meeting with the Crown Prince to discuss Saudi Arabia's "strong commitment to interfaith dialogue", an idea so preposterous only an ex oil executive could take it seriously. The country renowned for beating critics of its leaders practically to death, that practices the most barbaric excesses of sharia law, that mutilates women because it is "noble", has no Christian churches. None. Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocracy, a nasty, brutish, despotism which does not tolerate the public practice of other religions. There is no "interfaith" because there are no other state tolerated faiths.

"In other news, next week Justin Welby will be meeting with Satan to foster reconciliation, begin interfaith dialogue, and persuade him to turn down the temperature in hell."

In other Canadian news, the Diocese of Niagara has nominated the Rev. Susan Bell to be its new bishop, the first woman to serve as diocesan bishop since the diocese was founded in 1875. She promises to continue the "progressive ministry" of her predecessor, Michael Bird.

According to David of Samizdat, Bird's ministry included progressive lawsuits, the progressive seizing of buildings, progressive building closures, a progressive mass exodus of orthodox believers and progressive financial troubles.

It goes without saying that she supports same-sex marriage:

"My opinion remains unchanged from what I said on the floor of General Synod 2016: that I would be voting in favor of a change in the marriage canon. I have taken a long journey which has included much study, prayer, many conversations and a deep investment in relationships until I arrived at a place of peace on this issue.

"I would preserve the status quo in the lead up to General Synod 2019 and would be proud to cast my vote in favour of equal marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada."

And you wonder why the Global South is distancing itself from the progressive West on wimmin bishops and sexuality.

Fred Hiltz, the primate of the ACoC, has said he is retiring before the whole Anglican ship of state collapses and there is still enough money for him to collect a pension. Progressivism is a deadly cancer on the body politic, and the blind still don't see (pun intended) where they are leading the church. A guide dog for the blind would know better.

Just a reminder of how much orthodoxy is hated and despised in the Anglican Church of Canada, the Rev. Canon Georges Eves of Fredericton, along with a number of other clergy and parishioners around Canada, across the US and around the world is outraged at the treatment of the Rev. Jake Worley at the hands of the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada (and specifically -- the BC Provincial House of Bishops, Archbishop Privett and the administration group of Caledonia).

As you may recall, Worley was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Caledonia in British Columbia last May, but had his election annulled by the Provincial House of Bishops and then fired as rector of his parish by his Archbishop.

Eves has written a letter to Primate Hiltz calling for an investigation of this unprecedented dismissal of a synodical election and the subsequent firing of a priest in good standing for absolutely no reason.

This is part of the letter he wrote:

"It is difficult not to conclude from these reports that, seen in the larger context of the election and confirmation as bishop of a partnered gay man in Toronto, many of our Church officials are prepared to overlook clear infractions in cases of those who share their agenda and conduct aggressive and unprecedented investigations of those who beg to differ.

"Not only is this double standard morally wrong, it is extremely destabilizing in an institution already on edge seeking to find its way forward on the Doctrine of Marriage. The last General Synod was deeply divided over the issue, and as the second reading approaches many are concerned about the future of our Church."

Eves is calling for three national initiatives directed to all concerned Canadian Anglicans:

1. LETTERS TO THE PRIMATE: I urge them to express their opinions in a personal and civil letter to our Primate and Pastor-in-Chief, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz (primate@national.anglican.ca). In this I am following the initiative of others who have already written asking for an impartial enquiry into the Worley affair in order to clear the air and offer guarantees that traditional Anglican toleration of various theological viewpoints is not under threat. A copy of my own letter is attached.

2. PETITION THE PRIMATE: Although a personal letter no doubt carries more weight, I urge those who would prefer simply to sign a Petition to follow this link in order to do so: https://anglicanmoment.wordpress.com Indeed, even if you are sending or have sent a letter, please sign the Petition as well if you are in general agreement. Each person signing should make his/her own submission.

3. A LOVE OFFERING: Mr. Worley and his family have suffered unjustly at the hands of our Church and this Offering is intended to express concretely our concern and love as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is not related to any financial need they may or may not have. If you would like to contribute, simply follow the link on the Petition website.


In New South Wales, Australia, a draft legislation to make it easier for police and prosecution authorities to crack down on modern slavery in NSW has been welcomed by the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies. The Archbishop was in the public gallery of the New South Wales Legislative Council as MLC Paul Green introduced his Modern Slavery Bill. Archbishop Glenn said that the Bill "deserves the wholehearted support of the Parliament and the people of NSW."

He added: "Human trafficking is an abhorrent form of modern slavery. It is a trans-national crime which preys upon the most vulnerable. Human trafficking should be abolished in all its forms from our world, along with other practices of enslavement, such as servitude, forced labour, debt bondage, organ trafficking, deceptive recruiting, as well as forced marriage and childhood brides.

"Such practices are a blight on our society, as they were in the days of William Wilberforce, and I urge all people, especially Christians, to join the fight to eradicate slavery in all its forms."

Please go to VOL's webpage www.virtueonline.org and FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/virtueonline/ for more stories and your comments.

All Blessings,


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