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Welby puts feelings ahead of truth in Homosexual Angst * Lambeth 2020 Chaos * War of words breaks out in Ang.Comm.* ACNA Archbishop now Chmn. of GAFCON * ACNA and Church of Nigeria sign Concordat * Church of Wales in Ordination Row * REC Bp moves to ACNA

Welby puts feelings ahead of truth in Homosexual Angst * Lambeth 2020 Chaos * War of words breaks out in Ang.Comm.* ACNA Archbishop now Chmn. of GAFCON * ACNA and Church of Nigeria sign Concordat * Church of Wales in Ordination Row * REC Bishop moves to ACNA Parish * Beeson to host Jewish Roots of Christianity Conference

The point of Romans 1 as a whole is that when humans refuse to worship or honour God, the God in whose image they are made, their humanness goes into self-destruct mode; and Paul clearly sees homosexual behaviour as ultimately a form of human deconstruction --- N.T. Wright

In Christ by faith. *All* men are in Adam, since we are in Adam by birth, but not all men are in Christ, since we can be in Christ only by faith. In Adam by birth we are condemned and die. But if we are in Christ by faith we are justified and live ... Peace, grace, glory (the three privileges of the justified) are not given to those who are in Adam, but only to those who are in Christ. --- John R.W. Stott

"The union with Christ which produces no effect on heart and life is a mere formal union, which is worthless before God. The faith which has not a sanctifying influence on the character is no better than the faith of devils." ― J.C. Ryle, Holiness

The so-called "Equality Act" that Democrats are now pushing in the House as their "top priority" should really be renamed the "Get the Homophobic and Transphobic Bigots Act." It is the most dangerous bill to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion that has ever been proposed on a national level. The key point to recognize about the bill is that it will codify into law that you are a bigot, the moral equivalent of a racist, tantamount to being a member of the Klu Klux Klan, who must be shut out of society and, wherever possible, harassed and persecuted for your beliefs. Everything else is commentary. --- Robert A.J. Gagnon

Very many Church of England bishops are implicit Arians since they demote Jesus' teaching on marriage and Sex. --- Bishop Gavin Ashenden

The lordship of Christ. In saying that saving faith includes obedience, I mean that in true faith there is an element of submission. Faith is directed towards a Person. It is in fact a complete commitment to this Person involving not only an acceptance of what is offered but a humble surrender to what is or may be demanded. The bent knee is as much a part of saving faith as the open hand. --- John R.W. Stott

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
May 3, 2019

FEELINGS, nothing more than feelings, Teardrops rolling down my face ...for all my life I'll feel it, Feelings, wo-o-o... thus ran the lyrics by Barry Mann, now being regurgitated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

When Welby sent out the Lambeth 2020 invitations and disinvited the spouses of bishops who are in same-sex marriages, he was attempting a compromise which was typically Anglican: it had nothing to do with right, wrong, truth or lies; what mattered was whose feelings were going to be hurt.
Whether same-sex marriage is good, bad, Biblical or unbiblical is not the point; just like the treacly song, what matters is feelings and not hurting them or, at least, hurting them all equally.

There are currently two bishops in this position: the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, Assistant Bishop of New York and the Rt. Rev. Kevin Robertson, Suffragan Bishop of Toronto. Next month, they are due to be joined by a third, when the Rev. Thomas Brown is consecrated Bishop of Maine.

Then Welby said this; "The most painful part, to me, of the decisions that have to be made, is that I know that, at every moment that I write a letter or make a decision, I am making a decision about people -- and that there is no decision that will result in nobody getting hurt."

"If I'd decided differently on the decision about same-sex spouses -- and it hurt a lot of people, by the way -- I would have hurt a huge number of people elsewhere in the Communion. And there wasn't a nice solution which I looked and thought, 'Nah, I don't want to do that, I'll take the nasty solution.' It's not as simple as that."

So, it is okay not to hurt the feelings of a small group of pansexualists, but ignore the pain caused to millions of orthodox Anglicans across the globe who feel differently. They can be hurt. That's okay.

Truth be damned, Scripture be damned, history be damned, tradition be damned, the Church MUST affirm and please a handful of whinny homosexuals and lesbians lest they turn on you and call you a hater and homophobic. We must not have that, even though Scripture is clear that those who perform these acts will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God. Feelings are definitely far more important, more important than scripture or holding the communion together or what 80% of the Anglican Communion really thinks about sodomy, regardless of what GAFCON primates and bishops who represent more than two thirds of what the communion thinks, we must bow before the hurt feelings of Ms. Glasspool, Kevin
Robertson and Thomas Brown have done and now want the communion to look like, even though it violates the consciences of millions of Church-going Anglicans. God forbid!

Welby reiterated this theme in Hong Kong this week where the ACC-17 were meeting at a luxurious hotel according to the Church Times, where the first item of business was an apology from the chief operating officer of the Anglican Communion Office, David White. He had been asked by a member of the Anglican Consultative Council from South Sudan why they were meeting in such a luxurious hotel "with chandeliers in every room".

The ABC played it all down saying that the policy over the last few years has been the use of electronic meetings. "Sometimes, it is necessary to see each other face to face, because you can just do and say things that you can't do in any other way. And, sometimes, even with the carbon footprint, those who are suffering particularly from climate change need the experience of being with others who are there physically with them, who put an arm round them literally rather than metaphorically, to express their concern and sorrow, and go away more determined to campaign." Tio hell with carbon footprint. We must have liberals and progressives gather together to whip away at conservatives who won't show up because they know what to expect.

But Welby isn't getting it all his way. The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of GAFCON, meeting with his fellow primates in Sydney, had this to say;
"Yesterday I received a letter from Archbishop Justin just moments before the invitation was reported online. I read the online report first and was disappointed to see that the original "news" source had furthered a partisan, divisive, and false narrative by wrongly asserting that I left the Anglican Communion. I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so.

I did transfer out of a revisionist body that had left the teaching of the Scriptures and the Anglican Communion and I became canonically resident in another province of the Anglican Communion. I have never left. For the Anglican Church in North America to be treated as mere "observers" is an insult to both our bishops, many of whom have made costly stands for the Gospel, and the majority of Anglicans around the world who have long stood with us as a province of the Anglican Communion.

Once I have had a chance to review this with our College of Bishops and the Primates Council of the Global Anglican Future Conference I will respond more fully."

Now you know how this is going to go. GAFCON primates will stand on Scripture, they will not yield to Welby's waffle on sexuality, they will uphold Scripture is primary on all matters of faith and practice.

You can read Lambeth 2020 Chaos, a press release put out by GAFCON: Here is a teaser; "Plans for the 2020 Lambeth Conference are descending into chaos. In a promotional video, the Archbishop of Canterbury stated that "of course all bishops' spouses will be invited." This surely meant that the wife of Bishop Mary Glasspool (New York, USA), the husband of Bishop Kevin Robertson (Toronto, Canada) and the husband of the soon to be consecrated Bishop Thomas Brown (Maine, USA) would be invited.

However, according to a blog written on 15th February by the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the spouses of the three bishops in same-sex unions were not to be invited. It then emerged that the Archbishop of Canterbury had spoken to each of the bishops in private to explain that it would be 'inappropriate' for their spouses to attend, due to Resolution I.10 of the Lambeth 1998 Conference, which affirmed the bible's teaching on marriage being between 'a man and a woman'. Yet the bishops in these same-sex unions will be invited along with those who consecrated them, "married" them, and endorse their life-style which is contrary to the Lambeth Resolution and to Scripture.

You can read the full report here: https://www.virtueonline.org/lambeth-2020-chaos

Welby gave an unscripted press conference to two media (ENS and Church Times), conservative press was not invited. What Welby had to say candidly is very revealing. You can read what he had to say here: https://www.virtueonline.org/acc-17-welby-candid-and-not-camera

*****

A war of words has broken out in the Anglican Communion between the Primate of the ACNA and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, with each publicly lashing out at the other over an "insulting" offer by the Archbishop of Canterbury to let ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach attend Lambeth 2020 as an "observer", treating him as a outlier and not an Anglican.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, publicly rebuked the Most Rev. Archbishop Foley Beach in an address at the Anglican Consultative Council's 17th meeting in Hong Kong, in which he said the crisis in the Anglican Communion "is being caused by autocratic Primates and bishops in the Global South who do not behave as Anglicans."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had issued the invitation to ACNA Archbishop Beach, who called the invitation an "insult."

Welby issued an invitation to denominational heads across the globe to attend the Lambeth conference and included Archbishop Beach among the invitees as "ecumenical observers."
https://www.anglicannews.org/news/2019/04/archbishop-of-canterbury-invites-ecumenical-observers-to-the-lambeth-conference-2020.aspx

However, an incensed Beach told VOL that the "news" source only furthered a partisan, divisive and false narrative by wrongly asserting that he had left the Anglican Communion when, in fact, he has not.

"I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so." He said he had transferred out of The Episcopal Church because that church had abandoned the teaching of the Scriptures. "I have never left (the Anglican Communion)."

You can read more here: https://www.virtueonline.org/aco-secretary-general-rebukes-gafcon-calls-them-intentionally-ignorant-polity

IN allied news, Welby has invited, as one of the "ecumenical observers" to Lambeth 2020 the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht, however this has not gone down well, Several priests who believe the pro-homosexual Union does not speak for them will not be attending.

Instead, the Bishop of the Old Catholic Church of BC, the Rt. Rev Gerard LaPlante, told VOL that he has been invited to Europe to lay hands on two new bishops for the Old Catholic Church, thus signaling a split in that denomination.

*****

It's official. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach will wear another hat, that of Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). He replaces Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh. GAFCON unites 50 million Christians from within the worldwide Anglican Communion into a family of faithful believers, committed to proclaiming the unchanging, transforming Gospel of Jesus the Christ to the world. Therefore, Dr. Beach's new role provides an even greater chance to serve the global Church. He will work closely with Archbishop Ben Kwashi of Nigeria, GAFCON'S General Secretary, to unite Christians from both the Global North and the Global South in common mission and ministry for the sake of the Gospel. The global opportunities for partnership and communicating the Lord's Word have never been greater!

*****

Another major development this week occurred when the ACNA entered into a concordat with the Church of Nigeria over three CANA parishes in the US, resulting in two out of the three dioceses staying with the Church of Nigeria and one -- CANA East -- joining fully with the ACNA. The two dioceses CANA West, based in El Paso, Texas and the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity based in Minneapolis will remain as "ministry partners" with the ACNA but canonically resident with Nigeria. "I have requested ACNA to receive me and our Diocese as ministry partners and I hope they do. I further urge ACNA to consider the concerns of our diocese regarding the ordination of women. It is my hope that we will work together for the good of the kingdom," Bishop Felix Orji told VOL

Bishop Julain Dobbs (CANA East) told VOL, “Cana East remains a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America which it joined in 2013 and looks forward to a continued gospel partnership with the Church of Nigeria as we seek to proclaim Christ, plant churches and witness to the love of and faithfulness of Almighty God.”

On July 3, four Anglican bishops will be consecrated by the Church of Nigeria in Lagos, three of whom will return to the U.S. and one will be based in Canada.

However, this did not stop ANGLICAN-TV and its resident Episcopal spokesman, (the Rev.) George Conger, spinning what took place, likening it to the situation in the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA). This is total spin and nonsense. There is no possible parallel. The AMiA under Chuck Murphy never joined with anyone and the AMIA's refusal to come under the ACNA has left it split and in tatters. It has no future.

The ACNA is 30-strong dioceses with just two no longer officially part of the ACNA. It's a bump in the road. Conger accused CANA of building a kingdom, untrue. That the Church of Nigeria has not accepted the protocols of the ACNA and wants to have its own people in the US and Canada is very troubling. It is a reverse form of colonialism and ACNA should reject such a compromise. We are way beyond nationalism and colonialism of every form. That the most segregated hour in America is Sunday morning worship is a stain on American Christianity and the actions of Archbishop Nicholas Okoh only confirms that. Kevin Kallsen and ANGLICAN-TV should offer a correction and an apology for its egregious misstatements about the ACNA. That Conger stays in TEC under a morally compromised bishop like Greg Brewer speaks volumes; throwing stones in glass houses comes to mind.

*****

A proposal is being put forward at the Church in Wales' governing body, calling for ordination to be denied to candidates who do not accept the ordination of women.

A Private Member's Motion by the Ven. Peggy Jackson is now before the Church's governing body, following the consecration of two women bishops, arguing that all bishops, consonant with previous undertakings, agree not to hold in future, separate, ordination services for any candidate, on the grounds of the candidates' views on gender.

It calls on the Bench of Bishops to resile (abandon a position or a course of action) from paragraph 5 of the Explanatory Note to their 2014 Code of Practice and cease to ordain those who, refusing the sacramental ministry of women, expect to rely upon the conscience clauses of the Code. You can read the full story here: https://www.virtueonline.org/wales-ordination-be-denied-candidates-who-do-not-accept-womens-ordination

*****

The Reformed Episcopal Church announced this week that one of their bishops, David Hicks, had resigned as Ordinary of the Diocese of Northeast to become the rector of an ACNA parish in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and will take up a parish in Butler, PA.

"I know this announcement meets all of us with surprise, perhaps shock, and certainly sadness. Bishop Hicks has served his diocese for fourteen years as its pastor, and at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary. Furthermore, his calling is away from episcopal service, although he will still be a bishop without specific portfolio.

"As the saying goes, "Once ordained always ordained." This call even comes in the middle, not the end of his life's service. At the same time the sense of finishing what God has called us to do in one specific endeavor, much earlier than expected, sometimes comes along the road of ministry. This kind of occurrence appears at all levels of service both lay and clergy," wrote The Most Rev. Dr. Ray R. Sutton Presiding Bishop of the REC. You can read more here: http://virtueonline.org/rec-bishop-david-hicks-resigns-ordinary-diocese-northeast-be-rector-butler-pa

This should not be viewed as a slight upon the REC, as the REC is a fully pledged and paid up diocese of the ACNA. It is a case of reshuffling of chairs by one bishop heading off to a new jurisdiction.

*****

A priest once elected, and subsequently denied office, as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, is moving on from at least one church he leads, leaving behind a precipitously declining congregation with only a handful of attendees. The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester at the time of his election was a Zen Buddhist lay ordinand. His 2009 election triggered opposition from across the church after it was revealed that he had received a Zen Buddhist ordination. Forrester had unilaterally edited the baptismal rite in church services he presided over in an effort to bypass doctrines he disagreed with, including original sin and the existence of Satan. The clergyman from Marquette, the largest city in Michigan's geographically vast Upper Peninsula, also inserted a verse from the Koran into a church service as the Word of God.

However, Forrester was never consecrated. That's because his election to oversee the Northern Michigan diocese did not receive consent from a sufficient number of diocesan bishops and standing committees, as required by Episcopal Church canon law. It was the first time a bishop-elect had been denied consent since the 1930s, and the first time since the 1870s that one had been rejected for theological reasons.

Despite few members in its congregation, the new job at Trinity Houghton lists a generous compensation of up to $60,000 and four weeks' vacation time. "With that kind of pay it's the best job in the diocese," assessed Dennis Lennox, a Michigan Episcopalian and religious affairs commentator familiar with the diocese. "It might even be the best job in the Episcopal Church, given the congregation is only around 12 souls." You can read more here: https://www.virtueonline.org/northern-michigan-rejected-episcopalian-buddhist-bishop-moving

*****

As the Church of England very slowly unravels, one parish recently experienced what it calls a "good separation" as a new Anglican church is established outside the C of E.

The idea of planting new congregations under the auspices of, for example, Anglican Mission in England or Free Church of England is being entertained by a growing number of C of E clergy and supportive members of their congregations.

Rev Dr Peter Sanlon is such a clergyman. He has for some time been publicly critical of the theological direction of the C of E. In 2018, he published a book, 'The Bible Theft', detailing the C of E leadership's move away from biblical teaching (review here). As vicar of St Mark's Church of England Parish, Tunbridge Wells, he openly shared his concerns with his parish leadership and congregation, as well as with the Diocesan leadership. After some time of preparation and negotiation, he and a small team have begun Emmanuel Anglican Church, a new congregation of the Free Church of England congregation. It meets in the library of a community center on a housing estate about a mile down the hill from the center of town.

In February, the Diocese of Rochester announced Sanlon's resignation as vicar of St Mark's C of E in order to transfer to become Rector of Emmanuel FCE. For more, click here: https://www.virtueonline.org/example-good-separation-new-anglican-church-established-outside-c-e

*****

A conference on the Jewish roots of Christianity is being held at Beeson Divinity School. The Institute of Anglican Studies at Beeson Divinity School will host its second Annual Anglican Theology Conference, Sept. 24-25. This year's conference, "Jewish Roots of Christianity," will bring in leading scholars to present cutting-edge research on the campus of Samford University.

"Interest in Jewish roots is somewhat new in the history of Christianity, and especially for Christian scholars," said Gerald McDermott, Beeson's Anglican Chair of Divinity and conference organizer. "This is important not only for scholars but also for the church."

The conference will address topics such as the Jewish roots of Christian liturgy, post-Holocaust theology, Messianic Judaism, Paul and Jewish law and whether Jesus was breaking from the Judaism of his day. Speakers include Mark Kinzer, president emeritus of the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute; Eugene Korn, academic director of The Center of Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel; and David M. Moffitt, senior lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of St. Andrews; among many others.

Register for the conference and find more information.
https://www.samford.edu/news/2019/04/Beeson-Divinity-Schools-Second-Annual-Anglican-Theology-Conference-to-Discuss-Jewish-Roots-of-Christianity

*****

The Bishop of Wyoming John Smylie is retiring. He has had an undistinguished career in the position. In 2010, Baptized Membership was 7,279, by 2017, it had dropped to 6,454. In 2010, communicants numbered 5,883. In 2017, it had dropped to 5,144. The 2010, ASA in 2010 was 1,972, by 2017, it was down to 1,690. The 2010 Percentage of baptized who attend Sunday services was 27.1%, by 2017, it was 26.1%. Baptisms plunged from 149 in 2010 to 106 in 2017. The only "good news" is that columbaria were definitely needed because funerals were up from 132 in 2010 to 143 in 2017, far outpacing any other statistic.

*****

Slowly, but surely, the acceptance of homosexuality is creeping into the Church of England. Recently, permission was given by the Chapter for a Durham Cathedral banner to be carried in support of the LGBT+ community during the Durham Pride parade. They also invited staff and volunteers to show their support. No comment from the Archbishop of York and no comment from the Bishop of Durham, both supposedly "Evangelicals". Both, however are ardent WO supporters.

*****

One by one former Anglo-Catholic parishes roll over and become Affirming Catholic. A case in point is St. Thomas, Fifth Ave., in New York City. You can see a vimeo here of a recent homosexual marriage: https://vimeo.com/333182898

*****

AWKWARD. A United Methodist Dialogue Committee recommends taking "next faithful step" toward full communion between The Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church. But there's a wee bit of a snag. Recently the UMC General Conference decided against same-sex marriage largely influenced by African votes. TEC is fully on board with same-sex marriage. UMC put their best spin on it by saying, "we believe that what we are experiencing in the various crises of our denominational life is the birth pangs of something remarkable, something new. We believe that the forces of polarization, mistrust, and animosity in our society and in our ecclesial life will not have the last word." This might be a case of double blindness.

*****

And just to let you know that TEC is fully committed to yet more women bishops, the Diocese of Montana announced that three women have been nominated to lead the diocese into the future.
The three women are; The Rev. Mary Caucutt, rector of Christ Church, Cody, Wyo. Her specialty is Ignatian spirituality, gardening and cooking. The next is The Rev. Nina Ranadive Pooley, rector of St. Bartholomew's Church, Yarmouth, Maine, whose specialty is "responsive liturgy" and "ecumenical collaborations." Finally, there is the Rev. Marty Stebbins, rector, St. Timothy's, Wilson, N.C. a licensed veterinarian and board-certified epidemiologist. "There are two ministries that combine my ministry love of Christ and animals: the first is the annual pet blessing, to which both pets and livestock are invited. It celebrates the role they have in our lives."

*****

The percentage of Americans who say they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque has hit a historic low, a new Gallup report released April 18 shows.

The new report analyzing religious membership of Americans has found that an average of 50 percent of Americans in 2018 said they belong or are members of a church or other religious institution. This represents a 20-percentage-point decline in church membership over the past 20 years, and the lowest it has been since Gallup began polling the question in 1937.

Previously, church membership reported being at least 70 percent or more from the years 1937 through 1976.

For Democrats, independents, Hispanics and men, fewer than half report being members of a church or other religious institution, according to the data.

The new Gallup report published this week analyzes the organization's data from 2016 to 2018 based on telephone interviews with a random sample of over 7,688 adults from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The sample has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

As previous polling has shown, the decline in church membership coincides with an increase in Americans who claim they don't have any religious affiliation. The data also shows that Americans with a religious affiliation has dropped to 77 percent, down from 90 percent in 1998 through 2000.

Those reporting no religious affiliation has doubled from 9 percent to 19 percent in 2016 through 2018. Among those who claim no religious affiliation, 7 percent report belonging to a church.

As Gallup notes, the trend also coincides with a decline in church membership among people who do have religious preferences.

*****

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All Blessings,

David

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