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Albany Bishop Faces His Accusers * COVID, Economic Recession Decimates Anglican Ranks * Trump Hammered by Anglican Archbishops and DC Bishops * ACNA Bishop Deposed for Porn/Sexual Immorality * Race & Redemption

Albany Bishop Faces His Accusers * COVID, Economic Recession Decimates Anglican Ranks * Trump Hammered by Anglican Archbishops and DC Bishops * ACNA Bishop Deposed for Porn/Sexual Immorality * Race & Redemption

The Word made flesh. True evangelism, evangelism that is modelled on the ministry of Jesus, is not proclamation without identification any more than it is identification without proclamation. Evangelism involves both together. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the proclamation of God; in order to be proclaimed, however, the Word was made flesh. --- John R.W. Stott

"One way to distinguish the biblical gospel from the 'social gospel,' is that the social gospel preaches structural transformation that works in society from the outside-in, whereas the biblical gospel preaches spiritual transformation that works in society from the inside-out." --- Darrell Harrison an African American evangelical minister

Our right to protest ends when it enables criminal anarchists to pose a risk to the health and wellbeing of others. When it enables pillaging, plundering, looting and burning not just of private property but the businesses upon which all our lives depends. -- Fr. James Altman of La Crosse, Wisconsin

In looking at our world right now, everyone is looking for someone to save us. There is only one Saviour. No one will save our world except Jesus Christ. No politicians. No political party. No ideology. Nothing will save our world except Jesus Christ. --- Fr. Jonathan Meyer, All Saints Parish --- Guilford, Indiana

"Trump is a mainline Protestant. That's what is in his bones -- not evangelicalism. It's clear that he's not at home with evangelicals. That's not his culture, unless he's talking about politics" --- Thomas S. Kidd of Baylor University

There is no nuance to apprehend; (Churchill, Queen Victoria), no weighing of their moral good relative to the bad; no space for ethical debate of their virtues and violations. Their greatness (should there be any) must be viewed through the diffracting lens of contemporary offence. As Shakespeare observed, 'The evil that men do lives after them; /The good is oft interred with their bones.' So let it be with all those of whom the mob or Sadiq Khan disapprove. --- Archbishop Cranmer Blog

Instead of repentance, what I hear over and over ad nauseam are messages about God's grace and God's "unconditional" love. It is almost as though our ministers today think that the primary problem in the world is a lack of self-esteem. Apparently, they seem to be oblivious to the fact that God's unconditional love for some folks registers as a license to sin. They could go ahead and sin whenever they want because God will always forgive them--after all, He loves them "unconditionally." --- B. J. Oropeza --- Patheos Blog

"Reliance on the Bible has produced spectacular liberation alongside spectacular oppression." --- Mark Noll in his book "God and Race in American Politics"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
June 12, 2020

The official hearing, (open to the public and lasting three hours) into charges that Albany Bishop William Love violated Resolution B012 was held virtually on Friday.

Initially we were told that the whole process would be open to the public and would last all day. Clearly that was not correct. Bishop Love told VOL that that was very "frustrating." The meeting was suddenly adjourned at midday by convenor Bishop Nicholas Knisely of Rhode Island.

In a low keyed, but clearly partisan hearing, Bishop Love faced his accusers. Bishop Love is charged with violating Canon B012 by forbidding homosexual marriages in his diocese.

His (diocesan) attorney, The Rev. Chip Strickland, defended Bishop Love, saying his actions did not conflict with existing church canon law. "Bishop Love upheld the worship set out in the marriage rites in the Book of Common Prayer," said Strickland. Church attorney lawyer Paul Cooney demurred, saying that Bishop Love had violated church law.

The facts of the case were not in dispute or the theological validity of homosexual marriage as TEC sees it. "The core issue is the church issuing a pastoral resolution that Bishop love has failed to obey the discipline of the church," said Cooney.

Cooney noted that B012 contains a provision for bishops who are theologically opposed to same-sex marriage to have other bishops provide pastoral support to the couple and celebrant, but Love refused to do this.

In his defense, Bishop Love made it clear that homosexual behavior was at issue, not people living together in (celibate) relationships. "I've tried to be pastorally sensitive to that. I have consistently met with same-sex couples and spoken to them personally. ... I do know how difficult this is for all of us and my heart is breaking for all of us. It's breaking for the church."

The hearing was conducted under the Church's Title IV disciplinary process, was originally to have taken place on April 21 in Colonie, New York, but was moved to a Zoom meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Hearing Panel will now confer among themselves and come up with their verdict, which won't be made public for several weeks. Once they decide on a verdict, they will have to write a written argument supporting their decision," Bishop Love told VOL.

I believe that this is one more nail in the coffin of The Episcopal Church, that is determined to rewrite the moral law in keeping with the zeitgeist. TEC has opted for sin rather than salvation. To read more, click here: https://virtueonline.org/albany-bishop-william-love-faces-his-accusers

Mary Ann Mueller has written a fine analysis of this hearing which you can read here: https://virtueonline.org/deck-stacked-against-bishop-love-disciplinary-hearing

*****

COVID-19 and Economic Recession is decimating the ranks of Western Anglican Churches. The process has accelerated since Gene Robinson, an openly homosexual priest was consecrated bishop of New Hampshire.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told a virtual meeting of the Church's Executive Council this week that the financial situation of the church was "uncertain" and budget cuts are in the wind.

Treasurer Kurt Barnes made a budget presentation to the Council which showed that while COVID-19 had no significant effect on income -- including diocesan commitments -- in the first quarter of 2020, payments from dioceses fell significantly in April, with several dioceses deferring their April and May payments and three requesting partial assessment waivers. Stock market declines associated with COVID-19 also have taken a toll on the church's investment portfolio. June will no doubt prove to be worse.

Economists predict that the United States is in for the longest and deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, Barnes said, and the church should be prepared for economic weakness lasting five to 10 years. Because the effects of declining income may be delayed, the church must identify potential budget cuts now, Barnes and other officers said.

These potential cuts to an already lean budget could be "difficult and painful," said Curry and Gay Jennings, HOD president. It would include staff reductions, but done in the Presiding Bishop's Way of Love notions. The "staged reductions" are on the way.

The only upside is that General Convention has been cancelled in 2021 owing to COVID-19 and pushed forward to 2022. The cost of these gabfests involving some 10,000 persons runs between $21 million and $23 million! The deeper question is do these conventions now have any real value? How many more sexualities can TEC embrace before looking like a fully paid-up member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization in America! Will General Convention finally convince the powers that be that a resolution to sell 815 2nd Ave. must be enacted upon? And why spend $20 million or more convincing the Church to take climate change seriously? Of course, with recent events, it would give Curry a platform to raise up holy hands and preach loudly about racism and inequality in America. But does it take an expensive convention to tell Episcopalians what they already know? His popularity would undoubtedly soar, riding on the wave of a royal marriage, but it comes at great cost. Can the Episcopal Church afford it?

*****

One revealing statistic is that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has shot past the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) in Average Sunday Attendance. The Canadians can barely muster 97,000, while the North American Church claims 134,000, but that figure will be revised upwards in a couple of weeks. No gospel, no Good News = spiritual death. Good News, hope of eternal life = growth. No brainer, really.

*****

Domestically, President Donald Trump came in for a hammering from top Washington bishops, who slammed him over two photo op visits, first to an Episcopal church and then to a Roman Catholic shrine. One was a white progressive female Episcopal bishop, (Mariann Budde) the other was a black male (pro-homosexual) Catholic Archbishop - Wilton Gregory. Trump unified them in scorn.

The President's church visits were surrounded by protests, civil unrest and riots stemming from the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day (May 25) in Minneapolis. George Floyd died under the knee of a police officer who had him penned to the ground during an attempted arrest. Mr. Floyd is black; the police officer is white. And now the Black Lives Matter movement is again in full force with protests spreading not only though every state, but also around the world.

Peaceful assembly and protest have turned violent with civilian protestors and police injured or killed. The night sky turns orange with burning buildings, while looters break into stores and wipe them clean of merchandise.

You can read Mary Ann Mueller's very fine analysis of the events here: https://virtueonline.org/top-washington-bishops-agree-slamming-trumps-church-visits-was-right

*****

Overseas, the present and former Archbishops of Canterbury also condemned Trump's actions. Trump brandishing a Bible is 'an act of idolatry,' said Rowan Williams. Archbishop Justin Welby called out the "ongoing evil" of white supremacy, while the National Association of Evangelicals called out "racial injustice". Conversely, evangelist Franklin Graham said they should be thanking Trump, rather than criticizing him! They are nitpicking his gesture, he said.

"Objectively this was an act of idolatry -- standing somewhere else than in the truth, using the text that witnesses to God's disruptive majesty as a prop in a personal drama. In a context where racial privilege itself has long been an idolatry, where long-unchallenged institutional violence has been a routine means for the self-defense of that privilege, the image of the president clinging to the Scriptures as if to an amulet is bizarre even by the standards of recent years."

You can read my full story here: https://virtueonline.org/present-and-former-archbishops-canterbury-condemn-president-donald-trumps-actions

*****

SELECTIVE OUTRAGE. America's Episcopal bishops, while condemning the killing of a black man, failed to condemn looters responsible for billions of dollars' worth of damage, left in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.

Ultra-liberal, progressive bishops in The Episcopal Church were silent in the face of Antifa and others who burned properties and businesses looting and destroying stores across the nation over the death of one black man.

In Santa Monica, for example, a number of business owners lost everything in 10 minutes, with an estimated damage of up to $6 million! There was no public outrage from local Episcopal bishops over this.

When Presiding Bishop Michael Curry railed against President Donald Trump clasping a Bible using St. John's Episcopal church as a backdrop, declaring himself "the president of law and order", threatening to deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests, Curry said only that the bible teaches us that "God is love" and Jesus of Nazareth taught, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Curry mentioned George Floyd, but he had nothing to say about tens of thousands of big and small businesses (many of them black owned) hurt by the rioting and looting in some 140 cities across the nation. Nothing.

The same goes for some 13 bishops (to date) who have failed to condemn looters, but were happy to rail against racism, white supremacy and Trump's actions at St. John's Episcopal Church. Below is the list. You can read my full story here:
https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-bishops-condemn-killing-black-man-fail-condemn-looters

*****

Across the pond, Evangelical Anglican journalist Andrew Symes asks, what should good Anglicans do: stay at home, or join a crowd?

I confess I don't understand what is going on here. Perhaps that marks me out straight away as too cerebral, too linear in my thinking, too wedded to an outdated 'modernist' mentality. To me, it seems like a contradiction that doesn't make sense, but no doubt I can be educated as to my straitjacket thinking.

Up until now, the Church of England leadership has been extremely cautious about permitting any action which might potentially contribute to the spread of Covid-19. The regulations (later downgraded to "guidance") made it clear that church buildings initially should not be used at all, for gatherings of any kind, or even for the private prayer or recording of services by clergy. This was to ensure that churches could in no way incubate the virus, and a way to show solidarity with the rest of the population who were having to stay away from all but essential work.

As the lockdown has begun to be eased, other sectors in society, and indeed some church groups have lobbied the government to allow churches to open for funerals, weddings and carefully controlled worship services, but the Church of England has been reticent, preferring to listen more to the voices of those concerned that any unnecessary face-to-face meeting of people could risk the lives of the vulnerable.

A letter to clergy from the Archbishop of York on 7th May gives detail on how individuals can enter churches for cleaning and essential maintenance, urging clergy to always remember that "safety is paramount". Then, as recently as June 3rd a document was released from Church House, for "planning purposes", on how churches might be reopened "when circumstances allow" -- now thought to be 15th June.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/uk-what-should-good-anglicans-do-stay-home-or-join-crowd

*****

LAMBETH, ENGLAND --- Despite being mocked for "self-flagellation" by a distinguished Indian parliamentarian after he apologized for Britain's colonial past, the Archbishop of Canterbury is now apologizing for his "white privilege" in the wake of Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots.

"I acknowledge that I come from privilege and a place of power as a white person in this country," Anglican archbishop Justin Welby announced Tuesday in a video posted on Twitter. "But I feel within me, again today, that great call of Jesus that we are as a Church to be those who set our own house in order and who acknowledge our own historic errors and failings."

"I come back to the fact that, in the New Testament, Jesus says be angry about injustice, repent of injustice -- that means go the other way, take action against injustice," Welby said, beginning his brief apology by reflecting on the parable of the Good Samaritan.

According to apologist and journalist Dr. Jules Gomes, the Archapologizer of Canterbury is very selective about what he will apologize for. "Most ordinary people couldn't care less for what he has to say anyway, the Archbishop of Canterbury grovels over White Privilege, when real repentance and true courage would entail confronting the greatest, most hidden, most accepted injustice of our day -- the industrial-scale slaughter of babies in the womb. You can read Dr. Gomes' superb piece here: https://virtueonline.org/archbishop-canterbury-grovels-over-white-privilege

*****

In Uganda, 23 Anglican Martyrs were commemorated by its Primate

Every year, for the past 30 years, thousands of Anglicans from across the world have converged at Namugongo shrine in Uganda to commemorate the killing of 23 martyrs. The shrine is located where the Anglican young men were killed.

They were killed in 1887 by a traditional king called Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda kingdom, located in central Uganda. The king accused the young men refused to perform homosexual acts and were more loyal to their recently introduced Anglican Church than to him.

Every late May, Anglicans from within Uganda and neighboring countries like South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been walking on foot to Namugongo, as a symbol of solidarity with the martyrs. The celebrations were presided over by the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, where only 60 people including priests, politicians and prominent Anglicans were invited for the ceremony.

*****

The ACNA College of Bishops sentenced Bishop Ron Jackson, formerly bishop of the Diocese of the Great Lakes to full excommunication following a Board of Inquiry, a panel required by the Anglican Church in North America's Constitution and Canons, which found cause for ecclesiastical charges to be brought against The Rt. Rev. Ron Jackson. These charges were brought forward after private, earlier efforts by the Archbishop and fellow bishops to facilitate restoration proved unfruitful.

Bishop Jackson admitted to the use of pornography over many years and pleaded guilty to the charges of sexual immorality (Canon IV.2(6)) and conduct giving just cause for scandal or offense (Canon IV.2(4)). The College voted to impose the sentence of deposition from the sacred ministry on Bishop Jackson. His holy orders have been removed, and he is no longer permitted to engage in ordained ministry in the Anglican Church in North America.

*****

Well, how should we look at race, now a major and recurring issue in American life and culture? The Rev. Dr. Gerald McDermott believes he has an answer in his column, Race and Redemption.

He writes: The death of George Floyd has shaken our nation's foundations. Our churches are rightly trying to respond with compassion. But in pursuing that admirable goal, many church leaders and parishioners are adopting a race narrative that is empirically and theologically suspect.

Protestants and Catholics alike are affirming the mainstream media's explanation for Floyd's brutal killing: systemic racism in police departments and society as a whole. Some Anglican pastors have written that since America is "structurally" and "systemically" racist. Catechesis, preaching, and evangelism must now focus on race and racism. J. D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Jamie Dew, president of New Orleans Baptist Seminary, decried the tragedy as evidence of "racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country." The Catholic bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut, said Floyd's death is evidence of "systemic racism, bigotry, and discrimination in our country." White Christians, many influenced by Critical Race Theory, are eager to demonstrate their virtue by confessing their "white privilege."

There are empirical reasons to question the mainstream media's account. For instance, see reports on police bias by black Harvard economist Roland Fryer and by Heather MacDonald. In addition, for the last half-century, affirmative action policies have advanced people of color in education, corporations, the military, government, the courts, media and entertainment, and most American denominations.

According to Carol Swain, retired professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, this dubious narrative will hurt those it aims to help. It will strip from young people of color something essential for success in life: hope. Swain, an African American who grew up in dire poverty, explains, "I was convinced that I was born into a land of opportunity. Despite being born black and poor, I learned that one's attitude toward life was far more important than your race or social class in determining what you will accomplish" (from Race and Covenant, forthcoming).

But there are even better theological reasons to reject the mainstream narrative. We urge VOL readers to read Dr. McDermott's essay here. McDermott is editor of the forthcoming Race and Covenant: Retrieving the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation. You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/race-and-redemption

*****

An alumnus of Sewanee, the University of the South dropped a note to VOL saying that the university is still governed under Old South Bishop Supremacist Charter that was written by a slave owner who fought as a Confederate general against Lincoln's emancipation of slaves. You can read more here:
https://www.splcenter.org/presscenter/splc-urges-all-branches-military-take-action-and-remove-confederate-symbols-its

*****

Here is a look at what a leading Anglican cleric thinks about how England and European Christians see Christianity in America and England. It is a timely warning.

"Many greatly detest hearing the truth about the USA's imaginary self- identification as God's chosen (exceptional) people -- like the gun lobby, incapable of any rational analysis of what is responsible for making America anything but great, over the past thirty years, to scandal after scandal, Pass The Loot Ministries etc., -- moral corruption among preachers and leaders of the mainstream denominations -- the pedophile culture in Catholic seminaries and dioceses by its leaders. There are some godly people remaining, thank the Lord, but godliness does not characterize the Church either in America or in any of the decadent, wealthy and increasingly depraved western nations. The Church of England is merely a satellite of TEC. Institutional religion is in its death throes here, bought and sold by corrupt, ambitious and immoral church leaders who cozy up to the Zeitgeist in the hope that some of its magic might rub off on them."

*****

Dear VOL Supporters,

Despite COVID-19, the news goes on, and in fact, it has only increased. This coronavirus has changed the dynamic about news gathering, what constitutes news, how we communicate the news, even how we worship, and how we plan to evangelize the next generation for Christ. What has not changed is the gospel, who Jesus is, what he has done for us, the cost of our salvation and eternal life.

VOL is watching as the Anglican Communion re-forms itself both in North America and globally. The Communion's theological and demographic base has shifted from west to east and south.

The Communion's left-wing media elites believe they can keep on doing and reporting things the same old way. They are progressively moving the church further and further away from the gospel as the church embraces more and more leftist views on a whole list of issues including controversial climate change theories, while ignoring the central tenet of our faith, that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification.

We at VOL need to keep the news coming to you. We are the most widely read news outlet for orthodox Anglican readers globally. Overseas orthodox Anglican leaders rely heavily on VOL. VOL's Facebook page gets tens of thousands of African readers.

We need your support. We have staff to pay (though I receive no salary), correspondents, communication bills, website maintenance, video outreach, travel and more. Please consider a tax-deductible donation at the link below. You are our only lifeline to keeping the news coming. https://give.virtueonline.org

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Thank you for your support.

David

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