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America's Cultural Divide Reflected in the Churches * Houston Episcopal Priest Rolls over on homosexual Marriage * TEC will cease to Exist in 30 years * New APCK Archbishop * Bishop Fairfield Dies * NZ Dean says Sex outside of Marriage is Okay * More...

America's Cultural Divide Reflected in the Churches * Houston Episcopal Priest Rolls over on homosexual Marriage * TEC will cease to Exist in 30 years * New APCK Archbishop * Bishop Fairfield Dies * NZ Dean says Sex outside of Marriage is Okay * TEC Plans Push into Africa to Change Minds over Homosex * The Apologizing Archbishop * New Nigerian Primate

The challenge of false teachers. Both our Lord and his apostles did not shrink when necessary from the task of exposing and overthrowing false teaching. Distasteful and even dangerous as it is, we cannot conscientiously avoid the same task ourselves. Indeed, in today's church, ravaged by many grievous wolves, there is a great need for good and faithful shepherds, who will not only feed the sheep but rout the wolves. --- John R. W. Stott

Data from the Barna group has identified a number of disturbing trends that should cause all Christians concern. Gen Z teens are much less likely to assert religious identity than generations before them with a rise in espoused atheism also being witnessed. Almost half of practicing Christian Millennials (47%) believe that evangelism is wrong, and my bet is that their lack of confidence in not being able to answer hard questions from their unbelieving friends plays a role in this. --- Robin Schumacher

"We men may often make very bad priests. That is because we are insufficiently masculine. It is no cure to call in those who are not masculine at all. A given man may make a very bad husband; you cannot mend matters by trying to reverse the roles. He may make a bad male partner in a dance. The cure for that is that men should more diligently attend dancing classes; not that the ballroom should henceforward ignore distinctions of sex and treat all dancers as neuter." --- C. S. Lewis 1948 essay on Priestesses

Christians may be free to "retire" from their occupation, but as disciples of Christ we aren't ever free to retire from serving God and others. If we're fortunate enough to be freed from the demands of working for a living, that opens a door of opportunity to do more work for the kingdom using the wisdom, experience, talents, and resources the Holy Spirit has given us through a lifetime of discipleship. -- Chris Cagle

Without a vibrant and vital Christianity, America is doomed, and without America, the West is doomed. --- Rabbi Daniel Lapin

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
February 21, 2020

THE US is experiencing the greatest political and values divide since the Civil War. Anger abounds while openness seems lost in the background, even for those who once championed open debate. In the Church, even evangelicals are trying to find answers to the political divide; reckoning that Jesus taught acceptance and love instead of division and protracted animosity. Thus spoke a conservative blogger on the subject.

Evangelicals are uncomfortable thinking about a Democratic Socialist, a homosexual and an entire cadre of democratic presidential wannabees who are pro LGBTQ and pro-abortion, so they will, in all likelihood, shrug their shoulders and pull the lever for Donald Trump. All very understandable, but they must know the cost. They have made a pact with the devil, and by separating private and public morality, they hope and pray it will all somehow work out with their King Cyrus figure. Materialism it seems is now one of our biggest sins.

A former Canadian academic, and a solid Christian I have known for several decades and who now lives on the continent of Europe high up in the alps wrote this in a newsletter: "The modern mind, enjoying unprecedented quality of life and stability, may consider it reasonable to ask: Why do we need saving? Save us from what? Are we in danger? Yes, we are!

For 70 years unprecedented material prosperity and peace have been the norm and have deadened awareness of the precarious human condition. Black clouds are now on the horizon. Societies are deeply divided nationally and internationally; and the natural world no longer lies passive before our plundering. We are on the road to destroying our own civilization.

My wife and I now belong to a small minority of people who witnessed monstrous evils before the present season of bounty. We have lived through an astonishing period of human history including the Great Depression with stark poverty in our communities, Stalin's deliberate starvation of millions in Ukraine, the 2nd World War with appalling violence and mass terror brought about by the large-scale application of two ideologies: Soviet communism and Hitler's fascism. Those evil events taught us that high quality of life is not the default mode for humanity.
Humanity is fickle and has brought catastrophe upon itself before. Years of plenty can quickly turn into famine. Significant change in socio-economic systems usually proceeds slowly. Incredibly during our lives, we have witnessed regime change three times: communism, fascism and democratic market-economy capitalism. The first two failed at the cost of millions of lives. Then, after 1945 the new form of capitalism emerged and has given peace, prosperity and stability. Is it now also failing?

There is a flaw at the heart of capitalism and democracy. The ideological motor driving capitalism is human self-interest, and it produces unparalleled economic success. Unrestrained, this driver becomes destructive. Self-interest mutates into greed that has no self-imposed boundaries; it is never satisfied. Off the leash, greed divides society, destroys the environment and leads to climate change.

Ruthless self-interest finds ways around just laws while greed lobbies to remove lawful restraints that protect the poor, the disadvantaged, vulnerable workers and the environment. Communism permitted corruption at all levels, fascism promoted a privileged elite, enslaving others. The current form of capitalism now displays both these failings: corruption and creation of new elite groups of rulers whose aim is self-enrichment. Capitalism is the best economic system humanity has designed but, led by unethical leaders, it can become destructive.

This rogue scenario attracts to politics some individuals who are unworthy, undisciplined, ignorant and power-seeking. Using the wealth of a rich minority to gain votes, they channel new wealth to the few. Abusing true democracy, they create fear and discontent among voters and exploit them with tribal slogans about being 'great again' in favor of nationalism and other 'insider' groupings.

'Outsiders' are branded as traitors or unpatriotic. In power they cancel temperate regulations, pass self-serving legislation, see themselves above the law, tell lies and deny facts that challenge their selfish agenda. Governmental authority is flaunted and abused. This scenario is now evident in many countries. From afar, this type of politics seems unbelievable, comic and tragic.

The root problem is not capitalism, but people obsessed by greed for wealth, power and apparently often sex, who hijack the levers of power and push the system without limit. Failure to restrain the early slide to environmental breakdown and climate change will lead to an avalanche. Humanity is ethically weak and often unable to use its moral autonomy in positive ways. We need saving from our worst inclinations. Thank God for the ongoing message of Christmas and the invitation to change from self-interest, to treat others as we wish them to treat us, and to behave as responsible stewards of the natural resources."

HOPEFULLY.

The Church in all its manifest forms keeps chugging along with the main line denominations in North America caving into pansexuality and, for their sins of commission, watch as their churches bleed out and slowly die. Some evangelical leaders who were thought to have a fixed stand on absolute morality have quietly abandoned these claims because homosexual marriage is allegedly better than promiscuity.

The worst-case scenario VOL uncovered this week came when the "evangelical" rector, one Russell Levenson of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, the largest parish in the TEC, announced that while he would not perform same-sex marriages. When asked by homosexual members who desire one, he would help them to find a priest and a parish who would. "After their marriage, the couple are warmly recognized at our parish -- for who they are, not for who they are not. I now believe that many of the gay couples I have come to know and love have found a life-partner who brings them companionship and intimacy."

It is compromise by any other name, a bridge that Bishop Bill Love of Albany will not cross and will face punishment from the Church's leaders for it. Sexual sin is sexual sin. It cannot be legitimated because homosexual couples look happier and feel content. But there is nothing "wholesome" or biblical in that relationship. These leaders have caved into the false doctrines of inclusion and diversity. The price they will pay, even before the Last Judgment will be ecclesiastical and institutional death.

This week Brigham Young University removed a ban on "homosexual behavior" from its honor code, the Mormon Church announced. The announcement came the same day the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints released its new handbook, but did not specify what displays of affection same-gender couples are allowed to do.

The Boy Scouts of America who turned in their moral compass seven years ago to chase the approval of critics it could never hope to win, filed for bankruptcy. Writes Tony Perkins: This is what comes of throwing up your hands on a century of conviction: irrelevance and, ultimately, insolvency. Waves of LGBT activists kept coming. The pressure built and built until finally, in 2013, under the leadership of Rex Tillerson, headquarters gave in to the lie that compromise would be their salvation. Seven years later, the irony is: there's nothing left to save.

If you're wondering where raising a white flag on core values leads, this is it. The Scouts are a case study in moral compromise -- the story of anyone who exchanges the truth for cowardly conformism. Leaders at the BSA dropped their moral mandate to accommodate what they don't believe. In the current climate, that's called "inclusion." To everyone else, it's considered betrayal.

Right now, too many churches, Christian colleges, even businesses are dangerously close to making the same mistake. They're so desperate or fearful -- or both -- that they're willing to water down who they are to protect the small space they're standing on. There's just one problem: the gospel's truth isn't up for negotiation. And in their rush to soften the blow of its confrontation, some believers are selling out their identity as followers of Jesus. Craving acceptance comes at a high price.

St. Paul himself wrote on this in his letter to the Galatians; "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ... Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? ...If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."
There you have it in a nutshell.

*****

The Episcopal Church will cease to have Sunday worship attendance in 30 years, a seminary president warns.

"It depicts a church that appears to be dying," said Stache, as reported by Egan Millard of Episcopal News Service, labeling the statistics "very sobering."

At the current rate of decline, according to Stache, the denomination will have no Sunday attendance in 30 years and no baptized members in 47 years.

Stache drew from the most recent parochial report data which found that, from 2008 to 2018, the denomination experienced a 24.9 percent decline in average Sunday attendance and a 17.5 percent decline in baptized members. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-will-cease-have-sunday-worship-attendance-30-years-seminary-president-warns

*****

THE APOPLECTIC, APOLOGETIC ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. When the official obituary is written on the life of Justin Welby, it won't be about how many souls were saved or how many people were discipled to follow Christ. It will be about how the West was lost to the gospel through the acceptance of pansexuality and how many times Welby apologized for things he had no business apologizing for as well as for lost opportunities.

It began (as far as we can tell) in 2013, when the Archbishop of Canterbury offered his personal apology to a victim over abuse claims. It has continued to the present with the high point of apologies being 2019, but 2020 is only two months in. Since he took the job as ABC of the Anglican Communion, Welby has spent a considerable amount of time apologizing for one thing and another. Most of it was unnecessary, ridiculous with little more than virtue-signaling. You can read my full story here: https://virtueonline.org/apoplectic-apologetic-archbishop-canterbury

*****

By contrast, The Anglican Province of Nigeria elected a new primate and he is top drawer material. The new Anglican Archbishop is The Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, 59, and he will maintain his province's hard line on homosexuality, continuing the tradition of his two predecessors, Nicholas Okoh and Peter Akinola.

His resume reveals a man who might be the best trained Nigerian Primate ever, having studied both at Durham University (UK) and Princeton University (USA) and is by all accounts a Biblical Scholar, Teacher, Master liturgist, Pastor and an accomplished Evangelist. Those who know him say he loves the Lord Jesus Christ, has a great heart for the Word of God and is a prolific writer. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/new-nigerian-anglican-primate-will-continue-his-provinces-tough-stand-orthodoxy

*****

An Auckland Anglican Dean says New Zealand Anglicans can have sex outside of marriage. She also ripped into the Church of England's decision to restrict sex to heterosexual marriage. She said the Church of England cannot make a decision for the rest of us.

The Rev. Dr. Helen Jacobi, Vicar of St. Mathew in the City of Auckland told The Spinoff, a weekly newsletter, that unmarried Anglicans can still have sex. "Yes, absolutely. Rejoice, all who appreciate a church hymn while also appreciating a bit of hanky panky. You may be falling short of God's purposes for human beings in England but in New Zealand, you're doing just fine."

"I'm sure there'll be some Anglican clergy in the more conservative group who would teach abstinence before marriage," said Jacobi. "But you know [laughs], that's just not reality. That's not what people's lives are like. So good luck to them."

Now you know why GAFCON opened a new diocese in Christchurch with a dozen parishes under a new bishop. You can read my story here: https://virtueonline.org/auckland-anglican-dean-says-nz-anglicans-can-have-sex-outside-marriage

*****

The Episcopal Church moves relentlessly forward in its global effort to press the case for full inclusion of homosexuals and lesbians on the continent of Africa. Applications are out for an Africa Partnership Officer who is willing to travel to Africa with pots of money to persuade Anglican communion partners to compromise Scripture for the one percent of activist homosexuals in their provinces. Money talks, it always does, but you count on the fact that provinces like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, the DRC and Nigeria won't sell out for money.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has made it clear that he wants to spread the word for full LGBTQ inclusion in Africa and is prepared to spend money, a lot of money to make it happen.

Along with the $10 million gift from Compass Rose to Lambeth for "the defense of the Anglican Communion" we can expect to see more of this. An archbishop wrote VOL and said, "all we can do is warn our friends, seek to help them to become free from economic slavery, teach and preach the Word of God, and pray - asking God to miraculously intervene."

From VOL's perspective this is blatant manipulation by TEC to get a bigger footprint in Africa, to use TEC's money to push TEC's pansexual agenda.

Ask Dr. Lisa Nolland about how Kenya is refusing money to change their minds. Kenyans won't just take the money she bylined a story. Horrified by the needs, but encouraged by changed lives, she reports on how Kenyans are resisting the pressure to adopt the West's LGBT agenda. "Kenya is publicly standing against the West's financial pressure and propaganda, by refusing to adopt its agenda of sexual minority/'reproductive rights', but this stand has a cost." You can read her story here: https://virtueonline.org/kenyans-wont-just-take-money

*****

The Primates of The Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Mexico signed a bilateral agreement effectively moving the two churches into a reciprocal relationship. In Chula Vista, CA, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Archbishop Francisco Moreno, primates representing The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Mexico, signed off on the agreement. The agreement replaces a 25-year covenant between the two churches.

At one point the Mexican church was the most corrupt in the Anglican Communion, with over a million dollars being stolen by a former archbishop and bishop, an "honor" that has since moved to the Church of South India.

A noted Anglican bishop told VOL that as far as the TEC friendly Mexican Church goes, the youth group at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi is bigger than their entire "Province."

*****

In the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, they elected a woman bishop. She has since hired a partnered male homosexual to be her canon to the ordinary, and a partnered lesbian to be her canon for churches in transition and clergy deployment. This diocese is fast becoming the poster child of the new feminized and sexualized Episcopal Church.

It is openly being discussed that former Bishop Rob O'Neill saw the departure of many of the successful clergy and with it a precipitous decline in the diocesan budget...and yet here they are embarking on more of the same ideology and results standards requiring a full embrace of what has here-to-fore ruined them.
A reality check revealed that the diocese cannot pay their national church assessment. Go figure.

*****

Evangelist Franklin Graham says the opposition to his United Kingdom tour is due to opposition to the gospel -- and that those who have banned him are "truthophobic."

Graham is scheduled to preach in eight United Kingdom cities between May 30 and Oct. 4 but doesn't have a place to speak due to a series of cancellations. The arenas and convention centers that were set to host Graham dropped him under pressure from LGBT groups and activists.

At issue are Graham's biblical positions on marriage and sexuality. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association says the tour will go on, despite him being banned from specific locations.

"Opposition to the Gospel shouldn't really surprise us," he wrote. "Jesus warned that it would come."

*****

The Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK) has a new archbishop. He is the Rt. Rev. Dr. John E. Upham. He replaces retiring archbishop, the Most Reverend Frederick G. Morrison.

He was elected unanimously by members of the Council of Bishops and he will be its fourth Archbishop. Upham currently serves as Rector of St. George's Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Raleigh, NC and as Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Atlantic States.

Morrison was elected in 2015, following Anglican Archbishop James Eugene Provence's resignation from the continuing Anglican jurisdiction after revelations by a former parishioner, Kathy Webb, alleging sexual abuse. Provence's resignation came just over a month after Archbishop Robert Morse died.

Upham is a convert from the UMC and has not been a part of the province for the entirety of its history. An observer said this sets him apart from the other possible candidates, and bodes well for a more open, and forward-looking church, and possible engagement with other continuing Anglicans. "For the first time since I'm excited about the new era for the APCK beginning in 2020," he said.

*****

Former Episcopal bishop and latterly ACNA Bishop Andy Fairfield died this week. He was 77. He died peacefully at his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts on February 16, 2020. He was sitting in his chair reading a book, waiting to go to church.

He was the second son of the Rev. Leslie Lindsey Fairfield and Mary Allerton Parke Fairfield. He spent some of his early years in China, where his parents served as missionaries with the Episcopal Church.

Andy Fairfield was the lone dissenting vote at what became known as the Righter Trial in 1996, declaring that there is a doctrinal basis for denying ordination of an activist homosexual.

The court ruled that, because no canon (church law) specifically forbade ordaining active homosexuals to the ministry of the Episcopal Church, such ordinations are legal.

Stopfel and his lover, Will Leckie, shook their heads disapprovingly as Fairfield read aloud from his lone dissenting opinion, which quoted from C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength, from Scripture, and from the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer.

Fairfield resigned from the Episcopal Church and joined the Anglican Church in North America.

*****

My hot selling book THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH is available from Amazon, or, if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to VOL, I will send you an autographed copy.

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