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AMiE Ordains Nine Men in UK * Pope, Evangelicals, Welby, Rabbi Sacks weigh in on Status of Jerusalem US Embassy move * ACNA leaders Erupt over Women's Ordination Task Force * ACNA Apb visits Rwanda * New Welsh Primate * News from Canada and Egypt

What God desires. God, because he is himself a righteous God, desires righteousness in every community, not just in every Christian community. --- John R.W. Stott

It's astounding how many defenses of the state's position in Masterpiece Cakeshop depend on misrepresentation and misconceptions. The most common misrepresentation-- that Jack Phillips discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation when he refused to design a custom cake for a same-sex-wedding celebration. After all, he served all customers -- regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation. He just consistently refused to design cakes that advanced messages he disagreed with. No person of any identity has the legal authority to compel an artist to use his talents to advance a cause the artist finds offensive. --- David French

Evangelical Christians at their best suffer from a sickness of soul with a genesis in this "urgent sense of man's predicament." They instinctively feel Jeremiah's lament that "the heart is desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). They feel the weight of failure, of weaknesses, of inadequacy, of sins. The burden makes their whole body ache and groan. Between them and God lies a deep chasm they cannot bridge. Across the chasm, they glimpse the beauty of God's holiness, and they despair. If they attempt to cross it, it will only lead them to plunge into darkness. And even if a miracle planted them suddenly on the other side, into the very presence of a holy God, they know it would be their death, for they know that no sinful human being can look on the face of God and live (Ex. 33:20). --- Mark Galli

Social righteousness. It would be a mistake to suppose that the biblical word 'righteousness' means only a right relationship with God on the one hand and a moral righteousness of character and conduct on the other. For biblical righteousness is more than a private and personal affair; it includes social righteousness as well. And social righteousness, as we learn from the law and the prophets, is concerned with seeking man's liberation from oppression, together with the promotion of civil rights, justice in the law courts, integrity in business dealings and honour in home and family affairs. Thus Christians are committed to hunger for righteousness in the whole human community as something pleasing to a righteous God. --- John R.W. Stott

Jesus provoked only three responses when he walked the earth: hatred, fear, or adoration. And yet many who profess to be Christians today respond only with mild approval at best. Why is that, and what can we do to awaken the world--and ourselves--to the uniqueness of Christ? --- Stefan Gustavsson

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
December 8, 2017

On Thursday, December 7, an historic milestone was passed in the life of the GAFCON movement, indeed the wider Anglican Communion. Bishop Andy Lines, who was consecrated as a missionary bishop to the UK and Europe by the GAFCON Primates in June, ordained nine men who will serve in the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).

Nothing like this had ever happened before in the contemporary life of the Church of England, but apparently it won't be the last.

The AMiE is part of a response to the urgent need for mission in a society which has largely abandoned its Christian heritage and to the confusion being caused by the timidity of the Church of England in upholding the unchanging truth of the gospel of Christ, say its leaders.

Up until now, AMiE's clergy have either come from the Church of England, or have been ordained by overseas Bishops. Now, for the first time, these nine men were ordained together by an English Bishop who can give them regular oversight as they begin their ministries.

The big plan is to plant hundreds of new evangelical Anglican churches.

The powerful presence of the Archbishop and Primate of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, is backing the plan.

The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) has set out a goal of planting 25 new churches by 2025 and 250 by 2050 in a new video.

AMiE and the CofE

The Anglican Mission in England has indicated that its primary focus is the Church of England. The four basic categories of those that it seeks to serve are listed as:

Anglicans within the structures of the Church of England whose mission is constrained by their bishop or diocese.
Anglicans within the structures of the Church of England, but who are in impaired communion with their bishop or diocese.
Anglicans outside the structures of the Church of England.
Anglicans within the structures of the Church of England who are currently experiencing few constraints, but who wish to express solidarity with those under 1-3 above.

Within these groups, it "seeks to advance the Christian faith for the public benefit mainly within Anglicanism in England" and identifies its role in relation to mission; appointments; fellowship; money; and oversight. With regard to oversight, it intends to provide faithful leadership to God's people in promoting and defending the Christian faith, especially where bishops who preside over doctrinal disorder lose the confidence of orthodox clergy and congregations".

We are truly living in historic times.

You can read my comprehensive article on the growing realignment in the Church of England here: http://www.virtueonline.org/uk-renewed-orthodox-anglicanism-movement-heralds-growing-realignment


Driving home the crisis in the CofE, St Helen's Bishopsgate, a landmark evangelical parish in central London which enjoys a sister relationship with All Souls' Langham Place, announced that it has split with local Anglican churches over sexuality. The church is one of the largest CofE churches in the country, with nearly 2,000 average weekly attendance, including at a dedicated Mandarin service every Sunday afternoon for local Chinese Christians.

A letter was tweeted by St Helen's Bishopsgate, saying it is withdrawing itself from relations with neighboring Anglican churches over irreconcilable differences on their teaching on sexuality.

William Taylor, rector of St Helen's, cited "the widely publicized views held by certain members of the deanery chapter" as reasons for the split.

'We (the clergy, wardens and PCC of St Helen's) no longer consider these church leaders who have ceased to 'believe and uphold the Christian faith Church of England has received it' to be 'walking together' with us in any meaningful partnership', he told the area dean, Rev Oliver Ross.

Although Taylor's letter did not make explicit which church leaders he was referring to, Rev. Bertrand Olivier, the openly gay vicar of All Hallows by the Tower which is half a mile from St Helen's, told Christian Today he was "not surprised" by the decision.

The letter was published as a splinter Anglican group, Anglican Mission in England, held its first ordination service in east London, setting itself up as a rival Anglican church to the Church of England. Taylor attended the service along with a number of other conservative CofE clergy. Christian Today approached the Diocese of London for comment, but received no response.


A serious bruhaha erupted this week over a Task Force on the ordination of women set up by the former Archbishop of the ACNA, Bob Duncan, over the ordination of women in the ACNA, a seriously thorny issue that contains the seeds within it of splitting the fledgling movement.

The Task Force got blowback from Ft. Worth Bishop, Jack Iker, who said that those charged with the study of the issue of women in holy orders, were told not to come to a conclusion or to make any recommendation as to how to resolve the debate.

Not true, wrote back Duncan, who wrote a clarification accusing Iker of "unintentional inaccuracy".

"The Study provided biblical and hermeneutical grounds for both positions is the outcome of the study. That that outcome did not resolve the issue was not what many in either perspective hoped for, but it surely gives ground for the compromise that was necessarily imbedded in our Constitution and Canons when we came together in 2009. Not surprisingly, akin to Global Anglicanism, the matter of women in the presbyterate is not one that can presently be settled unless we should choose to go our separate ways."

That should have been an end to it, but later in the week, Nara Duncan lashed out with thoughts of her own and came to a rigorous defense of her husband and said this: "You all really tick me off. Some of you assume that this task force was put together to simply rubber stamp something the Episcopal Church started some long years ago, when in fact, it was called to do the theological study that was never done when TEC started ordaining women. It was NOT to reach a conclusion. And yes, all of you who said you were there -- I assure, so was I! And why the assumption that Bishop Iker would never make a mistake and hear something that was not actually said, and, of course, Archbishop Duncan -- who gave his whole being to assure that all of you childish know-it-all's would have a safe place to worship and not be in fear of deposition, would naturally tell a porky because he ordains women? I would like to wash my hands of all of you and go somewhere else but there is no place to go for a truly catholic believer -- oh wait, yes there is -- the ACNA! Wow -- how could I forget that my husband sacrificed his all -- including his retirement -- to help start this wonderful denomination -- silly Me! Shuffle off to Rome and leave my husband alone -- you don't deserve him. And yes, this written by little 'ole me -- with no input from himself."

You can read more here:



Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who is one of the darlings of the Anglican Communion, especially with the former ABC Rowan Williams, issued a statement on the Status of Jerusalem following the announcement of United States Government's formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

"I welcome today's decision by the United States to recognize as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, whose name means "city of peace." This recognition is an essential element in any lasting peace in the region.

"Unlike other guardians of the city, from the Romans to the Crusaders to Jordan between 1949 and 1967, Israel has protected the holy sites of all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and guaranteed access to them. Today, Jerusalem remains one of the few places in the Middle East, where Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to pray in freedom, security and peace.

"The sustained denial, in many parts of the world, of the Jewish connection with Jerusalem is dishonest, unacceptable and a key element in the refusal to recognize the Jewish people's right to exist in the land of their origins. Mentioned over 660 times in the Hebrew Bible, Jerusalem was the beating heart of Jewish faith more than a thousand years before the birth of Christianity, and two-and-a-half millennia before the birth of Islam.

"Since then, though dispersed around the world, Jews never ceased to pray about Jerusalem, face Jerusalem, speak the language of Jerusalem, remember it at every wedding they celebrated, in every home they built, and at the high and holiest moments of the Jewish year.

Not everyone was quite as sanguine as Sacks about the US president's decision. Pope Francis and Protestant liberal churches like the Episcopal Church disagreed with the decision.

Evangelicals were ecstatic about the announcement, including Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Johnnie Moore, Paula While, Samuel Rodriguez, Tony Perkins and Pat Robertson joined Hagee in praising Trump and their own influence on the White House.

With Catholics in America conspicuous by their absence in commenting on the decision, Pope Francis' response was altogether different as he made a passionate plea for Jerusalem to keep its status quo.

"My thoughts go to Jerusalem and I cannot keep silent my deep concern for the situation that has been created in the past days," he told his weekly audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.

The Archbishop of Canterbury made a cautious, but still critical statement. "The status quo of the City of Jerusalem is one of the few stable elements of hope for peace and reconciliation for Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Holy Lands," he tweeted. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

The Bible, on which the Christian faith is largely based, makes numerous references to God's plans and purposes for "Israel", most notably in the New Testament book of Romans that includes the emphatic "all Israel will be saved" claim in chapter 11.

For many of Trump's evangelical supporters, this is a key step in the progression of events leading to the second coming of Jesus.

By contrast, thousands of Palestinians protested in a "day of rage" across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and in East Jerusalem against Trump's recognition of the ancient city as Israel's capital.


The Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic grew by 300 last year, according to Bishop John Guernsey. "Our recent annual Diocesan Synod was such an encouraging experience. Synod continues to grow, with well over 300 people joining in. More than half were not official delegates--they simply wanted to participate, since Synod is open to all.

"We had a pre-Synod workshop this year focusing on discipleship. Lay and clergy leaders from our own churches shared with a standing-room-only crowd an amazing array of models for making disciples of Jesus who in turn make more disciples. From one-on-one (or "life-on-life") discipleship to intensive living-in-community, God is showing us afresh the effectiveness of classic ways of discipling people to maturity in Christ," said Guernsey.


A Letter to the Editor to the Sewanee Purple, newspaper of the University of the South, urges Sewanee to rescind Charlie Rose's honorary degree.

Following my article (which was not referred to), the letter said while he was delighted that Charlie Rose spoke at Sewanee's baccalaureate ceremony in 2016 and was awarded an honorary degree, the women who have come forward about Rose assaulting them over the past two decades shifted his feelings to those of horror and disgust. "It is imperative that Sewanee strip Rose of his honorary degree, as he is no longer deserving of the title," he wrote.

"There is an unfortunately widespread tendency to attempt to protect these sexual assaulters and malign their accusers. Rose did not earn his degree at Sewanee, it was awarded based on his career and his character. Now it is clear that both are tainted by his actions." VOL wrote Vice-Chancellor, John McCardell, asking him if he would rescind Rose's doctorate, but got no reply.

Now it should not be forgotten that McCardell was hired by Jon Meacham, so he works for Meacham, and Meacham brought Charlie Rose up to Sewanee to increase his own visibility. It'll be interesting to watch what Meacham says about sex scandals -- so far he has said nothing, in which case he is protecting himself by protecting Rose from a withdrawn Honorary Degree.



ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach traveled to Rwanda to preach, teach, share in worship and fellowship with the clergy of the province and bring greetings from North America, recently.

The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop and Primate of Rwanda, welcomed 500 priests and bishops from around his province for their annual clergy conference, December 4-8, 2017. The conference was hosted in the Dioceses of Shyogwe by The Rt. Rev. Jered Kalimba, who has been the bishop of the diocese for over 20 years. Bishop Kalimba's entrepreneurial leadership has brought about a variety of projects and initiatives, from youth ministries to water projects, which have built up the communities in his diocese.

The Anglican Church of Rwanda, which has eleven dioceses and an estimated 800,000 members, is somewhat unique in its reliance on lay catechists to spread the Gospel. In many dioceses, the parish priest oversees both a centrally located congregation and a cohort of up to 50 lay catechists who lead outlying congregations.

The Anglican Church of Rwanda played a special role in the founding of the Anglican Church in North America. It also represents a break by the Rwandan province from the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) when it was under then Bishop Chuck Murphy. This is a welcome development. It will further isolate the AMIA from the evangelical Anglican mainstream in the US and might give pause for Bishop Phil Jones to bury the hatchet and fold his small ailing flock into the larger ACNA tent.


The new Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, has said churches are "not always seen for the good which we do, or for the just causes which we support or further, or for the justice and truth for which we call." He called on churches to "rehabilitate and refresh" how they explain the Gospel message, particularly to young people who, he said, would high-five the prophet Job and queue for selfies with Jesus -- if they properly understood Christianity. Archbishop John made the comments as he was enthroned as the 13th Archbishop of Wales during a service in Brecon Cathedral this week.

John Davies, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, was elected as the Primate of the Church in Wales in September, securing the two-thirds majority from the electoral college on the second day of their meeting in Holy Trinity Church, Llandrindod Wells. Some 600 people from all over Wales and further afield filled Brecon Cathedral for the enthronement service. The deeper question is can he turn the province around after the disastrous reign of Barry Morgan. However, there was nothing in his speech about reintroducing the Welsh to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps he ought to sit down and read about the 1904--1905 Welsh Revival, the largest Christian revival in Wales during the 20th century. While by no means the best known of revivals, it was one of the most dramatic in terms of its effect on the population and triggered revivals in several other countries. That is about the only hope for Wales, it would appear.


There's a changing of the guard in the Diocese of Colorado. Bishop Rob O'Neill says he is retiring and he exulted in his time there as bishop. Oh, the hubris. Does he think VOL doesn't keep records of his time there as bishop?

You can read what I wrote about his reign in that diocese, the long $4 million litigation against a single priest and how the diocese has sunk in ASA, baptisms and plate and pledge. His legacy was one of pain and brokenness. You can read it here:



IN the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) where being, acting and marrying homosexuals is so passe that it is barely worth a mention these days, the latest from Windsor in the Diocese of Huron is that Rev. Robert Clifford, the Anglican minister at All Saints Anglican Church in downtown Windsor was married to a man named Sid Palmer. Now he has a new LGBT2Q1212 lover by the name of Matt Hoy. It's all on Facebook if you are at interested. Just remember that while it is perfectly normal to sodomize in the ACoC, if you are orthodox like the Rev. Jake Worley is and actually do believe the gospel, your head will be handed to you on a plate by a revisionist archbishop like John Privett. Consistency is clearly the hobgoblin of small minds.

If you want to know why the Anglican Church of Canada is slowly collapsing here is another example of why. Parishioners have converted an Anglican church on Salt Spring Island, off Vancouver Island, B.C., into a center for fostering spirituality of all kinds.

A development team composed of members of the Salt Spring Anglican Parish officially opened the Star of the Sea Centre for Spiritual Living and Practice, located in the former St. Mary's Church, Fulford, B.C. The center, team members said, will offer programming of various kinds in spirituality and the arts, with the goal of serving as a bridge not only between Christians, but also between Christians and those of other faiths, or of no defined faith.

The idea for the center arose about three years ago, when members of the Salt Spring Anglican Parish--which included three churches, including St. Mary's--felt that more could be done with St. Mary's, which was falling into disuse. A development team was assembled, and the idea took shape. The team presented the idea to the diocese of British Columbia, which provided financial support.

In a keynote address at the opening, Canon Herbert O'Driscoll, former dean of Christ Church Cathedral in the diocese of New Westminster, said he saw the center as setting in motion "a journey, one where we join a multitude of seekers on a great pilgrimage where our quest is to discover an enduring landscape where we can be fully human, at peace with ourselves, with one another, with our mother Earth, and with that Source of our Being for whom there is a Name in every language."

So out the window goes the uniqueness of Christ for a grab bag of spiritualities that will do nothing to advance the cause of Christ or His kingdom. Nothing.

On the predictable Anglican reaction to Trump's Jerusalem announcement, the ACoC Anglican Journal, expressed "concerns" over Trump's announcement. The article referenced that the recognition will cause "Irreparable Damage". Only time will tell, of course, but a few things we can predict with complete certainty.

"The liberal Anglican establishment - just about all Western Anglican clergy in other words - will roundly condemn the move because: Trump did it and they all hate him; it goes against received leftist dogma, the last remaining heresy in Western Anglicanism and, most important of all, it acknowledges the existence of an objectively real fact, something entirely alien to liberal Anglicans," writes Samizdat, an orthodox Anglican blogger.

A more sinister development in the ACoC is this: will the LGBT2Q2 and their allies now come after the churches for reparations for "historic" discrimination? We will see.


We have been remiss in not reporting news from Egypt which has seen the killing, not only of Copts but Sufis as well.

A Bazaar to Support Syrian refugees and their disabled children was set up in Menara Center Bazaar at All Saints Cathedral, which includes an eclectic mix of market stalls selling wide range of unique products including crafts, home produce, fashion accessories, clothing and other cool stuff from different countries e.g. Syria and Yemen. The products are made by the refugees and the disabled children themselves.

Despite the handicaps of just being a Christian in a predominantly Muslim nation, Bishop Mouneer Anis led the clergy of the Diocese of Egypt in their annual retreat in St. Bishoy Monastery. The main theme of the retreat was "Developing Leaders in the Church" delivered by Rev. Canon Dr. John Benson, former Director of Training for the Anglican Diocese of Singapore. He brought a wealth of experience as a church leader and mission mobilizer.

The retreat with the clergy of the Diocese of Egypt was held over four days. Each teaching session involved rich biblical reflection on the life of the Apostle Peter with application for the Egyptian context. Canon John has raised up next generation leaders for many years. Bishop Mouneer Anis has invited Canon John to return in the Spring of 2018 for follow-up training.

Twenty-one churches in Egypt's southern rural Minya governorate can rebuild and even expand their churches after receiving approval from the Minya governor, according to World Watch Monitor (WWM).

Governor Essam al-Bedeiwi approved the 21 applications over the last six months, it has emerged and WWM said that some of the churches had been waiting for more than 20 years for permits.

Churches that have been granted permission to renovate include an evangelical church in Tama in the Sohag governorate, which received approval on November 17.

To date, it is practically impossible for Christians to obtain a license to build a church in Egypt.

But last year, Egypt's parliament approved a law relating to the building and renovating of churches, and in October, a cabinet committee reportedly began work on the legalization of unlicensed churches.

Nonetheless, Coptic Christians, who make up 10 per cent of Egypt's population of nearly 95 million, say they have been persecuted for years. Many feel the state does not take their plight seriously enough.


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The Challenge

Over the last twenty years in the trenches, VirtueOnline has seen it all, and you've been there right alongside with us. With the Anglican Realignment becoming a magnificent reality, the Gospel once more has a chance of being safe; yet the forces marshaled against it are gathering and they are very mighty. It is clear that we need to do much more, do it better, and do it faster. The faithful are called to do their utmost like never before. There is much that we at VOL must be better at:
• We don't live on social media -- at all. With e-mail we reach thousands of people every week, yet we might as well not exist on much more relevant and vital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium.
• We write a lot, but how much of it has an impact? Some sections of VOL no longer serve a purpose, or could be done much better.
• The VOL platform is not helping us understand what you read, what you choose not to read, and how we can be more helpful to you.
• The website is outdated and a refresh is long overdue, and many of you have told me that!
In short, to make a lot more impact for global orthodox Anglicanism, VirtueOnline needs to do better, and do more.

Please help us get the word out. You can contribute here:


In Christ,


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