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Anglican Communion Faces Crisis in 2019 * Trump Impeachment Divides Evangelicals * Evangelical CofE Vicar Could Face Criminal charges * Hong Kong Archbishop Walks into Political Minefield * Another Vicar Flees CofE * New APB of York is Affirming Catholic

Anglican Communion Faces Crisis in 2019 * Trump Impeachment Divides Evangelicals * Evangelical CofE Vicar Could Face Criminal charges * Hong Kong Archbishop Walks into Political Minefield * Another Vicar Flees CofE * New APB of York is Affirming Catholic * Anglican Bishop Flees to Rome

Climate worship is nothing more than rebranded paganism. We're seeing sexualized dances, hallucinogens, worshiping nature, confessing sins in pagan animism, worshiping purified teen saints, all to promote a supposedly greater cause --- Sumantra Maitra of The Federalist

The environmental crisis is the "largest challenge ever" to the human race. Climate change is "everybody's problem." People do not believe in the crisis because it is "just too uncomfortable to face". --- Dr. Rowan Williams former Archbishop of Canterbury

And then there's Saint Greta, our perpetual teen of sorrow. I have been comparing her worship to Joan of Arc ever since she was invited to the British Parliament, the birthplace of modern democracy. She was surrounded by buffoons nodding their heads like they were listening to gospel truth. --- Sumantra Maitra of The Federalist

White evangelical Protestants made up 60 percent of our sample. Of those white evangelical Protestants, we found that 60 percent believed that atheists would not allow them First Amendment rights and liberties. More specifically, we asked whether they believed atheists would prevent them from being able to "hold rallies, teach, speak freely, and run for public office." Similarly, 58 percent believed "Democrats in Congress" would not allow them to exercise these liberties if they were in power. By contrast, 23 percent think "Republicans in Congress" would not respect their rights; those were primarily the views of a small contingent of white evangelical Democrats in the sample. --- Monkey Cage analysis

A bridge for truth. The expository preacher is a bridge builder, seeking to span the gulf between the Word of God and the mind of man. He must do his utmost to interpret the Scripture so accurately and plainly, and to apply it so forcefully, that the truth crosses the bridge. --- Dr. John R.W. Stott

"Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me." Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, "What are you doing?" --- Bishop J.C. Ryle

The real secret of expository preaching is not mastering certain techniques, but being mastered by certain convictions. --- John R. W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
December 27, 2019

WE are on the cusp of a new year and if you think it bodes ill for America, democracy and an election that could go either way resulting in the possibility of civil war, then you might well be right.

Democracies die, political scientists tell us, when the credibility of elections and vital institutions is eroded and the rule of law is destroyed.

So, it is with the Anglican Communion. One half of the communion is dying, some theologians tell us, the credibility of its bishops and institutions like the instruments of the Anglican Communion Office are so seriously compromised as to be rendered useless, and the rule of Scripture is being destroyed.

The new year will not be any better for the Anglican Communion than the last, already torn asunder by 'heresies distressed'.

Two significant events will occur that will mark the deep irreconcilable division that is now firmly in place. The GAFCON primates of orthodox Anglicanism will meet in Rwanda to proclaim 'the faith once for all delivered to the saints' with no compromises on sodomy or homosexual marriage. The other event will be the Lambeth conference, where a totally different set of bishops bent on turning the Anglican communion into a post-Christian, progressive, pansexual organization doing its best to emulate the world through cultural accommodation.

The divisions are as a deep and wide as republican from democrat and Archbishop Foley Beach from Archbishop Justin Welby. At the end of the day, the "ginger" group might well be the Lambeth conference.

One archbishop is a real evangelical, the other is a faux evangelical. One believes that it is only the gospel that can transform and change peoples' lives, the other believes that if we can fudge the edges and talk up reconciliation on pansexuality, yell and scream about climate change, make nice with Islam then the world will be a safer place.

There is profound irony here, as the founder of the Christian religion never promised his followers peace on earth; said suffering would be a part of their lot in life and concluded that to follow him meant carrying a cross, not flying a private jet to your next evangelistic crusade.

*****

As evidence that religion and politics can never be completely divorced from one another, we saw the spectacle this week over the very deep divide among evangelicals regarding President Donald Trump's impeachment and future.

An editorial in the conservative magazine Christianity Today rattled evangelicals as hope and anger stirred America's largest political tribe.

American evangelicals who voted overwhelmingly for Trump at the last election now appear not to be as united as first thought, with many believing the pendulum has now swung in the opposite direction.

The editorial called for the removal of President Trump from the presidency, revealing a deep fissure among evangelicals, creating a firestorm of approval and disapproval the like of which we have not seen since Billy Graham announced his break from fundamentalism and committed himself to cooperative evangelism in 1956.

The rage across the blogosphere is so divisive that lifetime friendships have been severed, families torn apart with the political divide so deep that millions of Christians will go unreconciled to their graves.

The writer of the CT editorial, Mark Galli, is a member of the Anglican Church in North America, a tribe to which I belong. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach told VOL, "Yes, he attends an ACNA congregation. We are a politically diverse group of people trying to follow Jesus, and stay true to the teaching of the Bible!"

But that was not the only voice calling for President Trump to be removed from office. The Christian Post, the most popular evangelical news website in the United States and the world, felt compelled by its moral responsibility to tell its readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country. They said Trump is a scam and evangelical voters should back away.

They then said this; "Many evangelicals, including our friends, have criticized Trump on our own opinion page and elsewhere, such as Matt Barber, Dr. Michael Brown, Kristi Burton Brown, Susan Stamper Brown, Rev. Mark Creech, Wallace Henley, E.W. Jackson, Max Lucado, Dr. Russell Moore and Rep. Reid Ribble. If Trump were to become president, we fear he would use the levers of government power to silence them and others.

However, nearly 200 faith leaders pushed back against the CT editorial calling for President Trump's removal from office, saying the piece "offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations. It not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you."

Strong words, but we won't know till the levers are pulled in the voting booths later next year whether he still retains the white House or has lost it.

To read the full story click here: https://virtueonline.org/deep-divide-revealed-among-evangelicals-over-trump-impeachment

you can read the Christian Post story here: https://www.christianpost.com/news/donald-trump-scam-evangelical-voters-back-away-cp-editorial-158813/?fbclid=IwAR0sS6q_xWHohEyUVArkPzE3MV6DOHh2_O-PAqfp2QAnPIV0Hlm0h2KnrgM

The Deepening Crisis in Evangelical Christianity can be seen here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/evangelical-christians-face-deepening-crisis/593353/

*****

A story that has been simmering in England for some time has once again erupted in full force when victims of a Church of England evangelical vicar revealed allegations of naked beatings, ice baths and massages.

Details emerged of the allegations against the influential Rev. Jonathan Fletcher, 77, who was Minister of Emmanuel Church in Wimbledon, from 1982 to 2012, and one of the Church of England's leading evangelical figures. He could face a criminal investigation, as victims of his abuse spoke out for the first time about being subjected to naked ice baths, beatings and massages.

Fletcher was banned from preaching after it emerged that he had "spiritually abused" vulnerable adults at the London church where he used to minister, the Daily Telegraph revealed in June.

Now, five alleged victims - all men who wish to remain anonymous - have come forwards to detail the spiritual, psychological and physical abuse they claim to have suffered.

To read more of this story click here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/26/victims-church-england-preacher-reveal-allegations-naked-beatings/?WT.mc_id=tmgliveapp_iosshare_AtmkpksWYvxF

*****

The Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong walked himself into a minefield over pro-democracy advocates who are protesting in the streets over the heavy hand of China in Hong Kong's political affairs.

The Most Rev. Paul Kwong invoked outrage when he told a congregation during a sermon on the crucifixion of Christ, that pro-democracy advocates should keep quiet just as "Jesus remained silent" in the face of crucifixion.

The sermon at St. Paul's was posted on the church's website, where reaction was swift, with some branding the sermon as "outrageous" and "sarcastic", accusing Kwong of using "Jesus to fit some personal values".

Kwong also took a sarcastic tone towards the 511 protesters who were arrested during a sit-in at Chater Road, Central, following the annual July 1 rally.

You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/hong-kong-anglican-archbishop-walks-himself-minefield-over-pro-democracy-advocates

*****

The Church of England seems to have a death wish as more vicars resign over homosexuality, with the Rev. Steven Hanna announcing this week that he was leaving because of the CofE's teaching on sexuality which, he said, is being undermined by practice. "Attempts at saying the Church of England's official teaching is not changing are, nonetheless, already undermined by practice and it seems only a matter of time before the charade ceases and official teaching changes too."

He told his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Cottrell, (soon to be the Archbishop of York) that the liberal trajectory of the Church of England is unacceptable. He further stated that he was "horrified" at the proposal to ordain Jide Macaulay, an openly homosexual vicar living with his partner.

Hanna is one of a growing number of orthodox priests to recently leave the Church of England over its growing liberalism on matters of faith and morals.

Earlier in the year, the Rev. John Parker resigned as governor of a Church of England (CofE) primary school over concerns about a young child being allowed to transition gender in the school and the school inviting transgender lobby group Mermaids to provide training to staff and governors.

The Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon said he had watched the CofE institutionally push through an agenda of false teaching, from the undermining of marriage to the Koran being read in cathedrals and transgender liturgy. In April, he was ordained into the Free Church of England and is now planting a new church rooted in the Gospel.

More recently, the Rev. Julian Mann left the CofE and was licensed as minister of Emmanuel, Morecambe, in the Free Church of England, a smaller Anglican denomination which formed in the mid-19th century.

*****

The Queen has nominated the Rt. Rev. Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, MA, the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, to the See and Archbishopric of York. He will succeed the Most Rev. John Mugabi Sentamu, who retired on June 7, 2019.

Cottrell is an Affirming Catholic and leader in the pro homosexual wing of the Church of England. He has called for thanksgiving services and eucharists for homosexual couples amid controversy on how the Church should move forward.

The newly appointed archbishop is the second most powerful position in the Church of England. He has said the CofE was seen as "immoral" for its refusal to welcome homosexual marriage, stressing it would be "particularly foolish" to ignore the damage done to the Church's mission.

A concerned Anglo-Catholic said of Cottrell; "The man is deluded, grossly over promoted, and a bully. He has managed to publish a vast amount of pulp theology."

https://virtueonline.org/church-england-vicar-resigns-following-appointment-bishop-cottrell-be-next-archbishop-york

*****

The Episcopal Church's house of bishops is incorporating greater diversity with women, blacks, homosexuals increasing in numbers in the HOB, reports Mary Ann Mueller, VOL Special Correspondent for VOL.

"The makeup of the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops (HOB) has taken a decidedly diverse, inclusive, multicultural turn," she writes.

Michael Curry's quest to have a truly diverse and inclusive church is being played out in the House of Bishops, where he is the presiding officer and the first Black to hold that post. He followed Katharine Jefferts Schori, who broke through the stained-glass ceiling as the first female presiding bishop not only in The Episcopal Church, but in all of Anglicanism. Bishop Curry can't make that claim. There are several Black primates scattered throughout the Anglican world, especially in the Global South. In fact, the second ranking bishop in all the Anglican Communion -- the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who is shortly to retire -- is a person of color.

You can read her excellent summary of the situation here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-house-bishops-makeup-changing-incorporate-greater-diversity

*****

He might not be the Archbishop of Canterbury any more, but he still speaks out on issues that concern him. This week Dr. Rowan Williams said climate change is the 'largest challenge ever'. He also said that some people have 'sinister' reasons for denying climate change. The environmental crisis is the "largest challenge ever" to the human race and is "everybody's problem".

Dr Williams said some people do not believe in the crisis because it is "just too uncomfortable to face".

"For others I think there's a rather a more sinister feeling that this must be some kind of conspiracy," Dr Williams said, citing those who might think climate change has been "invented by communists, illuminati or some mysterious group".

Dr Williams added: "So that's something I worry about a bit more, the idea that there are people who genuinely believe climate change is a huge confidence trick."

*****

A former Anglican, Bishop Gavin Ashenden, fled to Rome this week and VOL was able to obtain an interview with the now laicized former bishop.

Mary Ann Mueller, VOL Special Correspondent obtained the interview. The following is a sample question and answer.

VOL: When did the first thought about becoming Roman Catholic come? What was your first reaction?

ASHENDEN: My first thoughts about becoming a Roman Catholic came on the day of my conversion, which was an Evangelical conversion in Bristol Cathedral on the First of March in 1975 when I gave my life to Jesus and asked Him what kind of Christian, He wanted me to be. I asked Him, "Did He want me to be Catholic, Anglican or Pentecostal?" It appeared to me He was asking me to become an Anglican.

But from that point I have always looked at, and understood, Catholicism to be the home from which Anglicanism derived. Anglicanism is only justified if it continues to be a movement of prophetic reform that the Catholic Church hasn't achieved.

You can read the full interview here: https://virtueonline.org/virtueonline-interviews-former-anglican-bishop-gavin-ashenden

*****

I want to wish all VOL readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. There will be much to report on in the coming year and I will need your help to travel and interview bishops and archbishops as they reflect on the state of the Anglican communion.

I hope you can make a tax-deductible donation to help the cause. If you can do so I will send you a copy of my new book THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

The money will not line my pockets but will allow me to send copies to Global South bishops who would not otherwise be able to obtain a copy. My hope is to put this book in the hands of every bishop in the Anglican Communion so they will never again be fooled by anything a sitting Presiding Bishop says about The Episcopal Church. This book represents nearly three decades of reporting. I hope you will buy it.

You can send a check to:
VIRTUEONLINE
570 Twin Lakes Rd
P.O. Box 111
Shohola, PA 18458

You can also make a payment at this link: https://give.virtueonline.org

Please don't forget to add your return address.

All blessings,

David

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