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Anglican Leaders Call for a Ceasefire in Israel * Antisemitism on the Rise * GSFA Primates meet in Cairo * 44 CofE Bishops want SS Blessings * 3 Episcopal Dioceses seek Merger * Reparative Therapy Bill challenged * Malawi to Ordain women to P/hood

Anglican Leaders Call for a Ceasefire in Israel * Antisemitism on the Rise * GSFA Primates meet in Cairo * 44 CofE Bishops want SS Blessings * 3 Episcopal Dioceses seek Merger * Reparative Therapy Bill challenged * Malawi to Ordain women to P/hood

God the reality. When we look at the cross we see the justice, love, wisdom and power of God. It is not easy to decide which is the most luminously revealed, whether the justice of God in judging sin, or the love of God in bearing the judgment in our place, or the wisdom of God in perfectly combining the two, or the power of God in saving those who believe. For the cross is equally an act, and therefore a demonstration, of God's justice, love, wisdom and power. The cross assures us that this God is the reality within, behind and beyond the universe. -- John R.W. Stott

"Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect for the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Synod on Synodality is not an episcopal assembly but more like an ANGLICAN SYNODAL MEETING, and is being used by some participants as a means to prepare the Catholic Church to accept ideologies that run contrary to Scripture and Tradition."

"Christianity is not our journey to God, it is first and foremost His journey to us. It is not about achieving some spiritual thing that is just beyond our reach, but rather learning to live in the light of 'It is finished.' It's not about self-actualization but about adjusting ourselves to God's story. It is not what we do for Him, but what He has done for undeserving sinners like us." --Chuck Collins is the Director for the Center for Reformation Anglicanism

"At the very heart of this generous Protestantism was the power of Scripture, through its teaching of justification by faith, to impart saving trust and transforming love to the wayward hearts and wandering souls of sinners. For according to Reformation Anglicanism, the glory of God is to love the unworthy."
-- Ashley Null, is the Theological Advisor to the ACNA Diocese of the Carolinas

CofE: Mike Pilavachi isn't unique in his being drawn to kinky sex practices; the Anglican Evangelicals have had their woes with John Smyth, Jonathan Fletcher and the Iwerne Camp fiasco. What is wrong with these people? --- Don Warrington

European civilization is primarily due to Christianity. We would not have democracy, nor free markets, nor human rights nor any of the things that distinguish the West from almost everywhere else if it had not been for certain historical events that kept us Christian. -- Effie Deans

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
November 3, 2023

Dear VOL readers.

My apologies for the delay in sending out this digest. Travel and family issues slowed my pace. You will also notice that you are now receiving the digest from MailerLite. We transitioned from Mail Chimp to save on costs. If you experience problems accessing the digest, please let me know. Write me at david@virtueonline.org

DON'T BE DECEIVED! The goal of Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran and Isis is not for political rights for Palestinians but to wipe Israel off the map. The Bible talks about a coming world war in which all the nations will gather together against Israel to battle (Zechariah 13:8). Everyone is going to have to make a MORAL decision whether to stand with Israel or not. We are facing the same spirit that manifested itself in World War II. We need to PRAY and say NEVER AGAIN!

Anglican church leaders are calling for a ceasefire but only for Israelis. No mention is made of Hamas to stop firing rockets. There are soft calls for peace but never for Israel's enemies.

Church leaders in Jerusalem made a renewed call for a ceasefire, after an air strike that hit the compound of St Porphyria's a Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza reportedly killing 18 people, including nine children.

Among the outraged leaders is the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, a man who has shown no love for the state of Israel that guarantees his safety and security seven days a week. He and two million other Israeli Arabs who enjoy all the benefits of a democratic society which includes health and education.

Where is the outrage at what Hamas has done to Gaza over the last twenty years and the continual firing of rockets into Israel for which the world and church leaders show no similar outrage? You can read my piece here: https://virtueonline.org/church-leaders-call-ceasefire-only-israelis-no-mention-hamas-stop-firing-rockets

You can also read my take on, Is Anybody listening to Archbishop Welby on the Middle East War, here: https://virtueonline.org/anybody-listening-archbishop-welby-middle-east-war

You can also read Jeff Walton's piece: Palestinian Christian Letter Chides Israel, Ignores Hamas here: https://virtueonline.org/palestinian-christian-letter-chides-israel-ignores-hamas

Mary Ann Mueller also weighs in with her piece: Israel is at WAR! In war people die including civilians. You can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/israel-war

West Bank Christian clings to faith as war destroys homes and jobs: https://premierchristian.news/en/news/article/west-bank-christian-clings-to-faith-as-war-destroys-homes-and-jobs

The New Axis of Evil by Albert Mohler can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/new-axis-evil

Bad church Advice by Mark Tooley can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/bad-church-advice-hamas

This, in brief, is where we are in this civilizational moment. Freedom is at stake, truth is at stake; the enemy of our souls is roaring like a lion throughout the world and the church, twisting and turning truth on its head. All the time Christians grow weaker in their faith with some 40 million officially dechurched, and Generations X, Y, and Z (especially Z) showing little interest in the faith and the church that supposedly supports it.

I was brutally reminded by one of my grandson's friends, when he saw an Episcopal bishop, all dressed up with a miter, that it was great fodder for Tik Tok, with absolutely no reference as what it all stood for! It has all changed in a generation with little likelihood that it will ever go back to what it was. The key issue is how to present the gospel to these generations where rational apologetics will not work and where emotions and feelings matter more; where subjectivism and personalism frame the narrative. Few seem to grasp the times we are in and even fewer seem able to address the changes going on with a viable apologetic. Tim Keller came about as close as anyone, but he has gone and no one has replaced him.


ANTISEMITISM is once again rearing its head across the nation; in colleges, on the streets, in public venues, outside synagogues and more. Where it comes from and why it hasn't gone away? Attacking Jews is normalizing. And the ranks of the modern antisemites are growing, and the hate is spreading. To be charitable, their antisemitism is masquerading as concern and compassion for the Palestinians. But do these young adults know how ignorant they are? Do they know they are mindlessly reenacting a well-worn script about the Jews in use for generations before them?

You can read David Roseberry's take here: https://virtueonline.org/why-antisemitism-rears-its-ugly-face-again

Listen carefully for the echoes of anti-Semitism by Peter Houston: https://virtueonline.org/listen-carefully-echoes-anti-semitism


ON THE GLOBAL ANGLICAN FRONT, the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) and their primates met in Cairo recently and hammered out a communique calling for a reset of the Communion. At the same they chastised Archbishop Justin Welby saying that he had forfeited his leadership role of the Anglican Communion. "We all know and lament that our Communion has entered into a deep darkness of rebellion to the truth of God's word." Fourteen Primates participated and ten other Anglican orthodox leaders joined as observers.

In a later email, Archbishop Foley Beach confirmed that the GSFA primates and the GAFCON primates are working together to formulate an overall response to the revisionism inhabiting the mostly Western Anglican provinces. The bigger question is, can schism be avoided. We wait and see. You can read the full communique here: https://virtueonline.org/gsfa-brings-hope-and-builds-orthodox-unity-anglican-communion

In an exclusive interview VOL obtained with South Sudan Archbishop Justin Badi, the primate made it clear that South Sudan Archbishop says Reset of the Communion is Underway.

It will be those who have invented new teachings to move out or to repent and continue in the fellowship, says Archbishop Justin Badi We lament with tears all that has happened to the Mother Church.
VOL obtained an exclusive interview with Justin Badi Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. In it he affirmed the GSFA Covenantal Structure as a good way to offer ecclesiastical structure and accountability to be a locus of unity for the orthodox in the whole Communion.

He also lamented "with tears" all that has happened to the historic 'mother church' of the communion. "We will continue to pray for her restoration. We are hopeful that the Spirit of God will one day restore the Church of England back to its biblical roots."

Asked at what point did he see the GSFA and GAFCON primates working together, Archbishop Badi said they had all affirmed the Ash Wednesday statement together. "We will commit to take the Gospel out urgently through word and deed to a pain ridden world, and collaborate on mission and ministry." You can read my full interview here: https://virtueonline.org/south-sudan-archbishop-says-reset-communion-underway


News from Malawi Provincial Synod. They will now ordain women to the priesthood. Is this a sign that the Global South is capitulating to the ordination of women? That is hardly reassuring. At a meeting of GAFCON primates in Entebbe in 2018, they resolved not to consecrate further women bishops until a consensus in favor of the innovation is reached. The Primate of South Sudan endorsed this decision. I

Since then, a small handful of Global South provinces have ordained women to the episcopate. They include the Province of The Episcopal Church of South Sudan in the person of Elizabeth Awut Ngor, Diocese of Rumbek in 2016. The Anglican Church of Kenya in the person of Emily Onyango, Diocese of Bondo in 2021 and the Rev. Rose Okeno, 52, of Butere, a rural diocese. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa in the person of Ellinah Wamukoya, Bishop of Swaziland in 2012 and Margaret Vertue, Bishop of False Bay, in 2012.

I wrote this piece in April 2022. It seems more prescient than ever. https://virtueonline.org/could-consecration-women-bishops-global-south-derail-anglican-realignment


The ongoing saga of will they or won't they bless same-sex unions in the Church of England moved theologically backwards yet again. A group of 44 bishops made a public statement dissenting from a majority decision by the House of Bishops to commend prayers for same-sex couples. The new group, 15 diocesan bishops and 29 suffragans, wrote that they "recognise the complexities of the Pastoral Guidance in relation to ministry, and also the need for a swift end to the current uncertainty for LGBTQIA+ clergy and ordinands."

"We look forward to Guidance being issued without delay that includes the removal of all restrictions on clergy entering same-sex civil marriages, and on bishops' ordaining and licensing such clergy, as well as granting permissions to officiate." The Church Times reported last week that such guidance existed in draft form, but that the House of Bishops had voted to delay its implementation for "further work." You can read more here:

A group calling themselves Inclusive evangelicals believe that affirming the dignity and relationships of the LGBTQIA is the way to go and the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) report allowing for the blessing of same-sex relationships should be adopted. You can read their statement here: https://www.inclusiveevangelicals.com/

Of course, to put the two words together is a contradiction in terms. One cannot be both inclusive and evangelical. You are either evangelical excluding all sexual options except marriage between a man and a woman, or your are inclusive of multiple sexual options.

Theologian Andrew Goddard askes: Will it all now end in tears? "It looks horribly like the whole LLF process in its current form is going to "all end in tears". You can read his take here: Spoiler alert. Yes it will. He says it lacks transparency and is economical with the truth. "After months of denial--the bishops are admitting their proposals are (in violation of the Cornes amendment to the motion and contrary to their stated intention again in July) indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England." https://www.psephizo.com/sexuality-2/llf-will-it-all-now-end-in-tears/

A senior cleric in the Church told VOL that as a result giving will be reduced and many will vote with their feet. For the sake of WO and Homosexuality the bishops and archbishops have divided the Church of England and reduced it to a fragment of its size and influence 40 years ago. What an indictment.

He wrote; "Growing numbers of clergy are now taking early retirement to get away from the institutional failure being engineered by the two Archbishops. The parish system is collapsing, having had its assets stripped in favor of a new Baptist polity. Which isn't working."


No wonder the GSFA and GAFCON primates will have nothing to do with an apostate Church of England.

Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society wrote an editorial: Good Lord! In which he wonders what we can do when we are exasperated by bishops and the direction of the Church of England. You can read it here: https://www.churchsociety.org/resource/editorial-good-lord/

You can read Lisa Nolland's piece: 'Going, Going, Gone?' The Church of England and LGBTQ Part 1 She is an excellent decipherer of the Church of England mind. https://virtueonline.org/going-going-gone-church-england-and-lgbtq-part-1

The road to Wigan's tears; The Church of England's drive to remake itself has been a pastoral and financial catastrophe by Marcus Walker of he CRITIC. "Why Wigan?" you might ask. Because Wigan is the prototype for a whole new way of being Anglican which is being rolled out across various dioceses and, being the first of this model, it has been the subject of a detailed study and shown to be a disaster. You can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/road-wigans-tears


ON THE DOMESTIC FRONT, The Episcopal Church announced this week that three dioceses in Wisconsin moved one step closer to merging into one regional body which could be finalized at the denominational level next year.

The Episcopal dioceses of Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire each voted separately last Saturday to approve a resolution to make a final vote to merge during the 2024 Easter season. The dioceses will ask for the consent of both houses of General Convention in June."

This is the immolation of TEC heating up. It is death by a thousand cuts. There are other diocesan mergers in the works, most notably in New England. The following are the actual Average Sunday Attendance figures for all three dioceses: Eau Claire: 380; Fond Du Lac: 1,162 and Milwaukee: 2,051. Most of the congregants are aging (late 60s) with no younger generations coming along. You can read the full report here: https://virtueonline.org/3-episcopal-church-dioceses-wisconsin-one-step-closer-mergerMaine, New Hampshire, and Vermont bishops will assist each other's dioceses as they move towards inevitable merger.

I wrote a satirical essay about Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry receiving an epiphany following the removal of a mass. He discovers Jesus and the atoning death of Christ. https://virtueonline.org/michael-curry-has-epiphany-following-recent-hospitalization

I had the privilege of interviewing Canada's leading Anglican priest, the Rev. David Short when I was in Vancouver, BC recently. We discussed his faith journey, leadership, and the schism in the Anglican Church of Canada. You can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/vancouver-bc-anglican-rector-talks-his-journey-faith-leadership-and-surviving-split-anglican-church


An All Star Panel including Jordan Peterson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Os Guinness, and John Anderson discuss the future of the West, the loss of freedom and the rising tide of wokeism enveloping the universities and society. I found this an outstanding conversation. You can watch it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wtZq-zF1QG4.


It is with sadness we report the passing of Roger T. Beckwith (1929-2023). Dr. Beckwith's many decades of theological industry on behalf of the evangelical cause in the Church of England are interwoven with the story of Latimer House, the forerunner of Latimer Trust. A Tribute by Andrew Atherstone can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/roger-t-beckwith-1929-2023


Reparative or Conversion therapy is much in the news, with states and countries outlawing it. But a number of Christians are ready to take legal action if a conversion therapy bill in England tramples on religious freedom.

The Christian Institute has repeated its call to the government to ensure that a ban on so-called conversion therapy does not interfere with everyday religious practice.

The organization reiterated its readiness to take legal action against the Westminster government after The Times reported that the government is pressing ahead with a draft bill to ban LGBT 'conversion practices', contradicting reports earlier in the year that it was planning to quietly drop the proposals. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/christians-ready-take-legal-action-if-conversion-therapy-bill-tramples-religious-freedom


Survey: Mainline clergy are more liberal than their congregants ran the headline. Mainline clergy are more supportive than their congregants of LGBTQ rights, more likely to have opposed the overturn of Roe v. Wade and less likely to believe America is in danger of losing its culture and identity.
A new survey of mainline clergy finds those leading the historic denominations that once shaped the American Protestant scene are far more liberal than their congregants on a host of political and social issues.

The Public Religion Research Institute survey of 3,066 mainline clergy, shows that about half identify with the Democratic Party, 28% identify as independents and only 14% as Republicans. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/survey-mainline-clergy-are-more-liberal-their-congregants


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