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Anglicans in Diocese of SC win Court Round * Nigerian Primate says no compromise with Anglican Revisionists * ACNA figures show Decline * National Cathedral is running out of money, cuts staff * Bishop of Springfield Kicked to the Curb by SC * More

Anglicans in Diocese of SC win Court Round * Nigerian Primate says no compromise with Anglican Revisionists * ACNA figures show Decline * National Cathedral is running out of money, cuts staff * Bishop of Springfield Kicked to the Curb by SC * CofE moves to reopen churches * Michigan Bishop Ousted over Adultery * Sewanee University Sex Scandal

The risen Lord. The greatest single reason for the church's evangelistic disobedience centres in the church's doubts. We are not sure if our own sins are forgiven. We are not sure if the gospel is true. And so, because we doubt, we are dumb. We need to hear again Christ's word of peace, and see again his hands and his side. Once we are glad that we have seen the Lord, and once we have clearly recognized him as our crucified and risen Saviour, then nothing and no-one will be able to silence us. --- John R.W. Stott

What have we been living under during the past three months? A world where you can't receive Jesus. A world right now where you can go out into the streets and roam around for hours on end, but our churches are locked up. What does it mean in a world where you can peacefully protest and be encouraged, in fact be joined by bishops, but those same bishops won't unlock our churches. Is there not something wrong? There is something terribly wrong, because the only one Who will unite us -- and I am all for peaceful protest. I am a staunch American -- peaceful protest will not ultimately unite us. Jesus will unite us. It is Jesus, and Him alone, who will unite us. --- Fr. Jonathan Meyer, All Saints Parish -- Guilford, Indiana

We all now find ourselves in the Orwellian world of Cultural Marxism. --- Melvin Tinker

"At the root of all racism is a heretical anthropology that devalues the imago dei in us all. The gospel reveals that all are equally created, sinful and equally in need of the saving work of Christ. The racism we lament is not just interpersonal. It exists in the implicit and explicit customs and attitudes that do disproportionate harm to ethnic minorities in our country. In other words, too often racial bias has been combined with political power to create inequalities that still need to be eradicated." --- ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach

Our contemporary America is far, far too individualist. We have little sense of community, of responsibility for one another's well-being. We talk a good talk, sometimes, but our actions show how little we really care. -- Rev. Roger Olson

It is easy to die for Christ,
It is hard to live for him,
Dying takes only an Hour or Two,
But to Live for Christ, Means to Die Daily.
Only during the years of this life, are we given the privilege of serving
each other and Christ...
We shall have Heaven Forever -- Sadhu Sundar Singh

'If you have no Bible, you have no way to live.' --Rosa Parks

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
June 26, 2020

It has been an incredible two weeks in the Anglican blogsphere and the culture generally. Here are the highlights:

In the Diocese of Ft. Worth, the Anglicans there won their case to keep their properties valued at $100 million, roundly defeating the Episcopal diocese who believed the properties belonged to them. Not so, said the Supreme Court of Texas. They have the right to the properties based on neutral principles. So, a ten-year struggle comes to an end. The Episcopalians can take it to the SCOTUS, but it is unlikely they will hear it as they haven't heard a religious case since 1939. Another indication that Episcopalians are not getting it all their own way.

*****

In South Carolina, the Anglicans there won another round in the ongoing legal battle with the Episcopal Diocese over 38 parishes with a judge ruling that "neutral principles" triumphed over TEC 's claim. "This is a property case. A decision on property ownership is usually governed by the title to real estate--the deed. In this case, all the Plaintiff Parishes hold title to their property in fee simple absolute," wrote Canon lawyer Allan S. Haley. TEC will appeal, of course. You can read Jeff Walton and Canon lawyer Alan Haley's fine analysis here: https://virtueonline.org/south-carolina-anglicans-welcome-court-order-episcopal-property-dispute

https://virtueonline.org/sc-court-remand-vindicates-bishop-lawrence-and-his-parishes

*****

This week the "conservative" Supreme Court ruled in a majority 6-3 opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the four leftists, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 suddenly includes "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

In practice, The US Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia means that sexual inclinations and any corresponding behaviors trump biology and all constitutional rights, such as speech, assembly, property and economic liberty. The scope of this hijacking of civil rights law in the Bostock case is breathtaking. It puts a bull's-eye on every institution and sane person and will lead to more Maoist-style coerced speech.

It's one thing for a man to claim he's a woman; it's another to penalize people who won't go along with his delusion. So much for "science." This will pose huge problems for churches and freedom in the coming years

*****

The new Archbishop of Nigeria said there would be no truck with revisionists in the Anglican communion. The Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba says he will resist the revisionist agenda in the Anglican Communion and says that the Lord has made it clear that if care is not taken, even some of the elect can be deceived. (A reference to Mt. 24:24).

In a clear reference to leaders of the American Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Canada and the Church of England, the evangelical Primate of the world's largest attended Anglican province, said the best way to tackle any false teaching is by teaching the truth and preaching the wholesome Word of God, applying our lives to the same and making sure that we walk the narrow way, the archbishop told a Guardian reporter. You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/nigerian-primate-not-surprised-revisionist-agenda-anglican-communion

*****

The Anglican Church in North America released its figures this week. In 2019, overall, the Province saw fairly significant decline due to the withdrawal of two dioceses, CANA West and Trinity. The number of congregations decreased by a net of 94, from 1,066 to 972. Membership decreased from 133,279 in 2018 to 127,624 in 2019, a net loss of 5,655. Attendance declined by 3,009 persons, from 87,319 to 84,310. Adjusting for this factor, the Province, while declining in number of congregations, grew slightly in Membership and Attendance. The number of congregations declined by a net of 20, but membership grew by 202 and Attendance by 559. Still and all, the ACNA is bigger in average Sunday attendance than the Anglican Church of Canada, which boasts about 97,000.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach offered a candid appraisal of his denomination's challenges and admits there are problems, but the long term looks promising. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/acna-archbishop-offers-candid-appraisal-anglican-provinces-challenges

*****

On the plus side of the ledge the Anglican Church of Canada now has two evangelical metropolitans, upping the number by 100 percent. The Rt. Rev. David Edwards, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, was elected Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada. Archbishop Greg Kerr-Wilson (Calgary) is the Archbishop of the Diocese of Calgary and the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land. He is a Nashotah House graduate.

*****

However, St. Aidan's in London, Ontario, in the Diocese of Huron displayed a Black Lives Matter sign by its rector the Rev. Kevin George. The organization, Black Lives Matter, which Kevin George was keen to advertise, declared on its website that it is dedicated to overturning the nuclear family, dismantling cisgender privilege, dismantling the patriarchy, fostering a queer‐affirming network and uplifting Black trans folk. Among other things. The founders of BLM, Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Alicia Garza were accused recently of not having an ideological framework. They have hastened to assure us that they do: they are Marxists. They want to overturn capitalism and Western civilization. "As you can see, this fits in nicely with the agenda of the Anglican Church of Canada. To leave no doubt about his political bias, the rector of St. Aidans has a twitter feed on which he displays things like this: "JESUS KNOWS DONALD TRUMP IS FULL OF SH*T SO DO DECENT CHRISTIANS." h/t. David of Samizdat.

*****

Bishop William Love of Albany got his hearing, but that was it. No decision was rendered. We await the rending of the temple. A verdict of guilty for disobeying resolution B012 is pretty well assured, but you never know. The panel could get struck by lightning or have an attack of conscience and declare the Bible supersedes General Convention resolutions, but don't count on it.

*****

The National Cathedral in Washington is running out of money and had to lay off staff and cut salaries. For the record, when an earthquake hit Washington DC, the cathedral was the worst hit building in DC. They will still be doing repairs for years to come. You don't think God was trying to send the leaders a message, do ya?

*****

Episcopal dioceses are showing up with empty check books, with many unable to pay their assessment to the national church. However, there are different pots of money in TEC and Curry and Co., okayed $400,000 to fight racism in two dioceses, Minnesota and Kentucky. One should never let money go to waste. According to an ENS story, the church has $12 million to spend on stuff if it wants too...I see reparations in the air. Of course, what TEC cannot do is come up with more people. We don't know what the long-term fallout will be from COVID-19, but one cannot imagine it coming down on the plus side of history for TEC.

*****

The Bishop of Springfield, Dan Martins was told not so politely, that when his contract runs out, it runs out, and he cannot stay longer. He said he would stay longer owing to COVID-19. The Standing Committee said no and kicked him to the curb. The bigger question is why? The bishop has had to migrate to Chicago for his wife's health. Apparently, she has dementia, according to a source. As his churches are closed, why could he not be allowed to zoom from Chicago? There is clearly something going on here and he and the Standing Committee won't say. For the record, the bishop got kicked off the board of Nashotah House, an action he described at the time as "shocking." The ASA for the whole diocese is a mere 1344.

*****

The Church of England is in the process of banning reparative therapy. This led me to write a satirical essay in which US Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will officially ban all conversions. You can read that here. https://virtueonline.org/cofe-bans-conversion-therapy-homosexuals-episcopal-pb-says-he-will-ban-all-conversions

IN OTHER NEWS, The Church of England is facing a financial meltdown as a result of CV-19. A source told VOL that it could emerge 30% smaller as a result of the failure of its leadership. "That's 30% so far. They will try to keep our churches closed for a year. No Carol Services in 2020! But the bishops' stipends and jobs are ultra-safe, all funded by law by the Church Commissioners. The bishops are not accountable to anyone, and will blame everyone else," he said.

The UK Government says church buildings will be able to reopen for public worship from July 4, providing physical distancing remains in place, Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England's Recovery Group, said she welcomed the PM's announcement. The last three months have been an extraordinary time -- the first period without public worship and the sacraments in England in more than 800 years.

THE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS. As the West slowly tears down all its statues that speak of its history (both good and bad), one wonders how long it will be before certain Christians are notably included. Take John Newton, the famous hymnwriter of the iconic hymn "Amazing Grace." He is buried in Olney, Buckinghamshire. He was a slave trader. We await the desecration of history.

Justin Welby recently said monuments would be looked at 'very carefully' to see if they all 'should be there'. In a wide-ranging interview, he also urged the West to reconsider its prevailing mindset that Jesus was white, and pointed to different portrayals of Christ as Black, Middle Eastern and Chinese in different countries.

*****

The Episcopal Church kicked out another adulterous bishop this week. The Bishop of Eastern and Western Michigan, the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., got a year's suspension as part of a Title IV disciplinary action after admitting an affair with a woman. (If he had had sex with a man, announced he was getting a divorce, unmarried his wife at an altar, married the man, then divorced the man, he could have kept his job). Another bishop, the Rt. Rev W. Douglas Hahn, Bishop of Lexington was also found out to have had affair a year ago, before he became a bishop, but failed to disclose it. He got a year's suspension, but then the Standing Committee told him he was not welcome back. Hougland will probably get the same treatment. Adultery is the last unforgiveable sin in TEC, but sodomy is not, apparently.

*****

The soon-to-be Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell will be Archbishop Welby's biggest headache, a source told VOL. He has the cojones to lead the CofE down the paths of unrighteousness at a faster pace than Welby is now doing. Behind his back they say; "would you buy a used car from this salesman?"

The new library at Lambeth Palace, which looks like something from a former German concentration camp, was in fact built like a Belgian power station, VOL was told. Apparently, Church Commissioners were not given any say about its design.

*****

SEWANEE, THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH is back in the news again. The Sewanee Purple News magazine revealed that police had arrested Sewanee alumnus Charles "Chuck" Nabit (C'77) on federal sex-trafficking charges. Nabit and his wife Mary Kay are the namesakes of the University's Nabit Art Building on Georgia Avenue, erected in 2005. If he is found guilty, he could get five years.
A separate statement said that "the University will not take any action with regard to the Nabit Art Building at this time. The Board of Regents will assess what steps are appropriate at a later date, pending the resolution of the case.

The federal government accuses Nabit of paying over $90,000 to a sex trafficking ring allegedly led by Deangelo Johnson in Baltimore. Beginning in March 2019, the investigation numbered 52 alleged interactions between Nabit and victims, including some at the financier's downtown Baltimore office. Nabit has pled not guilty.

*****

China's Communists Aim to Rewrite the Bible to 'Create a New Version of Christianity'. As the Chinese coronavirus distracts the world, the Chinese Communist Party has ratcheted up its crackdown on religious freedom, and sources say President Xi Jinping is working on rewriting the Bible itself to "create a new version of Christianity shorn of its transcendent visions and values." Xi Lian, a professor at Duke University Divinity School, told The Wall Street Journal's Matthew Taylor King that Beijing doesn't just want to repress religion -- the Chinese Communist Party wants to transform it. Lian said Beijing wants to "drain Christianity of its spirit." China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported last year that Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang had presided over a meeting of so-called scholars and "religious people from the grassroots level" to discuss "making accurate and authoritative interpretations of classical doctrines to keep pace with the times."

*****

The MULTIPLY 2020 church plant conference recently revealed that in a 2017 study of 1,000 evangelical churches, only 7% were considered "effective evangelistic churches. On average, these churches saw just one person accept Christ each year for every seventeen people in the congregation. The remaining 93% of churches saw even fewer.

While the success of evangelism is not based solely on the number of conversions, we think this study shows an urgent need for evangelism training and confidence in a large majority of churches. Our vision is to address this problem, leaders said.

*****

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has written a new book; "The New Testament in its World" and says he is clear on female preachers. He was interviewed on what he thinks about women preachers and said this; "The usual idea that women were kept down in the ancient world and it's only recently that feminism has brought them back up is quite wrong. He said women who had some authority in the church and society were not anathema in the ancient world. "There were lots of independent women in Paul's world and that was something Paul worked with." But, says John G. Stackhouse Jr. "[This is] probably among the weakest answers I've heard on the subject, and embarrassing for Tom, alas. It cherry-picks a few verses and leaves intact the main objections of the patriarchists/complementarians, leaving the impression to the unaware that it's as simple as that, when he knows better: it isn't."

*****

St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., was vandalized again, after President Trump did a photo op in front of the church recently. ENS reports that protesters stood with their hands up on Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of St. John's where "BHAZ" (Black House Autonomous Zone,) was spray-painted on the 204-year-old church's columns, an apparent take on the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, Washington. That area, also called the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, is comprised of several blocks that were taken over by protesters and abandoned by police on June 8. One person was killed and two were injured in shootings there this past weekend. In a series of tweets, President Trump lashed out at the spray-painted messages outside the White House and threatened police action. "There will never be an "Autonomous Zone" in Washington, D.C., as long as I'm your President. If they try, they will be met with serious force!"

*****

What has Marx to do with Minneapolis? Melvin Tinker, a British writer and vicar thinks he knows; he night be right. "The seismic effects of the disturbing death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in June 2020 are being acutely felt, particularly in the West.

"What is designated as mass protests in major cities in the USA, UK and Europe involving tens of thousands of people under the banner of 'Black Life Matters' has taken many by surprise for their magnitude and stridency. In Britain, such mass gatherings are considered of greater virtue than that of 'saving lives' from the Covid-19 menace through social distancing and observing strict societal lockdown."

The former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, applauded these illegal gatherings in a tweet, as 'fantabulous'. The Bishop of Dover, the Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who is the Church of England's first female black bishop, told BBC Breakfast that racism was killing people. Accordingly, in her mind, they were necessary as "sadly the world pays no attention when we do not stand up,"

Any situation is usually more complex and messier than it appears at first sight and we must be careful not to simplify what has been happening in a reductionist way. However, it is not that difficult to detect in the rhetoric being used concerning 'white privilege', the call, even from the Archbishop of Canterbury, for white Christians to 'repent of their racism'. There are pictures posted of white men and women on their knees before people of colour begging for forgiveness. The narrative which is framing these events is largely a cultural Marxist one. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/what-has-marx-do-minneapolis

*****

Can the Anglican Communion Be Saved? Two eminent Anglican doctors of the Church, one a Brit and the other living in India have come up with the theory, (idea if you will) that the Anglican Communion could be salvaged. COVID-19 signals a way forward for conflicting groups to stay in the Anglican Communion, remaining as one Communion in keeping with Christ's prayer for unity found in John Ch. 17, they write.

Canon Dr. Vinay Samuel and Canon Dr. Chris Sugden believe that the three groups - The Lambeth group, GAFCON and the Global South group of Primates hold in their hands an opportunity to show the world. Their belief is based on how the British Empire became the Commonwealth of Nations, maintaining fellowship with one another based on historic and cultural ties embodied in the person of the British monarch.

They believe that COVID-19 is a fresh start and clean slate which could apply to the Anglican Communion as a whole? But is this realistic? I think not. You can read my reasoning here. https://virtueonline.org/can-anglican-communion-be-saved

*****

I hope you have enjoyed this new, punchier, shorter approach to the news with links if you want to read more.

We could use some financial support to keep the engines of news coming to you. I have a staff to support, as well as a website and Internet costs to maintain. You can send a tax-deductible donation to:

VIRTUEONLINE
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Or you can make a payment online here: https://give.virtueonline.org

You are our only lifeline to keeping the news coming. VOL turned down a 30-year $10,000 government loan because of the obligation to pay it back that could well extend beyond my lifetime and leave my board obligated. I felt that was unethical.

God bless you all and please stay safe.

David

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