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Archbishop Welby Denounces Boycotting African Primates * Should CofE Be Disestablished? * DofVA Elects "Orthodox" Bishop * DofFlorida Standing Ctte Fights Back over Election * TEC Gen. Con. Slim Down Costs $1.1 Million * Dof Chicago Under Scrutiny * More

Archbishop Welby Denounces Boycotting African Primates * Should CofE Be Disestablished? * DofVA Elects "Orthodox" Bishop * DofFlorida Standing Ctte Fights Back over Election * TEC Gen. Con. Slim Down Costs $1.1 Million * Dof Chicago Under Scrutiny * Anglican Diocese of SC Parishes Get Legal Reprieve * ACNA Bishop Inhibited

Selective discipleship. 'False Christs will arise,' Jesus prophesied. And it has been so. There have been religious quacks advancing great claims for themselves, and poor psychotics saying 'I am Jesus Christ.' There have also been misrepresentations of Christ, caricatures which depict him as fiery zealot, failed superstar or circus clown. And coming nearer to home, there are our own distorted images of Jesus. 'Follow me,' he said. 'Yes, Lord,' comes our glib reply, 'we will follow you.' But which Christ are we following? The Christ some follow breathes love but never judgment, brings comfort but never challenge; while others among us are alert to his commission to evangelize, but have somehow never heard his call to care for the poor, the sick, the hungry and the deprived. The apostles took up the theme of following Jesus. We are to 'imitate' him, they wrote, to 'follow in his steps'. What it will mean to do this depends on our understanding of the Jesus in whose shoes we are to walk. So, let's look again for the *real* Jesus, the authentic Jesus of the Gospel records, over against the popular dreams which men have dreamed. Certainly, our Christian lifestyle depends on the kind of Christ we envisage and believe in. -- John R.W. Stott

Pride Month is at once a brilliant marketing strategy and a striking reminder that the conscience is a terrible thing to waste -- Kevin DeYoung

Conversion is not the touchdown, it's the kickoff. It's the beginning of the game. --- J.T. English, in his book Deep Discipleship

Salvation is not the finish line, it's the starting line. I want them to know that following Jesus is a lifelong decision. It's a one-time decision with lifelong implications for their life. --- Jonathan Freeman

If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other men. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace along the way, and glory at the end all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. ---
J. C. Ryle

To hell with Pride Month. Pride has become pompous, grotesque and intolerant. -- Gareth Roberts

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
June 10, 2022

THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY and his friends in the Anglican Communion (TEC, ACOC, Church of Scotland, and many Anglican provinces in Africa and South America) have chosen to disregard the teaching of the Bible in the areas of human sexuality, gender, marriage, and the uniqueness of Jesus as the ONLY way to salvation for sinners. They have no regard for biblical doctrine and morality and refuse to accept the fact that the basis of Christian fellowship is mutual commitment to Christ as our only Savior and Lord and the Bible as the primary authority for Faith and practice. He has invited practicing gay and lesbian Bishops who are in same-sex "marriages" to be part of the Lambeth Conference. That is unacceptable. After several years of protests and unfruitful Ndabas (dialogue) nothing has changed. That is why the Anglican Provinces of Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and ACNA have rightly chosen to absent themselves from the forth-coming unholy fellowship called the Lambeth Conference.

Thus spake Bishop Felix Orji, of the Anglican Diocese of the West and Coordinating Bishop of CONNAM, briefly summarizing the dilemma Archbishop Justin Welby faces as Lambeth approaches next month.

Four African Primates have said they will not be attending Lambeth in July. They are: ++Henry Ndukuba Primate, Church of Nigeria; ++Laurent Mbanda Primate, Church of Rwanda, ++Jackson Ole Sapit, Primate of Kenya and ++Stephen Kaziimba, Primate, Church of Uganda. Together these four primates represent 35 million of the 70 million Anglicans in the Communion. No small change.

It is why Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Josiah Fearon Secretary General of the Anglican Communion have become unhinged over their absence.

This week they went on a rampage saying their failure to come was "unbiblical", with God calling us to unity and not to conflict.

"Boycotts do not proclaim Christ, those who stay away cannot be heard, they will lose influence and the chance of shaping the future. All of us will be the poorer spiritually as a result of your absence."

Their letter was in response to a joint statement issued by three of the Primates -- Archbishop Henry Ndukuba of Nigeria, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of Rwanda, and Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba of Uganda.

Their argument is that Justin Welby and Lambeth have become wed to the spirit of the age over sexual issues. They described "the recognition of homosexual relations" as the main cause of contention, alongside the "underlying question" of "biblical revisionism, arising from the adoption of secular culture within the Church".

They further argue that human sexuality is not a moral issue only to be wrapped in the garment of human rights which allows for distortion of fundamental biblical truth.

Welby criticized the three Primates' rejection of some of the topics to be discussed at the Lambeth Conference, saying: "we are distressed to read that you consider matters of the environment, poverty and economic disadvantage to be 'peripheral'. These are matters of life and death for large parts of the Communion. They are the result of human sin of despoiling and ruining God's creation and it is anticipated that the world will see devastating wars and the displacement of up to one billion people as a direct result of climate change. Not to care for God's creation and for the poor and destitute is in direct contravention of the teaching of scripture and the words of Jesus Christ."

The truth is sodomy is a salvation issue, according to scripture, and Jesus said, 'the poor you will have with you always.' Not of course, that Jesus advocated it, but he recognized that there would always be haves and have nots, and those who had and did not share like the rich man would wind up in hell.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/welby-denounces-african-primates-boycotting-lambeth-conference
And here: https://virtueonline.org/four-gafcon-primates-nix-lambeth-conference-over-homosexuality

The Archbishop of Canterbury announced this week that he was introducing something new for the Lambeth bishops. He calls it 'Lambeth Calls' and what they amount to will be short written statements that include declarations, affirmations and common "calls" to the church and the world that the bishops want to make. Lambeth Calls will relate to the main themes of the conference program and include: mission and evangelism, reconciliation, safe church, the environment and sustainable development, Christian unity, interfaith relations, Anglican identity, human dignity and discipleship.

This sounds like a variation on the Indaba theme. It will also prevent any major statements or outbursts like Resolution 1:10 from ever happening again. No mass voting, and Welby can control the narrative much better. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/archbishop-canterbury-introduces-new-lambeth-conference-feature-lambeth-calls


A joint visit of Justin Welby with Pope Francis to South Sudan has been postponed. The pope has health issues that require constant attention. "I continue to pray for the people of South Sudan in their challenges and hopes for peace, and look forward to this historic visit at a later date," said Welby.


Should the Church of England be disestablished? In a guest post, Jonathan Chaplin, a member of the Centre for Faith and Public Life at Wesley House, Cambridge and author of Faith in Democracy: Framing a Politics of Deep Diversity (SCM 2021), looks critically at the Establishment of the Church of England.

He concludes that disestablishment could free it up to adopt more critical, 'prophetic' public stances towards nation and state, if it wished. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/should-church-england-be-disestablished-0


The Queen's 70th anniversary went off without a hitch. While Americans don't approve of royalty, it did touch a lot of American hearts largely because Queen Elizabeth stands above the political fray and gives the public something they don't have to quarrel about. Boris may well have sustained a recent no confidence vote, but in time he will be gone, the Queen, as Governor of the church remains.

Now the real issue will be if King Charles can command the same loyalty. It is glib to say that everything will be different after the Queen dies, but it is true. All changed, changed utterly: assumptions which have been perpetuated by Her Majesty's extraordinary longevity will fade away in a moment. The novelty of a king (unknown to those under 70) will give the new monarch an opportunity for realignment and new priorities: perhaps the Established Church leaves not with a bang, but with a whimper. The prince has said that he wants to be seen as a defender of all religious faiths and not just the Anglican church. That is far cry from Queen Elizabeth who as The Sovereign holds the title 'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England'. We shall see.


On the Episcopal Church front, they had an election in the Diocese of Virginia a plum diocese in TEC, one of the wealthiest and biggest. The winner and bishop-elect was the Rev. Mark Stevenson. When he started out in the Diocese of Louisiana, Stevenson was strongly opposed to Gene Robinson's election, very much against women's ordination, a high church Anglo Catholic from Nashotah House and staunchly orthodox. Then he got purple fever and sold his soul. How can you tell what he actually believes at the moment? Well one thing we do know is that he has signed on to B012 and does not face the threat that Charlie Holt faces in Florida of a new election because he tried to nuance his theology. Stevenson's betrayal is reminiscent of that great line in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS when Sir Thomas More confronts the Attorney-General for Wales; "Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales!"

In the Diocese of Florida where bishop-elect Charlie Holt is being challenged by a cadre of pro-homosexualists bent on making sure he does not get consents from fellow bishops, the Florida Standing Committee released a text to the objection to Holt election saying they want to reinforce that they believed in the election's canonical and legal validity. These facts underscore our confidence in the process, they said. They ignored the fact that the objections now being pressed is that Holt is not definitive enough in groveling before Resolution B012 and the 2% of the Church's pansexualists. Right now, it is the hands of the Court of Review who have to figure out once the process reveals it was all done by the book, if his failure on homosex is enough to disqualify him from getting the job. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/florida-standing-committee-releases-text-objection-holt-election


TEC's upcoming General Convention move to a shorter, smaller, scale-down 80th General Convention is going to cost the church a cool $1.1 million. "The increased expense of a scaled-down gathering in Baltimore, Maryland, will more than offset any savings, they said, leaving the church with a net additional cost of about $1.1 million," a press release.

The 80th General Convention initially had been forecast to draw 10,000 people to Baltimore when it was scheduled for July 2021, before the pandemic forced a postponement. Now that it has been rescheduled for July 2022, only bishops and deputies and essential staff members and volunteers are expected to attend in person. Dioceses will be asked to send only two alternate deputies, and inactive bishops will be asked to stay home. They blame it on lingering concerns about COVID-19 transmission at the large, churchwide gathering. This is very odd, bearing in mind the White House has just announced that US travelers returning to the country now no longer need be tested! Is something else going on here?

Of course, issues like racism and poverty will be talked about, but the biggie will be delegates conferring online on a radical proposal to offer Communion to people who are not baptized and thus not affiliated with the Christian faith. A number of theologians have already weighed in and rejected the idea, but that does not mean the laity and clergy will listen. Stay tuned.


The Diocese of Chicago found itself under scrutiny by the Chicago Sun Times over a $750,000 sex abuse case putting Bishop Chilton Knudsen's actions under scrutiny.

She didn't immediately call police after an 18-year-old told her he'd been molested by Richard Kearney, according to a just-settled lawsuit that also says Bishop Frank Griswold's office ignored other suspicions about the predator priest.
A Chicago-area man was the first to report sex abuse in 1990 by Episcopal priest Richard Kearney.

This whole thing is loaded with irony. Knudsen wrote curriculum for her denomination on preventing sexual abuse and became a "certified sexual abuse prevention trainer" in response to a clergy sex abuse crisis that has embroiled the Roman Catholic church. Was she asleep at the wheel here?

Frank Griswold is deeply conflicted over sex and is accused allegedly of being a bi-sexual, so it might well be that neither bishop wanted to look too closely at this abuse issue. Griswold also wrote that Kearney "has been punished enough just by having to live through these past months." Really, what about the victims, Frank? You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/chicago-episcopal-dioceses-750000-sex-abuse-case-puts-bishop-chilton-knudsens-actions-under-scrutiny


In the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, parishes that split from SC Episcopal Church are hopeful they could keep properties after all. Following a June 7 order by the S.C. Supreme Court, some congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church are optimistic they could end up keeping their properties.

On April 20, the state's top court ordered that 14 of the 29 congregations that split from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina were to hand over the properties to the Episcopal Church. It appeared that the court's decision put an end to a decadelong legal battle over the ownership of dozens of church properties valued at roughly $200 million.

But in a stunning development this week, the state's top court did not deny petitions for rehearing submitted by seven of those churches. Instead, the court requested that the Episcopal Church respond by June 20 to the arguments made by the seven parishes.

The court's order gives hope to some of the breakaway parishes, which fall within the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina umbrella, that they could, in fact, retain their valuable religious facilities. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/parishes-split-sc-episcopal-church-hopeful-they-could-keep-properties-after-all
And here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-diocese-south-carolina-petitions-court-rehearing-over-eight-parishes


African church leader to address GAFCON Australasia A national church gathering of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Australasia will hear from international leaders including GAFCON General Secretary, Archbishop Ben Kwashi.

Archbishop Kwashi's visit will include an address at the August 12-18 conference in Canberra as well as events in Sydney for Anglican Aid.

"I look forward to welcoming to Australia Archbishop Ben Kwashi, a dear brother and partner in the gospel," said the Rev Canon Tim Swan, CEO of Anglican Aid.

"We are sharpening our focus on supporting persecuted Christians and we trust that Archbishop Kwashi's steadfast proclamation of the gospel in the face of violent opposition will encourage Australian Christians to not only stand firm themselves, but join in wrestling in prayer for those suffering persecution around the world."

The Rev Michael Kellahan, the executive officer of GAFCON Australia, agrees. "It is very good for Sydney Anglicans to hear what God is doing in and through our global Anglican brothers and sisters. We learn so much from those who have been faithful under persecution, who understand the cost of following Christ in hard places. They fuel our prayers and stiffen our spines."

In addition to Archbishop Kwashi, American Archbishop Foley Beach -- the chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council -- is also expected to be in attendance.


The Anglican Church in North America is having its share of woes with the occasional wayward bishop. The latest is Bishop Todd Atkinson of the Via Apostolica Missionary District in Alberta, Canada. He has been charged with violating Title IV Canon 2 of the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Atkinson has been inhibited from ministry pending the outcome of the Title IV process. The charges include misconduct and abuse of ecclesiastical power. The Presentment and Inhibition came after a unanimous recommendation from the Provincial Investigative Team tasked with looking into allegations against Bishop Atkinson of misconduct brought to the archbishop's attention. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/albertaca-bishop-todd-atkinson-inhibited


The College Consultors of the Mission Society of the Anglican Mission in the Americas issued a Communique from Entebbe, Uganda re-affirming their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to Him as our Savior, Lord and Friend. We endeavor to further His Gospel and to reach those who do not yet know Him and to deepen the faith of those who have chosen to follow Him.
You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/communique-college-consultors-mission-society-anglican-mission-americas


In Wales, it was learned from a local blogger that Archbishop Andy John was noticeably absent at the magnificent Thanksgiving Service held in the splendor of St Paul's Cathedral. One absentee was the Queen herself owing to failing health, but the other was not ill, namely the Welsh archbishop. He was the only dignitary to send a representative.

Curiously 'The Representative of the Archbishop of Wales' was not the next most senior bishop, Gregory Cameron, bishop of St Asaph, but the most junior, the recently appointed assistant bishop in Bangor, Mary Stallard.

Why? When Ms. Stallard was appointed, the archbishop said, "I am delighted that Mary has agreed to take on operational responsibility for much of the life of our Diocese to assist me while I take on the role of Archbishop of Wales."

What, one wonders, was so pressing in the archbishop's diary that he was forced to absent himself from probably the most important event since he was elected archbishop, representing the Church in Wales at the Thanksgiving Service for a monarch who has led by example, keeping the faith when too many bishops have not.


After months of social depravations and the resignation of its prime minister on May 9, Sri Lanka still faces a tough future. Throughout the upheavals, the bishops and clergy of the Anglican Church of Ceylon have expressed support for the populace as anti-government protests have broken out across the South Asian island nation.

Before the government's collapse, Presiding Bishop Keerthisiri Fernando and Bishop of Colombo Dushantha Rodrigo urged the government to "listen to the cries of the people" and address the escalating crisis. H/T TLC


CULTURE WARS. I am posting as links some of the better articles on the culture wars that impact of all of us and our churches.

https://virtueonline.org/welcome-pride-month-christian Welcome to Pride Month, Christian. Social justice demands our opposition to its celebration and symbols.

https://virtueonline.org/i-am-woman-trapped-mans-body "I am a woman trapped in a man's body" as a position that has gradually progressed from centuries of secular philosophy and rejection of Christian thought.

https://virtueonline.org/transgender-revolution-and-death-truth Our society stands on the brink of disaster. The great question remaining is whether there is enough sanity and courage left in our society to avoid the total abdication of truth. It is now plain to see that we face a demand to jump into the deep end of a pool of mass delusion. Whatever it takes, summon the courage to resist that dive.

https://virtueonline.org/roots-lgbtq-movement A must read on how we got to this point in our culture.

https://virtueonline.org/american-churches-are-killing-christianity Matt Walsh's book, Church of Cowards. A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians rips contemporary Christians a new one. He admonishes Christians for their craven cowardice in the face of woke liberalism and perverse sexual ideologies. The Church in America must get aggressive about removing secularist practices. Among the complexities of the book, Walsh has this to say about pastors officiating at gay weddings.


If you are looking for an ACNA parish near you click here: https://anglicanchurch.net/find-a-congregation/


I have received credentials to attend the next Lambeth Conference, my third and last, bearing in mind my age. I do need help financially to make this possible. There are air fares, accommodation, Internet needs and human support for getting the stories back to you. VOL's staff will be working overtime and odd hours with the time differences to make all this possible. VOL will be one of a very few orthodox media voices covering this Decennial event.

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