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Christmas Hijacked by Secularists* Florida Bishop Wins Again; Faces New Challenges * CofE Faces Crisis over SS Marriage * Uganda Archbishop Says Split Inevitable if LLF Report Approved * Welby Will Not Declare Hand on SS Marriage * Nigerian Anglican Spat

Christmas Hijacked by Secularists* Florida Bishop Wins Again; Faces New Challenges * CofE Faces Crisis over SS Marriage * Uganda Archbishop Says Split Inevitable if LLF Report Approved * Welby Will Not Declare Hand on SS Marriage * Nigerian Anglicans Get Violent Over Who Owns Parish * ACNA Youth Pastor Guilty of Child Sex Abuse

A Christian lifestyle. Mission is our human response to the divine commission. It is a whole Christian lifestyle, including both evangelism and social responsibility, dominated by the conviction that Christ sends us out into the world as the Father sent Him into the world, and that into the world we must therefore go -- to live and work for Him. --- John R.W. Stott

For the first time since the 7th century AD, England is no longer majority Christian. --- Gatestone Institute

Our Christian feast has been hijacked by the secularists. Our culture has been appropriated. The angels have been replaced with flying reindeer. St. Nicholas has become a fat, Coca-Cola swilling imposter, and instead of shepherds in the field keeping watch over their flock by night, our lawns are cluttered with garish inflatable elves, singing snowmen, and grinning cartoon characters. As a kind of magical blessing, the whole commercialized celebration of consumerism is sprinkled with sparkly fairy dust. – Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Because our culture has pushed away the ‘true reason for the season’, we find that ‘the family’ has often come to replace the Christ Child at the core of the festivities. – J. John

"We are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. True faith always yields the fruit of obedience to one degree or another." - Dr. R. C. Sproul

Celebrations of the Savior’s birth are scheduled with 43 State Capitol Nativity scenes across America this Christmas. State capitols in Alaska, New York, Utah, and Virginia are scheduled to feature the traditional display of the Holy Family with Baby Jesus in the manger for the first time this year. – LifeSite News

Whether or not you accept the Christian theological beliefs which underpin the celebration of Christmas, they have transformed Western society and they are in the process of transforming nations far from Bethlehem. Christmas, that is, the celebration of the moment in which the all-powerful creator of the Universe took on human flesh and entered human history, sends powerful, if unspoken, messages. --- Michael Cook

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
December 23, 2022

Conservative evangelical Christians have sometimes been eager advocates of the modern campaign to “keep Christ in Christmas” and preserve the traditional religious meaning of the holiday, writes Daniel K. Williams in Christianity Today.

Unitarians and Episcopalians created the American Christmas, but evangelicals have rightly made it more gospel centered. The original religious message behind the American Christmas was not evangelical at all.

Instead, it was the creation of Unitarians, Episcopalians, and other liberal Protestants who had little interest in several key tenets of the evangelical understanding of the gospel.

Those of us who are evangelical in our faith can still have a merry Christmas. But if we want to do so in a way that foregrounds the gospel, we may have to discover a new approach to the holiday that does more than simply preserve the old.

You can read more here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/december-web-only/christmas-advent-history-unitarians-episcopalians-created.html

Christmas is a Happy Day for Broken Hearts. This story will be an encouragement to many of you who might be experiencing loneliness at this time of the year: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/december-web-only/christmas-.holiday-grief-loss-happy-day-broken-hearts.html


HOLT AGAIN. The Rev. Charlie Holt was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Florida for a second time (Nov. 18), but he still faced criticism over the diocese’s election process. Of course, the real reason hiding behind all the legal smokescreen about procedure is that a small gang of pansexualists don’t want him to have the job. He is too orthodox on sexuality issues for their money. He is not pro-homosexual enough and might hinder their desire to turn the diocese into dioceses like Newark or Maine, or worse Northern Michigan.

To put their minds at ease Holt issued a statement to the diocese on Dec. 20 saying he will not impede same-sex marriages or the ordination of gay clergy if he is consecrated.

In a letter to the diocese Holt said, “all sacraments should be accessible to all people.” Holt reiterated his previous affirmations of General Convention Resolution B012 from 2018, which requires that same-sex marriage liturgies be made available to all Episcopalians in jurisdictions where it is legal, The Resolution also allows bishops who disagree with same-sex marriage to delegate any required oversight of such marriages to another bishop.

Will Holt get consents from the House of Bishops? Will the much ballyhooed “doctrine” of inclusion kick in or will the theologically neutered HOB capitulate to the pansexualists? If he finally gets the nod, what sort of tenure will he have? Will the anger and hate arrayed against him be worth it? Will the compromise he has made stand the test of time?

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/florida-holt-seeks-pitch-big-tent-dispute-goes-court


The Church of England faces the most critical test of its future and its existence in 500 years when it comes to approve same sex marriage. The Living in Love and Faith (LLF) report was meant to bring people together, at least initially, but it seems to have had the opposite effect and is propelling the Church of England into a war with itself…and with the wider Anglican Communion.

The real question is, when it is passed, as that now seems assured, will evangelicals and Anglo Catholics go along hoping for alternative oversight from orthodox bishops or will they finally say this is the last line in the sand and say they are gone> That answer we do not know.

A number of theologians and the Church of England Evangelical Council and Christian Concern released videos after the release of the LLF resources that sparked some heated pushback from LGBT campaigners.

Cornelius Harding offered up A Heartfelt Plea: An Open Letter to the Bishop of Oxford begging him to back down. You can read that here: https://virtueonline.org/heartfelt-plea-open-letter-bishop-oxford

The retired Bishop of Birkenhead and National Director of the Church of England Evangelical Council, the Rt Rev. Keith Sinclair made his position clear regarding LGBT issues. "The voice we listen to above all other voices is God's voice and that voice is heard in "God's word written, in Holy Scripture"... God has spoken through his Word and his voice is the decisive voice to be heard in the Church of England." You can read his full statement here:

Ros Clarke of Church Society argues that the status quo Is THE only option. He further reported that there was general agreement that simply restating the existing ban on same-sex marriages or blessings in church was not an option.

Sadly, I agree. It will not be enough merely to restate the ban. Clearly, there are large numbers of people in the church, in General Synod, and even in the College of Bishops, who will need to have the biblical and theological basis of the ban explained to them. They will need what the Living in Love and Faith resources have consistently failed to provide: teaching about the historic, orthodox position of the church, as evidenced in Scripture, and outlined in the formularies of the Church of England itself. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-status-quo-only-option

An editorial in the English Churchman headlined; CHURCH OF ENGLAND: FOR THE SAKE OF TEN. The turmoil caused by the Bishop of Oxford's advocacy of teaching contrary to the Bible and Church of England doctrine has shown the undisguised contempt the progressive wing of the Church has for its standards.

As this story has percolated through the orthodox Anglican community, there has been more tut-tutting than calls to action. Typical reactions include:

"There is no remedy for bishops who teach falsely!"
"There's nothing we can do!"
"The Church of England is finished--this is it!"
"CDMs (Church Disciplinary Measures) do not apply to doctrine."
"CDMs do not apply to bishops."
All that is missing is Henny Penny running around shouting, "The sky is falling."

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-sake-ten

But what of Archbishop Justin Welby himself? He has said for the first time that he will keep his views on same-sex marriage in church a secret, as long as he is in the post. He says he wants to be the focus of unity, he being the great unifier of the Anglican Communion.

How disingenuous of the archbishop.

It is this kind of waffle that infuriates Global South bishops, who are quite definitive about same sex marriage. They believe same sex marriage is morally wrong, biblically prohibited, theologically unsupportable and communion destroying.

The Uganda Archbishop, Stephen Kaziimba, in his Christmas message said this, "There are rumours that the Church of England will soon vote to provide some form of blessings for homosexual relationships. We are grateful for the Church of England who gave us the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But we will never follow you in supporting homosexuality. You may be the ‘Mother Church,’ but let's be clear that such a decision will mean you have abandoned the very faith of Anglicanism you so generously shared around the world. You may still be the Church of England, but you will no longer be Anglican, because Anglicans uphold the Bible."

Kaziimba just pronounced that his province would split from the Church of England if the CofE Synod goes through with it in 2023. Other African provinces would likely follow.

Of course, the Nigerians have been savaging Welby for years over his waffling and prevarications, and they want nothing more to do with him. As far as they are concerned, Welby could take a long walk off a short pier into the Thames River and he would not be missed. The Nigerians are busy planting their own brand of Anglicanism in North America, and this is among evangelical Anglicans for goodness' sake!

Even lesbian lay woman Jayne Ozanne saw through the archbishop's sanctimonious ploy, and argued that "The archbishop's primary duty is to safeguard God's sheep. By sitting on the fence and wrongly prioritising 'unity at all costs', the archbishop continues to sacrifice LGBT+ people on the altar of expediency and fails to recognise the harm that church teaching continues to cause LGBT+ people."

The leader of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican churches (GSFA) issued a statement this week saying that it was necessary to revise and reform the Anglican Communion from "the tide of revisionism" and, "the immense and subtle pressure to accommodate the surrounding culture".

In a Christmas Message entitled 'Standing for Truth, Uniting the Faithful and Shining the Gospel Light' sent to fellow primates, the Most Rev'd Dr Justin Badi, Primate of South Sudan and Chairman of the GSFA, said that since its conception nearly 30 years ago, the GSFA has stood as a 'holy remnant' in the Communion. Now, following its united efforts at the 2022 Lambeth Conference, the GSFA was seeking to "swim against the tide and drift", to "follow the example of God's faithful people throughout biblical history to be loyal whatever the cost", and is calling for "repentance and a re-setting" of the Communion.

Former Egyptian Archbishop Mouneer Anis had earlier issued a statement arguing that if the General Synod of the Church of England at its February 2023 Synod

allows such a move to go forward, The Archbishop of Canterbury will be in a very difficult position because he would appear as contradicting the mind of many Provinces within the Communion.

"I am deeply saddened to say that the Anglican Communion we have loved, though it has kept its name, yet has lost its heart," said Bishop Anis.

But we all know where this is going. The pansexual steamroller brooks no opposition. The fabled doctrine of inclusion is more truthfully the doctrine of exclusion -- the exclusion of anyone who disagrees with them.

Then comes the problem with those who disagree. Will there still be room for them in the CofE?

Fortunately, there is an alternative in England -- the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) and the wider Anglican Network in Europe under GAFCON Bishop Andy Lines, who recently appointed two assistant bishops, perhaps anticipating a run from the CofE.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/archbishop-canterbury-focus-unity-or-source-disunity

The Church of Uganda is ready to split from Canterbury over the passage of same-sex marriages. The Anglican Church of Uganda-COU will immediately set in motion processes to split from Canterbury, seat of the Anglican Church worldwide once it officially communicates its support for same-sex marriages.

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, says that they are only waiting for the official communication from the ongoing meeting of the College of Bishops by the Church of England to decide their next action. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-uganda-ready-split-canterbury-over-same-sex-marriages

Pentecostal Church leaders in Uganda led by pastor Samuel Newman of Full Knowledge of God International Ministries, Zana have described as God-guided a decision by Church of Uganda to ditch the disgraced authority of Canterbury which has come under intense scrutiny over its support of same-sex marriages. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/pentecostal-church-leaders-uganda-support-anglican-church-breakaway-canterbury

Just breaking…the archbishops of Uganda and South Sudan issue a stern warning to the CofE if they go forward with same sex marriage: You can read more here: https://www.englishchurchman.com/57984-2/


The installation service for the new homosexual dean appointed to Canterbury Cathedral can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr1qMHpYzUQ

This is the worst kind of blasphemy. It is calling evil good, and comes closest to the sin against the Holy Spirit and therefore is unforgiveable. It is also a nail in the coffin of unity in global Anglicanism as Africans, Asians and South Americans will further limit their association with Canterbury and the Church of England. It is curtains for Archbishop Justin Welby’s global leadership.

A source told VOL that it is all part of the “good disagreement” schtick on which Welby has relied since he was a Canon at Coventry Cathedral and ran its “Reconciliation” ministry. Good disagreement is the leitmotif of his ministry since then as Dean of Liverpool, and Bishop of Durham before Canterbury. There appears to be no principle higher than “good disagreement” whether in the Church of England or the Anglican Communion. You can read more here:

Another source said this: Sadly, the 'go along to get along' mentality seems too deeply entrenched in the CofE evangelical Anglican psyche for them to do more than say, 'We don't agree but will agree to disagree'. The national church they represent becomes increasingly, publicly LGBT endorsing and promoting and evangelical leaders respond with ...?


IN OTHER ANGLICAN NEWS; Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on 1 January 2023 after nearly ten years in post. Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South Africa, joined Anglican Mainstream in 2013 to further its work amongst orthodox Anglicans in the UK.

Following a sabbatical, Mr Symes plans to spend more time writing in the area of theology and culture, supporting the development of the Anglican Network in Europe, and as the Associate Minister of Christ Church, Botley, an AMiE-linked (Anglican Mission in Europe) church in Oxford.

An evangelical bishop will take over Kensington in the Diocese of London. The announcement that the Rt. Rev. Dr Emma Ineson, an evangelical scholar has been appointed as the Diocese of London's next Bishop of Kensington, evoked outrage on Twitter.

Ineson has impeccable evangelical credentials. She is a British Anglican bishop and academic, specializing in practical theology. Since 2021, she has served as "Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York", i.e., assistant bishop on the staffs of both archbishops. From 2014 to 2019, she was Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, an evangelical Anglican theological college; and from 2019 to 2021, she was Bishop of Penrith, the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Carlisle; she is to become area Bishop of Kensington in spring 2023. She is a linguist with a BA degree and studied theology and graduated with a further BA degree in 1999. She holds an MPhil and PhD. She is better qualified than the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, a former nurse who holds a diploma of theology from the Univ. of Kent.

You can read the twitter pushback here: https://virtueonline.org/new-evangelical-bishop-kensington-gets-pushback-twitter

The Church of England recently appointed Anglo-Catholic clergy to serve as Provincial Episcopal Visitors for the Church. The first PEV office to be filled was that of Bishop of Beverley in October. The Rev. Canon Stephen Race, currently rector of Central Barnsley and Area Dean, was appointed to look after parishes in the Province of York that do not agree with the ordination of women as it breaks with the tradition of the broader church.

"REFORM AND REVITALISATION" NEEDED FROM "REVISIONISM" IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION, said a communique from the leader of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA).

A VISION to "reform and re-vitalise" the Anglican Communion from "the tide of revisionism" and, "the immense and subtle pressure to accommodate the surrounding culture" has been set out by the out by the leader of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA). The Most Revd Dr Justin Badi, Primate of South Sudan and Chairman of the GSFA, said that since its conception nearly 30 years ago, the GSFA has stood as a 'holy remnant' in the Communion. Now, following its united efforts at the 2022 Lambeth Conference, the GSFA was seeking to "swim against the tide and drift", to "follow the example of God's faithful people throughout biblical history to be loyal whatever the cost", and is calling for "repentance and a re-setting" of the Communion. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/reform-and-revitalisation-needed-revisionism-anglican-communion

What began as a joyful church service celebrating baptisms and confirmations at Christ Anglican Church, in Irvington, NJ erupted into heartbreak violence when a Church of Nigeria (CoN) Bishop Dr. Augustine Unigbe attempted to illegally seize the church which belonged to the Anglican Church in North America.

Christ Anglican Church is a member of the Anglican Diocese of the Rocky Mountains. Bishop Ken Ross, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Rocky Mountains, was leading the worship service when the CoN who is also a medical doctor in New Jersey, and a group of 14 CoN members forced their way into the church, attempting to illegally seize the church property. Bishop Unigbe stormed the platform yelling "I have come to take over the church and shut this
service down."

In a video obtained by the Anglican Office for Government & International Affairs, Bishop Unigbe is clearly seen pushing and shoving church members and at one point to raise his Bishop's staff, striking a church member trying to stop the illegal trespassing. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-nigeria-bishop-leads-violent-sectarian-mob-attacking-anglican-church-new-jersey

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (CoN), the Most Rev'd Dr Henry C. Ndukuba was drawn into responding, apparently reluctantly, and said the leadership of CoN obviously disapproves of the disorderly and unwholesome behavior on display in the videos.
The Primate said he had been aware of criticism directed at the CoN leadership as being indifferent or worse, to the avoidable crisis in one of the churches that is connected with the CoN mission in the United States.

CoN however hitherto deliberately resisted the urge to go public and perhaps fuel the unfortunate internal crisis and the suspicion and mistrust that unfortunately culminated in the disruption of a worship service and involvement of New Jersey law enforcement agents to restore a semblance of order. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-nigeria-responds-nj-parish-fracas


Mark Rivera, a former lay pastor at the center of several sexual abuse allegations in a conservative Anglican denomination, was found guilty of five counts of felony child sexual abuse and assault. Judge John Barsanti of Illinois' 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Kane County found Rivera guilty of two counts of predatory sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old (a Class X felony) and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under 13 (a Class 2 felony). The defense has 30 days to file a motion to request a new trial, and if the motion is denied, the sentencing hearing is expected to take place on Feb. 10. Barsanti revoked Rivera's bail, and Rivera will be held at Kane County jail awaiting the final outcome of the prosecution.

The decision has been a long time coming for the family of Cherin Marie, whose young daughter originally reported being sexually abused by Rivera in 2019. Cherin asked to go by her first and middle names to protect her family's privacy.

"We are grateful for the verdict and we hope this is the first step of many towards justice for Mark Rivera's victims," Cherin said on behalf of her family. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/mark-rivera-former-anglican-lay-pastor-found-guilty-felony-child-sexual-assault


CULTURE WARS. The following stories will be of interest selected exclusively for VOL’s readers:

A mass exodus from Christianity is underway in America. Here's why: https://virtueonline.org/mass-exodus-christianity-underway-america-heres-why

THE IMPENDING THREAT TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN THE SO CALLED "RESPECT FOR MAR... https://virtueonline.org/impending-threat-religious-liberty-so-called-respect-marriage-act



Christmas is not the time to cancel Sunday worship https://virtueonline.org/christmas-not-time-cancel-sunday-worship

THE GIVE AND TAKE OF HEADLINES https://virtueonline.org/give-and-take-headlines

Archbishop's silence on same-sex 'marriage' is weak leadership https://virtueonline.org/archbishops-silence-same-sex-marriage-weak-leadership

THE KIND OF CHRISTIAN WE ALL NEED IN 2023 https://virtueonline.org/kind-christian-we-all-need-2023
Transgender Phenomena in Children and Adolescents -- Medical and Psychological... https://virtueonline.org/transgender-phenomena-children-and-adolescents-medical-and-psychological-aspects

'People Are Running From You, Mr. President. Can't You See https://virtueonline.org/people-are-running-you-mr-president-cant-you-see


For eight years I have known David Duggan as a writer of devotional essays, editor of my own work, and trusted lawyer and confidant. He is a devoted Christian who has paid for his faith by being exiled from two Episcopal parishes in Chicago. The reason for these exiles is his outspoken opposition to the power of the “gay mafia” that has functional control over the Episcopal Church. Ascension, a once noteworthy stop on the biretta circuit of Anglo-Catholic parishes, booted David five years ago because, as the former bishop Jeff Lee said, “I felt it was necessary for Ascension’s future and [David’s].”

More recently, St. Chrysostom, an evangelical outpost in that mostly smells-and-bells diocese, declared David persona non grata because he opposed the ordination to the priesthood of a “married” gay man with an adopted daughter. David wrote a confidential letter to the ordaining bishop, Chilton Knudsen, a woman with her own moral shortcomings, noting the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse by homosexual clergy, and simply asking that his objection to the ordination be read at the service which he did not plan to attend. That newly-ordained minister used this letter as an act of “stalking” in a petition to have an “emergency order of protection” entered against David. This was done without notice or an opportunity for David to raise obvious First Amendment issues.

That was six months ago. Since then, David has paid out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees that could have supported a feeding program for the homeless who live under the bridges of Lake Shore Drive within a couple of miles of his home. Because of the well-documented incompetence if not corruption of the Illinois judiciary, he has not had a hearing on the merits of his First Amendment arguments. This minister meanwhile is being represented by an international law firm with an active LBGT practice. They are plainly not charging this minister for their time.

A trusted colleague of David’s has agreed to use his client funds account as a repository of any funds that can be raised to help David “fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 6:12). This would not be a tax-deductible contribution, but in this time when Our Lord came to a family enrolling to pay their own taxes, that should not be a concern. Any amount would be gratefully appreciated, both by David and by me.

Contributions should be sent to “Leslie A. Blau, PC, Attorney-at-Law IOLTA account, 566 W. Adams St., Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60661. Thank you and may God richly bless you in this season and forevermore.


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