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Church of England at Crossroads Over Blessing Same-Sex Unions * Gathering Storm Could See Anglican Schism * Welby Called Out For Making False Statements in Parliament * TEC Seminaries Slowly Disappear * Revival Comes to Asbury University Spreads Across US

Church of England at Crossroads Over Blessing Same-Sex Unions * Gathering Storm Could See Anglican Schism * Welby Called Out For Making False Statements in Parliament * TEC Seminaries Slowly Disappear * Revival Comes to Asbury University...Spreads Across America

Persecution or opposition is a mark of every true Christian preacher ... The Old Testament prophets found it so, men like Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. So did the New Testament apostles. And down the centuries of the Christian church, until and including today, Christian preachers who refuse to distort or dilute the gospel of grace have had to suffer for their faithfulness. The good news of Christ crucified is still a 'scandal' (Greek, *skandalon", stumbling-block), grievously offensive to the pride of men. -- John R.W. Stott

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce and Father Sean Gough acquitted of all charges for praying in an abortion facility censorship zone. --- UK News

Parliament debates introducing censorship zones across the country, which could see more trials related to prayer "thoughtcrime" --- UK News

Even without having a formal statement of faith, Grove City College (GCC) has one of the most theologically conservative biblical and religious studies (BARS) departments among non-denominational Christian liberal arts colleges in the U.S. More than that: It is also one of the most confessionally coherent BARS departments, with the vast majority of its faculty being either confessional Presbyterians or confessional ANGLICANS who teach unabashedly in the magisterial Reformed tradition. -- FIRST THINGS

Liberal Anglicans, Catholics use 'development' theory to approve sodomy --- Jules Gomes

Do we need to remake God to keep the trans activists happy? -- Bill Muehlenberg

We say, "Jesus lives!", but if he was walking down the street today speaking the words found in today's reading from Matthew 5:21-37, or if he dared to "tweet" them, some offended person would surely report him to the hate police, and the Archbishop of Canterbury would chastise Him as Justin Welby did recently to a Synod member who tweeted something negative about same sex blessings in the "Wayward Sect in England". -- The Lowly Blogspot

David W. Virtue, DD
February 17, 2023

HEADLINES from across the globe highlight the deep dilemma the Church of England and its Archbishop Justin Welby find itself in over legitimizing the blessings of same-sex persons.

"Church of England considers abandoning Christianity"
"The last nail in the Church of England's coffin?"
"Conservative Anglicans warn Church of England is cratering..."
"England and Wales no longer Christian 'by default,' census shows"
"Evangelicals Fear LGBT Blessings Proposal Would Split the Anglican Communion..."
'We Cannot Walk with You Unless You Repent,' African Archbishops Tell Church of England
"Anglicans could 'formally disassociate' from Church of England after same-sex blessings vote"
"Conservative bishops from around the world warned Archbishop of Canterbury that same-sex marriage blessings 'rewrite God's law'"

Against the judgement of Scripture, history, tradition and reason, the Church of England has joined the Gadarene rush over the cliff edge into spiritual oblivion. It has gone against centuries of received teaching on human sexuality and done the unthinkable -- blessing that which can never be blessed, approving a behavior that no church on earth has ever approved.

Witness the current wobbliness by Pope Francis on the subject. He has not abrogated his church's position that sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is still sin, that homosexuality is not a crime -- but it is still sin.

But not all evangelical theologians and ministries in the Church of England think the situation is lost.

The five-part resolution left a window of hope open with amendment "G" which conservative theologians and at least one ministry pounced on as a way to stay in the CofE. It reads: "...endorse the decision of the College and House of Bishops not to propose any change to the doctrine of marriage, and their intention that the final version of the Prayers of Love and Faith should not be contrary to or indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England."

Theologians Ian Paul and Martin Davie saw the resolution as a "great victory" for traditionalist Anglicans. Even Church Society saw it as get out of jail card for evangelicals.

They are wrong, dead wrong.

First, the arguments are no longer theological, if they ever were. Do you think Colin Coward, Jayne Ozanne or Peter Tatchell care a whit about theology or what the Bible says? Of course not. This is about politics (we must follow what parliament ordains) and culture (society has blessed sodomy and gay marriage, SO how can the church stop the train now.)

Second, Church of England evangelicals, if they have noticed, have seen the Episcopal Church go down that road for several decades, culminating in B012 fully embracing homosexual marriage. Church of England evangelicals can pretend they didn't know, or if they did, arrogantly believe that what goes in England is all that matters, and that will not happen in my house. They should have listened and read the books of the late vicar/theologian Melvin Tinker.

Third, the Global South has been screaming at the Church of England over the increasing homosexualization of the CofE at the last three Lambeth Conferences, with both GAFCON and GSFA firing off missives about the errant behavior of the Church of England.

The province of Rwanda archbishop wont even sit in the same room with PB Michael Curry, for heaven's sake. And evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics in the CofE profess not to know that this is how it would all end!

"I have recently argued that the Church of England is following the same trajectory as the Episcopal Church USA and other revisionist provinces. If our North American experience provides any precedent for the Church of England, there will be no further theological dialogue or parsing of the language of the Prayer Book," writes American-based Anglican theologian, Prof. Stephen Noll. You can read his fine analysis here:

Sean Doherty is a same-sex attracted Christian who has been part of the Living in Love and Faith process since the beginning. He believes the CofE needs to take more time for proper discernment over the Church's position on gay marriage.

He wrote 8 reasons why the CofE's same-sex proposals won't work:
Here they are:

1. Simply to state that there is a difference of opinion is not an act of discernment.
2. A discernment has not taken place -- only a compromise
3. The absence of a theological, ethical basis leads to significant hostages to fortune
4. The distinction between civil marriage and Holy Matrimony is theologically wrong
5. These proposals will tear the Anglican Communion apart
6. It undermines the Church's teaching about sex
7. The proposals will lead to pastoral and evangelistic tensions
8. There is no provision for those who cannot go along with the proposals
You can read his story here: https://virtueonline.org/8-reasons-why-cofes-same-sex-proposals-wont-work

Lord Carey of Clifton, a former ABC, made his feelings known. He said that the Church of England will be out of step with the majority of the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches united with Constantinople, and the many Orthodox Churches of the Middle East... it will be out of step with the Bible...the step is a shift away from the foundational roots of the scriptures. I urge the bishops to think again .... before they return in July.

Sadly, there is no love lost between Carey and Welby and his words will go unheeded.

Archbishop Welby has gotten hammered from all quarters. Of course, orthodox Anglicans don't like what he has done resulting in threats of schism. GAFCON and GSFA think what he has done has gone beyond "impaired communion". English pansexualists don't trust him because he didn't go the whole nine yards for homosexual marriage...so who has he pleased at the end of the day; basically no one. To top it all off there are calls for him to resign. When you don't stand for something, you end up falling for anything, and everybody hates you. Is it any wonder that the archbishop suffers from depression.

The following links will give you a much fuller picture of what has been going on:


One particularly nasty exchange took place in Ghana at an ACC meeting, when Justin Welby charged that he was twice summoned and threatened with parliamentary action over the issue.

At General Synod, the Church's legislative body, he blamed rising secularism for triggering the historic debate on the new blessings. He also warned that the church should not be "dictated to", "blackmailed" or "bribed" over the issue.

Welby got push back from Sir Tony Baldry, who accused Welby of not offering 'a fair representation of the facts' over same-sex blessings debate. Sir Tony said he was "surprised" by the archbishop's comments, and accused him of not offering "a fair reflection of what happened" nor "a fair representation of the facts".

Speaking to The Telegraph, Sir Baldry said: "I think the only reasonable inference from Archbishop Justin's speech in Accra was that the General Synod had voted in the way in which it had done, to allow for same-sex blessings, because they had in some way been pressured by external forces."

He added that following the landmark Synod vote, there are now "two distinct tribes in the Church of England" -- for or against the same-sex blessings -- "and I don't think it helps by trying to create greater rifts between the tribes or by suggesting that there are exterior forces at work".

You can read more here:


A recent Sunday episode of "Music and the Spoken Word" put on by the Mormon Church of Latter-Day Saints had a special guest, the Rev. Andrew Teal, head theologian of Oxford University and an Anglican priest! That's quite a jump from Brigham Young and the weird theology of Mormonism to the Church of England!


IS AMERICA ON THE CUSP OF A GREAT REVIVAL? This past week word broke that revival had broken out at Asbury University in Kentucky (not to be confused with the seminary), and that hundreds of students were making their way to the chapel to worship, pray, confess sins and sing of God's wondrous love.

"While the Church of England is busy rejoicing in Anglicanism's latest embrace of the culture and the music industry celebrates Satan, God is busy fulfilling a long-ago uttered promise about the perseverance of the Church -- revival has broken out at Asbury University," writes Mary Ann Mueller, a regular contributor to VOL.

"What started out as a regular midweek chapel service in the Hughes Auditorium has become the ninth revival to sweep through Asbury since the turn of the 20th Century. The ongoing worship-prayer service is drawing national attention both in the media and by the increasing number of visitors drawn to participate. So far more than 1,000 students and others have made their way to the college chapel."

"For seven days and counting, starting with a chapel service on Wednesday (February 8), the Revival has been growing. People are driving into the small Kentucky town from as far away as Oregon and Canada to witness first-hand the outpouring of the Holy Spirit," she writes.

So far some of the universities and colleges which have dispatched busloads of students to Wilmore include:
✓Anderson University (Anderson, South Carolina);
✓Bethel University (Mishawaka, Indiana);
✓Campbellsville University (Campbellsville, Kentucky);
✓Cedarville University (Cedarville, Ohio);
✓Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, Kentucky);
✓Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, Massachusetts);
✓Georgetown University (Washington, DC);
✓God's Bible School (Cincinnati, Ohio);
✓Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Indiana);
✓Kentucky Mountain Bible College (Jackson, Kentucky);
✓Lee University (Cleveland, Tennessee);
✓Midway University (Midway, Kentucky);
✓Mt. Vernon University (Mt. Vernon, Ohio);
✓Ohio Christian University (Circleville, Ohio);
✓Olivet University (Bourbonnais, Illinois);
✓Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio);
✓Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Oklahoma);
✓Purdue University (Lafayette, Indiana);
✓Southern Wesleyan University (Central, South Carolina);
✓Spring Arbor University (Spring Arbor, Michigan);
✓Taylor University (Upland, Indiana);
✓Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tennessee);
✓University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky);
✓University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, Kentucky);
✓United Seminary (Trotwood, Ohio);
✓University of Tennessee (Chattanooga, Tennessee).

The revival is getting worldwide attention. People are dropping everything and flying to Wilmore, Kentucky from all points of the globe including the Philippines, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, and Indonesia.

It has even caught the attention of ACNA Bishop Felix Orji (I All Nations).

"We thank God for the Revival going on in Asbury," he tweets. "May God grant a revival of holiness amongst conservative bishops, clergy, and laity in the Anglican Church around the world."

"Four Christian colleges/universities are now in revival: Wesleyans, Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and Baptists. Come on @SewanneeSeminary. Even the Roman Catholic Church is picking up on it and sending representatives. "It's almost like a wellspring," said Father Norman Fischer, pastor of St. Peter Claver Church in Lexington, Kentucky, and chaplain at Lexington Catholic High School. "You just know right away that God is there."

You can read Mueller's four-part series here:


Just as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's love talk "revivals" have amounted to nothing, so increasingly are the Episcopal Church's seminaries.

Once numbering 11, they have now been reduced to four viable options, with Virginia Theological Seminary as the lead seminary with the most students and money under the careful and watchful eye of the Rev. Dr. Ian Markham.

Nashotah House offers an Anglo-Catholic perspective; Trinity School for Ministry dropped the "E" -- Episcopal and is no longer a recognized Episcopal seminary. It caters now to ACNA and North American Lutheran Church students.

The Living Church has reported in detail on the decline and merging of seminaries which you can read here:

You can also read the radicalization of Episcopal seminaries by Mary Ann Mueller here:

Some of the course offerings include:
+Worship, Culture, & Technology
+Asian-American Theology
+Theologies of Religious Pluralism
+Black Feminist Theology & Black Women's Ethics
+Slavery and Obedience
+The Christian Eros
+Women in African Christianity
+Black Religion & Radical Education
+Pastoral Wisdom Inside Prison
+Violence and Peace in Christian Ethics
+Religion, Political Economy, & the Black Community
+Global Ethics, Religious Ethics, Climate Change
+Queer Theology

These topics, if preached from pulpits, will guarantee to empty churches faster than a bucket of ice cubes melting in a sauna.


David Duggan and St. Chrysostom's Church issue updated: "Praise God. The new judge assigned to hear the "No Stalking--Order of Protection" case filed by a newly-ordained-alternative-lifestyle-minister against VOL columnist David Duggan dismissed the petition and vacated the order. During a three-hour hearing last week, the judge went through the pleadings and the evidence which had been presented seven months earlier at a private hearing (that is, David was not present). She ruled that the so-called acts of stalking, including a letter to Chicago's "assisting bishop" objecting to the ordination and an allegorical essay posted at virtueonline.org, were protected by the 1st Amendment, thereby nullifying the order. Though given the chance to replead his meritless case, the minister has not done so. But he has appeal rights and given his mercurial nature, as that great sage Yogi Berra said, "It's not over 'til it's over."

Meanwhile, the bills continue to mount. David applied his entire 2023 IRA distribution (and then some) to pay his lawyers' fees which had accrued last year. He sought the assistance of organizations whose aim is to protect the 1st Amendment rights of ordinary citizens, but they were reluctant to get involved in what they called "an intra-denomination squabble," as if the battle over "gay ordination" is unique to the Episcopal Church. But they have the purse strings. A trusted colleague has allowed those who feel as David and I do, that the orthodox faith is worth fighting for and putting their own resources to that end, to send contributions in any amount to the "Leslie A. Blau, PC, Attorney-at-Law IOLTA account" 566 W. Adams St., Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60661. David has promised to send a copy of his book of devotional essays "Glimpses of Grace, Reflections of a Life in Christ" to anyone who makes a contribution in any amount. Thank you and may God richly bless you.


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