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Is Church of England Reaching Tipping Point over Same-Sex Marriage? * Oxford Bishop Says he will Allow SS Marriages; Other Bishops Follow Suit * Orthodox CofE Bishops Push Back * Bullied CofE Evangelical Priest Resigns * Episcopal Survivors Network *

Is Church of England Reaching Tipping Point over Same-Sex Marriage? * Oxford Bishop Says he will Allow SS Marriages; Other Bishops Follow Suit * Orthodox CofE Bishops Push Back * Bullied CofE Evangelical Priest Resigns * Fictional Hopes of Justin Welby * Episcopal Survivors Network Blasts Bp. Ousley * Consecration of VA Bp. Ripped for Holding it in SBC Church *

Authentic relationships. Young people hunger for the authentic relationships of love. Hobart Mowrer, emeritus professor of psychiatry in the University of Illinois and well-known critic of Freud, though by his own profession neither a Christian nor a theist, once described himself as having 'a lover's quarrel with the church'. Asked what he meant by this, he replied that the church had failed him when he was a teenager and continued to fail his patients today. How? 'Because the church has never learned the secret of community,' he said. Unfair perhaps, because some churches *are* genuine communities. But it was his opinion, which was born no doubt of bitter experience. I think it is the most damaging criticism of the church I have ever heard. -- John R.W. Stott

How can that man suppose he is ready to meet Christ who never takes any trouble to pour out his heart to Him in private as a Friend, and is satisfied with saying over a string of words every morning and evening, under the name of prayer, scarcely thinking what he is about? How could that man be happy in heaven forever who finds Sunday a dull, gloomy, tiresome day--who knows nothing of hearty prayer and praise, and cares nothing whether he hears truth or error from the pulpit, or scarcely listens to the sermon? -- J.C. Ryle

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
November 11, 2022

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND is fast reaching a tipping point as it races headlong towards the sexual cliff in its desire to abandon marriage solely between a man and a woman and adopt same-sex marriage rites in parishes and dioceses across the country that wish to perform them.

The CofE is following the American Episcopal Church playbook. This will result in damaging the CofE beyond theological repair. The CofE is a church that can barely muster 750,000 worshippers on any given Sunday in a population of 56 million.

Just as the ACNA was birthed out of the Gene Robinson's consecration, so too, those who refuse to abandon the biblical mandate that sex stays within heterosexual marriage, will find themselves on the outs in the CofE.

The push is underway. The pansexual steamroller racing through the Anglican communion will not be stopped. While most of Western Anglicanism is in the throes of change under pressure from society and the culture, the Global South remains mostly steadfast in opposition to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage.

Only the Anglican Church of Southern Africa allows gay and lesbian partners who enter same-sex civil unions under South African law to be welcomed into congregations as full members of the church. The rest of Africa, Asia and South America remain steadfastly opposed to same-sex marriage. In fact, most Anglicans globally reject homosexuality in general and homosexual marriage in particular.

The Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft was the first out of the gate arguing to extend marriage to same-sex couples based on his reading of Matt. 7:15.

Matt. 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

Such a disingenuous use, or misuse of Scripture got immediate push back from several evangelical theologians. Foremost among them was Rollin Grams. Dr. Grams works with doctoral students through the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life. He lambasted Croft in a piece titled, "Oh, That crafty Bishop of Oxford," saying, "First, one must state the obvious: on Croft's view, for 2,000 years, the Church has been bearing very bad fruit on its views on sexuality and marriage. He would have to argue that the Church was wrong to argue its views from the start, when these views ran counter to Graeco-Roman culture. As British culture shifts to a post-Christian view, in Croft's view the Church needs to shift as well otherwise it would occupy a 'different moral universe.' This was, however, precisely where the Church was again and again as it encountered societies diametrically opposed to its ethics and won them over to Christian culture." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/oh-crafty-bishop-croft-oxford

Vaughan Roberts, a same sex attracted, but celibate conservative theologian believes that differentiation is necessary if the church moves forward without splitting. He opposes the bishop's position. He has written extensively on the subject here: https://2713aced-d665-4866-bcd0-8f7d81f2f5fe.usrfiles.com/ugd/2713ac_4f9a3958db324778b807e9507fb7c1b3.pdf

Dan McGowan, vicar of St. Paul's Church Banbury, Oxfordshire, had this to say; "At this stage, it is important to reiterate is that, as Christians, we object to sex outside marriage in any form, not because we don't like the idea of it, but because the Bible (which is our authority/rule) is clear in its rejection of it."

At the lay level, opposition has been the most vigorous. Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern headlined her forcefulness with a piece titled, "Bishops openly repudiate the teaching of the Church of England." Williams responded to the Bishop of Oxford and others calling for same-sex 'marriages' in the Church of England, saying, "The statements by Stephen Croft and other revisionist bishops that approve of same-sex relations demonstrate the need for radical change in the Church of England -- in precisely the opposite direction."

"The Church's official position matches the clear teaching of scripture by saying that sex belongs within one man, one woman marriage. Nevertheless, bishops and clergy have been allowed to sow endless doubt about what Christians throughout history and around the world have recognized is God's pattern for sexuality.

"Their theological arguments have been debunked time after time by genuine scholars; Jesus himself clearly upheld the sexual ethics of the Old Testament while demonstrating grace and offering forgiveness to all who sought it.

"For many years it has been clear that the driving force behind these revisionists is the not study of scripture, nor listening to the Holy Spirit but a relentless desire to mirror society's values."

"This is no less than apostasy. The apostolic gospel calls all people, everywhere, to repent -- to turn away from their sins and towards Christ. Such a radical change to the nature of repentance, to the doctrine of marriage, alters the gospel itself." You can read her full statement here: https://virtueonline.org/bishops-openly-repudiate-teaching-church-england

As at this time of writing, Croft said he expects more colleagues to publicly back his call for the church to start conducting same-sex weddings, with five bishops already voicing their support.

In the hours after Croft backed same-sex marriage, the bishops of Worcester, Dudley, Buckingham, Reading and Dorchester all voiced their own calls for the church to drop its refusal to marry gay couples. The Times said it understood that other bishops have written in support, in messages yet to be published.

Other prominent Anglicans praised the move, including the Rev Richard Coles, the broadcaster, who tweeted: "Very good to see the bishops of the diocese of Worcester joining the Bishop of Oxford calling for equal marriage in the Church of England."

More will join the call for same-sex weddings, declared the Oxford bishop.

But what of the future. Vaughan Roberts writes, "Bishop Steven recognises that 'some alternative system of episcopal oversight may well be required to enable a differentiation of ministries, such as an alternative province and structure within the Church of England or a system of oversight from a neighbouring diocese'."

Or a formal split could occur such as happened in the US, but with ties to the state it is more likely priests will leave with their parishes and join the AMiE, the UK mission society established by GAFCON, as it begins an ambitious church planting program. Their argument is that The Church of England should not have a monopoly on Anglicanism. Indeed.


It has been the contention of this writer that it is not orthodox Anglicans who have caused the schism in the Anglican communion by not being inclusive and diverse in our attitudes as we are constantly being portrayed. No, it is the left that has relentlessly lied in its efforts to broker homosexuality into the Church. For years we have been told that we who disagree with the pansexual steamroller racing through the Anglican communion are filled with hate and homophobia.

It is a lie that is repeated daily by liberal and revisionist church and secular media. It is a standard trope regularly rolled out by lesbian priests like Susan Russell, lay lesbians like Jayne Ozanne, the Rev. Colin Coward, a leading homosexual advocate and bishops like Gene Robinson. In addition, a plethora of homosexual and lesbian priests and laity race to control the narrative, yelling and screaming at anybody who dares raise his head above the ramparts to say they disagree.

I took this idea with a piece titled; THE LIES OF THE PANSEXUAL ANGLICAN LEFT, which you can read here: https://virtueonline.org/lies-pansexual-anglican-left


THE FICTIONAL HOPES OF ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY. The archbishop believes 'fruitful, energizing and honest' conversation will arise out of the Living in Love and Faith discussions by the bishops.

The Archbishop of Canterbury took to social media to urge people to pray as the College of Bishops meets this week to discuss the next steps of the Living in Love and Faith discernment process.

Those prayers, like his actions, will ascend no higher than a vaulted cathedral ceiling. The archbishop has already approved a homosexual living with his same-sex partner as the next Dean of Canterbury and his own Appointment Secretary is a "married" homosexual.

Does anybody with half a brain not see where this is going? Do the Church of England's evangelicals (CEEC) really believe they can cut a deal with the preponderance of bishops who believe same-sex marriage is now culturally acceptable and biblically irrelevant? Already, some 1100 priests and bishops have said they will marry partnered homosexuals and lesbians if called upon to do so!

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/fictional-hopes-archbishop-justin-welby


The Living in Love and Faith Report raises questions about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage and how these fit within the bigger picture of the good news of Jesus Christ? Well, it is not fitting well with a major evangelical parish in London -- St. Nick's Cole Abbey -- that wants to set itself apart because it is disappointed at the failure of the House of Bishops to uphold their vows to contend for, and only for, the Bible's view of marriage, which is clearly expressed in the historic doctrine of the Church of England.

In their statement explaining its decision the PCC wrote, "At St Nicholas Cole Abbey we seek to know Jesus and to make Jesus known. We want anyone, regardless of who they are or who they are attracted to, to feel welcomed in our church family and to join us at Jesus' feet as we seek to know him through his loving word. The church family at St Nick's longs to be obedient to Christ and takes seriously Jesus' call to contend for his gospel. In light of this, in October 2021 a group from the church family met with Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, to discuss our concerns with the Living in Love and Faith ("LLF") process. In particular we sought to convey our disappointment at the failure of the House of Bishops to uphold their vows to contend for, and only for, the Bible's view of marriage, which is clearly expressed in the historic doctrine of the Church of England. This is vital as we seek to love those in our pastoral care, all of whom need clarity and biblical conviction, not confusion, in this area."

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/st-nicks-cole-abbey-sets-itself-apart-diocese-london-over-living-love-and-faith-process

The deeper question is whether Anglican homosexuals and lesbians are willing to burn down the whole Anglican communion if they don't get their way!


Bullying in the church of England. A CofE evangelical priest resigned over bullying and abuse. The saga has left a 39-year-old former astrophysicist unemployed.

[Everything in this account is true and can be proved by documentary evidence that is on file.]

The Rev. Matthew Firth was appointed by Bishop Paul Butler as Priest in Charge of St Cuthbert's Darlington & Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity Darlington, along with being Resource Church Leader for a new transformation and growth project at St Cuthbert's. Members of the interview panel have told Matthew that Paul Butler pushed for Matthew to be appointed and reported Paul Butler as having said that 'Matthew is an excellent candidate because clearly one day he will be an Archdeacon or a Suffragan Bishop.'

Matthew moved to Darlington and was licensed by Paul Butler. Within a few weeks of the licensing service, however, Matthew discovered that Paul Butler had done no consultation whatsoever with St Cuthbert's PCC about whether St Cuthbert's wanted to be a Resource Church. Nevertheless, Butler's Resource Church Officer instructed Matthew to take forward the planning process for St Cuthbert's. Matthew did this as best as he could, but the absence of any initial consultation obviously made things very difficult. Throughout the process, however, the Resource Church Officer praised Matthew's work and planning. The planning work also received Stage 1 accreditation by the Church Commissioners for Strategic Development Funding. Thus, Matthew's initial work on the project received only praise and no criticism whatsoever from anyone. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-evangelical-priest-resigns-over-bullying-and-abuse


Locally The Episcopal Church continues to roil from one crisis to the next.

TEC'S 2021 STATISTICS ARE MISSING IN ACTION. The 2022 Parochial Report forms are ready to go, but one thing is missing -- the 2021 Episcopal Church Parochial Report. The facts and figures that show TEC's statistical health which, through the years, has also revealed its growing spiritual weaknesses. Usually, those figures are released in September. Last year they were released in early October. Here it is November and no figures from The Episcopal Church as the calendar quickly inches toward Thanksgiving.

However, on November 1, the 2022 Parochial Report form popped up while the 2022 calendar year is still two months away from ending. The 8-page form, which comes with a 29-page Workbook of Instructions, is to be filed only online starting on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, through May 1, 2023.

What does TEC not want us to know? Perhaps average Sunday attendance (ASA), which is about 475,000, has dropped below 400,00 and it is not just about Covid. Inquiring minds want to know. You can read Mary Ann Mueller's fine analysis here: https://virtueonline.org/tecs-2021-statistics-missing-action


Scotland's first woman bishop visited the United States on a trip funded by her church. It has emerged that she is under suspension and facing investigation over claims of bullying and misconduct.

Bishop Anne Dyer attended the consecration of the Bishop of Connecticut, the homosexual Jeffrey William Mello on October 16. She wore an ecclesiastical collar and purple shirt. The Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) confirmed it had funded the trip.

Dyer, the Anglican bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, was removed from her duties last month. It is almost two years after priests and church staff claimed she had made their working lives intolerable.

A senior cleric claimed the arrangement was inappropriate and would fuel ill feeling, adding: "She cannot be allowed to blur the boundaries of suspension." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/scottish-episcopal-church-paid-suspended-bishop%E2%80%99s-trip-us


Episcopal LGBTQ advocates in Virginia have rejected the decision by the Episcopal Church to consecrate Virginia bishop-elect E. Mark Stevenson in a Southern Baptist church, St. Paul's of Henrico Virginia. They also call for LGBTQ persons and their allies to boycott the consecration and to consider resigning membership in the Episcopal Church.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), of which St. Paul's is a member, said in a 1996 "Resolution on a Christian Response to Homosexuality," that "even a desire to engage in a homosexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/lgbtq-advocates-reject-episcopal-decision-ordain-virginia-bishop-sbc-church


Gene Robinson took a victory lap at Falls Church Episcopal (TFCE) this past week where the retired Episcopal bishop preached.

The former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire forcefully argued for the centrality of political action within the life of the church, reciting a litany of policies favored by the political Left as the correct application of biblical justice. He also highlighted gratitude for an invitation to speak at a parish that had prominently opposed his election and consecration.

The parish was once a thriving evangelical congregation, but in the episcopal property wars lost it to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The majority left and built a new church down the road.

The present church is not faring well. A Treasurer's report revealed that it spent over $900,000 on staffing and administration compared to total giving of around $600,000. TFCE Treasurer James Weatherly told parishioners at the July worship service, "Our pledge revenue is well below budget," Salmon wrote the congregation in a July 28 e-mail newsletter. "The parish must make adjustments in expenditures."


The Episcopal Survivors Network (ESN), comprising victims of abuse in the Episcopal Church, sharply condemned Bishop Todd Ousley's repeated mishandling of clergy disciplinary complaints made via Title IV, the church disciplinary canon. Ousley is the current bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development and reports to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

"Ousley's dismal and disgraceful handling of Bishop Whayne Hougland's admitted extramarital affair is appalling. The notion of rewarding misconduct, while ignoring victims, is repugnant to basic notions of Christianity. We see no evidence of any effort by Ousley to care for those hurt by this situation, or any recognition of the added trauma his behavior has caused.

The church cannot talk about 'The Way of Love,' while ignoring abuse, whether sexual or non-sexual in nature.

"If the church will not police itself, then we will shout it from the rooftops when we see misconduct," Hardy added. "The result will be the end of the Episcopal Church as we know it. That is the bottom line. And cleaning up the mess that is clergy discipline in the church begins with integrity in the office of presiding bishop."

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-abuse-survivors-denounces-todd-ousley-handling-clergy-discipline


As the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina works with its counterpart in the Anglican Church in North America, or ACNA, to facilitate court-ordered transfers of church properties, one of those properties will remain in ACNA's hands despite the state Supreme Court ruling in the Episcopal diocese's favor.

That is because Episcopal leaders have agreed to sell St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fort Motte to the ACNA congregation rather than take possession of the church there, citing the difficulty of relaunching an Episcopal congregation in the church after a 10-year absence. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-diocese-selling-south-carolina-church-acna-after-getting-property-back-court



THE CHURCH OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION. This piece by Carl Trueman is a must read. https://virtueonline.org/church-sexual-revolution
The Clearest Sign Yet That God Has Given America Over to Depravity raises the whole issue of drag queens in public schools. https://virtueonline.org/clearest-sign-yet-god-has-given-america-over-depravity

Americans Trust the Gov't More than the Church to Make 'Meaningful Cha... Americans are twice as likely to say the government is responsible for creating "meaningful change" in the nation than they are to say the same about the church, according to a new Barna survey. https://virtueonline.org/americans-trust-govt-more-church-make-meaningful-change-barna

DETRANSITIONERS CAN NO LONGER BE IGNORE. he phenomenon of 'detransitioning' is becoming harder to ignore. Take a look online and you'll quickly find large and growing communities of detransitioners -- people who have undergone hormone therapy and / or surgeries in order to make their bodies conform to that of the opposite sex, and who now want to go back to normal. https://virtueonline.org/detransitioners-can-no-longer-be-ignored


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