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Church in Wales Okays Homosexual Blessings * Texas parish spends $66 million to build new buildings * Ft. Worth Anglicans get $4.5 million in legal fees from TEC *Counterfeit "Gospel" of Affirming Catholicism *EFAC-USA Leader sees future for evangelicals

Church in Wales Okays Homosexual Blessings * Texas TEC parish spends $66 million to refurbish buildings * Ft. Worth Anglicans get $4.5 million in legal fees from TEC * Counterfeit "Gospel" of Affirming Catholicism * EFAC-USA Leader sees bright future for Evangelicals * ACNA Bishop Takes Leave of Absence * GAFCON Australia outlines future plans * TSM President to Retire * Episcopalians told to hand over property in Ft. Worth

The paradox of humanness. It is part, I think, of the paradoxical nature of our humanness that we are both breath of God and dust of earth, godlike and bestial, created and fallen, noble and ignoble. That seems to be why we both seek God and run away from him, both practise righteousness and suppress the truth in our unrighteousness, both recognise the claims of the moral law upon us and refuse to submit to it, both erect altars in God's honour and need to repent of our ignorance and sin. -- John R. W. Stott

"This fight (abortion) is real, it's here, and it's coming for every Christian and pro-lifer who opens his mouth. But we have to keep speaking and accept the price of doing so." --- Christopher Bedford, The Federalist

"Whether I die broke, alone, and in obscurity, or wealthy, famous, and surrounded by loved ones, it should make no difference to me. I'm learning to rest in the knowledge that if I live my life following Jesus wherever He leads me, then I'll have lived a successful life." --- Daniel Hamlin

"We live in a society that is truly morally corrupt. Rather than those who fear and love God being praised, it is exactly the opposite. The people most adored in our world are those who openly transgress His commands. Transgender and homosexual people are considered heroes in our world today. Corrupt politicians and business people are our leaders. How can a society hold itself up successfully if the people most adored and followed, so to say maintaining the function, have no foundation themselves? We must remember that worshipping anyone or anything other than God Himself is the gravest sin of them all -- idolatry." --- Larry Elder, Conservative Talk Show Personality

"Christianity is not our journey to God, it is first and foremost His journey to us. It is not about achieving some spiritual thing that is just beyond our reach, but rather learning to live in the light of 'It is finished.' It's not about self-actualization but about adjusting ourselves to God's story. It is not what we do for Him, but what He has done for undeserving sinners like us." --- Chuck Collins, Center for Reformation Anglicanism

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
September 10, 2021

The story of the last two weeks is the move by the Church in Wales to allow homosexual couples to have their marriages blessed; but homosexual couples still won't be able to be officially married by the Church of Wales.

The bishops approved the bill by a unanimous vote, while the clergy voted 28 to 12 in favor with two abstentions. The laity voted 49 to 10 with one abstention.

Naturally, it got mixed reviews. The ultra-liberal bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes said this; "The world needs to hear us say that LGBTI-plus orientation and identity is not a crime." The vote to enable same-sex civil partnerships and marriages to be blessed in the Church in Wales is a "creative and gospel-inspired lead" for the Church of England.

Bishop Gregory Cameron of St Asaph, who introduced the bill, said, "the church has spoken decisively today in favour of blessings." Now you should know that Cameron is a close friend of Rowan Williams and once led the Anglican Communion Office in London, which explains why GAFCON and many global south bishops will have nothing to do with this 'instrument of unity'. The fruit of the poisonous tree.

A theologian and author told Premier how he was left with a "deep kind of grief" following the decision by the Church in Wales to bless same-sex marriages.

David Bennett, who is a Gay, celibate Christian, said he felt betrayed by the decision which he described as "not biblical."

"I can't really describe to you the pain that that causes me to have that God rejected. You know, it's not just me being rejected. It's like the quote, 'I love being rejected by the church' And that's not okay. Like, I can't stand there and say, Oh, fine, yes, just another accommodation. Just another compromise."

The Evangelical Fellowship in the Church of Wales (EFCW) expressed disappointment in the passing of the bill.

"For many in EFCW, this decision will come with a sense of sadness that the Church in Wales has decided to depart from a traditional understanding of marriage, and with great uncertainty about how to move forward in good conscience," a statement on the EFCW Facebook page reads.

Activist Church of England lesbian, Jayne Ozanne, a prominent campaigner for LGBT+ equality in the C of E, said she was thrilled by the vote, adding: "I yearn for the day when the Church of England has the courage to make the same step."

The Church of England does not recognize same-sex marriages and does not permit clergy to bless them in their churches. However, the Scottish Episcopal Church does recognize and permit all these things and remains part of the worldwide Anglican communion. Others are in a similar position. Anglicanism continues to want to hold their communion together at all costs.

However, this will be viewed by the Global South and GAFCON as another nail in the coffin of Western Anglicanism that has spent nearly 20 years pushing the homosexual (LGBTQ) agenda into the Anglican Communion, one province at a time.

GAFCON and the Global South will, in time, excoriate the Welsh decision, led by the Nigerian Primate Henry Ndukaba.

The irony is deep. Western Anglicanism is dying. With each passing year thousands leave or die, never to be replaced. Homosexual couples are not storming red doors looking for pews to worship in; it is not happening. This is death by a thousand cuts.

One commentator observed, "The Organization in Wales had already shrunken to insignificance before SSBs. The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the annual update of regular church attendance figures but based on previous trends less than 0.8% of the population of Wales regularly attends Anglican Sunday services.
The trajectory is identical to what happened to the Episcopal Organization in the U.S. In Wales, the bishop's abandonment of theological rigor for the shifting sands of culture makes me wonder if they are simply following the Episcopalian model"

The only conclusion one can draw is that Western Anglicanism would sooner die than repent, because sexual identity is more important that the 'faith once for all delivered to the saints.' Imagine that. Future historians will marvel that the last Episcopal/Anglican doors closed over a sexual behavior that failed to produce one child, one single convert. In short, the doors will close for nothing, all for phony "doctrines" of inclusion and diversity.

You can more stories here: https://virtueonline.org/church-wales-passes-vote-allow-same-sex-couples-have-marriages-blessed


Will the Church of England follow suit? British journalist Julian Mann seems to think so. He is probably right.

"It seems very likely that the CofE will follow the Anglican Church in Wales...
but once the CofE takes that step it will have surrendered to the post-Christian spirit of the age. Once it abandons the traditional Christian sexual ethic, it will turn itself into a politically-correct religious pressure group and consign itself to historic irrelevance."

You can read his story here: https://virtueonline.org/will-church-england-soon-follow-church-wales-same-sex-marriage


MONEY. It's the elixir that keeps the Episcopal Church going even as people leave and die.

Former Episcopalians in Texas received a $4.5 million check from the Episcopal Church (TEC) this week, mediated reimbursement for legal expenses incurred by Anglicans defending against the denomination's unsuccessful lawsuit against a departing diocese, writes Jeff Walton Anglican writer for Juicy Ecumenism.

It is a fraction of an estimated $51.7 million the national church has spent on property disputes across two decades, not counting additional funds spent by regional dioceses on attorneys' fees and related expenses.

"The denomination and Episcopal dioceses have expended enormous sums of money on legal fees, even taking a net financial loss in some instances despite court victories that awarded ownership of properties. Instead, litigation is chiefly aimed at preserving the exclusivity of the Episcopal Church's Anglican Communion franchise. As former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told NPR in 2012, the only people who cannot buy Episcopal church buildings are the Anglicans."

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was sued by the Episcopal Church in 2009. The diocese went on to become a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Litigation effectively concluded in February, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a TEC appeal following a unanimous Texas Supreme Court ruling in favor of the diocese.

A.S. Haley (then a layperson in the Episcopal Church) calculated from audited statements and monthly financials that TEC had spent a total of $35,317,343 on legal matters from 2000-through 2015. By adding in the church's projected three-year budget for legal expenses, loans to dioceses, and outside expenses, he arrived at an estimated total of $42,675,000 through 2018.

Others have estimated that number in excess of $200 million! You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-legal-expenses-estimated-52-million-anglicans-receive-payout

In breaking news, the Texas' Second Court of Appeals denied the claims of Episcopal Church (TEC) parties to the furnishings and other articles belonging to church properties returned to the Diocese of Ft. Worth at the conclusion of a 12-year property dispute earlier this year. The parties, who removed the articles, sometimes quite publicly with television news cameras rolling, will be expected to comply with the trial court's order to return them. A period of seven days has been agreed for restitution. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/ft-worth-appeals-court-denies-tec-parties-permission-remove-property


Talking of money badly spent. I wrote a story this week on how St. Martin's, Houston, the largest parish in TEC and its rector, the Rev. Russell Levenson, spent $66 million refurbishing their buildings. It's a number that defies all human imagination.

Only ONE diocese out of the 99 domestic dioceses has a Plate & Pledge of more than $66 million. That is the Diocese of Texas, of which St. Martin's is a part.

One province, Province VI, has $56 million. It is the only province which has less than 100 million Plate & Pledge.

The 2019 Plate & Pledge income of $68.2 million from the twenty-five smallest dioceses approximates the $66 million construction project at St. Martin's in Houston. Think about that.

You can read my story, How to Spend $66 million Episcopal dollars here: https://virtueonline.org/how-spend-66-million-episcopal-dollars

After I broke my story, The Living Church came out with a story title, The Marvel of St. Martins that puts a positive spin on the parish with its political leaders like George Bush and Jim Baker and more. St. Martins is a conservative parish, its priest is an evangelical, but they will never join the ACNA. At last count, baptized membership sat at 9,627; average Sunday attendance pre-COVID was 1,445.

The church sought to add 66,000 square feet to its properties with a price tag in 2018 of $55 million and finally came in at a whopping $67 million, $4 million of which has yet to be raised. The massive expansion, added 66,000 square feet to a campus now totaling 294,000 square feet or 15 acres, with a further 58,000 square feet of renovations including six beautiful gardens, each with its own character.

The crown jewel of the renovation is the renamed Christ Chapel, which presents a glorious, Gothic overhaul of the original church, constructed in 1959. It is decked out with 14 stained-glass windows, rose window, Magnificat Organ with 1,557 pipes built by Casavant in Quebec, and an altar stone made of 12th-century Caen, retrieved during a recent restoration of Canterbury Cathedral.

St. Martin's has forty recovery and support groups who meet on the campus. They count 3,951 annual volunteers. Fully 25% of the parish budget has gone to outreach since 2007, when Levenson arrived. That's $42 million in the last 14 years. According to TLC, St. Martin's is a well-oiled machine of friendliness. It also claims to be in the low church evangelical tradition of the Rev. John Stott.


THE COUNTERFEIT "GOSPEL" OF AFFIRMING CATHOLICISM. It has been slowly dawning on me that Satan's real work of destroying and deconstructing the Christian Faith in the Anglican Communion is not the obvious or bald-faced lie. Christians can easily spot it and mercifully reject it. Tens of millions of Anglicans, mostly from Africa, Asia and South America have seen through the lie of homosexuality.

But what Satan is masterful at is the half-truth, the counterfeit lie and "Did God say"?

Over the years, I have watched as a number of Anglo-Catholics who could not accept the full declaration of their faith, morph into something called Affirming Catholicism.

Affirming Catholicism, sometimes referred to as AffCath, is a movement that began in 1990 at St. Alban's Church, in London. It was created by a number of Anglo-Catholic clergy in the Diocese of London who had been marginalized within, or expelled from, existing Anglo-Catholic groups because of their support for women's ordination to the priesthood. It developed a theological stance which was staunchly liberal in matters of inclusivity but was traditionally Catholic in matters of liturgy and the centrality and theology of the sacraments. At the same time, the movement believed that traditional restrictions on who may receive the sacraments should be re-examined. Later, they affirmed that homosexuality was good and right in the eyes of God.

Three of Affirming Catholicism's archbishops, Rowan Williams, Stephen Cottrell and Frank Griswold have wrought havoc on the Anglican Communion..One must consider if the counterfeit Christianity they are pushing is ultimately the work of Satan.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/counterfeit-gospel-affirming-catholicism


I did an interview this week with EFAC-USA leader Zac Neubauer, who sees a good future for evangelicals across the ecclesiastical spectrum. You can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/efac-usa-leader-sees-good-future-evangelicals-across-ecclesiastical-spectrum

A White Paper, Where does the Evangelical Belong Today? says the post-pandemic church will not be the same church that emerges from it. The authors are members of the EFAC-USA.

"God is using this time for the removal of things that are shaken when churches long in decline will close. Many aging (and often progressive) clergy are deciding now is a good time to retire because God has set a limit on error."

"We do well to pray that the modernist heresy will pass with the pandemic. A great sorting is underway. Regardless of whether churches stayed open, met online, or met in secret, the Lord has said of them all, 'I know thy works'."

Unbiblical teaching has become the norm in many American denominations. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/where-does-evangelical-belong-today-white-paper


There's a culture war raging in schools and the media across the USA, and it's summed up in three words: Critical. Race. Theory.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is most often presented as a way to make Americans more aware of the history of racism and slavery in the USA -- a worthy cause indeed. How can we learn from history if we don't know history?

But in fact, CRT also insists that all white people are, racists by default. It insists that white supremacy still forms the bedrock of American society and tha white people alive today should carry the guilt of the white people from bygone eras.

The truth is, Critical Race Theory threatens to tear American society apart.

A frontline in this battle has opened up in Virginia, where parents have been protesting against the negative impact these toxic ideas are having on their children.

Concerned parents in Loudon County, VA met with the school district board to ask questions about their children's curriculum, but when the board cut their meeting short, two parents were arrested for refusing to leave.


BULLYING. Its reaching crisis proportions in society, but sadly also in the Church. How is that possible you say?

Problems with the management style of leadership in the Church of England has reared its ugly head.

Revelations of both bullying and sadomasochistic behavior in the C of E by evangelicals will come as a shock to millions of Anglicans worldwide, most of whom are orthodox in faith and morals and who could not have imagined such behaviors occurring.

There is something desperately wrong with the leadership style among some Church of England evangelicals, an Oxford trained theologian told VOL.

The latest revelation concerns Bishop Anne Dyer of Aberdeen and Orkney, who has been urged to step down after a report found that she presided over a culture of "systematic dysfunction" and "bullying". Priests and church employees claimed that Dyer made their working lives intolerable. Sadomasochistic behavior by people like Jonathan Fletcher, John Smyth and Bishop Stephen Neill have rocked the Mother Church. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/problems-management-style-leadership-church-england


Sadly, we must report that another ACNA Bishop is taking a leave of absence over allegations of misconduct. He is the fourth bishop to step down

An expanded scope of the Provincial review has led to the Rt. Rev. Todd Atkinson stepping back. Atkinson leads the Via Apostolica group of churches, which recently joined the Anglican Church in North America as an emerging Missionary District. Though geographically located in Canada, the clergy of Via Apostolica are canonically resident in the Diocese of the Upper Midwest.

Because of this leave of absence, Atkinson will not be serving as an acting assistant bishop in that diocese.

Archbishop Foley Beach had earlier appointed Bishop John Miller to serve the diocese as Acting Bishop following an announcement by Upper Midwest Diocesan Bishop Stewart Ruch III that he was taking a leave of absence. Ruch admitted he made a "regrettable error" in failing to inform the diocese about allegations of abuse at Christ Our Light Anglican Church in Big Rock, Illinois.

In June 2020, the ACNA College of Bishops was forced to depose Bishop Ron Jackson of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes, following revelations that he used pornography over many years. Jackson also pled guilty to the charges of sexual immorality.

In October of 2020, Pittsburgh Bishop James Hobby resigned over his handling of complaints of sexual misconduct by a clergy member toward other adults. He himself was not charged. Hobby failed to act with "urgency, transparency, and timeliness when an accusation of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy was brought to his attention." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/acna-bishop-takes-leave-over-allegations-misconduct


In the ACNA, alleged 'spiritual hazing' has pressured members to conform. Former members of Church of the Resurrection, headquarters of the Upper Midwest Diocese in the ACNA, say its leadership used spiritual language to force them to conform.

Former church members say the allegations are an indictment of an authoritarian culture that originated with Bishop Stuart Ruch III.

It's a messy business which the ACNA leadership is looking into. You can read more: https://virtueonline.org/troubled-acna-church-alleged-spiritual-hazing-pressured-members-conform


The long march of orthodoxy in the Anglican Communion continues in Australia. GAFCON Australia has outlined its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture.

At an online meeting replacing the postponed GAFCON Australasia conference, the Chair of GAFCON Australia, Bishop Richard Condie, expanded on GAFCON'S Commitment 2020.

"With great sadness and regret, we realise that many faithful Anglican clergy and lay people will no longer be able to remain as members of the ACA if changes allowed by the Appellate Tribunal majority opinion take place in their dioceses", Bishop Condie said. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/gafcon-australia-moves-ahead-0


Ambridge based Trinity School for Ministry announced the retirement of Dean President, the very Rev. Dr. Laurie Thompson this week. He has served in this role for five years, after serving as Interim Dean President the year before. When he steps down after graduation in May 2022, he will conclude twenty-five years of service to Trinity.

Before serving as Dean President, Thompson was Assistant Professor of Theology. He taught Prayer Book, Sacramental Theology, Pastoral Leadership and Supervised Ministry colloquiums, and Pastoral Care. You can read more here:


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