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CofE Archbishops/Bishops Agonize over Homosex * GAFCON launches Anglican Reality Check Website * Lawsuit settled in Diocese of Quincy * Is Anglican Communion Split Inevitable? * New Nigerian Primate * Franklin Graham Banned in UK

CofE Archbishops/Bishops Agonize over Homosex * GAFCON launches Anglican Reality Check Website * Lawsuit settled in Diocese of Quincy * Is Anglican Communion Split Inevitable? * New Nigerian Primate * Franklin Graham Banned in UK

A unique authority. It is extremely important to recover today an understanding of the unique authority of Christ's apostles. For there are no apostles in the contemporary church. To be sure, there are missionaries and church leaders of different kinds who may be described as having an 'apostolic' ministry, but there are no apostles like the Twelve and Paul who were eyewitnesses of the risen Lord. --- John R.W. Stott

Pope Francis...repeatedly and obsessively refers to an unspecified "clericalism" as the cause of sexual abuse, in order to avoid denouncing the scourge of homosexuality. We seem to glimpse the approaching shadow of Satan's synagogue. --- Archbishop Carlo Vigano

The Biblical command in 1 Timothy 2:12 "I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man." is to be understood in its plain sense, and that it is binding upon the universal Church. This is God's command to his Church. Receiving this, since it is one of the essential functions of priest to teach with authority for the Anglican Church to ordain women to the priesthood is to go against the commands of God. -- The Rev. Ben Jefferies

"I feel today religion is being driven out of the marketplace of ideas and there's an organized militant secular effort to drive religion out of our lives. To me the problem today is not that religious people are trying to impose their views on nonreligious people, it's the opposite -- it's that militant secularists are trying to impose their values on religious people and they're not accommodating the freedom of religion of people of faith. It has been long convenient for secularists to insist that it is possible for government to be neutral about religion by imposing their religion." --- William Barr Attorney General

I once asked Archbishop [Chaput] why he thought the Catholic Church had so rapidly declined in North America and was surprised (and again instructed) by his answer. He told me that even though his generation was the best-catechized in the Catholic Church's history, nobody had ever told him that he needed to trust in Christ for his salvation. There was no existential urgency or personal imperative attached to the dogmas he was taught. Again, is there not a lesson for all Christians there? The Reformed tradition to which I belong is dogmatic, as is that of the Roman Catholic Church. But, as Kierkegaard might have put it, it is not enough that something is true--it needs to be grasped as true by each and every one of us --- Carl R. Trueman

Today orthodox Christianity is maligned and marginalized. The temptation is to accommodate, to be neither hot nor cold. Too hot puts me in company that makes me uneasy. Too cold denies my faith. Ever wonder how God sees the lukewarm? He will "vomit them out of my mouth." Hmmm. Paul praises the Philippians because they held their faith "without being frightened by your opponents" (1:28). -- Rev. Tad de Bordenave

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
February 7, 2020

The Church of England, having issued a statement saying that sexual activity is only permissible between a married man and woman, has suddenly realized that it has been too decisive. Too binary. Too hurtful. Too divisive. Too Christian.

As a result, a week later, after the inevitable howls of protest, archbishops Welby and Sentamu have issued an apology, dripping with all the right words like "build bridges", "difficult conversations" and "discern the way forward".

Apparently, along with the usual sexual conundrums, the archbishops have "questions of human identity": they still don't know who they are. There must be a pill for that, writes tongue-in-cheek Canadian Anglican blogger David of Samizdat.

"How could any sane organization issue two statements, ostensibly from the same individuals, two weeks apart that completely contradict each other? Unless they are trying to illustrate Mark 3:25. Of course Jesus was talking about Satan in that passage, not archbishops. Although the distinction is diminishing as the years go by."

Here is what the two Anglican archbishops wrote: "We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologize and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardized trust. We are very sorry and recognize the division and hurt this has caused.

"At our meeting of the College of Bishops of the Church of England this week we continued our commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project which is about questions of human identity, sexuality and marriage. This process is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England."

And you wonder why eyes roll up in the ACNA College of bishops and among the GAFCON primates when they read this twaddle.

So, the archbishops can't make up their mind about sex, how original. What is truly "hurtful" is not to tell people that sodomy will keep you out of the Kingdom if you engage in it. What a terrifying word to tell someone. Why can't they say that homosex is not a right or a rite, it is a behavior that Scripture specifically says thou shalt not engage in and if you do, you shall place yourself outside the Kingdom of God. Could one be clearer than that! God forbid that the ABC should be that declarative, he might lose his job or be declared homophobic.

Is it any wonder that John in the Book of the Revelation 3: 16 wrote, "So because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!" -- (Berean Bible)

*****

The Episcopal Church ordained its umpteenth woman bishop this week in keeping with the Presiding Bishop's wish that more women and people of color become bishops. Susan B. Haynes was consecrated as the 11th Bishop of Southern Virginia at the Williamsburg Community Chapel in Williamsburg, Virginia, after being tossed out of a Roman Catholic Church by angry parishioners. Haynes becomes the first woman bishop in the diocese's 128-year history. The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II, seventh bishop of Northern Indiana, was the preacher.

Here are the most recent statistics on women in the TEC episcopacy.

COMPLETED CONSECRATIONS: All of 2019 - early 2020

#28 Cathleen Bascom (X Kansas) consecrated March 3, 2019

#29 Jennifer Riddall (VI Arizona) consecrated March 9, 2019

#30 Phoebe Roaf (IV West Tennessee) consecrated May 4, 2019

#31 Kymberly Lucas (XI Colorado) consecrated May 18, 2019

#32 Kathryn Ryan (Texas-suffragan) consecrated June 1, 2019

#33 Susan Brown Snook (V San Diego) consecrated September 28, 2019

#34 Megan Traquiar (VIII Northern California) consecrated June 29, 2019

#35 Shannon MacVean Brown (XI Vermont) consecrated September 29, 2019

#36 Marty Stebbins (X Montana) consecrated December 7, 2019

#37 Lucinda Ashby (IV El Camino Real) consecrated January 11, 2020

#38 Susan Haynes (XI Southern Virginia) consecrated February 1, 2020

================

Elected women bishops yet to be consecrated.

#39 Bonnie Perry (XI Michigan). Elected June 1, 2019, consecration date: February 8. 2020

#40 Glenda Curry (XII Alabama - coadjutor). Elected January 18, 2020.
Consecration date: June 27, 2020

*****

ANGLICAN REALITY CHECK LAUNCHING: GAFCON has launched a new website aptly titled Anglican Reality Check. As you know, GAFCON came into being to restore the spiritual health of the Anglican Communion so that it might be a mighty instrument of God in winning men, women and children to Christ around the world.

But recovery depends upon facing facts so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. In the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008, GAFCON identified the sickness of the Communion as being the result of a false gospel that had been allowed to grow unchecked by the traditional leadership.

Over ten years later, we can see that the struggle for the Anglican future has intensified. While GAFCON has made great strides in promoting and guarding the gospel, the wolves in sheep's clothing are still with us.

The fact that the 2020 Lambeth Conference is being held two years later than expected and is already marked by controversy and confusion is symptomatic of the deep and continuing crisis caused by this rejection of biblical authority in the Communion. Although Lambeth 2020 will no doubt retain a superficial continuity with previous conferences, the history set out here demonstrates that it is very likely to represent a fundamental shift from the Anglicanism of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

The false teaching overwhelmingly rejected 22 years previously seems set to be institutionalized as an acceptable option. It will become even clearer that the true continuation of the Anglicanism of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is the GAFCON movement, which since 2008, has established itself as the voice of global orthodoxy in the Anglican Communion.

*****

A lawsuit over properties has been settled by the Episcopal Church and the ACNA over the Diocese of Quincy.

The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago Jeffrey D. Lee announced a settlement with the Diocese of Quincy in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in its efforts to recover some of the property, assets and records that were part of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy.

"The congregations of St. James, Griggsville; St. James, Lewistown; the Episcopal Church of St. George, Macomb; and All Saints, Rock Island will directly benefit from the settlement. In addition, other funds recovered in the settlement will be held in the Bishop's Funds for the benefit of the entire Peoria Deanery and will be administered by the bishop's office with the assistance of the Congregations Commission," wrote Lee.

Lee wrote that the terms of the settlement are largely confidential, as is often the case when legal proceedings are concluded by agreement.

After 11 years of litigation, the parties have reached a settlement in the largest lawsuit over the property of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. The suit was filed after the Quincy bishop and 18 of the 22 congregations of the small diocese voted to leave the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2008 and form the Anglican Diocese of Quincy, part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), The Living
Church
, reported. You can more here: https://virtueonline.org/lawsuit-over-properties-settled-episcopal-church-and-acna-over-diocese-quincy

*****

A de facto split has already occurred in the Anglican Communion and the only question now is if and when it becomes de jure.

The Anglican Archbishop of South America, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables said the inescapable truth is that it is bound to happen, with the biggest challenge being how to avoid or accomplish it.

Addressing the future of the communion following the meeting of some 37 Anglican primates in Jordan called together at the request of Archbishop Justin Welby, the titular head of the communion, Venables, an outspoken evangelical, said a number of Anglicans were walking in different directions despite all the talk of "walking together".

"Of course, there is a great desire for those going off in an unbiblical direction to repent and return, but failing that, we cannot walk together. We all desire to walk together, but increasingly we are recognizing that it is simply not going to be possible. We are however walking together in the sense of talking and seeking to find the correct way to deal with the brokenness." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/split-inevitable-anglican-communion-archbishop-venables

*****

Anglicans should prepare for a post-Roe fallout, writes Jeffrey Walton for the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

Christians engaged in sanctity of human life ministries should prepare for intensified conflict following a potential "correction" of the Roe v Wade court ruling that struck down abortion restrictions across the United States, according to a speaker at a summit of pro-life Anglicans.

"While this is a necessary step to end abortion, it will not in itself do so," stated Tom Glessner of the National Institute on Family and Advocates, who advised that pro-life advocates should speak of "correcting" rather than "reversing" Roe. "Any court changes on Roe will intensify conflict, not resolve it. We should be prepared for a post-Roe reality."

Anglicans gathered January 23-24 at the Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, Virginia for the annual summit, jointly sponsored by Anglicans for Life and the Anglican Church in North America's Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.

Timed with the National March for Life on January 24, the summit uniquely draws Anglican clergy, laity and bishops from the United States and Canada to discuss upholding the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death.

Speakers shared of vulnerability and redemption in the most sensitive of subjects, and participants were charged not to sit passively.

*****

Billy Graham's preacher son Franklin Graham has had his tour dates canceled over allegations that he made homophobic and Islamophobic comments.

The fate of Christian evangelist Franklin Graham's eight-date tour through the United Kingdom is currently up in the air after the preacher was dropped by all of his scheduled venues for making homophobic and Islamophobic comments.

Franklin, who is the son of the late prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham, was expected to tour the U.K. in May, June and October, making stops in Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and London, according to his website.

However, this week, all eight venues canceled his upcoming appearances due to previous controversial comments that Franklin, 67, had made, CNN reported.

Some of those remarks included how same-sex marriage was a "sin," that the Islam religion was "behind the violence" around the world, and that conversion therapy is possible through accepting Jesus, as those in the LGBTQ community were "misled."

Following the cancelations, Franklin's team addressed the status of the Graham Tour on his website, telling his followers that his appearances would still take place on their original dates, but that they were considering and "finalizing" new sites.

In part of a statement to PEOPLE, Franklin confirms that his mission to speak in the U.K. will continue onward and that "everyone is absolutely welcome," regardless of their sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or background.

"We're not going to speak against anybody," he says. "We are bringing a message of hope for everybody."

"We've had some opposition and some have worked very hard to cancel our venue contracts but we are not going to cancel the mission," Franklin says of the cancelations. "Other venues are now being considered and will be announced at a later date."

*****

The Anglican Province of Nigeria is getting a new Archbishop and Primate. He is the Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba. He will take over the leadership in March 2020.

Archbishop Ndukuba, 61, was elected at the Episcopal Synod of the Church of NIgeria, Anglican Communion, held in Asaba, Delta State. He brings a wealth of experience to the position. He replaces the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh. I will write more at length about this new appointment.

*****

The Underground Pewster, a South Carolina blogger asked the question this week; Episcopal Vision 20/20: Does Anyone Remember?

It was back 20 years ago that the Episcopal organization created a task force that laid out a vision for the year 2020. It was called the 20/20 strategy. One of its goals was to double average Sunday attendance (ASA) by the year 2020. That goal was quickly forgotten because by 2002 they were already setting new goals such as, "...envisioning innovative and groundbreaking ways to move the Episcopal Church away from 'business as usual' and into a missional mode that would strike the words 'we've never done it that way before' from the Episcopal vocabulary."
"Their vision had grown beyond data.", they said.

If you look at the data currently available on their research pages you can see the utter failure of the Vision 20/20 Task Force's plan.

Average Sunday Attendance:
In 2001: 850,000
In 2004: 795,765
In 2008: 665,100
In 2018: 533,121
That is a whopping decline of 37%.

If their vision had been fulfilled, ASA should be 1,700,000 by now.

What went wrong?

By electing non-celibate homosexual bishops, by creating blessings for same-sex couples, by continuing to support abortion, and by ignoring the scriptural warnings about such things, the Episcopal organization, the "Church" took the path to cater to people who did not put a lot of faith in the Bible.

People who do not put much stock in the Bible do not find much reason to schlep to church on Sunday mornings.

*****

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