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Communion Partner Bishops Statement on Bishop Love * TEC Pours Money into Failing Dioceses * TEC Numbers Reveal Church Will Die by 2050 * Bishop Frey Dies * Anglican Church of Canada OOB by 2040 * Diocese of Huron Closes 50 Churches

Communion Partner Bishops Statement on Bishop Love * TEC Pours Money into Failing Dioceses * TEC Numbers Reveal Church Will Die by 2050 * Bishop Frey Dies * Anglican Church of Canada OOB by 2040 * Diocese of Huron Closes 50 Churches * Newfoundland & Labrador Dioceses out of Cash

'We evangelicals' writes John Stott, 'are gospel people. The word evangelical contains within itself the word evangel. And if the first hallmark of the evangelical is biblical supremacy, the second is the centrality of the Gospel.' It is these two defining convictions which have always enabled evangelicals to move out of their comfort zones and eschew popularity for the sake of Christ which we have sought to do. --- Melvin Tinker

"Better to confess Christ 1000 times now and be despised by men, than be disowned by Christ before God on the day of Judgment." ― J.C. Ryle

THE LAST DAYS. When Paul refers to 'the last days' it may seem natural to apply this term to a future epoch, to the days immediately preceding the end when Christ returns. But biblical usage will not allow us to do this. For it is the conviction of the New Testament authors that the new age (promised in the Old Testament) arrived with Jesus Christ, and that therefore with his coming the old age had begun to pass away and the last days had dawned. Thus Peter on the day of Pentecost quoted Joel's prophecy that 'in the last days' God would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, and declared that this prophecy has now been fulfilled. 'This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel,' he said. In other words, 'the last days' to which the prophecy referred had come (Acts 2:14-17). Similarly, the letter to the Hebrews begins with an assertion that the God who had spoken of old to the fathers through the prophets had 'in these last days' spoken to us through his Son (1:1-2). This being so, we are living in the last days. They were ushered in by Jesus Christ, God's Son. --- John R. W. Stott

"Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word." ― J.C. Ryle, Holiness

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
October 16, 2020

In what can only be described as a meaningless, cowardly act, eight Communion Partner bishops expressed their concern over the verdict that will ecclesiastically destroy one of their own, the Rt. Rev William H. Love, Bishop of Albany.

After a verdict finding the evangelical catholic bishop guilty of violating Resolution B012 mandating homosexual marriage, the eight bishops issued a statement regarding the hearing and conviction of the Albany bishop.

Their statement is absolutely meaningless posturing. While showing verbal support for Bishop Love, they are not actually doing anything.

Here is their lame response: "We remain dismayed that latitude is extended to some in the enforcement of our canons, but not to others. If members of the church who hold the traditional teaching on the question of marriage have "an indispensable place" (Resolution A227) in our church, as the General Convention has said, then securing that place needs to be a priority. Again, now is the time. This indispensable place should not be an unstable one." You can read their full statement here: https://virtueonline.org/communion-partner-bishops-offer-meaningless-posturing-statement-concerning-bishop-love

For a brilliant analytical look at the legal claims TEC has made to get rid of Bishop Love, you can read this piece by David Duggan, a Chicago-based lawyer. His in-depth analysis is worth your time to read. It is a study in sophistry. You can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/bishop-william-love-v-episcopal-church-exercise-sophistry

***

So, the question that must be asked is this. Why doesn't the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Holy Trinity Brompton evangelical, not come out in full support of the evangelical catholic, episcopal Albany bishop?

Welby has no problem declaring his admiration for a heretic like Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who believes that General Convention resolutions override the authority of scripture on human sexual behavior. Welby invited Curry him to preach at a royal wedding and listened to his endless talk of "love" and "beloved community," which will soon be less one beloved bishop. So, Welby completely ignores a bishop who shares the same apostolic faith that he says he possesses?

But does he, that is the question?

Welby has shown himself to be deeply conflicted over homosexuality, even though the scriptures are abundantly clear on the subject. He agonizes over calling a spade a spade lest he appear uninclusive and homophobic. He is desperately trying to square the circle over a behavior that has never been theologically or morally endorsed in 2,000 years!

For his obfuscation and prevarication, Welby has alienated more than 80 percent of the Anglican Communion's clergy and laity. He has refused to uphold and enforce Resolution 1:10 and keeps insisting through his theological spokespersons that we can all get along if we would just give and compromise a little. His best-known agent provocateur is the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgabo. Makgabo has whined and cajoled Global South primates to attend Lambeth in 2022, while Welby uninvites ACNA archbishop Foley Beach to Lambeth 2022. How successful Welby is, we still do not know. By all accounts, all the GAFCON bishops will not appear and most of the Global South primates won't be at Lambeth 2022.

***

A notable evangelical Episcopal bishop died this week. The Rt. Rev. William Carl "Bill" Frey spent most of his early ministry as a missionary in Latin America, until Guatemala's militarist government ejected him for protesting repression. He was filled with the Holy Spirit in the early days of charismatic renewal and crossed ideological divides as Bishop of Colorado and dean of Trinity School for ministry. He combined advocacy for social justice with a robust defense of traditional doctrine. One of the Episcopal Church's most influential evangelicals, Frey died at his home in San Antonio on October 11, aged 90.

After early ministry in rural mission churches in Colorado and as a rector in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Frey went to Costa Rica as an Episcopal Church missionary in 1962. There he operated the Spanish Publications Center in San Jose. He served as editor of a Spanish-language church newspaper for the scattered missions of the Diocese of Central America, which gathered Episcopalians from six Latin American countries.

During Frey's tenure in Colorado, he firmly supported women's ordination and insisted that all his parishes use the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, effectively seizing control of St. Mark's, Denver in 1984, when its rector, Rev. Louis Tarsitano, an Anglo Catholic, threatened secession from the diocese over the issue. Frey was Bishop of Colorado till 1990 when he became the third dean and president of Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.

In a sermon, Frey made his dual commitment to orthodoxy and church unity clear. "I've often felt that the (national) church had been taken over by pirates," he said. "And years ago, when I was praying about the future, God said something like, 'Don't let the pirates tempt you to jump overboard. If they make you walk the plank, OK. But don't do it voluntarily. It's my ship.'"

Many today would dispute whether TEC is "God's ship." It will always be a mystery why, as an evangelical, Frey did not leave TEC and join the ACNA when he saw the handwriting on the wall over Gene Robinson's consecration and later homosexual marriage. He lived long enough to see Bishop William H. Love ecclesiastically destroyed. We will never know the answer. For the full story, click here:

https://livingchurch.org/2020/10/13/a-man-fully-alive-remembering-bill-frey-1930-2020/?utm_source=The+Living+Church+Email+Updates&utm_campaign=c3c7bf9bd4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_14_03_26&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0826f52b83-c3c7bf9bd4-128509969

***

The Roman Catholic Church had its Jean Vanier, the evangelicals have their Ravi Zacharias and the fundamentalists have their Jerry Falwell Jr., all sadly proved to have feet of clay, adored by millions and let down to the same millions. They were supposed to be "above reproach" and "blameless." Well, not exactly.

This is what happens when you put men on a pedestal, they will let you down. Egos are raised, you are adored for your skill with words, or books or alleged humility. But then the stories trickle in; of sexual abuse, millions of dollars siphoned off to pay for silence, more stories of sexual abuse and then, all of a sudden, it all comes unraveled. The media flood gates open and it all tumbles out. Followers are hurt, "he's dead, he can't speak for himself" they shout. But that is short-lived. More stories of women forced into sexual relations only amplify that you should never put your trust in princes. People go home to lick their wounds; they have been betrayed, some will lose their faith, some will never darken the door of a church again and some will learn the lesson, never put your trust in men, even so-called Christian men, only God.

The latest and (my) last story on Ravi Zacharias tells the whole sordid mess with the Thompson family hitherto untold. It pretty well sums it up. I never want to write about this man again. He conned the ACNA and spoke at a conference in Texas that I attended and I knew much of it even then. I said nothing. Had I done so, I would have been vilified and I would probably have had to leave the denomination. I was too cowardly, frightened of losing even more friendships and readers than I have already lost; but at my age I should not have cared. I should have said "to hell with you all, here is the truth," but I didn't. I wimped out. I hope I never do that again. One man with God is still a majority. The only question now with more investigations by an outside person and his denomination is whether the ministry will close its doors, pay off those abused, or shuffle along and hope people forget.

You can read the story here: https://world.wng.org/2020/10/new_sexual_misconduct_claims_surface_about_ravi_zacharias

***

The Episcopal Church announced this week that they're are pouring a million dollars into keeping struggling dioceses afloat during the pandemic. The Executive Council said some dioceses and their congregations are struggling with decreased revenue as the virus and precautions to slow and upend parish life. Is this a case of throwing good money after bad?

And all this after some dioceses like Texas got over $25 million from the Govt. PPP hand out to keep parishes afloat, with St. Martin's, Houston collecting over $2 million, a more socialist act I cannot imagine. If you take money from the government, be prepared to answer to them one day for that money.

You should live by your creed or die by your creed. I can't imagine the apostle Paul hauling himself off to Rome and instead of preaching the gospel, asks Nero for a loan to keep his struggling flocks across Asia Minor afloat. My thinking is Nero would have killed him on the spot.

The pandemic also has affected planning of the church's triennial General Convention. The 80th General Convention, which had been scheduled for July 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland, could be moved online or postponed. It will be up to the church's presiding officers, after consulting with Executive Council, to make that call. A decision will be made in November.

***

But then a zinger of a story emerged from ENS this week that must be sending shockwaves throughout 815, the Church's national headquarters in New York City.

A NEW REPORT said that by 2050 no one will be around in the Episcopal Church. In summary; "The overall picture is dire -- not one of decline as much as demise within the next generation unless trends change significantly," said the Rev. Dwight Zscheile, an expert in denominational decline and renewal. An Episcopal priest, Zscheile is vice president of innovation and associate professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. "At this rate, there will be no one in worship by around 2050 in the entire denomination," Zscheile told Episcopal News Service.

While TEC showed a modest uptick in donations, the Church is basically living off dead men's money. The deeper question is why would anyone want to invest time or money in TEC? Why would anyone want to be priested in a church that is rapidly going out of business! Only a fool, and God knows there are still some out there. The Brust's, a clergy couple who left an ACNA congregation in the Midwest to join the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, recently raises more questions than it answers. The money has to be better is one reason, perhaps the only reason.

You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/2019-parochial-reports-show-continued-decline-and-dire-future-episcopal-church

***

It was announced this week by Nigerian Primate Henry C. Ndukuba that he had appointed Bishop Felix Orji the Coordinating Bishop of the Church of Nigeria North American Mission (CONNAM). Orji is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the West in the United States. No mention was made of this group's relationship with the ACNA, if one still exists. An agreement was signed with then Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, apparently that is not worth the paper it is printed on. Where to now?

It is profoundly ironic that as Western liberal denominations die, they are merging their ministries to stave off their inevitable extinction, while conservative groups grow and split from one another. How many Continuing Anglican jurisdictions are there? Heaven only knows. The word "ecumenical" has lost all meaning.

***

CANADA. If you are wondering about the state of North American Anglicanism, you might want know how bad things are in Canada. In a word, bad. In my latest report I reveal that the Diocese of Huron has seen 50 church closures. Widespread membership trends of decline are being experienced across the country.

That things have changed over the last few decades for the Anglican Church of Canada would be an understatement.

The most significant marker of this change has been the decline of Canadian Church membership -- the fading away of congregations that were seemingly vibrant and hopeful just a decade or two ago.

Between the years of 2007-2017, Huron witnessed the disappearance of more than fifty congregations. Each of these was a mission light that has gone out in the Diocese. For some Anglicans this has meant having to move from one congregation to another.

"Statistics show that between the years 2007-2017 Huron's membership declined by 15,771 baptized members, with 5,037 fewer worshippers on Sunday, seeing 10,846 fewer participants for Easter celebrations and witnessing the disappearance of 2,346 children who had previously been learning God's
story through Sunday ministries.

"Trends that document that 85% of congregations in Huron were marked by membership decline in that decade, while roughly 10% were holding steady."
(These statistics were taken from Huron's 2007-2017 Annual Statistical returns)

Researchers Brian Clarke and Stuart MacDonald have calculated the annual decline of national Anglican membership to be roughly 22,700 members per year!

A statistical report for the House of Bishops in 2017 counted 359,030 members on parish rolls in 2,206 congregations, organized into 1,571 parishes.

The average Sunday attendance has dropped to 97,421. (The Anglican Church in North America is bigger than that.)

A previous report published in 2006 predicted the last Anglican would leave the church in 2061. That number is now 2040. The rate of decline is increasing.

New programs adopted by the church have done nothing to reverse the decline.

The Anglican Church of Canada is declining faster than any other Province, other than The Episcopal Church, which has an even greater rate of decline.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/canada-diocese-huron-has-seen-50-church-closures

IN NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR it was revealed this week that that Anglican diocese is running out of cash and selling assets in a 'hemorrhage situation'.

The eastern Newfoundland diocese isn't immune to the impact of COVID-19, and sent out a dire letter this week warning of potential layoffs and building closures. The bishop's office is now for sale.

The Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has announced it's running out of money and may need to stem its losses with layoffs, closures and sale of assets.

In an Oct. 5 letter obtained by CBC News, the diocesan finance committee said COVID-19 lockdown measures -- which prevented gathering for worship for months -- had a "devastating impact" on the church's finances.

"While a number of our parishes continued to receive offerings and donations via drop-off collections and electronic means, it is clear that COVID-19 has negatively impacted our stewardship," the letter says.

The diocese will end 2020 some $670,000 in the red, according to the finance committee's estimate. The report suggested selling diocesan assets as a short-term fix. Its vacant office property at 19 King's Bridge Rd. is listed for sale with an asking price of $1.5 million.

You can read more here. https://virtueonline.org/newfoundland-labrador-anglican-diocese-running-out-cash-selling-assets-hemorrhage-situation

You can image that Bishop Donald Harvey doesn't feel vindicated that he got tossed out of the ACoC

With both the dioceses of Quebec and Montreal having fewer than 10,000 members and decreasing numbers, discussions are underway to explore ways the two dioceses can work more closely together.

***

BEST ANGLICAN TWEETS OF THE WEEK

We should be ashamed of clergy & others guilty of abuse & of those protecting them or hiding things but we are not ashamed of the Church the pillar &bulwark of grace & https://t.co/fCkpk4qW7R is through the Church that the good news of healing, renewal &salvation comes to us. --- Bishop Michael Nazir Ali

Since 2003, when Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, attendance for the entire #Episcopal Church has declined from 857,897 to 547,103 (down more than 36%). Where did 1 in 3 Episcopalians disappear to? ---- Jeff Walton, Anglican writer for IRD

***

A 'Soft totalitarianism' is coming to U.S., author and orthodox Christian blogger Rod Dreher warns.

"The advance of socially liberal ideas like cancel culture and transgender ideology, combined with movements such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter and the intrusion and control of massive technology companies are signs that an anti-religious totalitarian regime is coming to the United States," he warns.

In his new book "Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents", Dreher documents the evidence for what he labels "soft totalitarianism" and how American Christians should respond.

"Back in the Soviet era, totalitarianism demanded love for the Party, and compliance with the Party's demands was enforced by the state," Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative, wrote in the book's introduction.

"Today's totalitarianism demands allegiance to a set of progressive beliefs, many of which are incapable with logic -- and certainly with Christianity." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/soft-totalitarianism-coming-us-author-warns

***

Another voice raises similar, but different questions. Dr. Os Guinness asks where are America's voices of freedom as leftists threaten to burn down the republic forever? Rioters, looters and arsonists can be countered by law and order, but radical ideas can't be stopped by riot shields, he says.

A protester burns an American flag while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland, Ore. The rally came as Portland has seen nearly nightly protests

"AOC," the celebrated leader of the "Squad," recently urged her supporters to send a message to Sen. Mitch McConnell: "We need to tell him that he is playing with fire." That was considerable cheek. The senator was seeking to fulfil his constitutional duty, and she is a recognized firebrand. Along with many in her party, she has supported those who have literally set the country ablaze this summer. But the effrontery runs deeper.

The ideas she represents would burn down the republic forever. Rioters, looters and arsonists can be countered by law and order, but the ideas behind the radical left cannot be stopped by riot shields, tear gas and bullet proof vests. The defense America needs today is not a matter for the National Guard or the Seventh Fleet. America requires voices on behalf of foundational ideas of freedom.

Freedom, it is often said, requires trust, and as trust goes, freedom goes. Societies with high levels of trust have wide enjoyment of freedom, whereas societies with low trust have low freedom, and high levels of surveillance and control. But trust, along with notions such as reason, truth and objectivity, is at low ebb today. They are all dismissed as "aspects of Whiteness." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/leftists-threaten-burn-down-republic-forever-where-are-americas-voices-freedom

***

Across the pond, the Rev. Melvin Tinker writes, When Going was necessary for Growing, and brilliantly catalogues why he left the Church of England to be part of a new Anglican network of churches formed out of St John, Newland in Hull.

"Within two weeks of its announcement, over 550 folk (including children) signed up to join Christ Church Newland, Christ Church Riverside and Christ Church Orchard Park. This was the result of two years of prayer and planning by the whole leadership to ensure an orderly exit from the Church of England and the formation of an Anglican ministry freed up for Gospel growth."

You can read his reasoned arguments here:

Spoiler alert: There was the accelerating downgrading of the Church of England as a Biblical denomination. The July 2017 General Synod was a watershed, with open disdain being shown towards orthodox beliefs and believers. This didn't mark any crossing of any 'line in the sand', but an unmasking of what has been there for some time, with those pursuing a progressive agenda having become emboldened to be more openly aggressive. The trajectory was clear and it seemed to us that it was simply a matter of time (sooner rather than later) when a form of words would be found to enable those holding non-biblical views on gender and sexuality to be formally affirmed as part of the 'mutual flourishing' favoured by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Secondly, the personal integrity of the ministers was becoming increasingly strained. Whilst it may be true that the C of E has always had its fair share of 'dodgy bishops' and 'crazy clerics' and has been through good and bad phases, our reading of the times was that it is heading in the same direction of the TEC in the United States, which is openly heretical.

'We evangelicals' writes John Stott, 'are gospel people. The word evangelical contains within itself the word evangel. And if the first hallmark of the evangelical is biblical supremacy, the second is the centrality of the Gospel.' It is these two defining convictions which have always enabled evangelicals to move out of their comfort zones and eschew popularity for the sake of Christ which we have sought to do," writes Tinker. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/when-going-was-necessary-growing

***

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Warmly in Christ,

David

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