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Culture Wars Ramp up * Exclusive Interview with Archbishop Foley Beach * ACNA and EMC Enter into Concordat * Galli Goes to Rome * Ravi Zacharias Faces More Revelations * Will Revival Come to America? * Canadian Bishops Rejoice at Life on Venus * More

Culture Wars Ramp up * Exclusive Interview with Archbishop Foley Beach * ACNA and EMC Enter into Concordat * Galli Goes to Rome * Ravi Zacharias Faces More Revelations * Will Revival Come to America? * Canadian Bishops Rejoice at Life on Venus * CofE faces National Safeguarding Crisis

The ark of God's universe is long, but it bends towards His eternal purpose. --- Frank Viola

"No population is, or ever could be, pure. Ancient DNA reveals that the mixing of groups extremely different from each other is a common feature of human nature. We do not live in unusual times; profound events have occurred in our past. We should learn and feel more connected from that." - David Reich

"The rich are in possession of the goods of the poor, even if they have acquired them honestly or inherited them legally." -- St. John Chrysostom (c.349-407)

The homosexual condition. Christians know that the homosexual condition, being a deviation from God's norm, is not a sign of created order but of fallen disorder. --- John R.W. Stott

The new religion of anti-racism has its own version of original sin. It holds that people with one skin color have a harmful privilege that is possessed even by those who hate racism. They will never be able to be cleansed of that original sin. This new religion of diversity has its own baptismal liturgy, in which you confess all that is associated with your skin color and your complicity in slavery and Jim Crow and continued racism--even if you have always detested slavery and Jim Crow and racism. -- Gerald McDermott

Let it be a settled principle in our minds that the first and chief business of the Church of Christ is to preach the Gospel. The words of Paul ought to be constantly remembered -- "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel" (1 Cor. 1:17). When the Gospel of Christ is faithfully and fully preached, we need not fear that the sacraments will be undervalued. Baptism and the Lord's Supper will always be most truly reverenced in those churches where the truth of Jesus is most fully taught and known. --- J.C. Ryle

Dear Brothers and sisters,
www.virtueonline. Org
September 18, 2020

One of the many paradoxes about our frightening culture wars is that western society, which constantly congratulates itself on being the acme of rationality and freedom, has in fact abandoned reason for emotion and freedom for coercion. Thus writes British Jewish columnist Melanie Phillips.

We can see this on display all around us. It's in the baleful grip of identity politics, based on the dogma that people's feelings trump objective truth. It's in the witch-hunts against ideas or opinions which dissent from approved left-wing positions. It's in the widespread following for loopy conspiracy theories, whether against the Jews or politicians or orthodox Christians.

The best example in The Episcopal Church will be the final excoriation of Albany Bishop William Love from the Episcopal Church because he refuses to bow before the prime directive (B012) upholding homoerotic marriage in the face of Scripture, church history and the Book of Common Prayer. It's been three months since the hearing and the bishop has heard nothing. They crucified our Lord in shorter time.

My guess is that they are trying to figure out how they can spin this so the Church's "fathers" and lesbian "mothers" won't look uninclusive; that Bishop Michael Curry's "love" talk is the stuff of fictional novels (or royal sermons). They have driven themselves into a corner and they can't figure out what to do. Oh, what delicious irony. Another suspicion is that they are working frantically to find a way to buy him out with a handsome payoff to go quietly away. That won't work. Bishop Love is not open to bribery. So, we wait. VOL (the cat) is just waiting for TEC (the rat) to appear from his hole in the wall. I never miss.

What has increased the embarrassment for TEC, is the recent defection of former Central Florida Bishop John Howe from TEC into the arms of the ACNA, precisely over the elevation of B012 over the Bible's clear stand on marriage which affirms marriage between a man and a woman. He cited the case of Bishop Love for his defection. It must also be a smack over the head to the current bishop of Central Florida. Greg Brewer, a charismatic evangelical, may have discovered by now that speaking in tongues won't wish this issue away, even in Swahili.

***

For the last several months, LifeSite has been digging deep into the many claims of liberal bias and selective censorship of pro-life, pro-family, and conservative voices on social media.

Their research shows that Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and others have become far too dangerous for democracy. Their bias, which has previously been revealed by many, many internal whistleblowers, is now visible to everyone thanks to their egregious behavior during the COVID-19 crisis and the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

These tech giants are not only extremely liberal, but they are largely unaccountable to the public. They can and do sway public opinion in whatever direction they want, primarily by manipulating search results, tracking our online behavior, and by blocking truthful content from their platforms.

VOL is suffering from Facebook's steadfast refusal to allow my stories to be boosted. Whenever the word "homosexual" appears, the algorithms automatically hit the "reject button." It is a case of Big Tech vs. Free Speech. I see little hope for America. The more I read, the more I conclude that we will go from culture wars to civil war.

Five Million Americans Became First-Time Gun Owners in 2020, screamed a headline this week.

Using the FBI's National Instant Background Check System, National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearm trade association, estimates that there were over 12 million guns bought in the first seven months of 2020 -- up more than 70 percent over the same time span in 2019. This number is likely to include nearly 5 million first-time gun owners so far this year. That is probably the biggest surge in gun ownership in American history. It's worth noting, too, that the number would likely be higher if gun shops hadn't been trying to keep up with demand for months. What this says is that fearmongering works. If the Russians are stoking chaos on Facebook and other Internet providers, they are doing a very good job.

***

This week's lead story is my exclusive interview with ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach. The GAFCON primate addresses the culture wars, church, politics and race in a time of COVID. Here is a sample:

VOL: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to me. Archbishop, few apart from your fellow bishops know much about your early life in Atlanta, how you grew up and when you came to faith. Can you tell us?

ARCHBISHOP BEACH: David, simply put, I experienced brokenness as a child from my parents divorcing when I was 8, my mother becoming a hippy, our family being very fractured, and then, my mother's arrest for selling drugs on my 12th birthday. Later that year, after going to live with my father, I attended a church camp and first heard about Jesus and his death on the cross and God's promise of forgiveness and eternal life. By the campfire at that camp, I asked Jesus into my life following the promise of John 3:16. Later in my last years of high school, I got involved in Young Life and realized that although I had asked Jesus into my life, and attended church on Sunday, Jesus was not Lord of my life (I was!). I eventually came to the place of surrendering to His Lordship in my life, and have tried since that day (not always successfully) to keep yielding my life to Him.

To read more click here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-archbishop-addresses-culture-wars-church-politics-and-race-time-covid

***

A notable event took place this week when the ACNA and the Episcopal Missionary Church entered into a formal concordat. The event was signed by ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach and EMC Presiding Bishop William Millsaps.

The Concordat has been in place since 2019 and the two jurisdictions are partners in ministry. The signing took place on Holy Cross Day, which is also the name of the cathedral situated in Loganville, Georgia.

The Concordat has been in force for almost a year, but had to be approved by various committees meeting in several States, Millsaps told VOL. Each church body has its own College of Bishops and Constitution and Canons. The word 'Concordat' is rooted in the word 'concord.' Basically, it means "working together in harmony."

The Episcopal Missionary Church has been in a Concordat with The Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC) since 1994, and also for several years, with a number of other churches which have their roots in the Anglican Tradition. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/acna-and-episcopal-missionary-church-enter-formal-concordat

***

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago plans to offer its headquarters for sale, according to an ENS report. Built in 1967 and renovated in 2012, the diocese spends $750,000 each year to maintain it, a figure that Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee called "increasingly unsustainable." Lee recently announced he is retiring.

A former Episcopalian who lives in Chicago told VOL that this is quite a parting shot from the otherwise faithless and incompetent outgoing bishop and perhaps it will become an issue for his successor (I hope that at least one candidate would stand up and be counted to say that he would reverse the decision). Twenty years ago, there was a proposal to sell air-rights and develop a taller building with the Diocesan center having a condo-unit in the new structure. Pepper Const (Pepper is a big-deal Episcopalian from Barrington) had the contract to build the structure, but quietly in 2008 when you know what hit the fan economically, the deal was scotched. Since then, the Diocese has put $$$ into a plaza and "concert space", complete with labyrinth and landscaped concrete benches and has hosted evening concerts there. Plainly, selling Advent Logan Square ($1.75 million after an earlier deal to sell it to the Coptic community in Chicago either fell through or was not approved) and having the prospect of selling St Peter's, Belmont (foundering in the basement of a nearby UCC structure 3+ years after vacating its space for "discernment") fund its coffers is not a business plan for future success of the Diocese or church generally.

The Bishop and Trustees, which holds title to the property, intends to invest a "meaningful portion" of the sale's proceeds in affordable housing, said Lonn Myers, the body's first vice president.

Truth be told, this is going to be happening with increasing frequency around the country. As dioceses run out of money, diocesan headquarters will be sold along with expensive camps and in the end, parishes themselves as they empty.

A new report from Barna says that only about 30% of parishioners are expected to return to church after the Pandemic has receded. If true, that will mean a lot of empty TEC churches. People will get used to zoom and figure out why they should return and jeopardize their health. It also means they won't be writing out checks like they once used too.

***

Mark Galli goes to Rome. A former Christianity Today editor and ACNA member has crossed the Tiber to Rome. It was a move that surprised many, but not Galli, who is in fact a revert. He was born and raised Catholic, so this is something of a homecoming for him. Galli's journey to Catholicism is notable, in part because of the nation's political climate. A former Presbyterian pastor, Galli spent seven years as editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, the premier publication for evangelicals, whose founder was the legendary evangelist Billy Graham.

But for a few days last December, Galli was perhaps the most well-known evangelical in the country -- after penning an editorial calling for Donald Trump's impeachment and removal from office and arguing he was "profoundly immoral."

It went viral, earning a rebuke from Trump on Twitter, and bringing Galli -- who retired from the magazine in January -- a tsunami of publicity. Some of his fellow evangelicals praised the editorial as courageous, given their movement's overwhelming support for the president. Trump's evangelical supporters labeled it misguided and out of touch.

***

As the mainline denominations shrink, they are increasingly having to band together to avoid total collapse. This week a committee issued a communique regarding next steps toward full communion between Episcopal Church and United Methodist Church. The UMC recently split over homosexual marriage, which it makes a tad awkward to talk about unity with a split church, especially as one side eschews sodomy.

They have decided to postpone "full communion" proposals till their next General Convention/General Conference after 2021.

It's fascinating to read the high-sounding language that flows from these proposals: "Our hope was to bring the proposal A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness' before our two church-wide bodies in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

As both denominations whither and die because they have embraced umbilical homosexual marriage, they think they can bring "healing", In fact, they have caused dislocation to their respective churches and are dying. Such blindness.

***

Ravi Zacharias faced continued scrutiny this week when more revelations surfaced about his behavior.

It turns out that Zacharias bought two spas in Georgia and went into the massage business. So, what is a wealthy businessman who had no need of money, going into this kind of business which had nothing to do with the gospel. The spa imported women from India and Thailand and three witnesses told Steve Baughman, author of a book on Zacharias that Zacharias was sexually abusive to the employees.

Two other stories emerged written by journalist and investigator Julie Roys. Her story portrays Zacharias as someone who befriended, groomed, and then initiated a sexting relationship with a married woman, Lori Anne Thompson. Then, when Thompson told Zacharias she was going to tell her husband about the illicit relationship, emails show Zacharias threatened suicide. The unwanted nude photographs have become public knowledge along with hitherto unpublished correspondence between the woman and Zacharias. What is truly telling is that Zacharias divulged that his marriage was "more of a business partnership" and that "he was profoundly alone."

In January of 2016, Lori Anne wrote that Zacharias professed his love for her during a phone call. You can read more at these three links.

https://virtueonline.org/christian-apologist-ravi-zacharias-owned-two-health-spas-georgia

https://virtueonline.org/betrayed-trust-part-one-new-testimony-emails-other-documents-portray-ravi-zacharias-predator-sexting

https://virtueonline.org/betrayed-trust-part-two-woman-accused-sexting-scandal-claims-ravi-zacharias-groomed-exploited-her

***

Will America see revival any time soon? I address this question in the story below. Evangelicals in America are becoming desperate. They urgently want one of two things to happen. They either want the Lord to return to lift them out of their alleged misery; or revival, so they can go on as life before with minimal changes to their lives, but with a few more converts.

Neither may happen any time soon.

COVID-19 and forest fires are sweeping the land, so now there is talk of Armageddon. I watched a woman from Portland, Oregon, on a video explaining why Armageddon is upon us because the skies were red and apparitions of Jesus were appearing in cloud formations over the city.

So, take your pick. Jesus is coming back because American evangelical comfort zones are being violated, there is growing gun violence, America will go Marxist if Joe Biden wins in November and a disease is racking the land. Alternatively, revival will come that will miraculously stop it all. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/why-revival-wont-come-soon-america

***

Canadian Bishops are rejoicing at the possibility of life on Venus, according to Canadian blogger Anglican Samizdat.

The discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus means there could be life there, since phosphine gas on earth is made by microorganisms that live in oxygen-free environments. This has excited Anglican Primate Linda Nicholls and Archbishop Mark MacDonald. Regrettably, no phosphine gas whatsoever has been detected in the Anglican Church of Canada, a similar oxygen-free environment.

Mark MacDonald, overcome with joy at the discovery, made this ecstatic, if incoherent, pronouncement: "It is in concert with an Indigenous-informed, Christ- and Spirit-infused view of this universe." The Indigenous microbes of Venus have not welcomed the comment yet because they are still trying to find out what it means.

Linda Nicholls, not one to waste an opportunity provided by the discovery of galactic microbes, sees this as an excuse to promote her green crusade:

"She did, however, see the discovery announced Monday as one more cause for humans to be mindful of their place in creation and of their responsibility to it.

Nicholls goes on to muse that galactic microbes might be more important than humans made in the image of God. And they wonder why the Anglican church is in decline:

"It should also remind us that human beings are a part of that creation--with particular capacity to create and destroy--but we are not the only or best part!" she says.

***

The Church of England roils from one crisis to the next with no apparent end in sight.

National Safeguarding has been deemed a Failure and a new Micah 6:8 Initiative has been formed. After many attempts to secure reform of the National Safeguarding Team and the secretive Core Groups of the Church of England, a group has been formed to seek the outside intervention of the Charity Commission, to call the Archbishops' Council to account for its stewardship of these structures and the manner in which it has discharged its trustee duties of oversight.

The Church has lost the trust of complainants and respondents alike, and is widely regarded to have placed the consideration of reputation management above due and transparent process, equality of treatment, ordinary standards of natural justice and human rights.

"We are calling this the Micah 6:8 Initiative because the Church of England fails to do justice, lacks mercy, and shows precious little humility when the problems are brought to its attention. The problems continue to the present time in acute form." You can send an email to nomorenstinjustice@gmail.com with your name/chosen signifier, any brief self-description you choose. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/national-safeguarding-deemed-failure-new-micah-68-initiative-formed

***

For a contra view on racism, read this excellent piece by Dr. Gerry McDermott. "The new religion of anti-racism has its own version of original sin. It holds that people with one skin color have a harmful privilege that is possessed even by those who hate racism. They will never be able to be cleansed of that original sin. This new religion of diversity has its own baptismal liturgy, in which you confess all that is associated with your skin color and your complicity in slavery and Jim Crow and continued racism--even if you have always detested slavery and Jim Crow and racism. It has its own new birth, after which you see that all the people with one skin color are racist--and therefore perpetually guilty--and people of other skin colors are always victims and therefore innocent." Read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/wanted-pastors-courage

***

Do stay safe, your life depends on it. Eat, pray, read the Scriptures daily, do morning and evening prayer if possible. Remember, however bad it looks, it could always be worse if you did not have Jesus as your savior, Lord and friend.

In Christ,

David

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