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Fallout from CofE Same-Sex Decision Persists * London Evangelical Parishes Revolt * GAFCON Chairman to Meet Leaders in London * Tanzania Archbishop Blasts CofE Decision * DofFl Debacle Heats Up Over 2nd Holt Election * EC Theological Seminary on the Ropes

Fallout from CofE Same-Sex Decision Persists * London Evangelical Parishes Revolt * GAFCON Chairman to Meet Leaders in London * Tanzania Archbishop Blasts CofE Decision * DofFl Debacle Heats Up Over 2nd Holt Election * TEC Theological Seminary on the Ropes * Asbury Revival Continues

Evangelism and Social Action. Polarization and specialization. I suggest the need for a threefold recognition about evangelism and social action: (a) A recognition that the two are partners in the Christian mission ... 'distinct yet equal' partners.
(b) A recognition that both are also every individual Christian's responsibility. Every Christian is a witness, and must take whatever opportunities he is given. Every Christian is also a servant, and must respond to challenges to service, without regarding them as merely occasions for evangelism. (c) A recognition that, although both are part of the church's and the Christian's duties, yet God calls different people to different ministries and endows them with appropriate gifts. --- John R.W. Stott

Muslim leaders in England are rebuking the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, over the Church of England's proposal to teach school children that same-sex unions are valid. --- Church Militant

The Muslim name Muhammad is now the most popular birth name in one of Ireland's most populous cities, Galway. -- Church Militant

The Catholic Church in Ireland has opened its doors for Muslim prayers and will even blast the azan on loudspeakers. You don't even see this happening in churches in Muslim-majority countries. -- The American Conservative

Orwell noted in '1984' that by changing the language, you could limit the parameters of thought -- Lifesitenews

The Archbishop of Uganda condemns 'the suicidal path now taken' and prays for the Church [of England] to 'repent or leave' and form their own Communion. --- The Telegraph

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
March 3, 2023

THE FALLOUT from the Church of England synod's decision to bless same-sex civil marriage, while professing the church has not changed its legal stance on the doctrine of marriage, is fooling nobody.

This week in a wide-ranging speech defending his invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said: "The Anglican Church is considering a gender-neutral God. May God forgive them for they know not what they do ... They distort historical facts, constantly attack our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religions of our country."

He accused the West of destroying the family, cultural and national identity, adding: "Perversion, and the abuse of children are declared the norm. And priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages." No other head of state has launched such an attack against a sitting archbishop. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/welby-slammed-putin-and-global-south-anglican-bishops

Increasingly, Welby is behaving with increasing authoritarianism. His willingness to flout 2000 years of church teaching on human sexuality and bully Global South archbishops over homosexuality, indicates a papal like authority he has gathered to himself that should alarm everybody.

Welby's hatred of evangelicals who refuse to fall into line, and in the case of the ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, the failure to even recognize him as an authentic Anglican, should trouble even liberals and progressives who believe in the fabled doctrines of inclusion and diversity. Welby's authoritarianism is emerging at warp speed. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/increasing-papal-authority-justin-welby

Not only are the Global South Fellowship of Anglican (GSFA) churches and GAFCON primates and bishops not buying it, but the church's own virulent homosexual and lesbian lobby are angry the church did not go far enough.

Now two leading mega evangelical churches in London are pushing back hard against their church's decision with profound financial repercussions to the Diocese of London.

Doubling down on the pain for the diocese and Church of England, the chairman of GAFCON, the Most. Rev. Foley Beach will visit London this month to meet these evangelical clerics with the message that the GAFCON Primates' Council "will support you in any way we can." Now that must sting in Lambeth Palace where Archbishop Justin Welby will not even recognize the ACNA archbishop as a legitimate Anglican. Think the last Lambeth Conference.

The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev. Sarah Mullally, says she would be happy to meet Dr Beach when he comes to London. But will he meet with her?

News of Dr. Beach's visit was revealed in a video message posted on the website of St Helen's, Bishopsgate, in the City of London, on Sunday.

St Helen's, which has an electoral roll of more than 1200, paused payments to the diocesan Common Fund last month in protest of the bishops' proposals to offer services of prayer and thanksgiving for same-sex couples and to bless civil marriages.

In a video, the rector, the Rev. William Taylor, says Dr. Beach "has offered to make provision for the annual clergy review process at St Helen's". You can view it here: https://www.st-helens.org.uk/about/announcements/cofe/

"Furthermore, curates in training at St Helen's have withdrawn from a Holy Week meeting with Bishop Mullally; and an ordinand in the church has withdrawn from the ordination process." He went on to opine that "those clergy who have completed their training have written to me stating that they can no longer walk together with bishops who have walked away from them."

Taylor also accused the bishops of being prepared "to trample imperialistically in white Western boots over the biblical convictions of the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide".

Taylor says in the video: "We believe this failure of the House of Bishops to uphold God's teaching on marriage and sexuality requires a clear and public distinction between ourselves and those who by their words and actions, deny the authority of God's Word and walk away from the teaching of the Lord Jesus."

Bishop Mullaly, sounding like Katharine Jefferts Schori issued this not so-veiled threat by saying, "Should any parish wish to draw a clear public distinction between itself and the House of Bishops, and the decisions of the General Synod, it is of course free to do so, but the legal obligations of the parish, incumbent and diocese towards one another in relation to finances, safeguarding, property, and all other matters remain unchanged."

The Church Times reported that the London bishops held a two-hour meeting last week in St James, Garlickhythe, which was attended by between 150 and 200 members of the clergy, many of whom were concerned about the bishops' proposals on same-sex blessings.

It is understood that those who attended included about 20 clergy from churches in the network of Holy Trinity, Brompton, as well as clergy from the ReNew network of churches, New Wine, Fulcrum, and the Junia Network. There was also a small number of traditionalist Anglo-Catholics.

At the meeting, Bishop Mullally said: "Finding ways to walk together with our diversity and differences is not comfortable. Yet I know that to separate, to walk apart would greatly impoverish and harm the Church of England, which has always been an intentionally and uniquely broad Church."

One gets the impression the wagons are circling Lambeth Palace.

In an exclusive interview I had with the Archbishop of Chile, the Most Rev. Hector Tito Zavala in Santiago recently, he made it clear that the GSFA bishops would demand the ouster of Welby from his leadership of the ACC and communion. Welby said that he would step down from his leadership role in the communion and Instruments of Unity, but observers say this is little more than virtue-signaling until he actually does step down.

In a move with historic consequences, twelve orthodox Anglican Provinces that make up the Global South Fellowship of Anglican (GSFA) provinces have issued a statement saying they have broken communion with the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury following the Church of England's formal acceptance to bless same-sex unions.

The headlines speak for themselves:

The GSFA primates Break Communion with Church of England And Archbishop Of Canterbury
The GSFA will no longer recognize Welby, as "first among equals"
Church of England has broken communion with orthodox provinces
GSFA and GAFCON Primates say they will meet to "reset" communion

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/gsfa-primates-break-communion-church-england-and-archbishop-canterbury

Then Bishop Christopher Cocksworth, the man in charge of the Church of England's Living in Love and Faith (LLF) discussions on marriage, sexuality and gender -- published a progress report that made a startling admission.

It is a remarkable piece of writing on the (Living in Love and Faith: Where Do Things Stand? Where Do We Go from Here? The article makes a number of quite startling admissions about LLF. It sets out fairly honestly why the C of E's bishops (and thus by extension the whole denomination) now find themselves in the possibly unresolvable mess they are in. Here are some of them:

First of all, Bishop Christopher admits that the process was too rushed at its most critical stage. In relation to the draft "Prayers of Love and Faith," he writes that the bishops "did not give the time and attention to hone the response and scrutinize the prayers with the great care that was needed..." This seems a most extraordinary state of affairs. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/bishop-cocksworths-startling-admissions

Note this has more to do with process than with deep theological reflection of the LLF report.

And finally, when you think you have hit rock bottom there is this. PREACH! is a new drag night for London's West End, in the unique setting of St James's Church Piccadilly. St James's is widely known for its pioneering welcome of LGBTQAI+ communities and other marginalized people and groups. As part of its mission to celebrate artistry and ingenuity in every walk of life, for the first time in its 340-year history, St James's will welcome drag icons from around the world to perform beneath its ornate gold ceiling, showcasing some of the biggest names in the art of drag, as well as fresh talent.


The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, The Most Rev. Maimbo Mndolwa, has responded to the decision of the Church of England to bless same-sex marriage and said this: "Same-sex unions has no biblical ground whatsoever and based on the decision made our relationship with the Church of England (Mother Church) is severely impaired." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-church-tanzania-responds-decision-church-england-bless-same-sex-marriage


The Church of England has other problems. An ordained Church of England (CofE) chaplain, who was sacked and secretly reported to the government's terrorist watchdog for a moderate sermon in a school chapel on identity politics, will appeal an employment tribunal ruling handed down this week.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Rev. Dr Bernard Randall had taken his employer, Trent College in Nottingham, to court for discrimination, harassment, victimization and unfair dismissal. He has described the ruling against him as a "blow for free speech and Christian freedoms."

Randall did not get an ounce of support from the Church of England leadership, even though he was upholding traditional teaching of the church. Think about that. They let him swing in the wind.

Bernard, who is a former chaplain at Christ's College Cambridge, had been 'alarmed' when at the start of the school year in 2018, Trent College in Nottinghamshire, which has a 'Protestant and Evangelical' CofE ethos, invited a radical and extreme LGBT group Educate & Celebrate (E&C) into the school.
During staff training, E&C's leader, Elly Barnes, had encouraged staff to chant "smash heteronormativity." Randall, despite upholding traditional values, one can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/chaplain-sacked-identity-politics-sermon-appeal-ruling


A former Episcopal bishop described the ongoing debacle in the Diocese of Florida as a "pig sty," as bishop-elect Charlie Holt faces mounting resistance from LGBTQ diocesan lobbyists and activists. Poor old Charlie, despite winning the nomination twice to be the next bishop, now faces claims that the electoral process was not fairly implemented. They are urging the church's bishops not to give consents to Holt even though he has agreed to play ball on B012, allowing homosexual marriages with another bishop's supervision.

The diocese's Standing Committee disputed the Court of Review's report, saying in a letter last month that they believe the court "grossly overstepped its charge, committed a number of significant factual errors, shown canonical disregard throughout the objection processes, and operated in a way that intentionally attacks and disenfranchises the will of the majority of the Diocese of Florida."

Holt was also accused of making a number of racially insensitive comments both in the clips circulated on Twitter following the May elections as well as in his follow-up communications to the diocese. This was repudiated by the leader of the Black Baptist caucus who gave Holt two thumbs up for his consecration.

The LGBTQ lobby is so mad at Holt's win, they have now turned their guns on the outgoing bishop Samuel J. Howard.

The LGBTQ lobby released an open letter last week, citing a recent Court of Review investigation which concluded that "LGBTQ+ people and affirming clergy face an uphill battle in acquiring licensing, canonical residence, and even access to the ordination process under" Florida Bishop Samuel J. Howard.

"[T]he Court appears to have sought to ensure the failure of our legitimate election by soliciting anonymous witnesses and unfounded and undated allegations, and showing a persistent lack of regard for due process," added the committee.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/church-court-criticizes-floridas-bishop-2nd-election

And here: https://livingchurch.org/2023/03/02/florida-standing-committee-renews-its-vow-to-pursue-consent/


As the Asbury revival movement continues to influence Christian universities, churches and secondary schools, some secular institutions of higher learning are also seeing students gather on their campuses to hold worship gatherings.

'A ripple effect from Asbury' has begun in secular universities now seeing revival gatherings on their campuses. Students at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green have been holding gatherings, including one last week that was attended by a few hundred people on the main lawn of the campus to worship and pray together and share their testimonies.

Tommy Johnson, a campus minister for WKU's Baptist Campus Ministry, told The Christian Post that the gatherings were directly tied to the revival at Asbury.

"We have seen a ripple effect from Asbury on the WKU campus. Several students from WKU attended services at Asbury," said Johnson. "After returning from Asbury, several of them gathered for prayer and worship at the chapel on WKU's campus and invited other students to join that night." Ohio State University is also seeing revival. You can read more here: https://www.christianpost.com/news/secular-universities-now-seeing-revival-gatherings-on-campus.html


FIVE PENNSYLVANIA EPISCOPAL BISHOPS, including the Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; The Rt. Rev. Kevin D. Nichols, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem; The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of NW Pennsylvania and Bishop Provisional of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York; The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and The Rt. Rev. Ketlen Solak, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, have called for an end to gun violence which they describe as "epidemic in our commonwealth".

"The number of violent gun deaths that we suffer in Pennsylvania is more than twice that of states that we associate with gun ownership: Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, and New Mexico, as examples; and the number of annual gun deaths in Pennsylvania is reported to be twice that of New York and more than all New England, combined."

"As bishops of The Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania, we offer a united call to address gun violence as a leading source of death in our Commonwealth. Here in Pennsylvania, we suffer from gun violence that includes mass shootings, suicide by gun, the use of firearms in domestic violence, and murder committed with illegal handguns. The leading cause of death for children in our country is by a firearm, and often accidental. All of this is fueled by the sheer volume of guns and assault weapons that are readily available in our State. Through the enactment of sensible and effective legislation, Pennsylvania can take concrete steps to reduce the illegal trafficking of handguns and unsafe use of guns."

The bishops excluded the recreational use of firearms through hunting, target shooting and gun clubs. "We also recognize the choice of many to own handguns out of a sense of personal safety in their homes. The measures that we advocate do not seek to remove guns from lawful citizens or restrict responsible purchases of firearms. These measures focus on the illegal trafficking of firearms, immediate access to excessive amounts of firearms (often resold illegally) and the elimination of unnecessarily powerful assault weapons."

The bishops support enactment of the following legislation:
One Handgun A Month; Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO): Judicial orders for the temporary removal of firearms from persons deemed dangerous to themselves and/or others; Prohibition on sales/possession of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines and ghost guns.

Episcopal leaders from across Michigan also called for passage of common-sense gun laws as lawmakers in the capital city of Lansing kicked off hearings to address a rising tide of gun violence.

"Gun violence is now the number one cause of death for our children," said the Rt. Rev. Bonnie Perry, bishop of the Diocese of Michigan. "After so many years of waiting and begging and sharing stories, we are finally going to have hearings on gun violence bills that will save lives."

A recent report in The Washington Post noted that last year was the worst for school shootings in history. Forty-six shootings took place at schools during school hours, killing 34 students and adults and exposing more than 43,000 children to gunfire.


AS GAFCON IV approaches next month in Kigali, Rwanda, Dr. Stephen Noll, Anglican theologian, Professor Emeritus at Trinity School for Ministry, former Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University has written 14 Theses on REVIVING, REFORMING, AND REORDERING THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION, with Commentary. To date, Dr. Noll has written 8 parts which you can read, including commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration.

You can see the Introduction to the Fourteen Theses with commentary on one of the Fourteen theses here: https://virtueonline.org/toward-reviving-reforming-and-reordering-anglican-communion
The FIRST FIVE theses with Commentary on "The Crisis of Contemporary Anglicanism" have now been collated and are available here: https://stephenswitness.org/2023/02/12/the-crisis-of-contemporary-anglicanism-theses-1-5/ Theses 6-10 will be collated and posted next week.


NEW YORK'S GENERAL SEMINARY is on the ropes, writes Jeffrey Walton of IRD. Most faculty and programs at the Episcopal Church's oldest seminary will be gone at the end of the current school year.

Protestant seminaries have been in consolidation for years. Even among those Christian seminaries with a healthy enrollment, nontraditional online programs comprise most of their growth.

The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church is not, as has been rumored, on the verge of shuttering and selling its valuable Manhattan campus, according to its shared President with Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), Dean Ian Markham. It is, however, at a crucial point: the school is undertaking a five-year plan that will either result in sustainability or the end of the road. Only a handful of Episcopal Church dioceses send seminarians to be educated at General; even fewer overseas Anglican provinces do.

The sustainability plan follows years of deficit spending, deferred maintenance, and wishful thinking prior to General's governance consolidation with VTS, which technically remain separate institutions. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-general-seminary-ropes


Split or Stay? Encouragement for Anglican Pastors. Retired Falls Church Anglican rector John Yates, writing for the Gospel Coalition asks the question. Many others are or have been in similar circumstances--whether Methodist or Presbyterian or other affiliations. "If you're weighing whether to stay in or split from your denomination, here are some things to consider."

First, does biblical truth matter more than unity? After three intensive years of prayerful focus, we saw without a doubt that faithfulness to Jesus and his Word was paramount.

Second, what would leaving mean to our own church family? Would it divide us? By God's grace, it didn't.

Third, were we willing to risk the loss of our historic church home, including a 300-year-old chapel built by George Washington and a newly completed, gorgeous, fully-paid-for sanctuary?

Fourth, was I willing to be dishonorably "defrocked" and possibly lose 30 years of retirement savings? Yes, I was defrocked--and no, thankfully I didn't lose my retirement funds.

Fifth, were we willing to weather what we knew would be a long storm of persistent accusations, misrepresentation, and condemnation in the local press?

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/split-or-stay-encouragement-anglican-pastors


The Anglican Way Institute will hold its annual Summer Conference May 31- June 2, 2023. This is a "reformed Catholic" movement, writes Bishop Ray Sutton.

"For Anglicans the words reform and catholic go together. They're not separated from each other like they are for most Protestants. For them, the Reformation is about getting away from what was catholic. For Anglicans it's not. In this regard, the English Reformation was more about reforming, or better re-forming, the Medieval Western Church where she had drifted away from the Ancient Church. It was an effort to return or to restore what is catholic or truly universal to the Christian faith. The Vincentian Canon describes it as "what has been believed everywhere, at all times, by all." It's often called the Undivided Church."
You can sign up here: https://www.holycommuniondallas.org/awi


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