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General Synod is Standing on the Brink of a Precipice * Doctrinal Decay and Dissolution hits Church of Scotland * TEC Title IV Issues Threaten Dioceses * New Global South Primates Rise to Press Gospel to the World

From the point of view of the Catholic analyst of world affairs, for whom politics is always downstream from culture, this is what happens when what scholars call "expressive individualism"--self-absorption on steroids--displaces the biblical view of the human condition: That there are truths built into the world and into us, including the truth that we are male and female, distinct but complementary, ordered to communion and fruitfulness.

A DIABOLICAL SYNOD -- (PART 2)

Our sustained strategy for enabling the English to worship themselves - the Royal Supremacy over the Church, Parliamentary Democracy and, finally, the General Synod, is bearing great fruit. Since our triumphant suppression of the Book of Common Prayer, our English Anglican clients have long been accustomed to cherishing their infernal dreams rather than worrying about deceitful lusts, appetites, devices and desires.

"Give me Law and Gospel, but please never give me Law without the Gospel" -- Chuck Collins

I suppose I need more Law (because the law is holy, righteous, and good - Romans 7:12), so go ahead and throw more dirt on my coffin. But don't forget to tell be about God who came to resurrect dead people! Hearing Law without Gospel is like an all-decalogue liturgy with no absolution - no creed; it is hearing a coach instead of a preacher; it is bad news upon bad news for my already weary soul. This cruelty happens every Sunday all across America, including Alaska and Hawaii! Law without gospel is always heavy, heavy, heavy!

What happened at General Synod? Living in Love and Faith Feb 24

'That this Synod welcome the further work carried out on Living in Love and Faith and the focus on reconciliation and bridge building; and ask that the proposal for a set of commitments through which the whole Church can continue to pursue the implementation of the motions previously passed by Synod on Living in Love and Faith, be brought back to Synod as soon as possible.'

In his opening speech, Bishop Martyn made three main points:

A Tale of Two Worlds -- why contemporary Western culture contends against Christian Faith

Dr Kirk cut his teeth on engaging with the contextual theology of Liberation Theology in the 1970s in Argentina. In 'Two Worlds' he ruthlessly exposes the lies and inconsistencies underlying the ideologies in Western culture that have resulted in the legalization of abortion, so called 'equal marriage' and gender transitioning.

The book repays slow reading. Like the Book of Proverbs it has nuggets of wisdom and insight on every page. He can afford not to pull his punches because, aged 86, he is not looking for ecclesiastical preferment nor can be sacked.

Self-acceptance in Christ - Part 2

From our Great Generation legacy, my family received a strong work ethic and biblical morality that laid the foundation for our success in the world. The unfortunate side-effect of this legacy is that it also created the burden of a performance-based sense of self-worth and a susceptibility to a works-oriented (instead of grace-oriented) soteriology. American Christians too easily accept the idea that we were saved only to serve and succeed. As a result, we find it easy to become competitive and judgmental-- always looking to measure our performance and compare it with that of others.

While Westminster bickers over Lee Anderson, thugs are sending death threats to Reform

Two tiered policing has emboldened those who oppose the core values of our nation. The Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police boss Sir Mark Rowley have allowed this to happen in our capital, but it is happening elsewhere too.

Trans Hormones, Surgery Not 'Necessary in Order to Prevent Suicide': Study

A team of Finnish researchers followed the 16,643 people under the age of 23 who entered Finland's gender clinics from 1996 to 2019. Initially, they noted that the suicide rate for trans-identifying people ranged from 350% to 1,900% higher than the average citizen -- but that statistic alone created an incomplete, and misleading, picture. Studies, often conducted by pro-trans ideologues, ignored the fact that people diagnosed with gender dysphoria often suffer a bewildering number of psychological comorbidities, including autism, depression, bipolar disorder, and many other conditions.

"Standing on the brink of a precipice"

In that time, adult attendance has fallen 30%, and the decline is accelerating. Child attendance has fallen 40% in the same period. And in the last three years, vocations to ordained ministry have collapsed by 40%. There is a very real prospect that ministry is going to collapse in large parts of the Church of England within the next five years. Where is this on our agenda?

DOSTOEVSKY AND DIALOGUE

Faith leads to righteousness Paul said. Without its prefix "self," we don't use the term righteousness any more. There is something smug about the word: lots of add-ons to the old English word "rihte" for "correct" actions or "direct" paths (both correct and direct deriving from the Latin "rectus" for straight). But to Paul, righteousness was the product of faith: because we believe, we act in a way that is "correct" without deviating from the path.

IT'S ALL ABOUT GOD NOT YOU

I have been a Christian for a ridiculous and embarrassing number of years for the beggarly condition of my spiritual life today. This sounds like false humility, but it's a fact. If only I had prayed more, and been more faithful to read the Bible, memorize more Scripture, read a Psalm-a-day like my friend Mary, contemplate the sacraments more deeply, helped the poor and shared my faith more like my other friend Mary, I would be much, much farther down the road. Or maybe it's the Heidelberg Confession - if it had become my friend earlier in life I'm sure my life would reflect Christ more.

Jesus, the Twelve and General Synod

PETER: It's a new world order my Lord, and with the Romans pushing sodomy we can hardly get left behind. The culture moves on and so must we.

THE LORD: My kingdom is not of this world. Who said anything about compromise. I affirmed the Torah about male and female, I have not changed my mind.

JOHN: But Lord it is important that our homosexual brothers and sisters are not disenfranchised. They are hated by the Jews. And they think we hate them even though we don't.

Britain, Royalty, the Church of England, and the War in Israel

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has made it clear that all the hostages must be released, and Hamas lay down its arms and surrenders. Apparently, that is not going to happen. Stalemate.

All the diplomatic back and forth-ing will change nothing. Netanyahu will not cave into world demands for a ceasefire. There is nothing in it for Israel if even one Hamas survives. There must be a new political dawn for Gaza.

WAR AND REMEMBRANCE

The wars in Ukraine and now Gaza call to mind the events of nearly 50 years ago. We supposedly are no longer engaged in the "forever wars" of the Middle East, yet if you look at the map, American men and material are involved in the area that can be described as the "Middle East": east of Greenwich and midway between the equator and the North Pole.

Take Heart! Some reflections on the current state of the Church of England

There are those who say that a law not enforced is not a law at all but this simply is not true. Laws may lay dormant for years before being put into use. The change of the makeup of the Supreme Court in the US in recent years and the overturning of Roe vs Wade that it led too show the enduring importance of laws even when they are deliberately misapplied for years by the umpires.

George Barna: The US needs a 'spiritual awakening' to achieve 'unity'

The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University released its fifth annual American Worldview Inventory on Monday. Based on interviews with 2,000 U.S. adults conducted in January, the survey examined the prevalence of 14 different worldviews among the population.

The research identified syncretism, defined as "a fusion of disparate ideologies, beliefs, behaviors, and principles culled from a variety of competing worldviews into a customized blend," as the dominant worldview in American society. Ninety-two percent of those surveyed embrace syncretism.

Self-acceptance in Christ – Part 1

In 1984 I was attending Fuller Theological Seminary, working toward graduate degrees in both the School of Psychology and the School of Theology... and I was wrestling (both personally and academically) with this issue of self-esteem. What I discovered in both my study of theology and clinical research in the behavioral sciences was a mixed bag of expert opinions, with a lot of hints but no unequivocal answers to my questions. I sought to reconcile the various views, many of which appeared to be in opposition to each other.

Safeguarding 'weaponised' in Church of England as report claims standards 'fall below secular groups'

At times, safeguarding has been used to address issues unrelated to a risk to children or vulnerable adults, she added.

For example, she wrote, matters referred to safeguarding staff included parishioners with no vulnerabilities who were having extra-marital affairs and a preacher "praying too vehemently".

Professor Jay has therefore recommended the creation of two charities, with one delivering church safeguarding and another to provide independent scrutiny of those methods.

Archbishop Welby blasts Vladimir Putin over Tucker Carlson Interview on Ukraine War

President Putin has advanced religious arguments in an attempt to justify the invasion of Ukraine, most recently in an interview with the American political commentator Tucker Carlson, Welby said.

Archbishop Welby, however, dismissed such arguments: "There is an argument in favour of debate, discussion, appeal, but there is no argument in favour of armed force: the invasion of Ukraine was a self-chosen, unjust, unjustifiable attack on a neighbour. This war is evil."

LIVING UNDER OCCUPATION

We Lost -- Move On The Pride flag declares the triumph of progressivism over the institutional church. The church has been conquered and is held by the invader and by those who share the conqueror's views. The members must be prepared to submit or remain silent for the sake of peace.

PLEDGES AND PRINCIPLES

Appeals that God loves a cheerful giver, that we should give--not until it feels good--but until it hurts, that even Jesus paid deference to the Temple's receipts from the widow (Mark 12: 41-44; Luke 21: 1-4) have fallen on deaf ears. If, as Lenin said, capitalists will sell the rope with which the communists will hang them, I refuse to pay into church coffers merely to prolong their slide into the Sheol of oblivion.

BATON ROUGE, LA: Fire reduces St. Luke's Episcopal Church to smoldering ruin

It was an hour past midnight that the Baton Rouge Fire Department was alerted to the growing fire by a Baton Rouge police officer. The Fire Department responded to the catastrophic fire to find the flames chewing through St. Luke's attic. The fire department answered the call with 19 firefighting trucks including eight pumpers, three ladder trucks and other support vehicles. More than 75 firefighters, including some from the St. George Fire Department, battled the fire during the predawn darkness. It took more than two hours to knock out the flames which were lighting up the night sky.

LLF and Reconciliation- taking the wrong path?

Bishop Martyn believes "firmly in the latter option" -- and goes on to outline ten 'Commitments' which will, in his view, provide the "basis of a settlement" to enable "people at both ends of the spectrum to continue within the Church of England."
These Commitments can be found in full at the end of this Blog post.

Global South New Bishops Formation Retreat Kicks off in Kampala

"The main role of a Bishop is to proclaim the gospel to all nations. It's a new calling with new challenges and many opportunities. A lot of doors are opened but not all are meant to be entered," Archbishop Kaziimba said.

"The work to do is so much that we much appreciate the importance of delegation. Work never grows old. It's only us the workers who grow old. Have time for yourself and family. Choose what to do and what not to do," he added.

NO REGRETS...REALLY!

For more years than I care to think I preached get-better messages. I cringe thinking about my old sermons. I regret the lost opportunities of those messages that pounded home the idea that we just need to try harder, pray and give more, read the Bible every day, attend church every week, and be nicer. It was Pharisaism under the guise of Christianity - "an easy-listening version of salvation by self-help" (Michael Horton).

Trinity School for Ministry
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