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Forty Anglican Primates talk up Climate Change and Covid * CofE; a Grand Operatic Death * Anglican Church of Canada is Collapsing * Kenya Province Poses Problems for GAFCON * ACofC Upholds Conversion Therapy Ban; Supports Gender Transition...More

Forty Anglican Primates talk up Climate Change and Covid * CofE; a Grand Operatic Death * Anglican Church of Canada is Collapsing * Kenya Province Poses Problems for GAFCON * Anglican Church of Canada Upholds Conversion Therapy Ban; Supports Gender Transition * ANIC Elects Moderator; Announces Formation of JI Packer College * Melvin Tinker Dies

Advent reminds us that no matter how dark it gets, the light has come, and the light is coming. So be of good cheer! The darkness you feel today will not have the last word. Neither will the grief, uncertainty, and despair. As Wendell Berry once said, "It gets darker and darker and darker, and then Jesus is born." --- Timothy Dalrymple

If people are wanting to save America and to have a spiritual revival, voting is not at the top of the list of priorities, because, at the end of the day, Jesus Christ is savior. Only changing the hearts of people throughout America is what's going to change this nation. It's a spiritual warzone. -- Brad Dacus

The gospel is not good advice to men, but good news about Christ; not an invitation to us to do anything, but a declaration of what God has done; not a demand, but an offer. -- John R.W. Stott

A paraphrase of Jesus' condemnation of the scribes in Mark 12:38-40: "Beware of the theological professors, who like to parade in their doctoral regalia, to be glowingly introduced before they speak, and to enjoy the front and centre of the room in front of deferential audiences. They chew up the reputation and self-respect of even junior colleagues and beginning students, and for the sake of appearance deliver long lectures full of eloquence and ethics. They will receive the worst grades of all." --- John G. Stackhouse Jnr.,

The Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the Church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways - such as digital forms of worship. --- Her Majesty The Queen

Studies from the Barna Group have shown that over 50 percent of "self-identified Christians in the U.S. are characterized by having the attitudes and actions researchers identified as Pharisaical." The implications of the data suggest that most believers have not internalized the essence of the new covenant and are instead heavily influenced by old covenant ideas.

"Our most serious failure today is the inability to provide effective practical guidance as to how to live the life of Jesus." --- Dallas Willard

Chesterton had concluded that his version of the "nones" had not lost their Christianity--because the "sober truth of the matter" was that most of them never had any Christianity to lose in the first place. --- G.K. Chesterton

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
December 3, 2021

I'm going to level with you. I'm exhausted. For 30 years I have watched, listened, and written about the Anglican Communion. I have bewailed the apostasies of Western Anglicanism and watched as it all went down the drain; with the progressive remnants now circling the drain just waiting for an opening.

The West is dying; the vibrancy of the Anglican Communion is clearly in the Global South. Even under persecution they grow and thrive. But it has taken its toll on me.

A fellow scribbler put it like this. "I sense a corporate emotional weariness in kind people these days, the accumulated scar tissue created when you've absorbed more bad news, predatory behavior, and attacks on decency than your reserves can manage. Sustained cruelty will do that to the human soul."

He is right. "There's only so much contempt for humanity our minds are able to process, until one day something snaps, and we lose the ability to respond with the same urgency and resilience we once had. A low-grade hopelessness sets in, slowly replacing our activism with apathy and one day rendering us immobile; it has a name: cruelty sickness."

"Prolonged exposure to this kind of seemingly tireless barbarism begins to rob us of energy, to dishearten us to the point that we stop caring and opt out. This is of course, by design. That is what those manufacturing this incessant enmity are counting on."

What I sense in myself is fatigue at a very deep level. I am inundated with one crisis after another; assailed with countless daily culture war battles, that have left me weary, till I feel crushed beneath the weight of it all. I am slowly succumbing to the numerous wounds of boundless hatred, asking how it is possible that one man, Donald Trump, could stir such deep hatred for his fellow man, and often by people calling themselves Christians who follow him.

The magnitude of the problem is beyond human telling. How can people who say they love Jesus be so perpetually cruel, at the same time so triumphalist in their assertions that America and God have a special thing going, that no other nation on earth has or matters to God?

The unspeakable lies, anger and cruelty which should have no place in our lives, now divide whole communities, and churches. People, including those most so-called evangelicals, are now talking about the need for two nations.

The suffering of those they victimize, and a steady stream of the unanswerable questions about how and why human beings can be this perpetually cruel, are bewildering.

Columnist John Pavlovitz put it well when he said this; "Maybe it's a bit of necessary resting after the last four ferocious years, perhaps an understandable emotional letdown afforded by the arrival of an adult human president and the feeling that we are not in a continual state of imminent threat from our government, or maybe it's the welcome distraction of passing through the worst of a brutal year in isolation--but it feels as though our collective passions are waning and we cannot afford this."

The opposite of Donald Trump is not Joe Biden; it is to suffer as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Our Nigerian brothers and sisters know this. They had a Christian and now a Muslim president and they learned that nothing really changed. They evangelize and they suffer. They are kidnapped and killed; their churches are burned down, but still they carry on. A bishop dies, a new one is consecrated. The gospel must continue to go forth.

Nobody is burning our churches; we are not tortured for our faith; a handful of academics lose jobs and a couple of bakers are hauled over the coals for not baking cakes for queer marriages. We just walk away fed up with what passes as the Christian faith. We have become uncaring, inured to the daily suffering of others, our minds numb to the present reality. Another shootout; a family of six dies over who should get the Government's $1,400 hand out. Another 1,200 will die of Covid today and tomorrow, and the death toll from opioids keeps rising and it doesn't make the news anymore. A football "star" announces he is homosexual, and the headlines go wild.

Multiple mega church pastors are caught in abusive relationships and fall off the sexual bandwagon, destroying their churches and marriages as they go. A headline today, forgotten tomorrow. Could anyone have dreamed that a world renowned Christian apologist was groin deep in sexual sin while proclaiming Christ to the world! Not possible you say, but it happened. Another nail in the coffin of the faith we hold dear. "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly," wrote James.

Does anybody really care? I don't think so.

But it has taken its toll on me and many others. Pastors are leaving their pastorates in droves. A new study reveals that nearly four in 10 Protestant pastors (38%) are "seriously considering" leaving full-time ministry. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/covid-making-more-pastors-want-quit-full-time-ministry

So, what do we do? What do kind people who are sickened by cruelty do to get well? I wish I knew the answer. Do we tether ourselves to one another, is it the Benedict Option -- small is beautiful?

People keep saying it is Jesus; but is it the Jesus of the right or the left? The triumphalist Jesus tied to the constitution and America is unbiblical. The representative Socialist Jesus of South Galilee has little support from Scripture. Both are equally unappealing.

Where to now?

For a good analysis on the situation in America today, you can read Os Guinness's EVANGELICAL AND UNASHAMED. He writes, "The Evangelical crisis is real, but it long predates Donald Trump. First came the doubters, then the defectors, then the self-professed deconstructionists, and now the so-called "ditchers" -- those who ditch the term because it is irremediably tarnished. But the Evangelical crisis in America is part and parcel of the American crisis. The fact is that American Evangelicalism is breaking apart, not because of Trump, but because America is breaking apart. Both crises are a tragedy, and both need analyzing separately before their relationship can be addressed.

American politics has degenerated into trench warfare, and become as relentless, costly, miserable, and ineffectual as the muddy battles of the Great War. As in Lincoln's day, the United States of America are quite simply not united. America is a "house divided. You can read more here:


It is rare to start a VIEWPOINTS on a personal note, but today we acknowledge with much pain and sadness the death of a colleague, author, preacher and Christian apologist, the Rev. Melvin Tinker.

Melvin, 66, was the son a miner who never read a book till he was 13, but God put His stamp on Melvin. He became a believer against all odds, rose through the ranks, became a Church of England priest, built the biggest mega church of over 500 in Hull, one of the poorest areas in England, went on to write 17 books, wrote numerous articles on theology and the culture and became a frequent contributor to VOL's burgeoning theological ranks.

Melvin was gospel driven from beginning to end. He was an evangelist, pastor, husband, and father whom God touched in a beautiful way. When he saw the direction of the Church of England, he finally had enough and with the courage of his convictions left the CofE. This decision brought him many institutional enemies because he rocked the ship. His decision has now been fully confirmed by the leadership of Justin Welby. Welby's legacy is his constant need to apologize for everything, Melvin was an apologist not an apologizer, who defended and upheld the faith. e proclaimed the unsearchable riches of Christ. He will be sorely missed. His legacy will be a church he built, his books and numerous articles that will live on after him for decades.

We feebly struggle, he in glory shines.

Here are some links to read more.

You can read an appreciation of Tinker by Gavin Ashenden here: https://virtueonline.org/melvin-tinker-and-flaws-evangelical-anglicanism


Some 40 Anglican primates meeting online in preparation for the next Lambeth Conference have thrown their weight behind climate change and the COVID pandemic as chief talking points before the upcoming August Lambeth summit.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and deepened fault lines between rich and poor in our world. This is powerfully demonstrated in the unequal distribution of vaccines. We are united in calling for greater vaccine equity, based on a spirit not of charity but of recognizing the common good in resolving the current disparity. We call for generosity from those who have towards those who have not and for a greater acknowledgment of the effect of the pandemic on health and education," they wrote.

This fulfills the aspirations and yearnings of Archbishop Justin Welby who believes climate change is the single biggest issue facing humanity to keep the planet from self-destruction. Climate change also dodges the bullet of having to enforce Resolution 1:10 on human sexuality which has deeply divided the Anglican Communion and brought about the birth of GAFCON. You can read more here about how climate salvation is more important than heavenly salvation.

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: A GRAND OPERATIC DEATH. "Our vision and strategy is a vision and strategy for growth. It is not about managing decline gracefully. We want the Church of England to grow and even if it doesn't -- then let our death be a grand operatic death, let it be fantastic and let's not crawl in a corner." -- Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

First comes the vision, then reality hits, and then comes the final blow..."let our death be a grand operatic death."

The Church of England wants to go out in a blaze of glory, unlike a Guy Fawkes skyrocket that briefly bursts and then flames out as it hits the Thames River. A grand operatic death is what the Archbishop of York wants. That's what he told the Church of England Synod recently.

The question is, will the CofE even have that option? You can read more of my take here: https://virtueonline.org/church-england-grand-operatic-death


Numbers Confirm it that the Anglican Church of Canada is Collapsing. The Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC), counterpart to the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, will cease to exist by the year 2040 according to numbers recently reported by the denomination. Even more dramatically, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is on the verge of overtaking the ACoC in attendance, writes Jeff Walton of IRD.

"There is no sign of any stabilisation in our numbers; if anything, the decline is increasing," noted the Rev. Dr. Neil Elliot in a statistical report presented to the Canadian House of Bishops. "Some had hoped that our decline had bottomed out, or that programs had been effective in reversing the trends. This is now demonstrably not the case."

ASA in 2017 was 97,421. It is estimated to be closer to 75,000 in 2021. It is now smaller than the Anglican Church in North America, which has an estimated 120,000 communicants.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/numbers-confirm-anglican-church-canada-collapsing-0


IN OTHER CANADIAN ANGLICAN NEWS, Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee Bishop of the Diocese of B.C. recently said she rejoices over Canada's conversion therapy ban. Apparently, all political parties voted for it.

After the passing of the liberal government's motion to ban conversion therapy, Anna Greenwood-Lee, tweeted her approval: "Every child of God is beautiful and created in the image of God."

But as Canadian columnist David of Samizdat notes; "I find this very confusing because the Anglican Church of Canada has just published a liturgy to bless "gender transition", surely the ultimate in conversion therapy. Since our clerical tweeter has lent her support to November 20th's Transgender Day of Remembrance, she must approve of this conversion therapy."

The animated Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) says, "You're amazing just the way you are", an odd statement from a Christian, let alone a bishop since, according to the articles of her own church, "just the way we are" defies the very gospel is that we not stay the way we are, but transformed by Christ.

In the December issue of the Montreal Anglican, the official house organ of the Diocese of Montreal, on page 3 is an article about a Zoom meeting for children's ministry. The contribution of someone named Caitlin Really is about including the LGBTQT agenda starting as early as age 2!

"She reminded us that we share ourselves with children so that they can follow in the pattern of God by putting those in the margins at the center of a caring community."

One must ask how any responsible parent would allow their children to attend an Anglican Sunday school these days.

The Anglican Network in Canada announced the election at Synod 2021 of the Venerable Daniel Gifford as its Co-Adjutor Bishop. Archdeacon Dan was elected on the third ballot by more than two thirds of both clergy and lay delegates.

Next September, the Anglican Network in Canada plans to launch its own theological college in St John's, Newfoundland, to be called Packer College after world-renowned theologian J.I. Packer.

Dr. Packer, author of the Christian classic, Knowing God, was a member of ANiC. Dr. Packer died in 2020. His widow Kit gave permission for his name to be used with "much joy" and "hearty approval," said Diocesan Bishop Charlie Masters.


The Vice-Chancellor of Sewanee, America's only Episcopal university announced he is resigning after 18 months on the job because President Biden might name him ambassador to South Africa. Reuben E. Brigety II became the first Black vice-chancellor in Sewanee's 163-year history. He was installed in June 2020.

"Having concluded that I would accept this nomination if it were offered and that it would be unfair to prolong any uncertainty at the University, I have informed the Board of Regents of this decision and tendered my resignation as vice-chancellor effective at the conclusion of this semester, on Dec. 21," said Brigety in a December 1 letter on the website of Sewanee: The University of the South.

IN OTHER SEWANEE news, Sewanee University Alumnus is calling for a revocation of right-wing pundit Eric Metaxas honorary doctorate degree because of his alleged vitriol and bigotry. His accusers say he sowed dangerous misinformation about vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic contributing to the tragic deaths of more than half a million Americans. He openly rallied support for the January 6th insurrectionists, they said. Metaxas is a leading figure of the Christian right, with a long history of making homophobic, racist, and otherwise bigoted comments, they say.


KENYA. What to do with the GAFCON province of Kenya? This evangelical province led by Primate Jackson Ole Sapit with its 5,000,000 members is proving to be a headache for the GAFCON leadership. The Diocese of Bondo and the Diocese of Burete elected two women as bishops. This sparked a controversy within the ACK as some clergy noted that conservatives claim Western Kenya dioceses are liberal and are ordaining women. Most of the Kenyan Anglican dioceses, however, are conservative. But the election has set a precedent.

Just as troubling is Kenya's recent acceptance of large sums of money from Trinity Wall Street. Recently, TWS announced $9 million for faith communities, of which Kenya received huge sums.

Trinity awarded $280,000 to the Diocese of Kericho, Kenya to complete a tented safari camp in the remote region the Maasai Mara to provide access to electricity, sewers, and water. This project will create jobs, and profits will be used for community development programs such as establishing a church, hospital, and school in the area of the camp.

Another $2.3 million grant to the Church Commissioners for Kenya will establish a low-interest loan fund to support financing of local mission real estate development projects. As loans are repaid, the funds would be re-loaned to new projects creating a perpetual resource for building financial capacity and missional impact.

More than $5 million in grants will equip faith-inspired leaders, clergy, and laypeople with the practical leadership and management skills they need to connect their congregations and communities.

Additional grants were made to the Diocese of Bondo, Kenya of $282,000 and $280,000 to the Diocese of Kericho, in Kenya.

A source high up in GAFCON told VOL that this is not surprising the way they are constantly seeking to manipulate those who need funding. Kenya is a very complex situation with several their bishops DIRECTLY connected to Lambeth and TEC. That is how the women bishops happened. Every time a new bishop is elected in any GAFCON province, they usually need to be brought up to date on what has been happening around the world. "The realignment and reformation of the Communion continues to be messy," the source told VOL.

Another source told VOL, that Kenya is lost. TEC is playing the long game. They watch, throw money at a vulnerable diocese within a conservative province and manipulate it with that money to get TEC's position on women, then homosexuality, brokered in. TEC also has its candidate for Primate of Tanzania next year. Stay tuned.


CRIMES committed at Church of England parishes and religious premises over the past year have fallen compared with the previous 12 months -- but there were still more than 4000 offences.

Incidents recorded in the year to July include theft, vandalism, arson, violence including sexual assault, stalking, malicious communications, hate crime, and drug possession. A year earlier, during the pandemic, the total was more than 5000. The figures were obtained by the Countryside Alliance through Freedom of Information requests to Britain's 45 territorial police forces.


The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ketlen A. Solak was consecrated the IX Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh on November 13, in a ceremony at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. "My heart is full," she said following a standing ovation at the Peace, before she presided over her first Eucharist as a bishop. She is the first Black and first female Bishop of Pittsburgh and is one of six Black female bishops leading a diocese.


BRITAIN should impose a diplomatic boycott of China in protest at its treatment of the Uighur minority, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has told peers.

The Government should also help to establish an international coalition to "stand up" to Chinese expansionism in the world, he said. Speaking during a debate in the House of Lords last Thursday, led by Lord Alton, on genocide of the Uighur people in Xinjiang province, Dr Smith raised the question of boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics next February.

One wonders why the bishop doesn't speak up on behalf of the 120 million Christians in China who have seen their churches torn down, their leaders jailed and much more. Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls "re-education camps", and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms. Still, Christians far outnumber Uighurs in that communist country.


UGANDA. The Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha is the first Anglican priest in Africa to publicly announce that he was HIV-positive. In fact, he is the first religious leader to do so. The priest has gone a long way in helping people living with HIV/Aids not only in Uganda but also in other countries on the continent. Married with children, the priest is unsure how he got the disease. Despite the stigma, he continues to be a priest with the support of his bishop. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/first-anglican-priest-africa-declares-he-has-hivaids

The archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Kaziimba has been dragged into secular court by Christians of Muhabura Diocese in Kisoro District, Western Uganda for alleged failure to handle succession matters in the diocese.

The archbishop is being jointly sued with the Registered Trustees of the Church of the Province of Uganda, Rt. Rev. Cranmer Mugisha, the Bishop of the Diocese of Muhabura and Joel Ernest Sendegeya, the Diocesan Chancellor. The plaintiffs include one Innocent Ndagijimana and Solomon Rugera Kanna.

According to Chimpreport, through their lawyers of Ngaruye Ruhindi, Spencer and Company Advocates petitioned the Civil Division in the High Court in Kampala. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/uganda-anglican-archbishop-dragged-court-over-succession-disputes


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