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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

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

The four gospels are not biography; they are testimony. --- John R.W. Stott

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, should know that the Anglican Communion that he inherited is not going to be the same Anglican Communion that he hands over to his successor. Separation of the orthodox from Canterbury is inevitable barring a miracle such as seeing the Organization (that calls itself a Church) of England, the Episcopal Organization, and the Canadian Anglican Organization all repent and don sack cloth and ashes. --- The Underground Pewster

Unless the Evangelical church rediscovers its glorious inheritance, most will continue mouthing enlightenment platitudes about freedom, democracy, and equality with a Jesus blanket thrown on top -- BJ Newman is an ordained Presbyterian minister and is an US Air Force Chaplain for the 178th Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard.

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. Ideas, as always, have consequences, and the desperately defective ideas of woke culture--the cult of the false trinity of Me, Myself, and I--have now corrupted American diplomacy, endangering both our country and the world." -- George Weigel is the Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.'s Ethics and Public Policy Center

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
March 1, 2024

The Rev. Dr. Ian Paul, a conservative theologian, made a speech at the Church of England Synod this week in which he said the synod was "standing on the brink of a precipice."

"Since the first report on marriage and sexuality in 1979, in contrast with debates about divorce and about the ministry of women, no consensus for change has emerged. The Shared Conversations and the LLF process have taken up most of the last ten years. The result? We are more anxious, more divided, more uncertain. The fateful phrase 'a radical new Christian inclusion' has unleashed a civil war in the Church.

"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?

"But here is the other stark reality: Other churches are growing. But we are reluctant to learn from them. We now represent something less than 18% of all Christians in a church on Sunday. We have another eight hours scheduled to talk about LLF. What it will it produce? More division, more frustration, no more progress. Fiddling whilst Canterbury burns doesn't even capture it."

"If we continue this fruitless process, that will be the legacy we leave: the Church of England, a heap of ruins. It is up to us." You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/standing-brink-precipice

When I first posted this; a number of thoughtful responses including those with inside knowledge, suspect Paul has his own motives for saying this which includes his unbridled support of ALPHA projects, cutting off resources from everyone else.

"It is not a solution. The only solution is a change of leadership. And it will take 20 years," said a senior cleric with inside knowledge.

Another well-traveled bishop said this; "This is one of the worst cases of episcopal manipulation and "heroic" head in the sand leadership. For the Church of England to make major changes requires consensus, transparency and a great amount of charity. I have seen none of these. IMHO, I would rather have no bishops than bad bishops. Bishops, or no bishops, sexual depravity is the devil's very effective WMD."

For a fuller reading of what went on at Synod this week, you can read Susie Leafe's excellent take at Anglican Futures, which you can read here: https://virtueonline.org/what-happened-general-synod-living-love-and-faith-feb-24

For another take on the state of the CofE you can read Cornelius Harding's heartfelt plea here: https://virtueonline.org/take-heart-some-reflections-current-state-church-england

"It is easy for the orthodox within the Church of England to feel altogether depressed about the current situation in which they find themselves after all there has been disappointment after disappointment.

"The approval of the Prayers of Love and Faith resource section under canon B5 and the previous decision of the Bishops introducing guidance indicating someone identifying themselves in a gender other than their sex can have this new identity incorporated liturgically hold one thing in common and that is that they avoided the proper process for liturgical or doctrinal reform.

"This is vitally important because it means that rather than the rules of the game legally having been changed as they were so that the Church could ordain women to the Priesthood instead the rules have remained but the umpires have declared they will look the other way."

For a satirical take on synod, Stephen Keeble does a brilliant takedown of Welby and his bishops. A DIABOLICAL SYNOD -- {PART 2)

My Dear Wermwood

I am most impressed that your chief patient, the Primate of All England, opened the recent meeting of the General Synod of the dear CofE by denouncing the agents of the Enemy as malign forces. I am even more impressed that he did this on his own initiative. Celebrated as 'the voice that boiled a billion kettles' when he preached at last year's coronation, and now almost completely devoid of residual restraint, he is by far our most successful archiepiscopal project to date.

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. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/diabolical-synod-part-2

You can read Part 1 here: https://virtueonline.org/diabolical-synod

The Church of England suffers from what the late Auburn Traycik, editor of The Christian Challenge called 'Anglican fudge.' Endless synods trying to bless the unblessable. The evangelicals want to stay in the club but want alternative oversight which church leaders will not give them. If you want to leave, then leave everything behind as you exit the door. No building, no vicarage, no salary and reduced or no pension.

We know how it will end because the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby is on the side of the LLF report documenting such blessings, and the church's homosexuals and lesbians will brook no turning back, and will, in time, push for full homosexual marriage. "Blessings" of same-sex couples is just the thin end of the wedge.

Watching the rapidly descending Church of England; there is a report out that the Church of Scotland -- Scotland's Presbyterian counterpart to the Church of England -- is on a remarkably similar trajectory of doctrinal decay and dissolution. In 1982 the Church of Scotland had nearly 920,000 members; last year, that stood at 270,300, a decline of 70%. The average age of its congregants is now 62, and only 60,000 worship in person.

One Church of England bishop noted; "If anyone is looking to start a mission in the UK by buying a handsome church building for peanuts, The Church of Scotland has a large selection waiting for a new owner."

Like the Episcopal Church; The Church of Scotland is on the way out. The only difference is that TEC has money, lots of the green they can throw at every cockamamie woke issue it can find; on the basis that the church remains relevant to the times, even as the gospel is no longer proclaimed and has evaporated from sight.

Just how bad are things in TEC? A report issued by the Episcopal New Service this week around Title IV issues throws light on several dioceses in moral peril.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who is spending a lot of time these days recovering from heart issues, announced a Title IV transparency webpage detailing cases against bishops, which you read here: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2024/02/22/presiding-bishop-announces-title-iv-transparency-webpage-detailing-cases-against-bishops/

Anglican Watch which regularly notes Episcopal Church abuse has a report here: "Ten signs your church may be dying": https://www.anglicanwatch.com/ten-signs-your-church-may-be-dying/ There are multiple stories of Episcopal abuse documented here.

Here is what a prominent friend of Anglican Watch, who also is a well-known pastoral counselor, told AW that his best estimate is that 30 percent of clergy meet the clinical definition of having narcissistic personality disorder. As for bishops and other senior officials, his best estimate is 40-50 percent. That's scary stuff. Indeed it is.

I wrote a modestly satirical essay, JESUS, THE 12 AND GENERAL SYNOD which you can read here: https://virtueonline.org/jesus-twelve-and-general-synod


BRITAIN AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND can't seem to keep its nose out of other peoples' business even though it can't control the agenda of its own church!

Prince William (the late Queen's grandson) said he wanted to see an end to the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible because "too many have been killed."

It has always been an iron rule that the Royal Family never makes political or controversial interventions. Yet Prince William did exactly that --- playing politics, especially since he issued his statement on the eve of a deeply divisive debate on Gaza in the House of Commons. The late Queen would never, ever have done or approved this.

All the while England is experiencing anti-Israel mob intimidation with placards reading, "Death to America," "Death to Israel," "England will be run by Shariah Law" and much more.

Who could doubt it? Social media has been ablaze with abuse and death threats against anyone deemed not to hate Israel enough.

Archbishop Justin Welby is on record saying, "As a religious leader I can say that the killing of so many civilians, the extensive damage to civilian infrastructure cannot be morally justified. I do not have military or political answers to this crisis."

Apparently, he has moral justification for his position on the war, with no mention of the monstrous behavior of Hamas, and their continuing pull to keep Gaza from ever becoming a free and democratic state...with liberty for all. The demonization of Israel is now standard political fare in England. You can read my take here: Britain, Royalty, the Church of England, and the War in Israel: https://virtueonline.org/britain-royalty-church-england-and-war-israel


If you doubt that England is not in dire trouble read this piece by Richard Tice in The Telegraph. https://virtueonline.org/while-westminster-bickers-over-lee-anderson-thugs-are-sending-death-threats-reform

Here is a sample:

"While Westminster bickers over Lee Anderson, thugs are sending death threats to Reform. The contrast could not be clearer. Our politicians are playing word games rather than dealing with the growing threat.

"Our nation stands on the precipice. The threat to our way of life and democracy could not be clearer, with the British public looking on in despair.

"Weekend after weekend, the people of our great country witness what looks like a once respected police force pandering in fear to extreme Islamists and anti-Semites on the streets of our capital city. Placards displaying hateful symbols have almost become the norm as our police officers too often stand by and do nothing. Slogans are projected on Big Ben as they stand and watch.

"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."


While Anglicans Churches decline in the West, the Global South is rising to the challenge of evangelizing its neighbors and, hopefully bring the gospel back to the West.

Newly consecrated and enthroned Bishops in the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA) met in a weeklong formation retreat at Lweza Training and Conference Center in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda.

Godfrey Olukya, VOL's African Correspondent documents that the retreat brought together new bishops with their wives from Africa, Asia, and Latin America in 12 Provinces.

In his Sermon, Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba of Uganda highlighted the challenges and opportunities that come with being a Bishop.

"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.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans, the Most Rev. Justin Badi. Primate and Archbishop of South Sudan, highlighted the objectives of the Fellowship arguing that it is, "to guard the faith, be united in mission and ministry, establish mutual accountability across members of the Global South and to work for the well-being of the communion."

That is not something Welby wants to hear. His behavior and theology has officially exempted him from his position as primus inter pares of the communion, and he is fast becoming a footnote to global Anglicanism.


SELF-ACCEPTANCE IN CHRIST. There has been an ongoing debate about the role of self-esteem in the lives of believers in Jesus Christ. Is high self-esteem even the good thing that the secular world insists that it is? And for Christians, where do spiritual disciplines, self-denial, and the application of the Cross in our lives fit into the picture? What about the value of humility and not thinking too highly of yourself as Paul advised?

Virtueonline asked Dr. Bruce E. Atkinson to examine the whole topic in this 'Me, Myself and I' generation. He has come up with a two-part series for VOL readers that I encourage you to read, learn and inwardly digest.

Part 1. An Interaction between biblical theology and self psychology
(the good, the bad, and the ugly) regarding the issue of self-esteem. Part 1 can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/self-acceptance-christ

Part 2. Examines the Role of the Cross in the Transformation Process and can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/self-acceptance-christ-part-2


If you have spent your life trying harder to please God but always falling short, and believing that God has it in for you, then these two pieces are for you:

A couple of articles by one of my favorite theologians Chuck Collins can be seen here: https://virtueonline.org/its-all-about-god-not-you

And here....



If you are looking for a good book to read this Eastertide, I cannot recommend too highly this book by Dr. Ashley Null
Eastertide -- Meditations on the Collects of Thomas Cranmer
Author: Ashley Null
Pages: 146 pages
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other platforms https://www.amazon.com/dp/173590225X?ref_=cm_sw_r_apin_dp_F6G3WP718BNGJWXWGDX2&language=en-US

Null is the greatest living scholar on Cranmer today, but he is a man who owns a pastor's heart. You can buy here as well and support Anglican Publishing House.


We are deep into Lent, and there is so much to be both thankful for and repent of. We are people of the way; fallen, hopeful, and, as Paul writes in Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV): "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight."

I wish you all a holy Lent.

Warmly in Our Lord,


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