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Global Christianity Divides Denominations * Leaving and Lies in Ft. Worth * Bishop Benhase sees the Light * St Mary Sisters Leave TEC with Bishop Love to join ACNA * Church of England Roils from Crisis to Crisis * ANIE Commissions * Remembering Stott

Global Christianity Divides Denominations * Leaving and Lies in Ft. Worth * Bishop Benhase sees the Light * St Mary Sisters Leave TEC with Bishop Love to join ACNA * Feelings and Matrices of Oppression lead TEC * Church of England Roils from Crisis to Crisis * Will Marxism destroy the CofE? * Anglican Network in Europe Commissioning Service * Uganda celebrates 60 years; Ngatali Repents * Remembering Stott

"If Christians in the Middle East need to fear the machete, Christians in the Western world need to fear the media, higher education, activist organizations and the government. They are the ones advocating, or imposing a secular agenda on religious institutions." --- Bill Donohue, The Catholic League

No other Christ. We have put our trust in Christ, and we have done it through the apostles' teaching. If the apostles had not borne their unique testimony to Jesus Christ and if their unique first-hand testimony had not been recorded and preserved in the New Testament, we could never have believed in Jesus. True, we probably came to believe in him through the witness of some contemporary Christian -- a preacher, relative or friend -- but theirs was a secondary testimony, an endorsement from personal experience of the apostles' testimony. The Christ they were witnessing to was the apostles' Christ, the Christ of the New Testament witness. There is no other. --- John R.W. Stott

He that has union with Christ does well; but he that enjoys communion with Him does far better. -- J.C. Ryle

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
April 23, 2021

If there were any doubts that Global Christianity was now divided between those who affirm the gospel, decry revisionism and homosexuality, uphold traditional biblical sexuality, then one need only look at recent moves in the United Methodist Church.

Several strong recent statements from United Methodist leaders in Africa express support for, or at least acceptance of, the coming split of the United Methodist Church. The statements also indicate an intent to join the Global Methodist Church when the time comes. While many details remain to be sorted, these multiple statements taken together seem to be a clear indication that at least much of African United Methodism is likely to ultimately join the emerging Global Methodist Church rather than the liberalized post-separation UMC (PSUMC). And that is probably putting it rather modestly, writes John Lomperis in the Institute on Religion and Democracy, blog.

In the Anglican Communion we now have two entities: The Lambeth Conference and GAFCON -- The Global Anglican Future. And it is showing much the same trajectory as the Methodist church. The first GAFCON meeting was held in Jerusalem in 2008 to address the growing controversy of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, the rise of secularism, as well as concerns with HIV/AIDS, poverty and more recently the acceptance of homosexuality. As a result, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans was created. Out of this, the Anglican Church in North America was born as an alternative to the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada. The presence of these groups also
declared that recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury is not necessary to Anglican identity.

Even though Archbishop Justin Welby called them a "ginger group", they have morphed into a formidable opposition to him. In fact, while they may have fewer bishops, they own the vast majority of Anglicans who are predominantly black, under 30 and women.

Western Anglicanism is white, male and about 65. It is rapidly aging and dying. Within a generation they will be hollowed out and barely functioning. In North America, whole dioceses have fled TEC's grip, taking parishes and people with them. The Anglican Network in Canada is slowly decimating the ranks of the ACoC.

It is not a pretty picture. It would appear that the Church of England is rapidly disappearing down the rabbit hole of pansexuality, looking for a compromise on the impossible. They are too frightened to offend homosexuals, for fear of being called homophobic, uninclusive, unable to articulate a biblical vision for sexual behavior that comports with history, tradition and Scripture.

African Anglican provinces that are evangelical are watching with dismay as they see the Mother Church unable to stand up against the secular and sexual culture. They watch as Church of England bishops get swayed by the zeitgeist and roll over, affirming what God has clearly said He will not nor cannot affirm. They think they have changed God's mind for him, when clearly, they have not. The price is high: it is a death wish.

*****

On the home front, The Episcopal Church has been taking a beating with the recent loss of $100 million worth of properties in Ft. Worth, Texas. Six remaining parishes were "forced" to find alternative worshipping quarters.

However, a revisionist woman priest, one Karen Calafat created a phony story about the loss of her parish and a food pantry. She circulated lies through a blog, Episcopal Cafe. Calafat said the relocation of the pantry was forced on her, resulting in finding it a new home. It's a lie. A source told VOL that Anglican Bishop Ryan S. Reed offered to partner with them in the food pantry. "Despite our theological differences, everyone needs to eat. We would be glad to partner with you and keep the food pantry here." The lady priest there responded "I won't be disrespected by you!" That ended the discussion. Who knows what she even meant! But to say they were "forced to relocate is a lie."

Furthermore, none of the parishes got in touch with the Bishop Ryan Reed to cut a deal to keep the properties, even though the national church is always bleeding that the reason they spent millions in lawsuits was to keep the parishes for future generations. Of course, there will not be any; nobody is interested in joining TEC. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/revisionists-create-phony-story-about-ft-worth-schism

To date, TEC has lost in Quincy, won in San Joaquin, adjudicated with mixed results in Pittsburgh, lost heavily in Ft. Worth, leaving just one long-standing ECUSA dispute still festering: its pursuit of Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese of South Carolina. One thing that is absolute is that the Dennis Canon is dead.

*****

The recently retired Bishop of Georgia, Scott Benhase, opined on Facebook that perhaps the problem with TEC, now that it is sinking into the sunset, is that it has failed to preach the gospel. Here is what he said; "God's grace imputed to sinners by Jesus's cross. If that's not our beginning, middle, and end of growing a church, then don't bother." If that is true, why wasn't he screaming this from the rooftops at General Conventions and why wasn't he a Communion Partner bishop? The answer is that he also bought into all the other stuff about TEC including sodomy and homosexual marriage. His attempt to defy the Law of Non-Contradiction simply fails. You can read my full take on his comments here: https://virtueonline.org/bishop-scott-benhase-and-law-non-contradiction

*****

Bishop William H. Love has now forever departed from TEC and he is now under the authority of Bishop Julian Dobbs and the Anglican Church in North America. Later, Bishop Dan Herzog left TEC and followed Bishop Bill. To add insult to injury, the 156-year-old Eastern Province of St. Mary Sisters announced they were leaving because of the way Bishop Love was treated. The Eastern Province departure brought a retort from their southern branch sisters at Sewanee who said they remained steadfast in their commitment to TEC.

This may be a week Bishop Michael Curry's "beloved community" got smacked around in ways he never anticipated.

By any standard of reckoning, this has been a major black eye for Curry and the House of Bishops who are watching as TEC steadily erodes from within. Bishops are fleeing and whole dioceses are being shown the legal door, as the courts side with the ACNA in court battles over properties.

*****

The Episcopal Church has reduced the Faith and morals to Individual Feelings and matrices of oppression, I opined in a column this week. It should be evident by now that the Episcopal Church, along with other mainline denominations no longer appeal to Scripture for truth, or, if they do, make Scripture mean what they want it to mean.

The real truth is that feelings and the matrices of oppression are the combined forces driving the Church's narrative; scripture be damned. The most recent example of this, and the most blatant, was the occasion of an evangelical leader being invited to preach at the Washington National Cathedral. You can read my take on all this here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-has-reduced-faith-and-morals-individual-feelings-and-matrices-oppression

*****

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND roils from one crisis to the next, with little expectation that things will get better any time soon, if ever.

Archbishop Justin Welby wants a public inquire into the handling of Covid. https://virtueonline.org/justin-welby-calls-start-public-inquiry-handling-covid

One Church of England diocese has spent £500,000 on 20 Non-Disclosure Agreements. Victims of racism in the Church of England have had to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) before they could receive compensation which might be due to them. So disturbing, in fact, that the Archbishop of Canterbury has "demanded", according to the Times, that they never be used again in the Church of England. "I am just horrified by that and horrified by the fact of racism."
https://virtueonline.org/one-church-england-diocese-has-spent-%C2%A3500000-20-non-disclosure-agreements

Welby condemned NDAs and called for their end after a BBC documentary revealed they were used to cover up racist abuse against church staff members.

https://virtueonline.org/archbishop-canterbury-condemns-non-disclosure-agreements-hid-racism-church-england

Some ethnic minority staff who made complaints of racism within the Church of England have been paid off to "buy their silence", BBC Panorama has been told.

https://virtueonline.org/clergy-speak-out-over-racism-church-england

Can the Christian flock in the CofE survive Marxist wolves? The newly-launched Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church (Mosaic) has a clear political motive: to win power on the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod.

One of the patrons of this neo-Marxist umbrella organization is the Dean of Guildford, Dianna Gwilliams. She chairs the lobby group Inclusive Church, which has a section on its website devoted to the 'Synod Campaign': 'In 2015 some dioceses only had one inclusive candidate, who topped the poll, but the other places were taken by conservatives. The more inclusive candidates we have standing, the more inclusive representatives we can elect.'

The movement aims to have a presence in each diocese of the Church of England, where it will work with local clergy and laity on projects that promote inclusion for all those who are currently marginalized by the Church of England -- whether that be due to race, ability, sexuality, gender or gender identity.' You can read more here: https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/can-the-christian-flock-survive-these-marxist-wolves/

And then there is this piece by David Larson; The Church of England's Imminent Death Brings Opportunities The Church of England is crumbling so quickly it may barely reach its 500th birthday, in 2034. You can read it here: https://www.crisismagazine.com/

*****

Primates and bishops welcomed the Anglican Network in Europe. Over 170 people from 14 countries from Australia to Chile took part in the online commissioning service of the Anglican Network in Europe on Monday evening, April 19.

Presiding Bishop Andy Lines welcomed participants from the two convocations, the Anglican Mission in England and the Anglican Convocation Europe. AMIE is composed mainly of churches which began life as church plants, and ACE of churches which found it increasingly difficult to remain in existing church structures. The noose is clearly tightening around Welby's neck as orthodox Anglicans circle the wagons with networks that will be in place when the CofE finally collapses.

The purpose of AMIE, said Bishop Lines, was to give such churches a home and a hope as they took on the task of reaching out across Europe with the biblical gospel. A welcome was given to the new network by Anglican Primates of Brazil, Myanmar and Nigeria, Archbishops from Sydney and Nigeria, and Bishops from Chile and Tasmania. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/primates-and-bishops-welcome-anglican-network-europe

*****

The Anglican Church of Uganda celebrated 60 years of ministry this week and the former Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ngatali confessed his adultery and asked for forgiveness. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-church-uganda-celebrates-60-years-ministry-former-archbishop-confesses-adultery

*****

St Stephen's Church Teesside in Middlesbrough says it has been closed down by its Free Church of England bishop, claiming their church minister was "forced into an unreasonable and illegitimate process of redundancy".

St Stephen's congregation have accused the Free Church of England Bishop John Fenwick of 'uncanonical practices' or proposing to reduce their minister's stipend and possibly terminate employment in six months' time in November 2020.

The Free Church of England (FCE) is a 19th century break away from the Church of England.

*****

CULTURE WAR STORIES

Our modern "Laodicean" church has lost its fear of God and its hatred of evil. Read David Kyle Foster's take here: https://virtueonline.org/wake-o-sleeper-rise-dead

The Great Awokening: Identity Politics versus Christianity. Identity politics is displacing Christianity. Sad but true. Social-justice ideology represents an "ersatz secular religion" that casts aside traditional Christian concepts of forgiveness, repentance, and conversion. This ideology is blind to the idea that good and evil run through every human heart and contains "all the impetus of religious fanaticism" with "none of the dignity or grandeur of revealed religion." Read Mike Sabo's take here: https://www.realclearreligion.org/

We Are Now Headed into New Territory, But Christians Before Us Have Been There, writes Roger E. Olson. You can read more here: https://www.patheos.com/

Looking Back at The Sexual Revolution by David Kyle Foster can be read here:
https://www.masteringlife.org/

Bonfire of the Sanities: California's Deranged Revival of the Aztec Gods. The Board of Education in California recently voted unanimously to approve an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum for use in all of the state's public schools. It's a purpose-built program of indoctrination into the worst kind of tribal politics -- a project of social engineering designed to erase the unique personal distinctiveness of the human being and remake each of us into avatars of our immutable characteristics. The story is by Cameron Hilditch and can be viewed here: https://www.nationalreview.com/

You can read Dr. Duane W. H. Arnold's fine piece on Pastoral Care here: https://virtueonline.org/pastoral-care

*****

Remembering Stott on the 100th Anniversary of His Birth April 27, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Stott. He was a respected preacher, best-selling author, servant of the global church, and the founder of Langham Partnership--a ministry that today trains and resources biblical leaders in 135+ countries. Your prayers and support make it possible!

In honor of what would have been Uncle John's 100th year, The Langham Trust has launched a new site where you can learn about his life, explore his books and sermons, learn about his ongoing influence--and take advantage of a free e-book offer! Visit johnstott.org. You can watch John Stott's Life and Legacy here: https://johnstott.org/#life-and-legacy

You can join Langham for a Special Webinar to mark the anniversary of John Stott's 100th birthday. The hour-long webinar will feature conversations with respected global Christian leaders, whose lives and ministries were shaped by John Stott. Chris Wright, Langham's Global Ambassador and Ministry Director, will also bring his own personal reflection on Stott's legacy.

Click here to learn more and register for this special webinar event. https://us.langham.org/john-stott-100-webinar/

*****

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If you send $50.00 or more, I will send you a free autographed copy of my book THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH...the truth of which will set you free. If you have a funny bone perhaps you would like a copy of my book THE EPISCOTAPE LETTERS, a series of satirical essays on the heresies of the Episcopal Church. david@virtueonline.org

In Christ,

David

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