jQuery Slider

You are here

J.I. Packer Dies * Former Central Florida Bishop Leaves TEC for ACNA * TEC takes Millions from Govt. PPP program * ACNA Archbishop Lashes out at Loss of Moral Base in U.S. * Diocese of Huron Okays Homo Marriage * CofE ABC’s Nix New Bishop Consecrations

J.I. Packer Dies * Former Central Florida Bishop Leaves TEC for ACNA * TEC takes Millions from Govt. PPP program * ACNA Archbishop Lashes out at Loss of Moral Base in U.S. * Diocese of Huron Okays Homo Marriage * CofE ABC’s on Nixing New Bishop Consecrations * Australian Anglican Church to consider Same-Sex Marriage

Merriam-Webster says that the word "homosexuality" is "now sometimes offensive." Neutral use of the term homosexuality is still somewhat common, especially in technical and formal contexts. Outside of those contexts, however, the word can be seen as evoking negative stereotypes and outdated clinical understandings of homosexuality as a psychiatric condition." The real problem is that it is an accurate description of the attraction and consonant behavior ("homo" from Gk. homoios "like, same"). --- Robert Gagnon

The gospel teaches us that there are only two races, the first based on the creation of every man and woman in the image of God and therefore worthy of our love and respect. The second race is the new human race that the Messiah is making through history of all those who have been born again and are asking God to help them to be continually remade into the image of Jesus. --- Dr. Gerry McDermott

Culture and religion. A respectful acceptance of the diversity of *cultures* does not imply an equal acceptance of the diversity of *religions*. The richness of each particular culture should be appreciated, but not the idolatry which may lie at its heart. For we cannot tolerate any rivals to Jesus Christ, believing as we do that God has spoken fully and finally through him, and that he is the only Saviour, who died, and rose again, and will one day come to be the world's Judge. --- John R.W. Stott

This nation is hurting. In many ways it is broken. And racial division is a big part of that brokenness. But there is hope. The source is spiritual, not political. It comes from humility and prayer and seeking God’s face. The God of Israel is Lord, even of this hurting land. Our racial divisions suggest that we have experienced covenantal judgment and exile. But we can also experience covenantal forgiveness and healing. --- Dr. Gerald McDermott

Scripture asserts that we all have sin, but it does not say that each one of us has every kind of sin. Each of us has a different sin that ‘so easily besets us.’ Some of us wrestle with lust, others with greed, many with pride, others with despair. And some with racism. But Scripture never says that we all have every KIND of sin. To say that we ALL are racists (but of course the implication is that only one color of skin is guilty) is an unbiblical assertion. It is also sinful judgment. And to limit the assertion to one skin color is itself a racist statement. --- Dr. Gerald McDermott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
July 24, 2020

THE BIG NEWS of the week was the death of a much beloved and influential evangelical figure of the English-speaking world – Dr. J. I. Packer. He was 93.

Born in England, he stood in the evangelical and reformed tradition of the Church and was a world authority on the Puritans. He spent the last half of his adult life in Canada, specifically Vancouver, BC, where he taught at Regent College at the University of British Columbia.

He wrote over 70 books, though he told this writer in an interview that he could not remember how many he had written, and while he is probably best known for the spiritual classic, Knowing God (1973), he told VOL in an interview that A Quest for Godliness was his favorite. "It expresses so much of the Puritan understanding of Christian spirituality which has been an enormous inspiration to me since I first discovered the writings of John Owen in 1946." Packer believed that the most important project of his life was the English Standard Version of the Bible.

He was a friend of VOL. Over the years, when our paths crossed, he graciously afforded me interviews. The last one I did can be found here: https://virtueonline.org/latrobe-pa-anglican-patriarch-ji-packer-still-going-strong-87. The interview garnered more than 6,000 reads and, as the interview says, he was still functioning strongly in his 87th year.

On his passing, ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach commented, "This is a great loss for the Church on earth, and a great joy for the Church in Heaven. He was a man who walked his talk and impacted all those around him to be more like Jesus. His books, especially Knowing God, impacted me greatly."

For more on Packer’s life and ministry, click here: https://virtueonline.org/j-i-packer-author-preacher-and-teacher-has-died-93
And here:
https://virtueonline.org/st-johns-rector-death-ji-packer-regent-college-pays-tribute-packer-vol-interview-packer

***

The former Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, left The Episcopal Church this past week and was received into the ordained ministry of the Anglican Church in North America as a bishop in good standing. Howe was ordained and had served in TEC for 53 years. His wife, Karen, a Deacon in TEC, has also been received into the ACNA.

In an exclusive interview , https://virtueonline.org/former-central-florida-bishop-leaves-tec-joins-acna Bishop Howe told VOL, "This has been a long time coming, but the tipping point was the "hearing" (read: trial) of Albany Bishop William Love. "I watched it in its entirety. It was very respectful, but the bottom line was that - whatever the verdict for +Bill is - TEC has now clearly redefined not only marriage, but what it is to be a Bishop, and what it is to be a Diocese."

The scriptures and the whole catholic and Anglican tradition have understood Christian marriage to be a union of a man and a woman in Christ. The Episcopal Church has always said that The Book of Common Prayer is the authority for our doctrine, discipline and worship. But the actions of the most recent General Convention have redefined marriage to be something that must now be available to same-sex partners.

It is ironic that the two remaining evangelical bishops in TEC – Greg Brewer of Central Florida and George Sumner of Dallas still choose to remain. One can only presume that it is the pomp, prestige, power and pensions that keeps them there. Certainly, it is not about the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints.’

***

The Episcopal Church took PPP Government money to the tune of $25 million from a government and president they despise, while they have been dumping the faith overboard for decades. This is money they say they need to keep churches from closing (even though effectively they have because of COVID) to pay for building maintenance and above all salaries for priests who have betrayed the faith and their vows by denying basic doctrines and blessing a range of sexualities that have no basis in Scripture, history or tradition. The biggest recipient was St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston which got between $2 and $5 million. Texas Bishop C. Andrew Doyle backed up the equivalent of a Brinks truck for the rest. You can read the full story here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-church-hustle

The bigger hypocrisy is that TEC’s church leaders announced this week that the Episcopal Church’s finances are “on pretty solid ground” for 2020 despite the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Executive Council did some trimming for a total cost savings of $3.6 million this year.

Kurt Barnes, The Episcopal Church’s chief financial officer said the church trust funds have rebounded from investment losses in the spring. So why did they ask the Government for millions of dollars? Several factors are working in the church’s favor, he said. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, the church’s legal and corporate entity, received a $3 million federal stimulus loan from the Paycheck Protection Program. At the same time, the pandemic forced cuts to various church expenses, like staff travel and conference attendance, helping church staff achieve about $3.5 million in savings, more than offsetting a $1.8 million deficit originally budgeted for 2020,” said Barnes.

The church has more than $5 million in cash, Lloyd said, as well as $12 million in short-term reserves. Of those reserves, about $9.5 million is set aside for “the rainiest of rainy days.”

***

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach says America is seeing an unprecedented removal of ethical, moral and spiritual foundations which in the past has allowed the country to be blessed by God; to be civil; to be protected; and to be successful as a nation. We are pushing the limits of the patience of God for our national sins, he says. "Since we have had a public covenant with God, do you thank that God will not take notice of our public divorce from Him through our actions and the turning of our backs on Him?" said Beach, citing Anglican pastor John Newton. You can read more of what he has to say here: https://virtueonline.org/acna-archbishop-says-america-has-removed-ethical-moral-and-spiritual-foundations

***

Last week the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York issued a joint statement on Episcopal Consecrations in the Church of England. The archbishops have agreed that it shall be the norm that no appointee to the episcopate opposed to women in the priesthood will need to seek approval to ensure their consecrators hold the same position. No longer will these consecrations be considered case by case.

Forward in Faith, which opposes women in the priesthood, put it this way: For slightly over twenty-five years, in the period since the admission of women into the priesthood by the Church of England, provision has been made for traditional Catholic candidates for the priesthood to be ordained by bishops with whom they are in full sacramental communion.

But no more.

A senior source in the CofE told VOL that both archbishops have agreed formally to recognize and acknowledge that new bishops from the Catholic tradition of the Church of England cannot be consecrated by bishops (such as the two archbishops) who both teach WO and ordain women as Deacons, Priests and Bishops. In an attempt to appear even-handed, the Archbishops have decided not to ordain any more bishops themselves, of either persuasion, but instead to delegate to another Bishop the role of chief consecrator. (This is apparently acceptable to the orthodox candidates, even though the authority to consecrate comes from the Archbishop, as required by Canon 4 of the Canons of the Council of Nicaea.) This looks like a theology of taint.

***

Closer to home, the bishop of the Diocese of Huron has decided to give permission to hold same-sex weddings without needing to ask or tell him. “After thought and prayer, I have decided to remove the requirement that special permission be required by priests or parishes before a same-sex wedding can be held in a parish. All priests in the diocese may marry any two persons who meet the requirements found in our Marriage in the Church Guidelines which is available here.” The bishop acknowledged that some would disagree with him, but the Anglican Church is a “large tent,” he said.

***

The ultra-liberal Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong is defending mainland China’s national security law despite worldwide criticism.

According to Christian Today, the Most Rev. Paul Kwong said he welcomed the law's implementation and refuted the suggestion that it poses a threat to religious freedom.

In a letter published in the Church Times, Kwong said, “I welcome this law, although it is one that I wish were not necessary.”

However, Cardinal Joseph Zen, former Catholic Bishop of Hong Kong, said that Hong Kong had gone "back to the Cultural Revolution" and that the laws threatened the liberties of all Hong Kongers, not only Christians. "Nobody will be spared," he said.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/anglican-archbishop-hong-kong-defends-national-security-law-despite-worldwide-criticism
***

The Australian Anglican Church will soon decide if it will bless same-sex marriages. Meetings of the Anglican Church’s Appellate Tribunal (Australian Anglicanism’s version of the High Court) are under way to determine whether civil same-sex marriages can be blessed in church.

The tribunal may deliver a verdict as early as September or October in a case which pits “conservatives” versus “liberals” in a church with a wide range of beliefs.

The Anglican Church of Australia’s General Synod (church parliament) has voted repeatedly to have a traditional view of marriage. But last year, the Wangaratta diocese (region) voted to bless same-sex marriage in churches, a move strongly supported by its Bishop (leader) John Parkes.

The tribunal has been asked to determine whether the regulation to allow blessings passed by Wangaratta Synod is consistent with the constitution of the Anglican Church of Australia. (Anglican News Service)

***

Barron Trump's Episcopal Day School will not resume classes like normal this fall, despite his father's push to reopen. The private St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Maryland — which the 14-year-old began attending after moving to Washington, D.C. — announced this week that, while a final decision has yet to be made, it is planning not to fully reopen its campus in the fall because of novel coronavirus concerns.

***

Female clergy in the Church of Sweden now outnumber male counterparts for first time in history. For the first time in history, the number of female clergy in the Church of Sweden has surpassed that of their male counterparts, the Church newspaper Kyrkans Tidning reported. The share of women is now up to 50.1 percent, or 1,533, compared to 49.9 percent men or 1,527, the employers’s organization Skao said.

***

People living in wealthy countries are less likely than those in emerging economies to say that belief in God is necessary to be moral.

The Pew Research Center examined attitudes towards God and morality across 34 countries and found that beliefs vary according to economic development.

Overall, nearly half (45%) of the 38,426 people surveyed said it was necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values.

Across all the countries surveyed, 62% of respondents said that religion was very or somewhat important to their lives, while 61% said that God played an important role in their lives. Over half (53%) said the same about prayer.

People in Indonesia and the Philippines were most likely to connect belief in God with having good values (96% each), followed by Kenya (95%) and Nigeria (93%). More than three quarters in India (79%), Turkey (75%) and Tunisia (84%) felt the same.

By contrast, only a quarter of Canadians (26%) and less than half of Americans (44%) agreed that belief in God was necessary to be moral.

Out of the 14 EU countries surveyed, Greece was the most likely to tie belief in God to morality (53%), followed by Bulgaria (50%) and Slovakia (45%).

***

The issue of RACE is now before the American public in a way we have not seen since Barack Obama was president. It erupted over the death of George Floyd. So much of the talk about race is to make white people, especially men, feel guilty for just being white. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry talks about breaking free of white supremacy. But is he right?

No, says Dr. Gerald McDermott, renowned Anglican theologian who says the Bible pays no attention to race. “This will shock many, especially those who are now pointing to the heavenly church of Revelation 7:9 that supposedly highlights diverse races: After this I looked and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands . . .

It is true that this great multitude will be of many colors, but this passage pays no attention to their colors. Instead, the author of Revelation focuses on their nations and tribes and peoples and languages.

This is the first tipoff that the Bible identifies people not by their pigment, but by their national cultures.

In this case, identity in the Bible comes from kin relationships, not skin color.

You can read several stories written by McDermott. ‘What the Bible says about Race’ can be read here: https://virtueonline.org/bible-race

In another piece, McDermott takes on English scholar N.T. Wright on the subject of race and says Wright misfires on American church racism. In a piece you can read here, https://virtueonline.org/why-nt-wright-misfires-american-church-racism, he says Wright misses the mark. We should, he says, bring a gospel perspective to bear on this turmoil and not repeat the secular nostrums of various groups. And that at the center of a gospel perspective is Paul's vision of a differentiated unity in the Body of Christ that transcends old creation boundaries. And that if we do that, we will find that the "biblical gospel of Jesus undermines racism."

“For example, you point several times to Paul's vision for a "polychrome" church. At one point you acknowledge that skin color didn't matter much in "the already polychrome Mediterranean world of Paul's day." But then you go back repeatedly to stress what you think American Christians have missed and still miss--that the Body of Christ is polychrome and ought to be polychrome.”

“I do not find anything in Paul's letters or in the rest of the New Testament about color. Much is said about the church being from all nations and peoples and tribes and tongues (such as Rev. 7:9), and including Greeks and Jews and men and women (such as Gal. 3:28). But nothing about color.”

McDermott comes out hard against those who condemn people for the color of their skin, as racists can be found among blacks as well as whites.

***

The omni-present homosexual Gene Robinson, former Bishop of New Hampshire, recently took part in a discussion hosted by the Reconciling Ministries Network (like Integrity USA, but within Methodism). Robinson and his co-panelist, filmmaker Daniel Karslake, allege that conservative Christians are using religious liberty as a basis to oppress: https://juicyecumenism.com/2020/07/23/religious-liberty-oppression/.

This is nonsense, of course. It is the exact reverse; it is cultural Marxists like Robinson who have bowed down to the culture who are doing their best to oppress conservative Christians, by locking them out of Facebook, Linked In and other ISPs.

The Orlando nightclub shooting is cited. I'm puzzled as to how Christian religious liberty advocates are somehow partly responsible for a shooting perpetuated by an angry young Muslim man. Bakers and photographers who decline to participate in same-sex weddings, or nuns who decide not to pay for abortion pills, are apparently the same as a mass shooter because either way “there was religion all over that.”

***

Politicians in Uganda have been advised to emulate Anglican Church leaders. Godfrey Olukya, VOL’s African Correspondent revealed that an Anglican church elder in Uganda, Nuwe Amanya Mugisha, who is also former Education Minister, has called on Ugandan politicians to emulate the leadership of Anglicans when they retire peacefully and let others continue from where they have left off.

In an interview he said, "Political leaders in Uganda should emulate Church leaders and then retire, to allow others to serve." Mushega said that the Anglican Church of Uganda has set a good example that political leaders can follow, given the rate at which the leaders turn over peacefully. He specifically singled out those that have been in parliament for many years, advising them to give space to young people. Most of the MPs have been in parliament for over 20 years. The president of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has been in power for over 30 years

***

If you have still not purchased my book THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, then you can pick it up here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Seduction-Episcopal-Church-David-Virtue-ebook/dp/B07YQFGR4W

If you would like an autographed copy, please send a tax-deductible check for $25.00 and I will send you a copy by mail. Thanks for your support.

If you have a funny bone, my EPISCOTAPE LETTERS can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Episcotape-Letters-Mr-David-Virtue/dp/1948747219
Amazon is asking $199.99 a copy. This is an absurd price. I will send you an autographed copy for $25.00.

You can send a check to:

VIRTUEONLINE
570 Twin Lakes Rd.,
P.O. Box 111
Shohola, PA 18458

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation online you can do so here: https://give.virtueonline.org/

Many thanks for your support.

In Christ,

David

Subscribe
Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Prayer Book Alliance

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice

DrinkCoffeeDoGood.com

Go To Top