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Lambeth Leaders Crow over initial 2020 attendance * Parishioners win legal case in St. Paul's Darien run-in with bishop * GAFCON chmn blasts Welby as he leaves chairmanship * ACNA Releases texts for BCP 2019 * Arctic Bp Heads to Irish Parish * ACoC News

Lambeth Leaders Crow over initial 2020 attendance * Parishioners win legal case in St. Paul's Darien run-in with bishop * GAFCON chairman blasts Welby as he leaves chairmanship * ACNA Releases texts for BCP 2019 * Arctic Bishop Heads to Irish Parish * More women bishops in TEC * East/West Michigan dioceses set to Unite * ACoC news

The crisis of the Church is above all a crisis of the faith. Some want the Church to be a human and horizontal society; they want it to speak the language of the media. They want to make it popular. They urge it not to speak about God, but to throw itself body and soul into social problems: migration, ecology, dialogue, the culture of encounter, the struggle against poverty, for justice and peace. These are of course important and vital questions before which the Church cannot shut her eyes. But a Church such as this is of interest to no one. The Church is only of interest because she allows us to encounter Jesus. She is only legitimate because she passes on Revelation to us. When the Church becomes overburdened with human structures, it obstructs the light of God shining out in her and through her. We are tempted to think that our action and our ideas will save the Church. It would be better to begin by letting her save herself. --- Cardinal Sarah

God's judgment in the end will be so absolutely perfect that the damned will agree with the rightness of their damnation -- James Montgomery Boice

The cross and justification. If God justifies sinners freely by his grace, on what ground does he do so? How is it possible for the righteous God to declare the unrighteous to be righteous without either compromising his righteousness or condoning their unrighteousness? That is our question. God's answer is the cross. --- John R. W. Stott

When God speaks to people, it is highly subjective. It is subject to the human will, emotions, feelings, fatigue, hunger, pain, suffering, grief, and any other number of factors, but God's Word is objective truth. It is always true, even if you've got the flu. It does not depend on human feelings or hearing voices or perceived voices. Put 100% of your trust of God speaking to you, first in Scripture, but also by His Spirit. These two affirm one another and keep us out of the ditches of human or personal experience. When someone tells you God spoke to them, tell them He's spoken to you too...and it starts in Genesis 1:1 and ends in Revelation 22:21. In between those pages, I am more than convinced that God speaks to me. Outsides of those pages, not so much. --- Jack Wellman

The collection of texts that make up the Bible can never be made serviceable to the homosexual and transgender agenda without doing violence to Scripture both in its historical context and in its hermeneutical (interpretive) application for today. --- Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

So-called "Liberal Christianity" is just another name for "Heretical Christianity." It is not about "liberality" (a more censorious bunch you are not likely to find) but rather about disregarding the consistent witness of Scripture, including Jesus --- Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
April 19, 2019

If you are looking for markers of a dying America and a culture once boosted by a strong Christian faith but now fast disappearing, the following headlines might be indicators.

• 21 State Attorneys General Band Together to Fight Pro-Life Law...
• 'Can America survive Americans?' The American experiment is history's longest-running tutorial in the art of political freedom, but is it coming to an inglorious end -- and at the hand of Americans?
• Mayor Pete (Buttigieg) and the Crackup of Christianity...
• Liberal beliefs pulling Mainline (churches) further down...

This is just a sampling. However, there is some good news amidst the gloom. Christianity Today reports that evangelicals show no decline, despite Trump and Nones. Hope springs eternal, but the overall decline cannot be minimized. We are in cultural freefall, tragically aided and abetted by a growing number of Christian denominations who seem bent on embracing the culture instead of the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church seems destined for the grave in America as sexual abuse cases reveal the depth of depravity this Church has embraced. The rise of incivility, porn watching, abuse of women and endless violence on videos and television, along with heightened anger on social media, only ratchets up the differences Americans feel about each other. Cultural Marxists (progressives) stamp on the head of Christ at every opportunity to advance their agenda. There are even whispers of a second civil war in America if Trump should be impeached. Only time will tell. Whither America!

Very few philosophies in the world are as bigoted as liberalism. Liberalism is the most bigoted philosophy in the world today, says Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias.

No Church has embraced this more vigorously than The Episcopal Church.Cultural Marxism is no longer just a secular issue such as denying psychology professor Jordan Peterson the right to speak at Cambridge University, or Yale University's recent declaration demanding that Yale will deny financial support to students who take summer jobs or fellowships with Christian organizations. It is now being fully embraced by The Episcopal Church with high sounding words like "inclusion" and "conversation." Another name for Cultural Marxism is progressivism. You can read my full story on all this here:
Cultural Marxism and the Episcopal Church: https://www.virtueonline.org/cultural-marxism-and-episcopal-church

*****

Recent photos I saw, show Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas making nice with Archbishop Justin Welby. Perhaps the ABC should widen his reading. This past week, the Connecticut State Supreme Court ruled that St. Paul's Darien, a flagship parish in the bishop's diocese, had the right to remove a priest because the priest embellished his resume when he sought the job following the retirement of the late Terry Fullam, TEC's best known charismatic priest.

A legal dispute brought by parishioners led to the removal of the Rev. George I. Kovoor as rector of the Episcopal parish was upheld by the courts this week. In an 18-page decision, Judge Kevin Tierney of Connecticut State Superior Court accomplished both the removal of Kovoor as St. Paul's Rector, without any liability for payment of his salary; and simultaneously confirmed that on October 26, 2018, the Annual Diocesan Convention severed its relationship with St. Paul's Church - Darien.

The civil complaint alleged that Kovoor made false representations as to his credentials which induced the parish to engage Kovoor to be its rector in October 2016 and, therefore, his contract as rector never came into existence and is void.

Accordingly, St. Paul's now continues as an independent, Connecticut, ecclesiastical society, as it was in 1967, when it voluntarily agreed to join the Diocese, the senior warden told VOL. Ownership of parish property remains in dispute. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y2hh4ytb

*****

A Title IV complaint has been filed against the Rev. Bob Malm, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria VA. The complaint alleges that Malm falsely stated under oath that a parishioner, Mrs. Sigrid Yahner who lives in Franklin PA, is 74, and terminally ill, or someone purporting to be her, repeatedly set up appointments with him and was a no-show. He claims that he was being threatened.

Mrs. Bonetti's son Eric told VOL that he was prepared to demonstrate that neither his mother, nor anyone claiming to be her, EVER set up an appointment with Malm. "I've also been pestering 815, (national church headquarters) about the matter and got back an email from (intake officer) Todd Ousley asking me not to contact him further. "This remains a Diocesan matter. Please do not contact me further regarding your concerns. You must deal with this through proper channels. This remains a Diocesan matter and the PB has no jurisdiction."

Meanwhile, amidst collapsing revenue and attendance, Malm recently hired an openly homosexual assistant rector, The Rev. Jason Roberson. https://www.gracealex.org/news/new-associate-rector-called/

"The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will do everything in its power to avoid addressing Bob's criminal conduct," Bonetti told VOL.

*****

Conveners of the 2020 Lambeth Conference are crowing over the fact that over 500 bishops from 39 Anglican Communion provinces have so far registered to attend next year. This compares with some 623 bishops and a smaller number of spouses that attended in 1998.

However, primates and bishops of the largest African provinces will not be there. The six that are not coming represent more than two-thirds of all the Anglican Communion's practicing Anglicans, some 40 million Anglicans. They include Nigeria (20 million) Rwanda, (one million), Uganda, (approximately 14 million -- based on 32% of a population of 45.3 million, according to Wikipedia), Kenya has between 4.5 million and 5 million, though I am told that the bishop of the Diocese of Nairobi plans to attend, and Chile. There may be other South American and Asian provinces not known to this writer who may not attend. The total Anglican population is thought to be 85 million, which includes 26 million inactive Anglicans in the Church of England. Four attending bishops talk about the need for unity. You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y5v22x9w

*****

As GAFCON chairman and Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh exits the leadership of GAFCON, he goes out with a blast. Writing to GAFCON followers he said there was no middle ground between faithfulness and false teaching in the Anglican Communion, a direct slap in the face at Archbishop Justin Welby. False tolerance of religious leaders who have "no regard for the Lord" brings disaster, said the Nigerian Primate.

In his final letter, Okoh said the crisis of the Anglican Communion is spiritual and it is essentially the same as that of God's people in the time of Samuel. "False tolerance of religious leaders...brings disaster and we must continue to stand firm for the faith as we have received it."

The evangelical Primate of some 20 million Nigerian Anglicans has repeatedly railed against the Archbishop of Canterbury over his refusal to condemn homosexuality and for failing to discipline errant provinces that have embraced same-sex marriage.

Okoh praised incoming chairman and successor, ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach as a man "tested" and "one who has paid the price for standing firm." God is blessing us with a godly and wise leader who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and has the heart of an evangelist, he said. You can read my story here: https://tinyurl.com/y2kq29vn

*****

The Anglican Church in North America officially released the final texts for The Book of Common Prayer 2019 this week. It has been an enterprise long in the making driven by the former ACNA archbishop Robert Duncan.

These texts can be found on the new Book of Common Prayer (BCP) website here. http://www.anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/1823 Commemorative editions marking the 10-year anniversary of the Anglican Church in North America will be released at Provincial Assembly in June. You can read the full story here: https://www.virtueonline.org/book-common-prayer-2019-final-texts-released

*****

Three more women priests were elected bishops in The Episcopal Church recently, thus fulfilling Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's "revival" dream that the Church would have more women and people of color, not to mention openly pansexual priests, as next generation bishops.

The Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom was consecrated the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas on March 2 at Grace Cathedral in Topeka, becoming the first woman bishop in the diocese's 160-year history. She was also the first diocesan bishop ever to be elected from a slate of candidates who all were women.

The Rev. Megan M. Traquair was recently elected the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Northern California. She is the first woman to be elected as bishop, selected from the first slate to ever include female candidates in the diocese of Northern California. With her election, the number of women bishops in the House of Bishops continues its upward trend.

The Rev. Canon Kathryn 'Kai' Ryan was recently elected as bishop suffragan for the western region of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The other two candidates were both women. Ryan, 54, currently serves as Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Texas. She will serve "under the direction" of Diocesan Bishop Andy Doyle and will have oversight of congregations in the western region of the diocese, with an office in Austin.

Regrettably, none are black or lesbian, but a transgendered bishop can't be too far behind. All things in time.

*****

The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland Jr., Bishop of Western Michigan, gave an update April 13 on shared ministries with the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, according to The Living Church.

The Diocesan Council and Standing Committee gathered in a joint meeting to consider the invitation offered to us by the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan -- to enter into a period of conversation around deepening our shared ministries and to share a bishop during that time.

Hougland: "Your elected leadership has voted unanimously to support me in accepting the invitation to dance -- to take the next steps in faith, working alongside our friends from across the state."

TRANSLATION: The two dioceses apart have no future. Time to face reality: Unite or die.

*****

The Anglican Church of Canada is sitting on so many time bombs, one is forced to ask just when one of them will go off, thus sending the Anglican Church parts into thin air never to be heard of or seen again.

First off, the Diocese of Niagara, now in the hands of a woman bishop who recently married the homosexual bishop of Toronto to his partner, thus sparking even more outrage from Global South bishops. This time the diocese has been branded syncretistic, promoting a book by Bishop Carlton Pearson called "God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu ... God Dwells With Us, in Us, around Us, as Us".

Pearson was declared a heretic by his church in 2004 and now espouses a treacly new-age universalism laced with generous helpings of meaningless gibberish such as "Self Actualization" and "Expanded Consciousness":

The Diocese of Niagara is attracted to this sort of thing like a moth to a flame, writes David of Samizdat:
In the preface the author writes, "Christian, Jewish, and Islamic theologies teach us that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. If this is even close to the truth, then to believe in God is to believe in yourself -- in your own soul." You can read more here: https://www.virtueonline.org/syncretistic-diocese-niagara

General Synod 2019 meeting in July will address and vote on changes to the marriage Canon. "This is to be a forum for support and to encourage each other as we head into this important conversation. Many continue to feel hurt and excluded; others are wanting to continue working for justice, respect and dignity for all as equal members of the body of Christ ... the living out of our baptismal covenant," says a blurb from the Church.

Let me save you the trouble of attending this gabfest. The ACoC will change its marriage canons to suit a handful of homosexuals, whose pain of exclusion will be tearfully splashed all over the Synod floor. The bishops will fall all over themselves to allow them to be married. The ACoC will formally approve homosexual marriage, and to hell with what the handful of orthodox bishops think or do. One doubts that a single orthodox bishop will walk out.

Four Toronto Anglican priests however, wrote an Open Letter about marriage saying that the change in the canons would blur the boundaries of marriage and make them unclear and contestable.

"From the bishops' point of view, there will be two doctrines of marriage in the church, and for both there ought to be support and protection.

"That said, the church is still rolling like a freight train toward a formal and canonical change and the declaration of a novel and single doctrine of marriage. This new doctrine changes marriage from a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman for procreation, to an erotic agreement between adults."
You can read the full story here: https://tinyurl.com/y2zckd4c

Finally, the Anglican Journal is abandoning its editorial independence. The previous mandate of the Journal, as specified in the handbook of the General Synod, is to be "a national newspaper of interest to the members of the Anglican Church of Canada, with an independent editorial policy and not being an official voice of or for the church."

The new mandate reads, "the General Synod shall produce and distribute journalistic content of interest to the members of the Anglican Church of Canada, whose purpose is to connect and reflect the Church to internal and external audiences, providing a forum for the full range of voices and views across the Church."

The Journal has always had a bias towards theological liberalism, so for all intents and purposes, it has been a mouthpiece for the Anglican Church of Canada. The only difference now is that it is no longer pretending to do otherwise, writes David of Samizdat.

There is one thing that could change, though: currently, the Journal receives over $500,000 yearly from Canadian Heritage -- from our taxes -- but only if it maintains editorial independence.

*****

Equal, the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England, is campaigning for a change in the teaching and practice of the Church of England to allow all couples to marry in church, regardless of their gender, sex or sexuality. This principle of equality already applies in English law and in some other churches.

The Church of England's current official position is that only opposite-sex couples can marry in its churches. Same-gender couples cannot marry in church. They cannot even officially receive a blessing after a civil marriage. Christians who have married their same-gender partner are discriminated against in the ministry of the church, both lay and ordained.

Our aims: We believe that same-gender couples should be able to be married in Church of England parishes.

We believe that people in such marriages should have the same opportunities for lay and ordained ministry in the Church of England as anyone else.

We believe that the consciences of everyone should be protected -- no member of the clergy should be forced to conduct a marriage they disagree with. No member of the clergy should be prevented from celebrating a marriage involving a same-gender couple.

*****

ARCTIC bishop goes to Ireland, according to the Diocese of Down and Dramore. The Rt. Rev. Darren McCartney has been appointed Incumbent of the Parish of Clonallon and Warrenpoint with Kilbroney in the Diocese of Dromore. Since 2012, Darren has been Suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Diocese of the Arctic.

He was ordained in the Diocese of the Arctic in 2003, ministering in Pangnirtung before returning to Northern Ireland in 2006 on his appointment as curate in Carrickfergus, Diocese of Connor. He was appointed rector of Knocknamuckley in 2009 and served there until 2012, when he was elected suffragan (assistant) Bishop of the Diocese of the Arctic.

Bishop Harold said: "I am very pleased to welcome Bishop Darren back to the Diocese of Down and Dromore. Please pray for him, his wife Karen and his son Liam, as they prepare to move. I know that Darren will be greatly used by God in his new ministry in Rostrevor and Warrenpoint".

The date of the institution service will be announced soon.

*****

Queer coins in the Canadian fountain. A number of Canadians demonstrated in Ottawa this week at the country's Royal Mint against a new coin to be released in the coming weeks that commemorates the decriminalization of homosexual sex acts.

Organizer CitizenGO released a statement yesterday saying that it had collected over 48,000 signatures in support of its "demand that the Mint cancel this release of this one-dollar coin." "I am very upset over the planned release of a pro-homosexual one-dollar coin later this year. I do not want a 'gay' loonie," states the petition. "The government must withdraw its plans for any design that celebrates homosexual acts. I do not want homosexuality forced upon me and my country," it adds.

*****

On the Culture War front, half of pastors are concerned they will offend someone if they speak on social Issues. In a new report from the Barna Group, nine out of 10 Christian pastors said they feel that helping Christians form biblical beliefs about specific issues is a major part of their job.

The report found that pastors face pressure to address specific, sometimes hot button, issues. However, at the same time, pastors said they struggled with just how to address those topics, such as LGBT issues and same-sex marriage.

"The stakes are high in the public square," the researchers wrote in their report. "The issues pastors feel most pressured to speak out on are the same ones they feel limited to speak on."

The biggest topic clergy say they felt pressure to talk about is homosexuality. Nearly half of respondents says they feel limited in how to talk about homosexuality in their church, but at the same time some 37 percent said they felt pressure to speak about it.

"They actually feel pressured to not preach on certain topics or pressured to speak on topics that they are not ready to talk about," said Barna Group president David Kinnaman.

The study also looked at how pastors feel about religious freedom. Some 75 percent of pastors said they believe religious freedom is becoming "less valued," while about 44 percent said they predict that other freedoms could be threatened in the next 10 years.

Many pastors in the study also reported that "extreme" or "major" threats to religious freedom included requiring religious hospitals to perform abortions, forcing religious organizations to hire despite beliefs on sexual orientation and restrictions on religious groups on college campuses.

*****

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All Blessings,

David

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