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Majority of US Christians reject Salvation by Grace * Three Episcopal Dioceses in Wisconsin will begin a trialogue * Diocese of Albany Brings in Evangelical to replace Bishop Love * GAFCON Australia Plans Diocese for alienated Anglicans * ACNA priest Dies

Majority of US Christians reject Salvation by Grace * Three Episcopal Dioceses in Wisconsin will begin a trialogue * Diocese of Albany Brings in Evangelical to replace Bishop Love * GAFCON Australia Plans New Diocese for alienated Anglicans * Bishop of Newcastle Defiantly allows Same-Sex Blessings * Afghanistan Christians Face Death * Popular Nashville Anglican Priest dies

Doing the truth. Everywhere in the New Testament God's truth is something to be *done*, not something only to be believed. It carries with it demands, duties, obligations. The evangelical faith radically transforms those who believe and embrace it. -- John R.W. Stott

Our country is not a Christian country, never has been. We have some Christian principles but we are not a Christian nation. -- Franklin Graham

"The activists who pursue same-sex marriage are not satisfied with equality and they will not be satisfied until people of faith are driven out of this discourse, are made to cower, are made to be in fear of speaking their minds, and of living up to their deeply held religious beliefs." --- Todd Gilbert, member of the Virginia House of Delegates

"We have lost so much moral capital in the West that we have forgotten where our conception of human rights come from: they are predominantly an outgrowth of Christianity. Not only have we grown to despise the faith that inspired us; we have even learnt to declare evil the civilisation it built. Wokeness is the weakest of substitutes for what we have lost in the West." --- Kurt Mahlburg, MercatorNet

"Let me remind you today that the biggest threat to Christianity is not religious persecution. It's not the abominable LGBT agenda. It's not abortion. It's not any of those things. The No. 1 threat to the real church today is staring it right in the face. It's nominal, or lukewarm, Christianity. Nominal Christianity is wrapped in deconstruction and woke culture, bathed in humanism and personal so-called truths. This is the wolf that stands at the door. --- Chad MacDonald, Charisma magazine

Our repentance is the fruit of God's love working in us (Phil. 2:13), not the grounds for God loving us. --- Ashley Null

In many ways the church today in the West finds itself in cultural captivity. We too are strangers in a strange land. We too live in a hostile environment, and we face majorities who look down on what we value and believe. Every day we see more and more attacks on the Christian faith, more blatant cases of anti-Christian bigotry, and more outright persecution of devout followers of Christ. -- Bill Muehlenberg

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
August 27, 2021

If you haven't yet heard, a recent survey revealed that the majority of professing Christians in America do not believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone. While it might be alarming to some, it ought not be a shock to us that the majority of professing Christians don't know the gospel.

Just one in three adults believe in salvation through Christ alone. A survey by the American Worldview Inventory 2020 put out by the Arizona Christian University Cultural Research Center has confirmed the vast majority of "Christians" are not true believers.

Most professing Christians, it would appear, are not Christians at all. This makes total mockery of the 81% of evangelicals who voted for Donald Trump. Most Protestants ticked the box of evangelical as opposed to liberal, but their allegiance to Christ was and is paper-thin, if not non-existent. Several million could honestly be classified as Fundamentalist, like Liberty University and the Falwells. True evangelicals -- those who believe in the Lordship of Christ, who say they have committed their lives to Christ and attempt to walk as disciples of Christ, are a minority. The rest are nominal, who cannot and should not be classified as true Christians.

Based on my many years in The Episcopal Church, I would say this survey is right on target. Furthermore, it is not a stretch to say that most Presbyterians, United Methodists, United Church of Christ and other mainline denominations are also led by nominal believers. Baptists (Southern and independent) probably make up the majority of 'born again' Christians in America, though the SBC has seen huge hemorrhaging in youth attendance. Southern Baptists have lost more than 2 million members since 2006. Pentecostals, Assembly of God, Vineyard churches and myriad independent evangelical churches (black and white) have genuine believers and make up the bulk of evangelicals in America, but they are theologically thin, the research revealed.

Anglican scholar Dr. J. I. Packer once observed that evangelicalism in America was three thousand miles and one inch deep. He was righter than he knew.

It goes along with another statistic that says kids going to university don't start out learning Greek, Latin, English or history; the first year is spent in 'remedial English'. Most colleges offer basic introductory remedial English courses covering vocabulary and reading comprehension skills necessary for successful college-level work. Whatever happened in high school? Likewise, there are thousands of pastors and priests who step into pulpits each Sunday who could not explain the gospel to a five-year-old, let alone to an adult congregation. One can seriously blame the seminaries, where little of the Bible is taught, but woke issues make up the curriculum.

It is my belief, watching all this for more than half a century is that God's judgement will be greatest against those who were given the responsibility to preach the gospel and failed to do so. They sold social justice issues and failed to tell people that their future destination depended on their acceptance or rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. "Depart from me," will be terrible words to hear. Is it any wonder that Jesus condemned the religious leaders of his day with such resounding condemnation as "whitened sepulchers", a "generation of vipers", "wolves in sheep's clothing" and "the blind leading the blind"? These are the "bishops" of today! Hypocrites one and all.

Nones, (people with no religious affiliation) now number at least 60 million adults in the United States and they can tell you 60 million reasons why they left organized religion. As Ed Stetzer has written, "It would be a mistake to dismiss 25 percent of the population as unreachable or act as though they were all atheists. It would also be a mistake to think church as usual will appeal to the Nones."

You can read my full take on this here: https://virtueonline.org/only-minority-american-christians-believe-salvation-through-christ-alone


In the department of Episcopal mergers and acquisitions, the Episcopal diocese of Fond du Lac announced this week that the three episcopal dioceses in Wisconsin would begin a trialogue.

The Milwaukee, Fond du Lac and Eau Claire dioceses said they would begin to explore ways to deepen cooperation and coordination with each bishop and governing body providing their support. Each diocese is experiencing challenges of being the church in the 21st century, while adapting to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The previous week, the Bishop of Vermont, Shannon MacVean-Brown, announced that her diocese faces an uncertain future. She said her diocese faces a financial cliff, with ASA, Baptized membership, congregations and communicants all down.

In what might become the inevitable story of most dioceses in The Episcopal Church, the writing is on the wall for The Episcopal Church. While the national church can throw tons of money at dioceses and talk about woke issues, and invoke Bishop Michael Curry's semi-pelagian gospel, the church cannot make people.

Will we see more? Bishop Sean Rowe is the bishop of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and is also bishop provisional of Western New York. Quietly, almost undetected, we are seeing mergers and what is euphemistically called juncturing. More and more interim bishops are being hired to run declining dioceses in overlapping jurisdictions.

Most of the Midwest dioceses in states like Kansas and Michigan are unsustainable, with multiple dioceses in one state. Eastern and western dioceses of Michigan are now being over seen by one bishop. In many of these dioceses there are more missions than congregations able to sustain a full time priest.

By contrast, one church, the largest Episcopal church in America, recently celebrated completion and consecration of new worship spaces at a cost of $66 million. St. Martin's, Houston was the church home of President and Mrs. Bush, and it served as a backdrop for their highly visible funeral services in 2018. The congregation is led by the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., an evangelical oddity in the church, proof perhaps that if the gospel is proclaimed, they will come. I know Russ personally and will vouch for his faith. But one parish does not a church make. The overall picture is still bleak.

And so, it begins...the only question is when will it end? You can read more here:


In an interesting twist, the Episcopal Diocese of Albany has brought in the former Episcopal Bishop of North Dakota, one Michael Smith, to temporarily run the show since they showed Bishop Bill Love the door. Smith is no raving liberal; in fact, he is quite conservative and would probably call himself an evangelical. Both he and Love were Communion Partner bishops, a small minority of bishops in the HOB who vainly believed they could poke the TEC bear and offer an alternative voice. It was a lost cause, of course. Smith accepted a call from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Albany to serve as assisting bishop. He will be an accommodationist, of course. if a parish wants to perform these abominable homosexual marriages, he will have to go along with it, he has no option. It would be an embarrassing moment to watch Smith and Love meet on a sidewalk in Albany!


By contrast to the decline of TEC is the growth of Anglicanism in Africa and the Global South.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has formally approved the formation of a new province of the Communion, to be entitled Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola (IAMA, or the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola). The new province will be inaugurated in September. Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, gave this date to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in a letter.

IAMA will hold its inaugural provincial synod in September and hold a livestreamed inauguration service on Sept. 24, the last day of ACSA's 2021 provincial synod.

The creation of a new diocese in Tema was announced at the first session of the 24th Diocesan Synod held at the Saint Joseph Anglican Church in Kaneshie in Accra. The diocese will be carved out of Accra. The carving out of the Tema Diocese had become necessary due to the growing numbers of Parishes in the sprawling cosmopolitan city of Tema and its environs.

Since 2002, the Church of Nigeria has been organized into 14 ecclesiastical provinces. It has rapidly increased the number of its dioceses and bishops from 91 in 2002 to 161 as at January 2013. In 1999, the Church of Nigeria added 13 new dioceses; four more recently in July.

What does this tell you? One province fails to preach the gospel and slowly withers, while the other provinces spend their time making disciples of all nations and grows. It's a no brainer who is winning.


In the Church of England, new research showed that in 2019, England's 42 Anglican cathedrals contributed $321 million to their local economies. They provided 6,065 jobs full-time equivalent jobs and volunteering posts for 15,400 people who gave 906,000 hours of their time. They welcomed more than 14.6 million visits, 308,000 by schoolchildren for educational events, and 9.5 million from tourists.

In the same year, cathedrals hosted a rich program of arts, music, heritage and culture -- amounting to 9,580 events, equivalent to two every three days -- as well as providing the venues for film shoots such as "The Crown," "Doctor Who" and "Avengers: Endgame."


The Anglican Church in Nepal is growing fast while simultaneously facing great hardship. In twenty-one years, they have gone from having three Anglican churches to ninety-two. Nepal is a deanery in the diocese of Singapore, which has taken seriously the mandate to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations, and reach out beyond its borders with the gospel. Source GAFCON.


The Anglican Church of Congo has elected a new archbishop. According to the Anglican Communion News Service, "The General Synod of the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo has elected Dr. Titre Ande as its next Primate and Archbishop." Archbishop-elect Titre will be succeeding Archbishop Zacharie Masimango Katanda after his installment in January 2022. Dr. Titre is currently the Bishop of Aru Diocese. I am told he is on board with GAFCON.


GAFCON AUSTRALIA forges ahead outlining its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision, which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture.

At an online meeting replacing the postponed GAFCON Australasia conference on Monday, the Chair of GAFCON Australia, Bishop Richard Condie, expanded on GAFCON's Commitment 2020.

"With great sadness and regret, we realise that many faithful Anglican clergy and lay people will no longer be able to remain as members of the ACA if changes allowed by the Appellate Tribunal majority opinion take place in their dioceses", Bishop Condie said.

"We love these people and don't want them to be lost to the Anglican fold." he said, "We want them to be recognised and supported as they love and serve their own communities."

For this reason, GAFCON pledged in late 2020 to form a new Diocese for Anglicans who will be forced to leave the Anglican Church of Australia.

Dr. Chris Sugden has written about this with a headline: AUSTRALIAN EVANGELICALS: NEW ANGLICAN HOME. GAFCON Australia is planning a new Diocese for Anglicans who feel they have to leave their existing denominational home.

In November 2020, the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia (ACA) found no canonical objection to the Diocese of Wangaratta continuing services of blessing for same-sex unions. It used similar reasoning as the Church of England project Living in Love and Faith (LLF) -- that theologians are divided over what Scripture says, and that sexuality is not central to the Christian faith.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/australian-evangelicals-new-anglican-home

Meantime the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Stuart defiantly approved same-sex blessings and wrote a Pastoral Letter to his diocese signaling his approval of clergy conducting a blessing of couples married in a same-sex marriage.

Here is what he said; "Request -- It is my request to clergy that should they seek to lead a service of blessing for persons of the same gender who have been married according to the Marriage Act within a church building within a Parish that they ascertain, well prior to the service, that the Incumbent and Parish Council of the Parish have confirmed by resolution recorded in the Minutes of the Parish that they are willing for the church building to be used for that ministry."

Another report said unofficial "blessings" have occurred in the Perth diocese for some years.

It is the thin end of the wedge. In the American Episcopal Church, it was called 'local option'. Never mind that the Church had not yet officially approved of homosexuality and would ultimately approve homosexual marriage, dioceses flaunted their power, defying General Convention resolutions. Of course, no one held them to account because the church hierarchy had also rolled over in their mind and church discipline was the last thing on their minds. Ditto for the Anglican Church of Canada.

This is basically what is going on in Australia. Dioceses will act unilaterally while paying lip service to the canons and constitution of the church. Sooner, rather than later, they will wear down the other side and homosexuality in all its myriad forms including LGBTQI+ will be accepted, proving that the emergence of a GAFCON diocese was entirely justified. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/australia-bishop-newcastle-defiantly-approves-same-sex-blessings


Thomas McKenzie, a popular Nashville Anglican priest and author of The Anglican Way, died on Monday alongside his 22-year-old son Charlie McKenzie.

They were driving from their home in Tennessee to St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the younger McKenzie was set to start his senior year. The car collided with a tractor trailer near Burns, Tennessee, about 20 minutes west of Nashville, a little before 10 AM.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/died-thomas-mckenzie-defender-and-definer-anglicanism


Churches Endorse National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign. The heads of several faith-based organizations have endorsed the Government's national coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination program.

In a show of support for the undertaking, several leaders from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Church of God, Pentecostal, and Seventh-day Adventist denominations, among others, participated in the Ministry of Health and Wellness' recent press conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. During the conference, an update on the National Vaccination Implementation Plan was provided, and the role of faith-based organizations in the process was outlined.

All the religious representatives indicated that they have been fully vaccinated and encouraged all Jamaicans to take the vaccine for the well-being of the nation.


AFGHANISTAN. The British ministry Barnabas Aid reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Christian families in Afghanistan, totaling 5,000 to 8,000 individuals. But only the Lord knows the true number. As first-generation converts from Islam and their children, they face almost certain death at the hands of the Taliban, who now control virtually the whole country, and will kill them as apostates.

Unless they can escape.

Flying from Kabul is no longer possible for most Afghans. The Taliban forbids them to board the planes that are evacuating Westerners unless they have the right approvals. But many Afghan Christians are crossing borders overland into neighboring countries.

Barnabas Aid is in direct contact with 306 Afghan Christian families, that is around 2,000 individuals. Barnabas Aid is currently assisting about 400 Afghan Christians (men, women and children) who have recently escaped into a neighboring country. Barnabas Aid is caring for another 400 still in Afghanistan, and preparing to help 1,200 get out of Afghanistan and into safe countries.

Through Operation Safe Havens, Barnabas Aid has rescued more than 8,000 South Sudanese Christians, by plane and bus, who needed to escape from the Islamic northern Sudan. It has also rescued over 1,700 Syrian and Iraqi Christians, helping them to settle in safe Western countries, paying visas, airfares, living costs on arrival. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM.

You can read an interview, with Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, Does the defeat in Afghanistan spell the end of the West?

It is the end of the West, Patrick Sookhdeo agrees. By this he means that a rules-based international order is an increasing rarity, but also that for the sake of peace, a strong alliance of Western forces is needed. You can read more here:

Another scholar, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester asks the question, after the betrayal of democracy in Afghanistan, will other countries in the region ever trust the West again?

"As Bishop of Raiwind, I warned both Pakistan and the West that the arming and training of extremist groups, from within Pakistan and Afghanistan and from the wider world, to fight the Soviet presence in Afghanistan would lead to the emergence of groups like the Taliban and would internationalise extremist Islamism.

"This is, indeed, what happened. The Soviet threat was contained and, in fact, led to the dismemberment of the Soviet Union itself but, since then, extremist Islamism has flourished both in the region and more widely than that."

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/after-betrayal-democracy-afghanistan-will-other-countries-region-ever-trust-west-again

Christian leaders across Australia, including the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Kanishka Raffel have urged the Australian government to take in 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan.


ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has written a letter regarding the COVID-19 situation in Myanmar and is urging Anglicans to give to fight the pandemic.

Across the world, the pandemic continues to rage. And no more than in the country of Myanmar, where our dear friend, the Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo is leading that Province during these dark times, writes Beach.

The country is already struggling after the February 2021 coup. Now a third wave of COVID is decimating the country. This has hit the Anglican church especially hard and the crisis is worsening. Many died in July, including more than 40 church leaders. There are many in serious medical condition who need medical attention. The price of oxygen has skyrocketed, as all aspects of the economy fall victim to COVID.

With the medical system in shambles, the bishop's compound has become a makeshift hospital. The Church of the Province of Myanmar, together with other agencies & humanitarian organizations, is racing against time to get oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and medication to those who need it. The situation is dire.

ARDF is collecting funds to send immediately to the Province of Myanmar. Every time money is received on the ground, lives are saved.

Here is the giving link for donations specifically for Myanmar: https://ardf.salsalabs.org/relief-myanmar-covid-2021


For an older generation of Anglicans, the name J.I. Packer will ring many bells. Just before he died, he gave an interview to Ivan Mesa of the Gospel Coalition.

A self-described Puritan, theological exegete, and latter-day catechist, J. I. Packer for more than half a century of public ministry was a great popularizer of reformational theology through his writing and teaching ministry. He died at age 93.

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/j-i-packers-final-words-church


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