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Welby Faces Crisis as Communion Crumbles * Egyptian Apb says Gay Marriage Disqualifies Welby from Leading Communion * Holt wins D of Fl. but Challenged again by Pansexualists * Majority of UK no Longer Christian * CofE Cleric found guilty of Antisemitism

Welby Faces Crisis as Communion Crumbles * Egyptian Archbishop says Gay Marriage Disqualifies Welby from Leading Communion * Holt wins in D of Fl. but Challenged again by Pansexualists * Majority of England no Longer Christian * CofE Cleric guilty of Antisemitism * Rowan Williams Says Abortion and SS Marriage Weaponized

Impoverished discipleship. I am not saying that it is impossible to be a disciple of Jesus without a high view of Scripture, for this is manifestly not the case. There are genuine followers of Jesus Christ who are not 'evangelical', whose confidence in Scripture is small, even minimal, and who put more faith in the past traditions and present teaching of the church, or in their own reason or experience. I have no desire to deny the authenticity of their Christian profession. Yet I venture to add that their discipleship is bound to be impoverished on account of their attitude to the Bible. A full, balanced and mature Christian discipleship is impossible whenever disciples do not submit to their Lord's teaching authority as it is mediated through Scripture. --- John R.W. Stott

Powerful female activists are fighting against the transgender movement's massive push to provide sex changes to gender-confused girls; against attacks on the natural family; and against the vile abuse and degradation of digital pornography. --- Jonathon Van Maren

"Renewed spiritual hunger, new stirring of prayer, fresh expressions of the church, [and] migrant churches restoring faith are signs of hope in our [European] continent today." --- Jeff Fountain

A substantial majority of American likely voters (65%) say that "the transgender movement has gone too far by encouraging underage minors to use drugs and surgery to transition to the oppose sex," McLaughlin & Associates poll

For Americans, a church devoted completely to science and the here-and-now will always be a hard sell. "The religion of secularism," will always be an oddity, populated by eccentrics: "a sectarian peculiarity, within a God-blessed nation." --- Mark Movsesian

ON RECENT TEC FIGURES. Advent is supposed to be a season of hope and anticipation, not a time for lies, damn lies, and statistics. I don't think the statistics here lie, but the reporting by the ENS lies by omitting the fact that giving did not keep pace with inflation, and by reporting it as a reason to be optimistic. --- Lowly Blogspot

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
December 9, 2022

The Anglican Communion is slowly dissolving before our eyes.

There are in fact three communions under the one roof. There are orthodox Anglicans made up of evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics. They embrace over 70% of the world's worshipping Anglicans. They are called GAFCON -- the Global Anglican Future Conference. They are theologically orthodox in faith and morals.

Then there are the Global South Fellowship of Anglican churches (GSFA) who say they represent some 40 million Anglicans in 25 provinces; they are also orthodox in faith and morals. They have a history rooted in mission going back to 1994.

The third group has no particular identity, but recognize themselves as members of the Lambeth Conference and see their leader as the Archbishop of Canterbury. They represent less than 20 percent of the Anglican communion but might have the largest number of bishops, many in very small dioceses. They are mostly revisionist in theology and spread the ordination of women to all ecclesiastical levels of the church. They believe homosexuality is good and right in the eyes of God, and that priests and bishops can be active homosexuals. Several Anglican provinces support civil partnerships and, in the case of The Episcopal Church, homosexual marriage.

It is into this mix that Archbishop Justin Welby tries to function. He is finding that whichever way he turns, the Anglican Communion over which he asserts moral authority continues to roil from one crisis to the next. His own church, the Church of England, faces implosion over homosexual marriage.
Welby's focus is not the transmission of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, but climate change. He lambasts African provinces that will not roll over to homosexuality because they find it both offensive to their culture and to the Bible's strict prohibition over homosexual activity.

Welby has also spent an inordinate amount of time traipsing the communion apologizing over ancient sins with lordly mea culpas on his lips.

His failed attempt at the recent Lambeth Conference to forge a middle way over homosexuality brought down the wrath of the GSFA bishops and he failed miserably to reconcile opposite positions. Welby argued that both sides were correct because he said both positions on homosexuality were equally true because both sides had prayed about it. They had exegeted the Bible for themselves, so living with difference was the order of the day.

Two notable homosexual appointments in the Church of England; one a new Dean of Canterbury and the other Welby's Appointments Secretary, incurred the wrath of six GAFCON bishops. Those bishops accused Welby of caving in. Which, of course, he did. They blasted Welby. In a Communique, they called his actions a "heartbreaking provocation", "duplicitous" and "departure from biblical standards."

The tear in the fabric of the Communion has only deepened, perhaps irreparably in the appointment of a homosexual as the next Dean to Canterbury, they said.

British secularist journalists are also weighing in on Welby. UK Jewish journalist Melanie Phillips had some caustic things to say about Welby and the CofE.

She noted that in the UK, a mere 11 per cent of Christians said faith was important to them, while in sub-Saharan Africa (other than in South Africa), it was above 80 per cent!


For the first time in centuries, the majority of England is no longer majority Christian.

England was a catalyst for spreading the Story of Jesus Christ around the globe for centuries.

Today only 46.2% of the population in England and Wales consider themselves Christian.

What a very sad development.

There has been a large fall in the number of people who consider themselves as Christian, dropping below half the population of England and Wales for the first time.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest data taken from the 2021 Census, showing the changes since 2011.

Some 46.2% said they were Christian, down from 59.3% in 2011.

"The fact that so few Christians in Britain think their faith is important to them suggests that the Anglican church in particular utterly fails to project Christianity as a vital asset to individual lives." Clearly, Welby and his bishops bear much responsibility for that.

One astute Anglican observer noted that this apparently sensational news about the decline of Christianity in the UK is not the real story. "Nominal Christianity has been around for 100+ years, and the only meaningful statistics are those for actual church attendance, which have plummeted to less than 2%, often far less in many areas, as the mainstream churches have sought to imitate the prevailing values and mores of a secular state, instead of proclaiming repentance and belief. The Church of England thinks it can win the nation by replacing clergy with shiny district offices and hub managers."

Both the CofE and the RCC are still closing church buildings and removing resident clergy, rather than seeking to expand the numbers of pastors and evangelists.


The King has approved the nomination of The Reverend Dr Robert Munro to the Suffragan See of Ebbsfleet, in the Diocese of Canterbury. VOL was told he is a good choice. He attended GAFCON in 2013.


This week the former Archbishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Anis delivered a broadside against Welby, saying the communion had lost its heart. This must be particularly galling as Welby is the ultimate bleeding heart. His predecessor, Rowan Williams was all head with very little heart.


IF the Church of England moves towards blessing same sex marriage, or 'opts into' allowing gay marriages in its churches as a result of the church's General Synod meeting in February 2023, "pain and distress will be felt by millions of faithful Anglicans across the globe", and "significant questions would be asked as to whether Archbishop Justin Welby would be able to continue to lead the Anglican Communion," said Anis, Archbishop Emeritus of Egypt, a global Statesman within the Anglican Communion and an Adviser to the Primates of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), whose Provinces represent 75% of Anglicans across the globe.

In an essay entitled 'Are We Really A Communion?', https://virtueonline.org/are-we-really-communion-archbishop-mouneer-anis released on St Andrews Day (Nov30), the day the global Church celebrates Jesus calling his first disciple to deny self and follow Him, the Primate Emeritus says that any move in a 'revisionist direction' by the CofE would be a "deeply damaging unilateral decision", by a Province "that is supposed to lead the Anglican Communion." Further, "it will contribute to the current divisions, and will badly affect the mission of other Provinces in the Global South."

The Egyptian Anglican statesman said that he is "deeply saddened to say that the Anglican Communion we have loved, though it has kept its name, yet has lost its heart; which is the interdependence." You can read it all here: https://virtueonline.org/are-we-really-communion-archbishop-mouneer-anis


And then the news broke that less than half of England and Wales is even Christian anymore! The Church of England is failing to evangelize their own people, prompting theologian J. John, Director of the Philo Trust to write; "We need a better, more positive and more dynamic strategy. In my view, and I claim the Bible on my side, what is needed is not a stripped-down creed tuned to the prevailing mood of the culture.

"No one goes to church to hear exactly what they get from the media and from their friends and colleagues. What will bring them in and see them committed to the church is the full- blooded, confident preaching of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Paradoxically the way to change the census figures is to ignore them and instead focus on producing changed lives through Jesus Christ."

VOL was sent official statistics that confirm the CofE is on a downward spiral (as is The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada).

Since 2019, CofE Sunday attendance has plummeted from 707,000 to 509,000. That's a reduction of 28%.

The reduction among children has been even worse: 38%

The number of Baptism/Dedication services has plummeted from 89,100 to 55,200. That's a reduction also of 38%. Attendance at Christmas services has plummeted by a massive 59%.

What we can draw from all this is that Western Anglicanism is in serious trouble demographically because the average age of an Anglican is somewhere between 67 and 69 (depending on the country). Covid took a heavy toll with non-returning Anglicans to Sunday services; and the imbibing of a woke culture that mirrors the world, leaving the historic faith on the shelf. Pollsters believe that all these western Anglican jurisdictions will be history by 2040!

The church is supposed to be a counter culture, but many Anglican bishops now believe the church should mimic the culture, and, if possible, get ahead of the culture to impress a mostly disinterested public.

It is deeply ironic that the churches that are growing in the UK are not part of the CofE but Pentecostal churches and independent ethnic Anglican churches, most of whom are vibrant communities of faith. Meanwhile, the CofE continues to close churches across the country.

A survey released by evangelical organizations in the United Kingdom earlier this year found that, while around half of the country's population identify as Christian, only 6 percent are "practicing" and active enough in their faith to attend church at least once a month.

The attendance decline is one reason over 2,000 churches have closed during the last decade. Financially, the CofE is in free fall unable to support fulltime vicars in declining congregations.

As one ACNA bishop noted; "It's the message that's the problem! What the English are rejecting is not the Gospel. It is fake-woke-Jesus. For a generation, there has not been a cohesive Gospel voice from the C of E. Many ethnic churches are thriving in the UK. The ones that maintain Biblical truth are the strongest churches there."

The Anglican Communion is rudderless and leaderless. Archbishop Anis is right. Any innovation in the faith and practice within the Church of England will heavily impact the rest of the communion, unlike innovations within other Provinces.

"How long will you waver between two opinions? cried Elijah. "If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." 1Kings 18:21. This is a lesson Welby will learn, hopefully before it is too late.

The Episcopal Church is doing its best to rid itself of troublesome orthodox priests and wannabe evangelical bishops.

The Diocese of Florida has had two elections, both won by an evangelical priest, one Charlie Holt, but faced challenges on procedural grounds. Of course, this was a smoke screen by pansexualists to make sure Holt doesn't get the job. This was the same argument on the first go around.

This time Holt described the challenge as a personal humiliation. In a letter to the diocese following his win, he said this. "I cannot think of anything else in my life that has forced me to my knees to crawl under the alter of Calvary as this process has done. It has been a true humiliation in every sense of that word."

Perhaps Holt should ask if the Lord really wants him to get the job, bearing in mind that most Anglicans view TEC as heretical with no saving message and no gospel to proclaim despite all the talk of revival by PB Michael Curry.

Holt also might want to look at the diocese' future with respect to the numbers.
Average Sunday Attendance in the Diocese of Florida has dipped below long-term sustainable levels. In 2020, ASA fell by 4.5% to 4,902. In 2021 it fell to 2,306 a total loss of 34.7%.

With the opposition he faces, should the House of Bishops decide in his favor, and that is no sure thing; his life will be made a living hell if he gets the nod. Are the perks, power and pension really worth it? He might want to have a talk with former Albany bishop Bill Love who was forced out of TEC over his refusal to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese.


America's two oldest Episcopal seminaries have finalized the partnership they've been working toward for months, with Virginia Theological Seminary bringing its relatively vast resources to bear to save General Theological Seminary from extinction, writes Kirk Petersen of TLC. But while GTS will survive, it will bear little resemblance to the institution that has prepared seminarians for the priesthood for the past two centuries, he writes.

We're committed to not selling the campus," VTS president Ian Markham said, despite the potential value of five acres in the West 20s in Manhattan. "And we're also committed to maintaining distinctive GTS-related programming, of which the high-quality, low-residency M.Div. is going to be the flagship."

An amateur Episcopal historian noted that 50 years ago GTS sold a Gutenberg bible for $3 million to carry it over the hump. Apparently, it didn't do the trick. Why not just close it down now and sell the real estate, which is what TEC will be doing in 30 years anyway, he writes.


The Church of England found a leading critic of Israel engaged in antisemitism. Writing for the Roys Report, Steve Rabey says that author and clergyman Stephen Sizer, a leading evangelical critic of Israel with a devoted following in the U.S., was found guilty this week of antisemitic behavior and provoking Jews in a unique Church of England Tribunal. Punishment will be determined later.

Sizer's many books, articles, and social media posts oppose Christian Zionism--the view that the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 was prophesied by Scripture and may play a role in the Second Coming of Christ.

Sizer has repudiated antisemitism, but says that's different from criticizing Israel, which he allegedly does by promoting conspiracy theories. He posted a link to a social media post claiming that Israel was responsible for 9/11. He blamed "Israel's hidden hand" for the downfall of UK politician Jeremy Corbyn, appeared at conferences with Holocaust deniers, and advised fighters with the Palestinian group Hezbollah.

Some Christian leaders in the U.S. have praised Sizer's work, including Gary Burge of Calvin Theological Seminary; Paul Copan of Palm Beach Atlantic University; Gary DeMar, president of American Vision; Greg Albrecht of Plain Truth Ministries; Hank Hanegraaff, former president of the Christian Research Institute; and disgraced co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church, Gilbert Bilezikian.

Burge said Sizer has "single handedly done more to change this conversation about Christian Zionism than anyone I know." Copan praised Sizer's book, Zion's Christian Soldiers? saying, "Stephen Sizer deftly exposes the many exegetical missteps of contemporary Christian Zionists."

In 2012, the Board of Deputies, a group that represents the interests of England's Jews, complained to the Church of England about Sizer's statements and social media posts. Following a hearing, Sizer entered into a 2013 conciliation agreement in which he agreed to have his online conduct monitored.

He quickly reneged on his promises. His 9/11 post came in 2015, after which church officials banned him from social media for six months. He was later banned from writing or speaking about Middle Eastern political themes. He was dismissed from the clergy in 2018, but claims he resigned the year before. You can read more here: https://julieroys.com/church-england-tribunal-finds-leading-critic-israel-engaged-antisemitism/


Moral debates on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion "have become weaponized in the current culture wars," wherein any opposing view is seen as "monstrous and oppressive," former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, warns in a yet-to-be-aired radio talk show.

"What about the Evangelical registrar who will not solemnize same-sex marriages? What about the legal allowances made for Catholic doctors who will not perform abortions?" asks Lord Williams in his talk for the BBC's Reith Lectures series which is yet to be aired, according to The Telegraph, which has an advance copy of his speech.

"How disruptive can the public manifestation of convictions be allowed to become in a diverse society?" continues the former head of the Anglican Communion. "Questions like these have become weaponized in the current culture wars raging across North Atlantic societies in particular, in ways that more or less rule out nuanced exploration of what's going on." Disagreeing on same-sex marriage doesn't make you evil, said Williams.

Williams is also a climate change worshipper. Rich countries and wealthy individuals must urgently consider how to come up with the cash needed to help poor countries afflicted by climate disaster, the former archbishop of Canterbury says.

At the Cop27 UN climate summit in Egypt, which finished a week ago after a marathon final session ran more than 50 hours over deadline, the first steps were taken to establish a "loss and damage" fund for vulnerable countries stricken by extreme weather.

But while he welcomed the achievement, Williams said the "much harder" work of filling the fund had yet to begin. "I'm not dancing in the streets yet," he said.

Williams recently met with two bishops and a senior rabbi in an interfaith pilgrimage on Wales' holy mountain to highlight climate justice.

They planted a tree, prayed for climate justice and made a declaration of intent on the mountain. The event follows a similar walk by faith leaders to Mount Sinai during the COP27 climate summit meeting in Egypt.

During the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Justin Welby and a group of bishops planted a tree at Lambeth Palace to highlight the crisis of climate change.


MEDIA MOVES. Andrew Symes, has stepped down from Anglican Mainstream after nearly a decade of writing for the orthodox news service. He is a friend of mine and we regularly ran his pieces on VOL. He will be missed. Suddenly and very abruptly, the brilliant orthodox blogger known as Archbishop Cranmer ceased to function. Word on the street has it he was threatened by lawyers over his comments about Martyn Percy, the Oxford don who fought charges over sexual harassment. Percy reached a settlement after a three-year protracted battle. The UK has no free speech laws, and any lawsuit would have left the blogger financially ruined. Gavin Ashenden, a former Anglican bishop who crossed the Tiber via the Ordinariate, found himself up against it from this crowd. They wanted him to tone down his criticism of his new found church and the Pope or risk losing his upcoming ordination as a priest. He declined, believing that his growing public profile as a commentator on matters regarding the RCC was more important.


MERE ANGLICAN CONFERENCE is upcoming in January, and promises to be very instructive. The conference will focus on the life and times of world renown Christian and writer C.S. Lewis. "Lessons from C.S. Lewis on Reaching a Fractured World" is the conference title. Featured among the speakers is Alister McGrath, Michael Ward, Philip Ryken, Peter Kreeft, Simon Horobin, Amy Orr-Ewing, John Dickson, and Jerry Root. The event will he held in Charleston, SC January 26-28. You can register here:

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