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Welby Weeps over Brexit, but not for Anglican Woes * Church in Wales Elects Lesbian Bishop * TEC Porn Priest Arrested * Albany Bishop to Face Tribunal * Province of Nigeria Elects New Primate * SC Mediation fails

Welby Weeps over Brexit, but not for Anglican Woes * Church in Wales Elects Lesbian Bishop * TEC Porn Priest Arrested * Albany Bishop to Face Tribunal * Province of Nigeria Elects New Primate * Church of India Corruption Reaches New Levels * South Carolina Mediation Talks Fail * New Wineskins Networks Hope for Anglican Future * Newcastle, Australia Diocese faces Trifecta of Issues * President Trump announces Religious Freedom Initiatives

In the real world. Holiness is not a mystical condition experienced in relation to God but in isolation from human beings. You cannot be good in a vacuum but only in the real world of people. --- John R.W. Stott

At this time, 25% of the parishes in my diocese are without a priest, and 40% of the parishes in the diocese cannot afford a full-time priest. Nearly all of the rural parishes of my diocese fall into both of these categories. Most of the rural parishes of TEC are in the same boat, and are on the verge of collapse. --- Deacon Kevin McGrane, Sr.

The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' reaffirms that the religion must stick to its opposition of gay marriage because God's law states that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. --- Associated Press

Cranmer distinguishes Christ's spiritual presence from his sacramental presence. Avoiding the Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation, he argues that the spiritual presence occurs only through Christ's divine nature, he being in heaven in regards to his human nature. Cranmer follows a symbolic reading of the phrase "This is my body", and develops a view "remarkably close to that developed by Zwingli and Oecolampadius." --- Alister E. McGrath, Reformation Thought: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), 257.

I didn't go to religion to make me "happy" I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity. --- C.S. Lewis

Sowing to the flesh. To 'sow to the flesh' is to pander to it, to cosset, cuddle and stroke it, instead of crucifying it. The seeds we sow are largely thoughts and deeds. Every time we allow our mind to harbour a grudge, nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fantasy, or wallow in self-pity, we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic literature, every time we take a risk which strains our self-control, we are sowing, sowing, sowing to the flesh. Some Christians sow to the flesh every day and wonder why they do not reap holiness. --- John R.W. Stott

You are not being ordained to run soup kitchens, fight against fake man-made climate change, agitate against immigration policy or issue screeds against gun violence. Preparing your parishioners for eternal life is your calling, your sacred duty, and nothing else. --- Michael Voris

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
September 27, 2019

"The total division across Parliament is only a shadow of the immense divisions across the country, which the bishops find at every level. Divisions are shaking the country apart. They are shaking us apart in all our great institutions." Thus spake Archbishop Justin Welby in Parliament the other day. He then went on to say that he was well aware of divisions as the (Anglican Communion) was "split at every level", a statement that was greeted with some mirth by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Of course, Welby can't do much about the state of England's political crisis, but he can do something about the crisis in the Anglican Communion. He could take sides and end the nightmare that the Communion has become and for which he must now take full responsibility.

He could tell the American Episcopal Church that they had gone over the line, first embracing sodomy and then homosexual marriage, both of which are contrary to Scripture, and until they repent, they would not be welcome in Canterbury next year. He could repeat that message to the Anglican Church of Canada, the Welsh and Scottish churches, the Church in Aotearoa, (New Zealand) and the majority of dioceses in Australia and South Africa.

And here's the real kicker, if the only archbishops and bishops who showed up were from Africa and to a lesser extent Asia and South America, he would still have the greatest numerical turnout in the history of the communion. They would collectively represent more than 70% of the Communion's 80 million Anglicans. The other truth is that the Nigerians are probably wealthy enough to bankroll the whole event.

So why doesn't he do it? Because he is conflicted over homosexual marriage and he is prepared to alienate the vast majority of Anglicans in the communion over a behavior that Our Lord himself said should be confined to "male and female".

Welby has long ago forfeited the right to call himself an Evangelical and 'liberal' might be too soft a term. He has gone where no archbishop has gone before and he is paying a steep price for it.

Meantime, the Episcopal Church's HOB met in Minneapolis this week and agonized with much faux pain over whether they would attend Lambeth 2020 because Welby won't allow the homosexual partners of bishops officially to attend Bible studies under the Big Tent and to hear lofty talk of unity in diversity. Of course, there won't be any discussion about the elephant in the room, namely Lambeth Resolution 1:10 which is the theological and moral compass of the communion. Some of the Episcopal bishops sniffed the air and said they might not attend. Of course, they will. They'll go so they can hold press conferences screaming about how uninclusive Welby is and steal his thunder. They will take a leaf out of Gene Robinson's playbook, who showed up and scored bigly with liberal British media who fawned all over him. They can do a repeat job. You can read my full report here: https://virtueonline.org/episcopal-house-bishop-agonize-over-attending-lambeth-2020

*****

Just a reminder of how fast things are going down the drain in the UK. The Church in Wales elected a lesbian to be the next Bishop of Monmouth. This is how AncientBriton blogger described Archdeacon Cheery Vann explained it.

"Merit and holiness has nothing to do with the election of bishops in the Church in Wales...members of the Archbishop's Council tell me that Archdeacon Vann is a complete nonentity, not as a person but in her role in the substantive debates within the Archbishop's Council. In other words, she is not someone who has ideas, is a mover or a shaker, who people when we come to an issue, they look at her and think: What does she have to say? She is just another grey face at a long grey table. She is a committee person; she sits on the dais at General Synod and in 10 years has made no meaningful contribution whatsoever. Within the diocese where she is archdeacon, she has made life miserable for conservative evangelicals, I'm told, through a passive, aggressive approach to things. In other words, she is not a warrior for this cause, she is just an apparatchik. And so now we have another mediocrity who has a good CV of positions but no actual real holiness or merit or intellect or heft..."

I couldn't have said it better myself. You can read the full story here:
https://virtueonline.org/wales-new-bishop-monmouth-lesbian-updated

*****

Episcopal Porn. Not to be outdone, a former priest at Episcopal churches in Providence and Cranston, Rhode Island, was forced to resigned after FBI agents raided the rectory at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Worcester and discovered that the Rev. Gregory Lisby had 180 images and 15 videos depicting child porn. Investigators had reviewed data provided by Microsoft for Lisby's account.

Now you should know that Lisby is married to the Rev. Timothy Burger, rector of the Episcopal church, according to court documents. They have two kids. So why didn't the bishop ask to see his viewing habits? How do we know that he wasn't watching this stuff with Lisby? And should the children be allowed to stay with this sodomite priest?

The Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, addressed the charges against Lisby, noting his marriage to Burger of St. Luke's. The bishop noted that Lisby was suspended at one time for an "inappropriate relationship with an adult that did not involve sexual contact." So why was he not thrown out then. The bishop tried to put the best spin on it all by saying that Lisby was not actually involved physically with any children! And that lessens the evil of what he did?

Additional files of child pornography were subsequently found during the investigation, authorities said.

*****

The Episcopal Church can't get enough women bishops it seems. Just about every time one turns around, the Church is ordaining yet another woman, or queer, or sometimes both in the same person.

This week it was announced that the Rev. Susan B. Haynes, would be the next bishop of Southern Virginia. She will be its 11th. I suppose we should take comfort that she is married to a man with kids. A small blessing these days. Don't look for any turnaround in the diocese. There will be lots of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth about climate change and other assorted social issues, but you will not hear a clarion call for gospel salvation. That message got quashed years ago.

*****

It will come as no surprise that Albany Bishop William Love will face a tribunal (hearing panel) for potential discipline because he refuses to embrace homosexual marriage passed at GC last summer.

He will face a kangaroo court where the conclusion is foreordained and where he will either be suspended or deposed, (there is no other alternative.) To find him innocent would fly in the face of every resolution TEC has passed over the last 20 years about sodomy and now homosexual marriage.

Bishop Love wrote this following the announcement; "What I tried to do as best I can, by the grace of God, is to be faithful and obedient to that which I believe the Lord has called me to, even though it sometimes can be very difficult, and sometimes it's not politically correct."

Bishop Love's "sin" is that he dared to stand up and say that God does not, nor has He ever approved of sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. For his faithful stand he will get the equivalent of a beheading, or else be burnt at the stake.

Leading up to the 2018 General Convention, Love was one of eight conservative Episcopal bishops who still refused to allow the church's approved trial marriage rites for same-sex couples. When General Convention passed Resolution B012 to allow same-sex couples to marry in all domestic dioceses, most of the conservative bishops agreed to abide by the resolution's requirements. The Albany Bishop now faces the trial of his life for defying GC Resolution B012. Tragically, the seven Communion Partner bishops made alternative arrangements, believing, like Pilate they can wash their hands. These quisling bishops will have to answer to God one day for their actions. You can read my story on all this here:
https://virtueonline.org/kangaroo-court-will-try-convict-and-depose-godly-orthodox-episcopal-bishop

*****

On the international scene, the evangelical Anglican Province of Nigeria announced the election of a new Primate to succeed Nichola Okoh. He is Archbishop Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba. The Archbishop hails from Anambra State. He was born in 1959. He is 60. Ordained in 1989 by Archbishop J. Abiodun Adetiloye, he was consecrated the first Bishop of the Diocese of Gombe, with seven other Bishops. He served as the Chairman of the Liturgy, Prayer and Spirituality Committee of the Church of Nigeria. He was once the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN] Gombe State Chapter.

He is a sound Biblical Scholar, Teacher, Pastor and an accomplished Evangelist. He is a man who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and has a great heart for the Word of God. He has written many articles for Christian Journals and a book; "Christ Above All: A Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews." He has served Nigeria and the Church in different capacities.

One could not say that of Welby or Curry, and that is why Nigeria is the largest province in the communion. They will win the communion culture wars and, in time, GAFCON will simply take over from Welby and the Lambeth Conference.

*****

Visiting bishops from Nigeria and South Sudan assisted a congregation of the Southern Mission Society South Africa by ordaining a woman as a permanent deacon for ministry in Trinity Anglican Church in Franschhoek South Africa recently.

Judith Moody had ministered in the congregation, especially among the elderly and housebound for a number of years. She is a widow with grown up grandchildren. In his sermon preaching on the ministry of Anna the prophetess at the presentation of Jesus in the temple, Bishop Zechariah Manyok of the Diocese of Wanglei, South Sudan noted how African society valued old people for their wisdom. In drawing on the appointment of deacons in Acts 6, he stressed that as Jesus reached out to outsiders, so deacons were appointed in Jerusalem to assist the Greek-speaking outsiders. Therefore, a deacon is not supposed to know borders.

Bishop Zakka Lalle, Bishop of Kano, Nigeria ordained Deacon Judith, whose stole was presented to her by her granddaughter Samantha. Other stoles were supplied by a visiting Ghanaian lady Methodist minister. The ordination took place on the authority of Bishop Joel Obetia on behalf of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda who exercise oversight of the Southern Mission Society.

You should know that the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is the one solid pocket of revisionist thinking on the African continent. Thabo Makgoba is the Primate and he is firmly in the back pocket of TEC and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

*****

The corruption of the Church of South India involving millions of dollars stolen by a significant number of bishops to line their pockets selling off properties and much more is coming to a head, though it is uncertain just how corrupt the courts are and who can buy off the judges.

VOL's fearless correspondent the Rev. Dr. Joseph Muthuraj has been documenting this for some years, has written a brilliant piece on the latest goings on, on that subcontinent. It is a marvel that Archbishop Justin Welby could go to India and not even mention the corruption going on in the Indian church while he grovels before a shrine commemorating the dead to which no Anglican played any part. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/elephant-crushing-church-south-india-government-and-courts

*****

ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF SOUTH CAROLINA mediation results have reached an impasse. One of the principles of mediation is that the discussion and information disclosed is confidential. Following the mediation with Mr. Tom Wills of Wills, Massalon & Allen in Charleston, the parties in the State case released the following mutually agreed upon statement:

"On July 23 2019, Judge Dickson ordered the parties to mediate. On September 26, 2019, the parties mediated for a full day and ultimately the mediator declared an impasse."

*****

NEW WINESKINS MISSIONARY NETWORK, a triennial gathering of orthodox Episcopal and Anglican missionaries met near Asheville, NC this week to explore global mission and how to reach the world's vast unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. More than 1,000 assembled and they have been listening to evangelical globalist missionaries and thinkers tell of the growth in their various countries and how to be more knowledgeable, active, and effective in fulfilling our Lord's Great Commission.

There were some 120 Mission Awareness Presentations (MAP) talks being offered. The Anglican Dean of Thailand, Yee Ching Wah spoke at a dinner about the increasing mission activity in SE Asia. Growth across 7 deaneries is something no one anticipated: Nepal alone has 82 congregations. "We need the spirit of God to complete this task together," he said.

The Rev. Tad de Bordenave, founder Anglican Frontier Missions which channels the Church's mission to parts of the world that do not have their own church, spoke on the need to reach unreached peoples.

Jeff Walton of IRD is there and will write a story or two on this mission gathering. VOL will post the stories as soon as they become available.

*****

The Rt. Rev. Ryan S. Reed was consecrated to be Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Ft. Worth in a service Saturday, Sept. 21, at Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Ft. Worth before a congregation of more than 1200 clergy, lay people, and guests.
Bishop William Wantland, Bishop Jack Iker, Archbishop Foley Beach, and Bishop Keith Ackerman consecrated the new bishop. Bishop Reed replaces the retiring Bishop Jack Iker.

*****

The bishops of the Church of England have issued a call for respect on all sides amid growing acrimony over the debate on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

A joint statement issued on behalf of the Church of England's College of Bishops calls for a new tone of listening and respect in debates and describes the use of language in some cases as "unacceptable".

It calls for the 2016 referendum to be honored and for the rule of law and impartiality of the courts to be upheld. It adds: "We should speak to others with respect. And we should also listen. We should do this especially with the poor, with the marginalized, and with those whose voices are often not heard in our national conversation. We should not denigrate, patronize or ignore the honest views of fellow citizens, but seek to respect their opinions, their participation in society, and their votes."

*****

In NEWCASTLE, Australia a trifecta of issues haunts the ultra-liberal diocese. The first is a "Bill for a Clergy Discipline Ordinance of 1966 Amending Ordinance 2019" which would remove any disciplinary process for a member of the clergy who pronounced or declines to pronounce a blessing of a marriage in which the persons being married are of the same sex and would remove any disciplinary process or a member of the clergy who is married to a person of the same sex. The Bill proposes that the Synod would have to agree at a subsequent meeting by resolution that the Ordinance come into effect and that the Ordinance would only come into effect with the concurrence of the Bishop.

A Bill for "Blessing of Persons Married According to the Marriage Act Regulation 2019" which would provide for a form of service for the blessing of a marriage conducted in accordance with the Marriage Act. The Bill proposes that the Bishop would have to stipulate a date on which the Regulation would come into effect.

There is no doubt that these "Private Members" Bills will cause anguish to come in the Diocesan community as well as being a cause of celebration for others. In a real way, the debate that has being underway in the Anglican Communion for over 20 years and is a very current debate in the Anglican Church of Australia, will be a live debate in the formal processes of our Diocese. Our engagement with and response to LGBTIQ+ Anglicans has been actively discussed for some time. The Doctrine Commission of the General Synod has published a series of essays as part of this conversation (https://anglican.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Marriage-Doctrine-Essays-Final.pdf). There is little doubt the diocese will go for it. There is no "sound doctrinal" voices to hold back the inevitable.

Secondly, an Anglican Church review board has set aside a ruling that former Newcastle Assistant Bishop Richard Appleby is permanently unfit to hold office, in a decision that has outraged a man who reported child sexual abuse allegations about a priest to him.

A three-member review panel found the Newcastle Anglican professional standards board decision in February was excessive, and the bishop had been denied procedural fairness.

The review panel found the board had reached its decision by relying on information from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Newcastle Anglican case study, without allowing Bishop Appleby the opportunity to respond.

The Professional Standards Board in February ruled Bishop Appleby should be deposed as a bishop and hold no further office, after considering evidence about the bishop's responses to a report by Newcastle man Steve Smith in 1984 that he had been sexually abused by Newcastle Anglican priest George Parker.

The evidence included the royal commission being satisfied that Mr. Smith met Bishop Appleby in 1984 and disclosed that he had been sexually abused by Father Parker over several years as a child. It found Bishop Appleby took no further action so that Parker remained licensed as a priest in Newcastle diocese until 1996.

Thirdly, Newcastle Bishop Dr. Peter Stuart found himself at odds with Sidney Archbishop Glenn Davies over criminalization of abortion. While Bishop Stuart affirmed the sanctity of life, he says the NSW abortion bill should pass.

Stuart says he views all human life as sacred "from its inception until death" but has written to NSW politicians encouraging them to support the controversial abortion bill currently before the state parliament.

That view is at odds with the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, who last week urged state MPs to reject the bill, arguing changing abortion laws needed wider community consultation and should not be rushed.

*****

If you have missed them, then three major essays on the Jerusalem Declaration by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Noll are well worth the read. In the third essay, Noll asks the question, Should Clause 13 Be Excised? Clause 13, which calls for church discipline, and how that fits into GAFCON'S understanding of unity and diversity within Anglicanism.

The Jerusalem Declaration contains fourteen clauses. Thirteen of them are affirmations of basic Christian doctrines: the Gospel, the Bible, the Creeds and Councils, the Articles, Prayer Book and Ordinal, marriage, stewardship, mission, church unity and Jesus coming in glory. One of them, clause 13, is a downer. It reads:

We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord. Noll argues that clause 13 is not a lapse into negativity but is the salt of discipline that makes the affirmations of doctrine "edible," i.e., credible and effective in a catholic and apostolic church and the Anglican Communion in particular.

This should be a wake-up call to those handful of evangelical and Anglo-Catholic bishops in TEC who think they can go to Lambeth next year without compromising their souls. Without godly discipline it is all a big fudge. If Lambeth 1:10 is circumvented, if there are no boundaries, why bother being an Anglican or even a Christian for that matter. You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/thoughts-jerusalem-declaration-3-should-clause-13-be-excised

*****

In a UN speech this week, President Donald Trump announced new Religious Freedom initiatives.Cheering US faith principles, the President pledged new funds and business support to curb persecution.

Trump praised the country's religious freedom record and cited figures that suggest the rest of the world has much work to do, as he announced new funding to protect religious sites as well as business partnerships to fuel the cause. "Our nation was founded on the idea that our rights do not come from government, but from God," said Trump. "Regrettably, the freedom enjoyed in America is rare in the world."

*****

What better note to end on than to 'Sing Hallelujah to the Lord'. This has become the anthem of the Hong Kong protests. There is hope.
Watch VIDEO here: https://www.realclearreligion.org/video/2019/08/14/sing_hallelujah_to_the_lord_has_become_the_anthem_of_the_hong_kong_protests.html

All blessings,

David

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