Monday, February 28, 2005

Planning to Leave?

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

I cannot see from their communiqué what the primates are hoping to accomplish. The revisionist bishops of the Episcopal Church have shown no willingness to adopt a scheme of adequate alternative episcopal oversight that would be acceptable to orthodox clergy and congregations in the Episcopal Church. All the panel of reference that the primates have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint will be able to do is make recommendations that the revisionist bishops are likely to ignore. If the Anglican Consultative Council is going to hold a hearing into why the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada did what they did then it makes sense for the primates to ask the two churches to voluntarily withdraw their representatives from the council. But we should not infer from this request that it is some form of disciplinary action. Giving the two churches until the 2008 Lambeth Conference to study the Windsor Report and its recommendations, to adopt moratoriums on the authorization of public rites for the blessing of same sex unions and the consecration of bishops involved in sexual outside of marriage, and to reflect upon whether they want to remain members of the Anglican Communion is much too long a period of time. We have seen what has happened since the Primates’ Meeting of October 2003. The Presiding Bishop and the revisionists not only consecrated Gene Robinson but also they have been actively seeking to consolidate their hold on the Episcopal Church. They have shown no inclination to retreat from what they have been doing. Committing themselves to no boundary-crossing during this three year period to my mind is foolhardy on the part of the global South primates and leaves groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop very much at the mercy of the diocesan bishop. It is certainly not going to encourage the revisionist bishops to stop cracking down on these groups. They will go on threatening orthodox congregations and inhibiting and deposing orthodox clergy. To my mind the strategies outlined in the communiqué are thoroughly unsatisfactory.

What are orthodox clergy and congregations in the Episcopal Church to do in the interim? They certainly need to fight proposals to change the disciplinary canons of the Episcopal Church to make it easier for the revisionists to rid themselves of troublesome clergy and put pressure upon congregations in their jurisdiction. Networking with other orthodox clergy and congregations must be made a priority. They also need to continue to withhold financial support in protest of the actions of the 2003 General Convention and the consecration of Gene Robinson. This is likely to become more difficult in the near future. In addition, they need to plan for the contingency that they may at some point in the not too distant future find it necessary to succeed from the Episcopal Church. This is likely to involve leaving behind the buildings, furnishings, hymnals, prayer books, organs, vestments, and other movable property to which the diocese and the Episcopal Church claim the right of ownership. Orthodox congregations may wish to become less building-centered in their ministries. They may want to postpone building repairs and improvements that are elective. They might want to establish home groups and become more accustomed to worshipping in less formal settings. Instead of purchasing new items for the church, they may want to lease them. One option is to establish a local mission fund administered by trustees from the congregation but independent of the parish or church and redirect giving to this fund. The trustees might purchase equipment and then lease the equipment to the parish or church. In the event the congregation succeeded from the Episcopal Church, moneys from this fund could be used to pay the rent for temporary facilities and the like. Orthodox clergy may want to do more teaching on the church as a people – as the body of Christ. Occasional worship services held in the parish hall without the usual fixtures would help the congregation to see themselves and not the building as the church.

While orthodox congregations may not like to contemplate succession from the Episcopal Church, the eventuality of having to take that step is very strong. First, the Episcopal Church may decide on its own to withdraw from the Anglican Communion and walk separately from the Anglican family of churches. The congregation will be faced with the choice of maintaining its ties to the Anglican Communion with which it shares a common faith or throwing in its lot with the revisionists and abandoning that faith. The Episcopal Church may be asked to withdraw from the Communion. Recognition of the Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Communion may be withdrawn. Conditions in the Episcopal Church may become so intolerable that the congregation has no other choice. Planning for this contingency therefore is imperative.

While it would be wonderful if the Episcopal Church was swept by a revival, turned from its present course and returned to a historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity, we must face the possibility that is not in God’s plans for the Episcopal Church. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews warns us what is the fate of the apostate.

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receive a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. [Hebrews 6:4-8, ESV]

The Episcopal Church no longer produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it was cultivated. The Episcopal Church as a denomination no longer has a heart for the lost nor responds to God’s call to work in the harvest. Rather it bears thorns and thistles – those that spread the dangerous heresy of inclusivism which “presumes many outside of explicit faith in Christ will be saved “and “allows the church to feel comfortable with other religions while millions die and go to hell.” [1]

The window of opportunity to make a contingency plan and to put the various elements of the plan in place is rapidly closing. The revisionist bishops of the Episcopal Church and their corporatist allies can be expected to lash out at orthodox clergy and congregations in the next few months. Having brought this trouble upon the church and faced with a possible backlash, they can be expected to look for a scapegoat. They will seek to redirect anger that should be directed at them to the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network. With the global South primates pledging themselves to non-intervention, they are likely to grow even bolder in their efforts to clamp down upon those whom they perceive as trouble makers in their dioceses and to hound them out of the church. Those who affirm the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ and uphold the teaching of the apostles can expect more intense persecution in the days ahead.

1. Thom S. Rainer, The Bridger Generation, (Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997) 157-158

In Anglican Report, There's Something for Everyone, Once Again

[] February 28, 2005--But Via Media approach continue to keep the churches together?

Evangelical Movement Shifts Centre of Christianity to the South

[Christianity Today (UK)] February 28, 2005--Amid the crisis over homosexuality in Western churches in America and Europe which has consumed their unity and power, Christians in the Southern Hemisphere are rising as a new hope to revive the religion. The Head of the South African bishops shared his visions with the London Telegraph.

Anglicans must accept moral diversity to protect universality

[Sydney Morning Herald] March 1, 2005--

Archbishop admits Anglican "fractures" as gay groups hit back

[] February 28, 2005--LGCM said it felt the major point of concern was "the attempt to portray the American and Canadian Church as particularly responsible for the current tensions in the Anglican Church."

Will The Church of England Split Over Homosexual Issues?

[Radio Free Europe] February 28, 2005--The 77-million worldwide members of the Church of England are facing a schism. The General Synod, which represents the church in 164 countries, ended early last week when no common language could be found between the liberal and traditional parts of the church. They are divided over the ordination of homosexual bishops and the blessing of same-sex marriages, while the debate on the controversial issue of ordaining women bishops has been postponed. The communique issued by the archbishops meeting over the past week in Newry, Northern Ireland, urges the U.S. state that has ordained a gay bishop and a Canadian province that is allowing gay marriages to voluntarily withdraw from the church's Consultative Council until 2008. Observers say, however, that the quarrel will not end and that a schism is inevitable. This is largely because the church has been led by liberal western clergy in recent decades but now more conservative leaders from the world's southern countries are beginning to prevail.

Anglicans postpone their schism

[The Age] March 1, 2005--In a classic Anglican manoeuvre, the primates of the international Anglican Church have bought some time in the face of the threat of a major split over the issue of homosexuality....But make no mistake, last week's compromise has only postponed the inevitable. Unless the Americans and Canadians decide to abandon the cause of gay clergy and same-sex marriages by 2008 - and please God they won't - the threatened split will still happen.

Holding Bishops Accountable

[The Conservative Voice] February 28, 2005--A note from a concerned Anglican layman in Australia asked me how laypersons can hold their bishops accountable.

Williams admits fears over gay bishops

[icCheshireOnline] February 28, 2005--The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has admitted the row over gay bishops has caused serious "fractures" in the Anglican church.

Call for moral crusade as Church heads for split

[icCheshireOnline] february 28, 2005--One of the leading figures in the Church of England has called for a moral crusade in the wake of a feared split in the worldwide Anglican communion.

Archbishop of Canterbury asks for repentance over gay bishop

[ekklesia] February 27, 2005--The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has declared that the US Episcopal Church (ECUSA) and the Anglican Church in Canada should do more than apologise for, respectively, ordaining a practising gay man as Bishop of New Hampshire and blessing same-sex relationships in church. They need to repent of these actions, he says.

Next Move In Gay Battle Up To Episcopal Church Archbishop Warns

[] February 27, 2005--The pressure exerted by Williams on Sunday drew criticism from gay civil rights group Outrage.

Kentucky Episcopals approve unity resolution

[] February 27, 2005--Episcopalians in the Diocese of Kentucky have approved a resolution designed to preserve unity in the aftermath of the ordination of an openly gay bishop.

Episcopalians OK gift amid rift

[] February 27, 2005--Alabama Episcopalians voted Saturday to increase funding to the national Episcopal Church, despite efforts to curb money in protest of the approval of an openly gay bishop in 2003.

Terri Schiavo’s Family Responds to Feeding Tube Removal Ruling

[The Christian Post] February 26, 2005--The family of Terri Schiavo, the severely disabled woman at the center of the nation’s longest-running right-to-life case, gave mixed responses to Friday’s court ruling that ordered Terri'sfeeding tube to be removed on March 18.

Lutheran Statement on Sexuality "Just Not Doable"

[The Christian Post] February 26, 2005--Prospects for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Sexuality Task Force’s recently announced plans to draft a social statement on homosexuality looks dim – at least according to one of the fourteen task force members.

US Supreme Court to Hear Challenge To Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.

[The Christian Post] february 26, 2005--On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the Justice Department’s challenge to Oregon’s assisted-suicide law, known as the ‘Death with Dignity Act.’

Human Rights Watchdogs Call for Gay Unions in Greece

[The Christian Post] february 26, 2005--In a move expected to provoke fierce opposition from the Orthodox Church, Greece’s human rights committee yesterday called for same-sex civil unions so that homosexuals and heterosexuals have equal social benefits.

A New Great Plague? A Timely Warning

[] February 28, 2005--The fear of infectious diseases is, for the most part, a relic of times past. In the great age of antibiotics, we fear few diseases, and Americans are more likely to suffer death by accident than death by infectious disease. We can all too easily forget that such diseases have been some of history's great killers--and can be again.

Public Outcry, Prosecution Work Against Porn, Group Says

[] February 27, 2005--Pro-family groups are hopeful that a cable provider's decision to yank hard-core porn from its offerings is an omen that others who are planning to violate federal obscenity laws will think twice.

Family Advocates: Thanks to Playboy, Even Cell Phones Unsafe

[] February 26, 2005--Parents who are providing their children with cell phones may have perfectly logical reasons for doing so -- but they may want to rethink their rationale because Playboy is planning to start distribution of what it calls "wireless entertainment" early this year.

Journey with Jesus: Nothing of My Own

[] February 28, 2005--How many times must the disciples have heard Jesus say, “I do nothing of my own. I do only what My Father tells Me” (paraphrase, see John 5:19, 8:28)? One of the many examples of this is found in John 11. Lazarus, the man Jesus loved dearly, is terribly sick. So his sisters send word to Jesus to come quickly to their aid, I’m sure with the hope that perhaps Jesus will heal him.

Permanent Anglican Split over Homosexuality may be Inevitable

[Christianity Today (UK)] February 27, 2005--The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion has given a worrying warning that the recent split of the Communion over the ordination of gay bishops in North America may be a permanent move.

'Moralistic' AIDS plan denounced

[The Age] february 28, 2005--Health Minister Tony Abbott's personal views are imposing a "moralistic agenda" on the coming national HIV/AIDS strategy, Government sexual health advisers fear.

Power struggle looms at Vatican,5744,12392621%255E2703,00.html

[The Australian] February 28, 2005--The Pope's hospital, Gemelli, is once again the focus of massive attention in Rome but a few kilometres away a more secluded building is quietly being readied for its role in the future of the Catholic Church.

Sex now less safe as infections soar

[Sydney Morning Herald] February 28, 2005--The misconception that young, healthy people are not at risk has caused an epidemic of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in NSW, health experts say.

The Ten Commandments - Archbishop Peter Jensen

[] February 1, 2005--In 2003, Judge Roy S. Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama lost office as a result of legal action. His offence was the insertion of a granite block weighing more than two tons in the rotunda of the judicial building: on the block was inscribed, among other things, parts of the ten commandments. He campaigned for office in 2000 with the slogan, ‘the ten commandments judge’.

Stop playing it safe

[] February 28, 2005--International speaker Vaughn Roberts has challenged 2000 Christian men to step outside their almost too comfortable lives.

Mr. Roberts, the Senior Minister of St Ebbes Church Oxford, says living and working in Australia with its many blessings can dull the desire to evangelise friends.

The same holds true for many of us who live in the United States.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

No Victory for Conservatives

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

To those who are hailing February Primates’ Meeting as a victory for conservatives in the Anglican Communion, I say look again at the Communiqué that the primates issued at the conclusion of their meeting.

[1] Nowhere in their Communiqué do the Primates say that the blessing of homosexual couples and the consecration of a bishop involved in a homosexual relationship are contrary to the Word of God. This is one of the flaws of the Windsor Report and like the Windsor Report the Communiqué studiously avoids drawing attention to this fact, much less affirming that both practices are clearly at odds with what holy Scripture teaches.

[2] Paragraph 6 acknowledges that “these developments within the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada have proceeded entirely in accordance with their constitutional processes and requirements. This statement, however, is not entirely true because the preface of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church commits that body to upholding and preserving the historical Christian faith. With its confirmation and consecration of a bishop involved in a homosexual relationship and its sanctioning of the blessing of homosexual couples, the Episcopal Church - as has been repeatedly pointed out - violated its own Constitution.

Paragraph 6 speaks of homosexuals as “human beings whose affections happened to be ordered toward people of the same sex,” suggesting the view widely held in liberal circles in the Anglican Communion that God made gays and lesbians the way that they are and that their adoption of a homosexual lifestyle is not a question of moral choice. It goes on to assure homosexuals that “they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.” The language of this passage is misleading. All human beings are children of God only in the most indirect sense. God made Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and they can be viewed as God’s children and therefore we as their descendants might be viewed as his children. On this basis and Jesus’ reference to God as Father theological liberals extend the status of children of God to the entire human race. The biblical view, however, is that we are God’s creatures and God delights in what he created, enough to send into the world his Son that all who believe in him may not perish but have eternal life. We become his children only by adoption through faith in the One whom God sent. Faith involves repentance and repentance involves active turning away from sin. In the choice of language in this sentence we have an example of the theology of radical inclusion which asserts that God accepts everybody as his children just as they are and does not require faith or repentance upon their part. Of course, gays and lesbians deserve the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship but this does not include ordaining practicing homosexuals, consecrating them as bishops, or blessing their relationships. This, however, is invariably what theological liberals imply when they use these or similar words. What we are reading here are code words just like those that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold used in his sermon at St. Ann’s on the Sunday before the Primates’ Meeting. The Communiqué was written jointly by theological liberal and conservative primates so the intrusion of this kind of language into the Communiqué is not surprising.

[3] Paragraph 15 states:

In order to protect the integrity and legitimate need of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendations in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003 (xii).

How will the “panel of reference” once appointed go about supervising the adequacy of these pastoral provisions? What powers will it have to ensure compliance with the recommendations in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003? Since the primates acknowledge in their Communiqué that the Anglican Communion has no international jurisdiction that can override provincial autonomy, the only power that the panel of reference will have is that of moral persuasion. We have already seen in the period leading up to the 2003 General Convention and since then, how deaf the Episcopal Church’s revisionist bishops are to moral persuasion. The recommended measure will leave those groups in serious theological disputes with their diocesan bishops and those dioceses, with their provinces at the mercy of the diocesan bishop or the province as the case may be. A number of bishops in the Episcopal Church USA have refused to accept any diminishment of their authority in their dioceses. They are not only hostile to the idea of alternative Episcopal oversight but have threatened clergy and congregations in their jurisdictions with retaliation if they seek this oversight. Some of them have carried out this threat. A new set of disciplinary canons have been proposed for the Episcopal Church that would make it much easier for diocesan bishops in such disputes to take heavy-handed action against those with whom they are involved in a serious theological dispute. Further the proposed disciplinary canons permit the disciplining of Episcopalians who seek redress in disputes with their diocesan bishop in the civil courts.

Paragraph 15 goes on to state:

Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.

In the three years between the February Primates’ Meeting and the 2008 Lambeth Conference the global South primates pledge not to intervene in the jurisdictions of the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. This gives the two provinces three years in which they can proceed with the further implementation of their doctrinal and moral innovations with the global South primates binding themselves not to do anything. To whom can groups in serious theological disputes with their diocesan bishop turn? They must suffer at the hands of their diocesan bishop or leave the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada to join other churches and to loose their Anglican identity. Most of these groups are orthodox in their Christian faith and thoroughly Anglican in their identity. What has gotten them into trouble with their bishop is that they are committed to preserving and upholding the historic Christian faith and the Anglican tradition.

[4] Paragraph 18 in its choice of language suggests that the standard of Christian teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 is provisional and is subject to change at some future date. It states, “In reaffirming the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 as the present position of the Anglican Communion…” However, the Anglican Communion can have only one position on matters of human sexuality and remain a fellowship of churches with a historical, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. That position is the position of the Bible itself. Paragraph 18 further suggests that the Anglican Communion’s leading bishops have been somehow amiss in not taking “positive steps to initiate the listening and study process which has been the subject of resolutions not only at the Lambeth Conference in 1998, but in earlier Conferences as well.“ The inference is that the conservative primates have been blocking a process that could eventually lead to a quite different position in matters of human sexuality – one more permissive of homosexual practice.

Before we begin to slap each other on the back and sit down to celebrative dinners, we need to recognize that the primates have been persuaded to postpone action upon the Windsor Report and its recommendations until the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The caution with which the Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen received the Communiqué has much to commend it. The primates have called for only the voluntary withdrawal of the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada from one of the so-called instruments of unity – the Anglican Consultative Council. They have asked the Anglican Consultative Council to organize a hearing at its June meeting and have asked the two provinces to send representatives to that hearing to present the thinking behind the recent actions of each province. I do not believe that we should read anything more into these requests. What remains to be seen is how the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada react to the Communiqué and how they act in the next three years – especially those bishops who have been aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda in their dioceses. A lot can happen in a space of three years.

The revisionists in the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada can be expected to exploit this postponement. Three years will give them plenty of time to regroup and restrategize. Their hope is that they will gain a wider and more sympathetic hearing at the 2008 Lambeth Conference from which they have not been asked to withdraw. The revisionists have successfully used the process of dialogue, listening, and study in the past to wear down their opponents, to weaken their resolve, to turn public opinion against them, and to bring its pressure upon them. The revisionists are also hoping that the united front that the global South primates displayed at the February Primates’ Meeting will crack over a period of three years. While they may not have won the primates to their cause, they hope to win individual bishops in the global South provinces. For a very small church the Episcopal Church USA also has a large number of bishops. A past complaint from the global South provinces has been that the Episcopal Church USA is overly-represented in the Lambeth Conference. The revisionists firmly believe that time is on their side and eventually the Anglican Communion will come around to their way of thinking.

Episcopalians in the United States and Anglicans in Canada who are committed to the pure teaching of the Bible in matters of faith and morality need to pray for each other and to support each other more than ever. The American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in America, the Anglican Province in America, Forward in Faith North America, and the Reformed Episcopal Church need to expand and strengthen their working relationships at all levels. Let us remember that our Lord has promised to abide with those who abide in him. Those who abide in the True Vine will bear much fruit. God will be glorified in them. Those who do the will of our Father in heaven are the real brothers and sisters of Christ, the Church of our Lord and Savior.

Bishop plays down church split over same-sex marriages

[Vancouver Sun] February 26, 2006--A controversial B.C. Anglican bishop is playing down a request that the Canadian and U.S. Anglican churches withdraw from the world body's consultative council over issues of homosexuality.

He could be right!

Canada's clerics weigh next move in Anglican battle

[Toronto Star] February 26, 2005--Anglican churches in Canada have yet to decide whether to abide by a request from church leaders to withdraw from a major body over the issue of homosexuality, a Canadian cleric said yesterday.

Gay Issues Cause Dischord Within Anglican Union

[NPR] February 25, 2005--Leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion have the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada not to participate in its June meeting. The divide in both cases relates to policy over gay unions and clergy.

'Punishment is for doing what we are all meant to do',3604,1425716,00.html

[Guardian Unlimited] February 26, 2005--Gay churchmen reacted with varying degrees of exasperation to the announcement yesterday that the Anglican community had failed to resolve its bitter differences over homosexuality.

Assault suspect to be returned to state

[] February 26, 2005--A church volunteer charged with sexual assault and theft will be returned to the state after a hearing next week, authorities said Friday.

North American Anglicans Defend Gay Policies;:42206929:2994983ba25fc35?type=topNews&localeKey=en_CA&storyID=7745997

[Reuters Canada] February 26, 2005--The North American branches of the Anglican Church showed few signs on Friday of submitting to an attempt to crack down on ordaining gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions, with one defiant bishop saying a split was inevitable.

Anglican Primates Demand Temporary Split with US Episcopal Church

[Christianity Today (UK)] February 25, 2005--As the closed-door 4-day Anglican Primates meeting in Northern Ireland approached the end, the world eagerly awaits for the critical statement concerning the crisis over homosexuality in the Church. The 38 Primates across the world are due to respond to the Windsor Report prepared by the Lambeth Commission in an attempt to offer a solution to the current deadlock.

This Life: Finding right way in the sex maze

[Belfast telegraph] February 26, 2005--One of this week's most striking media images was that of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, trudging gloomily through the snow at the Dromantine Conference Centre near Newry.

Top Anglican says rift over gays won't end till error is admitted

[] February 26, 2005--"We still face the possibility of division," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said after a crisis meeting of 35 leaders of Anglican national churches. "Any lasting solution, I think, will require people to say somewhere along the line, 'Yes, we were wrong.' "

Related articles:
"Anglican Head: Only Repentance from One Side will Heal Rift" - Christianity Today (UK)
"Anglican rift over homosexuality could cause lasting split, leader says" The Plain Dealer
"Anglicans face threat of permanent division" - Catholic World News
"Homosexual debate divides Anglican faith" - London Free Press

Pope's new book inflames passions

[Sydney Morning Herald] February 26, 2005--He's no stranger to controversy, but the Pope's latest published thoughts on abortion and gay unions are sure to spark debate inside and outside the church. Valerie Lawson reports.

Analysis: Anglican schism nears reality

[BBC] February 25, 2005--The threatened split between conservative and liberal Anglicans over homosexuality is now almost complete.

Anglicans not yet Split over Gay Row, but Division Lingers

[The Christian Post] February 25, 2005--The U.S. Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada have not yet agreed to withdraw from an International council at the request of global leaders who questioned their unorthodox views on homosexuality.

Conservative Anglicans Urge US, Canada to Comply with Withdrawal Request

[The Christian Post] February 25, 2005--Conservative Anglican leaders applauded the recent recommendation to eject the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and the Canadian Anglican Church (CAA) from an international council for their unorthodox views on homosexuality.

The French Reconnection

[] February 25, 2005--At the beginning of the 21st century, the postmodern French have deconstructed deconstructionism, seen through the utopia of socialism, and realized that wine and other sensual delights only go so far in filling what French philosopher Blaise Pascal described as the "God-shaped void." According to France Mission, an opinion poll conducted in March 2003 showed that 32 percent of those who call themselves Christians have recently returned to the faith. In 1994, only 13 percent said so.

Anglicans Sanction Episcopalians Over Gay Bishop, Gay Unions

[] February 25, 2005--In an ongoing rift over homosexuality, the Episcopal Church and its Canadian counterpart were asked Thursday to "voluntarily withdraw" from a global panel that helps set policy for the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Conservative Anglicans Elated and Cautious

[] February 25, 2005--Traditionalist Anglicans around the world reacted to the news the primates of the Anglican Communion had suspended the Episcopal Church from membership in the 70 million member bodies' international council with a mixture of elation and caution.

Weblog: Terri Schiavo Given Three More Weeks

[] February 25, 2005--Plus: Focus on the Family appoints new president, Kansas Attorney General seeks late-term abortion records, the Pope's tracheostomy, and other stories from online sources around the world.

The Jewishness of the Nicene Creed

[Christianity] February 25, 2005--In working on the most recent issue of Christian History & Biography ("Debating Jesus' Divinity"), we once again ran into the old canard that the Nicene bishops relied more on Greek philosophical concepts than on the Bible. That is the conventional wisdom in some circles, but let's take a closer look at what those bishops did. With the help of Norwegian church historian Oscar Skarsaune and his book In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish influences on Early Christianity (IVP, 2002), we'll learn a different story.

Fla. judge denies stay in Terri Schiavo case, removal of tube scheduled for March 18

[Baptist Press news] February 25, 2005--Florida judge George W. Greer denied an emergency stay in the case of Terri Schiavo Feb. 25, scheduling the removal of her feeding tube for March 18 at 1 p.m. ET, pending any appellate decisions.

Related article:
"Judge Extends Terri Schiavo's Life for Three More Weeks" - The Christian Post

Harvard researcher: Abstinence & faithfulness more effective against AIDS, but public health officials emphasize condoms

[Baptist Press News] February 25, 2005--A deadly virus is sweeping through nations, killing millions, and if people don't want to catch it, they must consider changing their sexual behavior, a Harvard researcher told Baptist Press.

Mass. court to hear challenge to 1913 law; NY judge upholds marriage law; amends. advance in 4 states

[Baptist press News] February 25, 2005--The Massachusetts high court will hear a challenge in September to a 1913 law that prevents out-of-state homosexual couples from acquiring marriage licenses.

Speakers urge Christians to turn back ‘neo-pagan’ drift

[Baptist Press News] February 25, 2005--Speakers urged Christians to continue to be “salt and light” in laying claim to America’s rich Christian heritage during the 10th annual Reclaiming America for Christ conference.

The evangelical identity crisis

[Baptist press News] February 25, 2005--American evangelicals always seem to be going through some sort of identity crisis.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Church on verge of split in gays row

[ManchesterOnline] February 25, 2005--Some in the Anglican Communion want the Episcopal church to be suspended and even expelled if it refuses to stop ordaining gay bishops.

I have included a number of articles on the outcome of the Primates' Meeting on today's weblog. They represent the different reactions of the media and other groups to what has transpired and may offer some additional details.

Anglican Church heads for schism$7883946.htm

[] February 25, 2005--The Anglican Church is facing the possibility of a major split after a row over the appointment of gay bishops and blessings for same sex unions.

Split over gay bishops

[] February 25, 2005--A crisis meeting of international church leaders in Northern Ireland voted last night to ask the pro-gay US and Canadian churches to withdraw from the Anglican consultative council for three years to reflect. The move is being seen as a victory for conservatives.

U.S., Canadian churches pull out of Anglican body

[] February 25, 2005--The U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada withdrew Thursday from a key body of the global Anglican Communion under pressure from conservative church leaders horrified by the election of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions in the two countries.

Have they withdrawn from the ACC? Or were they asked to withdraw?

Anglican Church Asks US, Canada to Bow Out

[] February 25, 2005--“People harvest what they have sown,” said Peter Karanja of the Anglican church in Kenya who saw the Anglican primates’ decision as moving Anglicans toward a split.

Soulforce Responds to Statement by Anglican Communion

[UKGayNews] February 25, 2005--“Although the statement by the primates of the Anglican Communion is incredibly hostile toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere, it gives the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada the historic opportunity to stand up for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all of God's creation...."

Incredibly hostile?! How the gay activists love to exaggerate; they are the masters of hyperbole!

Mixed response to TV exorcism

[The Daily Mail] February 25, 2005--Last night's controversial televised exorcism performed by an ordained minister on a man claiming to be possessed has drawn a mixed response from religious and scientific observers.

Flocks in U.S., Canada face split

[World Peace Herlad] February 25, 2005--The U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada must cease ordaining homosexuals and conducting blessings of same-sex unions by 2008 or withdraw from the worldwide Anglican Communion, the denomination's archbishops ruled yesterday.

The pope's victory

[World peace Herald] February 25, 2005--While Pope John Paul II lies once again in Rome's Gemelli Hospital, this time breathing through a tube inserted into his windpipe, Christianity - both Catholic and Protestant - is experiencing a turmoil he himself had helped trigger.

There is a link between his dogged effort to undo the perversions of Western thinking going back four centuries and the harsh admonition of the world's Anglican primates to their North American brethren to stay away from their Consultative Council meetings until the next Lambeth Conference in 2008.

Anglican rift grows over Powertool row

[The Spoof] February 25, 2005--Anglican leaders have asked the US and Canadian Churches to withdraw from a key council temporarily because of their Failiure to return some electric hedge trimmers. They want the North American Churches to "consider their place within the Anglican Communion", a statement said.

Same-sex issues divide Anglican church

[] February 25, 2005-- Anglican leaders struggling to resolve explosive differences over homosexuality have asked the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to withdraw from a key council of their global communion for three years -- a move some fear could be the first step toward a permanent split.

Primates’ Meeting Communiqué - From the Presiding Bishop

[Episcopal News Service] February 25, 2005--The primates of the Anglican Communion and Moderators of the United Churches have just completed their work on the attached communiqué which gives some sense of our meeting this week in Northern Ireland. These days have not been easy for any of us and the communiqué reflects a great deal of prayer and the strong desire to find a way forward as a Communion in the midst of deep differences which have been brought into sharp relief around the subject of homosexuality.

Anglican Leaders Ask U.S. to Leave Council

[Idaho State Journal] February 25, 2005--Conservatives who lead the Anglican Communion Network, which represents dissenting Episcopal dioceses and churches in the United States, argued that the primates' request meant that the two North American churches "have been effectively suspended" from the communion.

But James Naughton, a spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., and a supporter of Robinson's, disagreed, calling the report an "elegant compromise." He said Episcopalians could easily accept temporary withdrawal from the council, if it would create more time for Anglicans to find ways to remain unified.

Anything that enables both sides of the issue to put their own spin on it is not going to work.

Sex drives wedge in Anglican ranks

[SydneyMorningHerald] February 26, 2005--The worldwide Anglican Church has edged closer to schism, with the US and Canadian churches to be disciplined for their role in the dispute over gay bishops and same-sex unions.

US, Canada ordered to leave Anglican Church over gay issue

[ABCNewsOnline] February 25, 2005--The leaders of the world's 38 Anglican Churches have for the first time formalised the split in the Communion prompted by the ordination of an actively gay bishop in the US.

Anglican Church Heads for Schism Over Gays

[Reuters] February 25, 2005--The worldwide Anglican church headed down the road to schism on Friday after U.S. and Canadian clerics were asked to withdraw from key Anglican meetings in a deepening row over gay bishops.

World Anglican leaders rebuke Canadian church

[] February 25, 2005--The leaders of the world Anglican Communion rebuked the U.S. and Canadian Anglican churches yesterday over their acceptance of homosexuality and pushed them to withdraw from one of the global church's top policy-making bodies.

The severity of the rebuke from the primates, or senior bishops and archbishops of the church, was unexpected. Canadian Anglican academics had thought that most primates would let their desire for church unity trump their objections to homosexuality.

Anglicans try to forestall schism over gay rights

[The International Herald Tribune] February 25, 2005--Leaders of the global Anglican Communion asked the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to withdraw their representatives temporarily from a major governing body of the denomination in an unprecedented move to avoid a schism over the U.S. church's consecration of an openly gay man as a bishop and both churches' blessings of same-sex unions.

The Reverend Jan Nunley, a spokeswoman in New York for the Episcopal Church, said no decision had yet been made on the request. She said the church's presiding bishop, the Most Reverend Frank Griswold, would talk to the three representatives to the Anglican governing body next week about the request.

Church Warned over Stance on Homosexuality

[] February 25, 2005--The worldwide Anglican church will be torn apart if it does not rethink its position on gays, campaigners claimed today.

They fail to mention that the position of the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada on homosexuality and homosexuals is already tearing the Anglican Communion apart. From the perspective of the Bible practicing homosexuality and affirming homosexuality are hardly "healthy."

Gay rift in church widens,,2-10-1462_1667853,00.html

[] February 25, 2005--Anglican leaders struggling to resolve explosive differences over homosexuality have asked the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to temporarily withdraw from a key council of their global communion because of the election of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions there and in Canada.

Anglican Church Acts on Homosexuality Issue, But Conservatives Doubtful

[] February 25, 2005--Thompson said Williams and the primates had the authority to take what he considered the necessary action - declare the actions of the U.S. and Canadian churches unbiblical; and call on them to repent, which could only be demonstrated by the removal of Robinson from office and the removal of the same-sex "marriage" rites in Canada."Of course none of this will be done. It is not a lack of authority that is the problem, but a lack of will."

Life and Death in the Fast Lane--A New AIDS Crisis

[] February 25, 2005--The word out of New York City is truly ominous--a new and potentially more aggressive form of the H.I.V. virus has been reported by medical authorities. In the report issued just this month, New York City health officials revealed that they had identified what appears to be a new strain of H.I.V. in a single individual whose case, according to The New York Times, was "particularly worrisome because it merged two unusual features: resistance to nearly all anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the infection, and stunningly swift progression from infection to full-fledged AIDS." As the officials warned, this new combination could represent a new front in the war against AIDS and a new challenge to medical authorities.

Survey Finds Most U.S. Teens' Faith Poorly Informed

[] February 25, 2005--A new study has come out that points to some serious problems in the way America's young people view God.

Anglican Communion Ejects U.S., Canada Church in Gay Fray

[The Christian Post] February 25, 2005--The World's top Anglicans urged their American and Canadian counterparts to withdraw their membership from the communion’s council – at least temporarily, until they explain their liberal, divisive view on homosexuality

Archbishop Agbaje For Burial at Ibilo on March 5

[Church of Nigeria News] February 23, 2005--The stage is set for the laying to rest of Archbishop Albert Agbaje on Saturday March 5 at his home church - St James Anglican Church Ibilo in Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State.

For Anglican Mission Leadership

[Anglican Mission in America] February 18, 2005--Although many of us expect the decisions made in County Down to set in motion some rather significant long-term consequences for the future shape of the Communion, I am confident that the vision, mission and day-to-day work of the Anglican Mission will remain unchanged by the deliberations and decisions of this upcoming Primates' Meeting. As a missionary outreach of Rwanda, we have a secure Anglican home in that Province. As a missionary outreach to the United States, we have a clear focus upon the 130,000,000 un-churched people in this country. As I have said before, that is our charge. That is our calling. That is our mission.

Priest files objection to Charles’s wedding

[Church Times] February 25, 2005--The Priest-in-Charge of St George’s, Hanworth, in Middlesex, the Revd Paul Williamson, filed an objection to the marriage in order to get the legal position re-examined. The Marriage Act of 1836 excluded the Royal Family from civil marriage. A clause in the 1949 Act, which superseded it, states: “Nothing in this Act shall affect any law or custom relating to the marriage of members of the Royal Family.”

Dr Carnley: TAC bishop 'has left'

[Church Times] February 25, 2005--The primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Dr Peter Carnley, has dismissed suggestions that a priest from Brisbane, who has now been consecrated a bishop in the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), could also continue to minister in the Anglican Church.

Weblog: Supreme Court Will Consider Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law

[Christianity] February 23, 2005--Plus: Korn guitarist converts and quits; hearing today may be Terri Schiavo's last chance, WCC calls for Israel divestment, and other stories from online sources around the world.

Pro-lifers around the world await Schiavo decision

[Baptist Press News] February 24, 2005--As pro-life advocates around the world keep a watch on Florida to see what will happen to Terri Schiavo, some lawmakers and Gov. Jeb Bush are working quietly behind the scenes to see what, if anything, they can do to prevent the disabled woman from being starved to death.

Related articles:
"Stay of Execution" - Christianity Today
"Pro-Lifers Urge Bush to Press Harder for Terri Schiavo" - The Christian Post

Connecticut takes first step toward legalizing civil unions

[Baptist Press News] February 24, 2005--Connecticut moved one step closer toward legalizing Vermont-style civil unions Feb. 23 when a civil unions bill breezed through a key legislative committee.

The need for biblical preaching

[Baptist Press News] February 24, 2005--Has preaching fallen on hard times? An open debate is now being waged over the character and centrality of preaching in the church. At stake is nothing less than the integrity of Christian worship and proclamation.

The Anglican Communion's Primates' Meeting Communique', February 2005

[Anglican Communion News Service] February 25, 2005-- As Primates of the Anglican Communion and Moderators of the United Churches, we gathered at the Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, Newry, in Northern Ireland, between 20th and 25th February, 2005, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Thirty-five of us were present at this meeting (i). We are extremely grateful for the warmth of the welcome to Dromantine that we have received from members of the Roman Catholic Society of African Missions who run the Retreat Centre, and from the Church of Ireland, and especially the Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd Robin Eames and Lady Eames, who have been our hosts....

Anglican rift widens

[] February 25, 2005--The Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen has ‘cautiously welcomed’ a request from the Anglican Communion’s 35 most senior leaders for a temporary withdrawal of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and the Anglican Church of Canada.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Day Three of the Primates Meeting

[VirtueOnline] February 24, 2005--There is a total lockdown on information at the Dromantine Center. Cell phones are not being answered, there are no news leaks to report.

Bishop raises Anglican Church ire

[ABCNewsOnline] February 24, 2005--The South Australian Anglican Church is moving to discipline a country-based bishop after he acted against the church's General Synod.

Church split threat on gays,5478,12362594%255E662,00.html

[Herald Sun] February 25, 2005--The Anglican Church may have to split over homosexuality, the Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen said yesterday.

Anglican churches battle over conflicting beliefs

[] February 24, 2005--The hoary joke about Anglicans is that they are Christians who can believe in anything as long as they don't believe in it too strongly. Ha-ha.

Large Percentage Of Teens Go To Church, Believe In God

[] February 24, 2005--The majority of American teenagers believe in God and worship in conventional congregations, but their religious knowledge is remarkably shallow and they have a tough time expressing the difference that faith makes in their lives, a new survey says.

World awaits Anglican Primates' Statement on Homosexuality in Ireland

[Christianity Today (UK)] February 24, 2004--However, the atmosphere has reportedly been very heated due to the sensitivity of the issue, and the outrage that many Primates felt when the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) elected openly homosexual bishop Gene Robinson to lead the New Hampshire diocese in 2003. The controversial decision by the American arm of the Church went ahead despite great opposition from other areas of the Anglican world, and flew in the face of Anglican traditions.

U.S. Clerics Ordained At Luweero Cathedral

[] February 24, 2005--Three American clerics have been ordained by the Luweero Diocese after they broke away from the US Episcopal Church over the 2003 appointment of an openly gay bishop for New Hampshire Diocese.

Sydney primate warns of church split on gays

[Reuters] February 24, 2005--Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen has issued the strongest warning yet that conservatives are ready to split with the Anglican Church over gay bishops.

Primates take first step to implement Windsor

[The Church of England Newspaper] February 24, 2005--Leaders from the Global South were determined to push for a call of repentance from the American Church, but Dr Williams, and the Irish Primate, Archbishop Eames, who is hosting the meeting in Northern Ireland, have urged for the Windsor Report to be allowed to take effect. Leaders from the liberal provinces have defended their autonomy, but Archbishop Williams and Eames have argued for the need for mechanisms of securing unity to be put in place. They have pushed for the Council of Advice to be established and discussed plans for a Covenant, a move to which liberals are strongly opposed.

The Windor Report if adopted is a step toward moving the Anglican Communion further away from the Bible and its teaching on human sexuality.

ECUSA lampooned in The Simpsons

[The Church of England Newspaper] February 24, 2005--Homer Simpson has taken Anglican orders (of sorts) and is performing gay weddings in Springfield.

More articles from The Church of England Newspaper can be found at

"Million Dollar Baby"--Assisted Suicide at the Oscars

[] February 24, 2005--The movie was billed as a fight film, not as a moral consideration of assisted suicide. As a matter of fact, the film's advocacy of suicide was first noticed by Michael Medved, an influential movie critic and talk show host. A Hollywood insider, Medved has been one of the most respected figures in film criticism for years, and his revelations concerning "Million Dollar Baby" landed like a bombshell.

Eritrean Authorities Detain 131 Christian Children

[The Christian Post] February 23, 2005--More than 100 children aged between two and 18 were rounded up by a group of policemen as they were in their Christian classes, a UK-based human rights charity group reported Wednesday.

Stay extended in Schiavo case until Friday; Florida state agency seeks to intervene

[Baptist Press News] February 23, 2005--Terri Schiavo's supporters won another round in court Wednesday when Florida Judge George W. Greer extended a stay on an earlier order until Friday at 5 p.m. ET, preventing Michael Schiavo from having health care workers remove a feeding and hydration tube through which Terri is fed twice a day.

Related articles:’
"Miracles Continue in Schiavo’s Right-to-Life Case" - The Christian Post
"Temporary Stay in Schiavo Case Not Enough, Groups Say" -

Disney prepares 'Chronicles of Narnia'

[Baptist Press News] February 23, 2005--Disney must decide whether to acknowledge the strong Christian symbolism and risk alienating a chunk of potential viewers or ignore the symbolism and offend the generations of Christians who are fans of the book.

Underage drinking curb reintroduced in Congress

[Baptist Press News] February 23, 2005--Legislation designed to prevent underage drinking has been reintroduced in Congress.

American law & the Ten Commandments

[Baptist Press News] February 23, 2005--The game of word association, which most of us learned as children, works this way: I say a word or phrase, and another player says what immediately comes to mind. It is a simple exercise in exposing predispositions. The assumption is that the game reveals something significant about your personality or your biases.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Indian Cleric Challenges C Of E Governors To Think About UK's Spiritual Health

[American Daily] February 23, 2005--Johnson said that 100 years ago the United Kingdom was known as an exporter of coal, cricket and Christianity around the world. But that's not the case any more, he said. New Age propaganda and eastern mysticism have eroded England's Judeo-Christian heritage to the point where public opinion in the country is no longer predominantly Christian.

Christians clash on gay unions

[The Capital Times] February 23, 2005--I am here on behalf of members of my congregation who could experience devastating effects on their families if this bill is passed. I am also here representing an ever-increasing large portion of Christianity who believe after prayerful study of scripture ... that the spirit of God has called the Christian community to recognize their (gay and lesbian) brothers and sisters as full participants in the life of the church and as citizens in this state to be treated fairly and justly under its laws."

"We're here to support the marriage amendment and oppose wolves in sheep's clothing, those who call themselves Christians...Those people that support the supposed Christian homosexual movement are trying to demonize traditional Christianity and say that real Christians are using hate speech because we say homosexuality is a sin. That's what the Bible says. They believe in a false Christ and a false Gospel."

“Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

Sometime the revisionists in the Episcopal Church remind me of the Borg in the second Star Trek series. Other times, they remind me more of the rampaging, power hungry Darleks in the BBC Dr. Who series, waving their death-ray projectors and shrilling “Eradicate! Eradicate!!” Embrace radical inclusiveness; affirm homosexuality, gays, and lesbians; or leave! This is what the Episcopal Church is saying with the proposed new set of disciplinary canons to those who uphold an historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. Get with the program or get out! Don’t try to rock the boat and cause trouble. If you do, we will eject you from the Episcopal Church just as we have jettisoned the apostolic faith. If this proposal is not a wake-up call to those who believe that they can maintain an orthodox witness in the Episcopal Church, I do not know what it will take to draw their attention to the precarious position in which they will soon find themselves.

The revisionists control almost all of the Episcopal Church’s seminaries. They control most of the dioceses and the process for the selection of candidates for ordination in most of the dioceses. They are signaling that they are not going to tolerate any resistance to their agenda for change in the Episcopal Church. They are preparing to consecrate more practicing homosexuals as bishops and to sanction gay marriage. They may preach inclusiveness and tolerance but their inclusiveness and tolerance does not extend to those who hold an historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. The latter are not welcome in the Episcopal Church. The revisionist plan is to isolate them and push them to the periphery of the church. From the revisionist standpoint they are trouble makers and the sooner they leave the better. They put up a fight before they are ousted but the proposed new set of disciplinary canons is designed to keep that from happening. Resistance will put them upon the fast track to expulsion from the Episcopal Church.

If the primates do persuade Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to excommunicate the Episcopal Church, the revisionists are likely to look for a scapegoat, someone upon whom they can blame the consequences of their own actions. They already show a propensity to blame the victim. The 2003 General Convention enacted legislation banning discrimination in the Episcopal Church on the grounds of sexual orientation. We may see a time in the not too distant future when this legislation is used to deny the office of bishop to anyone who takes a biblical position on homosexuality.

Those who uphold a historical, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity are faced with three choices: [1] They can acquiesce to the revisionist agenda, compromise the apostolic faith for the sake of a false unity in the Episcopal Church and suffer the eternal consequences of apostasy; [2] They can prepare for their departure from the Episcopal Church, channeling their tithes into a independent trust, establishing home fellowships, locating a meeting place for worship services, and launching a new congregation under the oversight of an orthodox global South bishop; [3] Or they can be ejected from the Episcopal Church without having made any preparations for this contingency. Staying on to maintain an orthodox witness is not a realistic option. The longer they stay, the more tainted they will become by revisionist culture of the Episcopal Church.

U.S. Anglicans outside the Episcopal Church, those in the Anglican Mission in America or otherwise under global South episcopal oversight, in the Continuing Churches, and in the Reformed Episcopal Church need to patch up their differences, close ranks, and form a united orthodox Anglican witness in the United States. While they may initially be denied the formal recognition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this lack of recognition should not prevent them from establishing an Anglican province in the United States. A strong, dynamic, growing Anglican Church in North America is the best answer to the apostasy of the Episcopal Church and contemporary Episcopalianism. As the Episcopal Church declines, closing churches, the Anglican Church will gather new congregations and plant new churches. A total commitment to an aggressive program of church planting and evangelism is the key to the resurgence of orthodox Christianity in the Anglican tradition in North America.

Orthodox Anglicans in the United States cannot be satisfied with just creating a safe haven for themselves outside of the Episcopal Church. The second largest generation in North America, the Bridgers, those born between 1977 and 1994, has yet to be evangelized and won to Christ. Only a few in this generation are pre-Christians, having been raised with Judeo-Christian values. One of our greatest challenges is that this generation finds Jesus’ exclusive claims a major stumbling block to faith. They have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the pluralism and political correctness that characterizes today’s popular culture in the United States and Canada. Many mainline churches will be tempted to follow the Episcopal Church’s lead and to adopt a theology of inclusivism. Indeed inclusivism may become a major heresy of the 21st century. An Anglican witness that affirms the exclusive claims of Jesus and is faithful to apostolic teaching will be greatly needed in North America in the new millennium.

Prayers for the Primates' Meeting

Those who pray the Daily Office may wish to add these two prayers to the Prayers and Thanksgivings during the Primates’ Meeting in Northern Ireland this week.

From the American Book of Common Prayer of 1928, altered:

Almighty and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be with the Primates' Meeting now assembled in thy Name and Presence in Northern Ireland. Save them from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to direct, sanctify, and govern them in their work, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed, in all places, to the breaking down of the kingdom of sin, Satan, and death; till at length the whole of thy dispersed sheeep, being gathered into one fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life; through the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

From the Irish Book of Common Prayer of 1926, altered:

O Lord God, the Father of lights and the Fountain of all wisdom, who hast promised , through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy universal Church to the end of the world; We humbly beseech thee with thy favor to behold the Primates who are now assembled and taking counsel together in thy Name, for the Anglican Communion. Mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon them, enlighten and guide them; and that their consultations may be prospered to the advancement of thy honor and glory, and the welfare of the Anglican Communion. Lead them and us into all truth; that so the Anglican Communion may evermore hold fast and abide in the Apostolick and true Catholick faith, and serve thee without fear in pureness of worship and life, according to thy holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Global rifts emerge as Christianity moves south

[Reuters] February 23, 2005-- Based in Europe for almost a millennium, Christianity has spread so widely around the world that its geographical centre has crossed into Africa and is now located near Timbuktu in mainly Muslim Mali, researchers say.

Virtue's Irish Notebook

[VirtueOnline] February 22, 2005--As the primates traipsed out the cathedral door I collared Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola to get a comment. He looked at me, laughed heartily and then whacked me with his program. We laughed some more and I then gave up. This guy is tough, now I know why he is a titan and why his province will double in three years. He takes no prisoners and he is not going to give one inch of ground to Griswold. Count on it. Following the service the primates bused off to a late dinner to celebrate Robin Eames retirement. As they departed I shook hands with several of the Primates who seemed happy to see me, as I did them.

Archbishop Stresses a Peace-Making Church as Primates Conference Opens

[Christianity Today (UK)] February 23, 2005--All 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion met at St Patrick’s Church, Armagh, Northern Ireland on 22nd February evening for an Evensong Service to mark the opening of the five-day conference. The sermon was delivered by Dr Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in it he stressed on the significance of a peace-making church through the sacrifice of Christ, urging a halt to the warring over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion.

Anglican meeting slammed by gay Christians

[] February 22, 2005-- meeting of Anglican leaders intending to discuss the issue of gay bishops has been slammed by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) as unlikely to yield results.

Anglican leader pleads for calm over gays

[] February 23, 2005--Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has appealed for calm in a vicious row over gay bishops that threatens to tear apart the Anglican church.

More articles on the Primates' Meeting can be found at

Anglican Primates Start Annual Gathering with Worship Service

[The Christian Post] February 23, 2005--Before fully delving into the meat of their weeklong gathering, the 35 top members of the Anglican Communion attended a worship service presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005. The core of the Primates’ gathering in Northern Ireland is the controversial debate over the compatibility of homosexuality and the church. Throughout the meeting, conservative Anglican leaders from Africa will face the liberal leaders from the Episcopal Church USA, whose unilateral decision to consecrate an active homosexual bishop drove the worldwide church body into a flurry of divisive debates, criticisms and threats.

Marriage Debates Continue Across the Atlantic

[The Christian Post] February 23, 2005--Great Britain will soon join the handful of western European countries that legally recognizes civil unions, according to an announcement made by the government Monday. Separately, in the most liberal province in Canada, officials introduced a new bill that would provide religious exemption to those clergy members who wish not to “marry” homosexuals but will also amend 73 marital laws to make it gender-neutral.

Indian Christians Plan Demonstration in Response to Escalating Violence

[The Christian Post] February 23, 2005--Christian groups in India plan to march on the country's parliament on Thursday in protest against the killing of two pastors and half a dozen attacks on church targets in recent weeks. Many say the recent murders highlight a growing trend of violence against Christians in India’s southern states.

ELCA Begins Drafting Social Statement on Human Sexuality

[The Christian Post] February 22, 2005--The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) took their first steps to developing a social statement on human sexuality for the 5-million member denomination by 2007, on Feb. 18-20, 2005. The meeting, held at the church’s Chicago headquarters, brought together the 14-member task force that earlier in the year released a report on homosexuality that took three years to draft.

Emergency Issue Blocks Removal of Schiavo's Tube

[The Christian Post] February 22, 2005--A Pinellas Circuit Court judge ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to remain in place until Wednesday.

Opening House session with a prayer for gays annoys some delegates!news!politics&s=1045855935264

[Richmond Times-Dispatch] February 19. 2005--It was a prayer that bowed heads and raised blood pressure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Orthodox Primates Refuse Joint Eucharist with Griswold

[VirtueOnline] February 21, 2005--The chill turned icy when orthodox primates of the Global South refused to celebrate the Eucharist in the presence of ultra-liberal American Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. As a result Irish Primate Robin Eames announced that his chaplain would offer Eucharist and be the celebrant to anyone who wanted it. None of the Global South bishops showed up.

Turning Point

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

The primates are meeting this week in Northern Ireland. They will be considering the report of the Lambeth Comission on Communion appointed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and chaired by Archbishop of Armagh Robin Eames. From past experience we must be prepared for the worst.

What are the ramifications if the primates adopt the Windsor Report? The Australian Anglican Church League has done an excellent job of pointing out how the language of the report basically supports a revisionist view of the Bible; is overly-sympathetic toward the revisionist position in many areas, avoids condemning the revisionist view of homosexuality; is critical of those defending the faith delivered to the saints in the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster; does not go far enough in its calling for these two bodies and their leaders to express regret for what they have done and to place a moratorium on the consecration of sexually active homosexuals as bishops and the blessing of homosexual liaisons; and goes too far in its condemning of those orthodox bishops who have intervened in the United States and Canada. The Anglican Church League has furthered pointed out that the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant is unacceptable to Anglican Evangelicals.

Adoption of the Windsor Report would mean that the primates concur with the report’s definition of the problem – failure on the part of the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster to consult the other provinces before proceeding to consecrate a sexually active homosexual bishop and to sanction the blessing of homosexual liaisons and unwarranted intervention by other provinces in the affairs of an autonomous province. It calls for only a temporary halt to the consecration of practicing homosexuals as bishops and the blessing of homosexual liaisons. It bars any further intervention in the defense of the faith once delivered to the apostles and of persecuted orthodox clergy and congregations in the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster and leaves orthodox clergy and congregations in those bodies at the mercy of their revisionist bishops. It attempts to impose upon the Anglican Communion’s Evangelical wing a covenant that they will be unable to accept and in doing so creates further division in the Anglican Communion.

Adoption of the Windsor Report and its recommendations will do nothing to resolve the real problem – the unscriptural, heretical beliefs of the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster, their rejection of the divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Bible, and their apostasy from orthodox Christianity. It will give the Archbishop of Canterbury – himself a leading revisionist in his province and an appointee of the liberal British government - almost papal authority – something totally un-Anglican and quite unacceptable to Anglican Evangelicals and moderate Anglicans.

Adoption of the Windsor Report and its recommendations will contribute to the fragmentation of the Anglican Communion and its eventual dissolution. Despite its calls for moratoriums on sexually active homosexual bishops and the blessing of homosexual liaisons the Windsor Report essentially accommodates the revisionists in the Anglican Communion. The revisionist bishop who observed that the report takes the view that the affirmation of homosexuality as in the process of reception in the Anglican Communion is correct in his observation. The report does not condemn homosexuality as sexual immorality and sin. Nor does it call for a ban on the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of homosexual liaisons or the removal of bishops who ordain sexually active gays and lesbians or sanction the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships or the inhibiting and deposition of clergy engaging in homosexual activity or blessing homosexual couples.

The outlook for the Anglican Communion and for orthodox Anglicans in the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster is grim, very grim indeed.

The Coming Church War in Ecclesiastical Courts

[VirtueOnline} February 22, 2005--ECUSA is proposing a new set of disciplinary canons.

Anglicans grapple with rift over homosexuality

[TheGlobe and Mail] February 21, 2005--As wealthy conservative U.S. Anglicans intensely lobbied the communion's 38 national primates last night and handed out cellphones to sympathetic prelates so they could report on what happens at the closed-door gathering, there was little expectation the archbishops would lessen disharmony, let alone resolve the conflict.

How the liberal Canadian media loves to promote the idea that wealthy U.S. conservative Anglicans are behind the the present cirsis in the Anglican Communion?

Archbishop Fights to Save Anglican Schism over Homosexuality Debate

[Christianity Today (UK)} February 21, 2005--On Sunday, Rev Frank Griswold, the ECUSA’s presiding bishop, preached in Belfast amid a number of mild protests. Rev Eric Culbertson, from Dungannon commented, "It is impossible to view Dr Griswold as other than a false teacher, leading his church away from Biblical truth."

Expectations Low As World's Anglicans Meet Over Gays

[] February 21, 2005--Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, one of the five who signed the report, said after Robinson's consecration that "the devil has clearly entered our church."

Scouts to Use Sh25m On New Members And Uniforms

[] February 21, 2005--Kenya Scouts Association will spend Sh25 million to recruit more scouts countrywide and provide them with uniforms.

Is this the start of a Kirk schism?

[The Herald] February 22, 2005--This week in the douce and closed environs of a retreat near Newry in Northern Ireland, Dr Rowan Williams, leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, has a stark and incredibly difficult task. It is simply to prevent the worldwide Anglican Church imploding. The warring factions are lined up with the liberals in the churches of Canada and the US and the conservatives based for the most part in Africa and Asia. The catalyst for the visceral fury consuming the Anglican Church was the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay cleric with a live-in lover, as Bishop of New Hampshire in the US.

Bishop Duncan is sinless

[Pittsburgh Tribune-Review] February 22, 2005--McCloskey has done it again ("St. Brendan's in market for new bishop," Feb. 9). She writes, "(Bishop) Duncan's involvement (in the Anglican Communion Network) has caused a rift among the 20,000 members of the 11-county Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh."

Archbishop is facing lost cause as he tries to prevent split in world Church

[Telegraph (UK)] February 21, 2005--The worldwide Anglican Church is likely to be torn apart irreparably this week despite the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to keep it together.

Rwanda churches

[Bradenton Herald] February 22, 2005--Little known to folks in Sarasota and Manatee counties is that southwest Florida has a direct connection to Rwanda. The connection springs from Rwanda's willingness to look beyond our negligence and help us. Imagine that: Little Rwanda comes to the aid of America.

Anglican leaders meet to debate division on gay bishop consecration

[Episcopal News Service] February 22, 2005--The leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Bishop Frank Griswold, invoked the Holy Spirit's approval of "new ways" ahead of a meeting that opened February 21 at which leaders of the 78-million Anglican Communion will discuss a rift about homosexuality.

Anglican leaders meet to ponder divisive issue of gay bishops

[The Star] February 22, 2005--Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams faces his toughest challenge yet - keeping the Anglican flock together in an increasingly bitter dispute over gay bishops.

St Patrick's to welcome church heads

[Belfast telegraph] February 22, 2005--Primates from the 38 provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion were scheduled to attend worship this evening at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh.

Archbishop acts against rebel bishop

[The Age] February 23, 2005--The international Anglican row over women priests flared in Melbourne yesterday with Archbishop Peter Watson taking action against a rebel bishop.

A New Christianity For A New World

[] Feburary 20, 2005--Is there a need for a reformation of Christianity which would purge it of obvious superstition? Yes. These superstitions are not innocent tales, but form the basis of excluding others from care and concern. Has Bishop Spong found the right formulation for a neo-Christianity? No. His vision is too austere to win over the masses. It is an enlightened secularism which fails to provide an alluring alternative to the appeal of superstition and obscurantism.

Spong has his critics on the radical left too.

Mainline Churches struggle over gay policy

[ABC News] February 22, 2005--Gathered this week in Northern Ireland, senior bishops of the Anglican Communion are seeking to maintain unity in the global body amid the most difficult circumstances in the denomination's history.

Anglican position on same-sex marriage has not changed, Primate says

[The Anglican Church of Canada] February 21, 2005--Although it may be on the brink of a discussion about same-sex marriage, the official position of the Anglican Church of Canada remains that marriage is "between a man and a woman - one of each" says Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, the church's Primate.

Royal nuptials raises questions of theology

[Houston Chronicle] Feburary 18, 2005--Remarriage issue ignites new debate within worldwide Anglican Church.

Communion snub for church liberals over gay blessings

[Sydney Morning Herald] February 22, 2005--Conservative archbishops attending Anglican crisis talks will demonstrate their anger with their liberal counterparts by refusing to receive Holy Communion alongside them.

Will Rowan Williams refuse to meet with the orthodox primates if they refuse to receive communion alongside the revisionists as he did at the extraordinary primates' meeting when they objected to receiving communion alongside Frank Griswold?

Primate to give 'bishop' marching orders,10117,12317597-1248,00.html

[] February 21, 2005--Peter Carnley declared unacceptable yesterday the consecration of Queensland priest David Chislett as a bishop by a conservative offshoot of the US Episcopal Church.