Saturday, August 30, 2008

Nigerian bishop says gays are not welcome in church leadership

[Religious Intelligence] 30 Aug 2008--The Rt Rev Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese, Nigeria, has stated that the Nigerian Church stood by its determination in rejecting same-sex marriages and would not accept at any level of Church leadership men who were in such arrangements.

"The position of the Church has not changed in standing by the standard of the Church which has been on for time. Our position is not different from the one we took in 1998, which we called [Lambeth Conference] resolution 1.10. It is clearly stated there that in this church, as far as we are concerned, marriage is between a man and a woman. It is clear and we have not changed that position” he said.

Is it Time to Pray for the U.S.?

[The Gwinnett Citizen] 30 Aug 2008--“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). If God is no longer the Lord of our nation, can we expect His blessings to continue? Can we expect Him to withhold His judgment when we violate His moral principles? Have we taken for granted God’s incredible blessings of freedom and liberty ignoring Him and His Presence in our land?

The time is here when the people of God need to wake up, pay attention, and return to the God of our fathers and mothers. We want to hang on to the truth that God is Love (and He is!), but we ignore the truth that God is also just. Of all the great empires the world has known, how many lasted? The Assyrians. The Babylonians. The Romans. The Ottoman Empire. The British Empire. The Soviet Union. Did they last? What makes us think our fate will be any different? In our self-centeredness and arrogance, we think we are invincible. We easily forget what made us great.

Church of Uganda to create new diocese

[The New Vision] 30 Aug 2008--The Church of Uganda is set to create a new diocese known as East Rwenzori, Bishop George Katwesigye has said.

In a report presented to the Anglican Provincial Assembly, Katwesigye said his committee, which was set up to look into the matter, was convinced that there was both a need and willingness from Christians in Kamwenge to have a new diocese.

The Lambeth Conference: A Lament

[VirtueOnline] 30 Aug 2008--GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference, reported on in late June) was a model of clarity. But the Lambeth Conference (the decennial gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world meeting in Canterbury from July 18 to August 3) was notable for, if anything, its unclarity.

By its very indecisiveness it may maintain the status quo in the Anglican Communion for a while. But it did little to resolve the issues that have so deeply divided the Communion-issues revolving ostensibly around sexuality but essentially around biblical authority and the nature of Anglicanism itself. And so one of two outcomes may be foreseen. Either the Communion will lapse into incoherence, with its members having only limited connections with each other, or a new center will emerge, in place of Canterbury and the West, around which it can again coalesce.

For Lambeth 2008 was Canterbury's last real opportunity for action decisive enough maintain the Communion's cohesion under its auspices. New leadership, at least de facto likely under the Global South and Gafcon, may be regarded as a net gain. At the same time it will involve serious losses. If the history of the 1930s affords a parallel, these might have been averted; herein lies the Lambeth tragedy. But the lessons they offer for the present ought not to be overlooked.

Warren: New breed evangelicals not liberal

[Baptist Press] 30 Aug 2008--New breed" evangelicals have been misunderstood by the media, Rick Warren told a Wall Street Journal reporter after the Aug. 22 forum Saddleback Church hosted with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

"The leader of the fourth-largest church in the U.S. is supposed to be part of a 'new breed' of evangelicals, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and dozens of other publications," wrote Naomi Schaefer Riley in the Journal's Aug. 23 edition. "New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof paid him what Mr. Kristof might consider the ultimate compliment earlier this year, referring to Mr. Warren as an 'evangelical liberals can love.'"

Reporters, however, mistakenly assume that "new breed" Christians who care about the environment and poverty don't care as much about traditional Religious Right issues such as abortion, Warren said.

Benchmarks: Developing Leaders and Tackling Challenges

[Christianity Today] 30 Aug 2008--Check out these statistics to get your finger on the pulse of small-groups ministry.

The Only Way

[Christianity Today] 30 Aug 2008--Answering the argument that all religions are more or less true.

Secular Windfall to Boost Gay Influence over Churches

[ChristianNewsWire] 30 Aug 2008--Jim Berkley, director of IRD's Presbyterian Action Committee, commented:

"Homosexual advocates have long coveted the social capital of Christian churches. The core faith and mission of the denominations matter not. Churches evidently exist merely to be co-opted for politics. Activists want the churches' clout for their society-changing purposes.

"Now church gay caucuses seem overjoyed to be bought out by secular lobbying groups. In this collaboration, political activist want to use the church to promote causes alien to the churches' life and faith, and the church gay caucuses enthusiastically collaborate. At a time when mainline denominations writhe in self-defeating conflict, this well-funded political pressure is poisonous."

Duncan dumps Windsor

[Conger] 30 ASug 2008--The Windsor Continuation Group (WCG)’s proposals for a “holding tank” for American traditionalists is a non-starter, the Bishop of Pittsburgh said, as it assumes traditionalists would want to be part of an unreformed American church.

Writing to a member of the WCG, West Texas Bishop Gary Lillibridge on Aug 11, Bishop Robert Duncan shared traditionalist concerns over the inadequacy of the proposals and their naïve view of the state of the American church.

McCain's VP Choice Reassures Evangelicals

[The Christian Post] 30 Aug 2008--John McCain's running mate was raised in a Pentecostal church, has called herself "as pro-life as any candidate can be" and already has energized conservative religious leaders who worried the Arizona senator would choose an abortion rights supporter.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is "straight out of veep central casting," said Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religion Liberties Commission. Land said he urged the McCain camp to consider the political unknown.

Anglicans still divided over homosexuality

[Guardian] 30 Aug 2008--The Archbishop of Sydney and newly-appointed Gafcon secretary, the Right Rev Peter Jensen, said: "At Lambeth there was talk of building bridges but as far as I know there has been no approach made.

"The communique is on the right track. It is not a schism, they have no intention of leaving, it is the reverse. To provide a way for people to stay. They are trying to get the Americans to have a mechanism to stay within the Anglican Communion."

Gay 'Marriage' Foes Mobilize for Ban in California

[The Christian Post] 30 Aug 2008--Michael Bumgarner says he's never campaigned for a political cause before, but his strong opposition to same-sex marriage has prompted him to join thousands of volunteers going door-to-door in support of a ballot initiative that would ban gay nuptuals here.

"I've never stumped before, but I want to be a part of this," Bumgarner said. The retired insurance executive said his late mother would "turn over in her grave" if she knew that gays and lesbians could marry.

US: Obama speech fails to stir enthusiasm of values voters

[Chrisytianity Today UK] 30 Aug 2008--Family Research Council president Tony Perkins criticised the Illinois senator for speaking about his many plans to change America, but with no details. Perkins also noted that Obama spent a significant portion of his speech criticising presumptive Republican nominee John McCain and President George W Bush.

“Barack Obama speaks somewhat poetically, but there is no substance,” Perkins said in a Focus on the Family special radio broadcast. “And I thought he was tremendously lacking in substance and seemed, again, very defensive in the way he spoke. He defended his patriotism, constantly attacking John McCain.”

While more than 80,000 applauded and cheered the Illinois senator from the football stadium, conservative voters were left dissatisfied.

Archbishop of Canterbury's rescue plan for Anglican Communion rejected

[Telegraph] 30 Aug 2008--Clergy who have defected from their liberal national churches to join traditionalist provinces overseas said the scheme to put them in a "holding bay" before returning them home was "demeaning and unacceptable".

Meanwhile orthodox Anglican leaders have pledged to press ahead with the creation of their rival movement, claiming that it is an "illusion" to believe that the damage caused by the election of an openly gay bishop can be undone.

California clergy receive ultimatum

[Religious Intelligence] 30 Aug 2008--The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, based in Stockton, California, has written to clergy affiliated with the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, based in Fresno, California, asking that they affirm their loyalty to him or be deposed from the ordained ministry.

In a letter dated Aug 22, Bishop Jerry Lamb asked the clergy to “acknowledge me as Bishop of this Diocese of the Episcopal Church.” Failure to comply by Sept 5 could result in ecclesiastical sanction including being removed from the ordained ministry.

Last month Bishop Lamb sent a similar letter to the clergy asking they affirm their loyalty to him, however less than a third of the 110 active clergy responded by Aug 5. Asked by the Fresno Bee to disclose the results of the July 10 mailing, Bishop Lamb declined, but said the number of clergy who wished to affiliate with Anglican Bishop John-David Schofield was “minimal, very minimal."

Bishop David Anderson welcomes GAFCON communique - and notes that Lambeth moratoria may first be broken in Wales

[Anglican Mainstream] 30 Aug 2008--Wales is in an election process for Bishop of Bangor and the election has as one of its still-secret nominees none other than Jeffrey John, sometime bishop designee for Reading, who had to withdraw when the appointment created an uproar. Failing to take the prize home with him, he was given an appointment as a Cathedral Dean to console him, but it now appears that some stock options for the future were thrown in as well (Dean Jeffrey John is in a same-sex civil partnership).

The electoral college consists of the clergy of the diocese of Bangor and all of the Bishops of the Province of the Church of Wales. Although being on the slate is no guarantee of an election, it is clearly something that Archbishop Morgan desires, having said that practicing homosexuals should not be barred from becoming bishops, and having called the opponents of such consecrations "exclusive and narrow-minded."

Could this be happening without the Archbishop of Canterbury knowing about it? Perhaps in theory, but this is Dr. Williams’ former Province where he was first a bishop and then the Primate, and one would have to conclude that this type of information, even if not properly made available to Canterbury, would be soon found out by his intelligence operatives.

Dr. Williams might well wish not to know until too late, so that nothing is left on his doorstep for evidence, but we do know that Jeffrey John and Rowan Williams have been friends for years, and that it was extremely hard for Dr. Williams to advise John that it was time to fall on his sword, figuratively speaking, hence the consolation prize of a deanship. I really doubt that Dr. Williams wishes to rain on Jeffrey’s parade twice, and if Canterbury would like plausible deniability, it is understandable.

However, Dr. Williams, if you are on record as knowing about this, and the event takes place despite all the "moratoria" recommendations that were made, the Archbishop of Canterbury will not get a free pass on this one. The Welsh electoral college meets on September 10th and the election takes place October 10th. Will Jeffrey John still be on the short list for the election? Will he actually be elected?

Pro-life, Pro-family Leaders Praise McCain's Choice of Pro-Life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for VP Running Mate

[LifeSite News] 30 Aug 2008--Republican John McCain has picked first-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his surprise choice for a running mate, in a move hailed by conservative leaders as "absolutely brilliant" and "electrifying" conservative voters, especially women.

Gov. Sarah Palin, known for her traditional and unabashedly pro-life and pro-family views, is the mother of five children, including her youngest boy, Trig, who has Down Syndrome. She is now only the second female vice-presidential candidate in history and the first for the Republican Party.

Gov. Palin had been considered a wild-card for a running mate, and the choice further solidifies the appeal of the Republican presidential contender to values voters. The news comes only days after the Republican platform became what has been called the most pro-life and pro-family in Republican party history.

Obama Acceptance Speech Calls for Change, Brushes Over Abortion, Same-Sex "Marriage"

[LifeSite News] 30 Aug 2008--Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama took full advantage of his historical position as the first black presidential candidate in his acceptance speech last night, which hinted, among familiar preaching for "change", that the event was on a par with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech exactly 45 years before.

David Freddoso, however, writing for the National Review, criticized Obama's speech for glossing over many of his most extreme views, claiming, "America did not see the real Barack Obama last night."

Two More Bishops and 19 Congressmen Slam Pelosi Arguments on Abortion

[LifeSite News] 30 Aug 2008--Bishop Jerome E. Listecki of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Archbishop John Nienstedt of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis have added their voices to the growing numbers of her Catholic leaders telling Nancy Pelosi she will never qualify as a Catholic theologian. Bishop Listecki said her support for abortion and misrepresentation of Catholic teaching "gives scandal and misleads the faithful."

Last Sunday, U. S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, while insisting she is an "ardent, practicing Catholic" said in an appearance on Meet the Press that there is no settled teaching in the Catholic Church on the precise time when "life begins" and that this justifies unrestricted legal abortion. "The point is," she said, "that it [when life begins] shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Bishop Listecki said that Pelosi's assertion that there is ambiguity about when human life begins is "utterly and completely false."

Homosexual Activists Target California Businesses That Support Pro-marriage Proposition

[LifeSite News] 30 Aug 2008--An upstart homosexual rights group in California has begun to target not only individuals, but also companies to which they are connected, if they have contributed money to committees that support Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to ban same-sex "marriage" in California.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Californians Against Hate, a new homosexual-rights group, intends to identify and publicize corporate connections to individuals that make significant donations.

Going Off the Deep End in Denver: Democrats Walk the Abortion Plank

[LifeSite News] 30 Aug 2008--Already notorious for its unconditional embrace of abortion, the Democratic Party has now managed to adopt a position on the paramount life issue that is, if anything, even more extreme. The new platform adopted in Denver states that the Party "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."

Past Democratic Party platforms had managed to at least sound moderate by invoking the formulation, popularized by Bill Clinton, that the party's goal was to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare." The problem arose with the word "rare," which important elements of the party's political base seem to have found offensive. It certainly grated on the sensibilities of feminists, the more radical of whom regard abortion not as something to be avoided but as a positive act of liberation from conventional sex roles, a bloody rite of passage into their own largely barren ranks.

Narrative Preaching: the Story Approach

[] 30 Aug 2008--Narrative preaching is one of the latest cool, avant-garde trends in preaching today. Narrative preaching is in and propositional preaching is out, they say. “Be a good story teller.”

So what do we make of narrative preaching?

GAFCON Primates: Nothing New in Windsor Group Report

[The Living Church] 30 Aug 2008--The draft report from the Windsor Continuation Group offers nothing that doesn’t already have a proven track record of failure, according to Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone.

Bishop Venables spoke with a reporter from The Living Church shortly after the release of a communiqué from the GAFCON Primates’ Council. The communiqué rejects the conclusions and recommendations contained in a draft paper distributed by the six-members of the Windsor Continuation Group during the Lambeth Conference, specifically the continuation group's call for a three-fold moratorium on public blessing of same-sex unions, the consecration of partnered homosexual persons as bishops, and cross-border incursions by overseas bishops.

Friday, August 29, 2008

An invitation from the Primates Council

[GAFCON] 29 Aug 2008--We invite individuals, churches, dioceses, provinces and parachurch organisations who assent to the Jerusalem Declaration to signify their desire to become members of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. To express your initial interest, please send full details via email at

or write to the

GAFCON Secretariat,
PO Box Q190,
QVB Post Office, NSW, Australia, 1230

SEWAAC: GAFCON Is Future of Anglican Communion - Bishop Wantland

[VirtueOnline] 29 Aug 2008--The GAFCON Meeting did a number of things and it dealt with a number of issues, but there are two major primary actions taken by GAFCON that have some real importance for the life of the Anglican Communion.

The first of these was a declaration to determine a structure to represent those Anglican partners present at GAFCON and those not present that would be supportive of what GAFCON was attempting to accomplish. And therefore, a Council of Primates was established, made up initially of the nine primates present at the meeting in Jerusalem. Other primates undoubtedly will come on board as they ratify the actions of GAFCON. So GAFCON, this Global Anglican Fellowship is seen as a way of bringing together a majority of all the Anglicans in the world. Depending on how you count, there are somewhere between 60 and 75 million Anglicans in the world. About 60% of those Anglicans were represented at GAFCON.

The second thing that GAFCON did after establishing a Council of Primates and a means by which this organization could continue within the Anglican Communion, they adopted a declaration of 14 points and that declaration spells out what historically Anglicans have believed and what things we can refer to as of authority to determine Anglican theology and understanding of the Christian faith. I won't enumerate all 14 of those, but I will tell you that obviously, the three creeds; the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed are held up in that document as binding on Anglicans. The articles of religion are held up as binding on Anglicans.

The Church of England in Crisis

[Banner of Truth Trust] 29 Aug 2008--The above heading should give no satisfaction to any evangelical Christian. Some of the finest literature in the evangelical heritage comes from gospel ministers of the Church of England, and a considerable number of evangelicals continue to belong to that denomination today. The crisis to which we refer has arisen from more than one direction; one major cause has been the fact that no discipline has been exercised within the Anglican communion (led by the Archbishop of Canterbury) on the Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church USA for their allowance of practising homosexual clergy. This has prompted the withdrawal of some evangelicals from these sections of Anglicanism and their realignment with the Province of the South Cone (which covers six South American countries), whose Primate, Archbishop Gregory Venables, remains in communion with Canterbury. By this means the disaffected — of whom Dr Jim Packer is the best known — support their claim to remain Anglican.

Justification for this procedure requires a re-examination of what it means to be ‘Anglican’. The historic definition has treated membership in the Church of England as adherence to the Church as by law established in Britain, under the sovereign as ‘Supreme Governor’ and in communion with the See of Canterbury. As the denomination spread into the Dominions, and the overseas provinces ceased to be simply colonial attachments, the definition has been slowly modified. In June of this year, however, a step was taken to redefine ‘Anglican’ in a fundamental manner. Some 1,200 Anglican delegates, including Archbishops Venables (South Cone), Akinola (Nigeria), Orombi (Uganda) and Jensen (Sydney), met at Jerusalem, and took the name ‘GAFCON’ (Global Anglican Future Conference). The primary aim was ‘to promote the gospel as we Anglicans have received it’; this included adhering to the name ‘Anglican’ while disowning large numbers identified with that title and perhaps even Canterbury itself.2 The proposal that emerged was the formation of a new structure which would stand for genuine Anglicanism, that is, for the ‘tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican Identity’. For this purpose the Primates attending the Jerusalem gathering were encouraged to ‘form a Council’.

Within weeks of the Jerusalem Conference the majority of the General Synod of the Church of England, meeting in York, while not directly addressing the GAFCON proposal, determined that nothing like it would be acceptable. At that Synod a motion that clergy be allowed to remove themselves from the oversight of female bishops (whose existence is now in view), to be under the oversight of another diocese, was decisively rejected. No such accommodation is to be allowed. Evangelicals, however, were not seen as the main sufferers from this decision. It was Anglo-Catholic clergy who took the lead in resisting the appointment of female bishops; many evangelicals voted with them, not necessarily because they were against female bishops, but because the Anglo-Catholics represent ‘orthodox Christology and morality’ and were therefore judged worthy of support.

Getting People Excited about John McCain

[Christianity Today] 29 Aug 2008--One recent poll shows that evangelicals are not as enthusiastic about Sen. John McCain as they were for President Bush in 2004. It's Marlys Popma's job to change that.

Popma is now based in Washington, D.C., as the campaign's national coordinator of evangelical outreach. While most evangelicals back McCain, only 28 percent of them say they "strongly support" him, compared with 57 percent who strongly supported Bush in August 2004, according to a survey released last week by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Popma began working for the McCain campaign in late 2006 as the coalitions director in Iowa. She has also served as the executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa, deputy national political director for Gary Bauer for President in 2000, and president of Iowa's Right to Life Committee.

Letter from US bishops to GAFCON

[Anglican Mainstream] 29 Aug 2008--As requested we have carefully studied the Reflections of the Windsor Continuation Group - in particular the section that refers to our ministry within the North America. We offer these comments:

1. While we appreciate the sincerity and work of those who took part in the Windsor Continuation Group, we were grieved to note that the carefully balanced recommendations proposed by the Primates at their meetings in Dromantine and Dar es Salaam have been abandoned in favor of these new proposals without acknowledgement that the primary reason for their failure was their unilateral rejection by The Episcopal Church.

2. We note that the Pastoral Forum proposal has been developed without any consultation with those most directly affected in North America. This had led to a number of serious misunderstandings with regard to the situation at the local level and the relationship between the bishops, clergy and congregations and their sponsoring provinces.

3. We would also observe that the various analogies offered, for example, that we are disaffected children being reunited with our parents or that we are being placed in a holding bay before being restored to our "proper province" are both demeaning and unacceptable.

4. As was also the case with the statements from Dromantine and Dar es Salaam we reject the moral equivalence that is now explicitly asserted between those who continue to support the blessing of same sex unions and the ordination of persons involved in same gender unions in deliberate violation of the teaching of the Communion and those who are offering pastoral oversight for those alienated by these actions.

5. We have consistently observed that the current leadership of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have embraced a theological and doctrinal stance that is diametrically opposed to the teaching of the Communion and more specifically that of our host provinces and our individual bishops, clergy and congregations. Consequently we can envision no way in which we could be part of Pastoral Forum in which either Church exercises any leadership role.

6. While we welcomed the comments of the Windsor Continuation Group that "ways of halting litigation must be explored," those of us who are the subject of pernicious litigation initiated by The Episcopal Church find these rather tentative comments fall far short of what is needed for us to even consider any serious engagement with the proposed structures. Until the litigation is halted and a settlement achieved there is no possibility that we can enter into any formal agreements with any representatives of The Episcopal Church.

GAFCON Communiqué on establishment of Primates Council and Fellowship

[Anglican Mainstream] 29 Aug 2008--Setting up the Council and the Fellowship

The first meeting of the GAFCON Primates’ Council has taken place in London on Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd August. The twofold task of the Council is ‘to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.’ The Primates have therefore laid the basis for the future work of both the Council and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). The GAFCON movement continues its advance.

The Council will consist of Primates assisted by an Advisory Board which will work with them on fulfilling the aims of the movement. In addition, a Secretariat has been created. We are very grateful to God for his guidance and blessing on the Jerusalem Conference. We believe that the Jerusalem Declaration provides for a viable way of helping to deal with the crisis in the Anglican Communion brought about through the disobedience to Scripture by some in North America and elsewhere.

The present reality

We maintain that three new facts of the Anglican Communion must be faced. We are past the time when they can be reversed.

First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think. Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called ‘border-crossing’ is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture. Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.

Any sound strategy must accommodate itself to these facts.

Muslims target Anglicans in Tanzania

[Conger] 29 Aug 2008--Sectarian violence between Muslims and Anglicans in Tanzania has sparked outrage in East Africa.

On Aug 17 fighting broke out in the small town of Nguruka in the diocese of Western Tanganyika near Lake Victoria after Muslims evangelists accused an Anglican evangelist of blaspheming Islam.

According to press accounts, the fighting erupted after Muslims took offense to the preaching of an Anglican evangelist. The Citizen newspaper in Dar es Salaam denounced the violence saying it deserved the “condemnation of all people who aspire for religious harmony in Tanzania.”
“If the Muslims were offended by the preaching of the Anglican evangelist, as the reports say, the proper procedure was to report their grievances to the police, who, in our view, would have dealt with the issue in accordance with the law,” The Citizen argued, adding that freedom of religion should not be construed to mean carte blanche to attack other faiths.

“Religious skirmishes and other conflicts pitting members of different denominations should be avoided by all well-wishing Tanzanians as they could have devastating consequences on the country. We should avoid them at all costs,” the newspaper said.

Mayhem in Orissa as Hindu extremists target Christians

[Church Times] 29 Aug 2008--A nun was burned to death on Mon­day in a series of attacks by Hindu extremists on Christians in eastern India.

A priest was also seriously injured after the orphanage in which he and the nun worked in Orissa was torched. Twenty children managed to escape. The attack was part of a wave of violence after a Hindu leader, Swami Lakhmananda Saraswati, and four of his associates were murdered by, it is thought, Maoist guerrillas.

The Bishop of Phulbani in the Church of North India (CNI), the Rt Revd Bijay Nayak, sent a graphic account of the events in his area by email on Wednesday. He writes: “Situation is very critical. More than 15 people are killed, among them seven are from our church from Barakhama and Udayagiri. Many church buildings are destroyed and still going on. Many many people are in jungle out of fear. Balliguda hostel, Udayagiri boys and girls hostel children were in the jungle last night. Continuously they are de­stroy­ing the people’s houses.

“Mr Mathew Naik is killed at Kritangia village near Raikia. He was boys’ hostel superintendent for many years and at present he was Diocese executive member. They caught and put him in the water and cut into pieces and burnt in front of the Church. They have also targeted the Christian leaders of the district. All the leaders are hiding. I request you with tears kindly organize the prayer for us.”

'Socially responsible' investor blacklists McDonald's

[OneNewsNow] 29 Aug 2008--The president of a pro-family values mutual fund company says the extreme actions of McDonald's has forced the investment firm to publicly clarify that its portfolios won't include any stock in the worldwide hamburger retailer.

Timothy Plan's socially responsible investing includes screening of companies whose revenues or actions support pornography, abortion, anti-family entertainment, or promotion of non-married lifestyles. But Art Ally, president of the investment company, says his group normally does not spotlight or publish notices on businesses they screen out. In this case, however, he says the Timothy Plan could not stay silent when McDonald's went "over the edge."

"McDonald's actually has been on our screen or prohibited list since 1999 -- so this is nothing new," says Ally. "What is new is the aggressive approach that they're moving to, in promoting and supporting the homosexual agenda."

Orissa Simmering: Persecution Continues with the goal of wiping out Christianity from Orissa

[Anglican Mainstream] 29 Aug 2008-- The fundamentalist group are going from village to village destroying Churches, burning houses, attacking and killing Christians. It is reported that thousands of extremists have been brought from Gujarat and Chhattisgarh to perpetrate this violence which has spread to all the districts of Orissa. Their agenda is to wipe out Chrisitians and Christianity from India starting from Orissa.

Exodus Launches Initiative to Help Women Affected by Lesbianism

[The Christian Post] 29 Aug 2008--The global organization that promotes the message of "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" launched a new ministry this week to specifically cater to women struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction.

Exodus International has seen more men than women seek help, causing concern among ministry leaders who feel women weren't getting the specific attention they needed. Approximately 60 percent of the people who have sought help at Exodus have been men and the rest, women.

Studies in recent years have shown that nationally, the prevalence of homosexuality is smaller among women than men.

Grant Aims to Expand Pro-Gay Churches

[The Christian Post] 29 Aug 2008--A $1.2 million grant has been awarded to expand the efforts of gay and lesbian groups in increasing the number of churches that fully welcome and affirm homosexuals.

The grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund was given to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation's Institute for Welcoming Resources and five partner organizations for a joint collaboration on strengthening the capacity and voice of Christian organizations that support gays and lesbians.

For Kermit Rainman, social research analyst for Focus on the Family, the move violates Scripture.

"Gay activists and their allies have made no secret of their strategy to convince Bible-believing Christians and Jews that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes," said Rainman, according to Citizenlink, a publication of Focus on the Family. "This false doctrine is playing out in denomination after denomination, with increasing discord."

"Christians are not called to rewrite the Bible in order to love our gay friends and neighbors. True love does not sacrifice the truth," he added.

The initiative includes the pro-gay "welcoming church movement" in which congregations, through a formal vote, offer "an unconditional welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities."

India's Christian Bodies Demand End to Orissa Violence

[The Christian Post] 29 ASug 2008--Several prominent Christian groups in India spoke out against the recent outbreak of violence in Orissa State, urging stronger government intervention to end the conflict between Hindus and Christians.

“Some people have called the violence ‘Hindu-Christian clashes,’” said Dr. Joseph D’souza, president of the All India Christian Council, in a statement Wednesday. “But this is not accurate. Innocent Christians – mostly of Dalit origin – continue to be attacked by communal organizations which are mocking the rule of law.

“Governance in Orissa state appears to have disintegrated,” he charged.

Response to Diocese invoking Canon 15 Against St. Matthew’s and St. Matthias-St. Luke

[St. John's Shaughnessy] 29 Aug 2008--The Diocese of New Westminster (DNW) initiated action against St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias‑St. Luke Vancouver on August 26th and is seeking to take over governance of the parishes. We are deeply disappointed by this action as it fails to recognize:
  • repeated attempts by the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) parishes to seek dialogue before litigation;
  • repeated statements from the Primate of Canada that any such action will damage the public witness of the church;
  • repeated calls from the Anglican Communion to refrain from such hostile action.
It is a sad irony that the Diocese invoked Canon 15 on the same day that the Archbishop of Canterbury released his Pastoral Letter to all Bishops of the Anglican Communion reflecting on the recent Lambeth conference saying:

"...the chief need of our Communion at the moment was the rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity... How far the intensified sense of belonging together will help mutual restraint in such matters remains to be seen. But it can be said that few of those who attended left without feeling they had in some respects moved and changed."

Sadly, with the actions of the Diocese, it appears that this optimism is unfounded.

National Right to Life calls GOP Platform "Strongest Ever" on Life Issues

[LifeSite News] 29 Aug 2008--As the Democratic Party officially nominated pro-abortion Senator Barack Obama for president and pro-abortion Senator Joe Biden for vice-president during the third day of their convention in Denver yesterday, the Republican Party Platform Committee, meeting in Minneapolis, adopted the strongest and most explicit support for life ever expressed by a major political party.

"We applaud the Republican Party, and especially the members of the platform committee representing grassroots pro-life Republicans across the country, for making such a strong and unequivocal stand supporting life at all stages," said National Right to Life Political Director Karen Cross from Minneapolis. "The work of the platform committee makes clear, in no uncertain terms, that the Republican Party is the pro-life party."

McCain Himself Accuses Obama of Courting Infanticide

[LifeSite News] 29 Aug 2008--The mainstream media has yet to notice, but Senator McCain last week directly accused Barack Obama of courting infanticide. While the pro-life movement in the nation has been on the issue for weeks, McCain himself delivered the punch line in his radio address for August 23.

McCain noted Obama's vote against the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which McCain described as a "law to require medical care for babies who survive abortions." McCain added to that description: "living, breathing babies whom Senator Obama described as, quote, 'previable.'"

McCain also accused Obama of lying on the matter, a fact which is well known to pro-life Americans who have followed the saga.

Two More Bishops Make 8 Who Have Come Out against Pelosi's 'Catholic' Abortion Theology

[LifeSite News] 29 Aug 2008--Two more bishops have released statements condemning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's widely publicized claim that the Catholic faith could support abortion.

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs and Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh join the other six Catholic bishops who have already corrected Pelosi's false claims, made during an appearnace on NBC's Meet the Press, that when life begins has been "an issue of controversy" throughout the history of the Church and that, therefore, the Catholic faith can support abortion.
Bishop Sheridan warned Catholics in his statement Tuesday that Pelosi's picture of Church history and teaching is categorically false. "Speaker Pelosi's outrageous attempt to present what she considers the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding abortion is simply wrong and should be disregarded by every faithful Catholic," he wrote.

Quoting Pope John Paul II, Bishop Sheridan reminded his readers that violating the right to life undermines all human rights, which are present "from the moment of conception until natural death."

Democrat's Biden On his pro-abortion stance: "My Views are Totally Consistent with Catholic Social Doctrine..."

[LifeSite News] 29 Aug 2008--New Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was blasted on Wednesday, in the wake of Nancy Pelosi's much derided remarks to the same effect, for claiming that his radically pro-abortion stance is "totally consistent" with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Biden made the remarks in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) in August of last year, which has received renewed attention in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Pelosi's remarks. While discussing his desire to attract Catholics to the Democratic Party, Sen. Biden said, "My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine.

"There are elements within the church who say that if you are at odds with any of the teachings of the church, you are at odds with the church. I think the church is bigger than that."

In response, Carl Olson of the Ignatius Insight blog turned to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church to measure up Biden's claim. He quotes the Compendium, which condemns all types of abortion: "The first right presented in this list is the right to life, from conception to its natural end,[318] which is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia."

Faiths Clash, Displacing Thousands in East India

[The New York Times] 29 Aug 2008--At least 3,000 people, most of them Christians, are living in government-run relief camps after days of Christian-versus-Hindu violence in eastern India, government officials said.

The government said that many people were also living in the jungle without any shelter or security because of the tensions, which erupted in violence after a Hindu leader was killed Saturday. At least 10 people, most of them Christians, have been killed since.

Christian community leaders say that at least 1,000 homes of Christians have been set on fire since Monday, rendering more than 5,000 people homeless.

Related articles:
Hindu attacks on Indian Christians spark crisis - Baptist Press
Thousands of Christians flee from violence in India - Christianity Today UK

Christian schools, colleges shut on Friday

[The Times of India] 29 Aug 2008--The aftermath of attacks on churches in Orissa are being felt in Delhi as well. Schools and colleges affiliated to Church of North India (CNI) are going to remain closed on Friday as a gesture of protest against the ongoing violence in the state.

An official of CNI confirmed that the closure of institutions affiliated to it were to be followed across the city.

Said an CNI official: "The decision has been taken as a mark of protest against the on-going violence in the state. It's a mark of solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters who have been victim in the violence. Also, it is a sign against those inciting religious hatred and disharmony."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Council 2008—A Success!

[CANA Convocation] 28 Aug 2008--Council 2008 concluded Saturday afternoon Aug. 23 with a Spirit-filled festal Eucharist, including a renewal of vows for clergy and blessing of oils.

Council commenced on Thursday morning Aug. 21 with a profound keynote address by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who challenged CANA leaders to embark on a new season of Christian discipleship in North America. Clergy wives invested Thursday afternoon in fellowship and visioning for womens ministries.

On Friday morning, Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns delivered his annual State of the Church and Pastoral Call which sketched out the church's mission for discipleship through the 3 W's of Worship, Work, and Witness. Bishop Minns also outlined CANA's stewardship in various areas: clergy development, caring for the vulnerable, and finances.

Why Listening Makes a Difference

[Christianity TodaY] 28 Aug 2008--Several years ago I found myself in a small group of women that met on Saturday mornings. These were women I had known for a while; they were friends of mine. The group had a simple format—we would read a few verses from the Bible, read a meditation, and then ask the same three questions every week.

I had been a part of many small groups before, and I was expecting all of the usual good stuff—sharing, friendship, fun, and so on. But something unusual was going on with this group. It was different. I felt like I was going to be challenged. I felt like I was going to change. This made me a little nervous, but very excited, and I looked forward to the next meeting.

When Saturday rolled around again, I found myself eagerly anticipating what would be shared and discovered in the group. I walked away from that meeting with new insights about my spiritual growth, but again there was something different. Something more. I began to believe that this group would be the catalyst for some real growth and life change for me.

By this time I was more than curious, and I thought hard about what that difference could be. Was it that these women were special? Was it that they were already friends of mine? No, I had been in groups with lots of very special people, and I had been in groups with lots of very good friends.

By the end of the third group meeting, I was starting to get a handle on the answer. There was something different, after all—something that I now believe is key to making small groups work.

You Run Alpha in a Pub?

[] 28 Aug 2008--My husband Tony and I have run Alpha in parishes, a retirement home, prison, and a mission centre in Kenya. Now are helping run an Alpha course in our local pub. "What's that," you say; a pub... which is normally associated with alcohol, watching hockey on a big screen, pool and darts?

Last Fall we ran our last dwindling Alpha course in a west end Ottawa community centre. We decided we needed a new way to present the Alpha course to reach those who never, or rarely, visit a church and we remembered hearing of Pub Alpha in Toronto. When another church ran an Alpha course in the downtown Royal Oak pub, we approached a few local English pubs and decided on a great opportunity at our own Royal Oak pub in the suburbs. This location was very close to all the high tech companies in Kanata — 'Silicon Valley North.' When Tony approached the manager Paul, he accepted the opportunity very quickly and asked that we have the course on Mondays, which is normally a slow night. We would use the pool room without a problem since the regulars come of after we would be finished for the night. What was also wonderful was that Paul's mother had taken the course, so Paul was friendly to the opportunity.

Missional Misstep

[Christianity Today] 28 ASug 2008--David Fitch is an unusual church planter because he is also a theologian, occupying the Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary. And he is an unusual theologian and professor because he is a church planter, immersed in Life on the Vine, a "missional" church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. This double life has made his writing, both online at his weblog, Reclaiming the Mission, and in his provocative book The Great Giveaway, must-reading in emerging, evangelical, and mainline settings. One of Fitch's great gifts is his willingness to challenge his readers' assumptions, and his own. Here, he turns the tables on our big question for 2008, "Is our gospel too small?"

From Mainline to Sideline - The Death of Protestant America

[The Christian Post] 28 Aug 2008--Joseph Bottum remembers a time when America was painted in bold Protestant hues. "America was Methodist, once upon a time - Methodist, or Baptist, or Presbyterian, or Congregationalist, or Episcopalian," he explains. But, that was then, and this is now.

Now, Bottum suggests that the average American "would have trouble recalling the dogmas that once defined all the jarring sects, but their names remain at least half alive."

Bottum writes of this Protestant collapse in the August/September 2008 issue of "First Things," one of the most influential intellectual journals of the day. In "The Death of Protestant America: A Political Theory of the Protestant Mainline," Bottum offers a clever and insightful theory of mainline decline - the collapse of liberal Protestantism as a movement and dominant cultural influence.

Related article:
The Death of Protestant America: A Political Theory of the Protestant Mainline - First Things

Diocese of New Westminster moves to seize control of ANiC parishes

[Anglican Mainstream] 28 Aug 2008--On August 26, 2008, the Anglican diocese of New Westminster informed St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford and St Matthias and St Luke’s in Vancouver that the bishop had dismissed the parish Wardens and other officers (Trustees) that were duly elected by the congregation and appointed new Wardens who are more "loyal" to the bishop. According to their press release, these actions were taken to regain "control of the parishes", which includes control of the properties and buildings.

Both parishes voted in February this year to realign with the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), under the Episcopal authority of Bishop Donald Harvey and the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone – one of the 38 Provinces in the global Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church of Canada is also one of these 38 Provinces.

Related articles: Diocese takes steps under Canon 15 - Diocese of New Westminster
So much for Indaba: Bishop Ingham takes hostile action against Candian clergy and laity and their churches - BabyBlueOnline

People of faith challenge Democrats

[The Associated Press] 28 Aug 2008--Religious leaders and people of faith who've been invited to the table at this week's Democratic National Convention are not sitting quietly with their hands in their laps.

The head of a large African-American denomination challenged the party on abortion. An Orthodox Jewish rabbi raised his voice about school choice. A thirty-something evangelical Christian author warned against Democrats who mock believers.

Although well aware that party officials have political reasons for reaching out to them, several faith figures taking part in convention events say they want to go beyond talk about how faith and values inform longstanding Democratic policies. They are also calling for change on core Democratic issues, which could create tension.

Anglican Church Restates Stand On Same Sex Marriage

[Leadership Nigeria] 28 Aug 2008--Following the lingering debate on the possibility of same sex married priests holding Church leadership positions, erudite scholar and bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese, Rev.Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has stated that the Anglican Church stood by its determination in rejecting same sex marriages and would not accept at any level, holding of Church leadership by men of such status.

According to Bishop Fearon who spoke after conducting a confirmation service, "The position of the Church has not changed in standing by the standard of the Church which has been on for time.Our position is not different from the one we took in 1998, which we called resolution 110. It is clearly stated there that in this church, as far as we are concerned, marriage is between a man and a woman. It is clear and we have not changed that position.

Hindu-Christian Violence Flares in India

[The New York Times] 28 Aug 2008--The remote, destitute state of Orissa, marred for years by Hindu-versus-Christian violence, erupted in a retaliatory killing on Monday after the murder of a Hindu leader led a mob to burn small Christian churches, prayer halls and an orphanage that had housed 21 children.

The police said a woman’s body, charred beyond recognition, was found inside the church orphanage. The church’s pastor, whom the police did not identify and who was injured in the fire, told the authorities that the body was that of a nun working there. No children were injured.

The attack on the orphanage on Monday, in an isolated district called Bargarh, came after the killing Saturday of a Hindu leader who had been associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, and who was leading a drive to wean local villagers from Christianity. Radical Hindu groups like the council are vehemently opposed to conversions to Christianity, which in India tend to focus on traditionally downtrodden lower-caste and indigenous groups, and have lately taken to conducting mass ceremonies to convert them back to Hinduism.

Related articles:
Hindu-Christian clashes kill 8 in eastern India - The Associated Press
Vatican condemns anti-Christian violence by Hindu extremists in Orissa - Times Online
More Christians killed in India violence - Christianity Today UK

Obama through Muslim eyes

[The Jerusalem Post] 28 Aug 2008--How do Muslims see Barack Obama? They have three choices: either as he presents himself, as one who has "never been a Muslim" and has "always been a Christian"; or as a fellow Muslim; or as an apostate from Islam.

Reports suggests that while Americans generally view the Democratic candidate having had no religion before converting at Rev. Jeremiah Wrights's hands at 27, Muslims the world over rarely see him as Christian but usually as either Muslim or ex-Muslim.

Lee Smith of the Hudson Institute explains why: "Barack Obama's father was Muslim and therefore, according to Islamic law, so is the candidate. In spite of the Koranic verses explaining that there is no compulsion in religion, a Muslim child takes the religion of his or her father... For Muslims around the world, non-American Muslims at any rate, they can only ever see Barack Hussein Obama as a Muslim."

In addition, his school record from Indonesia lists him as a Muslim. Thus, an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Masri al-Youm, refers to his "Muslim origins." Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi referred to Obama as "a Muslim" and a person with an "African and Islamic identity." One Al-Jazeera analysis calls him a "non-Christian man," a second refers to his "Muslim Kenyan" father, and a third, by Naseem Jamali, notes that "Obama may not want to be counted as a Muslim, but Muslims are eager to count him as one of their own."

A conversation in Beirut, quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, captures the puzzlement. "He has to be good for Arabs because he is a Muslim," observed a grocer. "He's not a Muslim, he's a Christian," replied a customer. Retorted the grocer: "He can't be a Christian. His middle name is Hussein." Arabic discussions of Obama sometimes mention his middle name as a code, with no further comment needed.

"The symbolism of a major American presidential candidate with the middle name of Hussein, who went to elementary school in Indonesia," reports Tamara Cofman Wittes of the Brookings Institution from a US-Muslim conference in Qatar, "that certainly speaks to Muslims abroad."

BUT THIS excitement also has a dark side - suspicions that Obama is a traitor to his birth religion, an apostate (murtadd) from Islam. Al-Qaida has prominently featured Obama's statement "I am not a Muslim" and one analyst, Shireen K. Burki of the University of Mary Washington, sees Obama as "bin Laden's dream candidate." Should he become US commander-in-chief, she believes, Al-Qaida would likely "exploit his background to argue that an apostate is leading the global war on terror... to galvanize sympathizers into action."

The Wonderful World of Rose-Colored Spin

[Anglican Curmudgeon] 28 Aug 2008--The Episcopal "Diocese" of San Joaquin (which is not yet an official diocese of the Episcopal Church, for reasons explained here) has put out a press release concerning a recent Stipulation approved in an Order issued by the Fresno County Superior Court in the pending litigation between TEC, Bishop Lamb, and Bishop Schofield. The press release, as most such one-sided documents are intended to do, tries to put a positive spin on what was actually a refreshingly pragmatic solution arrived at between the parties, but only after a good deal of initial resistance from the TEC side.

Before I deal with what the release says, let me give some background to the unusual situation which this Stipulation and Order address. As noted in earlier posts, the Episcopal "Diocese", Bishop Lamb, and TEC joined in a lawsuit filed in April 2008 against Bishop Schofield (whom the plaintiffs refused to title as a "bishop" in their pleadings) and various diocesan trust fund entities, who, they alleged, had absconded with buildings, properties and bank accounts which belonged to them, the plaintiffs. In a tactic designed solely to turn up the heat on the defendants, the plaintiffs amended their lawsuit in May to name as an additional defendant the brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch, with whom Bishop Schofield and the trust entities had invested their funds. In response to being sued, Merrill Lynch placed a hold, or "freeze", on some 32 different investment accounts maintained with it by the defendants (and others who were not defendants).

Related press release:
Court Maintains Freeze of Episcopal Assets - The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Pro-lifers decry APA's denial of link between abortion, depression

[Baptist Press] 28 Aug 2008--Representatives of post-abortion and pregnancy center organizations have denounced a report that asserts there is no trustworthy evidence that a lone abortion causes mental health problems in a woman.

A task force of the American Psychological Association offers that conclusion in a draft report released after what the APA described as a review of studies conducted since 1989.

Women who have experienced and observed the negative impact of abortion found the report difficult to accept, especially after other studies have reported conflicting results.

No longer lesbian

[Baptist Press] 28 Aug 2008--My heart pounded as the Sunday School teacher asked us to break into small groups and discuss how we might reach the homosexual community for Christ.

I often had wondered if everyone knew my secret. Now I would find out. In my group of four, Rachel spoke first: "I don't have any compassion for homosexuals."

My heart sank.

Biden's Bishop Will not Permit Him, Even if Elected VP, to Speak at Catholic Schools

[LifeSite News] 28 Aug 2008--In an interview with Bob Krebs, the Communications Director for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, to which Senator Joseph Biden belongs, Krebs confirmed that Biden's Bishop will not permit the Senator even if elected Vice President of the United States of America to speak at Catholic schools.

When asked for the Bishop's take on Senator Biden and his stand in favor of abortion, Krebs directed to Bishop Michael Saltarelli's 2004 statement on 'Catholics in Political Life' which, said Krebs, "very plainly states Bishop's position in this matter."

In that document Bishop Saltarelli notes that, in line with the US Bishops Conference policy, "Our Catholic institutions will not honor Catholic politicians who take pro-abortion legislative positions or invite them to speak at our functions or schools." called the diocesan communications director a second time to ask if that specific ban on speaking at Catholic schools or Catholic functions would apply to Biden, even if he became the Vice President.

Krebs replied, "I would say that as long as Senator Biden's stated position on abortion remains the same then it would apply to Senator Biden whether he was a Senator or the Vice President of any type of public figure."

Pelosi Spokeswoman About-face: Catholic Church "Clear" on Life Teaching After All - But Catholics Need Not Listen

[LifeSite News] 28 Aug 2008-- spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the speaker's position as a "pro-abortion Catholic", not because the Church is unclear on when life begins, as earlier stated, but because Catholics routinely contravene "clear Catholic teaching" against abortion.

In a statement praising Pelosi's appreciation for "the sanctity of the family," Brenda Daly, speaking for Pelosi, said, "While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view."

Round Up - All You Need to Know about the Democratic National Convention

[LifeSite News] 28 Aug 2008--DNC features two pro-abortion convention speakers

The abortion advocating Democrats invited Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and NARAL president Nancy Keenan to address the crowd at the DNC.

While both women endorsed Obama, Keenan seemed more interested in bashing McCain - using his name twice as many times as Obama's - and Richards spent a large portion of her speech promoting Planned Parenthood, calling the abortion giant a leader in "women's health care".

Political propaganda condoms flood convention

The Boston Herald reported that Angus McQuillken, vice president for public affairs of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts was passing out magenta colored condoms featuring slogans bashing Presidential Candidate John McCain.

"PROTECT YOURSELF FROM JOHN MCCAIN (in this election)," was printed on every condom, as well as one of ten reasons not to vote for McCain.

McCain: "If I Am President, Advancing the Cause of Life Will Not Be Above My Pay Grade"

[LifeSite News] 28 Aug 2008--In a radio address Saturday, Senator McCain took Barack Obama to task over his unwillingness to defend the life of children born alive after abortion attempts. Key quotes from the address follow:

The week began with a debate of sorts between Senator Obama and me at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In case you missed it, the discussion yielded the line of the week, and maybe even of the campaign, when Pastor Rick Warren asked my opponent a very serious question. He wanted to know at what point, in my opponent's view, does a baby have human rights? Senator Obama thought about it for a moment, and came back with the reply that the question was, quote, "above my pay grade."

Here was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, asked for his position on one of the central moral and legal questions of our time, and this was the best he could offer: It's above his pay grade. He went on to assure his interviewer that there is a, quote, "moral and ethical element to this issue." Americans expect more of their leaders.

Mainstream Media Admits Anti-Family Bias: NBC to 'Gay' Activists: 'Your Victories Are Our Victories'

[LifeSite News] 28 Aug 2008--The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) just held its annual convention here in Washington D.C., attracting hundreds of journalists - and ringing endorsements - from virtually every major publication and broadcaster in the news media.

In a full-page ad in the convention program, NBC Universal declared it is "proud to support NLGJA," under the bold headline: "YOUR VICTORIES ARE OUR VICTORIES."

After listening to speaker after speaker express hatred and contempt for political and religious conservatives while plotting how to advance the homosexual activist agenda through journalism, I'm left wondering whether Americans know the extent of the media's bias on homosexual issues. Do they know that the news media have thrown themselves fully behind the gay rights movement? Every major news organization sponsored the convention, bought space in the program or had recruiting booths.

Court Divides Endowment Between San Joaquin Dioceses

[The Living Church] 28 Aug 2008--A California Superior Court judge ordered that endowment assets be divided between the two dioceses of San Joaquin in a decision filed Aug. 25.

Last December, deputies to the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin voted overwhelmingly to disaffiliate from the General Convention and to come under the primatial oversight of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone in South America. In March, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reconstituted an Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin consisting of those clergy, parishes and individuals that did not wish to leave. The Episcopal diocese sued the Anglican diocese in June for control of the endowment.

In his order and stipulation decree, Judge Adolfo M. Corona awarded some endowment accounts to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and other accounts to the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin. Drawing from some endowment accounts will require the consent of both dioceses. The court will retain an oversight interest in management and expenditures from the endowment funds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OHIO: CANA Holds First Convocation. Expands Districts, Affirms New NA Province

[VirtueOnline] 27 Aug 2008--The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an orthodox Anglican missionary outreach in the US sponsored by the Anglican Church of Nigeria, held its first convocation at St. Luke's Anglican, a suburban mega church, drawing more than 400 multi-ethnic, multi-racial delegates deep inside a liberal Episcopal Diocese that is watching its numbers decline as orthodox Anglicanism grows.

"This was an exciting occasion for us," said CANA Bishop David Bena. "Delegates passed three resolutions by overwhelming majorities which included affirming the 'GAFCON Process,' pledging CANA to the Common Cause Partnership supporting Common Cause leading eventually to becoming an orthodox Anglican Province in North America, and thirdly welcoming a number of new churches in the Ohio/Michigan/Indiana area as the "Anglican District of the Great Lakes," the second "District" of CANA."

"The first, the Anglican District of Virginia, was officially welcomed into CANA last December. More Districts will follow as gatherings of churches mobilize together for mission and outreach," Bena told VOL.

"CANA is definitely gaining momentum. When we met last December, there were about sixty parishes in CANA. Now we have over seventy, with ten more working toward mission church status. We expect 100 CANA congregations by the end of the year. Over 150 people - parish clergy, church planters, and non-parochial - have become CANA clergy."

CANA's members comprise a broad range of races and ethnicities, representing a balance of catholic, evangelical, and charismatic streams of Anglican Christianity.

How do you want to worship God?

[Gazette] 27 Aug 2008--One Anglican organisation believes getting back to basics is the only way to encourage people to return to church. The Prayer Book Society wants all parish churches to make the 1662 Book of Common Prayer – which contains everything you need to know about all Church of England services – a big part of at least one Sunday service. With the national Back to Church Sunday on the horizon, the Gazette reports.

DNC embraces homosexual agenda

[OneNewsNow] 27 Aug 2008--Pro-family leader Matt Barber says the "radical San Francisco-style social experimentation" promoted by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party is not what is best for the country.

The Denver Post reports 358 openly homosexual delegates are in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, the largest number ever to take part in a major party national convention. A special DNC program called "Pride in the Party" was set up to recruit more homosexual delegates and homosexual delegates of color.

Update on attacks on Christians in Orissa - requests for you to write

[Anglican Mainstream] 27 Aug 2008--The situation in Orissa continues to cause much pain. The news is that the violence has spread to other districts of Orissa. I’m copying to you information I received from EFI that gives you an update as of this morning. There is also a call for Christians to express their solidarity with those who are suffering in Orissa. Please continue to pray for those in leadership both of the Nation, the state and also the church and Christian organisations.

The authorities are mere helpless spectators watching Christians being lynched before their eyes.

EFI requests prayers for the safety of our brothers and sisters in the State of Orissa and appeal to Christian community to write to the addresses mentioned below.

Related article:
Christians attacked throughout Orissa State, North India - Anglican Mainstream

How Much of the Bible is Literal?

[The Christian Post] 27 ASug 2008--Q: How much of the Bible is literal and how much of it is a myth? Take Jonah and the whale, for instance. Surely that must be a myth, because I can't imagine anyone being swallowed by a whale and then living to tell about it.

A: It might surprise you to learn that there actually have been several documented cases of people who were swallowed by whales and lived to tell about it (although the Bible simply says that Jonah was swallowed by "a great fish," not necessarily a whale).

Effort to Revive Mass. Ban on Out-of-State Gay 'Marriage' Advances

[The Christian Post] 27 Aug 2008--The Massachusetts attorney general approved on Monday a referendum petition seeking to reinstate a 1913 law that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying in the state if their union is illegal in their home state.

Members from a self-identified pro-family group called Mass Resistance filed the referendum petition on Aug. 13. They are looking to overturn a law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick last month that repealed the 1913 statute.

“After a thorough review by our office, we have concluded that this referendum petition has met the technical requirements that govern such petitions," state Attorney General Martha Coakley said Monday in a statement.

“Our decision that this referendum meets the Constitutional requirements as to subject matter does not mean that it has our support, but simply that the constitutional requirements are met for the proponents of the referendum to obtain further signatures.”

CSW condemns 'horrific' attacks on Christians in India

[Christianity Today UK] 27 Aug 2008--Christian Solidarity Worldwide has condemned the murder of Indian Hindu leader Swami Lakhmananda Saraswati on Saturday, and the “horrific” attacks which have been launched against the Christian community in Orissa state by Hindu extremists subsequently.

Naxalites, or Maoist insurgents, have been blamed for the killing of Saraswati and his four associates, but the extremist Hindu group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), of which Saraswati was a local figurehead, has responded by launching a devastating series of attacks on Christian targets, including murders, rape and widespread destruction of property, and publicly inciting further hatred against Christians, says CSW.

Related articles: India: Mobs attack Christians after leader’s death - Christianity Today UK
Hindu Mob Attacks Christian Orphanage - The Christian Post

Anglican priest cracks Charles Wesley code

[Christianity Today UK] 27 Aug 2008--An Anglican priest has finally cracked the code Methodist co-founder Charles Wesley used when writing about sensitive matters in his diary some 250 years ago.

Over 1,000 handwritten pages dating from 1736 to 1756 have been deciphered by the Rev Professor Kenneth Newport, pro vice-chancellor for research and academic development at Liverpool Hope University.

Related articles:
Methodism founder Charles Wesley's secret code diary cracked by priest - Times Online
Charles Wesley's 250-year-old journals reveal fears that Church of England could split - Telegraph

After Lambeth, what now?

[] 27 Aug 2008--The unfortunate truth of the Lambeth conference is that the only certain outcome has been a £1.2 million debt. As for the rest, opinions vary widely.

The conference convened amid a crescendo of criticism of the North American churches’ renegade actions in blessing same-sex unions and consecrating an actively homosexual bishop.

Most observers would have to concede that the absence of so many bishops made everyone aware of just what is at stake.

But there was no outcome and no resolutions because, as many people failed to appreciate, there was never meant to be.

The Archbishop of Canterbury promised there would be no decisions, just a lengthy round of ‘indaba’ groups.

Archbishop scolds pro-choice Biden

[The Washington Times] 27 Aug 2008--Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrived at the Democratic National Convention on Monday amid rumblings over whether his pro-choice Catholicism would help or hurt the Democratic ticket.

An Irish-Catholic from a working-class upbringing, Mr. Biden won the nod as presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama's running mate in part because of his appeal to blue-collar Catholics, the same voters who swung during the primary for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Although he represents Delaware in the Senate, Mr. Biden grew up in Pennsylvania, a must-win state for Democrats in November.

But the party's hopes of winning the critical Catholic vote took a hit Sunday when Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said Mr. Biden should avoid taking Communion as a result of his pro-choice stand on abortion.

Cardinals, Bishops and Congressmen Slam Pelosi on Abortion

[LifeSite News] 27 Aug 2008--"Catholic" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's blatantly fallacious remarks on August 24 regarding the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion have triggered a tidal wave of criticisms from clergymen, congressmen and Catholics nationwide.

Responding to a question from NBC's Meet the Press moderator Tom Brokaw about when human life begins, Pelsosi appealed to her extensive research on the issue as well as her "ardent" Catholic faith to claim that, "I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins."

She asserted that "over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition," in attempt to support her pro-abortion and pro-contraception stance. Watch the full interview here: (

The response to Pelosi's statements has been intense as Catholic leaders across America are wondering how a "Catholic" with a self-proclaimed broad understanding of the Catholic Church's position on human life could have overseen the straightforward teaching contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

Related articles:
New York Cardinal - Pelosi Not Worthy of "Providing Leadership in a Civilized Democracy" - LifeSite News
Pelosi stands by abortion comments - Guardian

Archbishop Williams Proposes 'Indaba' Format for Primates, ACC

[The Living Church] 27 Aug 2008--The Indaba discussion groups used at last month’s Lambeth Conference were so successful that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams plans to use the small-group discussion tool again for meetings next year involving the primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, according to a pastoral letter he sent earlier today to bishops of the Anglican Communion.

“Many participants believed that the Indaba method, while not designed to achieve final decisions, was such a necessary aspect of understanding what the questions might be that they expressed a desire to see the method used more widely and to continue among themselves the conversations begun in Canterbury,” he said. “I shall be seeking to identify the resources we shall need in order to take forward some of the proposals about our structures and methods.”

The Diocese of Singapore restates her stand on human sexuality issues

[Global South Anglican] 27 Aug 2008--The Diocese of Singapore, in its teaching on biblical faith and order, is firmly committed to this orthodox position on sexual ethics. I need to express as clearly as I possibly can; that what the church here believes (in essential beliefs and moral ethics) needs to be taught and upheld personally and publicly by all our clergy, lay leaders and members of the Diocese. While we can continue to discuss the pastoral challenges on the ground, we need to remain faithful to the teaching of the Church by virtue of the trust committed to us by the Lord and our love for our fellow human being

We believe and hold that the Bible is clear and authoritative in bearing witness to God’s will regarding human sexuality; namely that sexual relations are to be expressed only within the life-long union of a man and a woman in holy matrimony. All forms of sexual promiscuity, including homosexual practices, between men or women, as well as heterosexual relationships outside marriage are incompatible with the divine vision and design of human life. The Bible describes them as sinful practices that are contrary to God’s good purposes. They dehumanise God’s image in humanity and need to be repented of. At the same time, we hold that there is divine grace of forgiveness, healing and transformation for all who repent of homosexual or other illicit forms of sexual practice. We do not condone inhuman and unsocial acts against homosexuals nor do we discriminate against them. Rather, we extend to them God’s love, compassionate ministry and true freedom through Jesus Christ.

A Church under judgement

[Anglican Mainstream] 27 Aug 2008--At the recent Lambeth Conference I had a couple of conversations with so-called ‘conservative’ Americans, both amongst the press and the bishops. I was even able to give the Bishop of Springfield (no relation to ‘The Simpsons’) some pointers on the rules of cricket as we snatched five minutes in the bar to watch England being clinically defeated by South Africa.

Their depressing and urgent situation in The Episcopal Church becomes ever clearer over time, despite all of the efforts of their liberal church leaders to try and persuade the rest of the Anglican Communion that really we’re just like you. Close watchers of the US, and readers of this newspaper, will be more aware than most of the state of that Church. Heterodoxy is never punished, whereas orthodox impatience is the subject of lawsuits all over the country. And the amount of heterodoxy uttered in The Episcopal Church is truly astonishing. Even leaving aside the virtual atheism of Bishop Spong’s ‘Twelve Theses’, we’ve had bishops claim that the church can ‘re-write the Bible’, others make sweeping apologies for Christian mission to those of other faiths, while the Presiding Bishop views Jesus as just one way among many.

A Word in Time: An Open Letter to the Anglican Communion

[Covenant] 27 Aug 2008--We the undersigned contributors to believe that “a word in time” is now needed in order to assist the Communion to move forward in a constructive manner following the Lambeth Conference. We would like to speak such a word by specifically addressing the points Bishop Bob Duncan raises in his email to Bishop Gary Lillibridge, which has now been made public with Bp. Duncan’s permission. Our reflections are offered with all due respect for Bishop Duncan as a dear friend to some of us, and one whom those of us who know him personally admire as a stalwart in the faith. Bishop Duncan’s words are quoted in italics with our reflections following.

1. The first difficulty is the moral equivalence implied between the three moratoria, a notion specifically rejected in the original Windsor Report and at Dromantine.

Actually, it is largely American and Canadian liberals that have implied a moral equivalency between the two. We think most people are clear that the crisis in our Communion was precipitated by specific American and Canadian actions. In any event, someone has to be the first to give up their “rights” (either Bishop Duncan and the GAFCON folks by agreeing to moratorium #3 in clear terms, or the American and Canadian leadership by agreeing to moratoria #1 and #2, as well as an immediate cessation of the lawsuits and ecclesiastical trials). Who will be the first to display an act of Christian charity and self-giving on behalf of the Communion at this critical turning point in the life of the Communion?

Archbishop's Pastoral Letter to Bishops of the Anglican Communion

[The Archbishop of Canterbury] 27 Aug 2008--As the Lambeth Conference of 2008 comes to an end, I want to offer some further reflections of my own on what the bishops gathered in Canterbury have learned and experienced. Those of you who have been present here will be able to share your own insights with your people, but it may be useful for me to add my own perspectives as to where we have been led.

For the vast majority of bishops, it seems, this has been a time when they have felt God to have been at work. The Conference was not a time for making new laws or for binding decisions; in spite of the way some have expressed their expectations, Lambeth Conferences have never worked straightforwardly in this way. The Conference Design Group believed strongly that the chief need of our Communion at the moment was the rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity. And it was with this in mind that they planned for a very different sort of Conference, determined to allow every bishop's voice to be heard and to seek for a final outcome for which the bishops were genuinely able to recognize an authentic account of their own work.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ugandan President backs Church boycott of Lambeth

[Religiou Intelligence] 23 Aug 2008--The President of Uganda has applauded the decision taken by that country’s Anglican Church not to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and urged the Church of Uganda to stand firm against the “decadent culture” of the West.

Speaking at the consecration of the Bishop of Mbale on Aug 17, President Yoweri Museveni praised the church’s moral clarity. He called homosexuality “mtumbavu” or “stupid” in Swahili.

“Don’t fear: resist and do not compromise on that. It is a danger not only to the believers but to the whole of Africa. It is bad if our children become complacent and think that people who are not in order are alright,” the president said.

Christians Applaud New Protections for Pro-Life Health Workers

[The Christian Post] 23 Aug 2008--Christian doctors and groups have applauded proposed regulations that would protect the right of conscience of health care workers who do not want to provide abortions.

"These regulations are desperately needed to protect First Amendment rights and implement federal law in what is becoming a jungle of coercion in healthcare," Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), commented in a statement.

On Thursday, the Bush administration issued a proposal for stronger protections for health professionals who refuse to participate in abortions because of personal, moral or religious beliefs. The regulation also lets federal health officials pull funding from institutions that force employees to perform or participate in abortion services.