Monday, January 31, 2005

Was the APA right to declassify homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder?

Homosexuality was dropped from the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual for a number of reasons. A number of these reasons were pragmatic. A number were political. Homosexuality was difficult to treat. Homosexual patients showed little motivation to change. They were not experiencing any great distress or discomfort related to the way that they lived. They lived in their own subculture that reinforced not only their homosexual activity but also their attitudes toward that activity. Most of the problems they experienced were associated – or so it was thought – with the social stigma associated with homosexuality. They were not a burden to society, it was argued. For example, they were able to hold jobs and to make an economic contribution to society. Nor did they present any discernible threat to society. The American Psychiatric Association was also under pressure from activists in the homosexual community and those sympathetic to the homosexual community both in and outside its own membership. Until that time homosexuality was classified as a form of deviant sexuality with voyeurism, fratturism, incest, paedophilia, fetishism, masochism, and sadism. Many psychiatrists and psychoanalysts protested its declassification.

Looking back over the past few years one must question the wisdom of that decision. The notion that homosexuality is not harmful to society cannot be supported by what has happened in those years. Homosexuality in contemporary America goes far beyond what two consenting adults do in their bedroom. It involves an aggressive political and social movement set upon changing the moral character of the American people and denying basic liberties to conservative Christians. It includes the unsavory side of the homosexual life style that the homosexual community would like to keep from public scrutiny – the partner abuse, the rampant promiscuity, the multiple sex partners, the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems related to the homosexual lifestyle and the shortened life expectancy among homosexual men, the sexual exploitation of runaway adolescents, and the trafficking in young boys for sex.

Homosexuality and homosexual activism have been a leading force in the attack upon traditional family values in this country. It has contributed to the erosion of the nation’s moral values. It has created deep divisions in a number of the mainline churches. Evangelical Christians have been vilified for believing the pure teaching of the Bible and have been unfairly labeled bigoted, narrow-minded, and "homophobic." It has driven a radical revision of theology in the Episcopal Church, leading to its departure from a classical historical understanding of Biblical Christianity and its adoption of what can be only described as heretical beliefs. It has divided dioceses, parishes, and families.

Homosexuality and homosexual activism threatens the rights of Americans to freedom of religion and freedom of opinion and speech. It has led many confused young people to experiment with sexual behavior that is physically and psychologically harmful to them and has exposed them to life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases. It has also led to their sexual exploitation by older homosexuals.

For many American Catholics the sexual abuse of children by unprincipled homosexual priests has greatly damaged their faith. Both inside the United States and outside it the disclosure of homosexual activity among priests and between priests and young people have caused Catholics to leave the Church. To maintain that homosexuals present no threat to society as the American Psychiatric Association naively did is to ignore the social and cultural dislocation that has followed in the wake of its decision.

For a group that comprises something like 2 to 3 % of the population, homosexuals have had a disproportionately large negative influence upon American society in the past few years. The ability of homosexual activists to garner the support of social liberals in government and the Church as well as in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry - the shapers of popular culture - may account for this influence. They have been successful in portraying themselves as a marginalized minority and eliciting the sympathy of these socially liberal elements. They represent their cause as a struggle for civil rights and social justice. In reality it is a struggle over who defines homosexuality and homosexuals and the place of homosexuals in society and the Church.

While the Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality has generated something of a backlash against the so-called "gay rights" movement, that movement has gained enough momentum as a political and social movement where it will continue to radically alter the face of American society. The Church will be faced with the challenge of remaining faithful to Biblical teaching in an environment which is likely to be increasingly hostile to that teaching.

The conflict in the Church over homosexuality, homosexuals, and the place of homosexuals in the Church is an unfortunate distraction from the work of the Church – that of making disciples of all peoples. However, the solution to this problem is not to abandon the teaching of the Bible and to accommodate the changing values of the culture. A highly secularized Church that is barely distinguishable from the culture will not be effective in reaching the lost. Rather we must reaffirm what the Bible teaches. This may involve taking an unpopular position in our diocese or parish. It may entail forming new Bible-believing Christian fellowships to replace existing churches, seeking the oversight of an orthodox global South bishop outside of the United States, and eventually establishing a new Anglican province in North America.

Let us not forget the spiritual warfare dimension of this conflict. The powers of darkness seek to prevent the unbeliever from believing in Jesus Christ and the believer from growing spiritually and being an effective witness to Christ. The homosexual issue is doing both in the Episcopal Church and in other mainline denominations. Fallen, sinful human nature always is trying to justify itself. At the heart of the conflict is unsurrendered sin – patterns of sin in the lives of homosexual men and women that they refuse to surrender to God, that they are holding back from Him. Unrepented sin draws the powers of darkness like garbage attracts rats and flies. They will exploit this sin to keep the unbeliever from moving Christ-ward and the believer from becoming a fully functioning disciple of Christ. Once they have gained a foothold, they will not relinquish it until the sinner turns away from his sin. Persistence in sin leaves the door wide open to them and their influence not only in the life of the sinner but also that of the Church.

Whatever the challenges we face, let us see them as opportunities to faithfully serve God. Let us seek Him daily in prayer, asking Him for grace and courage to endure. Let us not loose heart. We are not the first disciples of Christ who have been the object of animosity and misunderstanding from an unfriendly world. As the apostle Peter encouraged the readers of his first epistle to do, let us trust in the Lord. He will eventually deliver us.

Episcopal diocese to keep blessing gay couples

[] January 29, 2005--Meanwhile, a conservative priest in Hackensack said he's worried the church is courting schism.
"This is really about whether or not Anglicans believe in a revealed religion," said the Rev. Brian Laffler of St. Anthony of Padua Church. "This battle is about the authority of the Holy Scriptures."

Gay marriage divides Catholic churchgoers

[The Globe and Mail] January 31, 2005--The homily was about courage, the choir sang about mercy, and the church service in the Prime Minister's home riding yesterday included warm handshakes of peace among parishioners. But there was not a word about the combustible subject of gay marriage.

Diocese: Halt votes on gay bishops!news&s=1045855934842

[Richmond Times-Dispatch] January 30, 2005--Virginia Episcopalians voice regret for support of Robinson's election.

Episcopal council features heated debate on gay issues

[The Roanoke Times] January 30, 2005--The council refused to adopt a resolution that accepts the Windsor Report, which is critical of the Episcopal Church (USA).

Church will benefit if priests are able to marry

[The Age] January 31, 2005--Celibacy is a rule that the Catholic Church can and should change.

Christians Issue Call to Prayer for Detained Vietnam Believers

[The Christian Post] January 29, 2005--The Vietnam Mennonite Church yesterday issued a call to prayer and fasting from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3 in support of the two detained Mennonite church leaders whose appeals will be heard on Wednesday Feb. 2, 2005.

DOMA Challenged in Southern California

[The Christian Post} January 2005--The case, one of the last remaining challenges to bans on same-sex “marriages” pending in federal court, focused on fundamental questions regarding the purpose and definition of marriage.January 29, 2005--

Free Bibles, free speech

{VirtueOnline] January 31, 2005--As a rule, newspaper readers do not protest when the Sunday edition includes free soap, toothpaste, shampoo, detergent, AOL software or a razor.

Then again, these products do not include pronouncements on sin, sex, money, marriage, heaven, hell and a host of spiritual issues -- including the belief that salvation comes through faith in a messiah named Jesus.

So International Bible Society leaders were not surprised that some people were upset by their decision to distribute 91,000 New Testaments in a pre-Christmas edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette. They were surprised when the project made national headlines, inspiring debate about free speech, religious tolerance and the role of newspapers in the marketplace of ideas.

All Saints ownership at center of lawsuit

[VirtueOnline] January 29, 2005--After four years of disputing the ownership of All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina now is suing individual members of the church's vestry.

First Anglican Church Stripped of Status

[VirtueOnline] January 30, 2005--A battle is brewing in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary over the fate of the historic sandstone Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.

Christ the Redeemer Church splits in Alabama

[VirtueOnline] January 29, 2005--David Virtue provides further details of the split in Christ the Redeemer parish in Montgomer, Alabama this past week.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Recanting a vote for gay clergy!news&s=1045855934842

[Richmond Times-Dispatch] January 29, 2005--The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee says he will no longer vote to affirm anyone as a bishop who is living in a same-gender relationship until there is wider acceptance of homosexuals as church leaders.

Doesn't sound like he is recanting to me.

African Anglicans firm on gay bishop

[The Standard] January 29, 2005--African Anglican Archbishops yesterday rejected the apology by the American Episcopal Church over the ordination of a homosexual bishop and the wedding of gay couples.

Related article:,6119,2-11-1447_1654198,00.html
"US must repent - angry bishops" -

Episcopal diocese to keep blessing gay couples

[] January 29, 2005--The leader of the Episcopal Church in northern New Jersey declared Friday that his diocese will continue to perform blessings for gay couples even though an international church panel has called for a moratorium.

Biblical Lutherans Castigate Task Force Re Homo Policy

{Magic City Morning Star] January 26, 2005--Can a Christian imagine the apostle Paul calling for a task force to conclude what God had already revealed? Can one think of Jesus calling for a committee to decide on what the Father told Him in prayer?

Renewal Lutherans Consider Establishing New Alliance

[The Christian Post] January 26, 2005--A new alliance that may lead to a non-geographic synod in the ELCA may form through the conservative World Alone Network.

A realignment is going on in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as in the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Communion.

Ragsdale: Homosexual controversy tears churches from vital missions

[] January 29, 2005--When Evangelical Lutheran Church in America presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson visited Des Moines in December 2002, his plea to his fellow Lutherans was to focus on all the things that united them instead of the few hot-button issues that could rip the denomination apart.

An oversimplification of the issues facing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church USA.

Session with terrorist stirs outrage,1413,234~24407~2681127,00.html

[Marin Independent Journal] January 29, 2005--Local religious leaders are expressing outrage over a meeting that occurred last summer between members of the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo and a commander of the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Defrocked Lesbian Minister Appeal Hearing Process Begins

[The Christian Post] January 29, 2005--The appeal hearing process is underway in the case of Rev. Beth Stroud, a former United Methodist minister who was found guilty of knowingly violating the denomination’s standards of ordinations by partaking in an active homosexual relationship.

Mother who died for her unborn child may become saint,5744,12074396%255E2703,00.html

[The Australian] January 28, 2005--An Italian woman who died after refusing cancer treatment that would have threatened the life of her unborn baby is being considered for sainthood.

Faithful heartened by Turin shroud tests

[SydneyMorningHerald] January 29, 2005--The Shroud of Turin is far older than carbon dating suggests and may date to biblical times as believers claim, a study has found.

Some experts fear a Shiite theocracy following Sunday's elections in Iraq

[BP News] January 28, 2005--With Iraq's first multi-party parliamentary election in 50 years scheduled to take place Sunday, Jan. 30, some experts, including a Southern Baptist seminary professor, worry that voters may elect a Shiite theocracy that would persecute Christians and enact Islamic law as legislative policy.

Dolly Parton, others compile CD benefiting homosexual group

[BP News] January 28, 2005--Taking sides in a cultural battle, some of the nation's top artists -- including Mandy Moore, the Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton -- have contributed to a CD that benefits the nation's largest homosexual activist organization.

Canadian P.M. pushes 'gay marriage' bill; DOMA lawsuit heard in Calif.; Kan. amendment advances

[BP News} January 28, 2005--Even though some in his own party are staunchly opposed, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said Jan. 27 that plans to legalize same-sex "marriage" nationwide will move forward soon -- perhaps as soon as the first few days of February.

'Million Dollar' is propaganda for euthanasia

[BP News} January 28, 2005--Some movies aspire to entertain. Some movies seek to inform. Some movies aim to inspire. However, there are some movies that are designed only to seduce. Such is the case with a film that has been nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Picture for 2004.

SpongeBob's Family Video: What Would Bob the Tomato Do?

[] January 26, 2005--VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer discusses teaching children morals through television and the widening values gap between makers and viewers.

Drawing Conclusions

[] January 26, 2005--Executive producers for kids TV hits Doug, Stanley, and PB&J Otter — and creators of a new cartoon about the Ten Commandments — on their neighbor SpongeBob.

Focus on SpongeBob

[] January 26, 2005--James Dobson's organization says it doesn't object to Mr. SquarePants, but thinks he's being exploited.

Related article:
"Dobson Clarifies Pro-Gay SpongeBob Video Controversy" - The Christian Post

Stonewashed Worship

[] January 29, 2005--Churches are striving to appear 'authentic'—like the rest of consumer culture.

9.5 Theses on Worship

[] January 28, 2005--A disputation on the role of music.

Orthodox Episcopalians raise $250,000 for Tsunami Relief

[VirtueOnline] January 29, 2005--In its first three weeks, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund's (ARDF) appeal to help survivors of the December 26 Southeast Asian tsunami has processed more than $185,000 in cash donations and received reports that suggest giving totals will soon cross the quarter million dollar mark. The fund has already begun distributing grants to those working in the damaged areas.

Episcopal bishop calls for supporting gay rights

[VirtueOnline] January 29, 2005--Supporting gay rights may be more important than unity within the worldwide Anglican Communion, Newark Episcopal Bishop John Croneberger told 600 people gathered at the diocese's convention at the Parsippany Hilton last night.

Looks like Croneberger is staking out his position. Is speaking for himself alone or for all the ECUSA's revisionist bishops?

Friday, January 28, 2005

Anglican archbishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America say U.S apology not enough

[Foster's Online] January 28, 2005--Anglican archbishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America said Friday an apology from the U.S. Episcopal Church does not go far enough to heal the rift in the Anglican church over the consecration of the denomination’s first openly gay bishop.

Related article:
"Anglican archbishops from Africa, Asia and Latin America say apology from U.S. Episcopal Church not enough" - VirtueOnline

Arctic Anglicans seek conservative staffers only

[Nunaysiaq News] January 28, 2005--Synod could make “essential beliefs” a condition of employment.

British Muslims Cheapen the Holocaust

{] January 28, 2005--Countries around the world marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz yesterday – but the Muslim Council of Britain did not take part in the commemorations for reasons that belie an underlying anti-Semitism.

Australian Catholic Church Divided Over Priestly Celibacy

[] January 28, 2005--Australia's Catholic Church is embroiled in a debate over whether the church should drop its insistence on celibacy for clergymen. A leading priests' association argues that doing away with the requirement could reverse a serious decline in numbers.

God makes a comeback,5744,12079759%255E28737,00.html

[The Australian] January 29, 2005--In the Australian press God does not get much of a run. His followers do, especially if they dissent from the consensus or fail to live up to the standards they profess. But the search for meaning, faith and traditional Christian spirituality struggle for space.

Drought: slaughter looming

[Cape Times] January 28, 2005--Farmers in the Western Cape will have to slaughter two-thirds of their livestock - thousands of animals - if no rain falls in the hardest-hit drought areas by June.

Episcopalians to consider stating regret over gay bishop!news&s=1045855934842

{Richmond Times-Dispatch] January 28, 2005--Virginia Episcopalians will spend much of today and tomorrow grappling with issues resulting from the denomination's election of an openly gay bishop in 2003.

African Churches Establish Self Support Agency for Forgotten Tsunami Victims

[Christianity Today] January 28, 2005--The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Province of Southern Africa, the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, has recently spoken of the need for South Africa to plan ahead and support itself.

Gay Anglican bishop gets fervid reception

[San Francisco Chronicle] January 28, 2005--At a recent fund-raiser for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, the crowd stood and cheered continuously. Finally, Robinson raised his hands to say, OK, OK, enough.

Members of Montgomery Episcopal Church to form New Anglican Congregation

[VirtueOnline] January 26, 2005--The majority of the members of Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church have chosen to follow their Pastor, Rev. Doug McCurry, and start a new congregation with a focus on mission, and pursue a connection to churches in other parts of the Anglican Communion.

American, Canadian Conservatives Criticize Gay Marriage Bill

[The Christian Post] January 27, 2005--Conservative and pro-family leaders across North America spoke against a government plan to legalize gay marriage in Canada, siding with traditional Christian leaders who fear the passage of such a legislation would threaten the rights of the church.

Today’s NIV Bible Barred from LifeWay Christian Bookstores

[The Christian Post] January 27, 2005--The Rolling Stone Magazine reversed its decision not to air an advertisement for the TNIV, but the SBC-related LifeWay has not yet changed its decision to bar the edition because of the version's gender-neutral translations.

Mixing of Humanitarian Aid, Evangelism Continues to Stir Controversy

[The Christian Post] January 27, 2005--The ongoing controversy concerning the mixing of humanitarian aid work and evangelism continues to make its way into the limelight as scores of Christian groups take part in the massive efforts to aid victims of the quake-tsunami devastation.

Related article:
"Agency Blocked from Settling Muslim Orphans in Christian Orphanage" - The Christian Post

Evangelicals Plan Prayer Vigil for Iraqi Election

{The Christian Post] January 27, 2005--As insurgents in Iraq pledged to greet the nation’s historic democratic election with violence and bombings, Christians in the U.S. vowed to pray for God’s peace and protection for the Iraqi people.

Christians reject Muslim political leaders interference in affairs of church of Pakistan.

[Pakistan Christian Post] January 28, 2005--
In recent polls conducted by Pakistan Christian Post, 61% of our readers rejected interference of Muslim political leaders in affairs of Church of Pakistan. The 27% voted in favor of Muslims involvement in churches when 12% readers remained undecided.

Lord Bishop Michael Nazir Ali hails Pakistan government. PCP Report

[Pakistan Christian Post] January 28, 2005--PCP sources in Islamabad confirmed that Lord Bishop Ali expressed no concern on Christian persecution and repeal of blasphemy laws. He remained silent on comments by Prime Minster that Christians have representation in Senate of Pakistan along with other democratic institutions.

Who is enemy of Christians? CNI Report

[Pakistan Christian Post] January 28, 2005--Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the Amir, (President) of “Jamat-e-Islami” and the Chairman Muthida Majlas Amal (MMA) while speaking in a “Christmas” gathering of Christians at the Church of Pakistan Cathedral in Peshawar reportedly uttered these words.

55 year Christian mother Hanifan Bibi abducted, stripped and tortured in front of husband and sons by Muslim influential gangsters PCP Report.

{Pakistan Christian Post] January 28, 2005-- The agony of Hanifan Bibi family is not the first incident but thousands of Christian families in every street and colony of Pakistan face same situation by surrounding Muslim majority population. Any one by fear of Muslim influential persons does not know some cases surface and thousand incidents not reported. The incident of Hanifan Bibi is not matter of gangsters only but Muslim Member of Punjab Assembly seems also supporting gangster Muslim brethren against Christian victimizations.

Groundbreaking: Homosexuality finding its way into cartoons

[BP News] January 27, 2005--Seven years after ABC aired its controversial "coming out" episode of "Ellen," homosexuality appears to be breaking new ground again -- this time in cartoons.

Unborn child pain bill reintroduced in Congress

[BP News] January 27, 2005--Pro-life members of Congress have reintroduced legislation requiring women be informed about the pain their unborn children will experience if they undergo late-term abortions.

Hillary Clinton softens abortion stance; FDA delays pill decision; Dutch doctors widen euthanasia

[BP News] January 27, 2005--Sen. Hillary Clinton, D.-N.Y., appeared to moderate her tone on abortion in a Jan. 24 speech in what may be part of an attempt to appeal to more Americans in the wake of the "moral values" vote that helped President Bush gain re-election in November.

Decision has ominous implications for disabled

[BP News] January 27, 2005--On Jan. 23 the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a Florida Supreme Court opinion declaring a Florida Statute, known as “Terri’s Law”, unconstitutional.

The case, Bush v. Schiavo, has drawn worldwide attention to the plight of Terri Schiavo, a disabled woman in danger of being starved to death by her husband with the blessing and approval of the Florida courts. Mrs. Schiavo collapsed under mysterious circumstances which have never been adequately explained.

‘You teach them,’ she said, at Nazi camp

{BP News] January 27, 2005--I spent my 40th birthday in the Nazi work camp at Flossenburg, Germany, near the Czech Republic border during the summer of 2003, walking with my family in silence through the gates of the camp to wander among the monuments and the levels of death.

‘Incapable’ clergy face the axe as freehold comes under review

[Church Times] January 28, 2005--The ending of the 800-year-old system of clergy freehold will be debated by the General Synod when it meets next month.

Church agencies reject conversion of Muslims

[Church Times] January 28, 2005--UK-based Christian relief agencies distanced themselves this week from the reported efforts of some Christian relief workers in Indonesia who were trying to convert Muslims.

Heavy agenda for the Synod

[Church Times] January 28, 2005--The argument about women bishops will be the dominant theme when the General Synod meets in Church House, Westminster, on 14-17 February.

Bench backs Windsor report

[Church Times] January 28, 2005--The Church of England’s House of Bishops has backed the Windsor report produced under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Robin Eames.

Get green urgently, the parishes are told

[Church Times] January 28, 2005--Churche should recycle used paper, buy green electricity, and dedicate low-energy light bulbs in worship services, says a report to the General Synod. Top of its list of suggested actions is holding an environmental and energy audit.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Looking forward to the February Primates Meeting

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

Will implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report restore communion between the Episcopal Church USA and those Anglican provinces that have recognized the existence of a state of broken or impaired communion between the ECUSA and themselves? The Windsor Report’s recommendations unfortunately address only surface issues. They do not deal with the apostasy and heresy of the ECUSA’s clergy and lay leaders. The ECUSA is simply asked to express regret for having consecrated a non-celibate homosexual as a bishop and to adopt a moratorium, a temporary halt, to its consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as bishops. The ECUSA is also asked to adopt a moratorium – again a temporary halt – to its blessing of homosexual unions. The Lambeth Commission on Communion proposed the development of a "Communion covenant" to which all members churches of the Anglican Communion would be asked to subscribe but does not make any specific recommendations regarding the content of this covenant or what kind of disciplinary actions should be taken in the event a province declines to subscribe to the covenant. Each province would be left to determine how the covenant would be enforced within its jurisdiction. The Commission did not deal with the strong possibility that a province like the ECUSA might subscribe to the covenant but would redefine what the covenant means and in practice ignore it. The "Communion covenant" offers too much wiggle room.

All of these proposals would, if implemented, establish the kind of loose association of national churches along the lines of how the ECUSA’s leaders redefine "communion." They would not restore the kind of communion between the ECUSA and the other Anglican provinces that the ECUSA has broken with its theological and moral innovations. The only common bond member churches of the Anglican Communion would have is a common heritage as daughter churches of the Church of England and recognition by the See of Canterbury. They would no longer have a common faith and order.

To truly heal the divisions which have caused the rent in the fabric of the Anglican Communion, the ECUSA must turn from its present direction and return to orthodox Christianity. The ECUSA’s House of Bishops, however, has shown no inclination to lead the ECUSA back to Christian orthodoxy. This is evident from the outcome of the Salt Lake meeting. Instead the Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA has appointed a commission to prepare a theological rationale for its ordination of non-celibate homosexuals as deacons and priests, its consecration of a non-celibate homosexual as a bishop, and its blessing of homosexual unions. He will use this rationale to defend the actions of the ECUSA’s General Convention at the Primates Meeting in February.

Implementation of the Windsor Report’s recommendations would leave believers unequally yoked to unbelievers. A believer is someone who believes in Jesus Christ through the witness of the apostles, through "their word" in the words of our Lord. Many Episcopalians have been taught by their clergy to question and reject the apostolic witness. Instead of the Biblical message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Episcopal clergy preach "another gospel," a gospel of radical inclusion, a gospel of cheap grace. As Claire Whitehall observes in her article, "Rendering Us Incapable: Returning the Church to the Gospel of Grace" in Encompass [January 2005] , "this is grace without discipleship and without the recognition of Jesus Christ as God incarnate." The boundaries between an increasingly secularized church and a more "religious" world are blurred. The church and the world are barely distinguishable from each other. The ECUSA has become a church of unbelievers. Many of its lay people are unbelieving as are many of its clergy. Believers in the ECUSA form an increasingly marginalized minority.

Tougher measures are called for than those which the Windsor Report proposes. The Anglican Primates must ask themselves, do they want to maintain any kind of communion with an apostate, heretical church? Continued recognition of the ECUSA as a member church of the Anglican Communion gives legitimacy to its claim that its Biblical, theological, and moral revisionism is a form of Anglicanism. It places the gospel of radical inclusion on par with the Gospel of grace. Do they really want to do that?

The proposals that Bishop John Rodgers of the Anglican Mission in America outlines in his open letter to the Anglican Primates, posted in yesterday’s edition of Anglicans Ablaze, offer a blue print for establishing an Anglican province in the United States that has a historical orthodox understanding of Biblical Christianity. This province would replace the ECUSA. These proposals recognize that there can be no real fellowship between the Anglican Communion and an apostate, heretical church.

In adopting its present direction the ECUSA has in effect dissolved any partnership between itself and the Anglican Communion. As Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola has pointed out, two cannot walk together unless they agree. The ECUSA has not only charted a different course for itself but is seeking to influence other provinces to adopt the same course. While the ECUSA may not be dissuaded from its present course, it should not be allowed to draw others along with it. The survival of orthodox Christianity in the Anglican Communion is at stake.

The Primates Meeting in February will be a turning point in the history of the Anglican Communion. Whatever happens, it will affect the Anglican Communion for years to come. The Anglican Primates may choose to take strong disciplinary action against the ECUSA. Or they may defer to another day the unpleasant task of ejecting the ECUSA from the Anglican family of churches, opening the door wider to the pernicious revisionism that is infecting the ECUSA and corrupting everyone who it touches.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give wisdom and foresight to the Primates that they will see both the short-term and long-term ramifications of the Windsor Report’s recommendations, and will make the preservation of orthodox Christianity in the Anglican Communion the main priority of their meeting.

Discerning Your Church's Hidden Core Values

[] January 17, 2005--It's the unstated, underlying purpose that really drives a church.

Breaking The Da Vinci Code

[] November 7, 2003--So the divine Jesus and infallible Word emerged out of a fourth-century power-play? Get real.

With The Da Vinci Code program on the History Channel and The Da Vinci Code movie in production we can expect more interest in The Da Vinci Code. The Da Vinci Code is one of the most frequently requested books at my public library brancj.

The Coach's Course

[] January 27, 2005--What you need to know to lead leaders.

Launching Community

[] January 27, 2005--Three steps to making your small group dream come true for your church.

Tinubu, Odili Speak On Role of Clerics in Governance

[] January 26, 2005--Governors Peter Odili of Rivers and Bola Tinubu of Lagos states have hailed the positive roles of the clergy in secular governance, describing same as elevating.

Council of Priests argues for married clergy

[Catholic News] January 27, 2005--In an unprecented move, Australia's priests have written to Rome asking that the priesthood be extended to married men and that the Church re-instate priests who left the priesthood to marry.

Church caves in on George service,5936,12074149%255E2682,00.html

[The Advertiser] January 28, 2005--The Anglican Church has bowed to intense criticism from sexual abuse victims and cancelled a planned service of recognition for former archbishop Ian George.

South Africans open their hearts to Somalia

[IOL] January 27, 2005--South Africans have not forgotten the suffering Somali communities in Africa who were affected by December's tsunamis and a mercy flight carrying millions of rands of goods is to be flown to the area this weekend.

The Church Executive Interview: Praveen Bunyan, Rector, St. James Church, Newport Beach, CA

[Church Executive Magazine] January 27, 2005--After severing ties with the Episcopal Church USA, Praveen Bunyan, rector of a breakaway Southern California parish, says he and his congregation are rejoicing in their newfound freedom.

Utah Bishop offers resource on Anglican Communion

[Episcopal News Service] January 27, 2005--Carolyn Irish is actively promoting the consecration of non-celibate homosexuals as bishops and the blessing of homosexual unions in the Diocese of Utah. Hopefully the Primates meeting in February will have more than a "conversion" about the present situation in the Episcopal Church USA.

Virginia Episcopals to discuss ordination

[The Washington Times] January 27, 2005--Virginia Episcopalians, who at 89,000 make up the country's largest Episcopal diocese, will meet tomorrow and Saturday in Reston to discuss finances and whether the denomination needs to stop ordaining homosexual clergy.

Related article:!news&s=1045855934842
"Episcopal bishop will undergo open-heart surgery next week" - Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Cause of Life--Where We Now Stand

[] January 27, 2005--We are living on borrowed time. A nation cannot long prosper in its economy when it has sold its soul for personal choice. A nation is not strong when it destroys its weakest members. Americans demand rights rather than righteousness, and we are reaping a harvest of unrighteousness unparalleled in its magnitude.

Human Traffickers Prey on Tsunami's Most Vulnerable Victims

[] January 27, 2005--Before the debris settled on the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami of December 26, reports of human trafficking emerged from the region. With the death toll now higher than 200,000, tens of thousands still missing, and entire costal villages decimated, it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse for the nations involved. Yet as incomprehensible as it seems, evidence is mounting that child trafficking gangs are preying on the region’s thousands of children who are orphaned or separated from their parents.

Fla. DOMA lawsuits dropped; suits still pending in Calif., Okla.

[Baptist Press News] January 26, 2005--Florida attorney Ellis Rubin said Jan. 25 that he is dropping his legal challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, fearful that a loss on the appeals court level or at the Supreme Court would set a legal precedent he wants to avoid.

Religious right has won fight with secular fundamentalists

[Baptist Press News] January 26, 2005--Post-election events demonstrate religious conservatives in America have won the battle over the legitimacy of faith convictions being expressed in the public square, Southern Baptist public policy specialist Richard Land told a Washington audience.

The role of state education

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--Ms Kelly has not backed Schools Out! and good for her – why should she support a minority group activity out to extend its fishing grounds in schools? Will the month study, say, Foucault’s History of Sexuality, which tells us that while homosexual activity has always been with us, ‘the homosexual’ ‘as a personage’ is a 19th Century invention? There will be no debate, just fundamentalist polemic.

New battle looming over plans to abolish freehold

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--Clergy this week warned of a bruising battle in General Synod over plans to overhaul employment rights, including the abolition of the freehold.

Parish moaners 'destroying clergy''destroying%20clergy'

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--Too many clergy have been destroyed in spirit by mean or intransigent parishioners. I even come away from some parishes thinking that they don't deserve a priest. Let's move the priest, then, to somewhere where he or she will be loved and valued."

Synod expected to back Windsor

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--The debate on the Windsor Report, shortly before the Primates’ Meeting takes place in Ireland, is certain to be contentious with liberal members of General Synod claiming that homosexuals are being victimised amid cultural clashes and a power struggle for the soul of the Communion....

Environment on Synod agenda

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--“Go for a walk. Get wet. Dig the earth,” urges Dr Rowan Williams in his preface to the report. He said that good ecology was not an optional extra but a matter of justice for the Church of the 21st century.

Synod to continue progress towards women bishops

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--A number of Synod members who believe that the Act of Synod makes women second-class citizens are to campaign against any further provision for traditionalists opposed to women’s ordination. But a separate province, and a new package of financial compensation for those leaving will be considered.

South Africa's ANC turns against Archbishop Tutu's%20ANC%20turns%20against%20Archbishop%20Tutu

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--Tension between the senior ANC leadership and Archbishop Tutu flared up towards the end of last year following comments Tutu made in a lecture in Johannesburg.

Governor repents in tribal row as Ugandan bishop is consecrated

[The Church of England Newspaper] January 28, 2005--A bitter lawsuit that had been issued against the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev Henry Orombi, in a bid to prevent a priest from a rival tribe becoming bishop, ended with his fierce opponents asking for forgiveness at his consecration...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A parable

A farmer, discovering that he did not have enough wheat seed from last year's crop for this year's planting, bought seed from an unscrupulous seed dealer. Unknown to him, the unscrupulous dealer sold him seed from a mutated form of wheat. It looked like regular wheat seed but a lethal gene had been introduced into the plant. The leaves and seeds of the plant were deadly poisonous. The farmer planted the seed and soon his field was green with sprouting wheat. The genetically altered wheat grew rapidly. One morning when the farmer went to take a look at the field, he discovered several cows grazing in the field. They had broken through the fence that seperated them from the field, drawn by the lush green of the young wheat. The farmer drove them back into their field and repaired the fence. The next day the farmer discovered the cows lying dead or dying in their field. An autopsy of a cow revealed that the wheat the cow had eaten had poisoned it. The farmer called the farm agent who broke the bad news to him. The farmer had bought wheat that was toxic not only to livestock but also to humans. It had been taken off the market but the unscrupulous seed dealer had chosen to sell his stocks. The farmer would have to burn the young wheat in the field and then plow under what remained. He would have to leave the field fallow and destroy any wheat that sprung up lest it grow to maturity, seed, and the seeds contaminate the wheat in his other fields and the fields of his neighbors. As a safety measure he would also have to burn off any adjoining fields, plow them under, and leave them fallow. Only after he had given both fire and nature an opportunity to destroy the deadly wheat could he resow the fields with good seed. Even then there was a possibility that some of the poisonous seeds might survive in the ground and sprout with the good seed. If he did not take these steps, the wheat would flower and cross-polinate with the good wheat in his other fields. When it seeded, its seeds could cast into his other fields and those of his neighbors. The whole economy of the area would be affected as well as the safety of livestock and humans. The farmer was devestated. He looked at the green field of maturing wheat and could not imagine that it was really so harmful. It looked to his eyes just like his other wheat fields. Perhaps the farm agent was wrong, he thought. Perhaps something else killed the cows.

Episcopal Church Splits

[WSFA TV Montgomery] January 25, 2005--The fallout from the homosexual Bishop's acceptance into the Episcopal Church about a year and a half ago is now tearing a local church apart. The pastor at"Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church announced at the end of the Sunday service that "acceptance" was the last straw, and he is leaving. Now, ninety percent of his congregation say they will follow him.

Strangers on the earth

[Evangelical Times] October 4, 2004--The late 17th century saw the last period of organized persecution of Christians in England and produced some of the finest pieces of Christian literature in the English language. The experiences of evangelical believers at that time have a number of things to teach us, as we may soon be facing similar challenges.

False conversions - the sad reality

[Evangelical Times] October 4, 2004--In 1998 Evangelical Press published my book Are you really born again? which was essentially a study of true and false conversions. It was the product of several years of work on the nature of Christian conversion, promoted by my understanding of the contribution of Charles Finney to evangelical Christianity. For the first time I became aware that a recitation of the famous 'sinner's prayer' did not guarantee a genuine conversion.

Luther on faith

[Evangelical Times] October 4, 2004--Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. ‘Faith is not enough,’ they say, ‘You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.’

U.S. priest fights to save Yorkshire church

[Reuters] January 26, 2005--With a "fly-on-the-vestry-wall" TV crew at his side, American priest James McCaskill is a man on a mission -- to save a Yorkshire church from extinction.

But the Anglican vicar has no illusions that the task of reviving the religious spirit in a depressed, run down coal mining parish is going to be easy.

Split in push for married priests

[Sydney Morning Herald] January 27, 2005--In an unprecedented move, the National Council of Priests, representing about half the Australian Catholic clergy, wants the Vatican to reconsider its ban on married clergy.

Archbishop to become Lord

[ekklesia] January 26, 2005--The retiring Archbishop of York is to be granted a life peerage, it was announced yesterday.

Related article:
"Peerage honour for the new vicar" - Evening Post

No witch hunt for occult worshippers

[] December 17, 2004--Christianity Today accused US church leaders of diverting attention from the crisis over homosexuality by promoting pagan deities.

Just a reminder as to how far the Episcopal Church USA has drifted from orthodox Christianity and classical Anglicanism.

Eucharist and the Present Conflict in the Church

[VirtueOnline] January 17, 2005--I first heard of Radner's book from clergy and laity who found it rather heavy going. Radner uses complex phrasing and extensive vocabulary. He moves with an air of mastery from century to century, theologian to theologian, concept to concept. This sense of mastery is heightened by the glowing praises on the back cover from the highest theological authorities. I strongly suspect that there may be readers who will not clearly discern the true shape of Radner’s argument. Rather, they would be awed by his learning and thereby ready for his conclusions. Unlike certain passages, the principle conclusion is rather easy to grasp: stay put. I will counter that conclusion by clearly stating his argument and measuring it against Scripture and the tradition. At the same time, my own perspective on the vital subject of Eucharistic fellowship will become evident.

Church of Nigeria elects Ten Bishops

[Church of Nigeria News] January 24, 2005--The Episcopal Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has announced the election of ten new Bishops.

Diocese of Jos celebrates 25th Anniversary

[Church of Nigeria News] January 20, 2005--The Anglican Diocese of Jos held its 25th anniversary at St Luke's Cathedral Jos, on January 10.

Lay Evangelist urges Primates to kick ECUSA out - by Lee Buck

[VirtueOnline] January 17, 2005--Beloved and Honorable and Believing Primates of the Anglican Communion:

by Lee Buck

I greet you in the magnificent Name above all Names, the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ who died on a cruel cross that He might redeem us from sin. It is in that Name that I humbly come to you seeking your favor and love.

Into every person's life there arrives a moment of decision which will affect that person in a momentous and significant form. That decision may also impact many other people who are associated with this particular decision maker, or at the least, dependent upon this decision maker. Today, at this very moment and hour, such a decision time has arrived....

Open Letter to the Anglican Primates - by Bishop John Rodgers (AMiA)

[VirtueOnline] January 24, 2005--Message from +John Rodgers, AMiA, to the Anglican Primates

Dear Reverend Sirs and Friends,

A number of you have asked what I think is needed and what I hope the Anglican Primates will do regarding the crisis in the Anglican Communion due to the recent actions of ECUSA. I am aware that we are at a unique point in Anglican history and that we have an opportunity to set things right in a way that we have not had since the 16th Century Reformation. I pray we will not be timid. Please excuse this general means of communication.

Here is my sense of what is needed if we are to be faithful to our calling:

1. One Anglican Province in the USA

a. There must be one Anglican Province in the USA in fellowship with Canterbury, not two: the concept of two overlapping jurisdictions is untenable for several reasons:

i. For the Archbishop of Canterbury to remain in communion with those bishops, clergy and congregations that endorse the election and consecration of Bishop elect Robinson would morally and doctrinally corrupt the Anglican Communion itself. Faithful Provinces would have to break with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with such Provinces that have so departed from the Faith and morals of Scripture. This is the chief, sufficient and fundamental reason. There are others; here are two more.

ii. Many of the Western Provinces are in a process of radical departure from the Faith in various doctrinal and moral areas. Some teach that Jesus is a way a truth and a life and that all religions are salvific, in direct contradiction to Scripture and Article 18 of the 39 Articles, others teach that the Cross of Christ was a revelation of God's love but not a substitutionary, penal sacrifice for sin as taught in Rm. 3:21-26, 2 Cor. 5:21, the Rite 1 Eucharistic liturgy and in several places in the 39 Articles. Will we have separate jurisdictions for all of these groups? Surely not, but once we start dealing with theological and moral differences in such a manner as two jurisdictions on theological and moral grounds where does one stop?

iii. Two jurisdictions one doctrinally and morally faithful and one not in a given area such as the USA would surely prove incredibly confusing to the populace and a great hindrance to evangelism.b. How is this possible and what is to be done with the two contradictory groups in ECUSA? Here is one possible way:

i. Let the Primates declare the scripturally faithful to be the true ECUSA. The Primates should reaffirm the classic Anglican Formularies of Faith and Morals and indicate that they will recognize those clergy and congregations in ECUSA that affirm those formularies and who have and/or will now oppose the consecration of the Bishop elect of the Diocese of New Hampshire as continuing to constitute the true ECUSA. (The name probably should be changed thereafter.) Those taking the revisionist and anti-Lambeth view would be declared by the Primates to be outside of ECUSA from the Primates theological, constitutional and hierarchical perspective.

ii. By thus declaring the faithful to be the true ECUSA the Primates would indicate that in their eyes it is the faithful and not those who have violated the Constitution who own their respective congregational, diocesan property and funds in ECUSA While such a theological statement might be unwelcome to the official leaders of the institutional structures of ECUSA, it could perhaps provide a potential legal context the very possibility of which would encourage both parties to work out a charitable and equitable legal separation.

iii. With regard to the wider Anglican family in the USA, all clergy and congregations so desiring, including the separated Anglican congregations, should be invited to affiliate with this Province if they are willing to subscribe to the doctrine and to the commitment to mission of the Province.

c. Difficulties unavoidable within the Province to be borne or worked through

i. The difficult issue of the ordination of women to the Priesthood should be studied afresh. Given the profound differences on this issue, allowance would have to be made for dioceses to differ according to the convictions of the diocese and Bishop. It would be part of an un reformable section of the Constitution that no diocese or bishop or congregation would ever be required to receive or ordain anyone contrary to theological conscience. A degree of impaired communion would thus be embraced within the Province. Since Bishops ordain Priests or Presbyters it would be necessary that only men were made Bishops so that all in the Province could recognize the ministry of all ordained men in the Province. Short of this it would appear that 2 orthodox provinces would be called for and that would indeed be both tragic and dubious. (See comments above)

ii. The difficult issues of abortion and divorce and remarriage also require fresh study. Clear, biblical guidelines need to be set. These guidelines or canons respecting divorce and remarriage would not be retroactive.

d. The name "Episcopal Church" has become so besmirched that it would be wise in the process of reform that the name of the Church be changed to ACUSA (The Anglican Church in the United States of America or some other name)

i. If possible those who continue in heresy and apostasy should not be permitted to use the name "The Episcopal Church". That once grand name should be laid to rest.

2. an Orthodox Province

a. The Province would be orthodox in the classic Anglican sense by affirming the traditional Anglican Formularies: The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God written, the 3 great Catholic Creeds, the Book of Common Prayer and Ordinal (1662) as a theological norm, the 39 Articles of Religion and the Lambeth Quadrilateral as a sufficient guide to ecumenical cooperation and discussion. (It is not a sufficient statement of the Faith of the Anglican Communion)

i. Nota Bene: In matters of theological discussion and debate in the Province it will always be necessary and appropriate to appeal to sound interpretation of Scripture and not only to the canons of the Church. (See the contrary statement of the Court in the Righter Trial).

ii. The existing canons of ECUSA would not be adopted as a formulary for they will need to be seriously reformed.3. A Great Commission Provincea. The Canons would need to be rewritten so that local ,Diocesan and Provincial structures would all be shaped to give central priority to the "Great Commission" which involves global and local evangelism, church planting, diakonia, and dedicated discipleship.

i. Some suggestions for this focus and reformation are:

a. that each congregation would within a 5 year period move to giving 50% of its income to mission outside of itself unless there are exceptional conditions that make this impossible,

b. that each congregation would have and be working a plan to plant a church at least every 2 to 3 years,

c. that no mission or congregation would be aided financially beyond a 5 year period from its inception,

d. that anyone, lay or ordained, may at any time, in any place begin to plant a church. After it had grown to a stated size such church plants may seek admission as a mission congregation of the diocese in which it had been planted,

e. that significant lay representation be included in the decision making structures of the Church. In this respect the existing canons of ECUSA are good.

f. that diocesan boundaries would be drawn with an eye to mission strategy and mutual mission and not according to USA state lines,

g. that congregations would own their own real property,hh. that the diocese has as its chief purpose to coordinate and serve the several congregations in their effective and growing mission.

4. One Orthodox Anglican Communion

a. Since the 1930s, being a Province in the Anglican Communion has involved at least two things: 1, embracing the same Doctrine and Orders and 2, being recognized by the See of Canterbury.

i. Holding the same Doctrine and sharing in the same Orders has grown weak in the Western Provinces where the 39 Articles are no longer held to be binding on the preaching and teaching of the Provinces and where little or practically no theological ecclesiastic discipline is exercised. Some would hold women's ordination provoked a crisis and now there is the crisis of consecrating a divorced man of homo erotic practice to be a diocesan bishop.

ii. The Primates should reaffirm all of the classic Anglican Formularies listed above and ask all Provinces that wish to remain in the Anglican Communion to officially affirm these as binding on the teaching and preaching of the Province as well as to give the highest regard to the resolutions of the Lambeth Conferences.

iii. Should any Province not be willing to do so or be unwilling to exercise proper ecclesiastic discipline to oversee this matter the Primates would publicly ask the faithful, orthodox Provinces to break communion with those Provinces that are contradicting the Common Anglican Formularies and ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to declare that the See of Canterbury does not recognize them to be in communion with the See of Canterbury or within the Anglican Communion.

Conclusion: for the sake of our mission to the lost, our renewed commitment to the discipline of the faithful and our affirmation of the godly unity of the Anglican Communion, I believe that something like the ends that I have outlined above are essential. There may be better ways to reach those ends and if so I pray the Primates will be led to them. Until better means are stated at least here are some specific suggestions.

With great concern and abiding in prayer for the Church,

I am your brother in Christ,


The Windsor Report: A Report from the House of Bishops

[VirtueOnline] January 24, 2005--THE WINDSOR REPORT:


1. Following the publication of the Windsor Report on 18 October 2004, the House asked the Chairs of its Theological Group and the Faith and Order Advisory Group, the Bishops of Rochester and Chichester (assisted by the Vice-Chair of FOAG, the Bishop of Guildford and the House’s theological consultant, Dr Martin Davie ), to prepare a paper to help guide its own deliberations at its January 2005 meeting, with a view to this document forming the basis of the Church of England’s response prior to the Primates’ Meeting in Belfast on 20 –26 February. This document, which was also informed by discussion at a meeting of bishops at Lambeth on 1 December, is attached. The House was mindful that the issues which the Windsor Report seeks to address have significant implications for Anglican ecumenical dialogue and inter-faith relationships....

Open Letter from Maurice Sinclair (Former Primate of the Southern Cone)

[VirtueOnline] January 26, 2005--January 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A great compensation for the frustrations of the sexuality controversy has been the friendships formed with colleagues in different parts of the Anglican Communion. I am writing now to many people I have been privileged to get to know during the years I served as primate, when I was more immediately involved in this struggle to hold on to historic Anglican faith and practice....

Bishop Duncan's Pastoral Letter for All the Churches

[VirtueOnline] January25, 2005--Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul 25th January, A.D. 2005


Beloved in the Lord,

It has been one year since the chartering of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, now commonly called the Anglican Communion Network. What a year it has been!

Six Bishops Comment on the HoB Meeting in Salt Lake City

[VirtueOnline] January 14, 2005--Read the comments of six Episcopal bishops after the recent House of Bishops meeting, January 12-13, 2005 in Salt Lake City:

Homosexual Advocacy Group Reveals Vicious Anti-Christian Program

[VirtueOnline] January 19, 2005--In an editorial appearing on the website of the homosexual activist group, “Equal Marriage,” members of the lobbyist organization, EGALE, (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere) have revealed their intention to make illegal the public practice of Christianity or teaching of Christian moral doctrine.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Arctic may ask clergy to denounce gay unions

[Anglican Journal] January 24, 2005--The diocese of the Arctic will consider at its 2005 synod whether employees will be required to approve a statement saying, in part, that “homosexual unions are intimacies contrary to God’s design.”

Our World: Today's Jewish anti-Semites

[The Jerusalem Post] January 25, 2005--Today the vast majority of anti-Semites are not calling for Jews to be deported to death camps. They are calling for the destruction of the Jewish state and, as was the case in previous generations, they are seeking out and finding Jews like Karl Marx who share their hatred for the Jewish people and willingly advance their evil agenda.

Related article:
"Europe has taken over the Holocaust" -

'Somalis are crying out for help'

[Cape Times] January 25, 2005--Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane is to approach the Western Cape government and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) on ways to help Somalis affected by last month's tsunami that pounded the poverty-stricken African country's coast.

Related article:
"African Church Leaders Express Discontent Over Neglect of Somalia" - The Christian Post

Bishops could get power to hire and fire vicars

[Yorkshire Post Today] January 25, 2005--Vicars could lose freehold – the ancient right that makes them almost unsackable. But the sensitive proposal, which comes from a group headed by a Yorkshire academic, is expected to be fiercely fought, with critics claiming it would give too much power to the bishops.

Send-off for former archbishop draws criticism

[ABCNewsOnline] January 25, 2005--The Anglican Church in Adelaide has been criticised for planning a public farewell service for former archbishop Ian George.

Related article:,5936,12055734%255E421,00.html
"Service for bishop riles abuse victims" - The Advertiser

Anglican Church opposes presence of US troops

[ColomboPage] January 25, 2005--The Anglican Church of Sri Lanka has expressed concern over the "alarming" long-term consequences of foreign military personnel in Sri Lanka.

Parish splits from Episcopal Church

[Lexington Herald-Leader] January 25, 2005--For the second time in about a year, members of a local church have severed their ties with the Episcopal Church USA and the Lexington Diocese

Related article:
"Lexington church splits with Episcopal Church USA, diocese" - WKYT 27 NewsFirst

Anglican Church donates to Buruli ulcer patients

[GhanaWeb] January 22, 2005--The Saint Augustine's Anglican Church at Manso-Domi-Beposo in the Amansie West District of Ashanti at the weekend donated food items and cash 200,000 cedis to Buruli ulcer patients at the Saint Martin's Catholic Hospital at Agroyesum. The Reverend Father Clement Adu Sarkodie, Parish Priest, who presented the items, said it was the Church's "widow's mite" to meet the health needs of the patients.

Christian satellite enlists Arab support

[] January 25, 2005--Christian satellite broadcaster SAT-7 is responding to the escalating tsunami disaster by enlisting Arab nations to pray for its victims.

Where Do You 'Seed' Yourself Going?

[] January 25, 2005--Lawns and loans operate by the same principle. The law of seeding-of sowing and reaping-is universal, designed by the Creator to work in every area of life. It epitomizes stewardship by asking: "What seed are you planting today?"

Be Fair to the Liberals: How Worldview Affects Communion

[] January 25, 2005--After some years of ecclesiastical combat (Episcopal battlefield), I think I know why so many conservative Christians do not respond to liberalism as strongly as one would expect. They think that liberals are just cheating: that they know the rules, but like spoiled and willful children have decided to play by rules they like better. Since they’re just cheaters, they only need to be shamed into behaving, and if they won’t be shamed into behaving, conservatives can try to change their Church’s rules and structures to prevent the liberals from cheating anymore.

Mission - At A Turning Point

[] January 25, 2005--All too often, mission becomes an “add on” that is done out of following one’s own agenda, rather than allowing God to establish His priorities. This often is an easy trap to fall into. Even on the orthodox side of the Church there is a tendency to put too much emphasis on the corporate, institutional nature of the Church and forget God’s call to mission. The local church ends up existing solely for the purpose of perpetuating its own life instead of praying for ways in which it can be salt and light — or leaven — in a secular, post-Christian world. Energy and resources are put into buildings, programs, and other activities that are more for the maintenance and preservation of the institution than for the extension of the Kingdom.

Mission Conference coming in February

[] January 25, 2005--Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry will hold its annual Mission Conference February 16-19, 2005. Theme for the four days will be "Side by Side Proclaiming the Gospel."

Top Ten Reasons to Read Christian History

[] January 25, 2005--War's reports deluge us every hour. Why should we read the "old news" of Christian history?

When did churches start using instrumental music?

[] January 25, 2005--Though we know that early Christians sang during worship, they probably used no instruments. Nearly all of the backgrounds from which early Christians came-Jewish, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and more-had instrumental traditions, but these traditions carried negative associations. Most church fathers saw the use of instruments in Jewish worship as a "childish" weakness, less glorifying to God than words of praise. In pagan worship, instrumental music and debauchery were often linked, as this fourth-century manuscript suggests....

"Be Not Conformed"

[] January 25, 2005--Why have American Anabaptists lived in protest against the modern world?

Pure & Simple

[] January 25, 2005--Ever wonder what the "plain people's" churches look and feel like? Here's an insider account.

Ten Ways to Worship Without Music

[] January 25, 2005--Worship isn't simply one area of your life; it is your life. Start right this moment by surrendering your life to God. Then spend the rest of your life learning to worship Him more fully.

ELCA Bishops Comment on Sexuality Study

[The Christian Post] January 24, 2005--Evangelical and conservative ELCA leaders criticized the report as striving to satiate the will of the majority while undercutting the authority of the policies themselves. Pro-gay leaders criticized the report as “not going far enough.”

However, the bishops of the ELCA generally praised the report as being a balanced representation of the church’s varying stances on the contentious issue.

CSW Steps Up Campaign to Address Religious Intolerance in Eritrea

[The Christian Post] January 24, 2005--A human rights charity working on behalf of persecuted Christians has launched a new lobbying campaign on Eritrea in reaction to a new development in the government's crackdowns on Christian groups.

Related article:
"CSW Responds to Ongoing Religious Persecution in Eritrea" - The Christian Post

A 'sobering' day: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal in Terri Schiavo case

[Baptist Press News] January 24, 2005--The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Jan. 24 to overturn a decision by the Florida Supreme Court, which had ruled unconstitutional a law keeping a 41-year-old disabled woman alive.

Marriage amend. re-introduced in Senate with 22 sponsors

[Baptist Press News] January 24, 2005--A marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution was re-introduced in the Senate Jan. 24 with support from Majority Leader Bill Frist and 21 other senators.

New religion law in China: few gains, more restrictions

[Baptist Press News] January 24, 2005--China has announced that a new law governing the freedom of religion will go into effect March 1, according to Compass Direct news service.

Monday, January 24, 2005

We are Jesus’ witnesses

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:7-8, ESV)

Those of us who have asked Jesus to come into our hearts – our innermost selves - and have received him as our Lord and Savior are his witnesses. A witness is someone who publicly affirms by word and example his belief and faith in Jesus. We have been filled with the Holy Spirit for that purpose. We give testimony to his power and presence in our lives not only through our words but through the way we live our lives. Others can look at our lives and see the real difference Jesus has made in them. I am not talking about attending worship gatherings more than most people although worship is an important part of the life of a disciple of Jesus. I am not talking about becoming more critical of those who are not yet disciples because they do not live the way that we believe that they ought to live. I am talking about really living Jesus’ teachings and trusting in Jesus for the supernatural influence and power to do so – what theologians call grace. When someone meets us, they meet Jesus because Jesus is so evident in our words and in our lives. We become living icons of Jesus – windows through which both disciples and those not yet disciples can see the Divine – that Supreme Being we call God, the One to whom our souls, all that we are, cries out Abba, Father.

Being a witness to Jesus means we cannot separate ourselves from the world. We must live in the world while at the same time not becoming so immersed in the world that we are unrecognizable from those who are not followers of Jesus. We must seek the friendship of those who are not yet disciples and not limit our relationships to those who already follow Jesus. We cannot be salt and light in the world as Jesus calls us to be if we keep ourselves apart from the world (Matthew 5:13-14). We can cut up vegetables and put them in a pot with some water and simmer them for a while. However, they will not have any flavor unless we add a little salt. The salt helps to bring out the flavor of the vegetables and turns them into a savory stew. This is one of the roles that we as disciples of Jesus and witnesses to Jesus play in the world. We are to add savor to the lives of those around us. Just as salt that has lost its taste is not good for anything, neither is salt that never leaves the salt shaker. It absorbs moisture, clumps together and eventually must be thrown away.

We are also to be bright lights shining in the dark places. Our lives must focus attention upon God and bring honor to His name. As Jesus himself points out, a light serves no purpose if we hide it (Matthew 5: 14-16; Mark 4:21; Luke 11.33). It must be placed so that all may benefit from its light.

To be true witnesses to Jesus, we must devote time and energy to forming friendships with those who are not yet disciples – real friendships. We must seek them where they may be found and not expect them to come to us. This is what Jesus himself did. He did not sit back waiting for people to come to him. He went among the people, seeking out those who needed him the most, those who needed what he alone can give – healing, forgiveness, salvation, wholeness, meaning to life. We must show them the same love that Jesus has shown us. We must genuinely care for them, share their troubles as well as their triumphs, just as Jesus would have us share ours with him.

As witnesses to Jesus we must learn to listen – to let our non-Jesus follower friends do the talking and not jump in with our own opinions and views. While we may not agree with what they say, we must show our willingness to listen to them and to what they are saying. The advice of the apostle Paul to the Colossians is worth remembering: "Conduct yourself wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person" (Colossians 4:5-6). As we listen to them, we should also seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings. When the conversation turns to spiritual things and we have an opportunity to share with them the gospel, we should not reject them if they do not immediately respond as we would like them to see them respond. We should remain their friend, being there for them whenever they need someone. We may be the only person through whom they experience God’s love. We should pray for them everyday, asking the Holy Spirit to draw them closer to Jesus. God may, in his time, use us or another to lead them to His Son.

O Glorious One, you humbled yourself and became human like us that we might be reconciled to God. Fill us, we pray, with the love that sent you into the world. May those who see us see only you. May those who hear us hear only you. This we ask in your name as you have taught us to pray. May it be so.

Three More Evangelical Christians Arrested in Eritrea

[The Christian Post] January 21, 2005--Three more evangelical Christians have been detained in Eritrea, in the most recent arrest by the country designated last year by the U.S. State Department as a 'Country of Particular Concern.'

Catholic church puts ban on civil unions

[The New Zealand Herald] January 23, 2005--Gay couples wanting to take advantage of new legislation allowing civil unions may be able to have a church ceremony - but not in a Catholic church.

A transfer defined by man or God?

[] January 23, 2005--After weeks of media coverage about a married Episcopal priest becoming a Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Charles Parthum III, pastor of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, thinks a key piece has been missing.

Welsh saints to adorn Orthodox church

[icWales] January 24, 2005--A CHURCH in North Wales could be decorated with frescoes of hundreds of Welsh saints to cement its links with ancient Celtic Christianity.

Evangelicals Urge Greater Transparency in Church Appointments

[Christianity Today] January 22, 2005--The Church of England newspaper has revealed a new proposal suggested by a private group of conservative evangelicals which aims to end the secrecy over church appointments.

First Scots ordination of married priest gets special approval from pope

[] January 23, 2005--THE Catholic Church in Scotland is to have its first ordination of a married priest after the Pope granted special permission.

The Generation That Won't Grow Up

[] January 24, 2005--For several years, I have been warning audiences that America now faces a generation of young people unwilling to grow up, assume adult responsibility, marry, and start raising families. I have addressed this issue in various articles, public lectures, and church settings. My observations have been drawn from constant contact with young adults, including college students, and are backed up by a wealth of demographic and statistical information. Nevertheless, my warnings have often been met with incredulity, suspicion, and even outrage.

Understanding Hinduism, Part Two

[] January 24, 2005--Those hardest hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami were poor fishing communities whose inhabitants—mostly Hindus—are untutored in refined theological speculation on life and death. For them, all of life is controlled by the play of capricious deities,” wrote Newsweek’s Kenneth Woodward. So what do Hindu people believe? And what do Christians need to understand about this ancient faith?In his book, The Religions Next Door, Marvin Olasky sets out to explain the basic tenets of Hinduism, along with Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. Following is part two of Chapter 3, "Hinduism's Flow."

My Savior, My Spouse?

[Christian Singles] January 24, 2005--If you're one of those singles who finds comfort in Isaiah 54:5—"For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name … "—you should probably stop reading this column and go reread that passage instead. I'll catch you next time around.

But if you're one of those singles who reads that verse with equal parts confusion and consternation, read on, kindred. You're in good company.

Learning from the Masters

[Christian Music] January 24, 2005--I think often, though not always, the answer is as simple as this: The songwriters simply haven't yet matured enough, theologically or experientially, to get it just right. They haven't been through the fire, so to speak, that's often needed to ignite the insight necessary for penning lyrics of depth and eternal significance.

Seminarian-led clothes closet touching inner-city lives

[Baptist Press News] January 21, 2005--A hot lunch and a pair of jeans, some spaghetti and a coat for winter. For most people, these items are afterthoughts -- expected, assumed, taken for granted. But for Kory Wenell, they are something more. For this master of divinity student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one person's tossed-away afterthought can be an avenue for the Gospel -- a way of reaching those who lack both clothes and Christ.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Can there be true communion between revisionists and orthodox Christians?

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…. (2 Corinthians 6:1-16, ESV)

The Lambeth Commission on Communion was appointed to explore the extent to which there can be communion between revisionists and orthodox Christians in the Anglican Communion. Events subsequent to the appointment of the Lambeth Commission and the issuance of its report and the heretical nature of revisionist ideas and teachings point to one conclusion: there can be no real fellowship between us. We deceive ourselves if we believe that revisionists and orthodox Christians can walk together, unbelievers with believers. The divisions that separate revisionists from orthodox Christians are too deep. Our differences are too great. The revisionists and the orthodox Christians in the Episcopal Church and other Anglican provinces may be part of the same province but little else unites them. The closest that there can be communion between these two groups is as close as there can be communion between heretics and orthodox believers.

While the revisionists are often the first to raise the panic cry of schism, they are in actuality themselves in schism from the orthodox Christian body of the Anglican Communion and of the larger one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. They have created the divisions with their heretical ideas and teachings, ideas and teachings that are at odds with the Bible and with "the faith once delivered to the apostles."

If we examine Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, we discover that Jesus prayed for unity among those who believe in Him through the word of the apostles. "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 17:20-21, ESV). Those who reject the "faith once delivered to the apostles" are not among those who believe in Jesus through the apostles’ word. Jesus’ prayer is not a prayer for unity between unbelievers and believers. In their teaching it is self-evident that the revisionists in the Anglican Communion have departed from classical orthodox Christianity. We are misapplying John 17:20-21 if we view it as a warrant for unity between them and orthodox Christians. Jesus is praying for unity among those who believe in Him through the apostolic witness. The revisionists reject that witness.

In 1 Corinthians 1:10 and 3:1-9 the apostle Paul is primarily referring to the divisions in the local church. Different groups in the Corinthian Church were quarreling over which leader the local church should follow. The present divisions in the Anglican Communion go beyond quarrels over leadership at the local level. They relate to such matters as the place of the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Church, the character of God, the divinity and exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, the nature of discipleship, and the need for personal holiness. They even include the nature of communion itself. The revisionists, when they talk about "communion," are referring to a kind of loose association that would impose no restraints upon them. It would not require even self-restraint on their part. On the other hand, orthodox Christians view true communion as involving a common faith and mutual accountability. Whether what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:10 and 3:1-9 is applicable to these divisions is debatable. They are deep divisions not only in the fabric of the Anglican Communion but of its member churches. Paul calls for believers to be unified with each other. The divisions that the Anglican Communion and its member churches are experiencing are divisions between unbelievers often holding positions of influence and leadership in a province, diocese, or congregation and believers. Rather Romans 16:17-18 is more applicable: "I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve." And Titus 3:10-11: "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned."

The New Testament (Matthew 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Ephesians 5: 3-17, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, James 5:19-20, 1 John 3:4-10, 1 John 5:18-19, 2 John 9-11) tells us that if a brother falls into sin, the church must first seek to call him to repentance. If, however, he is obdurate and refuses to repent, the church must then shun him until he repents. We are not to keep company with the unrepentant brother who persists in sin. The sin of the revisionists in the Anglican Communion is that of unbelief. They deny the inspiration and authority of the Bible and reject its teachings. They have on a number of occasions been asked to repent. They have declined to do so. The primates of the Anglican Communion if they are themselves to be faithful to the Bible and Christian teaching have no choice but to ban the revisionists in the Anglican Communion from the councils and offices of that body and to withdraw recognition of their ministries. This entails collectively affirming that only orthodox provinces, dioceses, clergy and congregations enjoy good standing in the Anglican Communion and publicly acknowledging that there can be no communion between revisionists and orthodox Christians as long as the revisionists cling to their heretical ideas and teachings and refuse to turn away from them. This includes those who, while claiming to hold orthodox beliefs, give their support to the revisionist leaders of their province or diocese, turning a blind eye to the heretical views of these leaders. It means recognizing only the ministries of orthodox Christians in the provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion. Revisionist bishops like Michael Ingham of the Anglican Church of Canada, John Saxbee of the Church of England, and Frank Griswold of the Episcopal Church USA should have no standing in the Anglican Communion. From a Communion perspective their offices or sees should be viewed as vacant. They should not be seated in the councils of the Anglican Communion or given a voice. Clergy ordained by them should not be recognized outside of their jurisdiction and should not be licensed to minister in an orthodox province or diocese.

The question now is how long will it take for the primates of the Anglican Communion to recognize that there can be no communion between revisionists and orthodox Christians.