Paris In Flames – Again


Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on issues of the day

Not just Paris, but much of France is now in lockdown, and even places like neighbouring Belgium. Travel has been curtailed, borders closed, and panic reigns on the streets of Paris and beyond. A series of coordinated attacks around the city in at least six locations have once again highlighted the very real war we are in.

With hostage taking, Kalashnikov and grenade attacks across the nation’s capital, and shouts of Allahu akbar, we are seeing familiar scenes being played out yet again. It seems the West has learned absolutely nothing from previous attacks also undertaken by the religion of peace.

paris nov 1Another series of terrorist attacks, another set on incredulity on the part of the West, and another case of denial by our elites and media. Even with IS already claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks which have left at least 160 dead as of now, we have talking heads still saying we can’t say who is behind this.

Indeed, the US dhimmi-in-chief Obama said ‘I don’t want to speculate on who is responsible for this’. Of course. He will not use the ‘M’ word and he will prefer that we all just keep our heads in the sand. Leaders like this prefer to live in la la land and hate to deal with reality.

This bugs me no end. As horrible as these attacks are, equally appalling is the ongoing wilful blindness of Western leaders, politicians and media outlets to deal with reality. I have yet to hear the ‘M’ word or the ‘I’ word mentioned in any of the media reports. Obviously we have another case of disgruntled Baptist Sunday school teachers going on a rampage.

While many of us have been warning folk for years about flawed multiculturalism policies, ignorance of Islam, and blindness to the reality of creeping sharia, we still get our ruling elites pushing for open slather in immigration policy, and still remaining utterly clueless as to the war we are in.

Europe is learning this the hard way once again. And after years of non-integration and non-assimilation, all this was of course inevitable. When will we realise a very simple yet profound truth: Immigration without assimilation is an invasion.

Let me repeat that for you until it begins to sink in: Immigration without assimilation is an invasion. For decades now Western nations have taken an almost blind and unquestioning approach to Islamic immigration, asking few if any questions about those coming to our countries.

Hollande in France, Merkel in Germany, etc, have all been insistent and proud about their open door immigration policies, willingly bringing in masses of people – many of whom should never have been let in. Admittedly, separating the wheat from the chaff here can be a very difficult task, but it is a task all responsible governments must undertake.

Genuine multiculturalism works when the guest comes to a host nation agreeing with and appreciating its values, beliefs and way of life. That is how real integration and assimilation occurs. But when new arrivals refuse to embrace the values of the nation, and even refuse to learn the language, then you have a recipe for disaster.

And here is another home truth you can bank on: when someone says they plan to kill you, you had better stand up and take notice. When the enemies of freedom, democracy and the rule of law come out clearly stating their aims to annihilate the West and kill the infidels, then the first thing we must do is take them seriously.

The Christian response

Everything I said above is of course generic and general truth which anyone can assent to. But I also happen to be a Christian, as well as someone who is very aware of and concerned about the nature and goals of Islam. So how should the believer respond to all this?

As I just told a group of international students yesterday on this topic, we have two things going on here. As individual believers, we can and should seek to befriend, reach out to, and share the gospel with, our Muslim neighbours. We have an obligation to love and evangelise everyone, including Muslims.

But as to public policy, all governments have an obligation and responsibility to protect its citizens, resist those who hate us, and secure our borders. No government worth its salt can turn a blind eye to the political ideology of Islam and its stated aims of establishing a universal caliphate with everyone in submission to Allah, willingly or otherwise.

God created the institution of the state to deal with evil and maintain order in a nation. But he also created the church to share the gospel. The believer must understand that both play important roles here. While individual believers can forgive and extend mercy, the state must administer justice and punish wrongdoing.

Thus there is nothing at all contradictory in having believers praying for and seeking to win Muslims, while simultaneously affirming and supporting the role of the state to guard its citizens and deal – harshly if need be – with its enemies. Islamic terrorism is a reality which we dare not ignore, make excuses for, or try to spiritualise away.

Indeed, can I suggest that Christians who are utterly clueless as to the real nature of Islam and its aims are a part of the problem. There is nothing spiritual or Christlike about being ignorant and just plain stupid about one of the gravest threats to everything we hold near and dear.

Allowing Muslim terrorists to slaughter innocent men, women and children because we don’t want to be “judgmental” or appear to be unwelcoming or un-accepting is not a sign of Christian maturity but a sign of brainless foolishness. As already stated, we must pray for and evangelise everyone, including Muslims, but we must start developing some political realism here as well.

Militant Islam is indeed a “death cult” as some brave leaders have said, such as Tony Abbott. We ignore it at our own peril. This is war. War has been declared against the West, against Christianity, against freedom, and against everything decent and worthwhile.

To pretend Islam is not a problem is to simply contribute to the problem. Indeed, the appeasers, the cowards, and the duped dhimmis in the West are as responsible for the blood flowing on the streets of Paris – and elsewhere – as are the IS gunmen.

We have allowed this to happen. It is time that we change course, wake up to reality, and admit that war has been declared on us.

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Anglo-Catholics as Evangelistic Church Planters

By Canon Lawrence D. Bausch
November, 2015

Anglo-Catholics are grateful for the significant role we have played in Anglican history, especially in reminding Anglicans that our church is an organic portion of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that was established by God’s action in the first century. In previous centuries, we have participated mightily in missionary work, church planting and serving those in need, all centered on the glorification of Christ and His presence and action in the Sacraments. We have contributed to enriching our worship, restored the Religious Life to our church, reintroduced Retreats, Sacramental Confession and Spiritual Direction, and the riches of the personal prayer life from all ages of Christian history. We, as members of Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA) rejoice that we have a share in this wonderful heritage. However, we in North America are facing challenges to our continued participation in the fulness of this inheritance, and I would like to address one of these here: Church Planting.

Whether our FIFNA members are in TEC, ACNA, or one of the various continuing Anglican jurisdictions, we all face obstacles which can blind us to a vision of ministry which includes the importance of church planting. This situation is brought about by several reasons, three of which we will consider here. First, those of us who came into church life or ordained ministry a generation or more ago were largely brought into a church in which priests were primarily seen as chaplains to the faithful, whose job was to lead the faithful in worship, teach, and care for those in need. (Think of Fr. Tim in the delightful “Mitford” books, especially the early ones.) Church Planting was largely something determined by Dioceses, as “missions” became less often the work of local parishes. Mission to the unchurched was largely overlooked.

Second, those Anglicans who have been intentional in Church Planting over the last generation or more have most often been from the evangelical/charismatic elements of the church. Indeed, a “model church plant” has come to be perceived in many quarters as something most Anglo-Catholics would hardly recognize as church, most significantly in the use of language which defines worship as music, and where the actual celebration of the Eucharist becomes almost a sidebar to the music (and possibly the preaching). This distortion has led some to simply write off church planting, believing that it only serves to undermine what we believe and practice.

A third factor to consider is the understandable focus on simply preserving what we have. Many of our people are in parishes which perceive themselves to be “too small” to consider Church Planting, and struggle to keep what they have. Some serve in TEC dioceses in which they are permitted to teach and worship in their own tradition, but are essentially limited to their parish. (This number includes some who have been told by bishops that when their rector leaves or retires, things will change.)

In spite of these obstacles, the Gospel is clear that all Christians are called to be evangelistic, including support for Church Planting. Jesus has come out of love for all people, and we are His Body sent to reveal Him (Luke 2:29-32; 24:45-47, etc.). How then can Anglo-Catholics become good evangelists and support Church Planting? My first action upon my election to President of FIFNA was to appoint Fr. Chris Culpepper as Advisor to the President for Church Planting. He has started two congregations in the Diocese of Fort Worth, as well as advising other church planters in the Diocese and in the REC. He has recently formed a task force which will disseminate best practices in Anglo-Catholic Church Planting and provide individual coaching for leaders of future FIFNA congregations; more information is at the task force website at This ministry in support of the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the Church is crucial not only for Anglo-Catholics, but for the broader Apostolic and Conciliar Church.

One final note: It is a great joy to be able to report that the recent Church Planting leaders appointed for the ACNA by Archbishop Foley Beach, The Rev. Canon Dan Alger and The Rev Alan Hawkins, are incorporating two elements to the basic characteristics of Anglican church plants which FIFNA can heartily endorse: First, church plants need to be connected with the larger church; and second, they need to be sacramentally based. We are delighted that they share these concerns.

The Rev. Canon Lawrence D. Bausch is President, Forward in Faith North America

Who Put God In A Box?

Who Put God In A Box?

Fr. Dale Matson

The Word of God is both a mirror and a light. It reveals our inner nature to us, both saint and sinner. What I was impressed with in writing a devotional was my own lack of humility when in God’s presence and how often I fall short of His call to live a pure and holy life.

I am also impressed with how God has been turned into a charitable friend by our modern churches. We do have a friend in Jesus but He is so much more than that. He is also the transfigured and ascended Christ, Who is also God. He is also the Christ who was a co-creator with the Father. In the 1979 BCP lectionary readings, we see the compassionate human Christ but the righteous Christ Who threw the money changers out of the temple is downplayed. Christ demands that we follow Him, yoked to His pain, joy and holiness. We will all drink from His cup of suffering until we put on immortality.

One cannot walk away from the experience of writing a Lectio Divina format devotional without being bathed in the light of Scripture. What has been missing for me is the obvious Divine aspect of Christ, the moment-by-moment presence of God the Holy Spirit and fear of the Father. I think the 1928 Book of Common Prayer gives us a much fuller understanding of God than the 1979 BCP.

Much of the 1928 prayer book is driven by a traditional catechism with questions like this. “What is thy duty toward God?” “My duty toward God is to believe in him and fear him…life.” The 1979 prayer book asks, “What is the nature of God revealed in Jesus?” “God is love”. He is a loving and gracious God but to only portray Him in this way is a form of idolatry and paves the way for a false Christology that deemphasizes God’s call to Holiness.

My questions would be, “Who is God?” “Is God only love?” “Is he not also a jealous, holy, sovereign and righteous God?” “Who is man?” “Is he created in God’s image but also contaminated with original sin. “Do all humans and all of corrupted creation need a savior?”

In the 1979 prayer book, human nature is misrepresented. “What does it mean to be created in the image of God?” It means that we are free to make choices: to love, to create, to reason, and to live in harmony with creation and God.” What is described is human existence before the fall. There is no mention of the fall, original sin and the corruption of all creation. While the 1979 prayer book emphasizes free will and choices (freedom), the 1928 prayer book describes in detail our duty (responsibilities) to neighbor including “…to do my duty in that state of life unto which is shall please God to call me.”

When a church manipulates belief through the selective use of lectionary Scripture, then it is no different than Satan’s three temptations of Christ with the selective use of Scripture. What Scripture is selected for the lectionary lessons and how it is selected reflects the underlying theology of those who select it. The Underground Pewster has had several examples posted on his blog over the years, where Scripture readings are broken up to avoid certain passages. (

It is TEC leadership that put “God in a box” by overemphasizing one aspect of His being. In so doing, they also let man out of the box, so to speak. We are called to “…do our duty.” We are free but we have constraints and boundaries, duties and responsibilities. Good theology is God centered. Theology that is man centered makes God in the image of an idealized man. When man is god, the material earth becomes his kingdom and it is more important to save the earth that humans may “flourish” than to save souls for the Kingdom of God.

Father Dale is an Anglican Priest, a Retired Licensed Plumber and Heavy Equipment Operator and Psychologist. He resides with his wife Sharon in Fresno California and is a Priest at St. James Anglican Cathedral. He is an Emeritus Faculty member of Fresno Pacific University and has authored 12 books

CAIRO: Anglican Church in North America Declared Partner Province by the Global South

CAIRO: Anglican Church in North America Declared Partner Province by the Global South

October 16, 2015

Anglican Primates of the Global South, a coalition representing the majority of the world’s Anglicans, met October 14-16, 2015 in Cairo, Egypt.

During the meeting, the Anglican Church in North America was declared to be an official partner province of the Global South. In addition, Archbishop Foley Beach, who earlier in the week had preached at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in Cairo, was seated as a member of the Global South Primates Council with both voice and vote; participating fully in the meeting.

Archbishop Beach commented on the gathering, “It is a privilege and joy to represent the Anglican Church in North America as the bonds of fellowship between faithful, global Anglicans continue to be strengthened. This was a good and important week in the lives of our provinces, and I am encouraged that some of the seeds of restoration and renewal that were planted years ago are continuing to bear fruit.”

At future meetings of the Global South, the Anglican Church in North America is invited to send official representatives, and Archbishop Beach will continue to have voice and vote in the Global South Primates Council.

Purposes of marriage fixed for Anglicans by the BCP says Okoh


George Conger

The purposes and principles of marriage as given in the Book of Common Prayer defines marriage, the Primate of All-Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, told his diocese’s 16th Annual Women’s Conference last week in Abuja. Attempts by some western churches and nations to redefine marriage to include covenanted relationships between persons of the same gender were theologically impossible and morally suspect, he said. “In our context, marriage is the relationship between a man and a woman, any other thing is an abomination. The purpose is for companionship and strength whereby the wife is strength to her husband and so also the husband. It should not only be in their youth but also as they grow older they begin to complement each other in a very strong way so that they kill the boredom of loneliness,” he said on 10 Oct 2015. Attempts to separate marriage from procreation were unnatural, he observed. “The western world may want to adopt people’s children but certainly the child is not their own and in fact their influence on such children is not going to be very healthy.” Christians were called to control their appetites, he said, stating the only proper expression of genital sexual congress was within male-female marriage. We are not animals that express their emotions and sexual feelings on the road, so marriage is honourable and dignified as described in the Bible,” the archbishop said.



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United Methodist and Episcopalian Church Clergy Lead Prayer Rally to “Bless” Abortion Clinic

In Ohio, United Methodist Church pastor, Reverend Laura Young, says she believes pro-life protesters in front of Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities have “misguided faith.” In fact, she thinks these clinics should be blessed, which is why she went out to an abortion facility called Preterm on October 8th in Cleveland. In 2014, Preterm was involved in the abortion-related death of Lakisha Wilson.

Young explained her acceptance of abortion like this: “Christianity, like most faiths, is founded on love. Watching protesters shouting judgment and hate based on what they call religion is horrible. Is that loving God? Is that loving your neighbor as yourself?”

Think Progress reports that the group hopes their “blessing” will protect Preterm from “preachy protesters, as well as encourage the strength and bravery of those providing and relying on its services.” Young plans to go out to other abortion facilities in the state if their event in Cleveland is successful.

Young also says religious groups are fueling the so-called war on women. She explained, “Women are being attacked at a moral level by the radical Religious Right. They’ve hijacked the political discussion. This event is an opportunity for progressive religious leaders to stop the silence. We need to be in the conversation.”

The abortion reverend heads up a group called the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and they run an “all-options” counseling hotline for women facing crisis pregnancies. She said, “It breaks my heart to know women are sitting in pews across the country feeling shamed, believing that they’re cursed for making this decision. That’s a question I get a lot on the phone, ‘Am I going to hell?’ When God instead is there to support women through it all.”

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On their website, the group says their mission is to “ensure reproductive choice through education, advocacy, and counseling. The Coalition seeks to give clear voice to the reproductive issues of people of color, those living in poverty, and other underserved populations.”

As LifeNews previously reported, on July 29, the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board said the undercover videos exposing the organization’s organ harvesting business are simply an attack on women’s health care. Jeffrey Walton from the Institute on Religion and Democracy reports that the board is made up of religious leaders from the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and American Baptist Churches as well as clergy from Reformed Jewish and Unitarian Universalist congregations.

In a statement the clergy said, “As faith leaders committed to justice, honesty, and liberty, we are troubled by the decades-long campaign of harassment against Planned Parenthood and those they serve. Our faiths demand care for those marginalized by poverty and other oppressions. Faith leaders have supported Planned Parenthood for nearly 100 years because of our shared goals: every person — regardless of income, race, or religion — deserves access to safe, affordable, high-quality health care.”

They concluded, “Our religious traditions call us to offer compassion, not judgment. People who work for Planned Parenthood give care and respect to those in need, doing God’s work. For this we are grateful.”

Thankfully, pro-abortion religious groups are in the minority and countless prominent religious leaders have expressed disapproval for Planned Parenthood’s outrageous practices. For example, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said that the videos reveal “the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion and fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life.”

Then he reminded Catholics that Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a “widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so man.”

Additionally, Rev. Franklin Graham and Baptist theologian Albert Mohler commented on Planned Parenthood’s lucrative business after the footage was released. Rev. Graham said, “Abortion is a sin and is clearly murder in God’s eyes. The people who perform it have no conscience, so I’m not at all surprised that they would be selling organs, tissue, and body parts from babies. Planned Parenthood should be put out of business. They’ve done enough damage.”

In some ways, Mohler used even stronger language than Rev. Graham to describe Planned Parenthood and said they “stand at the epicenter of the Culture of Death.” He also dismissed the abortion giant’s justifications for their executive’s unbelievable comments.

He said, “They are not going to be able to explain this video away. I have no reason to believe that the video is anything less than totally credible. But, even if Planned Parenthood somehow finds a way to evade justice in terms of criminal activity, the part of the video that Planned Parenthood does not –and cannot — deny reveals their senior medical director enjoying a conversation over a meal in which she describes tearing apart the bodies of unborn human beings in order to get the desired organ: “I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”

Will revisionism save the C of E? We’re about to find out.

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream.

“Superb article, Andrew. You’ve cleared up several points on which I was confused. But then your articles are rarely less than superb.”

Sadly this commendation did not apply to me, but was the first of 640 readers’ comments on an article by Andrew Brown in last week’s Guardian Online. But more of that later.

Presiding Officers in each Diocese are this week counting the votes to elect members for General Synod for the next five years. I have a more than passing interest as I am a candidate for Oxford Diocesan clergy, but definitely an outsider to be one of the nine chosen among the 30 candidates.

Some Dioceses have already posted their results, and the headline has been the election of Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain as a representative for London. The background: In February 2014 the Bishops’ post-Synod statement reiterated that the Church of England cannot bless same sex relationships nor change its doctrine of marriage. Specifically an appeal was made to clergy in same sex relationships (which were supposed to be “celibate” anyway) not to take advantage of the forthcoming change in law (March 2014) to get married, because this would cause confusion about the Church’s teaching. Two clergy who defied this ruling became focal points for media interest: Jeremy Pemberton and Andrew Cain. What are we to make of the fact that the latter has become part of the decision making and governing body of the organisation whose teaching and practice on a crucial matter he has rejected?

London has the highest number of clergy reps for Synod – 11 – and there are some evangelicals in the list as well. But clearly, Foreshew-Cain has attracted many votes from other clergy because he represents a groundswell of opinion that the Church’s line on sexuality and marriage should be changed. He will become, then, a “focus of unity” for revisionists on Synod. Some may think the Bishops should be embarrassed, but I’m sure the official response will be that as the Church is involved in a “conversation”, all views can be expressed robustly, providing there is “good disagreement”.

For his supporters, Foreshew-Cain will be a symbol of “inclusion”. In his recent media statements he assumes that those who are concerned about his lifestyle simply “dislike gay people”. He goes on to say that the church with its teaching about sexual morality is not only alienating gay people, but divorced people as well. The implication is that whatever people choose to do with their relationships and private lives, that is ‘who they are’, and there should be no barriers. For revisionists, Foreshew-Cain’s presence at Synod will be a prophetic challenge to the boring, oppressive establishment, whose traditional doctrines about sex and marriage are excluding large numbers of people who don’t live in monogamous heterosexual marriage and are not celibate. ‘Including’ them will be the key to church growth.

Andrew Brown, veteran Guardian journalist, made similar points in an article last week, entitled Opposing gay Bishops for the sake of church unity is stupid. In his first paragraph he dismisses two common beliefs about what makes churches grow: a foundation of truth, and certainty of faith and its communication. The fact that different religions are based on mutually incompatible truth claims, and all seem to survive and thrive, suggests, according to Brown, that any such claims by any religion should be treated with suspicion if not ridicule. He then refutes the idea that certainty in religion is a good thing, by using two examples of “conviction” Christianity. Prosperity preachers are “obvious charlatans”; Calvinists are “boring and wrong”. This analysis of the motives of those who disagree with you is similar to Foreshew-Cain’s accusation that all with a conservative theology on sex and marriage hate gay people.

Brown dismisses the idea that sticking to orthodox doctrine will strengthen ecclesiastical institutions, because it hasn’t worked with the Catholic church in the West. Nor, apparently, with Anglicanism – since the notoriously heterodox David Jenkins retired from the See of Durham, a succession of Bishops “of unimpeachable orthodoxy” have failed to prevent a steep decline in church attendance. For Brown, like all revisionists, orthodoxy, like “Calvinism”, is a turn off even to most churchgoers, who would prefer to be led by a Bishop who shared their doubts, and this may in fact arrest the decline.

All of this builds up to the main point of Brown’s article, which is that Jeffrey John should be a Bishop, but has been blocked by “noisy evangelicals”, who insist that he could not be a focus of unity in a Diocese. Again there is caricature – we are told that conservative clergy are threatening to “march out” of the C of E in the case of John’s episcopacy, and that being governed by this threat is “cowardly and stupid”. Brown says that making John a Bishop might cause disunity but it would not be any worse than the current decline in numbers under Bishops with conventional beliefs and lifestyles, and may even cause some to stay. The same argument would presumably be made about the election of Foreshew-Cain to Synod as a hero for the revisionist cause.

But of course for those concerned about a foundation of biblical truth in the Church of England, the hypothetical problem with Jeffrey John being a Bishop would not be his sexuality, but his heterodox teaching. The actual high profile presence in Synod of a clergyman married to someone of the same sex will be a guarantor of division, and a symbol not of inclusion of people but of rebellion against God and his word. It is delusion to think this is a brave challenge to the powers that be – it is rather a capitulation to them, to the Stonewall-controlled, secularised new Establishment.

Will the policy of inclusion without repentance and faith, of rejecting traditional doctrines and reimagining Christian faith in line with contemporary urban white Western culture, bring more people to church? The Episcopal Church in the States and in Scotland, and  the Anglican Church in Wales have journeyed along this road, and are declining rapidly. While it may be true that orthodox Bishops per se do not guarantee church growth, the evidence shows clearly that revisionism leads to church decline. And its not difficult to see why. If the Gospel isn’t true, why should I go to church on Sunday rather than go shopping or play golf? Community? Inspiring architecture? Help to be a better person? Those who want clergy to be “tentative in speaking about God” and “honest about doubts” have certainly failed to convince me why I should bother with the church if the whole thing is an “imaginative construct” to use Andrew Brown’s phrase.

If Foreshew-Cain’s presence on Synod passes without any comment from Bishops or senior evangelicals, does this signify another milestone in the C of E’s inevitable slide towards revisionism?  What will the orthodox Anglicans do in the light of the latest example of this trajectory, in England and worldwide?

See also The all-inclusive church, by David Robertson, Christian Today