Archive for March, 2017

CANADA: Diocese of Niagara Parish Offers Islamic Prayers to Allah

Friday, March 31st, 2017

CANADA: Diocese of Niagara Parish Offers Islamic Prayers to Allah

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
labyrinth

Western Christianity’s flirtation with Islam has apparently reached, or should I say evolved, to a new level.

We have seen the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral open its doors to Islamic worship. We have seen passages of the Koran publicly read in a cathedral in Scotland, with only minimal pushback. In Germany, Islamic prayers were offered in a Lutheran Church by an Imam, with fierce pushback by a Christian Lutheran woman; who called the act blasphemous. We have seen the Archbishop of Canterbury shake hands publicly with dodgy Islamic leaders who would sooner kill him than love him if circumstances were different.

But what we have never seen before is this.

In the wake of the Quebec mosque shooting, St. Simon’s in Oakville, Ontario, in the Diocese of Niagara, decided to support Muslims, by praying to Allah during its monthly labyrinth walk.

Now you should know that the bishop of this diocese, one Michael Bird, is a revisionist, dare one say loathsome little man, who hates opposition of any kind and even sued a blogger because he found himself satirized for his crazy positions. He has pushed the revisionist button at every opportunity especially and including the public promotion of homosexual marriage and much more. As you can imagine, he is not loved by orthodox Anglicans, many of whom dumped the liberal diocese, leaving friends and church buildings behind in order to stay faithful to the gospel.

The labyrinth walk is normally reserved for trendy events like Gaia inspired eco-worship, so this is a new exploration of the boundaries of voguish virtue-signaling, a further lurch into fatuity, writes David of samizdat, who must remain anonymous for fear of retribution. (Free speech on sodomy is on its last legs in Canada).

David writes that it was only a couple of decades ago when St. Simon’s was an orthodox and faithful evangelical parish.

And then came the news of the shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City, during evening prayers in late January.

According to one liberal Anglican priest, faith communities across Canada were shocked.

So, the question that must be asked is this, have these same Anglicans shown ANY shock at the destruction of an entire Anglican diocese in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram and the slaughter of thousands of mostly Anglican Christians? Nope, not a word. They don’t count, largely, we suspect, because they are evangelical in faith and morals and the Diocese of Niagara dumped all that a long time ago.

Have there been calls for a Day of Prayer by Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz for some 90,000 Christians (one every six minutes) who were imprisoned, tortured and killed by Islamic extremists last year?

The story continues. At St. Simon’s, Oakville, Rector Darcey Lazerte tried to comfort his parish community with a sermon focusing on understanding and taking action to support the Muslim congregations. “It only seems fit to dedicate our monthly labyrinth walk to peace in support of the Muslim community,” he lamented in a sermon.

“An invitation to Al Falah Islamic Centre was quickly offered, and through Dr. Majid Kazi’s effort, eight members of the mosque joined our walk. Together with five members of the parish, two people from Greening Sacred Spaces Halton and several regular walkers, our February labyrinth walk became a spiritual support group.

“As part of the meditations, we used a Muslim prayer for peace by Muhammad al-Jazri. It was completed during the siege of Damascus, December, 1389. The debriefing at the end of the walk was a testament to the strength of the Muslim brothers and sisters in their pursuit of peace and greater understanding of the foundation of their faith.

“We are hopeful that this new fellowship will lead to other shared opportunities.”

This was the prayer:

O Allah, unite our hearts and set aright our mutual affairs, guide us in the path of peace.
Liberate us from darkness by Your light, save us from enormities whether open or hidden.
Bless us in our ears, eyes, hearts, spouses, and children.
Turn to us; truly you are Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
Make us grateful for Your bounty and full of praise for it, so that we may continue to receive it and complete Your blessings upon us.

I’m not sure what “enormities” the congregation of St. Simon’s need to be liberated from, but perhaps one is the enormous folly of reciting an Islamic prayer in a Christian church.

And you thought the only truly insane Anglicans in North America were in TEC! Move over TEC, you have just been replaced.

END

Christian Concern

Friday, March 24th, 2017

“GAFCON is enabling the Anglican Communion to be fit for God’s purposes in the twenty-first century. We are uniting Anglicans around the world in faithful witness to Jesus Christ and recovering Biblical truth where it has been compromised. There is much still to do, but we give great thanks to God for his grace at work among us.”
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh – GAFCON Chairman

GAFCON is the future

The Anglican Communion worldwide is a most amazing gift of God, but it is being squandered by false teachers determined to substitute their own ideas for God’s revealed will in Scripture. They do this without rebuke from the Communion’s traditional leadership.

Gafcon is the future. Through Gafcon the true gospel is being proclaimed and the Bible guarded. We hope this snapshot will demonstrate that the faithful of the Anglican Communion have risen and have begun to reclaim the Communion for a confident and clear witness to Jesus Christ.

By becoming a Gafcon supporter you are helping shape the future, a future where we will see the West re-evangelised and the gospel continue to spread in the fast growing parts of the world.

Gathering

  • GAFCON 2018 will be held in Jerusalem, returning to the place where the movement began in 2008 when over 1,000 delegates acclaimed the inspirational Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. Attendance increased to over 1,500 for GAFCON 2013 in Nairobi and we expect a healty increase in 2018. We aim to fund 500 bursaries so that no one is excluded for financial reasons.
  • The Gafcon Primates Council meets annually and represents the majority of practicing Anglicans worldwide. Last year’s meeting in Nairobi included representatives from ten provinces and we expect a similar attendance this year.
  • From the beginning, Gafcon has stood with faithful Anglicans who have been pushed to the margins or even ejected by revisionist leadership. In South America, the pattern seen ten years ago in North America is being repeated and the Anglican Diocese of Recife is to become a new Gafcon province, the Anglican Church in Brazil, a safe place for faithful Anglicans in Brazil and throughout northern and central South America.
  • As the Scottish Episcopal Church prepares to make official its rejection of apostolic teaching about marriage and sexuality in 2017, the Revd David McCarthy, Rector of one of Scotland’s largest Anglican congregations, has spoken movingly of how Gafcon is a ‘source of great hope’.
  • In addition to Provinces represented at the Gafcon Primates Councils, there are a growing number of branches to serve regions where there is no provincial involvement. This map shows how widely Gafcon is now established throughout the Communion.

Equipping

  • The Gafcon Bishops Training Institute (BTI) was launched with an inaugural international conference in September 2016 in Kenya, led by Director the Rt Revd Dr Samson Mwaluda. Nearly thirty recently consecrated bishops attended for eight days of fellowship, leadership training, Bible teaching, robust discussion and fun. The next conference will be held in May 2017.

  • The Gafcon website has had a major upgrade so that all our supporters can be informed and equipped through regular high quality content including personal testimony and teaching videos.
  • The Gafcon Theological Consultation was launched in February 2017 at a meeting hosted by Uganda Christian University and chaired by Archbishop Peter Jensen. This group will work with Gafcon aligned theological colleges across the Communion to ensure high quality bible training and teaching resources are widely available.

Gafcon Theological Consultation - February 2017

Contending

  • In January 2016 the Gafcon Primates played a leading role at the Canterbury Primates meeting called by Archbishop Justin Welby. The Primates voted overwhelming to apply disciplinary measures to the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC), following its official adoption of same sex ‘marriage’. Sadly, these measures were not followed through, but the Gafcon Primates were widely quoted by the BBC and international media as the leading voice for orthodoxy in the Communion.
  • Meanwhile, violations of the mind of the Communion on marriage and sexuality, as expressed in Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, continue in the Church of England itself as revisionists attempt to establish ‘facts on the ground’. In November, GAFCON UK courageously drew international attention to this trend. A subsequent House of Bishops report recommended no change in the Church of England’s doctrinal position, but indiscipline continues.
  • An Epiphany service at St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, included a liturgical reading from the Koran in which the divinity of Jesus was explicitly denied. The Archbishop of Canterbury declined to comment, but Gafcon UK leaders were prominent in the protests that followed this shocking departure from apostolic faith.

Witnessing

The historic Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008 concludes with the words ‘The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ’. Partnership in the Gafcon movement is stimulating new mission initiatives worldwide. Here are just a few recent examples:

  • The Anglican Church in North America has now linked up with the Gafcon aligned Diocese of Recife and the Anglican Church of South America to form ‘Caminemos Juntos’, an evangelistic and church planting initiative across the Americas.
  • The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) created by Gafcon, has announced plans to pioneer twenty-five new local churches by 2020 and two hundred and fifty by 2050.
  • In January 2017, the Gafcon Church Planting Consultative group met to plan a global church planting network for mutual learning, collaboration and encouragement. Church planting is seen as a key strategy in the re-evangelisation of the West.

How you can help

  1. Pray
    This is our top priority. Without prayer we labour in vain.  Hopefully the emails you receive with links to Gafcon news, our blogs, videos and regular updates provide useful fuel for your prayers. Why not encourage others to subscribe by forwarding this link to other Bible believing Anglicans you know? (www.gafcon.org/join)
  2. Become a Supporter
    For the movement to grow and have real influence around the world we need to recruit as many active Supporters as possible who will assent to the Jerusalem Declaration, Gafcon’s commitment to Biblical truth and apostolic orthodoxy. If you have not yet done so, please read the Declaration here and email us at support@gafcon.org to say you assent.
  3. Become a Partner (donor)
    We need finance to resource the movement properly: to provide effective communications, to mobilise the Gafcon Primates, to connect supporters worldwide and train and equip church leaders. Our hope is that most of our Supporters will become Partners by donating to the movement. A modest donation given regularly by a large number of Partners will make it possible to maintain a sustainable movement. Please become a Partner by donating here.

Conservative vicar calls on bishop to ‘repent’ over thanksgiving for gay couples

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

harry-farley Harry Farley Journalist

A Conservative Anglican vicar is calling on his bishop to repent for saying the Church’s view on sexuality was ‘morally unacceptable’.

Rev Steven Hanna, of St Elisabeth, Becontree, said his church ‘could not in good conscience’ attend an upcoming conference organised by Bishop Steven Cottrell after he called for thanksgiving prayers for gay couples.

Rev Steven Hanna, vicar of St Elisabeth Brecontree, will not attend a training session organised by the bishop.BBC

In a presidential address Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell said the Church of England was seen as ‘immoral’ for its refusal to welcome gay marriage and said it should reach an ‘agree to disagree’ compromise over gay marriage as it had done over women’s ordination.

‘It would be particularly foolish for us to ignore the missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church. As I have said before, I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set,’ he said in an address to Chelmsford’s local diocesan synod.

But Hanna said his bishop had ‘not said clearly what we believe he should have said’ and called on him and other bishops to repent.

‘We disagree that it is damaging to mission to proclaim biblical and traditional views on marriage and faithful sexual relations only within the boundaries of traditional marriage,’ he said in a statement on Monday.

‘We believe to proclaim this is consistent with Christ’s gospel. We believe it is faithful to being Christ’s disciples and faithful to His mission and not damaging to it, even if many do not like that message. Not to proclaim this, we believe, is unfaithful.

‘We call all our bishops to public repentance – both for what they have said publicly and for what they needed to say clearly but haven’t publicly said.’

It comes amid growing friction within the CofE as it wrestles over the next steps on sexuality.

A report that held a predominantly conservative line on gay marriage was rejected by the ruling general synod in February. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York responded to the unprecedented defeat by calling for a ‘radical new Christian inclusion’ for gay couples in the Church.

But conservative factions have hinted they could switch their loyalties, and more importantly their financial support, away from the CofE as they perceive a liberal shift.

GAFCON, a traditionalist grouping of mainly African primates, has called for a ‘new vision’ for the Anglican Communion.

‘Despite its enduring historical symbolism, Canterbury can no longer be the defining centre, but through the Gafcon movement a growing number of faithful Anglicans are now recovering their true identity in the gospel itself as the Bible is restored to its rightful place at the heart of the Communion.’

Generation Z Most Conservative Since WWII?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

BreakPoint: Kids These Days

For years, we’ve been hearing that one side of the political aisle is on “the right side of history.” But history doesn’t seem to be cooperating.

For at least a decade, Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, and stuck on social media. While that may not be entirely fair, they are notoriously liberal, overwhelmingly supporting left-leaning candidates and favoring policies like nationalized healthcare and same-sex “marriage.”

But Millennials are also getting old—relatively speaking. The first are now reaching the ripe old age of thirty-five! And sometime between 1995 and 2000, the millennial generation ended, or at least stopped being born, and a new generation began.

Members of “Generation Z” are now beginning to graduate high school, and 2016 was the first time any of them were old enough to vote. At seventy million and counting, they’re also about to outnumber their predecessors.

So, what’s so intriguing about this new brood? Well, according to a growing body of research, they may be, by certain measures, the most conservative generation since World War II—more than Millennials, Generation Xers and even the Baby-Boomers.

Millennials were raised in a time of roaring prosperity, when video cassettes were a bigger influence than digital technology, and many came of age before the age of radical Islamic terror. Gen Z kids, by contrast, are “digital natives.” They’ve never known life without the Internet, and have grown up surrounded by instant access to the world’s harsh realities on their smart phones.

These young people are products of conflict and recession. They can only remember a news cycle “marred by economic stress, rising student debt… and war overseas.” As a result, they’ve taken on what one team of Goldman-Sachs analysts called a “more pragmatic” and conservative outlook on the world.

Of course, generalizations at this stage are very early and very subject to development. But according to polling in the wake of the 2016 election, Gen Z Americans didn’t vote like their Millennial predecessors. Eight out of ten of these kids identify themselves as “fiscally conservative,” and they prefer saving to spending—at rates not seen since the Silent Generation.

And get this: According to one British study conducted by global consultancy firm, The Guild, almost sixty percent of Gen Z respondents in the U.K. described their views on “same-sex marriage, transgender rights and marijuana legalization” as “conservative” or “moderate,” compared with a whopping 83% of Millennials who called themselves “quite” or “very liberal” on these issues. The Gen Z participants were even ten times more likely than Millennials to dislike tattoos and body piercings!

These are good trends, but these students still need discipleship and catechesis. A tendency toward traditional values, by itself, means nothing unless those who believe in revealed Truth, the Gospel, the natural family, and political and religious liberty step forward and train the next generation to articulate and live out these truths.

What is clear from this emerging data about the young is that they don’t fit neatly into rhetoric about the “right side of history.” As Columbia University sociologist, Musa Al-Gharbi writes, trends like this are deeply troubling for those so recently crowing that the future belonged to one political party.

No one knows what the future holds, except the One Who holds the future! And the fact that so many were apparently wrong about the right side of history is just another reminder that He alone is God, Whom the Psalmist called “faithful throughout all generations.”

Further Reading and Information

Kids These Days: Generation Z Most Conservative Since WWII?

Eric has highlighted some interesting and surprising statistics for the post-Millennial generation. These statistics show that there is a great opportunity for believers to be engaged in discipling and training this younger age-group. For even more details about Generation Z, check out the resources linked below.

Resources

Gen Z is the most conservative generation since those born before 1945

  • Marketing Communications News
  • September 15, 2016
The Democratic Party Is Facing a Demographic Crisis

  • Musa Al-Gharbi
  • The American Conservative
  • March 2, 2017
50k ‘Gen Z’ Students Identify as Republican

  • Alberto Avalos
  • Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • October 27, 2016
The Post-Millennial Generation Should Worry Democrats

  • Pete Vanderzwet
  • Dailycaller.com
  • February 7, 2017

KANUGA: Washington Bishop Drops Bombshell on House of Bishops

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

 

By David W. Virtue DD
www.virtueonline.org

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, dropped a bombshell on the HOB meeting in Kanuga this week. A sermon she gave became the talk of the bishops and the ‘elephant in the room’, according to Springfield Bishop Dan Martins.

According to Martins, the ruckus started when Budde, a theologically lite bishop whose fantasy theology comes from her favorite “theologian”, New Age master David Whyte, and who once said liberal Christianity can be saved, told the assembled bishops that her diocese was in deep trouble and offered up the following.

“There are 88 congregations in the Diocese of Washington. Many are small, with a worshipping congregation under 200. Looking deeply at the trends and internal realities of each, only 12 of them, at most, are on a path of sustainability and growth; another 12-15, at the other extreme, are in precipitous decline–most of them in our most vulnerable or rapidly transitioning neighborhoods or communities. The rest, despite working as hard as they can, will most likely be, without some intervention or significant change, almost exactly where they are now 10 years from now in terms of size and capacity for ministry—-is in a part of the country that is experiencing significant population growth and where other expressions of the Christian faith are thriving. I can’t bring myself to count the number of congregations I cannot, in good conscience, recommend to those who are seeking a vibrant expression of Christian community.”

She went on to say, “There’s no doubt in my mind that the Jesus Movement is alive and well in the Diocese of Washington. I cannot say the same about the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement in all of its expressions. And on my watch, I will do everything in my power, redirect every resource I can, examine every assumption about how we do things and why, in order to promote greater spiritual health, joy, and capacity for ministry throughout the diocese. That includes evaluating all that it costs the diocese for me to be part of the House of Bishops. I must evaluate my efforts, and ours, based on the fruits they produce.”

Has the bishop suddenly become the canary in the coal mine, or is she standing on the crumbling ramparts of TEC shouting that the emperor (Michael Curry) has no clothes (the Jesus Movement is working for her) and TEC is slowly withering and dying? Has the realization dawned that there is no future for her diocese, and by implication The Episcopal Church?

“I find myself saying ‘no’ to a lot of interesting things and important work that I could do because I’m the bishop of the Diocese of Washington, precisely because those things keep me from the real work of being the Bishop of the Diocese of Washington. And I do my best not to be thrown off course for too long by the storms, but deal with them as effectively as possible, and then redirect my focus on the slow, steady work of revitalizing the church.

“Many of the issues holding us back in the Diocese of Washington are spiritual. We, like Nicodemus, need to be born again. Many of the congregations in the Diocese of Washington offer a tepid expression of Christian life, with almost nothing to offer the very people congregational leaders say they want to “attract,” she said.

Budde said many of the issues holding the diocese back were structural and cultural, embedded in personal preferences masked as core values. She further opined that many obstacles were the result of institutional weakness, as congregations feel constrained to put their best energies to their buildings rather than the ministry the buildings exist to serve.

“If we don’t address these weaknesses, it doesn’t matter how earnestly we want to join in God’s mission in the world, how prophetic our calls are for justice. For our capacity to go where Jesus calls and do what Jesus needs us to do is hindered by our weakness, just as any physical weakness hinders our personal capacity to fully engage our lives.”

She concluded, “I cannot accept this as God’s preferred future for us. And I know that you don’t either….I want nothing more than to learn from you, to hear about what you are discovering, experimenting with, all the new ways you’re learning of being the church. Wouldn’t it be amazing, if on our watch, we could turn the trends of decline around?”

That is not going to happen. The Episcopal Church has been sliding down the primrose path of pansexuality for over 40 years imbibing sodomy, changing its canons on marriage to support same-sex marriage, supporting abortion, euthanasia and a whole host of culture war issues in the name of “justice”, “rights”, “radical inclusion” and “generous orthodoxy”, that many believe is driving America to the brink of spiritual suicide indicated by the rise of Nones and the slow death of Protestantism.

Bishop Budde will draw zero strength from other dioceses as 98% of them are in much the same position as her own…slowly withering and dying.

The Episcopal Church has sown to the wind and is now reaping the whirlwind, and it took a revisionist Episcopal bishop to finally stand up and tell the truth.

END

CofE follows in TEC’s radical feminist footsteps

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

On the Bishop of Burnley; Where is the surprise here?
CofE follows in TEC’s radical feminist footsteps
Is the will of God being thwarted?

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org

Is anyone really surprised that Bishop Philip North (XI Burnley) was beaten back into submission by the growing liberal feminist lobby within the Church of England to keep him from first becoming the XI Bishop of Whitby and now the IX Bishop of Sheffield?

This same thing happened in The Episcopal Church where orthodox traditionalists are crushed into compliance and that sort of spiritual cancer is spreading, originally from the secular society to the church, and now to the Mother Church of Anglicanism — the Church of England.

When women’s ordination burst forth through the irregular ordinations of the Philadelphia 11 on July 29, 1974, The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America became snake bit. Now the Church of England has become dragon bit and the Archbishop of Canterbury will not rise up as a dragonslayer as the godly St. George did. The famed dragonslayer is the patron saint of England and his St. George’s Cross is in the center of every waving Union Jack as the upright cross is superimposed over the X-shaped St. Andrew’s Cross.

The Church, the Bride of Christ on earth — be she called Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist or Baptist — has become so infected by the world that she is slowly allowing herself to be fundamentally changed by creeping cultural secularism leading to spiritual death. A good analogy is that of a frog which can be slowly boiled to death in a pot of cold water without its knowledge limiting its ability to escape in time to save its very life.

Two years after the first female priests were “ordained” in 1974 that action was legalized by the 1976 General Convention which approved the priestly ordination of women and regularized the Philadelphia 11 and the subsequent Washington Four ordinations. A clarion call was trumpeted forth by the traditionalists and The Episcopal Church started to fray at the seams thus throwing off Episcopalians into the Anglican Continuum.

In response to the 1976 General Convention’s approval of women in the Episcopal priesthood the 1977 fall meeting of the Episcopal House of Bishops adopted a “conscience clause” which affirm “No Bishop, Priest, or Lay Person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities as a result of his or her conscientious objection to or support of the sixty-fifth General Convention’s actions with regard to the ordination of women to the priesthood or episcopate.”

“Since the clause was adopted by the House of Bishops only, and not also by the House of Deputies, it had no canonical authority,” The Episcopal Church’s website is quick to point out. “The clause insured that no bishop could be punished for opposing the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church.”

The Final Four

However 20 years later all but four Episcopal dioceses ordain women priests. The four remaining conservative diocesan bishops holding the line were in Wisconsin (William Wantland – IV Eau Claire); Illinois (Keith Ackerman – VIII Quincy); California (John-David Schofield – IV San Joaquin); and Texas (Jack Iker – III Fort Worth). The Diocese of Eau Claire was the first to fall after Bishop Wantland retired in 1999. Within five years that diocese’s first two woman priests were ordained by Keith Whitmore (V Eau Claire).

It turned out the HOB’s “A Statement of Conscience” wasn’t even worth the paper it was written on. Eventually the 2000 General Convention, meeting in Denver, Colorado, mandated that no woman could not be denied ordination in any Episcopal diocese solely due to her biological sex. The issue of transgenderism had yet to be raised.

By 2010 all Episcopal dioceses were ordaining women priests when the tattered remains of the TEC Diocese of Quincy ordained a female to the priesthood. By then the consecration of Episcopal women bishops was in full flower with the elevation of a partnered lesbian, Mary Glasspool, to the bishopric as bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

On July 29, the 43rd anniversary of the ordinations of the Philadelphia 11, Jennifer Brooke-Davidson is slated to be consecrated as suffragan bishop suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. She is to be the 26th woman consecrated as a bishop in The Episcopal Church. Gretchen Rehberg was consecrated today (March 18) as the XI Bishop of Spokane, and next month (April 29) Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows is in the pipeline for consecration as the XI Bishop of Indianapolis.

Slowly women’s ordination spread throughout the entire Episcopal Church and bishops, priests and deacons as well as the people in the pews were forced to acquiescence or leave for their souls’ sake. Many left going into the Continuum or crossed the Tiber to Rome or converted to Orthodoxy or joined the “other” Christian church on the corner or even spiritually stepped out into nowhere to become “nones.” Priests, even bishops, and the people left — taking their church structures with them — and ultimately entire dioceses and religious communities made the difficult move.

But, of course, women’s ordination was just the tip of the slippery iceberg; so the Church of England — Beware!

Now The Episcopal Church fully condones the culture with its open embrace of the culture of death … in-your-face gay pride … transgenderism … marriage equality … radical feminism … liturgies for animals … reinterpreted Scripture … interfaith ecumenism … you-name-it/we-accept-it pseudo theology … multiculturalism … politicized preaching … glitter ashes … Indaba & Ubuntu … pagan celebrations … florescent orange as a liturgical color ….

About the only one who is not properly featured in post-modern Episcopalianism is Jesus Christ, unless, of course, He can be portrayed as a gay, feminized, transgendered otherworldly being.

20 Years Slower

The Church of England was 20 years slower to jump on the woman clergy bandwagon than The Episcopal Church was. In 1992 the CofE General Synod make it possible for the ordination of women to the priesthood. However in 1993 an Act of Synod was passed to provide spiritual protection to those who could not in good conscience accept the ministry of a women priest through a system of “Flying Bishops.” Of course, use of the “Provincial Episcopal Visitor” was seen as an institutional scheme to discriminate against women. The first female CofE priests were ordained in 1994 — 20 years after the Philadelphia 11 burst upon the clerical scene — but the episcopate was still off limits to women.

Then it took another 20 years for the Mother Church of Anglicanism to authorize the consecration of women bishops but not before a bruising battle in CofE General Synod. In 2012 General Synod rejected female bishops by a mere six votes in the lay order.

Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Canterbury, was deeply disappointed in the General Synod’s narrow rejection of women bishops saying he felt “deep personal sadness” at the outcome.

“[This] isn’t the end of the story,” Williams noted at the time. “This is not an issue that is going to go away.”

However, by the time General Synod voted again there was a new man at Lambeth Palace. The 2014 vote sailed through with Justin Welby championing the cause.

He stated: “Today’s overwhelming vote demonstrates the widespread desire of the Church of England to move ahead with ordaining women as bishops, and at the same time enabling those who disagree to flourish.”

In January 2015 first Church of England women bishop to be consecrated was Libby Lane as the Bishop of Stockport. Currently there are 10 women bishops in the Church of England. It took The Episcopal Church 13 years to consecrate 10 female bishops, a feat the Church of England accomplished in 17 months.

The ordination of women bishops in England has met with protests and WATCH (Women and the Church) protested the protests.

Penning a letter to Archbishop Welby, WATCH stated: “Such interruptions (protests) create the perception that the Church is willing to allow a woman who has been called by God and the Church, and appointed by the Crown, to be publicly insulted and undermined.”

The backlash against Bishop North’s appointment to Sheffield was swift and brutal. Undue pressure was put on the conservative bishop to where he was “publically insulted and undermined.” Yet he, too, was “called by God and the Church and appointed” by 10 Downing Street through the Crown Nominations Commission and approved by Queen Elizabeth to step into Sheffield Cathedral as the IX Bishop of Sheffield. This shaming happened not once but twice. In 2012 he was first appointed by the Prime Minister, and approved by the Queen, to be Bishop of Whitby. So apparently, as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the Defender of the Faith, Queen Elizabeth has faith in him to be enthroned as the Bishop Ordinary of Sheffield. But, he was forced to withdraw his nomination because of his historic theological understanding that the episcopate is reserved for males only. This traditional understanding of the character of the episcopate so upsets women priests clamoring to become female bishops that Bishop North buckled under the barrage and withdrew his nomination.

Becoming the Bishop of Burnley

Bishop North’s bishopric is located in the Province of York, which is one of two ecclesial provinces in England, the other being Canterbury. As such, two years ago, when he was consecrated the Bishop of Burnley, Archbishop of York John Sentamu graciously stepped back from actively participating in Bishop North’s consecration in deference to Philip North’s theological understanding of the nature of episcopal consecration which has been dubbed the “Theology of Taint.”

Forward in Faith-UK explains in New Directions magazine: “The issue for us has never been about so-called ‘taint’ but rather with a theology and communion. For example, a bishop, who has in the past ordained women, by that act, created an impairment of communion between him and bishops who did not ordain women.”

Archbishop Sentamu has ordained women priests and consecrated Libby Lane as the first female CofE bishop just one week before Bishop North’s 2015 consecration. Although the Archbishop of York did not participate in the latter’s consecration through the laying-on-of-hands, he did preach and made it possible for the CofE’s Five Guiding Principles to work and insure the mutual flourishing of those with theological differences within the Church of England by Bishop North’s consecration as the XI Bishop of Burnley.

Bishop Burnley’s consecrators were: Bishop of Pontefract Tony Robinson, who is also the FiF-UK chairman, was primary consecrator. He was assisted by the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner and the Bishop of Beverley Glyn Webster. The newly-minted Bishop Libby Lane was in attendance.

Once Bishop North, a staunch Anglo-Catholic, was announced as the Bishop of Sheffield so the liberal feminist attacks and political bullying began in earnest. It all became too much for the Burnley bishop and he folded declining the nomination to Sheffield. He is currently taking some personal time to recover from the spiritual bruising he received before continuing his duties as the bishop suffragan (Bishop of Burnley) in the Diocese of Blackburn.

Premier reports that “Bishop North said the decision to refuse the nomination was made ‘with regret and sadness’ but he believed his arrival ‘would not be acceptable to many’ and be ‘counter-productive’ for local mission.”

“If, as Christians, we cannot relate to each other within the bounds of love,” Bishop North asks, “how can we possibly presume to transform a nation in the Name of Christ?”

Archbishop Sentamu decried the fact that the guiding principles — which were put into place to protect all members of the Church of England, regardless of their theological understanding, but particularly the traditionalists — failed.

“What has happened to Bishop Philip clearly does not reflect the settlement under which, two and a half years ago, the Church of England joyfully and decisively opened up all orders of ministry to men and women,” the Archbishop of York said in a released statement. “It also made a commitment to mutual flourishing.”

The CofE’s guiding principles were put into place to insure that the traditionalists received “the highest possible degree of communion” so that both sides might “mutually flourish” within the Mother Church. The concept of “mutual flourishing” lay at the heart of the 2014 agreement to introduce women bishops into the Church of England.

Through Bishop North’s vilification and haranguing the Church of England has learned a hard lesson: that radicalized strident women’s voices will not be quieted. They insist on their own way no matter what, even if it means taking a good man down with them and perhaps thwarting the will of God.

The Church of England’s Five Guiding Principles, designed to protect Anglo-Catholics by allowing them to flourish in the ever-changing church, are just as meaningless and empty as the 1977 Statement of Conscience is which was penned by the Episcopal House of Bishops to protect traditionalists in The Episcopal Church as women’s ordination unfolded in America.

What those who champion women’s ordination do not seem to realize is that the conservatives are not acting out of sexism, nor being politically incorrect or just being spiritual snobs, but rather because they honestly believe theological actions have eternal consequence which effect their very souls. It’s not a matter of discrimination but salvation.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

No, God is Not Transgender

Friday, March 17th, 2017

CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg’s commentary on issues of the day…

Telling lies about God and what God’s Word says is a common practice of those who seek to justify their rebellion and sin. Sadly, we do not just have individuals doing this, or even just churches, but entire denominations. Consider the Metropolitan Community Church which exists to promote and justify homosexuality while pretending to somehow be a Christian denomination.

wynnIt was founded in 1967 in LA by homosexual activist Troy Perry. The entire foundation of this group is built on the lies of the devil, so we can expect that only bitter fruit will emerge from them. Not surprisingly, they support every radical anti-biblical sexual agenda item there is, be it homosexual marriage or the whole gender bender madness.

One might as well have an entire denomination which exists to affirm, promote and celebrate adultery, or fornication, or theft, or any other clearly defined sin. That is what this group is all about: championing sin and blatantly and mischievously making excuses for it.

So we need to avoid this group like the plague. We of course should pray that they are delivered from the satanic deception they are bound up in, as well as be delivered from their immoral, sinful and dead-end lifestyles. But we must not allow their apostasy and deceit a free run.

Consider just one recent example of what this group is all about, as found in this report:

A Texas pastor opposing a controversial transgender bathroom bill that would require individuals to use public restrooms based on “biological sex” protested the bill with hundreds of LGBTQ advocates on Tuesday declaring that “God is transgender.”
Senate Bill 6, proposed in January, would require everyone to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex,” according to The Texas Tribune. The measure would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
The Rev. S. David Wynn, a senior pastor from Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas, lashed out at the bill in solidarity with hundreds of LGBTQ advocates protesting the bill outside the state capitol in Austin.
“In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. … So God is transgender,” Wynn told the crowd which roared in approval. “We’re all created in the image of what is holy and divine and sacred, and we should all be treated that way.”

The blatant lies and deception found here is staggering to behold. But it is fully to be expected. Those who seek to make excuses and justification for their sin and rebellion against God will always twist and distort the Word of God to serve their evil ends.

The level of dishonesty here alone is enough to make you ill. Even taking the word “transgender” at its most basic, it of course can never be used to describe God. As an adjective it has to do with those whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

Thus a girl no longer wants to identify as female or a guy does not want to identify as male. That is what the term actually means. So how in the world can we apply something like this to God? The Bible is crystal clear in informing us that God is a spirit, and is not a sexual being at all.

As I put it in an article about God and gender: “God is not gendered, nor a sexual being. God is a spirit, as we are told by Jesus himself in John 4:24: ‘God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’ Divine beings are not male nor female. But, God is also a personal being. God is not a human being, but is nonetheless personal.”

The fact that we are made in his image does not mean of course that we are spiritual, sexless beings. It means we share in his personal characteristics – we are people with mind, will and emotion. The fact that God made us of two different sexes – male and female – is the creational order and blueprint for how we are as sexual beings.

Nowhere in the creation account – or anywhere else in Scripture – are we told that the way God made mankind can involve choosing a different sex to the one we are born with. We are either male or female, end of story. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that our sex is a matter of indifference or of choice or of preference.

Of course any genuine biblical Christian knows that God’s good purposes in creation have been marred by the Fall. Now, with sin in the world, impacting on every one of us, we find things are often not the way God meant them to be.

Because of sin and its universal impact, people are born far from the ideal that God had for us. So some people are born with a limb missing, or a missing finger, or they are born blind, or they may be born with a cleft lip, or with Down syndrome or with other chromosome abnormalities.

And one very rare case of such sexual and chromosomal abnormalities comes in what is known as the Intersex condition. This has nothing as such to do with the homosexual agenda or even the transgender agenda. As I explain in my book Strained Relations:

It must be noted that a very small percentage of people are in their own category, and are quite different. I refer to the intersex condition, where genetic abnormalities results in sexual confusion. There can be ambiguous genitalia, chromosomal imbalances – eg, having an extra sex chromosome – and so on. These can be found in conditions such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Turner Syndrome, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, and Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Intersex conditions are mostly innate, whereas the unusually low concordance rates in identical twins (who have identical genes and essentially prenatal environment) show that causes of homosexuality are predominantly post-natal.

So there are some very rare yet legitimate cases of some ambiguity when it comes to one’s sex. But these are extreme cases and have nothing to do with those who decide they no longer like the sex they were born with, and decide they want to become the other sex.

So from both a biblical/theological as well as a medical/scientific point of view, this “pastor” is simply spreading falsehoods and deception to further the agenda of the sexual radicals. But we expect as much from an apostate denomination like the MMC which is proud to affirm sin and twist God’s Word.

The levels of deception and rebellion found throughout the West are increasing exponentially. While Jesus and the disciples warned us that this would be the case, it is always disheartening to find it in such blatant and arrogant form. It is time for all true followers of Jesus Christ to stand strong here and reject the theological revisionists.

www.christianpost.com/news/god-is-transgender-pastor-texas-bathroom-bill-177159/
billmuehlenberg.com/2015/10/29/god-and-gender/