Archive for July, 2009

Gay Unions and blessings

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Gay Unions and blessings

Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth, the Rt Rev Bethlehem Nopece made the following press statement today…


The Episcopal Church General Convention adoption of resolutions D025 and C056 is a deliberate defiance of the wider Body of the Anglican Communion. We believe this is the choice they make to be politically correct with circular popular opion which seeks continually to destroy the moral fibre of people in general as we see the decay all around us. The blessings of the same-sex unions and the ordination of practicing gay clergy is inconsistence with the Word of God written; it is theologically uninformed, incoherent with the wider church, endorsing schism in the Anglican Communion and threatens ecumenical fellowship and relations.

The statement of their presiding Bishop Katherine Jeffert Schori on salvation of individual seems to strip the gospel of its transforming power of each one of repentant persons when in Christ to be “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). The Episcopal Church has made its choice to journey alone. We as the Anglican Church we still uplift the Biblical standard of guidance in moral behaviour. We do not seek any political correctness, but call upon all people to repentance and change of life and patterns of behaviour for a new character in line with the demands of the Word of God. Our programme is of pastoral care that transforms lives, eradicate poverty, heal the sick e.g. HIV and Aids, remove crime from our streets and build a sound family life in conformity to God’s demands as revealed in the scriptures (Mtt 5:48).

On the issues of homosexuality, we continue to journey on until all people come to the obedience of faith (Rom.15:18). The nation of South Africa must not be deceived, God will bless us only when we seek after righteousness.

Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth. 31 July 2009AD.

Archbishop of Canterbury Must Face Facts in Quest for Anglican Unity

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

By David W Virtue, virtueonline

The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken about the actions of GC2009 but what he says brings little comfort or solace to orthodox Anglicans across the world, especially congregations in revisionist dioceses under siege by equally revisionist bishops.

In an effort to keep the Anglican Communion from imploding, the Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to re-conceive the Communion as essentially a loose federation of local bodies rather than a theologically coherent “community of Christian communities” in a “two-tier” or a “two-track” model in an endeavor to hold the communion together.

Dr. Williams’ response to The Episcopal Church General Convention’s passage of two explosive resolutions endorsing the ordination of homosexuals as clergy and bishops and rites for same-sex unions that could bring about a de jure schism in the Communion was described by a senior Church of England cleric close to Lambeth Palace as so much “Ro-Babble – a Panglossian description of the blindingly obvious in 2,823 words.”

Nothing is ever final: “Let’s just hope that all will be well in the end, when everyone has signed the Covenant and then we can all hold hands and sing kumbaya.” “It is Rowan acting as a pope. He will not allow anyone else to make decisions, and he will string it all along and spin it as much as he can along the way. He is still hoping that the whole Communion can be conned into following TEC’s lead. Plant more facts on the ground and just give it time….”

An orthodox archbishop described William’s response as “nuanced, offering no leadership in the present crisis.”

Virtually all responses to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s take on the two GC2009 resolutions have been negative or not at all.

To date, TEC’s presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, has not responded to Williams’ letter.

Read more……….

Brave New Church

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The seventy-sixth General Convention of the Episcopal Church made headlines last week for moving forward on same-sex blessings and officially opening its doors for partnered homosexuals to serve as priests and bishops. Stacy Sauls, the Episcopal bishop of Lexington and a close associate of the presiding bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, arguedthat it was long past time to do it: Over thirty years ago, he said, the church had placed pastoral compassion over Scripture, tradition, and the teachings of Jesus to permit remarriage after divorce, and it would be nothing less than hypocritical for the church not to do likewise for gay and lesbian people.

There is a certain logic to this, of course. If we’re going to set aside the teaching of Jesus for ourselves, shouldn’t we do the same for others? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” as someone once said. According to Bishop Sauls, this was the most important point he made at the convention. Arguably, it was the most important point anyone in attendance made. The Episcopal Church has now, quite definitively, decided to step out on its own, away from Scripture, tradition, and the rest of the Anglican communion. It was a bold and brave step, for with it the church has decided that it is now a church that takes its own counsel, answerable only to God. No doubt it was a matter of prayerful discernment and conscience for many, and no doubt many will shy away from drawing out the full implications of their decision. But the implications are there nonetheless. It is a brave new thing for the Episcopal Church, a brave new church on its own in the world.

Read more……..

Archbishop Duncan: Two Cities, One Choice: An Open Letter to the Anglican Communion

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

H/T Transfigurations Blog

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There are times in the history of God’s people when the prevailing values and behaviors of those then in control of rival cities symbolizes a choice to be made by all of God’s people. For Anglicans such a moment has certainly arrived. The cities symbolizing the present choice are Bedford, Texas, and Anaheim, California. In the last month, the contrasting behaviors and values of the religious leaders who met in these two small cities made each a symbol of Anglicanism’s inescapable choice.

Jerusalem and Babylon come to mind as the Scriptural cities which are enduring symbols of choices to be made by God’s people, and of what can happen when God’s people make a choice for something other than God’s Way, God’s Truth, God’s Life, as set out in God’s Covenant, whether Old or New.

Charles Dickens contrasts London and Paris in the last quarter of the 18th Century in his Tale of Two Cities. Both cities are in crisis, but one operates from received values and behaviors, while the other attempts to re-make the world to its own revolutionary tastes.

St. Augustine of Hippo in his De Civitate Dei contrasts the City of God and the City of the World, explaining the fate of Rome in terms of the favor that comes from conforming to the behaviors and values of the Heavenly City as over against the Earthly City.


The Bishop discovers heresy?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Posted on July 18, 2009
Filed under Opinion

Dear friends PLEASE take the time to read the very important piece linked HERE.

Abp Rowan Williams and Katherine Jefferts Schori

“The bishop is simply not concerned with seeing persons come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. She has made this clear over and over again and her convictions were well-known when she was elected as the denomination’s Presiding Bishop. …”

Albert Mohler on last week’s pronouncement by Katherine Jefferts Schori. (Photo courtesy ACNS/Rosenthal.)

GC2009: Clarity Attained at last!!!

Monday, July 20th, 2009

July 18th, 2009 Posted in Anglican Communion, General Convention, TEC |

By David W Virtue,VOL

The passage of resolution D025, that pansexual practitioners will now be acceptable to all orders of ministry in The Episcopal Church, is a clarifying moment.

It is the same kind of clarity the Anglican Primates, 38 leaders of the church, attained in Alexandria, Egypt, earlier this year when they finally admitted that two understandings of the faith, two religions totally at odds with each other now inhabit the Anglican Communion.

There is now no more doubt, no more fudging, no more hesitation and no more ambiguity. We have complete clarity.

The Episcopal Church USA has stepped outside the bounds of biblical morality and the main sweep and teaching of church history on human sexuality.

The question now is: Is The Episcopal Church any longer a Christian denomination in any moral or theological sense?

The Roman Catholic Church, the great Eastern and Western Orthodox churches, major Protestant denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church have not started down this rocky moral road, nor do they seem ready to embrace pan-sexuality, now or ever. To do so would see their own denominations begin to collapse, more slowly than TEC, which has recently lost more than 100,000 members, most of whom have joined together to form an orthodox Anglican province on US soil.

The slippery slope is being travelled with greater velocity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury watched with dismay and expressed his “regret” at the passage of the actions taken by TEC. While he is powerless to act in any judicial or ecclesiastical manner, the language he used was so restrained as to appear weak and ineffectual.

The truth is that Williams’ Affirming Catholicism is more in sync with the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops than it is with orthodox Anglicans. The question that is now being asked with greater frequency is, Where is the Anglican Communion going?

Read the rest of this entry »

“High Priestess of Abortion”

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Speaks at General Convention of Episcopal Church
Jeff Walton
July 15, 2009

Note: To read IRD President Mark Tooley’s commentary about the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale’s appointment to lead Episcopal Divinity School, click here.

Read other IRD articles covering the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church here.

The. Rev. Katherine Ragsdale joins General Convention deputies to share her views on the future of Episcopal Divinity School and seminary education.

The controversial new Dean of Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts predicts an influx of new seminarians from unexpected sources. The Rev. Katherine Ragsdale spoke at an event organized by the Consultation, a group of liberal and revisionist organizations in the Episcopal Church. Ragsdale joined General Convention deputies for a brown bag lunch and shared her views on the future of the EDS and seminary education.

“How do we survive in these economic times?” Ragsdale asked. “As we embrace these things [revisionist changes], we find new partners who never would have considered joining a religious institution because all they’ve heard of is the rabid religious right.”

Nicknamed by conservative detractors as “The High Priestess of Abortion” for her unapologetic defense and advocacy of abortion on demand, Ragsdale is the former chairman of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) as well as a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Ragsdale came under heavy criticism two years ago for her statements in a speech at an Alabama abortion clinic that “Abortion is a blessing.” That criticism returned when Ragsdale was announced as the new Dean of EDS, one of the Episcopal Church’s 11 accredited seminaries and one of its most liberal. Ragsdale pointed out that she is only the second woman called in the Episcopal Church to lead a seminary, and the first openly homosexual person to step into the role.

“The church is changing,” said Ragsdale, recalling her first General Convention in 1985, also in Anaheim, California. Ragsdale said that this was the first convention she had been to where there was not a “big, organized opposition” to the Consultation.

“This is a really exciting time in the life and history of the church,” the beaming new EDS dean said.

The Episcopal Divinity School has struggled with a diminishing number of both enrolled seminarians and finances in recent years. In 2008, the school announced the transfer of many of its historic buildings to neighboring Lesley University in a sale that generated $33.5 million in urgently needed income.

The Episcopal priest said that the economic situation had led to both residential and distance options being made available at EDS, with the traditional three-year residential seminary program no longer affordable or accessible to everyone that wished to pursue a seminary education. This has led to an increase in cheaper distributive learning options, according to Ragsdale. It hasn’t changed the school’s liberal views, however.

“We are grounded in feminist liberation theologies,” Ragsdale said. “We do not believe truth is grounded in yes/no answers.”

Ragsdale also promoted her idea of ecumenism and interfaith work, hypothetically asking how Episcopalians could embrace the richness of other faiths while keeping the integrity of their own, the kind of question she expects EDS will explore in the coming years.

“The occasional Jew or Buddhist at EDS does not compromise our mission, it enriches it,” Ragsdale said. “I don’t subscribe to the ‘we should all be one’ mentality. Our traditions are each unique and got us where we are.”

Ragsdale displayed a pin labeled “CAVU” that she said represented her optimistic view of EDS’ future. Explaining that she, like Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, is a pilot, Ragsdale said “CAVU” stood for the aviation term “Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited.”

“That’s where EDS finds itself right now,” Ragsdale said. “There is no limit to what we can envision, what we can do.”

“There is a burning, starving hunger for what we have to offer in the world,” the seminary president said. She shared a story about a woman who tearfully collapsed in her arms after hearing her speak, saying that Ragsdale had changed her life.

“She had thought that God had no place for her due to her abortion,” Ragsdale said.