Daily Archives: July 10, 2015

(COI Gazette Edit.) Towards the Paris ”˜conference of parties’ Summit on Climate Change

In recent days, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis have all spoken out on the vital issue of climate change. It is vital, because the long-term future of the Earth and its inhabitants is at stake. It is no less a matter than that.

The issue of climate change led to the landmark Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system. What is termed the Conference of Parties (COP) regularly reviews the implementation of the Rio action programme. The next COP will be held next December in Paris and, for the first time in two decades of UN negotiations, will seek to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, aiming to keep global warming below 2°C.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology, Theology

John Percival: The Perversion of Christianity

It is the contention of evangelicals that they are plain Bible Christians, and that in order to be a biblical Christian it is necessary to be an evangelical Christian.’ So wrote John Stott in 1970. To drift from evangelical convictions is to create a perverted form of Christianity.

Melvin Tinker argues that we have a problem: it is no longer clear who or what is an “evangelical Christian.” Can an evangelical be defined doctrinally?

Tinker answers with a resounding affirmation. It is not enough to have shared institutions and even shared heroes. What is needed is a shared gospel. To many that statement will sound blindingly obvious, and yet it is increasingly rejected by so-called evangelicals in the Church of England.

This is because, argues Tinker, evangelicals have been heavily influenced by liberalism in its rational, experiential and institutional forms. You end up with a modern evangelical ”˜Humpty Dumpty’ perched unsteadily between classical evangelicals and postmodern liberals. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Humpty will fall off into the traditional fold.

Tinker has been in hot water recently over comments made in a radio interview. What he gives us here is a robust statement on the biblical foundations of evangelicalism. In many ways what he says here is far more contentious. Will we heed his call to get our house in order?

“It is certainly time that the ill-fated affair that evangelicalism has been having with liberalism should end and for the movement to regain confidence in its defining convictions once more.”

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Melvin Tinker: The Influence of Liberalism upon Evangelicalism – the Curate's Egg

…How does one with a clear conscience institute a man into a living who you know is not going to proclaim the gospel? This issue has been around a lot longer than the question of instituting women into such positions. How does one work in a ”˜senior staff’ team with people who deny fundamentals of the faith or add traditions which amount to a subtraction? The answers are not easy. One common ploy is to adopt what can be called the Anglican fairytale; that despite our apparent differences, deep down we are all one and on the same side. A more moderate rationalisation is conciliation or compromise for the sake of influence. This is not very different from the sell-out to the academy. There does, however, seem to be the need to deny reality in adopting either approach. Regarding the former, it is manifestly not the case that the likes of Jeffrey John and John Stott are on the same team. Relating to the latter, the increasing number of ”˜evangelical’ names added to the episcopal list has hardly resulted in a more orthodox and spiritually vigorous national church as evidenced by dwindling congregations and ordinations.

In 1984, Dr. Francis Schaeffer made a passionate appeal to the world evangelical constituency to stop its ”˜worldly accommodation’. In its place he called for ”˜loving confrontation’, not for its own sake but for the sake of truth and the glory of the God whose word is truth and the ultimate well being of the people he has made. The need for such confrontation remains, more so than twenty years ago. Liberalism in the threefold form we have identified has made significant inroads into Western evangelicalism and more specifically Anglican evangelicalism. Confusion results on matters of belief and behaviour when there should be clarity; compromise where there should be conviction with a resulting fragmentation and drift. Perhaps the fragmentation should continue and realignment around the centre needs to occur for a more authentic and robust evangelicalism to arise. It is certainly time that the ill-fated affair that evangelicalism has been having with liberalism should end and for the movement to regain confidence in its defining convictions once more.

Read it all [pdf]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Confederate battle flag removed from site in front of S.C. Statehouse

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, State Government, Theology, Violence

(Globe and Mail) A harsh blow against freedom of association in the Trinity Western Case

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approved the law program of TWU as meeting academic and professional standards. The LSUC admits there is nothing wrong with TWU’s law program; its graduates will be fully competent to practise law. But the LSUC claims that TWU’s code of conduct discriminates against the LGBTQ community. The code prohibits numerous legal activities, such as vulgar or obscene language, drunkenness, viewing pornography, gossip and sex outside of the marriage of one man and one woman. Nobody is required to submit to TWU’s standards. Students voluntarily decide to study law (or teaching, nursing, etc.) at TWU rather than at another university.

The LSUC is correct in observing that a married same-sex couple could not study law at TWU. But the same holds true for any unmarried people who do not wish to practise celibacy, not to mention marijuana smokers, heavy drinkers, pornography-viewers and the foul-mouthed.

The court’s “discrimination” mantra is a half-truth, which, as Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock once said, is like half a brick: It will carry further. TWU “discriminates” against anyone who disagrees with a traditional religious moral code. Every charity, political party and ethnic association discriminates against those who disagree with its select beliefs or practices. Forcing majority beliefs on organizations destroys the distinct characteristics of each one, and attacks the authentic diversity that is the hallmark of a free society like Canada.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Canada, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Young Adults

Bp Mouneer Anis’s statement regarding the US Supreme Court Ruling for same-sex marriage

“God Gave Them Over Into a Depraved Mind”
It is sad to hear that The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. The excuse for this is promoting human rights and achieving equality. I think that this ruling is wrong and will have serious and destructive consequences on the American society and other societies, which will follow the steps of the United States. There is no doubt that this decision contradicts God’s purpose and plan for the creation in a clear way. We know that God created human on his image as male and female to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28) He also created man and woman to complement each other physically and psychologically.

God’s plan is the best for human being, however the ruling of same sex marriage which contradicts God’s plan, will lead to human misery and disintegration of the family hence the damage and collapse of the whole society.
——-
We urge all American and Western churches to adhere to the teachings of the scripture and God’s plan for relations; they should resist societal pressures to make same sex marriage a norm. The Church has to remain as the light that conquers the darkness and the evils of this world. Churches in the West should shape their society with their spiritual values and should not permit the opposite where society shapes the values of the Church. “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Theology: Scripture

CofE General Synod 10th to 13th July 2015 Links

The July General Synod has now ended – reports and audio recordings for each session are being updated below.

Monday Afternoon July 13th
Report on Monday Afternoon Business and [Audio]
Press release: General Synod welcomes climate change policy
– Climate Change and Investment Policy (GS 2004)
– Farewells, Prorogation and Dissolution

Monday Morning July 13th
Report on Monday Morning Business and [Audio]
Press release: Urgent action needed on climate change urges Synod
Order Paper of Business for Monday
– Small indaba group work on ‘The Environment’
– Combatting Climate Change: The Paris Summit and the Mission of the Church (GS 2003) – [The Bishop of Salisbury wanted the Church to ‘fast for climate justice on the first day of each month’ – by amendment Synod rejected this by 160 for, 147 against and 13 abstentions – moving on, the Bishop of Sheffield wants climate justice to be included as essential to Christian formation and catechesis – Main motion on climate change as amended carried 305 for, 6 against and 4 abstentions – Synod went to lunch.]

Sunday Afternoon July 12th
Report on Sunday Afternoon Business [Audio]
Order Paper of Business for Sunday
– Christian Initiation: Additional Texts for Holy Baptism in Accessible Language (GS 1958B and 1958X) – [Dumbed down version removing reference to the Devil and replacing the resurrection of Christ to life “raised your son to life” with the apparently more accessible “Jesus, who has passed through the deep waters of death and opened for all the way of salvation”. Voting on additional baptismal texts passed by 2/3 majority by orders – Bishops: for 23 against 1 abstentions 1; Clergy for 114 against 6 abstentions 5; Laity for 126 against 10 abstained 6]
– 51st Report of the Standing Orders Committee (GS 1991) Proposed text of the Standing Orders (GS 2000)
– Legislation – Administration of Holy Communion Regulations (GS 1992) ”“ Final Approval
– Leeds Diocesan Synod Motion: Nature and Structure of the Church of England – National Debate (GS 1928A and GS 1928C)
– Presentation by the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns – [Press Release: Church should reflect reality of multi-cultural society]
– Presentation: Introduction to Group Work and Bible Study on the Environment
Evening
– Financial Business: The Archbishops’ Council Budget and Proposals for Apportionment for 2016 (GS 2002) [Audio]

Saturday Afternoon July 11th
Report on Saturday Afternoon Business
[Afternoon Audio] and [Evening Audio]
Order Paper II – Saturday business
– Farewells [to the former Bishop of Gloucester Michael Perham by the Archbishop of Canterbury “no secret that Michael was on the Crown Nominations Commission..in one sense or another, I owe him something”]
– Private Members’ Motion from Canon Simon Killwick on Senior Leadership [passed as amended] (GS 1999A AND GS 1999B)
[Probably the most interesting and contentious debate of the day – see:
– – this background note from Canon Chris Sugden;
– – Blurb from the CofE
– – the full report is at GS 1999B here]

– The Church: Towards a Common Vision: Report from the World Council of Churches (GS 1986A)
Church Commissioners’ Report and Archbishops’ Council’s Report [GS 2001]

Saturday Morning July 11th
Report on Saturday Morning Business – [Legislation: Safeguarding, Terms of Service, Diocesan Stipendiary Funds and Faculties to do works to churches]
Synod gives final approval for Safeguarding legislation
[Audio Awaited]

Friday Afternoon July 10th
Report on Friday Afternoon Business[Part Audio]
– Welcome to Anglican and Ecumenical Guests
Address by Archbishop of Uppsala Dr Antje Jackelén [Audio] [Pro-gay activist from liberal Church of Sweden which in 2009 consecrated a partnered lesbian as Bishop of Stockholm]
– Archbishop of York’s Presidential Address [Audio]
– Report by the Business Committee (GS 1988)
– Appointment to the Archbishops’ Council (GS 1989)
– Appointment of Secretary General (GS 1990)
– 51st Report of the Standing Orders Committee (GS 1991) [and GS 2000 – Consolidated Texts of the Standing Order (further information: STV regs as to be amended, Table of Consolidated Origins and Table of Consolidated Destination)] [voting and meeting arrangements]
– Legislative Business [Holy Communion and enabling distribution of Holy Communion by lay communicants including children]
– – 500 Amending Canon No. 35 (GS 1964D) – Canon for Enactment
– – 501 Administration of Holy Communion Regulations (GS 1992 and GS 1992x Explanatory Memorandum) – Preliminary Consideration
– Presentation on behalf of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group and the National Investing Bodies
Evening
– Questions and Answers – Booklet and Supplementary Questions and Answers [Audio]
——————
â–  Press release about Agenda
â–  Timetable
â–  Full Daily Agenda and Timetable
â–  Brief Agenda and Papers
â–  Live Video Feed when in session or listen here for prior recordings
â–  Twitter: #synod and it may be worth following: CofE Official Synod tweets; and @C_of_E if interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(NPR) He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

[Daniel] Gai moved back to the country in 2011 and worked for a Denver-based aid agency that builds schools. He married and had a son. And he was there four years ago when South Sudan declared independence.

But soon, history repeated itself ”” for Gai and his country.

Civil war erupted again.

Gai was in his village, with his wife and newborn, and his elderly father, when rebels attacked.

Just like when he was 6 years old, he and his family started running. They hid in the swamp for more than a week.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, History, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Theology, Violence, Young Adults

(WSJ) Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs–A Trapdoor to a Tale of Nazi-Era Sacrifice

On Dec. 6, 1942, 10 German soldiers marched into Rekówka, a Polish village 90 miles south of Warsaw. They’d received a tip from some locals that two families, the Skoczylas and Kosioróws, were sheltering Jews. When the Germans apprehended the families in their shared house, all but four of its inhabitants were at home. The soldiers spotted a trapdoor in the kitchen, which opened to a small, but empty, hiding place. They demanded that the families reveal the whereabouts of the stowaways, but nobody would talk. The soldiers took them to the barn behind the house, locked them inside and burned them alive. When two of the boys tried to escape, they were shot in the back.

Almost 72 years later, in August 2014, a cultural investigator named Jonny Daniels lifted that trapdoor for the first time since the surviving family members sealed it off years ago. He lowered himself down a ladder into a dark, damp space, with no light source and a floor covered with straw. He didn’t know it at the time, but he had uncovered the only known World War II hiding place for Jews that has remained intact and undisturbed since the end of the war.

On Thursday, after a year of negotiations and research, the space became an official heritage site in Poland, the only one of its kind.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Germany, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Poland, Religion & Culture, Theology

(W Post Op-ed) Michael Gerson–Lotteries, payday lending, and the swindling of America’s poor

The question is posed: Can the United States go on as it has been with a good portion of its working class almost entirely isolated from the promise of our country?

It is a yes or no question. A “yes” involves the acceptance of a rigid, self-perpetuating class system in a country with democratic and egalitarian pretentions ”” a system upheld and enforced by heavy-handed policing, routine incarceration and social and educational segregation.

A “no” is just the start of a very difficult task. The mixed legacy of the Great Society ”” helping the elderly get health care, it turns out, is easier than creating opportunity in economically and socially decimated communities ”” has left the national dialogue on poverty ideologically polarized. And many policy proposals in this field seem puny in comparison to the Everest of need.

But there is one set of related policy ideas that would dramatically help the poor and should not be ideologically divisive. How about a renewed effort to help the poor by refusing to cheat them?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology

(Church Times) Critics prepare for new battle on Sunday trading

Church leaders, trade unionists, and politicians have expressed concern over government plans to relax the Sunday-trading laws.

Currently, large stores can open for up to six hours on Sundays, but the Chancellor, George Osborne, used his Budget speech on Wednesday afternoon to announce his plans to devolve responsibility for Sunday-trading laws to directly elected mayors and local authorities.

The move has come in for sharp criticism. The Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham tweeted: “Sundays are only day people who work in shops can bank on some time with their kids. I will oppose this all the way.”

The leader of the shop workers’ union USDAW, John Hannett, said that the Government should “honour the promise of a full consultation and parliamentary process for any proposed changes to the Sunday Trading Act….’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Bishop Richard Chartres–The Tenth Anniversary of the London Bombings: A Service of Commemoration

Soon after 7/7 the families and the friends of the victims compiled a Book of Tributes. It is a taste of the ocean of pain surrounding the loss of each one of the victims. The tribute book is also very revealing about the character of the London which the bombers attacked.

The majority of the victims were young. They came from all over the UK and all over the world. There were Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Humanists. There are in the book tributes in Italian, French, Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Tamil, Polish, Farsi, as well as English.

London is an astonishing world-in-a-city but beyond the diversity the book also conveys a unifying agonised outcry ”“ this was a terrible crime which robbed us of beloved sons and daughters, partners and friends.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–Triumphant Day for the Episcopal Church Establishment

When Bishop William White of Philadelphia became a bishop in 1787, he was No. 2 in the Episcopal Church’s chain of apostolic succession.

When Bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003 — the first openly gay, noncelibate Episcopal bishop — he was No. 993. This fact was more than a trivia-game answer during a recent sermon that represented a triumphant moment both for Robinson and his church’s liberal establishment.

Standing on White’s grave before the altar of historic Christ Church, the former New Hampshire bishop quipped that he did “feel a little rumble” when he referenced the recent Episcopal votes to approve same-sex marriage rites. But Robinson was convinced White was not rolling over in his grave.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from B. F. Westcott

Almighty God, who hast sent the Spirit of truth unto us to guide us into all truth: We beseech thee so to rule our lives by thy power that we may be truthful in word and deed and thought. Keep us, most merciful Father, with thy gracious protection, that no fear or hope may ever make us false in act or speech. Cast out from us whatsoever loveth or maketh a lie, and bring us all into the perfect freedom of thy truth; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16:7-8;11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture