Twentieth-century fascist movements that made absolute values out of “Blut und Boden” (“Blood and Soil”)—putting one race and one nation’s good above the good of all—also claimed to champion traditional family values and moral virtues over against the decadence of relativistic modern culture. Even though they were no friends of orthodox Christianity (see Adolf Hitler’s heretical “Positive Christianity” movement), they could and can still appeal to people within our own circles. Internet outreach from white nationalist organizations can radicalize people who are disaffected by moral decline in society. So it is absolutely crucial to speak up out about the biblical teaching on racism—not just now, but routinely. We need to make those in our circles impervious to this toxic teaching.
Daily Archives: August 14, 2017
There was jubilation in Sabongida-Ora Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, in Owan West Local Government Area of Delta State.
[The] Reverend Augustine Ehijimetor Ohilebo was enthroned as its first indigenous bishop in accordance with the tradition of the Anglican Communion.
Some young members, who were witnessing the enthronement of an Anglican bishop for the first time, were thrilled at the observance of the church’s traditional rules.
The process began with the bishop knocking three times on the west door of the St. John Sabongida-Ora Cathedral with his pastoral staff seeking to come inside to give thanks to the Lord.
A new option for the future of the Christ Church Cathedral has been tabled, less than four weeks out from a decision on the derelict building’s fate.
The Anglican synod will meet on September 9 to vote on what to do with the earthquake-damaged cathedral. Until now, it was considering two options: restoration or building a new church.
But on Monday the Anglican diocese announced there would be a third choice: handing it over to the Government to manage on behalf of the citizenry.
We understand that the Hearing Panel’s ruling, which awaits the possibility of Bishop Bruno’s appeal, calls on us to return the congregation to the building. The four concurring Hearing Panel members and the attorneys who advised them evidently did not take fully into account the existence of a binding contract nor all the ways the dispute begs for wider reconciliation. (One panel member dissented and supported Bishop Bruno.)
Their advocacy bespeaks a commendable pastoral connection with the people of St. James. As recently as the filing of the church attorney’s brief after the hearings in Pasadena in March, those conducting the proceeding against Bishop Bruno made it clear that he could avoid being sanctioned if he would relent on his intention to sell the property. This is not to understate the significance of the panel’s findings against Bishop Bruno. But we trust that from the painful experience of the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Episcopal Church will learn lessons about how, in disciplinary settings, to differentiate between actions by a respondent which deserve sanction and a complainant’s wish to reverse an operational decision.
We share the panel’s profound concern for the people of St. James. Bishop Bruno asked them to start a new congregation, and under the leadership of the Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees, they accepted the challenge. They praised, worshipped, and served, as they continue to do. We are not here to relitigate Bishop Bruno’s actions or the Hearing Panel’s verdict. In all likelihood, after 40 years of ordination, including many moments of courage and vision, he will lose the right to say Holy Eucharist and to baptize, confirm, and bless for three years. It is also outside the realm of Bishop Curry’s charge to assess how long it would have taken St. James to achieve sustainability. Suffice it to say that it was making good progress and that losing its church building was a disappointment and shock….
The Rev. David Booman Preaches into the South Carolina Supreme Court Decision–How Do We Live, In Such a Time as This?
There’s a scene in the Lord of the Rings, where the hero, Frodo Baggins, is in a very dark place. He and his friends are on a quest to destroy a magic ring. And yet, they’re being relentlessly hunted by hordes of evil creatures, and so their prospects looks dim.
At one point they pause to rest, and Frodo, exhausted and discouraged, says to his friend Gandalf. ‘I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.’ And Gandalf responds, ‘So do all who live to see such times. But it is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’
As you probably know, 10 days ago the Supreme Court of SC ruled that 29 churches of our diocese must give our property to the National Church—about 500 million dollars worth. And so while this ruling will certainly be appealed, a day may come when our staff will arrive at work and the locks will have been changed. This has happened in other churches around our country.
And so make no mistake, we’ve lost a major battle in this conflict. Some have used the imagery of the Exodus. We’ve left Egypt, we’ve come to the Red Sea, but now we can hear the chariots of Pharaoh behind us. And unless God intervenes in a mighty way, our future will be radically different than we thought.
God is most fully disclosed at times of our greatest distress and despair. Those people who have gotten themselves into a mess (as we all do, more frequently than we care to admit) might be called troubled. Two novels, George Eliot’s Adam Bede (Oxford University Press) and Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites (Picador), offer narrative accounts of pastoral presence that have helped me discern what it means to be present incarnationally with troubled people—ministry that is attentive to presence, attention, mystery, delight, participation, partnership, enjoyment, and glory.
Imagine, then, how the news from Charlottesville, Virginia breaks in Berlin. A demonstration billed as an effort to “Unite the Right” leads to counter protests and violence. Among those who attended the demonstration on Friday night were self-identified neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Photos quickly appeared in Berlin, showing protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia — in the United States of America — offering the raised arm of the Nazi salute.
Germany is all too aware of where claims of racial superiority lead. Just today, in the service of the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, a martyr of the Confessing Church was remembered. Pastor Werner Sylton was a Lutheran pastor, but he was from a Jewish family. He is believed to have saved more than 1,000 Jewish converts to Christianity by helping them escape to other nations. He was arrested by the Gestapo, sent to Dachau, and eventually murdered by gas in 1942.
As Berlin awoke this morning to photos of Hitler salutes in Virginia, there was news of a car driven into a crowd protesting against white supremacy, of one woman killed in the attack, and of two law enforcement officers killed in a helicopter crash. This is America?
Anglicanism has been toppled as the biggest religious denomination among prisoners in England and Wales for the first time.
Roman Catholics are the largest group of believers behind bars after years of steady decline in the number of Anglicans, official figures show. There are also only 1,500 fewer Muslim prisoners than Anglicans after their number rose more than sixfold since 1993.
The figures point to a huge change in the make-up of the jail population, which calls into question the historical role of the Church of England in the prison service.
Make us tender and compassionate towards those who are an overtaken by temptation, considering ourselves, how we have fallen in times past and may fall yet again. Make us watchful and sober-minded, looking ever unto thee for grace to stand upright, and to persevere unto the end; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.