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From the Morning Scripture Readings

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another…

Psalm 75:6-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag”²dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

–Matthew 28:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(CT) Ron Sider RIP, An Evangelical Who Pushed for Social Action

Ronald J. Sider, organizer of the evangelical left and author of ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger,’ died on Wednesday at 82. His son told followers that Sider had suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest.

For nearly 50 years, Sider called evangelicals to care about the poor and see poverty as a moral issue. He argued for an expanded understanding of sin to include social structures that perpetuate inequality and injustice, and urged Christians to see how their salvation should compel them to care for their neighbors.

“Salvation is a lot more than just a new right relationship with God through forgiveness of sins. It’s a new, transformed lifestyle that you can see visible in the body of believers,” he said. “Sin is a biblical category. Given a careful reading of the world and the Bible and our giving patterns, how can we come to any other conclusion than to say that we are flatly disobeying what the God of the Bible says about the way he wants his people to care for the poor?”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT) Before Partial Lambeth Gathering, Anglicans Drop Proposal to Reaffirm Traditional Marriage Stance

According to Ian Paul, a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council, the process for drafting the Lambeth calls has complicated an already sensitive and divisive issue. He said the document with the calls came out last-minute and a member of the group drafting them said the wording had been changed without their knowledge.

“There are issues around the content, but I think there are really big issues around the process here,” Paul told PremierNews. “If you’re going to deal with something controversial amongst people who have different views, here’s the golden rule: No surprises. Put everything out in the open. Give people plenty of time. I think the real problem here is that everything’s come very, very late … that’s a guarantee to create misunderstanding and I think to create a lack of trust.”

The Lambeth Conference is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury typically once a decade, but this is the first gathering since 2008 after the 2018 conference was postponed due to tensions over […Scripture, marriage and anthropology] and the 2020 event couldn’t be held due to COVID-19. It’s also the first to be led by Welby, who succeeded Rowan Williams in 2012.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akel′dama, that is, Field of Blood.) For it is written in the book of Psalms,

‘Let his habitation become desolate,
and let there be no one to live in it’;

and

‘His office let another take.’

So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab′bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi′as. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi′as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

–Acts 1:15-26

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

In the first book, O The-oph′ilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samar′ia and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away; and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

–Acts 1:1-14

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Do we Share God’s Vision for the Church (Acts 11:19-30)?

You may also find more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

(C of E) Championing Just-Ice in Cheshire

Just-Ice is an innovative social enterprise that combines a love of ice-cream with a desire to provide sympathetic employment to survivors of modern slavery.

Situated in the heart of Poynton, a leafy suburb in Cheshire, Just-Ice is helping to raise awareness of modern slavery amongst Poynton’s school children, church, and wider community as well as employing several survivors of modern slavery. It is a brilliant example of a group of Christians taking action and could be mirrored in other communities across the country.

Jo Rodman, the founder of Just-Ice Poynton, was considering a vocation in ordained ministry when she heard about a Christian couple in Derby who had turned their passion for ice cream into a thriving social enterprise. She was excited about starting a similar café in Poynton and was encouraged by the Director of Vocations at Chester Diocese to pursue the idea as part of a Distinctive Deacon role. Distinctive Deacons have a strong call to an outward-looking and community-minded ministry. They often have a particular concern for issues of poverty and justice.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Law & Legal Issues, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

–Romans 16:25-27

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NYT front page) Congo to Allow More Oil Wells In Rainforests

The Democratic Republic of Congo, home to one of the largest old-growth rainforests on earth, is auctioning off vast amounts of land in a push to become “the new destination for oil investments,” part of a global shift as the world retreats on fighting climate change in a scramble for fossil fuels.

The oil and gas blocks, which will be auctioned in late July, extend into Virunga National Park, the world’s most important gorilla sanctuary, as well as tropical peatlands that store vast amounts of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere and from contributing to global warming.

“If oil exploitation takes place in these areas, we must expect a global climate catastrophe, and we will all just have to watch helplessly,” said Irene Wabiwa, who oversees the Congo Basin forest campaign for Greenpeace in Kinshasa.

Read it all.

Posted in Climate Change, Weather, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Republic of Congo, Science & Technology

Living in Love and Faith Next Steps Group Statement on the [2022 Partial] Lambeth [Gathering] Calls

The 2022 Lambeth Conference has published ten draft ‘Calls’ that will form the backbone of the Conference proceedings. We, the bishops on the Next Steps Group that is overseeing the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith process on identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, had first sight of the Calls on the day of their publication, the 20th July 2022. We understand that [some of the] Anglican Communion bishops from around the world will be invited to discuss and reflect on each Call and how each might be received and applied in their home context.

Importantly, we note that the work of the Conference will give bishops the opportunity to contribute and commit to the Calls or to ask that further work be done on the Call. In line with the Call on Anglican identity, the Calls allow for differences of views and the rights of autonomy within the Anglican Communion, recognising that Anglicans seek faithfulness to God in richly diverse cultures, distinct human experiences, and deep disagreements.

One of the Calls relates to human dignity. It calls on bishops to take redemptive action against the abuses of power that are the legacy of colonialism; to address economic injustices that unfairly disadvantage the world’s poorest communities; and it warns about the threat to human dignity of prejudice on the basis of gender and sexuality.

The Church of England is just one voice among 42 member churches of the Anglican Communion….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anthropology, Church of England, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land; therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” And the people said to Joshua, “Nay; but we will serve the Lord.” Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” He said, “Then put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord which he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

–Joshua 24:16-28

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!

–Psalm 24:7-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

But I call upon God;
and the Lord will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.

–Psalm 55:16-17

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor. When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” So they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

–Matthew 27:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Church times) C of E asks abuse-survivors for advice on safeguarding

A national survey has been launched by the Church of England to gauge the views of victims and survivors of abuse on the development and implementation of its safeguarding structure.

Questions in the 15-minute survey, published on the C of E website on Tuesday, are largely multiple-choice, including what might motivate a respondent to participate or engage with the safeguarding work of the Church; barriers or challenges to this; the importance of varying types of participation, e.g. use of language, listening, and diversity; and how the Church should “recognise and value” this engagement.

Another question asks: “How can the Church ensure that any survivor engagement activity does not retraumatise or negatively affect you?” Beneath this is a list of “areas which are considered as being important by survivors currently engaging with the Church”.

These are: protecting rights of confidentiality, privacy, and anonymity; considering personal needs and triggers; “preventing and challenging certain attitudes that have the potential to harm and retraumatise”; being fully informed; care and human connection; setting clear boundaries and a trusted working relationship with church staff; “tackling any unfair treatment promptly and sensitively”; and feeling welcomed, listened to, and supported.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

From the Daily Scripture Readings

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

–Romans 15:13

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(NYT) Chinese officials apologize for breaking into homes to search for Covid cases

Local officials in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou have issued a rare apology after community workers broke into dozens of homes to look for people who had tested positive for the coronavirus and others deemed close contacts, triggering harsh criticism on social media.

The government of the city’s Liwan district said in a statement that the workers picked locks to enter 84 units in an apartment complex. They had been searching for residents they believed were hiding to avoid being sent to quarantine centers. Under China’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid, all positive cases and close contacts must be sent to centralized quarantine facilities for a number of days.

Photos on social media showed broken locks in front of apartment doors, and the government said the locks were later replaced. It added that the head of the neighborhood had apologized to the residents individually and had promised unspecified compensation.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

–Romans 14:13-23

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.

One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike. Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

So each of us shall give account of himself to God.

–Romans 14:1-12

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(FT) US tourists drive rebound in foreign visitors to London’s top attractions

Paul Baumann, receiver general at Westminster Abbey, said the Queen’s platinum jubilee in early June had “created a buzz” around the church, in which 39 coronations have taken place since 1066, providing a “priceless advertisement” for visitors from around the world.

“If they’re going to go somewhere for their first trip after the pandemic, it strikes me that the place most Americans reach for first is the UK,” said Baumann. He added that the UK had “shaken off” the bad publicity it received early on in the pandemic when it was derided as “plague island”.

“Europeans . . . were first to return, and now we’re seeing Americans returning to London in significant numbers, and that’s particularly important because they prioritise going to visitor attractions and are big spenders,” said Bernard Donoghue, chief executive of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, adding that sterling falling by 13 per cent against the dollar since the start of the year had been a boon to tourism from the US.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Church of England, Economy, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Travel

([London] Times) Andrew Atherstone–The Alpha Course will continue rebranding Christianity

The Christian faith always has direct social implications. It is not a privatised religion but overflows into practical action and community transformation. This is seen clearly in the Alpha movement, which has been putting on courses for 45 years. Alpha is a global phenomenon, one of the leading brands in Christian evangelisation, created at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) in central London. More than 28 million people have attended the course worldwide, nearly five million in the UK, and many have become Christians as a result. Alpha’s pioneer, the former barrister Nicky Gumbel, has won plaudits as a Billy Graham for the modern age.

Alpha’s ambition, expressed in its famous catchphrase, is to see not only “lives changed” but also “society transformed”. Alpha has matured over three decades, with frequent revision of Gumbel’s books and films, and this emphasis has become increasingly explicit. For example, he suggests that to pray “Your Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer is to pray for the nation to be transformed in the areas of politics, economics, social justice, crime and education. Drawing lessons from church history, he praises John Wesley, the father of Methodism, as not only a preacher by also “a prophet of social righteousness”. Gumbel’s other heroes include campaigners such as William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Questions of Life, the core Alpha text, has sold more than 1.7 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 40 languages. Recent editions reveal a great leap forward in the maturing of Gumbel’s social theology. “We experience the Holy Spirit not just so that we have a warm feeling in our hearts,” he declares, “but so that we go out and make a difference to our world.” Another of his popular paperbacks, The Heart of Revival, was published in the late 1990s, when many churches were excitedly looking for evidence of “revival”. Gumbel wrote: “True and lasting revival changes not only human hearts but also communities and institutions. Love for God and love for neighbour go hand in hand.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Adult Education, Atonement, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

–Romans 13:8-14

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

And when he returned to Caper′na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

–Mark 2:1-12

Posted in Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Bible Readings

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

–Psalm 30:4-5

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(WSJ) Europeans Are Working Even Less, and Not by Choice

European workers have put in fewer hours than Americans for decades. Now, they are working even less than before the pandemic—almost one day a week less than Americans in 2021, according to data for the five biggest European Union economies.

Since the start of the pandemic, Americans have increased their working hours by about 1%, on average, while Europeans have trimmed theirs by around 2%, according to data about the five large EU economies from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

That is partly because many European companies tried to avoid pandemic-related layoffs by reducing workers’ hours. Nearly two million Europeans still are in Covid-19 furlough programs, with governments, for now, covering a portion of their lost pay. The U.S. economy recovered more quickly, and many American workers who kept their jobs or found new ones have continued to work the same or longer hours.

Europe has long had a reputation in the U.S. for less demanding work hours and more generous vacation practices, which many Americans attributed to a different approach to work-life balance. The pandemic labor picture shows that the differences aren’t strictly voluntary.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Europe, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(RU) Joseph Holmes–Marvel Has Issues With God

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a new big bad. And it’s God Himself.

In the past 14 years of pop culture dominance, Marvel movies have typically gone out of their way to be secular, keeping their social commentary to the sociopolitical. But no more. Over the past year, most of the Marvel movies or shows released have had some version of God as the main villain.

Since Marvel movies are arguably the most dominant pop culture franchise in the world today, exploring what they have to say about God tells us something about what our culture thinks about God and gives us the opportunity to explore and to challenge it.

So what do Marvel movies say about God?

The first thing about how Marvel consistently portrays God characters in their movies and shows, as I alluded to earlier, is that they are all beings that present themselves as good but are secretly awful — and usually evil….

Read it all.

Posted in Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) C of E General Synod rejects assisted suicide by a large majority

Dr Simon Eyre (Chichester), a retired GP, moved a private member’s motion on the subject on Sunday afternoon. “Hospices are suffering from a lack of funding,” he said, and linked this to a pressure to change the law to allow assisted suicide. People might choose to end their lives prematurely rather than face suffering exacerbated by poor-quality palliative care, he said.

“Sanctity of life is central to our understanding as Christians,” he said, and cited Psalm 31: “Our times are in his hands”.

Terminally ill people with depression, and people with disabilities, including learning disabilities, would be put at risk if legislation was changed, Dr Eyre said.

The Suicide Act 1961 prohibits assisted suicide, although directions from the Crown Prosecution Service published in 2010 require that any prosecution be in the “public interest”.

Several attempts have been made in recent years to introduce legislation that would permit assisted suicide in some circumstances, most recently in the form of a Bill in the House of Lords, which failed to reach a Second Reading before Parliament was prorogued in April.

Dr Eyre conceded that palliative care “sometimes fails to deliver”, but said that “the response to this should be to improve palliative care rather than make changes to the Suicide Act.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

From the Morning Bible Readings

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

–Romans 12:9-21

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) Five overseas Anglicans will help choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury

The Anglican Communion will have a greater say in choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury, after the General Synod approved a motion on Saturday to increase from one to five its representation on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) for Canterbury.

The balance of representation on the CNC has long been suggested as unreflective of the current nature of the role of the Archbishop, whose responsibilities are closely bound with those of the Communion. A background paper presented to Synod suggested the position was rooted in the colonial history of England: “The Church of England and the Communion cannot escape asking why a British cleric should always be primus inter pares” [first among equals].

Moving the motion, Dr Jamie Harris (Durham) welcomed the acceptance of others into the discernment process. Given that the average Anglican was a woman under 40, and living in sub-Saharan Africa, the Archbishop of Canterbury had “a particular concern for who she is and where she is. . . The Archbishop remains a central focus for unity,” he said. This had increased over time.

There were detractors during what was a long debate on the motion, which the chair, Canon Professor Joyce Hill, had warned Synod at the outset might be “procedurally a little bit complicated”, with issues in the several amendments not easily separated.

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England, Globalization