Daily Archives: February 8, 2015

(CBN News) Court Rules in Favor of South Carolina Episcopal Diocese

Although many articles link the split to The Episcopal Church’s ordainment of gay Bishop Gene Robinson, in an article published by Rev. Jim Lewis he states, “Virtually all the articles suggest our diocese left because TEC ordained a gay bishop. That’s just not true.”

“The diocese separated last year, nine years after TEC elected its first, non-celibate, gay bishop – and only after the denomination tried to strip all authority from our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence,” he said.

CBN News spoke to Rev. Lewis to find out why he thinks the judge showed them favor.

“We didn’t go after anyone asking for penalties or sanctions,” Lewis said. “We simply asked the court to confirm what we believed all along to be the truth, that we continued to be the Diocese of South Carolina and our congregations and this diocese have a right to the property that we do ministry with and the names and identities that we have been doing ministry under for in some places close to 300 years.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues

Jay Rosen with a good 2 part piece on the Brian Williams mess–Brian Williams has not led, why not?

But there’s something else. When you watch these clips there’s a troubling ambiguity to them now. One frame around them is: Williams pays tribute to the troops who fought the war and protected him in the desert. He does a lot to make that message explicit, and this part of the performance requires expressions of humility. I’m no solider, I’m no war correspondent, I had no business being there, I’m so grateful for these brave men and women.

When you watch it now, though, you may wonder: Why does this story keep coming up? How is it getting in front of audiences repeatedly over the years?

Let’s take the Lettermen appearance in 2013. Did the show’s producers say, “Hey, it’s the tenth anniversary of Brian almost getting shot out of the sky in the helicopter, let’s have him on”¦”? Seems unlikely. Letterman says in the clip he either forgot or never knew about the episode. More likely: Williams wanted to talk about it, so they programmed it in. That’s not so modest.

Why is Madison Square Garden halting a hockey game and directing the attention of fans to Brian Williams and his military buddy being “reunited?” Because they knew about this story and thought it would be nice to revisit it 12 years later? Or because NBC promotion people alerted them and asked for the story to be re-told over the PA system?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iraq, Media, Middle East, Movies & Television, Psychology, Theology

(Wesley Hill) Once More: On the Label ”˜Gay Christian’

This brings me to a second response to the question, “Have you given up hope?” On the contrary, calling oneself a “celibate gay Christian” may be a way of expressing , not giving up, hope””but expressing it in a way that doesn’t link that hope to orientation change. Claiming the label “celibate gay Christian” means, for me, recognizing my homosexual orientation as a kind of “thorn in the flesh.” When the apostle Paul used that phrase in his correspondence with the Corinthian church, he made clear that his “thorn” was indeed an unwelcome source of pain (2 Corinthians 12:7). But he also made clear that it had become the very occasion for his experience of the power of the risen Christ and, therefore, a paradoxical site of grace (2 Corinthians 12:8). Paul, I think, would have had no qualms about labeling himself a “thorn-pricked Christian”””not because he recognized his thorn as a good thing, in and of itself, but because it had become for him the means by which he encountered the power of Christ. Likewise, living with an unchanged homosexual orientation may be for many of us the means by which we discover new depths of grace, as well as new vocations of service to others .

Commenting on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and the homosexual partnerships that some of Paul’s readers had been involved in prior to their baptism, J. I. Packer writes about Paul’s gospel :

With some of the Corinthian Christians, Paul was celebrating the moral empowering of the Holy Spirit in heterosexual terms; with others of the Corinthians, today’s homosexuals are called to prove, live out, and celebrate the moral empowering of the Holy Spirit in homosexual terms.

Finding the moral empowering””and the grace and consolation””of the Holy Spirit “in homosexual terms” is, it seems to me, what leads many of us to label ourselves “celibate gay Christians.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lent and Beyond: A Prayer for the Church of England on Sunday February 8th

Luke 12:2
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Creator of heaven and earth and all that is therein, Your power is rolling through the ages, unresting, accomplishing daily those miracles that are Your will in the Church of England. The flow of Your love brings clarity, not confusion. We humbly implore You to uncover those things that are impeding Your justice in the House of Bishops.

Amos 5:24
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Come, Jehovah Sabaoth, to the House of Bishops as they approach facilitated conversations. Come like a swift-moving channel in the midst of the river of the love of God.
We call forth the angels to enter into the lives of the bishops and the facilitated conversations. Jehovah-Sabaoth, we trust in Your strong arm. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for the Church of England here

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

(BBC) Prince Charles has "deep concern" for the suffering of Christian churches in the Middle East.

The Prince of Wales has described the extent to which young people are becoming radicalised as “alarming” and one of the “greatest worries”.

In an interview with Radio 2’s The Sunday Hour, Prince Charles spoke of his hopes to “build bridges” between different faiths.

He also spoke of his “deep concern” for the suffering of Christian churches in the Middle East.

He is currently in Jordan on a six-day tour of the region.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(FT) Washington urges eurozone leaders to compromise with Athens

The Obama administration is pushing eurozone leaders to compromise more with Athens as fears grow that a protracted stand-off could damage the global economy, say senior EU and US officials.

The US lobbying comes amid mounting concern in Brussels and Washington about the hardline stand taken by some eurozone governments, particularly Germany, that Greece must press on with budget-cutting commitments made under its existing €172bn bailout regardless of last month’s election, which brought anti-austerity party Syriza to power .

“This is a conversation we’re having with people,” said a senior US official involved in the talks.

“There isn’t a special initiative. I don’t think our attitude has changed but what’s changed is that suddenly the situation in Greece is looking more problematic.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Theology

A CSM Quiz–How much do you know about ISIS?

The self-proclaimed caliphate of Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is fighting across Syria and Iraq, pushing back larger armies and capturing entire cities. It is also waging an increasingly sophisticated media campaign: The militant group has recruited disillusioned youth as it tries to extend its reach across the Muslim world and beyond. How much do you know about the Islamic State? Test your knowledge.

Check it out and see how you do.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

New Episcopal Church Diocese, Original SC Diocese steer ahead into complex legal waters

Because after so much legal wrangling, many still wonder: What does it all mean?

For one, the Diocese of South Carolina clearly can operate on its own with Lawrence, who led its departure from the national church, at the helm. Second, his diocese can keep the name and symbols, along with the parishes that left with it and the more than $500 million in church properties they inhabit, including historic colonial buildings.

“It is a judicial finding that we are who we say we are ”” the Diocese of South Carolina ”” and our names and symbols are ours alone to use,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, its canon to the ordinary.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein’s long-awaited ruling last week also could play a key role in similar disputes nationwide and impact other hierarchical churches that face discord in South Carolina. It comes at a time of increasing legal complexity as judges across the country decide similar cases using two very different legal principles, experts said.

And that could push the South Carolina case to the U.S. Supreme Court’s doorstep. Or at least some hope it will.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

(BNG) Doyle Sager–Happy birthday, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If Protestants had saints, Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be one of them. And Feb. 4, his birthday, would be his day. He was a German pastor and theologian, a prolific writer and an early opponent of Hitler. He ultimately paid for his resistance with his life, when he was executed in April 1945 by the Nazis just days before the Allied troops liberated his prison camp. He was 39 years old when he died.

My encounter with Dietrich Bonhoeffer occurred in the fall of 1989. I had the good fortune to be chosen by William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., as one of several pastors and church leaders who would spend several days with Bonhoeffer’s biographer and best friend, Eberhard Bethge. Bethge’s wife, Renate, who was Bonhoeffer’s niece, was also present. The Bethges kept us spellbound as they recounted how Eberhard secretly stashed all of Bonhoeffer’s letters which were smuggled out of prison. He would later publish them (Letters and Papers from Prison), as well as write a definitive biography of Bonhoeffer and translate many of his works.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

Lord, because being compassed with infirmities we oftentimes sin and ask for pardon: Help us to forgive as we would be forgiven; neither mentioning old offences committed against us, nor dwelling upon them in thought, nor being influenced by them in heart; but loving our brother freely, as thou freely lovest us; for Christ’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93:4-5

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) Harry Kane: Arsene Wenger backs Tottenham striker to play for England

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says England should select Harry Kane after the Tottenham striker’s two-goal display in Saturday’s north London derby.

Kane scored both goals as Spurs came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Wenger’s Arsenal at White Hart Lane.

It takes the 21-year-old’s goal tally for the season to 22 in 34 matches.

“When you have scored the number of goals he has scored, if you don’t put him in there somebody else will give him a passport,” said Wenger.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports

(W Post) Danielle Pletka–The dangerous allure of partnering with Iran

On its face, taking the Iranian side in a sectarian war in which the Islamic State stands on the other side may make sense in an enemy-of-my-enemy way. What could be wrong with using Iran to kill the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, even if the price is keeping a few bad guys in power in Damascus or Sanaa? Unfortunately, lots.

There is no reason to believe that a Shiite version of the one-stop dictator shop that characterized U.S. diplomacy for much of the 20th century will work any better than the earlier Sunni compact that denied tens of millions their democratic aspirations and paved the way to today’s turmoil.

What eludes the Obama administration, as it did George W. Bush, is that the battle for the future of the Middle East is a war of ideas. Taking sides in the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war will not restore the illusory stability of old. Rather, the path to long-term stability means working with groups that eschew violence, respecting religious preferences without sacrificing minorities, pressing toward market economies that empower individuals and building toward a region that rests on the consent of the governed. There is no secret path to peace, not through Tehran, not through Riyadh, not at all.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

Quebec Anglican Church faces ”˜new reality’

As Rev. Yves Samson speaks to his congregation in the Quebec town of Trois-Rivieres, two things stand out: the bilingualism of the sermon and the dearth of parishioners.

Samson holds nothing back when he says that, without radical change, the Anglican Diocese of Quebec could soon be extinct.

“If we want to keep going on (the old) track we will all die,” Samson says in an interview after his French and English sermon to a room full of near-empty pews in the St. James Anglican Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Christopher Howse–A throne In Exeter Cathedral like a church spire

The bishop’s throne in Exeter cathedral is a “monument of unprecedented grandeur,” wrote Nikolaus Pevsner, “the most exquisite piece of woodwork of its date in England and perhaps Europe”. Its date was 1312-25, and when finished its crocketed spire rose 53ft, like a tall hollyhock, into the roof vaults of the choir before the high altar.

There it stands today, its dark oak meeting our idea of what a masterpiece of carving should look like: expressing the medium in which it was made. The lightness and tensile strength of wood enable the central structure to appear to float in space. We know the very woods from which its oak was taken in 1313: at Chudleigh and Norton (now Newton St Cyres).

Yet, when it was finished we must picture it as of very different appearance. From fragments that remain, it is apparent that the whole structure was painted in blue, red and green, with gilding on a gesso ground.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Architecture, Art, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

Case of TEC bishop accused in bicyclist death opens debate about theology of addiction

The case of a high-ranking Episcopal bishop charged with drinking and texting before fatally hitting a bicyclist has raised questions about everything from church politics to bike lanes. But no debate about Bishop Heather Cook has been as intense as that about the theology of addiction.

Is it a sin? Does it qualify for forgiveness? Or are addicts blameless victims of disease, inculpable?

And how did these topics impact the leaders of the dioceses of Easton and Maryland ”” Cook’s last two places of employment ”” first when she was arrested for drunken driving in 2010, and then last year when she was selected despite that to become Maryland’s first female bishop?

In small church discussion groups, in sermons and on Christian Listservs, the ways Episcopal officials handled Cook have fueled debate about how Christianity really sees addicts.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, Theology