Daily Archives: April 1, 2016

[WWM] Pakistani Christians bury their dead after Easter massacre

“People tried to move away a little boy curled up by the coffin, and to tell him to let them put it in the ground. People were spent from tears and crying, and yet found some energy to dig the graves of their loved ones. The little boy would not let go and wept. I asked the family to let him hold the coffin a little more, and then he looked at me, and we locked eyes before he said, ‘He was my brother after all’.”

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, Pakistan

[Albert Mohler] The Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Reality of the Gospel

As the disciples preached in the earliest Christian sermons, “This Jesus God has raised up, of whom we are all witnesses . . . . Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” [Acts 2:32,36].

The Resurrection was not a dawning awareness of Christ’s continuing presence among the disciples, it was the literal, physical raising of Jesus’ body from the dead. The Church is founded upon the resurrected Lord, who appeared among His disciples and was seen by hundreds of others.

The Church does not have mere permission to celebrate the Resurrection, it has a mandate to proclaim the truth that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrected Lord gave the Church a sacred commission to take the gospel throughout the world. As Paul made clear, the resurrection of Christ also comes as a comfort to the believer, for His defeat of death is a foretaste and promise of our own resurrection by His power. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” [1 Corinthians 15:53].

So, as the Church gathers to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should look backward in thankfulness to that empty tomb and forward to the fulfillment of Christ’s promises in us. For Resurrection Day is not merely a celebration”“it is truly preparation as well. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the promise of our resurrection from the dead, and of Christ’s total victory over sin and death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the very center of the Christian gospel. The empty tomb is full of power.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter

[Communion Partners] Easter Report

We, Communion Partner leaders and friends, gathered at the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center in the Diocese of Central Florida from March 29-30

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

[Dr Peter Jensen] Back to Basics Part 4: Repentance

As we think through the significance of the meeting of Primates in Canterbury, we come to the key subject of repentance.

The issues before us have doctrinal and political aspects. But, finally, they are spiritual and that is why repentance matters.

The original tragic division in the Anglican Communion was the responsibility of certain North American Anglicans. They have been invited back into communion with those who severed relationships.

But this is not simply a matter of apology without change.

The need is repentance, with the hope of reconciliation and restoration.

Gentle but firm

In Canterbury, an overwhelming number of Primates agreed that the endorsement of same sex marriage by The Episcopal Church (TEC) should be challenged and the consequences for continued fellowship be set out.

The Primates deliberately chose the greatest offence (redefining marriage), the greatest offenders (TEC) and the mildest rebuke (three years suspension from some activities).

The Primates were virtually united in this gentle approach ”“ gentle but firm. The most outrageous offence against biblical truth was singled out, and a mild set of consequences outlined. It left The Episcopal Church with nowhere to hide. No one can say that this is vindictive or punitive.

It is a symbolic, gentle invitation to return home.
There are risks in the gentle but firm course chosen by the Primates.

First, it may be that those in Canada and Scotland, not to mention England who agree with such things as the blessing of same sex unions may think that they have now escaped censure and are free to proceed.

But Lambeth 1.10 still stands, as does the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration and of course the Holy Scriptures. Let not those who have breached the word in other ways now take comfort, as though they have been somehow endorsed. Rather let them, too, consider turning again to the Lord.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(WSJ) Crime, Justice and Mercy in Vatican City

Mercy has been the animating force of Pope Francis’ three-year pontificate. And the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which the Catholic Church has been celebrating since December, is the greatest expression of the pope’s interest. Millions of Catholics are taking the opportunity to renew their faith and receive plenary indulgences during what Francis has called “a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God.”

Vatican City’s judicial system, however, is not taking the year off. Msgr. Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda has spent the Jubilee in a Vatican City jail cell, and he could face up to eight years behind bars for crimes against the Vatican City State. He and his co-defendants won’t be the first to be prosecuted by the world’s smallest state.

There are two types of courts within the Vatican: religious and civil. Religious courts punish heretical priests, for example, and their jurisdiction extends beyond the Vatican’s walls. Penalties follow the principle of salus animarum, the salvation of souls. They come in the form of invitations to repentance, expulsion from the priestly state or, in severe cases, excommunication.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Italy, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Irish Archbishop Jackson Issues Pastoral Letter on Proposed Diocesan Boundary Changes

Archbishop Michael Jackson has issued a Pastoral Letter which will be read out on Low Sunday, April 3, in every church in the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

The letter concerns the proposals being brought to the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in May by the Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures which, if agreed, would see six parishes from Glendalough being transferred to the Diocese of Meath and Kildare.

All clergy in Dublin and Glendalough have been sent the letter and they have been asked to read it in their churches and make it available to interested parties. They have also been asked, particularly in the parishes affected, to facilitate discussion on the proposal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

(Church Times) Bishops urge more reversals of benefit cuts for disabled

Bishops and other prominent Christian figures have called on the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, to reverse cuts to welfare for the disabled.

Mr Crabb, a former Welsh Secretary, and a Christian, was promoted to the post after the departure of Iain Duncan Smith, who resigned saying that further planned cuts to disability benefit were a step too far. Mr Crabb reversed those cuts, which had been announced in the Budget by the Chancellor, George Osborne….

An open letter, signed by four bishops ”” including the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan; and the leader of the Iona Community, the Revd Peter MacDonald; and the directors of the think tank Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform ”” welcomes the reversal of cuts to Personal Independence Payments. Mr Crabb is urged, however, to go “even further”, and to reverse earlier changes to the payments, which are said to have left thousands of people housebound.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CEN) PM Cameron told to put freedom of religion at heart of foreign policy

Following last weekend’s bombing in Lahore, the British Government is being urged to put freedom of religion at the heart of its foreign policy.

The call came from the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) of the Evangelical Alliance, who said the Government should increase staff and resources in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to increase its capacity in promoting and defending freedom of religion.

The RLC is made up of three Christian agencies: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors and Release International, who have all reported on the persecution of Christians around the world.

In addition to policies and increased resources, the RLC is calling for an ”˜extensive drive’ to develop religious literacy across Government departments.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church

O God, who for our sakes didst give up thy well-beloved Son to endure the shameful death of the cross, that we might be delivered from the power of the devil and be cleansed from all unrighteousness: Grant unto thy servants, we beseech thee, that through his passion the body of sin may be destroyed in us, and through the power of his resurrection we may henceforth walk in newness of life; for the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his mercy endures for ever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures for ever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his mercy endures for ever.

Who only does great wonders,
for his mercy endures for ever

–Psalm 136:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba calls for ”˜tsunami of truth telling’

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has today called for a “tsunami of truth telling” about corrupt influence-peddling on government by business interests.

Makgoba made these comments while delivering an address to a graduation at the Witwatersrand University where he received an honorary degree.

He was responding to the Constitutional Court’s judgment on Nkandla.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(PD) Samantha Schroeder–Personal Love and the Call to Chastity

“Sex has become one of the most discussed subjects of modern times,” Fulton Sheen explains in Peace of Soul. “The Victorians pretended it did not exist; the moderns pretend that nothing else exists.” In an age of rampant abuses of the human body and its sexual function, how can people live out the call to chastity today? How can we speak of cultivating an attitude of chastity in relationships when many well-meaning people don’t adequately understand chastity at all?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Women, Young Adults