Daily Archives: March 19, 2017

The Jeffrey John Open Letter Kerfuffle (III)–A BBC Article on the subject

He wrote to the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon – the Right Reverend John Davies, who is currently the church’s senior bishop – after an electoral college of bishops, clergy and lay people failed to reach a decision about who should replace Dr Barry Morgan as bishop.
It is understood Mr John received a majority of the votes, but not the two-thirds required by church rules.
He said homophobic remarks had been made at the electoral college meeting.
“Much more importantly, the only arguments adduced against my appointment – in particular by two of the bishops – were directly related to my homosexuality and/or civil partnership – namely that my appointment would bring unwelcome and unsettling publicity to the diocese,” he wrote.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of Wales, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

The Jeffrey John Open Letter Kerfuffle (II)–the text of Jeffrey John’s open letter

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Wales, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology

The Jeffrey John Open Letter Kerfuffle (I)-a letter from the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon

Posted in Church of Wales, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(RZIM) Q&A with Sam Allberry: Same-Sex Attraction, Synod Remarks, and Why The Gospel Is Truly Good News For All

Yes, you described yourself as “same-sex attracted.” What do you mean by that?

The debate was limited to just three minutes per speaker, so I only had time to flag certain things up without the opportunity to properly explain what I meant by them.

When I describe myself as same-sex attracted, what I am saying is that the only sexual desires and feelings I have ever experienced are toward other men, rather than women. I’m not justifying those desires or seeking to validate them. The Bible says that as sinners all our desires are disordered, so it’s actually the case that all of us are fallen and broken in our sexuality. For most, that fallenness will be manifest in an opposite-sex direction; for me (and not a few other believers), it is seen in same-sex attraction.

Some wonder how it is possible to be a Christian and yet experience these things. My answer is that any inappropriate desire is a form of temptation that needs to be fought. Temptation is different to sin. Jesus tells us to pray we’d be delivered from temptation but be forgiven for our sin. Temptation itself is not sin. It is striking that the Bible nowhere promises that temptation will be completely removed in this life; simply that God will enable us to stand faithfully under it.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology: Scripture

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on John 4–Do we have a message to deliver to those in need?

“The Christian is not a seeker; the Christian is one who has found. “Come, see a man” (John 4:29); “We have found the Messiah” (John 1:41); “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth” (John 1:45). Christians are men and women who have found; they have found something to give; they are not merely seeking”¦By definition Christians have something; they have something to say”¦ So the great question we must all ask ourselves is this: do we have something to give to people who are in need? I like to think of it like this. Imagine that tonight when you are in your home, somebody knocks at your door or rings the bell. You go to the door, and there you find a messenger. What is the message? Well, it is a request, an appeal, from a man whom you have known for years; perhaps you have known him since you were children together. Unfortunately, poor fellow, he has gone wrong in life, he has lived a godless life, and yet you somehow liked him. Whenever you met him, you were glad to see him, you always spoke to him, and you often tried to urge him to come with you to listen to the gospel. But he would not come; he laughed it off, as such people often do.

Now here is the message this afternoon that poor fellow had a sudden heart attack, and he is desperately ill; in fact, he is dying. The doctor can do no more for him. He has told the family, and this man realizes the truth ”“ he can see it in their faces. And suddenly he has come to himself. He sees that his life is finished, and he is going to the unknown and to darkness. He has nothing ”“ nothing to lean on in his past life, nothing to lean on in the present. Nobody can help him. He is absolutely alone, as we all shall be sooner or later, as our soul passes from time to eternity and into the presence of God. He does not know what to do or where to turn; he is in agony of soul. But suddenly he has thought of you because he thinks of you as a Christian and as a member of a church, because you have invited him to go with you to church. So he has sent for you ”“ that is the message. Of course, you have no choice; you must go. And when you arrive in the room, there is your friend lying on his back in bed.

This is the test as to whether or not we are Christians. Do you have something you can give him that will make all the difference in the world to him? What is the point of telling this man that you are also a seeker and a searcher after the truth ”“ he will be dead before midnight? What is the point of saying to him, “I hope that my sins are going to be forgiven sometime, I’m doing my best, I’m living a good life”? Does that help him? That puts him into hell while he is still alive. Or how does it help him if you turn to him and say, “Well, at last you see it. How many times have I told you that the life you were living was wrong? If only you had live as I live!” What is the value of that? That is sheer cruelty. That, again, is putting him in hell while he is still alive. It is of no value at all.

No, no; that is not the Christian way. Christians are not seeking truth or seeking forgiveness. They are not trying to make themselves Christians by living good lives; they are not merely church members. What are they? Well, in the end it just comes to this: they are men and women who, like the woman of Samaria, have met Christ, the Son of God. They are able to tell this poor fellow that it is not too late, that it is not hopeless, that no one is justified by their works or by their lives, that we are all sinners, and there is no ultimate difference between us at all, but that this is the message: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever [even he] believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Christians can tell this man not about their own experience but about Jesus Christ. There is no time to give experiences; there is no time to go through your drill and mechanically quote this or that. All they can say is, “Jesus Christ ”“ look to him!” They just tell the dying man about him, who he is, what he has done. And that is the only way this man can be helped, the only way he can find peace and rest for his soul.”

–Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), Living Water: Studies in John 4, quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon

Posted in Church History, Theology: Scripture

Augustine on John 4–Who is seeking What in this passage

“But he who was asking drink was thirsting for the faith of the woman herself”

–Augustine, from his 15th Tractate on the Gospel of St. John, cited by yours truly in the morning sermon.

Posted in Church History, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Profile of a man Born a Muslim in Sierra Leone who is now a TEC Priest in Connecticut

The Rev. Charles Kamano will take a major step on his journey that began under radical Islam when he celebrates his first Mass as an Episcopal priest Sunday at the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Born a Muslim in Sierra Leone, Kamano converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained in that church, and he became an Episcopal priest in a ceremony at the Church Street parish on Thursday.

Kamano’s attraction to Christianity began when he persuaded his father to allow him to attend a local Catholic school, even though the elder Kamano was a strict member of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam.

Read it all.

Posted in Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day from James Mountain

Almighty God, who has taught us in thy holy Word that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: Grant that we, being not under the law but under grace, may live as children of that Jerusalem which is above, and rejoice in the freedom of our heavenly citizenship; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)

Posted in 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 Theology: Scripture