Daily Archives: November 1, 2017

(BBC) Rowan Williams: Anti-Semitism an ‘urgent issue’

Anti-Semitism is not a problem of past, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has warned.
Speaking on the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Williams highlighted Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic views.
“Like it or not, that is part of the story that leads to Germany in the 1930s,” he told the Today programme.

Watch it all.

Posted in Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Judaism, Lutheran

(AI) A Religious Test? TEC Member of Senate grills a nominee for the Federal Judiciary who is a member of Falls Church (Anglican)

An…[Episcopal Church] member of the US Senate grilled a nominee for the Federal Judiciary over his membership in an ACNA congregation, asking if his beliefs would prejudice his work as a judge.

In written questions submitted to Trevor McFadden, (pictured) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., asked the nominee his views on gay marriage, abortion and homosexuality, citing Mr. McFadden’s membership on the vestry of Falls Church parish as an area of concern.

The Senator wrote:

You are an elected member (until 2020) of the Falls Church Anglican, which broke away from the Episcopal Church largely due to the denomination’s consecration of an openly gay bishop. The Falls Church Anglican considers “marriage to be a life-long union of husband and wife” intended for “the procreation and nurture of godly children” and entailing “God-given” “roles of father and mother.” In 2015, the associate pastor of the Falls Church Anglican agreed that “if the U.S. Supreme Court decision includes a redefinition of marriage, this will constitute an intrusion of the state on God’s institution of marriage ‘from the beginning’.” Do you understand the majority of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges to have held that the right to marry is a fundamental right under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and that same-sex couples may not be deprived of that right?”

Mr. McFadden responded: “yes”.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate

(Telegraph) Tim Stanley–Why do the Today presenters think it’s OK to bash the God slot? I think they are jealous

t’s hard not to take this personally. When a Today programme host calls Thought for the Day “deeply, deeply boring,” he’s talking about me. Literally.

Tomorrow at 6am, I’ll get up, pull clothes over my pyjamas, take a taxi to Tunbridge Wells and be ready to talk God at 7.47am. “Good morning, Tim,” John Humphrys will say. And I’m tempted to blow a rude, ripe raspberry down the microphone.

People can’t seem to agree on why they dislike Thought for the Day. My conservative friends complain it’s too secular and packed with Buddhists and Hindus. The people at Today say that it’s far too Christian and preachy.

In fact, it’s designed to tackle a contemporary issue from a faith perspective before a general audience, so it’s written in a very particular, careful manner. It takes a lot of work.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for All Saints Day (IV)

Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

(Aleteia) How the Church exorcized a Roman temple to establish All Saints Day

When Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire, instead of tearing down Roman temples, Christians exorcized them and rededicated the buildings as Christian churches. An instance of this occurred on May 13, 610, when Pope Boniface IV consecrated a former Roman temple, giving it the new title of “St. Mary and the Martyrs.”

Built by Emperor Agrippa and completed around 126 AD, this temple was previously dedicated to all the pagan gods. It is known today as the “Pantheon” in reference to this original dedication and remains an architectural marvel of the ancient world.

When the Pantheon was first consecrated as a Christian church many relics of Roman martyrs were brought there from the catacombs, which helps explain its original name. Later on the title of the church was broadened to include “St. Mary and All the Saints,” but the feast commemorating its dedication remained on May 13.

Then on November 1, 735, Pope Gregory III dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to a variety of saints, making it a privileged feast day in the city of Rome. Shortly thereafter Pope Gregory IV established November 1 as a holy day of obligation in the universal Church dedicated to All Saints. To further cement the day, Pope Gregory VII transferred the Pantheon’s feast from May 13 to November 1, combining the two dedications to emphasize it and give it even more solemnity.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

Food for Thought from JI Packer– The Christian’s motto should not be “Let go and let God” but “Trust God and get going!”

Passivity means conscious inaction—in this case, inner inaction. A call to passivity—conscientious, consecrated passivity—has sometimes been read into certain biblical texts, but it cannot be read out of any of them. Thus, for instance, to “yield” or “present” oneself to God (Romans 6:13; 12:1), or as it is sometimes put, to “surrender” or “give ourselves up” to him, is not passivity. Paul’s meaning is not that having handed ourselves over to our Master, we should then lapse into inaction, waiting for Christ to move us instead of moving ourselves, but rather that we should report for duty, saying as Paul himself said on the Damascus road, “What shall I do, Lord? . . .” (Acts 22:10) and setting no limits to what Christ by his Spirit through his Word may direct us to do. This is activity! Again, being “led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18) is not passivity. Paul’s meaning is not that we should do nothing till celestial promptings pop into our minds, but that we should resolutely labor by prayer and effort to obey the law of Christ and mortify sin (see Galatians 5:13-6:19; and Romans 8:5-13, to which v. 14 looks back). This too is activity!

Surely we need not go further. The point is plain. Passivity, which quietists think liberates the Spirit, actually resists and quenches him. Souls that cultivate passivity do not thrive, but waste away. The Christian’s motto should not be “Let go and let God” but “Trust God and get going!” . . . [P]assivity [is] . . . unbiblical . . . and hostile to Christian maturity.

–JI Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God (Grand Rapids:Baker, 2005), p.128 (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for All Saints Day (III)

Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

(Eleanor Parker) ”þisne dæg eallum halgum’: An Anglo-Saxon Sermon for All Hallows ‘: An Anglo-Saxon Sermon for All Hallows

“Holy teachers have instructed that the faithful church should celebrate and worthily keep this day to the honour of All Saints, because they could not appoint a feast for each of them separately, nor are all their names known to any man in this life; as John the Evangelist wrote in his divine vision, saying, “I saw so great a multitude as no man may number, of all nations and of every tribe, standing before the throne of God, all dressed in white garments, holding palm-branches in their hands, and they sang with a loud voice, Salvation be to our God who sits upon his throne. And all the angels stood around his throne, and bowed down to God, saying, To our God be blessing and brightness, wisdom and thanksgiving, honour and strength, for ever and ever. Amen.”

This is the opening of a sermon for All Saints’ Day, written in the tenth century by the Anglo-Saxon homilist Ãlfric.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for All Saints Day (II)

We thank thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls who saw visions of larger truths and dared to declare them; for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller life with thee. Accept this our thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, to whom be praise and dominion for ever.

–Fellowship Litanies

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for All Saints Day to Begin the Day from The Prayer Manual

O God, we give Thee most high praise and hearty thanks for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all Thy saints, who have been the choice vessels of Thy grace, and lights of the world in their several generations; most humbly beseeching Thee to give us grace so to follow the example of their steadfastness, that we, with all those who are of the mystical body of Thy Son, may be set on His right hand, Who reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, “Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on earth.”

–Revelation 5:1-10

Posted in Theology: Scripture