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[G Ashenden] The Radical Call To Go The Wrong Way’. Archbishop Welby’s charge to General Synod

At the end of the recent General Synod when an alliance of orthodox Christians and pro-gay progressives defeated the Bishops’ report on Marriage and sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a rallying cry to a perturbed and divided Synod and whatever part of the wider Church was listening in.

It had three elements:

1- “We need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church.

2- “It must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”

3- “The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ ”“ all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

The problem these words present, is that they involve a distortion of Christianity. They preference a non-Christian ideology that gives us a sub-Christian or even perhaps an anti-Christian version of the faith.

That is a very serious charge to make. Because if it is true, it challenges the authority of an ancient office and both the direction and integrity of the Church of England.

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

Sunday Worship on T19


Good News

AVAILABLE NOW
+ The Harvest Is Plentiful, but the Workers Are Few – Pastor Simon Mwaura
+ Choral Evensong from The Queen’s College, Oxford
+ The bells of Howden Minster in Yorkshire

On next Sunday: Sunday Service live from St Helena’s Beaufort, SC
Listen live here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]

From February 12th, 2017
+ God’s Work Has Enemies – Hugh Palmer [Nehemiah 3-6]
+ Prayer Revival – Bishop Moses Tay [Job 38:12-15]
+ How to Fight – Dr H. Laurie Thompson – TSM [1 Corinthians 1:10]
+ Choral Evensong from King’s College, Cambridge
+ The bells of St Helen’s, Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel

From February 5th, 2017
+ The Light of the World – Dr Kendall Harmon today [1 Corinthians 2:2]
+ Job Done – Rev Vaughan Roberts [Nehemiah 6:1-7:73]
+ More from this series ‘A Time to Build: Nehemiah’
+ Choral Evensong from Chichester Cathedral on the Eve of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple

From January 29th, 2017
+ The Bells of St Mary le Ghyll, Barnoldswick in Lancashire

From January 22nd, 2017
+ Life on the Front Foot – Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Isaiah 43:1-7, 16-21]

From January 15th, 2017
+ Who are We anyway? Are we are Resum̩s? РDr Kendall Harmon (Matthew 3:13-17)
+ The King Will Never Leave – Rev Jeffrey Miller
+ Confidence in the Gospel (1) – Rev Rico Tice [2 Timothy 1:6-14]
+ The Bells of All Saints, Maidstone
+ Choral Evensong from Merton College, Oxford

From January 8th, 2017
+ Will we consider the possibility? – Rev Vaughan Roberts
+ The Epiphany – Rev Hank Avent [MP3]
+ The bells of St Andrew’s, Hurstbourne Priors in Hampshire
+ New Years Morning Service from BBC Radio Ulster
+ Epiphany – Diane Louise Jordan

From January 1st, 2017
+ Christmas: Jesus is God – Bishop Rennis Ponniah [John 1:1-14]
+ What is it and How does it Come? – Dr Kendall Harmon on Christmas Eve [Luke 2]
+ It’s A Wonderful Life – Rev Jeff Miller
+ Choral Evensong from St Gabriel’s, Pimlico with the Rodolfus Choir
Previous posts are here

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship

JI Packer: Understanding our Crisis of Truth and Authority in the Church of England

From the Latimer Trust

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

[KT Press] Archbishop of Canterbury Builds ”˜Wall of Miracles’ in Rwanda


L ”“ R : Bishop Alex Birindabagabo, Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Rwaje Onesphore. The building behind is New Gahini Cathedral under construction”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. and Rt. Honorable Justin Welby and his wife arrived in Rwanda yesterday to lay a foundation stone at the East African Revival Heritage Center at Gahini Diocese.

From the hill that hosted first established Mission Center of Anglican Church of Rwanda and spread the Pentecostal fire across the region, the Anglican church supreme leader launched construction of; A Wall of Miracles, a Fellowship House on which the foundation stone will be laid, a Covenant House, a new Cathedral under construction ”“ 10 times bigger than existing one, and an office block.

The new cathedral has 2000 sitting capacity compared to 200 places of the old church. It will cost Rwf2billion upon completion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury

[Freemasonry Today] Freemasons take care of iconic Canterbury Cathedral

..There had been connections, but the relationship hadn’t been re-established for some time.’

It was 10 years ago, when Roger was asked to find out if Freemasons could attend a Cathedral Evensong service, that this all changed. ”˜I made an approach, met someone from the Cathedral Trust, which was about to launch an appeal for restoration work funding, and our relationship started again. It was really just us asking what Freemasons could do to help.’

The relationship has since blossomed…

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths, Wicca / paganism

[Cranmer] Freemasons at Canterbury Cathedral: the hidden Masonic ritual in the Order of Service

Since we know (courtesy of the West Kent Masons) that:

The Service has been prepared in conjunction with the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, who has kindly agreed to deliver the Sermon on this occasion. We shall be joined by several of the High Rulers in the Craft and the Holy Royal Arch Chapter together with Brethren from the Provinces of East Kent, West Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

…..
here’s the interesting thing..

The scriptures chosen have greater significance (and a very different meaning) to Freemasons than they do to (other) Christians. Indeed, they are used at the highest degree of Masonic initiation in their rituals of exaltation.
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There’s nothing wrong with morality and good fellowship: these are virtuous Christian pursuits. But we might well ask the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral why so much of this Order of Service is steeped in covert references to Masonic ritual, with twisted scriptural interpretations known only (now not quite) to the initiated? Why the secret syncretism?

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths, Wicca / paganism

[EWTN UK] Freemason service at England's Mother Church on same day as consecration to Our Lady

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, is allowing a full Masonic service to be conducted in Canterbury cathedral on the same day that Cardinal Nichols reconsecrates England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Westminster cathedral on the18th February 2017.

Canterbury cathedral was the Mother-Church of All England from 597 till the death of the last Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Pole, in 1558. It was the heart of the Catholic Church in England and one of the major shrines of Christendom because it housed the shrine of St Thomas a Becket.
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Justin Welby’s and Canterbury Cathedrals decision to allow a Masonic service is controversial among certain groups of Anglicans in light of the 1987 summary of the deliberations by the General Synod of the Church of England, Freemasonry and Christianity: Are they compatible?:

It was “clear that some Christians have found the impact of Masonic rituals disturbing and a few perceive them as positively evil.” Some believed that Masonic rituals were “blasphemous” because God’s name “must not be taken in vain, nor can it be replaced by an amalgam of the names of pagan deities.” It noted that Christians had withdrawn from Masonic lodges “precisely because they perceive their membership of it as being in conflict with their Christian witness and belief. The Synod’s primary theological objection centred upon Freemasonry’s use of the word “Jahbulon,” which is the name used for the Supreme Being in Masonic rituals, and is an amalgamation of Semitic, Hebrew and Egyptian titles for God.”

….
In view of this history of masonic anti-Catholicism, is it more than an unhappy coincidence that a major Masonic service is being conducted in the ancient mother Church of the Catholic faith in these lands on the very same day that England is reconsecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in honour of Our Lady of Fatima? Even if it is coincidence, it is a conjunction of events that is profoundly significant and meaningful.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths, Wicca / paganism

[David Ould] CofE Clergy Refuse to “Take Note” of “Orthodox” Bishops’ Report on Marriage

In the lead up to the vote there was nothing short of furious campaigning on all sides. The liberals’ campaign was clear to see from bodies such as the newly-amalgamated “One Body, One Faith” who urged their supporters to vote against the motion and to call their General Synod reps to do the same.

Within the conservative camp there was also an inclination by many to vote against the motion for the reasons outlined above. Those I spoke to in the days leading up to the vote took no pleasure in this position but were resigned to a split in the church as being inevitable and longed for the bishops to stop papering over the cracks. As a result we began to see an unprecedented move by more conservative bishops to encourage a “yes” vote as (it was explained) a last-ditch attempt to hold everything together. There was a great danger, it was explained, that if the take note vote failed then the fissures would rupture with not a small number of bishops being prepared to take a contrary position in future. It has to be said that this argument appears to have been somewhat successful if the noises key conservatives were making in the last 24 hours were any indication.
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..there you have it. A split Church of England which has voted against taking note of the bishops’ report, thereby ensuring it cannot be further debated in this current synod (until 2020). The bishops will now go back and, presumably, prepare another report that may have a different flavour.

But that’s not the half of it. If the conservative bishops’ warnings are correct we can now expect to see the collegiality of the House of Bishops begin to fracture well beyond the isolated crack that is Alan Wilson in Buckingham. To Wilson’s credit he at least had the chops to say what he believed. At the moment we have a set of bishops, some of whom are by conviction opposed to orthodox teaching and yet who continue to (at least nominally) support it. No wonder the liberals are frustrated. But they may now break ranks.

One last thought. The bishops really can’t complain about this result. It is they who are ultimately responsible for recruiting, training, ordaining, supporting, leading and (if necessary) disciplining their clergy. That there has been a more laissez-faire approach by them in recent years on these matters is now well-documented. While there have been some occasions where discipline has been carried out, there are many more moments when they could have stood up and spoken, withheld Communion, said no to ordination and so on. But they didn’t. Blessings of same-sex unions are allowed to pass with not so much as an irritated tut. Bishops attend and endorse services that promote either explicitly or implicitly a rejection of orthodox teaching on marriage. Clergy who hold heterodox views are promoted to higher office. Put simply, there has been a concerted effort by revisionist clergy to put “facts on the ground” and the bishops appear to have not resisted the move with many of them effectively supporting it. As Sam Allberry put it so well in his contribution to the GS debate, we want bishops who genuinely believe that what they wrote in the report is good news to be proclaimed to everyone.

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

GAFCON UK responds to the Synod vote, and offers a new vision for faithful Anglicanism

..Trying to avoid ”˜taking sides’ in the debate, the document inevitably failed to reconcile diametrically opposing theological understandings. It even attempted to spiritualise this conflict as if it were a form of creative diversity mysteriously pointing to the Kingdom of God.

This is why we did not share the optimism of some that an orthodox view of marriage would prevail in the proposed ”˜teaching document.’ The committee responsible for such a document would have been composed of representatives of both sides in the debate, resulting either in impasse, further theological muddle and confusion or, as occurred with the Pilling Report, majority and minority views.

As the Synod debate was introduced, Bishops made clear that the proposed retention of the historic teaching of marriage, or the ban on liturgical blessings of same sex relationships, was not a ”˜stake in the ground’ beyond which the church will not move. To the contrary the Bishops saw it merely as a description of where the church is at the moment from where we would then ”˜move forward’. This was a clear encouragement to innovations led by the loudest voices.

Our view was that orthodox believers could have no confidence either in the Report or in the process it was intended to initiate. Whichever way the vote went, there would be no happy outcome. The Church of England now finds itself in disarray.
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After the very expensive ”˜holding operation’ of the Shared Conversations and the production of GS2055, the inevitable crisis in the C of E is now upon us; one that cannot be covered up by more platitudes about reconciliation and unity.

There is a better way. We would like to suggest seven principles to guide orthodox Anglicans as they start to envision and plan for a better church future:
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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

[James Paice] The Church of England needs a decision, not more of the same

..What is being proposed here is more conversations, more discussion, and more documents from the House of Bishops.

I doubt there is one member of General Synod who will welcome the idea of more conversations and more debate time on this issue. The House of Bishops is such a diverse group, so thus far they have not produced any documents with a coherent doctrine of marriage, and proposals for practices on the ground that are consistent with that, all lacking any ambiguity or the proverbial fudge.

The archbishops are proposing that the next thing is to do more of the same thing that’s already been done. This will not solve things any more than the previous incarnations of the same strategy.

There is no way around the fact that what we now need is a clear decision. A decision as to what our doctrine of Scripture is to be going forward. A decision as to what our doctrine of marriage is to be. A decision as to which God we will serve – the God of this age, or the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ..

Read it all and there is a useful earlier analysis When it comes to the boundary of tolerance you have to choose

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

Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York following General Synod

..The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our common humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.

Nevertheless while the principles are straightforward, putting them into practice, as we all know, is not, given the deep disagreements among us.

We are therefore asking first for every Diocesan Bishop to meet with their General Synod members for an extended conversation in order to establish clearly the desires of every member of Synod for the way forward.

As Archbishops we will be establishing a Pastoral Oversight group led by the Bishop of Newcastle, with the task of supporting and advising Dioceses on pastoral actions with regard to our current pastoral approach to human sexuality. The group will be inclusive, and will seek to discern the development of pastoral practices, within current arrangements.

Secondly, we, with others, will be formulating proposals for the May House of Bishops for a large scale teaching document around the subject of human sexuality. In an episcopal church a principal responsibility of Bishops is the teaching ministry of the church, and the guarding of the deposit of faith that we have all inherited. The teaching document must thus ultimately come from the Bishops. However, all episcopal ministry must be exercised with all the people of God, lay and ordained, and thus our proposals will ensure a wide ranging and fully inclusive approach, both in subject matter and in those who work on it.

We will also be suggesting to the Business Committee a debate in general terms on the issues of marriage and human sexuality. We wish to give the General Synod an opportunity to consider together those things we do affirm..

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

Bridget Kendall Ramsey Murray Lecture 2015

Selwyn College Cambridge presents the annual Ramsay Murray Lecture on the subject of modern day Russia [including relations with Ukraine and Europe] under the Presidency of Vladimir Putin and given by the BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondent, Bridget Kendall.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, History, Politics in General, Russia, Theology

[AU 271] CofE defeats their Compromise

With Gavin Ashenden

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV

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

[Canon Phil Ashey] Nothing has changed””the system is broken

…the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-16) met in Zambia, April 8-19, and “received” the report of the Primates. In fact, they ignored it. The Episcopal Church participated in every vote on every resolution that came before ACC-16””including every matter relating to the doctrine and polity of the Anglican Communion. I remember writing a memo to the GAFCON Primates on April 20th documenting each and every violation. The American Anglican Council documented in detail how The Episcopal Church delegates moved resolutions, talked about them, motioned for them to be approved and seconded them. In the face of these facts, it was inconceivable that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, would say that somehow The Episcopal Church had fulfilled all of the consequences spelled out at the January Primates’ meeting. Even The Episcopal Church delegates to ACC-16 publically refuted the Archbishop’s claim and admitted to doing whatever they pleased during the meeting!
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Archbishop Justin Welby has recently invited the Communion’s leaders back to Canterbury for another meeting this fall. His public relations firm, the Anglican Communion News Service, is continuing the false narrative that The Episcopal Church has been kept from voting on matters of doctrine and polity within the Anglican Communion. Yet again, Episcopal delegates to ACC-16 are publicly and proudly refuting this false narrative.

I see no reason to change the American Anglican Council’s call to Biblically faithful Anglican leaders to avoid such Communion meetings””meaningless and costly meetings that perpetuate the deficit of authority in the Anglican Communion to discipline false teaching and restore godly order.

The system is broken. Something must change. These conflicting signals and contentions between the very instruments of Communion are unacceptable.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

[Ian Paul] On Synod, sexuality, and not ”˜Taking note’

..the vote cannot be understood without taking into account one other group: Conservative evangelicals. Alongside the commitment to leave marriage unchanged, there were several contrary indicators, included either as a genuine reflection of the range of views amongst the bishops or (if you are more cynical) as an exercise in balancing. A key phrase here is allowing ”˜maximum freedom within the law’ for pastoral provision, and Conservatives saw that as an alarming compromise within the report. In the Synod debate, I had the impression that two moments were key for them. The first was the speech of Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, who wanted to honour the ”˜anger, the fury’ of campaigners (I am still trying to work out where in Scripture ”˜fury’ towards your fellow believers is a commended virtue), and who was determined to make the most of ”˜maximum freedom’ in his diocese.

The second came in Archbishop Justin Welby’s speech, the last to be taken, in which he emphasised the need for ”˜Christian inclusion’. I am not clear whether he intended the emphasis to be on ”˜Christian’ or ”˜inclusion’, but it was clearly a trigger phrase for Conservatives, who put it alongside Justin’s other positive comments about gay relationships as a signal that he cannot be trusted on this issue. Though I don’t agree with their approach, I can understand this viewpoint. He concluded his short speech with:

The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ ”“ all of us, without exception, without exclusion.

If this means anything, I am not sure what it does mean. Including clergy defying the Church’s teaching, and ignoring their bishop and their ordination vows? Including ”˜non-realists’ who don’t believe in the existence of God? Including all? Moving boundaries is one thing, but abolishing them is quite another. (And where is mention of kingdom, redemption, newness of life?) Once Justin had said this, the die was cast, and I suspect just enough Conservatives joined with liberals in voting not to take note for the motion to fall.

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