Kenyan APB and TEC PB Clash over Lent*TAC Bishop Rejected by Rome*AMIA Moves On
All mainstream faiths have always opposed gay marriage, not because of a particular obsession with homosexuality, but because of a wider teaching about what marriage is and what sex is supposed to be for. — Charles Moore in the Telegraph
A double duty. The shepherds of Christ’s flock have a double duty: to feed the sheep (by teaching the truth) and to protect them from wolves (by warning of error). As Paul put it to Titus, elders must hold firm the sure word according to apostolic teaching, so that they would be able both ‘to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it’ (Tit. 1:9). This emphasis is unpopular today. We are frequently told always to be positive in our teaching, and never negative. But those who say this have either not read the New Testament or, having read it, they disagree with it. For the Lord Jesus and his apostles refuted error themselves and urged us to do the same. One wonders if it is the neglect of this obligation, which is a major cause of today’s theological confusion. If, when false teaching arises, Christian leaders sit idly by and do nothing, or turn tail and flee, they will earn the terrible epithet ‘hirelings’ who care nothing for Christ’s flock (Jn. 10:12ff). Then too it will be said of believers, as it was of Israel, that ‘they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and … they became food for all the wild animals’ (Ezk. 34:5). — John R. W. Stott
Looking Firmly at the Cross of Christ. Look at the cross, think of the cross, meditate on the cross, and then go and set your affections on the world if you can. I believe that holiness is nowhere learned so well as on Calvary. I believe you cannot look much at the cross without feeling your will sanctified, and your tastes made more spiritual. As the sun gazed upon makes everything else look dark and dim, so does the cross darken the false splendor of this world. As the taste of honey makes all other things seem to have no taste at all, so does the cross seen by faith take all the sweetness out of the pleasures of the world. Keep on, everyday, looking firmly at the cross of Christ. — J.C. Ryle
Far too many in the Church today fail to understand the reality of our enmity with God. They are unknowing rebels, convinced of the righteousness of their own cause, who imagine God’s grace as an understandably friendly disposition towards those who basically deserve his sympathy. Yet there are others, fully conscious of human sinfulness, who nevertheless fail to appreciate the enormity of God’s love. For them, the phrase ‘miserable offenders’ means not ‘in need of mercy’. Though they have received mercy, they do not know the high regard in which they are held. — From the Ugley Vicar blog
"I think we all recognize that there is a new mentality in America, one that has grave risks for all believers — and puts in jeopardy all faith-based movements for social change and renewal. We risk becoming a nation without a soul, a people with no common purpose apart from material pursuits." — Bishop James Conley
A New Reformation has broken out in the Anglican Communion that promises to restore the Communion to Biblical orthodoxy, and the Church in North America has begun to grow again. In the first two years of its existence the Anglican Church in North America grew by some 34%, and last year adult and youth baptisms almost equaled child baptisms, demonstrating that the previously unevangelized are being reached with the Gospel once again. With its 80 million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest Body of Christians in the world after Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, and if trends continue it will surpass Eastern Orthodoxy to become the second largest Church in the world during the life of this generation. — Fr. V. E. Novak
Dear Brothers and Sisters
February 24, 2012
It’s amazing what freedom from the office of bishop or archbishop will do for a man.
Consider two cases. The first is former Rochester Bishop Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali. The second is former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.
Since they left office, both men have been speaking out vigorously on Culture War issues ranging from gay marriage to Muslim militancy. Rarely a week goes by when one or other of the two men is not being quoted in the international press on pressing moral, cultural, church and theological issues. It is as though they have both been given new leases on life. They are free (at last) to say what is on their minds without having to worry about the politics of the Church of England, which party to cater to, or whose ecclesiastical maybe hurt.
Neither man seems afraid to comment on things that the present incumbent at Lambeth Palace is silent on. Both men step up to the plate and speak their mind, whether it is the need to re-evangelize England, euthanasia or if women bishops should be allowed in the Church of England.
Both men simply grab the microphone and off they go. Dr. Nazir Ali travels internationally more than Carey and will happily rail against Islamic militancy, the persecution of Christians and much more in his travels. I heard him recently in Peru and, again, in Charleston, SC. He is unashamedly evangelical in his witness and faith.
You can read what Lord Carey, another evangelical, says in today’s digest about "gay marriage". In an article for the Daily Mail this week, Lord Carey claimed the proposal to change the status of marriage "constitutes one of the greatest political power grabs in history". Now would he have said that as Archbishop of Canterbury? One doubts it.
On the international front, a theological clash has occurred between the Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala and Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori over what constitutes a true Lenten message. The Kenyan Archbishop issued a strong rebuke to Jefferts Schori’s Lenten message over her understanding of Lent.
The Presiding Bishop has called on Episcopalians to focus on the Millennium Development Goals for Lent 2012. "I invite you to use the Millennium Development Goals as your focus for Lenten study and discipline and prayer and fasting this year. I’m going to remind you that the Millennium Development Goals are about healing the worst of the world’s hunger. They’re about seeing that all children get access to primary education etc etc." The Millennium Development Goals are truly reflective of several of the Five Marks of Mission, she said.
Archbishop Wabukala took issue with the Presiding Bishop saying the Millennium Development Goals have grown out of a secularized Western culture that is pushing Christianity to the margins and using the language of human rights and equality to promote irresponsibility in social life and diminish personal responsibility. Ouch. You can read the full exchange in today’s digest.
Katharine Jefferts Schori is on an Asian trip to promote her worldview and to keep alive the notion that the Episcopal Church has 16 countries in its back pocket even though the combined numbers don’t make up one small Nigerian diocese.
According to a VOL reader and observer, the liberals in the Korean Church are beside themselves with glee at Jefferts Schori’s visit. They think she will liberate them and pour money over them and their pet causes. I told one of her fans, "What money? TEC is effectively bankrupt from all the lawsuits." A look of horror came over his face. I’m not sure because he couldn’t believe that an American would "diss" his own Church, or because he realizes that TEC only survives on the legacy left when its faithful still had the faith.
The reader is circulating VOL stories about what Mrs. Jefferts Schori REALLY believes and is having them translated into Korean. The Presiding Bishop might be in for a shock when she gets to those shores.