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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A cabbage by any other name...

A rose?                                                                                  Source: Wikipedia

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" wrote William Shakespeare but 'love' as used by progressives in the Church is stinking to high heaven.

No matter how crazy the idea, stamp 'love' on it and anyone disapproving is labeled a bigot.

"Love"                                                             Source: Reuters/Christian Today
The people of Australia are the latest to be persuaded that marriage can be redefined to mean other than joining one man and one women by using 'love' as an umbrella. As their  Prime Minister said "they voted yes for love". Who wouldn't? But that is not the question.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said he was 'deeply disappointed that the likely result will be legislation to further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia'.

Not so with most of our Anglican bishops in Great Britain who take a more secular view.

Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?"

That will be all Greek to the bishops so they should know that Éros was not what Christ had in mind when he pressed Peter to understand what tending His flock would entail.

In their latest jaunt into secularism the bishops of the Church of England have issued transphobic bullying guidance. In their logic, bullying must be tackled head on, gender difference can give rise to bullying, therefore "Primary schoolchildren should be free to dress up in a tiara or superhero cloak without comment from teachers or pupils". 

No wonder Stonewall, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group, said the guidance gave "clear advice" to teachers on recognising and combating bullying in Church schools.

 The number of children who underwent transgender treatment in the UK's National Health Service jumped by 1,000 percent in the five years to 2016. One would have thought that would cause the bishops some concern. Instead they use this tragic upsurge to bolster their secular agenda.

A question I often hear asked is What has happened to the church? I suspect many readers will know clergy who changed their minds over the ordination of women when they saw which way the wind was blowing. A convenient career choice which put them in the ascendancy to the detriment of those who fought to keep the faith. The Anglican church has gone downhill ever since. Faith and logic no longer apply.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Welsh bishops relegate unity

The bishops of St Davids, St Asaph, Llandaff, Swansea and Brecon (archbishop), Bangor, and Monmouth having a laugh          Source: Premier Christian Radio

The Church in Wales has placed an advert in the Church Times for a Director of Faith, Order and Unity. 

This looks suspiciously like an empire building re-jig of an advert which resulted in the 2014 appointment of a WCC staff member to the post of Unity, Faith and Order Director for the Anglican Communion while relegating unity to third place.

No surprise there since the Church in Wales slammed the door on any hope of church unity in the conventional sense many years ago when Barry and his bench sitters chose to ignore most of Christendom and apply their own version of faith and order by choosing instead an alliance with Nonconformist churches, thus causing further disunity within the Anglican Communion and beyond.

The Church in Wales already has its own Doctrinal Commission to tell its bishops what they want to hear. They also have their own version of unity - being a 'big' fish in a very small pond. As there is no hope of unity with the much larger Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches there should be little for the successful applicant to do unless the object of the role is to continue re-interpreting the Gospel to promote gender equality and parity in place of suitability, the main thrust of the newly enthroned women bishops.

At the last meeting of Governing Body of the Church in Wales, the new Archbishop John Davies promised ‘more of the same’ — but faster! The Scottish Episcopal Church is following suit with the recently appointed first female bishop indicating that her first priority is to see the election of more women for high-profile roles. Their General Synod has already agreed to permit same-sex marriage.

As for the Church of England, they are still trying to work out what they believe with their 'Shared Conversations on Scripture, Mission and Sexuality' (here) while preaching a message that is contrary to Christian belief based on scripture.

Given the continually shrinking regular attendance figures at Church in Wales Sunday services (28,291 and shrinking) one has to wonder what the bishops  do these days. The latest figures show confirmations fell by 21% between 2015-2016  to 872.

Much of their time has been diverted towards the propagation of feminism and, contrary to scripture, formerly establishing homosexuality in the church as the expression of God's love, a situation neatly summed up on BBC Radio 4 [@18.01] when Ed Stourton speaks with Lorna Ashworth, a highly regarded evangelical, who has resigned her place in General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council over the issue, and Jayne Ozanne who "campaigns for gay equality within the Church of England and the wider evangelical community" using our need to love one another as her passport to acceptance of deviating from the Gospel.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who jointly oversees both the general synod and the Archbishops' Council alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said he was 'sad' Lorna Ashworth had resigned. He added, "However, I do not share her doubts that the Church of England will be part of God's renewal of the Christian faith in this nation" indicating the problem faced by Lorna Ashworth and those of us who share her concern for the Christian faith in this country.

Empire building in a declining church appears to be high on the list of priorities for the bench of bishops even though the Church in Wales Review recommended a reduction in the number of dioceses and the associated administrative costs.

From Section 15 of the Review:

"...there is a widespread sense across the church that the Church in Wales is top heavy, with too many committees and too much time spent on simply keeping the institution going as it is."

The problem for the Anglican Church is that most of the bishops in Great Britain are so busy trying to satisfy the desires of the flesh that they are blind to the needs of the spirit. As a consequence they are fishing for minorities while many of the faithful feel excluded from an organisation that has lost the Way and the truth and the life. They leave and giving goes down creating the current crisis.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembrance Day 2017

December 19, 1916: A French officer stands near a cemetery filled with recent graves of soldiers
killed on the front lines of World War One, at Saint-Jean-sur-Tourbe on the Champagne front,
eastern France REUTERS/Collection Odette Carrez/IBTimes

A mother plans to be reunited with her only son. Source: GETTY/Express

We will remember them

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Newspeaking of love

George Orwell  statue unveiled outside BBC Broadcasting House                                                                                                                    Source: Telegraph

The First Minister of Scotland sounded utterly convinced that only her views could possibly be correct when offering her "unequivocal" apology to gay men convicted of sexual offences that are no longer illegal.

She said "the simple fact was that parliamentarians in Scotland had, over many decades, supported or at least accepted laws which "we now recognise to have been completely unjust... Hundreds of people in Scotland were liable to be convicted as criminals, simply for loving another adult."

If Ms Sturgeon feels secure enough to condemn previous law makers as in error, why did she twist the facts? She was correct only in that it took law makers in Scotland more than a decade to catch up with reforms to the law in England and Wales in 1976.

My understanding of the legislation to which she objected was that convictions were not for loving another adult but for buggery. The law was changed after the Wolfenden report recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence".

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 granted civil partnerships rights and responsibilities in the United Kingdom very similar to civil marriage. A reform welcomed across the political spectrum but not good enough for activists who demand that marriage be redefined in the name of supposed equality.

The LGBT lobby has had considerable success with newspeak. Constant repetition of the words 'love' and 'equality' in relation to same sex marriage has provided a smokescreen to achieve an objective which undermines the basis of family live, the joining together of a man and a woman for the procreation of children without which civilisation as we know it would end.

But what about infertile couples? they claim, before advocating adoption by gay couples, the use of surrogates and more recently, womb transplants allowing men to have babies. There is little if any thought for the effects in later life on the children resulting from such unions.

Gay couples can live together in circumstances similar to civil marriage without fear of prosecution but acceptance has turned into demands. Now the tail wags the dog. Even Anglican bishops are content to demean the sanctity of marriage by agreeing to legitimise that which is contrary to Christian teaching.

The First Minister's misuse of the word love was a precursor to linking same sex marriage with equality, condemning supporters of traditional marriage as lacking integrity, wisdom, compassion and justice using words such as wrong, homophobia, hate, fear, discrimination, prejudice and bigotry, the implication being that opponents of same sex marriage are bigoted, prejudiced people who lack compassion and a sense of justice.

There is no justice in condemning people simply for having an opposing view. In years to come as the Church crumbles and society further disintegrates, another First Minister could be standing in Ms Sturgeon's place condemning others for supporting or at least accepting laws which "we now recognise" to have been completely stupid.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The irony of it

Metropolitan Bishoy and Bishop Gregory Cameron sign the Agreed Statement on the Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit during a special evensong
service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.  Christian Today / Lynn Glanville / Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough 

Taking timeout from the advancement of all matters  LBGTI+ in the Church in Wales, the Bishop of St Asaph has been involved in matters spiritual, a hangover from his years in the Church of England.

Appointed Director of Ecumenical Affairs at the Anglican Communion Office in 2003, he became Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in 2004. He was elected as the 76th Bishop of St Asaph in 2009.

Unsurprisingly the report 'Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox agree on doctrine of Holy Spirit' appears not on the Church in Wales website but in Christian Today .

The controversy dates back to the 7th century, when Eastern theologians objected to the statement the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father 'and the Son' ('filioque'). Anglicans inherited this reading from the Roman Catholic Church. Agreed Statement here.

 One might have thought that resolving this impediment to Christian unity would have merited at least a mention but the Church in Wales abandoned matters spiritual in favour of politics long ago under their previous archbishop

Many of the faithful who would have appreciated this agreement have also been abandoned by the Church in Wales which may explain why Church in Wales reports are dominated by the advancement of feminism, homosexuality and same sex marriage.

This report shows what might have been before the bench of bishops and, indeed, the house of bishops in the Church of England opted for deviancy over unity.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The fall of the flag

History restored at the Hundred Stone!                                                                                                                    Source: Church in Wales/Picture: Alison Evans

The symbolism says it all in this Diocesan press release, 'History restored at the Hundred Stone'. The Cross of St David lying in the dirt.

Historically the fall of the flag meant defeat. It could be a metaphor for the Church in Wales.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

"What is marriage?"

My thanks to Anglican Curmudgeon for posting this excellent homily on his blog under the title Is It Man over God, or God over Man?

The blog author, A S Haley writes: This is an outstanding homily on last Sunday's Gospel reading recounting Jesus' skill in handling the Pharisees and the Herodians who tried to entrap him on the payment of taxes to the government (Mt 22:15-22). The Very Rev. John Lankeit, dean of the Cathedral of Ss. Simon and Jude in Phoenix, Arizona, shows Christians how to use Jesus' logic to refute the trick assumption behind the question: "Do you believe in gay marriage?"