Posted by The_Elves

Received by email

Statement by the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali on the recent decisions to change the definition of marriage by the United States’ Supreme Court and the Episcopal Church in the USA

The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America to change the definition of marriage is grievous. There is a saying, “When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.” As a religious leader in Uganda, I want to assure all Ugandans that we will do everything we can to promote the good moral health of our people and resist such immoral viruses that may try to infiltrate our people.

Likewise, the most recent decision of the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) to change the definition of marriage is even more grievous. At best, it sprang from a desire to extend pastoral care to members of its church who experience same-sex attraction. Pastoral care, however, that is contrary to the Bible’s message is, ultimately, cruel and misleading.

The Church of Uganda broke communion with the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) in 2003 when they unilaterally changed the received Biblical and moral teaching of the Anglican Communion on ordination. The Primates of the Anglican Communion unanimously agreed – including the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church – that, should TEC proceed with the consecration as Bishop of a divorced father of two living in a same-sex relationship, it would tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level, which is exactly what has happened over the past twelve years.

In spite of TEC’s 2006 resolution that expressed their “regret” at “straining” the bonds of affection in the Anglican Communion, they have, nonetheless, continued their march toward dismantling the Christian faith and morals, culminating in their recent decision to change the definition of marriage – something that was “given by God in creation.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

July 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

"Being part of a global Communion should always be such a source of mutual encouragement to faithful witness, not a source of hurt to that witness."
A Response to The Episcopal Church of the United States’ (TEC) decision to make ‘Same – Sex Marriage’ official

The recent decision of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, to remove reference to gender in the marriage canon and introduce rites for conducting ‘same-sex marriage’, is a mistake with serious consequences.

The problems for the rest of the Anglican Communion have already been noted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the fundamental reason that it is a mistake – and the reason why it is so destabilizing – is that it is a significant departure from Holy Scripture. This is a departure which Christians are not at liberty to make.

With this action, TEC has officially rejected the Anglican Communion’s standard, Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which expresses the Communion’s received and historic understanding of marriage and sexual relationships. TEC has now taken the pattern of behaviour which Lambeth describes as ‘incompatible with Scripture’ and equated it with Holy Matrimony.

It may be claimed that TEC is modelling ‘two integrities’, but the Church of God finds its integrity in teaching and living according to the received Word of God. The determination of TEC to press ahead with changes which ignore the serious concerns of many others in the Communion, in some cases for their physical safety, shows very clearly the inadequacy of initiatives designed to create reconciliation without repentance.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON II 2013

July 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop William White of Pennsylvania, who first expressed the idea of a national association of state churches that later became TEC, outlined a plan "for organizing these Church of England congregations." White was "very sympathetic to the notion that the individual state organizations and dioceses should have the full and open control of their own property and of their own government" (p.27)

Take the time to read through it all (74 page pdf).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves



From the Church of England Evangelical Council
...Recently there have been a number of public pronouncements and actions that undermine or are a direct challenge to the authority of Holy Scripture and the faith revealed in it and expressed in the tradition and teaching of the Church of England. These include :

1. Calls for God to be referred to as 'she' which are a direct challenge to the revelation in the Scriptures that God has given of Himself, as Father and Son. God is neither male nor female and beyond human understanding of gender, but the inspired revelation we have received does not allow us the liberty to describe Him as Her, and any attempts to pray to God as our 'mother in heaven' are to be resisted.

2. A serving Bishop appearing in an employment tribunal to oppose a colleague who is upholding church teaching and discipline (which does not endorse same-sex marriage) and, in his testimony, describing the canonical definition of marriage as 'lousy'.

3. The endorsement of Gay Pride through a public prayer of blessing on the recent march outside the Minster Church of the Northern Province.

4. The Shared Conversations as constructed are revealing that the traditional view on same sex relationships is not held by a large proportion of the diocesan representatives and comes across as a minority view. The overarching question and theme for the Conversations is the church's response to the changes in our culture, and not a study of the provided texts and existing teaching of the Church of England. We are told that no particular outcome is expected or sought by these conversations, but the current position of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, arising out of the plain meaning of the scriptural texts, appears to be poorly represented by the diocesan representatives and this is of real concern, as we had hoped for a proper conversation and engagement.

Faced with the gap between these examples and the publically stated adherence of all clergy to the doctrinal base of the Church of England, we reaffirm and celebrate that base as the inheritance of the Church of England. We believe that all called into leadership should give and maintain their assent to it, and be guided by it, in their teaching and ministry.

We therefore invite evangelicals in all the English Dioceses to renew a commitment to praying...

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

July 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...If marriage has been established by God in creation, as most of the world’s Anglicans believe, then no Church council or civil court can ever redefine marriage. This week’s attempt to do so will cause considerable concern worldwide, acknowledged by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his recent expression of “deep concern” about how the Episcopal Church’s actions will add to the stress and distress throughout the Anglican Communion. Of course, the constitution of the Episcopal Church defines us as “a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.” The Diocese of Dallas desires and intends to live out these words by respecting the Communion’s teaching on marriage and by upholding the Book of Common Prayer and the authority of God’s Word. We are grateful for the General Convention’s appropriate acknowledgement that trial rites will not be used in a diocese without the permission of the Diocesan Bishop.

The Diocese of Dallas has a canon on marriage that reads, in part, that “As used in this Diocese, the terms ‘Holy Matrimony’ and ‘Marriage’ shall refer to the exclusive physical and spiritual union of one man and one woman, by mutual consent of the heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
The blessing of sexual relationships between persons of the same sex is prohibited in churches, missions and congregations of this Diocese; and clergy persons resident or licensed in this Diocese are prohibited from performing such blessings in any venue.”...

Read it all [pdf]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

July 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Updated with new signatories, July 7
Statement in response to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church resolution regarding same sex marriage

We are deeply grieved again by the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) Resolution to change the definition of marriage in their church canons in their current ongoing General Convention.

By this action, TEC has chosen by its own will and actions in clear knowledge to depart from the Anglican Communion’s standard teaching on human sexuality according to Lambeth Resolution 1:10. This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations. This Resolution clearly contradicts the Holy Scriptures and God’s plan for creation as He created humankind as man and woman to complement each other physically and emotionally.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Executive CouncilGlobal South Churches & Primates* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 2, 2015 at 6:00 am - 25 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This post is 'STICKY' - new posts are below.

Please remember Bishop John Ellison in your prayers: [George Conger] Border-crossing charges filed against British Bishop

Here are the links to posts that have been recently featured at the top of the blog or on topical issues.

TEC Same Sex Marriage Rites
+ Church of Uganda’s response to TEC’s General Convention and USA Supreme Court decision (July 7, 2015)
+ Reform: Response to the US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (July 7, 2015)
+ GAFCON Primates’ Council: TEC decision ‘a mistake with serious consequences’ (July 6, 2015)
+ Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas (July 5, 2015)
+ Statement by the Central American and Communion Partner Bishops (July 2, 2015)
+ Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote—“we are deeply grieved again” (July 2, 2015)
+ (Wash Post) TEC approves religious weddings for same-sex couples after controversial debate (July 2, 2015)
+ A.S. Haley—TEC Bishops Bless Blasphemy at General Convention (July 1, 2015)
+ AU 190 - Canterbury not happy with TEC Same-sex Marriage Actions (June 30, 2015)
+ Archbishop of Canterbury response to US Episcopal Church Resolution on Marriage (June 30, 2015)
+ Bp Dan Martins reports on the TEC HOB Marriage Decision (June 30, 2015)
+ [ACI] Mark McCall: Good Order And The Re-Definition of Marriage (June 22, 2015)

Supreme Court Marriage Ruling
+ Statement from the Diocese of South Carolina on Today’s Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges Ruling (June 26, 2015)
+ Dr. D.A. Carson on the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage (Audio) (July 5, 2015)
+ Al Mohler on the Supreme Court Decision—Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed (July 1, 2015)
+ ACNA Bishops’ Statement on Supreme Court Ruling (June 26, 2015)
+ President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Marriage+ the Supreme Court Case (June 26, 2015)
+ Prominent Evangelicals issue “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage” Statement (June 26, 2015)
+ Washington Post Article on the US Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision (June 26, 2015)
+ Supreme Court Ruling in (June 26, 2015)

Top of the pile
+ Reply Brief Filed by Diocese of South Carolina in SC Supreme Court (July 6, 2015)
+ CofE Evangelical Council Issues Call to Prayer for Leadership Repentance and Faithfulness (July 3, 2015)
+ Statement from the Diocese of South Carolina on Today’s Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges Ruling (June 26, 2015)
+ GAFCON Chairman’s June Pastoral Letter (June 25, 2015)
+ Statement from the Archbishop of York (June 23, 2015)
+ [ACI] Mark McCall: Good Order And The Re-Definition of Marriage (June 22, 2015)

Read more...

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* AdminFeatured (Sticky)

April 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens. The documentary “Web Junkie,” to be shown next Monday on PBS, highlights the tragic effects on teenagers who become hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom. Many come to view the real world as fake.

Chinese doctors consider this phenomenon a clinical disorder and have established rehabilitation centers where afflicted youngsters are confined for months of sometimes draconian therapy, completely isolated from all media, the effectiveness of which remains to be demonstrated.

While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of “live” action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents’ cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 4:57 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a terrorist attack. We did hope in the first few minutes after hearing about the events on the Underground that it might simply be a maintenance tragedy. That was not the case. I have been able to stay in touch through the very excellent communications that were established for the eventuality that I might be out of the city at the time of a terrorist attack and they have worked with remarkable effectiveness. I will be in continual contact until I am back in London.

I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.

That isn’t an ideology, it isn’t even a perverted faith - it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is. They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other. I said yesterday to the International Olympic Committee, that the city of London is the greatest in the world, because everybody lives side by side in harmony. Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who have been bereaved and that is why I’m proud to be the mayor of that city.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireTravelUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

July 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

July 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 3 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Putting aside legal arguments about hidden autonomy rights in the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court justifies its decision on the basis of the “new insight” that procreation is accidental to marriage. Its warrant for this claim is that social changes, including recognition of the equal dignity and rights of women, “have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential” (2, my emphasis). Thus, the Court claims, there is precedent for the view that the procreative potential once thought essential to marriage is in fact no more central to the institution than the race, precedents embodied in the Court’s previous affirmation of liberty rights to contraception and sodomy in Griswold and Lawrence. Rather, the Court now believes that what is essential to marriage is the autonomy right of “self-definition” in one’s intimate relationships and the right to be esteemed for this choice.

If this claim about the essence of marriage was either true or insightful, it would indeed be momentous. Unfortunately, it is neither. The Court’s argument rests on an insidious and profound misunderstanding of what “essential” means—let alone what the essence of marriage is—and a majoritarian understanding of moral progress. While real moral progress often does require us to distinguish what is essential from what is accidental—as when the Court correctly held that race is accidental to the institution of marriage—the Court’s current use of the term invalidates the very distinction it wishes to invoke.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 11:34 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Today, the survivors and families of the 7/7 London attacks continue the journey that those of Tunisia have just begun. Our hearts grieve with those who lost loved ones ten years ago, and with those so suddenly and cruelly bereaved less than a fortnight ago. We hold them all before God and our spirits call out to Christ to strengthen them.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

July 7, 2015 at 10:24 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The question before the Supreme Court in Obergefell was not whether a male-female marriage policy is the best or whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is better, but only whether anything in the Constitution specifically took away the power of the people to choose their marriage policy. Yet the Court spoke almost exclusively about its “new insights” into marriage, and was virtually silent on the Constitution. That’s because it had no choice. Our Constitution is itself silent on what marriage is; We the People retain the authority to make marriage policy.

The Court claimed to show that the marriage policy that has existed in the United States for all its history is now prohibited by the Constitution. It failed to do that. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, what the Court actually did was to assume that marriage is an essentially genderless institution and then announce that the Constitution requires states to adopt that same vision of marriage in their laws.

This is all the more remarkable, given that during oral arguments on Obergefell Justice Kennedy pointed out that marriage as the union of man and woman “has been with us for millennia. And it—it’s very difficult for the Court to say, oh, well, we—we know better.” Kennedy at least pretended to be reluctant to redefine marriage judicially. Redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships has, Kennedy pointed out, only been around for ten years. And, he added, “10 years is—I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 8:11 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A bomb attack has killed at least 25 people and wounded 32 others in northern Nigeria's Zaria city, the state governor has said.

A suspected suicide bomber targeted civil servants at a government building in the city, witnesses said.

Emergency workers have rushed to the scene to help evacuate the wounded.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shops across the country will be able to stay open for longer on Sundays, George Osborne will announce in this week’s Budget.

The Chancellor will use his first Budget as Chancellor in a majority Tory Government to begin a massive shakeup of Sunday trading laws that currently prevent businesses opening for more than six hours.

He said that “there is still a growing appetite for shopping on a Sunday” and that businesses need the change to ensure that they can compete with online retailers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 7:05 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...In rejecting this definition of marriage, the bishops of the US Episcopal Church have rejected Jesus’ own teaching. As such, they have denied the faith they profess to teach, forfeiting any right to be regarded as true bishops of the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus warned us to “watch out for false prophets” who come in his name (Matthew 7.15, 22)

Their actions will entrench still further the division in the Anglican Communion. We are grieved at their dishonouring of Jesus’ name. We are distressed by their discouragement of faithful believers, especially those who struggle with same-sex attraction and those who live in cultures where pronouncements from liberal Western church leaders endanger their lives and discredit their witness to Jesus Christ.

We stand with faithful Anglicans in the US and around the world, who continue to pray to Almighty God: “grant, that all they who do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and live in unity, and godly love.” (Book of Common Prayer).

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

July 7, 2015 at 6:50 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen carefully to it all.

Lyrics: I walk to the river
Waiting to hear the water sing
I sit down beside her
Trying to hear the quiet ring
The leaves break the falling
Of the sunlight that covers these banks
I've seen the water running, I've seen the color wash away

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic* General Interest

July 7, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ten years to the minute after the 7/7 bombings brought carnage to London, the 52 victims of the terrorist atrocity were remembered in a simple ceremony at the Hyde Park memorial that bears their names.

At the first of a series of events throughout Tuesday to mark the 10th anniversary, David Cameron and Boris Johnson stood with heads bowed in silent tribute at 8.50am amid the 52 steel pillars, each one representing a life lost.

The skies above central London darkened suddenly as the prime minister and the mayor of London walked silently through the thicket of stainless steel pillars, the only sounds the clicking of cameras and the rumble of passing traffic.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 5:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Part of liberalism is tolerating illiberality," Mr Freiman rightly says. In the absence of credible evidence that plural marriage in America today would be any more inegalitarian or socially harmful than the old-fashioned patriarchal monogamous marriages that millions of Americans already have, it's hard to justify, at least on liberal grounds, our legal prohibition against more than two consenting adults freely entering into a marital arrangement. As I've argued before, many of the unseemly and unhealthy aspects of existing American polygamous "marriages" are a side-effect of our having made them illegal, and a target for disgust and contempt, much as homosexuality was within living memory.

Perhaps there are other, excellent arguments against legalising plural marriage. But for now, not even extremely sophisticated liberals are making them. Messrs Rauch and Macedo's claims about the harms that would ensue from legalising plural marriage have the same speculative character as some conservative arguments against legal gay marriage. This ought to pique some concern.

Fredrik deBoer, writing in Politico, speculates that liberal opponents of plural marriage remain "trapped ... in prior opposition that they voiced from a standpoint of political pragmatism in order to advance the cause of gay marriage". This is probably right. Now that gay marriage is finally legal from sea to shining sea, it's time for liberals to refine their arguments against polygamy. We need better, more rationally compelling arguments if we wish to be fair in shutting against would-be polygamists the libertarian door that we've just blasted open.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 5:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning, as state Senators filed briskly into chambers and protestors waved their red rebel banners outside, about 100 people congregated amidst the chaos in the South Carolina Statehouse rotunda and sang “Amazing Grace.”

But first, Hal Stevenson closed his eyes and led them in prayer.

“We pray for our state. We pray for our nation. We pray for our world that the grace that’s been displayed in our state will catch on, that your holy spirit will direct each of us to love our neighbors as ourselves and do your will.”

They’re not activists, Stevenson said. They don’t represent any formal organization, either. But they are Christians — from multiple denominations, races and political ideologies — moved by the showing of grace from the families of the nine people murdered at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last month.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchHistoryMusicRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* South Carolina* TheologyChristology

July 7, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Instead, Kennedy fashioned the opinion around another part of the 14th Amendment, holding that denial of marriage licenses infringed on the liberty of gay men and women by restricting their right to due process. As Justice Clarence Thomas correctly pointed out, liberty under the Constitution has largely been defined as protection against physical restraints or broader government interference — “not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.” While Kennedy makes a powerful case for an expansive new view of due process, he extends the concept of liberty far beyond prior decisions.

In reality, he has been building to this moment for years, culminating in what might now be called a right to dignity. In his 1992 Casey decision, he upheld Roe v. Wade on the basis of “personal dignity and autonomy [that] are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Kennedy wove this concept of protected dignity through a series of cases, from gay rights to prison lawsuits, including his historic 2003 Lawrence decision striking down the criminalization of homosexuality. These rulings on liberty peaked with Obergefell, which he described as an effort of the petitioners to secure “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” He used the word “dignity” almost a dozen times in his decision and laid down a jurisprudential haymaker: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPhilosophyPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 7, 2015 at 4:39 am - 4 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, O blessed Lord, that thy Church in this our day may hear anew thy call to launch out into the deep in the service of thy glorious gospel; that souls for whom thou hast died may be won for thee, to the increase of thy kingdom and the glory of thy holy name.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 7, 2015 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aene′as, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aene′as, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

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Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 7, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Contrast this statement with another, from January 1963. [Maxie] Dunnam, then a young pastor in Mississippi, invited three other Methodist pastors to his river camp in order to draft “Born of Conviction,” a historic challenge to Jim Crow amid one of its darkest moments. Only a few months before, rioting had broken out when James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. A few months later, a white supremacist shot and killed Mississippi NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers (whose wife would later honor Dunnam).

“Born of Conviction” cited the official Methodist teaching that all men were equal, denounced resegregation under the cover of Christian schooling, and rejected the charge that the civil rights movement was Communist. Several of the twenty-eight Methodist pastors who subsequently signed the statement were forced to leave the state. Some received death threats.

The distance between Dunnam's statement in 1963 and [Bill] Mefford's in 2015 provides another measure of the loss of moral seriousness in mainline social justice activism. The comparison is not, I think, an altogether unfair one. Mefford's official position makes it impossible to dismiss his comments as the mere product of one man's glibness, rather than to admit them as evidence of a church bureaucracy that has lost touch with scripture, tradition, and the believers it purports to represent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A “church” that preaches and blesses blasphemy cannot be a church. Nor can any Christian be a member of it.

The religious organization that styles itself “The Episcopal ‘Church’” now preaches and blesses blasphemy against Christ our Savior. Therefore it cannot be a Christian church. And I can no longer — though I grew up in it, and belonged for over sixty-five years — be a member.

The personal tragedy is that the parish church in which I grew up, and which I still attended as an Episcopalian, is as true to the faith once delivered as could be. Its rector and associate rector are both orthodox; one deacon has served for more than forty years. My heart grieves for what they will be going through over the next five years.

Many of the parishioners are close and long-time friends. They are simply unaware of what took place at the General Convention in Salt Lake City, and they will probably never hear of it. They will continue to come, Sunday after Sunday, and worship as they always have. And I may even join them — but now as a visitor.

I not only have to resign my membership; I have to resign my position as parish Chancellor, as well. I cannot remain in the former while the leadership and most of the bishops (including the one who heads my former diocese, as well as the resigned one who used to head it) are endorsing blasphemy. And I cannot remain in the latter position as that same leadership, aided by all those 129 bishops who voted for the Satanic rites, trample the Constitution and Canons and mock the Book of Common Prayer.

My own knowledge of the Constitution and canons, together with my knowledge of what actually happened in Salt Lake City, compels me to these decisions...

Read it all [We ask commenters not to instruct, encourage or suggest leaving or joining any church on T19]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons

July 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...As the century of missionary activity was winding down in the 1940s, J. K. Fairbank summed up the prevailing view well when he said it had “become evident that few Chinese people were likely to become Christians and that the missionaries’ long-continued effort, if measured in numbers of converts, had failed”.

Looking backward—and ignoring the possibility God had other things in store for China—that was not an unreasonable conclusion. According to Stark and Wang, “The best statistics place the number of Chinese Protestants [at the time] at 1,005,699”. And since it was widely believed many of those were “rice Christians,” it wasn’t hard to imagine that number collapsing under Communism. But it didn’t. Sixty years later, tens of millions of Chinese are believers.

This doesn’t take away from the contributions of foreign missionaries; in fact, their efforts before 1953 laid the groundwork for the rise of Christianity we’ve seen since. “Had the missionaries never gone to China,” in other words, “it is doubtful there would have been any books written about Chinese Christianity”. The missionaries A Star in the East mentions never saw the fruit of their work, but it was God’s work, which means it was not in vain. This is an encouragement to missionaries currently serving in China—or anywhere, for that matter.

3. Persecution has profoundly affected the nature of Chinese Christianity.
A number of years ago I was talking with a Chinese Christian friend about Christianity in China. She was a very opinionated woman who always pushed me to think hard about things. “What we need,” she said, banging her fist on the table, “is more persecution. It’s way too easy to be a Christian in China today.”

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Filed under: * International News & CommentaryAsiaChina

July 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“We may or may not like it, but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality and we have not fully heard it,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, a year ago. But one of his own bishops says that sticking with the traditional line leaves the CofE suspended in mid-air like Wile E Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, desperately trying to maintain an impossible position.

“The Church is like a cartoon character who has run off a cliff and is frantically moving his legs faster and faster in the hope it will save him, when he knows there is nothing underneath,” says the Right Rev Alan Wilson, one of the more plain speaking bishops.

“There are about a billion human beings on the planet who have access to same-sex marriage in their country or jurisdiction, so the thought that this is going to go away – or that it is just about a few people in San Francisco – is just wrong.”

He believes a fundamental shift in understanding is happening within the wider Church. “The Evangelicals in particular are in a wibbly wobbly place.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 6, 2015 at 11:29 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A number of chaplains were notified via text message the night of June 17 that there was a mass shooting, at least eight dead and an active shooter situation.

“Are you available?” said Spike Coleman, a chaplain of five years, of the text message. “We didn’t know exactly where it was. Rich (Robinson) was getting more information and then because it was an active shooter situation, Rob (Dewey) was making sure it was safe for us to be there.”

Dewey is senior chaplain of Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy and Robinson is deputy senior chaplain. Robinson said like in so many other tragedies, what he was doing the night he found out about the shooting is forever ingrained in his mind.

“I was looking at my bedspread getting ready for bed when the text came in and I immediately dropped the phone and started getting dressed again,” he said.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 10:29 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...in the wake of the 5-4 Obergefell decision by Justice Anthony Kennedy and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Chicago Tribune has followed up with a news report about Reardon that does a good job of describing his decision, yet does little to dig into the thoughts and beliefs of those who either oppose or dismiss his strategy. Consider, for example, this passage in which an Orthodox bishop seems to echo, in reverse, some of Reardon's thinking:

Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, said he doesn’t foresee such a boycott in Chicago. He even questions whether it’s legal.

“I can’t imagine any of our priests doing that,” he said. “It hasn’t happened yet and I don’t anticipate it happening to make a political statement,” he said.

That's a really important quote.

I would stress that this statement by a Greek Orthodox bishop in no way represents an endorsement of Obergefell, but it clear indicates that there will be theological and legal debates ahead – inside Eastern Orthodoxy in this land and in other sanctuaries – about how priests should handle this clash between state and church.

In other words, this quote should have been near the top of the Tribune report and backed with more material explaining, on the record when possible, the views of those – in Orthodoxy and elsewhere – who have rejected Reardon's strategy.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralState Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Senior Anglican leaders have responded to a move by the Presbyterian Church in NSW to consider ministers handing back their marriage licences if marriage is redefined to include same-sex couples.

Kevin Murray, the moderator of the NSW Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, wrote to churches about debate at the annual assembly in Sydney last week.

“The Assembly considered what the church should do if marriage is redefined in Australia. It decided to ask the General Assembly of Australia to withdraw the whole church from the Marriage Act, so that our ministers could no longer solemnise marriages under the Marriage Act.” Mr Murray said. “The report which recommended this decision argued that if the Federal Government were to redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage then it would corrupt a good gift of God into a wrong. That would mean that ministers would then be acting for the government in a system which did not reflect the biblical view of marriage. In this case the positive reason for our co-operation with the Marriage Act would have been removed, and we would be better to avoid association with evil by no longer acting as celebrants.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 7:34 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Terry Kelshaw as he was then known was my teacher of pastoral theology at Trinity School for Ministry back in the mid 1980's. He was tirelessly energetic and went out of his way to be encouraging, especially to me.

My understanding is that he died yesterday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, surrounded by his family and prayer.

An interesting and mostly unnoticed part of Bishop Kelshaw's ministry in 2014 is described here--KSH
.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

July 6, 2015 at 7:04 am - 2 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Carrying one child in her arm, a second on her back and holding the hand of a third, Hasinah Izhar waded waist-deep through a mangrove swamp into the Bay of Bengal, toward a fishing boat bobbing in the dusk.

“Troops are coming, troops are coming,” the smuggler said. “Get on the boat quickly.”

If she was going to change her mind, she would have to do it now.

Ms. Izhar, 33, had reached the muddy shore after sneaking down the dirt paths and around the fish ponds of western Myanmar, where she and about one million other members of the Rohingya minority are stateless, shunned and persecuted for their Muslim faith.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureWomen* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaMyanmar/Burma* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two bombs blamed on the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram exploded at a crowded mosque and an elite Muslim restaurant in Nigeria’s central city of Jos, killing 44 people, officials said Monday.

Sixty-seven other people were wounded and were being treated at hospitals, said National Emergency Management Agency coordinator Abdussalam Mohammed.

The explosion at the Yantaya Mosque came as leading cleric Sani Yahaya of the Jama’atu Izalatul Bidia organization, which preaches peaceful coexistence of all religions, was addressing a crowd during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to survivors, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 6, 2015 at 6:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The wait is over for the United States.

The reign is over for Japan.

On the strength of Carli Lloyd's first-half hat trick and goals from Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath, the United States beat Japan 5-2 in Sunday's World Cup final. As a result, for the first time since 1999, the United States holds the sport's most important trophy.

It was the second consecutive win for the United States against Japan in the final of a major tournament, following a win in the gold medal match of the 2012 Olympics, and it leaves the Americans in possession of both of the major titles in women's soccer for the first time since 1999, a year that now shares status as the American high-water mark.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationSportsWomen* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 6, 2015 at 5:15 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He protested against the ecclesiastical system, he preached in favour of reform in the Church and advocated a return to the poverty recommended by the Scriptures. Indeed, the Scriptures were the only rule and every manhad the right to study them. In Questio de indulgentis (1412) he denounced the indulgences.

He admired Wyclif’s writings and defended him when he was condemned as a heretic. He was excommunicated. An interdict was pronounced over Prague and he had to leave it and go to southern Bohemia, where he preached and wrote theological treatises, notably the Tractatus de ecclesia (1413), known as « The Church ».

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* International News & CommentaryEuropeCzech Republic

July 6, 2015 at 5:00 am - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Faithful God, who didst give Jan Hus the courage to confess thy truth and recall thy Church to the image of Christ: Enable us, inspired by his example, to bear witness against corruption and never cease to pray for our enemies, that we may prove faithful followers of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEuropeCzech Republic

July 6, 2015 at 4:40 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who in thy fatherly love hast called us that we should inherit a blessing: Give to us also, we pray thee, the blessing of wholesome speech and loving deed; that following always that which is good, we may do and suffer all that thou willest; in the name and strength of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 6, 2015 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

--Psalm 1:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 6, 2015 at 4:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

July 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Riley, who is white, can still hear the sobs and the moans as families learned that their loved ones would never be coming home.

He has attended each funeral.

He has assailed the violence as a product of racism and hate.

“The only reason someone could walk into a church and shoot people praying is out of hate,” Riley said hours after the killings, flanked by members of the black community. “It is the most dastardly act that one could possibly imagine.”

His forthright statements reminded many in this stately city of 130,000 why they keep reelecting him.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* South Carolina

July 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

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