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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Bishop of Egypt, Dr Mouneer Anis, has called on Anglicans to pray and advocate with their local Egyptian consulates and embassies after a court ruling effectively subsumed the diocese into a separate denominational body. Dr Anis, who is also the Archbishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, told ACNS that the Evangelical Church Association (ECA) has been laying claim to the Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Egypt for several years. Now, after a 14-year legal battle, a court has ruled that the Anglican Church in Egypt belongs to the ECA and can only be represented by the ECA President.
“This preposterous claim did not just stop there,” Dr Anis said. “They further claimed that they can take possession of all of the Episcopal/Anglican Church properties as their own. They are now forcing us to take their approval before we notarise any document in the government. Moreover, we need to receive the approval of the ECA before we ask immigration to grant or renew visas to our workers. This is causing us a great deal of trouble.”
The diocese is appealing against the court’s decision and a new hearing will be held on Tuesday (1 November).
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
We do not believe … that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ‘secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.
At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted. …”
Read it all on Psephiso or Gafcon UK
7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.
8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).
9. Any pastoral provision by a church for a same-sex couple (such as a liturgy or a service to bless their sexual union) that obviates the need for repentance and a commitment to pursue a change of conduct enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, would contravene the orthodox and historic teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
a. We are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We profess the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures – the canonical books of the Old and New Testament that contain all things necessary for salvation, and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.
b. The doctrine in our churches, as our Anglican forebears bequeathed to us, is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer 1662 and the Ordinal.
Read it all.
+ Diocese of Akure, Nigeria dissociates from the Diocese of Liverpool over TEC SSB Bishop appointment (June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Archbishop Okoh’s GAFCON Chairman’s June 2016 Pastoral Letter to the Anglican faithful (June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am)
Primates Gathering 2016 / ACC-16 in Lusaka
+ GAFCON Primates Nairobi Communiqué 2016 (April 22, 2016 at 3:54 am)
+ What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views (April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm)
+ ACC-16 Resolutions (April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm)
+ Kenya 6: [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm )
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm
Confronted with smart female-voiced chatbots such as Apple’s Siri, many men are resorting to breathless demands and four-letter words — mimicking the inappropriate behaviour of previous generations of businessmen to their real-life secretaries.
Ilya Eckstein, chief executive of Robin Labs, whose virtual assistant, Robin, was designed to give traffic advice and directions to drivers and truckers, told The Times that a good proportion of his customers’ interactions with the technology were “clearly sexually explicit”.
He said: “This happens because people are lonely and bored. It’s mostly teenagers and truckers who don’t have girlfriends. They really need an outlet — to be meeting people and having sex, but I’m not judging.
Read it all (subscription required) and there is also a Telegraph article there.
Listen to it all from stories worth sharing (about 12 1/3 minutes).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
On average, 961,000 people (85% adults, 15% children under 16) attended Church of England services and acts of worship each week in OctoberTrends in participation
2015. A further 165,000 people attended services for schools in Church of England churches each week.
Usual Sunday attendance at Church of England churches in 2015 was 752,000 people (86% adults, 14% children under 16).
The worshipping community of Church of England churches in 2015 was 1.1 million people, of whom 20% were aged under 18, 50% were aged 18-69,
and 30% were aged 70 or over.
1.3 million people attended Church of England churches at Easter 2015 (of whom 71% received communion).
2.5 million people attended Church of England churches at Christmas 2015 (of whom 35% received communion). During Advent, 2.3 million people
attended special services for the congregation and local community, and 2.7 million people attended special services for civic organisations and
There were 124,000 Church of England baptisms and services of thanksgiving for the gift of a child during 2015.
There were 47,000 Church of England marriages and services of prayer and dedication after civil marriages during 2015.
There were 84,000 funerals in Church of England churches, and a further 65,000 funerals at crematoria/cemeteries during 2015.
Read it all (52 page pdf).
Over recent decades, attendance at Church of England church services has gradually fallen. These trends continued in 2015. Most key measures of
attendance have fallen by between 10% and 15% over the past 10 years.
Although the overall pattern is one of gradual decline, this masks the differences in experience in individual parishes over the past 10 years. In 53% of
parishes there has been no statistically significant change in attendance. In 10% of parishes attendance has increased. In 37% of parishes attendance
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
We are convinced that engaging in careful theological thought is an essential task of the Christian life. We can no more abandon theology than we can abandon God, since theology is involved in some fashion whenever we think or speak about God. Consequently, every person is a theologian. The only question is whether we will be thoughtful, responsible theologians or irresponsible ones. The journey of Christian discipleship is a matter of learning why we believe, and thinking hard and carefully about this belief, not so that we can bludgeon others with our knowledge but so that we can bear faithful witness to God in the totality of our life.
Theology is less about the what and much more about the how. We are called as Christians not to sign up to a certain doctrinal statement but to follow a certain way of life. To be a thoughtful believer is to be commissioned for a life of disciplined reflection in conversation with the prophets, apostles, and the theologians who have reflected on God in the past and whose legacy we have inherited. The goal is not simply to repeat the words that they used to proclaim the gospel in their time and place, but to think under their tutelage about what words we must use today.
Theology is inherently an act of prayer, insofar as we offer up our words and thoughts in service to God in the expectant hope—by the grace of the Holy Spirit—that they will build up the body of Christ. And this prayerful task of theology is never done. Like God’s mercies, it is new every morning.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Theology
Before Belfast County Court, in Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd & Anor  NICty 2 Mr Lee had claimed that he had been discriminated against contrary to the provisions of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 and/or the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998. District Judge Brownlie found for Mr Lee, concluding that Ashers Baking was liable under the 2006 Regulations for the unlawful acts of its two directors, Mr and Mrs McArthur, and that they, in turn, were liable under Regulation 24 for aiding Ashers Baking to act unlawfully. As a result of their actions, the company had discriminated unlawfully against Mr Lee. They appealed and the matter came before the Court of Appeal in Belfast by way of case stated.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
High schools, long a glory of US education and a product of democratic culture, had lost their central social role. Graduation, once the final step for most Americans on the road to work and steady relationships leading to marriage, no longer marked a significant end point on the way to maturity. It provided neither an effective transition to adulthood nor a valuable commodity for aspiring youth, and was an impediment to those who dropped out. Going to college became a necessary part of middle-class identity, and this complicated the completion of adolescence for everyone. Now that college was held up as essential to economic success, the failure to go to college portended an inadequate adulthood.
The extension of necessary schooling into the 20s (and sometimes even into the 30s) strongly attenuated the relationship between a stage of physical maturation (puberty) and the social experiences to which it had been attached in the concept of adolescence.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Children Education History Marriage & Family Psychology Sexuality Teens / Youth * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Giving his support to Lord Elton’s Private Member’s Bill to reduce the size of the House of Lords, the bishop reiterated the ‘consistent’ support from the Lords Spiritual in support of the reform.
He welcomed the fact that reform proposals had come from inside the House of Lords and noted that ‘taking decisive responsibility for making delicate if radical constitutional improvements’ is a ‘good way forward’ for the House.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
The retired Anglican Archbishop has been warned he can expect to face “explicit criticism” over claims the criminal activities of Peter Ball, the then Bishop of Gloucester, were covered up by the Church of England.
Lord Carey, who was a friend of Ball’s, has now been given his own lawyer, paid for by the Church of England, to represent him personally at the national child sex abuse inquiry.
Read it all from the Telegraph.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Core participants are entitled to legal representation at the Inquiry and to receive advance disclosure of evidence. They may also cross-examine witnesses when the public hearings begin, something that is expected to happen next year.
In his application for core participant status, lawyers for Lord Carey explained that, as a retired office-holder, he was led to be believe that he would be represented at the Inquiry by lawyers for the Archbishops’ Council, which also has core-participant status. “Once the Archbishops’ Council indicated to Lord Carey that there might be some conflict between their interests and those of Lord Carey, he made contact with alternative legal representatives,” Professor Jay said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The 22-year-old was walking her dog Tuesday night at her North Charleston apartment complex when she saw the figure. It was clad in dark clothing, wearing a hood and standing about 50 feet away.
It turned. That’s when she saw the “evil clown” mask and the knife.
Read it all.
This was the instant reaction of a mother suffering from a terminal disease when she was told by her medical insurance company that they could not pay for her chemotherapy but would be willing to shoulder the cost of drugs that would put her to death. The drugs' price: $1.20.
Four years ago, 33-year-old California resident Stephanie Packer was diagnosed with scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes scar tissue to form in her lungs, the New York Post reported.
Read it all from Christian Today.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Psychology * Economics, Politics Economy * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis Other Faiths * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
That all changed two and a half years ago when finally Peter, who lives in Lanteglos-by-Fowey, was put forward for ordination training. But his path was far from smooth. It was during this time that Peter was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
It was then that Bishop Tim suggested Peter continue on his ordination journey. Peter said: “It is very unusual for someone to be ordained as a deacon and a priest at the same time. I was amazed Bishop Tim suggested it. It was just staggering for me. On the day I just felt wonderful.”
Read it all.
that all sexual practice outside heterosexual marriage was reckoned as sinful in the eyes of Jesus and his apostles;
that homosexual practice was a part of this and that same-sex marriage, far from providing a legitimate context for this practice, would have been seen as a parody of God’s intention for marriage;
that such issues of sexual immorality were not a second-order issue for the apostles, but were consistently denounced by them, and certainly would never have been embraced by them in their quest for Christian unity;
that the role of a bishop was developed in the early Church precisely to safe-guard these apostolic norms pertaining to both doctrine and ethics and that bishops are therefore to be seen as ‘apostolic guardians’....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The congregation was founded in Spain in 1851. As nurses, they worked during cholera epidemics and wars, and later in Mexico during revolutions. Now, more than 2,000 sisters work in 128 convents throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
The sisters prefer to minister in patients’ homes, but also work in hospices, orphanages and hospitals. And when needed, they take care of their own.
Read it all.
“Synod also observed the lopsided approach of government to security leaves much to be desired. Appointment into government service is one sided and religious biased. Fulani’s destruction of people is unchecked. Synod frowns at all these developments and directs that government should balance the various appointment in accordance with the geopolitical zone and equally among all religions.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins, a passionate Geelong supporter, said the AFL had succumbed to market forces that treated holy days as just another opportunity to make a profit.
"We've always been kicking against the wind but the AFL has been one entity that has exercised restraint," Bishop Huggins said on Wednesday.
Read it all.
Bishop of St Asaph Gregory Cameron, besides being a keen artist and coin collector, is also one of the Anglican Communion's leading experts on Eastern Christianity.
The Christmas coin depicts the three Magi, or wise men from the East, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Cameron is already renowned worldwide in the esoteric field of numismatics, or the study and collection of coins.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Christmas * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy * International News & Commentary England / UK
--James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Middle Ages: Light from a Thousand Years (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1954)
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary South America Brazil * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
According to new guidelines from the Vatican's doctrinal office, cremated remains should be kept in a "sacred place" such as a church cemetery. Ashes should not be divided up between family members, "nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects."
The church has allowed cremation for decades, but the guidelines make clear that the Vatican is concerned that the practice often involves "erroneous ideas about death." Those ideas run the gauntlet from deeply nihilistic to New Age-y, the Vatican says, from the belief that death is the definitive end of life to the notion that our bodies fuse with nature or enter another cycle of rebirth.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Eschatology
Sitting on the bed above, inches away, were six ISIS militants, engaged in the terrorist attack on Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk.
Mona’s story highlights the complexities of the situation Christians face in Iraq. On the one hand, long-Christian villages are being liberated. On the other hand, the threats are real, even in a city outside of ISIS control.
After hiding under the bed for three hours, the young Christian women in Kirkuk were able to escape out the back door when five of the six terrorists left, leaving one behind who was wounded. He later blew himself up with a suicide bomb.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Middle East Iraq * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Oscar Schindler was not a man of faith but he did help to save Jews. God is the source of all goodness, Lord Harries believes, and we are not in a post-religious world, with more believers in Christ, especially growing in China.
On science and medical ethics and religion:- is there a clash? He said that while science gives us results we feel confident in, people can’t feel confident in religion in the same way. Camus and the Karamazov brothers are both sources of allusions to the human condition – much of suffering is debatably made from making the wrong choices.
Read it all.
It would be, at first glance, a perfectly innocent thing to do. But rather than use the cam to speak to friends and family back home in Harrisburg, Pennyslvania, she used it to do a most unusual thing: to broadcast herself live, to a globe of strangers, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Psychology Science & Technology * General Interest Photos/Photography * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Sitting in a meeting, planning what we, a group of friends from different faiths who live in south Birmingham could do to support people living in the Calais ‘jungle’ I glance at my phone. There is an appeal for suitcases and rucksacks as thousands of people prepare for an eviction.
I had no idea that two weeks later I would be sitting in a café on the camp, eating a delicious meal of Afghani eggs, spinach and chicken having delivered around 100 pieces of luggage, tents, sleeping bags and some winter clothes to a warehouse in Calais.
The aid was donated by two churches, one church where I am a curate and one free church where another member of the group, Fred, worships. The loaded minibus was lent to us by Birmingham’s Central mosque, where one of our friends, Abdullah, has many connections.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Pastoral Care * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe France * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
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