Sunday Worship on T19
Posted by The_Elves

+ Services, Talks and Resources for July 5th
+ What does it Mean to Live Faithfully to Christ in our Time? - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ “Peace I leave with you” – Vaughan Roberts [John 14:25-3]
+ Strengthened for Work – William Taylor [Romans 1:1-17]


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

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

(AI) Global South Statement on TEC marriage vote—“we are deeply grieved again”
Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.


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 - 24 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Statement from the Diocese of South Carolina on Today’s Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges Ruling
Posted by Kendall Harmon

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that "all states must license marriage between two people of the same sex" and "recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed “out-of-state." Despite this change, the Diocese of South Carolina continues to affirm the historic position of the Christian Church: that God has ordained two states of life for His people, singleness or Holy Matrimony – the joining together of one man and one woman into a holy union. By affirming this position, we stand firmly under the authority of Holy Scripture, in continuity with the two thousand year history of the church, and in accord with the vast majority of Christians around the world. Therefore, it is clear that while the Supreme Court may be changing the civil definition of marriage, it has no authority over Holy Matrimony and the Church’s blessing of the union between husband and wife.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

June 26, 2015 at 11:29 am - 16 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

GAFCON Chairman’s June Pastoral Letter
Posted by The_Elves

‘For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake.’ 2 Corinthians 4:5
[Archbishop Jensen] contrasted their decision with that of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s General Synod earlier this month to remove the biblical definition of marriage from the canons of their Church and added that the cost of trying to hold both views together is to obscure the teaching of the Bible when it is in fact very clear, just at a time when a new spiritual darkness is falling on the Western world.

The partnership and encouragement that GAFCON offers as a global fellowship is therefore going to be needed more than ever as we commit to the re-evangelization of the West and develop new wineskins for the task. So let me give the last words of this letter to an extract from Archbishop Jensen’s address:

“…liberal Christianity has little appeal to non-believers. The ancient world did not heed Christian idol worshippers: it was won over by those who preached and lived the biblical gospel with passion. It was the difference which made a difference; the difference with real content. It was the message that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he rules through the Scriptures, the word of God. The ancient Christians out-lived, out-thought and out-loved their contemporaries. They did not do this by doubting the faith or changing it to suit the times. They did it by confessing the truth, even to death.”


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesFCA Meeting in London April 2012

June 25, 2015 at 11:42 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Statement from the Archbishop of York
Posted by The_Elves

Pictures at York Mix

"Clergy of the Diocese are entitled to express varying views on the question of human sexuality"

Read it all


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

June 23, 2015 at 6:06 am - 5 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Recent Key Entries
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.

Supreme Court Marriage Ruling
- Statement from the Diocese of South Carolina on Today’s Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges 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
+ Statement from the Archbishop of York (June 23, 2015)
+ [ACI] Mark McCall: Good Order And The Re-Definition of Marriage (June 22, 2015)
+ Sunday’s Sermon from Emanuel AME Church in Charleston SC (June 21, 2015 )
+ WOW—A Steven Curtis Chapman song for Charleston South Carolina (June 20, 2015)
+ Dylann Roof Bond Hearing. Victims Address Charleston Shooter In Court With Forgiveness (June 19, 2015)
+ A Call to Prayer from the Bishops in South Carolina (June 19, 2015)
+ Bishop Mark Lawrence Calls for Prayer in Wake of Mass Shooting; Services Today (June 18, 2015)
+ Please Pray—Horrific Charleston SC Shooting Incident kills 9 at AME Church (June 18, 2015)
+ Diocese of South Carolina Files Reply Brief with the South Carolina Supreme Court (June 16, 2015)


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

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

Statement from the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas
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 - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Lovely LA Times Profile of Charleston SC Mayor Joe Riley—‘you have to ... find a path forward’
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.

Read it all.

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

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

Dr. D.A. Carson on the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage (Audio)
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Justin taylor provides a helpful summary which begins:Tony Reinke asks New Testament scholar and Gospel Coalition president D. A. Carson the following questions:

[1] Generally speaking, what would you say to someone who came up and asked you for your initial thoughts about the SCOTUS ruling?

[2] Does this landmark ruling today mark a new era for the church in America?

[3] What would you say to Christians who feel angry and betrayed by the courts for this ruling?...

Read it all and listen to the whole 18 minute recording.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Living Text) ACNA Task Force on Holy Orders Update – June 2015
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I think the key takeaway is the following two sentences:
It remains to be seen whether or not the issue of women’s ordination can be resolved in any direction beyond the status quo, apart from making judgments about these divergent views, thereby further defining holy orders for the whole church. The bishops and church will need to consider the tension between the values of liberty and unity in this regard.
Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchWomen* Theology

July 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Chile Defeats Argentina in Penalty Shootout to Win Soccer’s Copa America
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The wait is finally over for Chile, while the title drought continues for Argentina.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a save and striker Alexis Sanchez converted the winning penalty, as the hosts defeated Argentina 4-1 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw after extra time in the Copa America final on Saturday, finally winning their first major tournament.

The result extended Argentina’s 22-year title drought, and the country’s star player Lionel Messi will continue to hear criticism for his lackluster play with the national team.

In the shootout, Bravo stopped Ever Banega’s low shot by diving to his left to make the save, while earlier, Gonzalo Higuain also missed for Argentina, sending his shot over the crossbar.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaArgentinaChile

July 5, 2015 at 2:28 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Heartbreaking ([London] Times) article on Julie Nicholson, mother of one of the 7/7 victims
Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am left with the sense that in many ways Nicholson’s own life stopped that day. Faith, career and marriage all ended soon afterwards and for years after the bombings she would take the train from Bristol to London, travel to Edgware Road Tube station and stare into the tunnel where her daughter died.

She says she will never forgive Mohammad Sidique Khan, her daughter’s killer. How does she feel when she sees a picture of him today?

“There’s a moment in the film when Emily Watson, as me, throws a bottle of wine at the television screen when his face appears on it. I feel that I could still throw that wine.”

Early in our conversation, while discussing her writing and what it has brought her, I clumsily use the word “catharsis”. Nicholson interrupts: “I wouldn’t call it that. After catharsis there is a sense of renewal and I don’t feel renewed. I’m still grieving deeply. I will be until I take my last breath.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

July 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AI) Walter Russell Mead—After The “No” Vote, Soft Grexit Landing Now EU’s Best Option
Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are, as many European and American writers have been commenting lately, sound geopolitical reasons to prevent the worst from happening in Greece. Migration issues, NATO issues, energy issues, terrorism, Russia: an angry, inflamed, suffering and radicalized Greece on a kind of Venezuelan path to national destruction could make life much more difficult for Europeans and Americans both. These considerations should be enough to command some attention and resources from policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic sufficient to avert worst case scenarios for the Greek people.

For Grexit to be a step forward rather than a step back, Western and Greek leaders need to become more creative and forward-looking. Washington needs to stop bleating platitudes about the evils of austerity and to start thinking hard about bolstering an alliance that remains critical to its global position; Brussels and Berlin need to move beyond anger at Greek tactics to a sober calculation of Europe’s interests; the Greeks need to reflect on the cost of being represented at a grave hour of national crisis by inexperienced politicians who none of their counterparts in Europe trust or respect.

But Brussels and Berlin (and Paris, Rome and Madrid) need to realize something else. Greece’s problems under the euro have been worse than anyone else’s, but Greece is not totally unique. There are deep design flaws in the euro and the common currency has not worked nearly as well as any of its proponents hoped. The discussion over the future of Greece needs to be delinked from the discussion over the future of the euro—but that doesn’t mean that the future of the euro doesn’t need to be discussed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeGreece* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s homily at baptism of HRH Princess Charlotte
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Amongst Princess Charlotte’s own ancestors, now buried in the Holy Land, is a saint, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, whose life was one of transparent beauty and death one of beautiful courage and service. In her life she forgave the man who killed her husband. At her cruel murder she continued to care for those suffering with her. It is of such beauty that Jesus speaks when he talks of being great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Such beauty of character begins with baptism, and is established in the habits of following and loving Jesus Christ, habits to be learned from parents and God parents, and the whole community of the church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildren* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

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

(FT) Peterson Feital—The reverend on a showbiz mission
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Known as the “red carpet curate” for his appearance at glitzy film and theatrical premieres, he wants to make the church relevant to creatives struggling with life and their spirituality.

We meet in a public relations office in Soho, the heart of London’s theatreland. (The PR executives are donating their time for free.) His dog collar is accessorised with a bright blue jacket, bowler hat and a multicoloured scarf. The flamboyance reflects his vivacious and garrulous personality. “I am groovy. I am theatrical. I am loud,” he says, redundantly. “I love people. Not everyone gets me.” Yet, he says, he is also a “contemplative soul”.

It is the larger ambition that is so arresting. For Rev Feital is on a mission to create a social enterprise — called the Haven — in central London. This is part of the Diocese of London’s strategy, Capital Vision 2020, which aspires to reach new people and engage with the creative arts to find fresh ways to convey the church’s message. The steering committee is being put in place, which Rev Feital says will include a City investor as well as representatives from the music, film and fashion industries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/PlaysUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyAnthropology

July 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

A Georgetown Times profile on the Rev. Norvel Goff
Posted by Kendall Harmon

He has been under the watchful eyes of millions of American people across the nation as he took to the pulpit days after the shooting to deliver a Sunday service, as he led services at the murdered parishioners’ funerals, and as he spoke alongside President Barack Obama at the funeral of Pinckney, who was also a state senator.

And although the shooting has quickly grown into a statewide and national debate of the use of the Confederate flag and race relations in general, Goff maintains his church is his first priority.

“Our focus has been the nine families who lost loved ones,” he said. “Those issues may arise and warrant it, especially about the flag, in the arena of ideas and politics, community activists and faith, but in due time. There is a time and place for everything. For us, this is a time to heal. When it comes to the flag, Gov. (Nikki) Haley is to be commended for her position, but there are other things we need to work on. … What’s the common good and the greater good for the community? That’s where I am and where my concern is.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* South Carolina* Theology

July 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Joel Miller—1 thing missing from our national conversation about marriage
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the last several decades we’ve come to a different take on marriage, as part of a much larger cultural shift I discussed before. Marriage is now primarily a relationship for the betterment and self-fulfillment of two individuals. Two are stronger than one, after all. Together two individuals can better gratify each other’s desires and fulfill each others needs—right up until the moment they no longer seem able or willing, of course.

None of that is false, so far as it goes. But when you take this understanding of marriage and place it within the context of a self-indulgent culture like ours, you create marriages between two people looking to get the most out of the relationship for themselves. University of Virginia sociologist Sarah Corse and Harvard sociologist Jennifer Silva, for instance, describe the rise of “therapeutic” marriage, which centers on the “happiness, equality, mutuality, and self-actualization of individuals.”

When the individuals involved think they can get more for themselves outside the marriage, they cheat or just “consciously uncouple,” to use Gwyneth Paltrow’s morally beatific euphemism for divorce. “[W]e don’t divorce—or have affairs—because we are unhappy but because we could be happier,” explains therapist Esther Perel.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySacramental TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Lowcountry South Carolina Religious Leaders reflect on the Real Meaning of Forgiveness
Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Isaac Holt Jr.

Senior Pastor, Royal Missionary Baptist Church

North Charleston

Forgiveness is done as soon as humanly possible by those who know the toxic consequences of not forgiving.

In forgiveness, the benefit is greater for the forgiver than for the forgiven. Forgiveness begins emotional healing. It releases you from the poisonous thoughts of personal revenge and the prison of hatred.

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 5, 2015 at 11:25 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(PS) Mark Roe—Europe and Greece on the Brink
Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the risks have not been eliminated. The margin for error for the major banks and other financial institutions is narrow. Because they are still not strongly capitalized, modest losses from direct defaults and indirect losses from companies with business in Greece can threaten bank equity, causing bankers to cut back on lending. A few miscalculations in a major institution could have substantial repercussions. Making matters worse, central bankers have only a limited capacity to buoy the economy, as interest rates are still near zero.

The second channel through which risk and loss can spread from Greece is other heavily indebted countries, like Spain and Italy. So far, the financial markets have not panicked over the ability of these countries to repay their bonds. But a shift in the political situation – especially in Spain, where the left-wing Podemos party is doing well in the polls – could change that in an instant.

Finally, a Greek default and exit from the eurozone could unleash unpredictable political forces with a knock-on effect on the European economy. After all, it was the first wave of austerity in Greece that led to the election of Syriza, a left-wing party that few had expected would ever govern.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeGreece* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Temple
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, who resisteth the proud and givest grace to the humble: Grant, we beseech thee, that we may not exalt ourselves and provoke thy indignation, but bow down to receive the gifts of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

July 5, 2015 at 4:20 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

--Psalm 146:1-3

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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

(BBC) 4 July celebrations in US - in pictures
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take a look at all 14.

Filed under: * General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(AP) ‘Candy Bomber’ drops sweets from Utah’s air for July 4
Posted by Kendall Harmon

A pilot who delivered candy to children in Berlin at the end of World War II parachuted sweets down to Orem to celebrate Independence Day.

Gail Halvorsen, 94, also known as the "Candy Bomber," dropped 1,000 chocolate bars attached to tiny parachutes at Scera Park on Friday. He flew over the area three times before releasing the cargo into the hands of the children below.

Deb Jackson, co-chair of the event, estimated more than 50,000 people stood in 100-degree temperatures to watch the 4 p.m. drop.

Halvorsen flew in a fixed-wing bomber from World War II with two escort planes attending, the Daily Herald of Provo reported.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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

Joyce Lee Malcolm for July 4, 2015—‘Wonderfully Spared’
Posted by Kendall Harmon

'You and I have been wonderfully spared," Thomas Jefferson wrote John Adams in 1812...."

It's easy now, in a nation awash with complaints about what our Founders did not do, what imperfect humans they seem to 21st century eyes, to overlook how startlingly bold their views and actions were in their own day and are, in fact, even today. Who else in 1776 declared, let alone thought it a self-evident truth, that all men were created equal, entitled to inalienable rights, or to any rights at all? How few declare these views today or, glibly declaring them, really intend to treat their countrymen or others as equal, entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Certainly not America's 20th century enemies, the Nazis and communists; certainly not today's Islamic radicals, who consider infidels unworthy to live and the faithful bound by an ancient and brutal code of law. We are fortunate that the Founders of our nation were enlightened, generous, jealous of their rights and those of their countrymen, and prepared to risk everything to create a free republic.

Breaking with Britain was a risky and distressing venture; could the American colonies go it alone and survive in a world of great European powers?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson on Independence Day
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

--From "Ring out, Wild Bells," part of In Memoriam, Tennyson's elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, 1850

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

July 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Faith of Our Founders—An Interview w/ James H. Hutson of the Library of Congress
Posted by Kendall Harmon

What was the Founders' attitude toward religion in the country?

Public virtue was seen as necessary for a republic, and most believed that virtue was produced by religion. There was a strong view that religion was necessary to turn out good citizens.

Many of the Founders were well versed in religious and theological matters. How did this affect their work as architects of the republic?

They could quote Scripture. Jefferson and others were tutored by ministers. They were an extremely biblically literate generation. This certainly shaped their view of Providence. The extent to which they believed in Providence would be unimaginable today.

Adams and folks like that continually quoted [Jesus'] statement that a swallow cannot fall without God's knowledge. Washington talks about the invisible hand of Providence. Their biblical knowledge convinced these people that there was an invisible hand of God, and that there was a moral government of the universe.

Read it all.

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

July 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Music for July 4th—The Naval Glee Club Sings the Navy Hymn
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesMusic* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Thomas Fleming: What Life Was Like in 1776
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almost every American knows the traditional story of July Fourth—the soaring idealism of the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress's grim pledge to defy the world's most powerful nation with their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. But what else about revolutionary America might help us feel closer to those founders in their tricornered hats, fancy waistcoats and tight knee-breeches?

Those Americans, it turns out, had the highest per capita income in the civilized world of their time. They also paid the lowest taxes—and they were determined to keep it that way.

By 1776, the 13 American colonies had been in existence for over 150 years—more than enough time for the talented and ambitious to acquire money and land. At the top of the South's earners were large planters such as George Washington. In the North their incomes were more than matched by merchants such as John Hancock and Robert Morris. Next came lawyers such as John Adams, followed by tavern keepers, who often cleared 1,000 pounds a year, or about $100,000 in modern money. Doctors were paid comparatively little. Ditto for dentists, who were almost nonexistent....

Read it all.

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

July 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Fantastic Video for Independence Day 2015—ESPN’s Going Home
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all, and be forewarned, you are not going to make it through without Kleenex--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 11:26 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Noah Smith—America should continue to be a nation of immigrants
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

July 4, 2015 at 11:02 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Long, Too Long America
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys and
prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing,
grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children
en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse
really are?)

--Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature

July 4, 2015 at 10:31 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Full Text of America’s National Anthem
Posted by Kendall Harmon

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


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

July 4, 2015 at 10:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: It was the Flag of the Union
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Today we stand on an awful arena, where character which was the growth of centuries was tested and determined by the issues of a single day. We are compassed about by a cloud of witnesses; not alone the shadowy ranks of those who wrestled here, but the greater parties of the action--they for whom these things were done. Forms of thought rise before us, as in an amphitheatre, circle beyond circle, rank above rank; The State, The Union, The People. And these are One. Let us--from the arena, contemplate them--the spiritual spectators.

"There is an aspect in which the question at issue might seem to be of forms, and not of substance. It was, on its face, a question of government. There was a boastful pretence that each State held in its hands the death-warrant of the Nation; that any State had a right, without show of justification outside of its own caprice, to violate the covenants of the constitution, to break away from the Union, and set up its own little sovereignty as sufficient for all human purposes and ends; thus leaving it to the mere will or whim of any member of our political system to destroy the body and dissolve the soul of the Great People. This was the political question submitted to the arbitrament of arms. But the victory was of great politics over small. It was the right reason, the moral consciousness and solemn resolve of the people rectifying its wavering exterior lines according to the life-lines of its organic being.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 8:00 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

David McCullough—A Momentous Decision
Posted by Kendall Harmon

"In Philadelphia, the same day as the British landing on Staten Island, July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress, in a momentous decision, voted to 'dissolve the connection' with Great Britain. The news reached New York four days later, on July 6, and at once spontaneous celebrations broke out. 'The whole choir of our officers ... went to a public house to testify our joy at the happy news of Independence. We spent the afternoon merrily,' recorded Isaac Bangs."

"A letter from John Hancock to Washington, as well as the complete text of the Declaration, followed two days later:

"'That our affairs may take a more favorable turn,' Hancock wrote, 'the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve the connection between Great Britain and the American colonies, and to declare them free and independent states; as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you, and to request you will have it proclaimed at the head of the army in the way you shall think most proper.' "Many, like Henry Knox, saw at once that with the enemy massing for battle so close at hand and independence at last declared by Congress, the war had entered an entirely new stage. The lines were drawn now as never before, the stakes far higher. 'The eyes of all America are upon us,' Knox wrote. 'As we play our part posterity will bless or curse us.'


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

July 4, 2015 at 7:28 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

The Full Text of America’s Declaration of Independence
Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Congress, July 4, 1776.


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world....

Worthy of much pondering, on this day especially--read it all.

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

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

A Prayer for Independence Day 2015
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and who lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

July 4, 2015 at 6:30 am - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

From the Morning Scripture Readings
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Anani′as. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Anani′as.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Anani′as come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Anani′as answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Anani′as departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus.

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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

CofE Evangelical Council Issues Call to Prayer for Leadership Repentance and Faithfulness
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 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(RCR) Dominic Lynch—After Obergefell, Churches Are Next
Posted by Kendall Harmon thing is certain: the religious liberty of individuals and faith-based institutions -- up to and including churches -- is now threatened in a way not present before the ruling. When the Court heard oral arguments for Obergefell in April, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's admitted that the tax-exempt status of religious institutions "could be an issue" if same-sex marriage is recognized as a right.

Sounding very much unlike the man from Burwell, Chief Justice Roberts's Obergefell dissent lays the stakes on the table:

Today's decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is -- unlike the right imagined by the majority -- actually spelled out in the Constitution. Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority's decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to "advocate" and "teach" their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to "exercise" religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

How do we get from "marriage equality" to churches forced into performing weddings that violate their teachings? Lawsuits.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralSupreme Court* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

July 3, 2015 at 4:19 pm - 0 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

(Aletheia) Philip Jenkins—Learning to Read the Bible the Way Jesus Did
Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many years ago, I received a shocking revelation about reading the Bible. No bright lights or angelic visitations were involved. Never since, though, have I been able to look at the text in quite the same way.

I was at a friendly discussion between Christians and Jews gathered in a synagogue library, when the rabbi suggested consulting a particular Biblical reference. I volunteered to find it, and picked up the convenient Bible volume, or rather, the Jewish Bible, the Tanakh. Now, I know my way around the Bible pretty well, in the sense of being able to place roughly in the text where I am going to find a particular book. To my horror, I was lost in this particular volume, which arranged the books in a sequence totally different from the Christian tradition. Please don’t smile at my ignorance.

The main lesson I derived from that experience was how thoroughly we take for granted the structure of the Bible as we know it, and the potent but unrecognized significance of the ordering we use.

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

July 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm - 1 comments - [link] [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]