Saturday, November 29, 2003
PRESIDING BP GRISWOLD ARCIC Co-chairman to step down
ACNS source: Lambeth Palace]
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan
Williams, has received the resignation of the presiding Bishop of the
Episcopal Church (USA), Bishop Frank Griswold, as Anglican Co-chair of
the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. Following recent
events in the life of ECUSA, Bishop Griswold has written to the
Archbishop of Canterbury to announce his decision, in the interests of
"not jeopardizing the present and future life and work of the
Commission". In his response, Archbishop Williams thanked Bishop
Griswold for his "outstanding labour and commitment." The text of
the letters is below.
ARCIC began work in 1970, following the historic meeting of Archbishop
Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI in Rome in 1966. It has produced agreed
statements on many of the questions that have divided the Roman Catholic Church
and the Anglican Communion, particularly in the areas of Eucharist, Ministry and
Authority. Bishop Griswold has been the Anglican Co-chair since 1998. The Roman
Catholic co-chair is Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle. A new
Anglican co-chair will be appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, after
consultation with the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council.
Text of the letter from Bishop Frank Griswold:
My dear Rowan,
Given recent events in the life of the Episcopal Church in the United
States, and the strain they have caused in the relationship between the
Holy See and the Anglican Communion, I wish to submit my resignation as
Anglican Co-chair, and member of the Anglican Roman Catholic
International Commission. I do so not without regret, but in the
interest of not jeopardizing the present and future life and work of the
Commission of which I was privileged to be a member.
With continuing prayer for the full and visible communion of the
Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, for the sake of our broken and
divided world, I am,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
The Most Revd Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
Episcopal Church, USA
Text of reply from Archbishop Rowan:
This is to confirm formally that I have received the notice of your
resignation from ARCIC. As you will know, I am very sorry that this has
seemed the best course, but I cannot let the moment pass without paying
tribute to your outstanding labour and commitment in this context over
many years. Thank you for all you have done for this crucial dialogue.
With every blessing,
Traveling, so here are the Collects in Advance
[N.B., I will leave for Florida later today. Tommorow I will be assisting at Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church in Matland. On Monday through Wednesday, I will be attending the U.S. Anglican Congress at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando. Because of this, I'm posting the Collect for Advent I and the Feast of St. Andrew early.]
The First Sunday of Advent
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This Collect is to be repeated every day, with the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas-Eve.
Saint Andrew's Day (Transferred to 1 December from 30 November)
ALMIGHTY God, who didst give such grace unto thy holy Apostle Saint Andrew, that he readily obeyed the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him without delay; Grant unto us all, that we, being called by thy holy Word, may forthwith give up ourselves obediently to fulfil the holy commandments; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
The New Hampshire Decision
Statement from All Souls Church, Langham Place, London W1
We take note of the sectarian action of dissident bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States, in carrying through a dubious consecration ceremony which will not be regarded as valid in most Anglican provinces across the world.
The service of November 2nd 2003 was held in defiance of the statement and appeal against such an action, issued unanimously on October 14th, 2003, by world Anglican primates at Lambeth. For the Presiding Bishop in America - himself a signatory to that statement - then personally to have overseen the ceremony involving Canon Gene Robinson, indicates a demeaning of his fellow primates (including the Archbishop of Canterbury) and a deviousness in Christian leadership that is unworthy of a Shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ.
In planning to consecrate a bishop a divorcee, now in an active homosexual relationship, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America has caved in to prevalent western cultural pressures and reverted to the paganism of the ancient Graeco-Roman world that was vigorously challenged by the early Christian church. In doing so, ECUSA has departed from the boundaries of orthodox Anglicanism, in contempt of the consistent biblical witness to the God-given institution of marriage, and of 2000 years of universal church practice across all Christian traditions.
We will fully support British bishops who continue to stand for the biblical norm of the one man/one woman lifelong monogamous relationship that represents marriage - and we thank the overwhelming majority of Anglican leaders world-wide who are giving the lead in standards of sexual behaviour. But we also intend to work with Anglican Mainstream and with every network that strengthens local parish churches in the nationwide lead that supremely belongs to them.
The result of the controversial service on November 2nd is to be seen not as much as a split in the Anglican Communion, but rather as a stepping away by ECUSA, outside of the world-wide Anglican witness. It is an occasion of tragedy that we are not able to recognise Canon Gene Robinson as a bishop; nor are we able to welcome any further as Anglicans the ministry of those who took part in the service of 2.11.03.
ECUSA claims to have taken a step towards 'inclusivity.' The opposite will be the result, in the loss from their membership of a very great number of men and women who are determined to be loyal to the apostolic standards of the Gospel of Christ. It is with immense sorrow that we foresee the reduction of the Episcopal Church in America to what will turn out to be a diminishing single-issue sectarian body.
It is for this reason that we extend our deep and prayerful sympathies to those men and women, clergy and lay, in North America, who continue loyally to teach and abide by the Scriptures. We shall give our support to Anglican leadership world-wide in the providing of structures and encouragement for them in their continuing service.
We also wish warmly to affirm those sisters and brothers, already in membership with orthodox churches, who - while experiencing same-sex desires and feelings - nevertheless battle with the rest of us, in repentance and faith, for a lifestyle that affirms marriage and celibacy as the two given norms for sexual expression. There is room for every kind of background and past sinful experience among members of Christ's flock as we learn the way of repentance and renewed lives, for Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11)
This is true inclusivity.
Rector of All Souls Church
London W1B 3DA
O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Discovering the will of God
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
November 25, 2003
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Vocation and Service (cont'd.)
Jesus himself prayed, 'Not my will but yours be done,' and
taught us to pray, 'May your will be done on earth as in
heaven.' Nothing is more important in life than to
discover and do the will of God. Moreover, in seeking to
discover it, it is essential to distinguish between his
'general' and his 'particular' will. The former is so
called because it relates to the generality of his people
and is the same for all of us, e.g. to make us like Christ.
His particular will, however, extending to the
particularities of our life, is different for each of us,
e.g. what career we shall follow, whether we should marry,
and if so whom. Only after this distinction has been made
can we consider how we may find out *what the will of the
Lord is* (Eph. 5:17). His 'general' will is found in
Scripture; the will of God for the people of God has been
revealed in the Word of God. But we shall not find his
'particular' will in Scripture. To be sure we shall find
general principles in Scripture to guide us, but detailed
decisions have to be made after careful thought and prayer
and the seeking of advice from mature and experienced
--From "The Message of Ephesians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: Leicester: IVP, 1979), p. 203.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 248, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
When Homosexuals Take Over A Church
By Willard Fishburne
ASHEVILLE, NC--Five years ago I took my family out of one local church
and began a search for a new church home. The experience was difficult.
This is the story of that time in my life. I want to tell you why we
left, what we lost, and what we found.
First of all, I want you to know we were involved at this church, not
just attendees. I had been on the Vestry and had been Junior Warden. I
had been the church Treasurer, and at the time of our departure I was
chairman of the finance committee. My wife had been a preschool and
Sunday School teacher, and both of our children, ages seven and nine,
were members of the children's choir.
My wife and I had been married in an Episcopal diocese in Chicago. The
priest there taught us to be Episcopalians. We attended the inquirer's
class. We learned the tradition and history of the church. It was there
that we first learned of the Episcopal faith's three-legged stool of
the Bible, Tradition and Reason. We read the Book of Common Prayer's
marriage vows, and we shared the hope of children. We read The Nicene
Creed, which stated exactly what our new denomination believed. We
agreed with its fundamental belief that Jesus Christ was the only Son
of God; and that he suffered and was crucified on the cross for our
sins; and that he rose again on the third day. And that by believing in
him we might have eternal life.
In short, our experience at the church of the Redeemer on Fullerton St.
in Chicago was so good that we sought the same type of church in
We joined an Episcopal church where the priest was proud of his
reputation as an avant guard liberal priest. He had come to the church
in 1957 and had assumed a ministry based on personal devotion to his
members, and an overt social liberalism that eschewed such common
symbols as the American flag and N.C. State flags in the church
By the mid-eighties we were a family of four. The little church was our
home and we were comfortable as the only living conservatives in a sea
of liberals. And it was OK. We had our differences, but we worked
together in God's sight to serve and glorify His name.
About that same time, one of the ladies of the church began a self-
designated ministry to the prisoners in the Buncombe County Jail, and
Craggy prison. She delivered personal care kits with toothpaste and
soap, and, I suppose, counseled the prisoners.
Also in the mind-eighties, I was asked to run for the Vestry, and was
elected to the post, just as she asked for the priest's permission to
become a deacon. In the Episcopal church, this is one step below the
priesthood. She could perform every priestly function except
administering the sacraments of bread and wine. To gain this position
her ministry had to be approved by the church vestry.
We gave the approval, provided she would agree to expand the ministry
to the victims of crime, not just the perpetrators. A year later she
came back to the vestry and the priest, asking that her ministry be
changed and expanded again, this time to include the victims of HIV and
AIDS infections. Again, we agreed.
What followed next was a series of half-inch steps until the church was
thoroughly dominated and intimidated by the homosexual community. A
constant flight of traditional long-time members ensued. One never knew
where they went, but they were some of Asheville's most prominent
families. Some of the half-inch steps that drove them away included:
First, a support group for persons with HIV and AIDS was established.
The group met in the church library, or one of the other meeting rooms.
No problem. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups already used church
facilities for their meetings. One more group seemed to make little if
Second, special services were requested for the HIV/AIDS community. The
vestry denied these services, in that there was no desire to establish
a homosexual-oriented church within the church. Thus, we welcomed
increasing numbers of homosexuals to regular church services. This
transpired over a period of months and years, and many of the new
people who joined the church were welcome. The were bright, they were
polite and considerate of others, but, by and large, they kept to
themselves, sat together and avoided Sunday School classes and such
Bible study as the church had. Many, it should be noted, gravitated
towards the church choir. By the end of 1990 the influx of these
individuals had made an impact. Many of the straight men left the choir
and a noticeable group of homosexuals attended services each Sunday
The deacon's prison ministry had fallen by the wayside, and various
homosexual groups met at the church several times each month. The
deacon spent her full time working with these groups, and had little
time or interest in working with others.
The mainstream congregation seemed unaware of the change. The growing
numbers of smiling and polite young men without wives or girlfriends
seemed not to be noticed. Yet a gradual change had taken over the
church. Homilies, or sermons, delivered from the pulpit now dwelt
exclusively with social issues. One layman took to the pulpit one
Sunday morning to lecture on the benefits of Liberation Theology to the
huddled masses of Latin America. I nearly gagged. I had spent two years
in Central America in the U.S. Army's Special Forces, training
indigenous personnel in village defenses, human rights and patrolling.
We went with them on patrols to fight the communist insurgencies
spawned by Satan's own liberation theology. Many good men, women and
children died in that undeclared war and I suffer the mental and
physical scars today. Fools can rant and rave all they wish from the
sanctuary oft heir liberal pulpits, but when the night fell in
Guatemala in the 1969, I was on the ground with a rifle and a poncho
praying for dawn. So on that morning when the church rafters rang with
that heresy, I felt sick. I wondered how long I would be able to stay.
By 1990 my term on the vestry had expired. The church was torn apart by
the undercurrent of conflict between the straight congregation, the
ones raising children and their grandparents, on the one side, and the
extreme social liberals and homosexuals on the other. Many of the
latter group had AIDS, and one of the fears was that it would be
transmitted by the common Communion cup. This fear was addressed in two
ways. First, a second, small in-tincture cup was provided for those who
wished to dip their wafers rather than drink from the cup. Second,
there was a lecture on how HIV and AIDS were transmitted, with
assurance that the Communion cup was safe. The tone of the meeting was
that everything was fine, there was no chance of any accidental contact
spreading the HIV virus, and we were ignorant if we thought otherwise.
At the same time, two of the most liberal women in the church were
dispatched to a conference on "Human Sexuality." This, as it turned
out, was a code phrase for a seminar on the acceptance of homosexuality
as just a normal part of human life. Live with it, in other words, it's
normal and it isn't a sin. People are just born that way, and if you
think otherwise you are just being "judgmental."
Within a few months, things went from resigned acceptance of a forced
equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals, to an overt preference
for the homosexual community Here is what happened.
The Southern Appalachian Lesbian and Gay Alliance, otherwise known as
SALGA, wanted to put on a gay fashion show. This was a cross-dressing
event. A drag queen show. The church deacon quietly made arrangements
and it was held in the church parish hall. That was the first time in
nearly 100 years that the church had been used for a fashion show of
any type. That it was a homosexual cross-dressed fashion show made it
even more outrageous to the church's straight population. Worse yet,
one of the church's youth groups (EYC) was on the premises at the time,
attempting to use the kitchen facilities, which were also in use by the
cross-dressed homosexuals. These young people were thus exposed to one
of the more outrageous examples of homosexual behavior, without
guidance or preparation for what they saw.
The priest received a barrage of objections from the straight
membership. People continued to leave. This church experience was not
what they expected, and this church's family was like no family they
had ever encountered. It seemed clear that the liberal priest and the
ultra-liberal deacon had gone too far. But nothing was done. The
private conversations between concerned straights vanished whenever the
priest or deacon came by. The Human Sexuality committee, otherwise
known as the get-along, go-along gang, was everywhere. On the Outreach
committee. Teaching Sunday School. In the Altar Guild, and certainly in
the choir. These people, acting either on their own or as duplicitous
tools of the priest, stifled protests of the homosexual influx with
lectures on the need to show loving and tender acceptance of
A few months later, they went ever further. In February, SALGA and the
deacon conspired to put on a homosexual St. Valentine's Day dance.
Again, the 100-year old Parish Hall was the site of the event.
The entire affair was done in secret. The fact that the parish hall was
reserved for a SALGA St. Valentine's Day Dance never appeared on the
church calendar, and was never announced during the scheduled
announcement time on Sunday morning. It was a closed event. The
planning, however, was intensive. In January, the deacon presented the
office manager with a beer and wine sales permit application. "Sign
it," she said, "so we can sell beer and wine at the dance."
The office manager, a Baptist, refused. The priest, for a change,
supported the no alcoholic beverage sale position. After all, it would
be the first time the church had obtained a permit to sell alcoholic
beverages during a church event. To an Episcopalian, a little wine and
cheese at a reception was one thing. Selling the stuff was entirely
Undeterred, the deacon and her friends from SALGA determined they would
have beer and wine at their dance anyway. Rather than sell it directly,
they prepared signs that advertised the beer and wind would be
available in exchange for "love" offerings equal to the predetermined
And thus it was that, without the congregation's knowledge or approval,
SALGA held a dance to celebrate St. Valentine's Day in the Parish Hall
of an Episcopal church. Beer and wine were readily available if you
made a "love" offering. From all reports and signs, the event was a
huge success. A gay old time, as they say, was had by one and all.
The next morning, Sunday, I arrived early to find the church sexton and
Junior Warden hard at work cleaning up. I helped them finish the job -
of removing beer cans and other evidence of the previous night's
homosexual extravaganza from the premises. It was clear to me that the
celebrants had not been celibate throughout the evening. The place was
That nearly was the last straw, for me. The Parish Hall was not used
for dances for our teenagers or our adults, because the priest had said
he was afraid of "damage to the floor" in the historic building. As far
as anyone can remember, that had been a hard and fast rule during his
30-year tenure. No dances in the Parish Hall. Not even a mixer for our
But the rule was broken in favor of the homosexuals. And a fashion show
was held for the homosexuals. And beer and wine were, in effect, sold
for the homosexuals. Everything clearly indicated that this church now
preferred homosexual members to straights. The evidence was in the
actions the church took. The general membership was kept in the dark,
and the church bulletin - or newsletter - often seemed to mention the
good things being done by the deacon and her gay friends.
A few months later, with the problems just below the boiling point, the
priest and the get-along, go-along committee announced there would be a
Wednesday night meeting to discuss the problem. I now refer to it as
the "Wednesday Night Massacre."
When I walked into the Parish Hall that evening, I found out just how
far the priest and deacon were willing to go to push their agenda.
First, there were more homosexuals present than straights. And most of
the homosexuals in attendance were neither members nor regular
attendees at our church. Second, to speak at the event you had to have
signed up in advance. Only one straight was on the program, with a
total of about seven folks speaking for the homosexual community.
The program started with a young lady from SALGA stating the she had
personally cleaned up all the mess after the dance. I said she had not,
that there was a great deal of litter on the grounds. She told me that
was a lie, that everything had been cleaned up. I look at the Junior
Warden, who had called me to help clean up on that Sunday morning. He
grimly lowered and shook his head. He and the priest had been very
close for years. In times of birth, marriage, and death. Thirty years
in one church, together. The Junior Warden would not press the issue.
After opening remarks from the head of the get-along committee, we
split into small groups. Each group had at least one homosexual in the
room to guide and lead the discussion. In my group we were hosted by a
defrocked Catholic priest, who had declared himself a practicing
homosexual some years earlier. His seminary training and familiarity
with all Biblical references to homosexuality totally dominated and
intimidated our discussion. After 40 minutes of this oppressive
environment, in which little constructive was accomplished other than
the attempt to brainwash the straights, we returned too the Parish
Hall. It had been much the same in the other breakout groups. The deck
was stacked and no one had been dealt a straight hand.
One person, a member of the church who also was an ordained
Presbyterian minister and psychologist with an active family counseling
ministry, was on the schedule to speak for the straight community. His
remarks were on one sheet of paper, and would take about four minutes
to read. After 30 seconds, the priest cut him off.
"David, that's enough of that," he said. "We've heard all we need to
hear. Sit down."
And thus ended the great debate. Free speech had been stifled. The
forces of darkness had taken control of the church. Half an inch at a
I stayed a few weeks longer, writing a lengthy and impassioned letter
to the Bishop and calling each member of the vestry to see what could
be done. The answer was nothing. The bishop wrote me a very nice letter
that said, "Even if I was of a mind to remove the priest, which I'm
not, I couldn't. Only the church vestry can remove an Episcopal
The vestry was dominated by the priest's faithful servants. The head of
the get-along, go-along committee was on the vestry. The faithful
Junior Warden, of course, as well as the Senior Warden. Twelve people,
at least eight of whom were the priest's dedicated servants.
We lost. And we left. We moved to a more rural parish where we felt we
could believe in the Bible without fear of criticism from our
ministers. The liberal wing of the Episcopal Church, and the church we
left in particular, is too liberal for us. I was very concerned that
the sight of men holding hands in church, and sitting throughout Sunday
morning services with their arms around one another, was a bad example.
I was afraid that my young and impressionable children were witness to
events that would destroy the very values and morality Christianity
attempted to teach.
The year after our departure the deacon proposed the church open a gay
and lesbian support group for middle school children. Notice of this
plan was printed in the church's annual report.
The time period I have described covers about six years. Six years in
the life of a church, and many tragedies in the lives of young
homosexual men who died of AIDS, when they came the church in search of
God and, found, instead, encouragement for the lifestyle that would
lead to their death. (Italicized section added 6/2000). Later, in 1995,
at the Diocesan Convention at Camp Kanuga, the deacon defied
instruction from the bishop and the priest, and declared on the floor
of the assembly that she was a lesbian. Why did the Bishop and the
parish priest instruct the Deacon not to publicly reveal her
homosexuality? Because she would then have to be suspended. The Bishop
followed through with a six week suspension. She then resumed her
position and continues to lead and preach the gospel of homosexuality
in the church today.
In other words, the Bishop objected to her coming out of the closet. I
believe he knew that she would be more effective if she remained
cloaked. But he restored her to her office just as soon as the public
furor died down. About six months later, the Deacon's husband, head of
Christian Education at this church, announced that he, too was
homosexual. As was their adopted son. I guess that disproves heredity
as a cause.
And more recently the new priest, Todd Donatelli, another avante guard
liberal, announced the church, now the Cathedral of All Souls, would
offer the Church's blessing and an appropriate ceremony for homosexual
The new All Souls rector, Todd Donatelli, last year issued the first
Excommunication in the history of the Episcopal Church in the United
States. This "honor" was afforded to one Lewis W. Green for the offense
of disagreeing with the church's homosexual agenda. Mr. Green, to his
eternal credit, absolutely refused to get along and go along with the
acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as equal to heterosexuality, and
actually preferable in some cases. An appeal to our Bishop, Robert
Johnson of the Diocese of Western North Carolina, fell upon deaf ears.
The Bishop also supports Donatelli in his decision to bless homosexual
Speaking of children, at Calvary our adults have a Sunday School class
led by a wonderful retired priest. His table is overflowing with good
things to share with us, teaching us ever more about our Savior, and
God's plan for the world. And we have another retired old-school priest
who sings in the choir and is a font of good and humorous knowledge
about all things spiritual.
I am on the vestry and my wife taught Sunday School until this year
when she decided the task required someone younger. The only mistake we
see there thus far at Calvary is that they have allowed me to join the
choir. Maybe the angels will sneak in and give me the ability to carry
a tune. That certainly wasn't in God's plan, but until the Angels
intercede I shall persevere in making my Joyful Noise.
By the Grace of God, the odyssey on which I took my family in 1991
ended at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher. It was a very long and
difficult journey, but I would do it again. And if Satan ever takes
over the pulpit at Calvary, as he did at All Souls, we'll be on our way
out the door.
And even though, at this time, we are not ready to lead our parish to
the AMiA, it is a blessing that we now have an alternative.
EX-GAY PRIEST SAYS SURRENDERED LIFE THE ONLY PATH
By The Rev. Stephen J. Emery
I'm a hyper-evangelical and orthodox Anglican priest in the Diocese of
Huron, which is so far still a member diocese of the Anglican Church of
Having practiced homosexual sex earlier in my life, I have been able
by.... the grace of God only... to surrender my sexual preferences to
be contained within the boundaries of the Word of God. I am not alone
and know many other gay or BI-clergy who now live successfully and
faithfully in married heterosexual relationships.
Two other priests and I are prepared to stand up at our 2004 Diocesan Synod
and state as such when gay clergy and same sex union issues come up for
discussion as they surely will.
Nevertheless the time is soon for the Anglican Church to separate world
Is the thought of being in a parish/clericus diocese of
redeemed, regenerated experientially sanctified clergy and lay who are
knowledgeable and confidant in the power of God's Word to transform
...an outrageous idea!!!
I believe it is not.
I shed no tears at the break up, and look forward to the beginning of a
greater and much more effective enabler of the Kingdom of God and it's
An assembly of Anglicans with whom we will actually be in real
spiritual "communion" with. Yes, the one of Cranmer, Hooker,
Wesley, Whitfield, Newman, Pusey, etc....up to the Carey's, Howe's and
Global Primates of the south and east of today!
Rev. Stephen J. Emery
Trinity Waterford with All Saints Mt. Pleasant,
Diocese of Huron, Anglican Church of Canada
A Mind That Grasped Both Heaven and Hell
By JOSEPH LOCONTE
November 22, 2003
Forty years ago today, as the world mourned the assassination of an
American president, the passing of the 20th century's most influential
Christian writer was hardly noticed: Clive Staples Lewis, professor of
English literature at Oxford and Cambridge, died on Nov. 22, 1963. In
his ability to nurture the faithful, as well as seduce the skeptic, C.
S. Lewis had no peer.
Lewis was an atheist for much of his adult life, an experience that
may have helped immunize him from the religious cliche, the
reluctance to ask ha rd questions, the self-righteousness of the
Mr. Lewis possesses the rare gift," according to an early reviewer, "of
being able to make righteousness readable." Lewis was not a theologian,
but he expressed even the most difficult religious concepts with
bracing clarity. H e was not a preacher, yet his essays and novels
pierce the heart with their nobility and tenderness.
The lessons found within his writings continue to resonate today. In
fact, it's hard to imagine a time when the need for sane thinking about
religion w as more momentous. Cite an act of terror, from the sniper
shootings in Washington to the bombings in Baghdad and Istanbul, and
faith is close at hand. Many are now tempted to equate piety with
venality E28094 or worse E28094 and it's here that Lewis may have the
most to teach us.
Born in 1898, Lewis reached maturity in the 1930's, when Europe was
being convulsed by the rise of new tyrannies: communism in Russia and
fascism in Spain, Italy and Germany. At the same time, trends in
psychology and theology were discrediting Christian doctrines of sin
The "root causes" of international disorder were said to be social and
political arrangements, like runaway capitalism or the flawed Treaty of
But Lewis, like his friend J. R. R. Tolkien, knew the trouble lay deeper, and
marshaled his literary imagination to explore it.
In a harrowing scene from his science fiction novel "Perelandra," the
protagonist, Prof. Elwin Ransom, battles a mad scientist horribly
disfigured by his lust for power. Lewis writes: "What was before him
appeared no longer a creature of corrupted will. It was corruption
itself to which will was attached only as an instrument."
The Christians, Lewis argued, were right: the mystery of evil was rooted in
the tragedy of human nature. Pride, and the poisoned conscience it created,
functioned as the engine of the world's woes. Unchallenged, it led to a
"ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self, which is the mark of
Many modern liberals dismiss Lewis's concept of the diabolical as a
"medieval" superstition. Yet many religious conservatives seem to make
evil the brainchild of God himself. For them, all individual and social
sin including the terror of Sept. 11 is the perfect will of a Divine
Judge (as the Rev. Jerry Falwell claimed at the time). Lewis disagreed:
Evil is always man's doing, y et it is never his destiny. The power of
choice makes evil possible, but it's also "the only thing that makes
possible any love or goodness or joy worth having."
While Oxford agnostics howled, Lewis gave BBC talks on theology that
were a national sensation. Even his beloved children's stories, "The
Chronicles of Narnia," ring with biblical themes of sin and redemption.
No one did more to make "the repellent doctrines" of Christianity
plausible to modern ears.
Nevertheless, Lewis acknowledged that religion easily becomes a device
to exploit others sometimes, as in the case of sexually abusive
priests, at the very steps of the altar. The pretense of piety, he
said, has left a record o f violence that should shame every honest
believer. "Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst," he wrote
in "Reflections on the Psalms."
Yet, unlike the cynic, Lewis refused to blame the faith itself for the
shortcomings of the church. Instead, his writings offer bright glimpses
into the moral beauty of divine goodness, what Lewis called "the weight
It is this vision of the Holy, he observed, that has produced many of
the masterpieces of art and music. This same vision motivates the
faithful to risk everything to relieve the world's suffering: caring
for plague victims, defending the rights of children, guiding slaves to
freedom, breaching war zones to feed the poor.
"If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most
for the present world were just those who thought most of the next," he
wrote in "Mere Christianity," one of his best-known works. "It is since
Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they
have become so ineffective in this." In an era when God himself seems
to be on trial, that's a timely message for the half-hearted pilgrim as
well as the devoted doubter. Probably just what C. S. Lewis had in
Joseph Loconte, religion fellow at the Heritage Foundation, is editor
of the forthcoming "The End of Illusions: America's Churches and
Hitler's Gathering Storm, 1938-41.'' This article appeared in the
Sunday edition of the New York Times.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Episcopalians quit Fairborn church, Oppose ordination of gay NH bishop
By Mara Lee Dayton
Almost three dozen Episcopalians are leaving their Fairborn
congregation because of the national conference's decision to ordain a
gay man as the New Hampshire bishop.
Andy Figueroa of Beavercreek said he found a new place for these
Episcopalians, who believe the church has left them behind as it has
become more liberal.
They will attend Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church, at 925 N.
Main St., Dayton. The Reformed Episcopal Church split from the
Episcopal Church in the late 1800s, when its leaders felt the
denomination was becoming too Roman Catholic. Today, it is more
conservative than the Episcopal Church U.S.A. it does not ordain women
and it says sex outside of marriage is sinful in all circumstances.
Figueroa expects some members of other local congregations will attend
Christ the King, but probably just another dozen or so. Figueroa, 56,
has been an Episcopalian since 1976. He used to work for the diocese as
its Web master, but resigned in August because the gay man's
ordination. He is unemployed.
Figueroa, like other traditionalists, hopes the liberal U.S. conference
will split from the worldwide Anglican Communion, and that
congregations who wish to follow the Bible more literally can join
The Rev. Wayne McNamara, who leads Christ the King Reformed Episcopal
Church, said he feels sorrow for Episcopalians who feel
disenfranchised. But he's pleased his church, which has about 110
members from 30 households, can be a place they can sojourn as the
Dayton-area Episcopalians Split! New Anglican Fellowship is a
Collaboration with Reformed Episcopal Church
November 20, 2003
Early this week, lay persons from Dayton area Episcopal churches formed
an independent Anglican Fellowship in the wake of actions by the
Episcopal Church's General Convention last August. (The Episcopal
Church is the US branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.) The
General Convention approved the election of a non-celibate homosexual
priest as bishop of New Hampshire, and also passed a resolution
acknowledging the use of liturgies for same-sex unions. Orthodox (or
traditional) Episcopalians see these actions as a departure from the
clear reading and historic interpretation of Holy Scripture. At the
same convention, a resolution was defeated, which would have reaffirmed
the Episcopal Church's commitment to the authority of Scripture.
Andy Figueroa, Webmaster and former Director of Communications with the
Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, resigned his position after the
August decisions. "These are painful times for Episcopalians who feel
they have been betrayed by their leadership," Figueroa said. Many
Episcopalians say they now feel estranged from their Church and in good
conscience can no longer remain as members. Figueroa is concerned:
"Many hurting Episcopalians now wonder what to do while waiting for
Anglican structures in North America to undergo reorganization as a
result of the actions of the Episcopal Church."
In order to help meet this need, Figueroa announced this week the
formation of Christ the King Anglican Fellowship. The Fellowship,
inspired by the Anglican Congress (a movement working to unite separate
Anglican churches in the US and Canada), is a collaborative effort with
Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). Though the Fellowship
will remain independent, Christ the King REC has graciously welcomed
its members into the life of their church. Figueroa said, "I cannot
think of a better situation for a group of refugees fleeing from the
pain of having their church depart from the faith." He noted that the
arrangement "provides a wonderful pastor, familiar Anglican worship, a
full range of Christian Education, other church activities, and a
Sitting on the Wrong Stool
[N.B. Click on the link for an interesting illustration accompaning Mrs. Newton's column. My own prefered analogy is of a tricycle with Scripture being the large front wheel -- without it you don't get anywhere and fall flat on your face!]
by Janice Newton
I have often been troubled by the three-legged stool concept of Bible, tradition and reason as the stable grounding for the Christian faith and for the Christianâ€™s faith.
I have a three-legged stool at home and when my young grandchildren climb on to it, it is so unstable that it tips over. It is not a good place to try and sit. Three-legged stools were designed in olden times to enable the stool not to wobble when placed on uneven floors. If the basis for our faith is already unstable, maybe we want to compensate by giving our explanation of it as three-legged, so it wonâ€™t wobble so much when tested. However, as Christians we have a much more secure base upon which to build our faith. We build on the rock that is Christ, upon his words that supply the firm ground for our belief. 
I remember in my teenage years how we would leave the young peoples Bible Study on a Saturday evening and congregate in our favourite place - the coffee bar at the end of the High Street. There the high stools with yellow, red, green and blue seats were bright and attractive. Their support was a strong steel pole that brought a stylish, shiny appeal to the whole place. Raised above ground level we would sit and discuss everything, from the passage of the Bible we had been studying to the latest in fashions and music, whilst solving the worldâ€™s problems, which our parents had failed to address!
It is bar stools like these that seem to me to represent a truer picture of the basis for discerning our true Christian inheritance. As Godâ€™s people we are set in the world, in the hustle and bustle of ordinary life. We need a secure basis for our faith so that we are not blown about by the latest fads and theories. 
God has given us the book of books as our inheritance. Through it the God of Truth has communicated with his people down the ages. This is not a God who lies. He has not misled those Christians who taught us the truth and gave us examples to follow. He does not change his mind on a whim or a fashion or a desire to show how intellectually clever he is. In the Bible God speaks to his people, whether they like what they hear or not.
Thus the Bible is like the solid, single supporting leg of the stool upon which we sit. Just as the steel bar stools were set in immovable concrete, so, our God has given us a stable support in his word, both in The Word, - our Saviour Christ - the scriptures given for our learning. These are our main and solidly founded support. Nothing equals them. From the beginning they speak of Christ and Christ used them as his yardstick.  How much more should we, his disciples.
However, God has also given us means for making that scriptural word understandable. Tradition is one of those means. Different people in my youth group chose a different coloured stool to sit on. We each had our favourite colour. Thus, with tradition. This adds colour to the church. In our denominations, in our reading of the early church fathers, in our choice of creeds, we all find the ones we like most. The ones who provide the most comforting or challenging way of helping us unravel some of the truths about God. The padded seats of the bar stools in their vibrant differences provide a comfortable place to sit upon a Bible which often challenges us to be uncomfortable about our prejudices, judgments and ideas. We could sit on the Bible pillar alone, but the padding of tradition makes it easier. We have the rich inheritance of former learning to prevent us making the same mistakes of heresy and apostasy. Tradition helps the sometimes painful truth of God to become absorbable. Tradition helps us to observe the truths of God within the conduct of worship and fellowship in a way that leads us to acknowledge how the old truths have meaning for our lives today.
Godâ€™s Bible truths should lift us above our earthly selves towards our Maker. The coffee bar stools were too high to slide on easily. In order to perch on them, we needed help to lift ourselves off the ground. There was always a ring around the steel pillar to aid us, to lift us up and to keep our feet firmly based on the metal, so that we neither swung needlessly around nor fell off.  The steel ring of reason helps to keep our thought and intellect firmly concentrated on the truth as we look at the Bible.
Reason is a God-given, creative part of how God made us like himself in the very beginning. He intends us to be a thoughtful people. However, that thoughtful reasoning is a support. It is not equal to the mind of God and Christ as revealed in His word. How arrogant of humankind that we think we can re-interpret the truths of God to fit our sinful circumstances, in order to justify our actions and thoughts. How meager is our judgment of what is best, when all along God has a better, fuller life to offer us. How egotistically self-centered is our failure to listen to his loving desire to transform us through the forgiving, cleansing actions of Christ, who died to save us.
The three-legged stool only serves to instruct our arrogance. It sets two man-centered concepts, tradition and reason, against the God-centered Bible. It provides a false analogy whereby the created being raises itself to claim equality with the Creator. The ring near the base of single legged bar stool reminds us that our reason is only a support to interpret the word of God. The padded seat provides some traditional comfort as we tackle the hard issues of that word challenging us. The steel beauty of the single pillar of the Bible is the major support and strength of the Christian Faith. This is where God speaks to his people. Let us be humble enough to learn from him. How magnificently, wondrously awe-filling it is, that our God communicates to his people through His written word and reveals the truth about His Living Word, our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.
1 Tim. 1.3-6
II Tim. 3.14-17
Luke 24. 25-27
Cesa: Homosexuality a no-no
23/11/2003 20:48 - (SA)
Johannesburg - The
Church of England in South Africa (Cesa) on Sunday disassociated itself from any action to accept homosexuality as a valid expression of human sexuality.
Cesa congregations throughout the country were told it was not bigotry to view homosexual lifestyle as wrong, but that the doors of Cesa churches were open to all regardless of their lifestyle choices, a statement said.
Cesa presiding bishop Frank Retief was prompted by the controversy in the Anglican Communion over the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in the US, Cesa added.
He said there were two churches in South Africa with Anglican roots - the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA), and Cesa.
Cesa church was descended from the first Anglican churches established in the Cape in the 1800s, and held to the historic Anglican understanding of Christianity.
Retief said the Bible's plain teaching was that the homosexual lifestyle was contrary to God's design, and the Bible remained the final authority for all belief and behaviour.
He said Cesa repudiated the homosexual lifestyle and any other form of sexual immorality, but affirmed its commitment to sharing the Gospel message of forgiveness.
Those within Cesa who frowned on homosexuality were nevertheless concerned that homosexuals should experience God's grace and understand God's truth.
"We recognise that such a claim will not be acceptable to those who see things differently, but we can do no other than to state it plainly for all to hear," Retief said.
He said Anglicans worldwide may well be embroiled in a difficult and potentially divisive debate, as truth sometimes did divide, but this should not obscure the fact that for more than 2 000 years the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been preached and believed in the world.
On the Lighter Side: Little-Known WWII Facts
1. The first German serviceman killed in World War II was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest-ranking American killed was Lt. Gen. Lesley McNair, killed by the U.S. Army Air Corps - so much for allies.
2. The youngest U.S. serviceman was 12-year-old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress).
3. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top U.S. Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the U.S. Army's 45th Infantry Division was the Swastika, and Hitler's private train was named "Amerika." All three names were soon changed for PR purposes.
4. More U.S. servicemen died in the U.S. Army Air Corps than in the Marine Corps. While completing the required 25 missions your chance of being killed was 71 percent.
5. Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so at long range if your tracers were hitting the target 80 percent of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.
7. When the allied armies reached the Rhine River in Germany, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal, from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. George Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but it wasn't worth the effort (?).
9. The German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.
10. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and then forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and further forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the U.S. Army.
11. Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 U.S. and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. Twenty-one troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been any Japanese soldiers on the island
UGANDAN PRIMATE CUTS TIES WITH THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
November 20, 2003
STATEMENT FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH OF UGANDA
(ANGLICAN) CONCERNING THE CONSECRATION OF GENE ROBINSON OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
DIOCESE IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF AMERICA (ECUSA)
The House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Uganda
(Anglican) which met at Lweza Training and Conference Centre in the
city of Kampala 19th November, 2003 has discussed the recent step
taken by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA)
by consecrating the Rev. Gene Robinson to be the Bishop of New
Hampshire Diocese in the Anglican Communion.
The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda expressed its deep
regret and dismay at this unfortunate consciously premeditated
decision by both the ECUSA Convention and its bishops to consecrate
this openly confessed homosexual (Gene Robinson) as Bishop of New
Hampshire Diocese in ECUSA.
As if that was not enough, the ECUSA Convention and bishops have
further resolved to sanction the ordination of homosexuals and
lesbians to the priesthood, and the blessing of same sex unions. All
these steps taken by ECUSA violate the resolution of the Lambeth
Conference 1998 which is a conference of all Bishops in the Anglican
Communion. Much more, it is contradictory to the teaching of the Holy
Scripture which is upheld by all Anglicans as the rule of faith. In
the light of the above, the Church of Province of Uganda House of
Bishops resolves as follows:
We deplore, abhor and condemn in the strongest possible terms the
resolution of ECUSA to consecrate Gene Robinson and all other
resolutions related to the ordination of homosexuals and blessings of
same sex unions.
We re-affirm the resolution of the Lambeth Conference 1998 1:10 on
human sexuality which in part states as follows:
"In view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in
marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes
that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage."
"While rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with scripture,
calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all
irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of
homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and
commercialisation of sex."
"Cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor
ordaining those involved in same gender unions."
iii) The Church of the Province of Uganda (Anglican) cuts her
relationship and Communion with the Episcopal Church of the United
States of America (ECUSA) on their resolution and consequent action
of consecrating and enthroning an openly confessed homosexual Gene
Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire Diocese in the Anglican
Communion; and with any other Province that shall follow suit.
Mindful of the fact that there are a number of Dioceses, Parishes and
Congregations in the ECUSA, which are opposed to the resolution and
action taken by their Convention and are determined to remain
faithful to the teaching of Scripture on human sexuality, to those
dear brothers and sisters, we extend our solidarity with them and
assure them of our continued prayers.
We continue to pray for ECUSA to allow the illumination of the Holy
Spirit concerning this unfortunate step they have taken and its
possible negative consequences on the whole Church. We pray that they
may revisit their decision in this matter.
(iv) We want to make it crystal clear that the whole membership of
the Church of Uganda uphold in full respect and faith the teaching of
the Holy Scriptures and that of our Lord Jesus Christ himself on
human sexuality as between a male and female and maintain that any
same sex union is a disorder of God's creation.
The Most Rev. Dr. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo
Archbishop of the Church of Uganda
LIBERAL BISHOP FUNDS BIOLA STUDENTS TO OXFORD UNIVERSITY
By David W. Virtue
Sometimes a liberal bishop gets it right.
In the Diocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Joseph Jon Bruno held a clergy
conference recently and invited his three fellow bishops and diocesan
clergy to come. About 100 showed up.
It is not an occasion that orthodox clergy are usually welcome, or made
to feel welcome by fellow liberals, homosexual priests and out and out
revisionists. For the most part they stay away.
But Bishop Bruno insisted that Fr. David Baumann, an Evangelical Anglo-
Catholic priest at Blessed Sacrament in Placentia, California attend.
So Fr. Baumann cut a deal with the bishop; he said he would come if he
could bring half a dozen students from BIOLA University, a Protestant
Evangelical institution, who attended his parish and make a
presentation about why they were there and what made them tick.
"Sure," said the bishop, "bring them along by all means. We want to
encourage the next generation of priests and this would be a good
occasion to meet them."
So Baumann primed his eager young evangelical leaders, all of whom had
fallen in love with the Anglican Way of worship and were thinking about
going forward to Holy Orders as to what they could expect from a clergy
audience hostile to their biblically orthodox views.
At the conference the bishop got up and invited them to make a
presentation about how and why they were in the Episcopal Church and
what kept them coming back Sunday by Sunday.
Working on the assumption they were in the lions den, the young couples
stepped up to the podium and started to preach to a largely hostile clergy
They told how Christ had saved them, why they were studying, and how
they were drawn to Blessed Sacrament, a liturgically high Episcopal
Church. They told their audience that they threw themselves into the
Prayer Book, the history of Anglicanism, its liturgy and more, while
continuing their Biblical studies at BIOLA University.
"They explained why they believed in the Deity of Christ, sin and
salvation, the Virgin Birth, the atonement and why they didn't believe
in women's ordination and opposed any kind of sexual expression outside
of heterosexual marriage. They pushed hard for the uniqueness of the
gospel in a pluralistic culture and defended it ably," said Fr.
They blew away the bishops with their openness, candor, graciousness
and determination and got a standing ovation for their performance.
"Overnight I went from diocesan pariah to poster boy," said Fr. Baumann
"The bishops had never met or heard such earnest and biblically
dedicated young people who were anticipating the ordained Episcopal
ministry coming from their background," he said.
One couple made a positive impression on Bishop Bruno - Micah and Jennifer
Overwhelmed by their commitment and enthusiasm he immediately offered
them full scholarships to attend Oxford University to study for the
"He made a commitment of $12,000 to each of us to study abroad," said
Jennifer. "We were stunned but very grateful."
"Los Angeles is a very liberal diocese with only two Forward in Faith
parishes and about 20 American Anglican Council parishes, but Bruno
insists he is going to be a bishop to all his clergy wherever they are
coming from and he won't let any one group push him around," said Fr.
"He has maintained a policy begun by the former Bishop of LA Fred
Borsch of not letting any one group push its agenda to the fore, and so
he won't let Integrity have a say without the AAC parishes having their
"The tenor of the diocese changed when a resolution for same-sex unions
was being pushed by Integrity at a Diocesan Convention in 1995. Borsch
got them and the AAC clergy together, who wanted to pass a resolution
opposing the idea, and came up with a compromise resolution. From then
on there has been a peace, albeit uneasy in the diocese. Bruno has been
walking down the middle of the road every since," he said.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
The Sunday next before Advent
STIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Nigerian Anglicans will reject aid by U.S. Church, says Akinola
From Kelvin Ebiri
Nigerian Guardian News
PORT HARCOURT--WITH the severance in relationship between the Anglican Church
in Nigeria and its counterpart in the United States (U.S.), it will be
preposterous for dioceses and bishops in the country to continue to receive
assistance from the church in America, according to Rev. Peter J. Akinola. The
of the Anglican Church in Nigeria and the President, Nigerian Christian
Association (CAN) said the severance of relationship between the Anglican
in the country with its counterpart in the U.s. over the ordination of Rev.
Gean Robson, a gay, must be total.
He said that it would amount to hypocrisy if any diocese or bishop
should go through the back to receive assistance from their
counterparts in the U.S. Akinola, who spoke to journalists at the
Government House, Port Harcourt, where he paid a courtesy call on the
Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, explained that the Anglican Church
in the country could not be blackmailed to support those considered
guilty of heresy.
"Over the years, some dioceses and bishops have had access to some
bishops in America. They have been in partnership and those in America
have been providing assistance to help the work not just in Nigeria but
in various parts of Africa," he said.
Akinola had earlier urged Christians to cultivate the habit of giving
to the church in the country as the church was bent on not succumbing
to those who were trying to subvert the scripture.
He stated: "But with this development that will come to any end, it
does not make sense to tell the world that you are breaking a
relationship and then you go through the back door to ask for financial
help. Once you are breaking, you are breaking. We may have a lot of
disability but God is able to see us through," he said.
The church leader, who was in Port Harcourt for the consecration of six
new bishops, reiterated that homosextuality was unacceptable, and an
abomination before God.
He noted that since the Bible was explicit on the issue and at the same
time the basis of relationship between the church in the country and
its American counterpart, which had chosen to deviate from the path of
truth, the ties would remain severed.
"We will not recognise that man as Bishop, he cannot come here. In our
country Nigeria, that man by his action is not even qualified to be a
lay reader, not to talk of a Priest in our church. So we cannot accept
him," he added. Odili prayed Akinola for staunch opposition to the
consecration of the gay. He explained that the primate had made the
state, the country and Africa proud over his stand on the issue.
"Your stand against materialism, your stand on the rejection of those
who reject the teachings of Christ makes us proud. We the people of
Rivers State are proud of you and do stand by you, he said.
He described Akinola as a rock that God had placed in Africa to support
the Church of Christ at this particular time. He promised that the
government would continue to support the church in the propagation of
the gospel. Earlier, Akinola had consecrated the following Bishops at
the Church of St. Cyprian, Samuel Olayanju (Bishop of Kabba), Venerable
Peter Imasuen (Bishiop of Benin), Michael Fape (Bishop of Remo), David
Bello (Bishop of Otukpo), Tubokosemie Abere (Bishop of Okrika) and
Jacob Fasipe (Bishop of Oyo).
..."No weapon formed against you shall prosper" ..Isaiah 54:17
Steps of discipline to be taken by the Primates of
the Anglican Communion
Submitted by David W. Virtue
A Proposal from the Primates of the Global South & The Anglican
Communion Institute as constructed in Nairobi, Kenya, Fall 2003
Preamble: In this meeting the Primates speak as the spiritual leaders
of the Communion, in full reaffirmation of Lambeth 1998 Resolution
1.10; and of our related commitments made in Brazil in 2003 on the
question of same-sex blessings; and in response to the Lambeth
resolutions calling for enhanced responsibility and intervention in
emergency situations (Lambeth 1988 Resolution 18:2a; Virginia Report
4:19, 27; 5:15; 6:IV; Lambeth 1998 III:6).
As a consequence of these commitments to the Anglican family, we seek
as guardians of the faith to address "issues that affect the unity of
the universal church [...] and that need a Communion-wide mind if a
life of interdependence is to be preserved" (Virginia Report 4:19).
We desire an Episcopal Church, U.S.A that is fully part of the
Communion, in integrity of faith and spirit, and embracing the
teachings that unite us. We desire an Anglican Church of Canada that is
united within itself, and that also remains fully part of the
Communion, in integrity of faith and spirit, and embracing the
teachings that unite us.
We seek by actions that are gradual, inviting, faithful, and firm to
avoid chaos and a wilderness of litigation within our common life.
We also seek to behave as a Communion in a way that maintains a
faithful witness in life and teachings to the Holy Scriptures, to the
universal teaching of the Christian Church on marriage and abstinence,
and to the truth of God that informs all cultures and nations in their
moral vocation in matters of sexuality. In this way we seek to found
our mission and sharing of the Gospel of Christ with integrity. [Please
see our summary sheet attached to this proposal and the booklet
Claiming Our Anglican Identity: The Case Against the Episcopal Church,
Concerning the Emergency Situation in ECUSA The emergency situation has
arisen from: Consent by both Houses of the 74th General Convention
(finalized in August 5, 2003) to the election as Bishop of New
Hampshire of a self-professed homosexual man, living openly in a sexual
partnership with another man for 13 years, having divorced his wife and
left the family home.
Passage at the same Convention of Resolution C-051, that included in
its 5th Resolve the following: "we recognize that local faith
communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they
explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex
unions." Other portions of the resolution recognized sexual
partnerships outside of marriage and called on the church to exercise
appropriate pastoral care in their regard.
The Primates Meeting of the Communion agrees that: In the decisions of
the 74th General Convention confirming the election of Canon Gene
Robinson and passing the resolution concerning same-sex blessings,
ECUSA has departed from the Holy Scriptures and the historic faith and
order of the church and posed "a substantial problem for the
sacramental unity of the Communion" (The Most Revd Rowan Williams,
Letter to Primates, 23 July 2002).
Such decisions disrupt our churches throughout the world and have
strained our ecumenical and interfaith relations in many parts of the
globe where the church struggles to survive. For the sake of preserving
the Communion and the integrity of its witness, and in line with the
Biblical position of restoring a member to koinonia within the family,
disciplinary action must be taken. Discipline must address the
following concerns in two stages:
Stage One - Emergency Action
Stage Two - Formal Structures
Stage One - Emergency Action We call on Canon Gene Robinson to withdraw
from his proposed consecration. We call on the Standing Committee of
the Diocese of New Hampshire to rescind its approval of Canon Gene
Robinson's nomination for election, prior to November 2, 2003.
Independent of the above: We call on Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to
repudiate the House of Bishops' vote for consent to Canon Robinson's
election and for Resolution C-051, both in writing to the Archbishop of
Canterbury prior to November 2.
We call on the bishops who voted in favor of confirming Canon
Robinson's election to repudiate their action in writing to the
Archbishop of Canterbury prior to November 2.
We call on the bishops who voted in favor of C-051 to repudiate that
resolution in writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury prior to November
We call on current ECUSA bishops to reaffirm the traditional teaching
of the church on marriage, as confirmed in previous General Conventions
and House of Bishops Meetings (i.e. General Convention 1979 and House
of Bishops 1977) by not condoning or permitting the public use of rites
of same-sex blessings and by refusing to ordain practicing homosexuals.
We call on these bishops to fulfill their commitment as stated in
General Convention 1991 Resolution B-020 to avoid unilateral action in
the area of the church's teaching on sexual behavior and to engage in
formal "pan- Anglican and ecumenical consultation", even while, in the
spirit of Lambeth 1998 Resolution I.10.c, we together "commit ourselves
to listen to the experience of homosexual persons" and "assure them
that they are loved by God".
Failure to heed our call will result in the following consequences:
Those who gave consent at General Convention or voted for C-051 are
reduced to observer status in the Communion (no voice, no vote). We
will not recognize the ministry of Gene Robinson as a bishop; he will
have no standing in the councils of the Communion.
Those bishops participating in the consecration of Gene Robinson will
have their further participation in the Communion suspended. Emergency
mechanisms will be implemented for relating to and protecting dioceses,
parishes, and clergy who maintain a commitment to the historic faith
and order of the Communion, including those parishes and clergy located
in dioceses where the bishop is under discipline by the Communion.
Stage Two - Formal Structures
The period between November 2, 2003 and Easter, 2004 is intended to
lead to sober consideration, repentance, and conformity to the
expressed will of the Communion. This should be a period of Communion-
wide prayer. If our call is not heeded, after Easter, 2004:
The ECUSA bishops who uphold a commitment to the Holy Scriptures and to
the historic faith and order of the church will continue to have full
participation in the affairs of the Communion, including voice and vote
in the councils of the Communion.
These bishops and their dioceses will be designated to be in full
communion with the See of Canterbury, and will thereby constitute the
Episcopal Church, U. S. A., empowered to act under that church's own
Constitution and Canons. The Primates Meeting will designate a
committee to work with the sole-designated ECUSA during this transition
period, for repentance, renewal, reconciliation, and reform. Concrete
steps reflecting this realignment of the Communion will commence at
These will include reassessment of resources, the way appropriate
ministries are funded, and the redirection of monies. Annual reports
will be brought to the Primates Meeting by their designated committee
regarding the shape and condition of the reorganized ECUSA.
We stand behind this proposal and firmly believe before God that these
decisions must be enacted for the sake of our Communion's unity and
faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and to the historic faith and order
of the Church of Christ.
B. Concerning the Emergency Situation in New Westminster.
The Primates Meeting agrees that the action of the Bishop and Synod of
New Westminster in June, 2002 to approve same-sex blessings, and the
implementation of liturgies of blessing by the bishop in May, 2003,
constitute a departure from the Holy Scriptures and the historic faith
and order of the church and pose "a substantial problem for the
sacramental unity of the Communion" (The Most Revd Rowan Williams,
Letter to Primates, 23 July, 2002).
The Primates Meeting agrees that: The action of the Bishop and Synod of
New Westminster has led to division and a state of pastoral emergency.
For the sake of preserving the Communion and the integrity of its
witness, and in line with the Biblical position of restoring a member
to koinonia within the family, disciplinary action must be taken. This
discipline will take the following form: o Bishop Ingham is reduced to
observer status in the Communion (no voice, no vote).
o His further participation in Communion affairs is suspended.
o We consider plans by Bishop Ingham to offer oversight under his own
authority - that of a bishop under discipline by the Primates Meeting -
to be unacceptable. In order to be acceptable, measures for Episcopal
Oversight of those parishes in New Westminster who maintain a
commitment to the historical faith and order of the Communion must be
implemented in coordination with the Archbishop of Canterbury,
Primates, and the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada who have
remained in conformity with the expressed will of the Communion.
o Mechanisms will be implemented for relating to and protecting
parishes and clergy in New Westminster who maintain a commitment to the
historic faith and order of the Communion.
o We express concern over the way discipline and alternative Episcopal
Oversight is being offered in the Diocese of New Westminster and in the
Province of British Columbia and Yukon.
o These disciplinary actions are intended to lead to sober
consideration, repentance, and conformity to the expressed will of the
Communion. We stand behind this proposal and firmly believe before God
that these decisions must be enacted for the sake of our Communion's
unity and faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and to the historic faith
and order of the Church of Christ. The Holy Scriptures and the Teaching
of the Church Universal on Human Sexuality The Holy Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments present a consistent word about God's intention
for human sexuality. God creates humanity in His image, male and female
(Gen. 1:27). He orders humankind to be fruitful and multiply (Gen.
1:28). Marriage is instituted by God as a means of furthering His
creative will for humanity as a whole (Gen. 2:18; Mark 10:6-9). The
disobeying of God's will brings about a disordering of human nature
(Gen. Chaps. 3-4ff.). This leads to different kinds of rebellion
against God. For instance, sexual relations between male and male, or
female and female, contradict God's intention, and bring God's judgment
(Gen. Chaps. 18-19). God is merciful and long-suffering, however, and
He presents a plan for the maintaining of His creative will and good
purpose, through His choosing of Israel, His bride, and the provision
of His good law (Exod. 20:1ff.). In this law, God's will for creation,
male and female, is reaffirmed (Lev. 18:21). Moral law is not for
Israel alone, but extends to the neighbor in her midst and includes
sexual conduct (Lev. 18:26-27). In the fullness of time, God sends His
only Son to bring to fulfillment a creative plan which was from the
beginning, overcoming sin and estrangement in the world (Col. 1). God's
Son, Jesus Christ, gives His life for the Church, for the redeeming of
the world. The Church is the Bride of Christ. Within the Church, for
the blessing of the world, male and female are to be in a covenant
relationship of marriage that reflects God's eternal purpose (Eph.
5:21-33). Sin and rebellion continue to thwart this design, and
homosexual practice continues to be viewed as a clear rebellion against
God's created purpose (Rom. 1:18-24; 1 Tim. 1:10).
This view of Scripture and of God's intention was viewed by the early
Church as plain. It was considered by the Fathers, East and West, as
the continuous and clear teaching of the prophets and apostles.
Homosexual practice is widely condemned by the Fathers in language that
flows from this understanding of Scripture's clarity, in this and other
realms of moral practice.
The cultural contexts of the early Church's mission were diverse; so,
too, the expressions of homosexual conduct in these contexts. It is
wrong, therefore, to describe modern homosexual conduct as different in
kind from the reality addressed by the Scriptures and the early Church.
What early Christians knew about homosexual life and conduct was not
different from what we know today. It is for this reason that churches
which understand themselves to be apostolic and catholic (e.g. Roman
Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptic) have reacted to the decisions of
ECUSA's General Convention, in the area of homosexual approval, with
immediate, forceful, and plain statements of denunciation and rebuke.
The continuous teaching of the Church is seen by them, rightly, to be
under assault. In these circumstances the purpose and hope of
ecumenical discussion has been subverted. The Church cannot be one in
witness to the world when, in the area of Scripture's plain sense as
received and passed on by the apostles, there has been introduced
innovation and heresy as General Convention has done.
The notion that homosexuality is a particular cultural feature of the
West, misunderstood and un-experienced by other modern world cultures,
is wrong. African, Asian, and other non-Western cultures have the
language, the lifestyle, and the support-systems for homosexuality
familiar to the West.
Christian churches in these places wrestle with bringing all sexual
conduct into conformity with Holy Scripture's plain sense and the
teaching of the Church Universal, with the same challenges as the West.
The Primates of the Global South receive this as the plain teaching of
Holy Scripture, passed on by the apostles, received and taught as God's
word by the Church Universal, and applicable in all parts of the
Anglican Communion. As such it forms an integral and unassailable part
of our mission in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
No associate members
T H E J O H N S T O T T D A I L Y T H O U G H T
November 19, 2003
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott
Vocation and Service (cont'd.)
569. No associate members
We must expect every Christian believer to be an active
church member. We cannot afford to have associate members
who want privileges without responsibilities.
--From "Parochial Evangelism by the Laity" (London: Church
Information Board, 1952), p. 9.
--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 246, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, November 14, 2003
Awful Event, Great Crisis, Great Opportunity
The diocese of New Hampshire's November 2 episcopal consecration of a
non-celibate man who has a male partner is an awful event for Anglicans
around the world. It is against the clear teaching of the Old and New
Testaments without exception that God says no to sexual activity outside
Holy Matrimony. It is against the ecumenical consensus of global
Christianity that while all are welcome in God's family, holiness of life
can only be maintained in the two human states of singleness or marriage.
In our own worldwide Anglican family the grave consequences of this action
could not have been made more clear before it was undertaken. The Lambeth
Conference of Bishops in 1998 said: "No." The Anglican Consultative Council
in 2002 said: "No." The regularly scheduled Primates meeting in May this
year said: "No." The emergency Primates meeting in October this year said:
"No." The Archbishop of Canterbury in an interview the day after the October
Primates meeting said: "No."
Among our ecumenical partners, the Roman Catholic Church said "No," the
Orthodox Church said, "No" and in the wider religious community the Muslims
This is the defiant and divisive act of a deaf church. We have unilaterally
and arrogantly said yes to the No of Holy Scripture, Tradition, our Anglican
family and our ecumenical partners. The result of this is that the Episcopal
Church has called sin righteousness. Now, as some in the liberal majority
are persecuting those who maintain the historic faith, they are calling
righteousness sin. We wish to express particular concern about the rising
number of reports alleging the pressuring of those who disagree with the two
highly publicized actions of the General Convention in places as diverse as
New Hampshire and Puerto Rico.
Clearly the price to be paid for the New Hampshire consecration is and will
continue to be terrible. Already, within twenty-four hours of the
consecration, the Primates of the Global South, comprising approximately one
half of the total number of Anglican Primates, who represent some 50 of the
nearly 80 million Anglicans in the world, have declared that a state of
communion now exists between the majority of the provinces of the communion
and the Episcopal Church USA (TEC). These leaders affirm
"the ministry of bishops, clergy and laity in TEC who have, as a matter of
principle, and in fidelity to the historic teaching of the Church, opposed
the actions taken at General Convention and objected to the consecration."
The Global South Primates in addition promise to "continue to
recognize and support their membership within the Anglican Communion
fellowship and promise them our solidarity and Episcopal support."
Going beyond the Global South Primates' action, the Province of Nigeria has
broken communion with the Episcopal Church completely. Other provinces have
made or are contemplating making their own serious responses. The London
Times rightly editorialized recently that "the [Anglican] Church
stands on the edge of a precipice-- it would not recover from the fall."
We regret this tragic outcome greatly, and confess our part in enabling it
to occur with deep sorrow. Perhaps God will bring us back from the brink. We
believe with God all things are possible and that even in great crisis there
is great opportunity.
To that end we pledge ourselves with new devotion to the gospel of Jesus
Christ and his mission to the whole world. We are excited about the new
emerging North American Anglican network of confessing dioceses, parishes,
and individuals which we see as a stepping stone toward a bright future. A
realignment within Anglicanism is clearly beginning, and we are heading
toward a new time in which Anglicans will relate to one another less through
geography and territory and more through theology and personhood. The
challenge before us is whether we move through this transition time
responsively and creatively, or destructively. We are looking to the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates for their leadership and support
in this vital process.
In the meantime, we are blessed that the Church in South Carolina has been a
faithful part of the Anglican Communion since 1670, and we are heartened by
the Primates who recognize that today we are in communion with them because
our beliefs and practices conform to the Apostle's Teaching as made known in
The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr.
XIII Bishop of South Carolina
For further information contact:
The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon
Canon Theologian, Diocese of South Carolina
P.O. Box 2810
Summerville S.C. 29484-2810
College Holding First Dance in 143 Years
By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer
WHEATON, Ill. - As many as 1,200 students at Wheaton College will gather in the gym Friday night for the first real dance in the Christian school's 143-year history.
Which explains why students in recent days have been seeking out classmates who know this stuff and looking for places where they can practice. And it explains why on Monday night and Tuesday night, dozens of students packed a room on campus for a quick dance lesson.
Andy Morgan, one of the students at the lesson, said he figured he was in no danger of embarrassing himself. He went to a high school that did not permit dancing. And when it came time to pick a college, he settled on a school that had not allowed social dancing since the war. The Civil War.
"I've had a great excuse all my life," 21-year-old Morgan said.
"It's crunch time," said 20-year-old Steve Paulus, sounding more like he was talking about cramming for a final than learning to hold his own when the swing band the Rhythm Rockets take the stage.
"We are kind of trying to downplay it because it really is another event," said Bethany Jones, a student leader and organizer of the dance. "But on the other hand, we do realize it is historic. It is a big deal."
Part of the reason is that change, any change, does not come quickly or without great deliberation at this quiet campus 25 miles outside Chicago.
It was not until the 1960s that the school lifted the rule prohibiting students from going to movies. For generations, students were barred from dancing — on campus or off — unless it was with members of the same sex or a square dance. It was not until the 1990s that students and faculty were permitted to dance with spouses or relatives at family events such as weddings.
Nine months ago, the school lifted the ban altogether, freeing students to cut the rug on campus or off, at Chicago clubs or other places. (Wheaton also eased its ban on alcohol and smoking for faculty and staff. They can now drink and light up off campus, as long as it is not in front of undergraduates.)
Under the new set of rules, called the Community Covenant, students may dance, but should avoid behavior "which may be immodest, sinfully erotic or harmfully violent."
Judging by what happened Monday night, meeting those criteria will not be a problem. There was no slithering going on, only students, some about as rigid as rakes, watching their feet as they tried to master some basic steps.
"They had a lot of fun, but they kind of approached it from almost an academic standpoint," said Rich Nickel, a local dance instructor who helped get the students ready for the Rhythm Rockets' lineup, which will feature such standards as "Sentimental Journey" and "Sunny Side of the Street."
Students say they have been amazed by all the attention the dance has generated. News organizations have descended on the campus, and students have been swamped with calls and e-mails from friends and family.
"They want to know if Wheaton is going all liberal, falling apart," Morgan said.
While some students say all the attention is ridiculous, others, like Jones, said it will ultimately prove positive for Wheaton, whose most famous graduate is probably the Rev. Billy Graham.
"It is really going to improve the outlook the rest of the world has of our students," the 21-year-old said. "It makes Wheaton into a place where people don't do so much thinking about what we aren't allowed to do."
Graham Claybrook, a senior, agreed: "It will be nice to be able to tell my friends that I go to a college that is fairly normal."
Administration officials say that lifting the dance ban will help get students ready to deal with the real world (news - Y! TV) after they graduate.
"Students need to learn how to make responsible choices," said Sam Shellhamer, vice president for student development. "We want to make students learn how to think critically, be discerning and learn how to make wise choices."
Shellhamer said there has been concern among some alumni, but for the most part, the reaction has been positive.
Laurelyn Claybrook, Graham Claybrook's mother and a 1973 graduate, applauded the move. "I just hated to see the amount of energy spent fussing over whether dancing was OK or not OK," she said.
Besides, she joked, there may not be all that much for anyone to be concerned about: "They MAY dance at Wheaton. Whether they CAN dance is another question."
I LEAVE MY WIFE
A Satirical Essay
By David W. Virtue
"I'm leaving you," I told my wife yesterday.
"You're WHAT," she said.
"I'm leaving you for a younger man. I know you'll understand because
I've had these fantasies for the last five years that what I REALLY
need and want, and not getting from you, is someone about 20 years
younger than you and from the opposite sex."
"Now I know you are going to find this a little difficult at first, but
you'll come to understand, and when I am ordained a priest next week in
the Diocese of Pennsylvania, I know that you will be there to support
me...along with my new squeeze Larry. Now don't worry about a thing,
Bishop Charles E. Bennison has already approved of this change in my
relationship and he has even written his own special Ordination Rite -
"The Last Tango in Philly". It goes along with the earlier Visigoth
Rite he wrote, Queer Boys Bond in a Straight Cathedral. He said he
especially wants all our children present as a show of support for
Larry and me when I am ordained. He sends his special love to you and
he wants to take you out to lunch afterwards to the Union League Club
just to make sure you have no hard feelings towards me."
"Is all that clear, dear?"
"It's not? What could possibly be wrong? What don't you understand?"
"You mean you can't understand why I would want to leave you for a
younger man? Look what we need to do is to go down to the cathedral and
formally break our vows at the communion rail, give back our rings,
take the Eucharist, and then I'll head off with Larry and a good supply
of Viagra. You can go home and be with the dog as she gets lonely and
very unhappy when you are not around. She can sleep where I used to
sleep just to keep you company. You can even give her one of my
pillows. I know she'll love that."
"What, you still don't understand? How much clearer do I have to make
"You say that if I go through with this I'll be singing soprano in the
next few minutes."
"You wouldn't. Come on now. That was dad's favorite shotgun. I just put
new cartridges in it the other day. I use it to keep the deer
"Look, try and be reasonable..."
"I have a need..."
(Sounds of a blast.)
Gay-row bishop not to face 'hate' charge
David Ottewell Manchester
A BISHOP who said gay people should seek medical help will not face
prosecution under hate laws, police said.
The Rt Rev Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, caused outrage when he
said some gay people should "re-orientate" themselves through
Cheshire police investigated the claim after an official complaint but
said no crime had been committed.
A spokesman said: "The issues raised by the complainant have been
"The Crown Prosecution Service has been consulted at length and
Cheshire police are satisfied that no criminal offence has been
committed, as current public order legislation does not provide
specific offences based on sexuality."
The Public Order Act of 1986 made it a criminal offence to incite
racial hatred - but its provisions do not extend to sexual orientation.
Police said they would speak to Dr Forster, who diocese runs as far as
Stockport and Dukinfield, to explain that he would not face charges.
Speaking last week, Dr Forster said: "Some people who are primarily
homosexual can re-orientate themselves. I would encourage them to
consider that as an option but I would not set myself up as a
specialist on the subject. That is in the area of psychiatric health."