Palmetto Anglican
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Saint Peter's Day

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandest him earnestly to feed thy flock; Make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God's will to save


June 29, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

792. God's will to save
Let no-one say that the doctrine of election by the
sovereign will and mercy of God, mysterious as it is, makes
either evangelism or faith unnecessary. The opposite is
the case. It is only because of God's gracious will to
save that evangelism has any hope of success and faith
becomes possible. The preaching of the gospel is the very
means that God has appointed by which he delivers from
blindness and bondage those whom he chose in Christ before
the foundation of the world, sets them free to believe in
Jesus, and so causes his will to be done.

--From "The Message of Ephesians" (The Bible Speaks Today
series: Leicester: IVP, 1979), p. 48.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 328-329, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Monday, June 28, 2004

By David W. Virtue

BEDFORD, TX (6/26/2004)--A leading bishop in the Reformed Episcopal Church
made a strong plea for orthodox Anglicans to come together stating that they
were in spiritual warfare with revisionism. The bishop blasted homosexual
behavior saying that it was "repugnant to the almighty" arguing that "we are to
in our societal and familial relations the Holy Family in heaven."

"God took a bride, the church. The groom did not take unto Himself another
groom, which is the image portrayed by homosexual union. It is the inversion of
the family of God and therefore Satanic," said the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton. "I
agree with the Primate of Nigeria. It is Satanic."

Addressing deputies to the 16th Annual Assembly of Forward in Faith NA at St.
Vincent's cathedral, Sutton said the Incarnation re-orders society and family
according to the creation image redeemed by the true image of God, Jesus

The bishop pled for orthodox Anglicans to come together. "It's not other
biblically orthodox Anglican Christians, not Anglo Catholics, the Evangelicals,
not the Charismatics, nor any fellow Biblical Christian. You can't move forward
if you're not unified and focused on the real enemy."

Citing Paul's letter to the Ephesians, the Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, told deputies
to the 16th Annual Assembly of Forward in Faith NA that we are already united
by a common faith but we still have a responsibility to be unified.

Sutton, who holds a doctorate in church history and theology said, "We are
living icons, refracting as images of the most high God. It is absurd to argue
that there are no core Christian doctrines affecting Biblical moral and family
life. The teaching of the ascent into the heavenly presence of the Triune
family of God requires behavior that reflects God and His Bride of heaven."

"How can we fight to win in spiritual warfare if we're divided?"

Sutton blasted what he called the trivial pursuit of a shallow, baseless kind
of unity so often trumpeted by the liberals. "They do the outrageously
heretical and then tell us to concentrate on what we have in common, how it far
outweighs what we don't have in common. They have taken the creeds and
revised, and reworked them to the point of removing the uniqueness of the
Triune God and Jesus Christ at their center."

The orthodox bishop said the revisionists had further corrupted the life of
the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church also confessed in the creeds by
severing them from the morality of the Ten Commandments. "As a result, Christ is
not the way. For them the creeds are no longer the unifying symbols of
orthodoxy but heterodoxy."

Citing early Christian heresies - Arianism, Gnosticism and Nestorianism,
Sutton ripped what he called "apostate revisionists" saying they no longer have
one Lord the same way we do. "These ancient heresies provided a pluriform
theological rationale for polytheism."

Sutton said revisionists were committing the same theological and moral
fallacies of polytheistic ancient Israel.

"Israel's sin wasn't that she rejected Yahweh, it was that she wanted to
reintroduce the worship of other local pagan, Canaanite gods."[But] false gods
have false
sacraments and false sacraments amount to sexual perversion. How dare we
think our other theological concerns are more important than our common belief
the One, Triune Lord."

In a plea for unity, Sutton argued that we do not have different spiritual
parents. "This is particularly true of those of us in the Anglican branch of the
family. Go back far enough and you'll find that we have the same Anglican
family lineage. We have differences and nuances but that's all they are. We have
oneness by any standard in the history of Anglicanism; call it the Anglican f
ormularies or the Lambeth Quadrilateral. To keep the true apostolic unity we
already have we must come in a greater way of aligning ourselves."

Sutton said that the Network and the larger Anglican Communion offers a
context in which this can be worked out. "Perhaps we have to start with a
of communions. So let us join hands to keep the Biblical and Apostolic unity
we already have."


Sunday, June 27, 2004
The Third Sunday after Trinity

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom though hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saturday, June 26, 2004
Press Release: The Anglican Communion in Canada.
Anglican Bishop Attempts to Evict Orthodox Congregations

The Anglican parish congregations of Christ the Redeemer Anglican
Church, Pender Harbour (formerly St. Andrew's) and St. Simon's, Deep
Cove received notices threatening eviction from the Rt. Rev. Michael
Ingham, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. Bishop Ingham
told the leadership of these churches that, unless they "reconsider the
actions" taken, they are "to seek alternate worship space for those whom
you lead." A third congregation, Richmond Emmanuel Church, (formerly
Emmanuel Church, Richmond) received a "Notice of Closure" threat.
Earlier in the Spring, the leadership of all three churches, in response
to the actions of the Bishop and Diocese contrary to Holy Scripture, and
with the unanimous support of their congregations, ended their
relationships with the Diocese and Bishop. In letters dated March 29,
2004, the Priests and Wardens of these parishes said, "Therefore, and
regrettably, as of this date, your services as our Bishop are no longer
required and our relationship with you and with the Diocese of New
Westminster is hereby severed. We are in a state of broken

Two congregations (St. Simon's and Pender Harbour) who bought and paid
for their church land and buildings have claimed ownership of their
respective properties and resources. The Pender Harbour congregation
told Bishop Ingham that..."Given that the trust relationship between the
people of the Parish of St. Andrew's, Pender Harbour, (now Christ The
Redeemer Anglican Church, Pender Harbour) and the Bishop and the Diocese
of New Westminster has been broken by the actions of the Diocese and
Bishop, and given that the land, church building and resources have been
acquired, built and maintained wholly by the Anglican constituency of
this community, it is our congregation's intention to retain the
beneficial ownership of the said properties, buildings and resources for
present and future orthodox Anglican ministry in this locale." The
congregation at St. Simon's made a similar decision.

In the June 23rd letter Bishop Ingham claims that, "Parishioners may
choose to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and worship elsewhere, but
a Parish may not "leave" a Diocese nor declare that it is no longer part
of the Anglican Church of Canada." He has made this claim before in
demanding compliance with unorthodox positions he has taken. However,
never before have three entire congregations chosen to break communion
with their Diocese and Bishop, and be threatened with eviction for doing
so. It is without precedent in Canadian Anglican history.

While the Diocese holds the property deed for Pender Harbour in trust
for the parish, it is the people of that congregation and the community
who have resourced, built and maintained the church and properties. St.
Simon's, a separate legal entity, owns its church property and building,
and the Diocese has no legal interest in it. It is the intention of
both these congregations to retain the places of worship and ministry
that they have worked so hard to build. Given that there are no
remaining parishioners in either locale, the threatened eviction action
of the Diocese and Bishop can only be seen as vindictive, punitive and
financially manipulative, revealing a priority of possessions over
people. Having been rejected by the Anglican constituency in these
communities, the Diocesan leadership is now attempting to financially
inhibit any continuing ministry by taking the congregations' buildings
and resources.

All three churches remain Anglican congregations as members of the
newly constituted Anglican Communion in Canada (ACiC), a missionary body
formed under the gracious sponsorship and legitimate Anglican authority
of the Archbishops of Rwanda, SE Asia, Congo, Kenya and Central Africa
in response to the present crisis of faith in the Anglican Church of
Canada. These congregations, along with three other British Columbia
congregations, presently continue their worship and community work under
the temporary adequate episcopal oversight of the Rt. Rev. Thomas
Johnston, an Anglican Mission in America Bishop. The ACiC is providing
a place of spiritual integrity and safety from which congregations
persecuted and threatened by their Diocesan government can continue
authentic Anglican ministry, and a platform from which new churches,
faithful to the true Anglican tradition, can be planted.

For further information please contact: the Rev Ed Hird+, ACiC Acting
Media Contact Person, 604-929-5350 or the Rev, Barclay Mayo, ACiC Acting
Coordinator, Mission Strategy at 604-883-1371.

Anglican Church of Canada
The Right Reverend Michael Ingham, bishop
#580 - 401 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5AI
Telephone (604) 684-6306
Fax (604) 684-7017
1-800-665-1105 (B.C. only)

St. Simon Anglican Church
Mr. Nathan Landberg, Mr. Will Fawcett &
The Reverend Edward Hird
1712 Cascade Court
North Vancouver, BC V7G 2H6

June 23, 2004

Dear Messrs. Landberg, Fawcett & Hird:

On March 31, 2004, a lawyer acting on your behalf, Mr. Robert Kuhn,
wrote to me enclosing your undated letter which recites certain actions
taken at a Vestry held on February 15, 2004. Subsequently, the,
Incumbent of the Parish, Mr. Hird, has resigned as a Priest of this
Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada. Acting presumably with your
consent, and as your spokesperson, he has made, public statements
declaring that your Congregation has left the Anglican Church of Canada
and considers themselves a Missionary Parish of the Diocese of Rwanda in
North America. Notwithstanding such actions, you and others continue to
occupy and worship in the Parish buildings.

I write to advise you of the Resolution approved by our Diocesan,
Council at its June meeting, held June 22. The Resolution is as

Whereas the Incumbent of the Parish of St. Simon,s Deep Cove has
declared himself no longer subject to the jurisdiction, license or
discipline of the Bishop of new Westminster, Anglica Church of Canada;

And whereas the Incumbent and others continue to occupy and
worship in the Parish buildings, notwithstanding such unilateral actions
on their part,-

Be it resolved that this Council ask the Bishop, in consultation with
the Regional Archdeacon, the Regional Dean and one or more of the legal
officers, together with such others as he may deem appropriate, to
consider the implementation of an alternative form of Organization
structure, pursuant to Canon 1503 (a) together with such corollary
actions as may be necessary, and to report back to the September meeting
of this Council as to such actions provided that notice of this
Resolution shall be given to the Incumbent and Wardens of the Parish by
the Bishop (or the Chancellor on his behalf) before such alternative
form of Organization structure is implemented.

You will see from the Resolution that the Council has asked me to
implement an alternative form of Organization structure for the Parish.
I have been asked also to take such actions as may be necessary for that
purpose. I will be away on summer vacation much of July. It is my
intention to begin the consultation process described in the Resolution
on my return. Meanwhile, I would invite you to seek out alternate
worship space for those whom you lead. I am asked by Council to act on
this matter and report back by the September meeting (to be held
September 14).

Parishioners may choose to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and
worship elsewhere, but a Parish may not "leave" a Diocese nor declare
that it is no longer part of the Anglican Church of Canada.

I would be pleased to meet with you on my return in the event that you
wish to reconsider the actions which you have taken. If you wish such a
meeting, would you please contact the Executive Archdeacon, the Ven. Ron
Harrison or the Commissary, the Very Reverend Peter Elliott, in my

Yours sincerely,

The Right Reverend Michael C. Ingham

Friday, June 25, 2004
Calls for a new North American Anglican Province

By David W. Virtue

BEDFORD, TX (6/24/2003)--The President of The Episcopal Church's largest
traditionalist organization says that "we have no faith of our own, but
only that which is Biblical, Evangelical, Catholic and Apostolic - the
revealed religion of historic Christianity."

Addressing delegates to the Forward in Faith 16th Annual Assembly in St.
Vincent's Cathedral, the Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer said that because of
the growing apostasy of the ECUSA, many are now moving (some kicking and
screaming) towards the historic faith as it is found in "sacred
Scripture and sacred tradition."

"We have come to the point (I believe), and the Global South leaders
have been the clearest about this, to state that the new morality being
advanced, celebrated, and codified by the revisionists is a salvation
issue. Portions of the Church are leading people to hell."

Moyer took a swipe at the ordination of women to the priesthood, saying
that women's ordination was also a salvation issue in light of our
Lord's teaching in St. John's gospel Chapter 6.

"Forward in Faith has consistently said there is no assurance of
sacramental validity when women (who have been purportedly ordained)
administer the sacraments of the Church Catholic of which we believe the
Anglican Communion is a branch."

"I know this sounds harsh and rigid to many, but the Church has no
authority to do what she has done, and the consequences are
theologically very serious and, I would say, of an eternal proportion."

Citing Archbishop John Hepworth, leader of the Traditional Anglican
Communion, Moyer said that while sanctioning homosexual practice is
heretical, women's ordination is schismatic, because it destroys the
ability of the Church to bring salvation to the human race.

Moyer said he rejoiced that "our position has been affirmed b y our
allies in North America who don't believe this, but who now respect our
position and know that it is held by the majority of Christians in all

Moyer pointed to the recent document published by Bishop John Rodgers a
leader in the Anglican Mission in America.

Moyer praised the establishment of the Anglican Communion Network, and
sad he was proud that FIFNA was among the six national Convocations.

"I will work for this Convocation to be a gathering spot for those
Catholic Anglicans within and outside the official Anglican Communion."

The Network has stated that "we will be known for our commitment to
evangelical faith and catholic order." The basis of the "catholic
order" commitment is the existence of the FIFNA Convocation and three
Network Diocese that uphold the Church's historic position for an all
male episcopate and priesthood.

Moyer called on the other Network bishops to welcome bishops into their
diocese who maintain this historic catholic position so that FIFNA
priests and parishes can freely honor FIFNA's Communion guidelines, and
also to encourage such priests to affiliate with the FIFNA Convocation.

Moyer praised the six North American Anglican entities that is making
common cause for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and said four of the six
entities are solidly committed to the historic position for Holy Orders.

The traditionalist priest said he rejoiced in the fact that the American
Anglican Council had come to the point that FIFNA did in 1997 that ECUSA
is irreformable and that New Province of North American Anglicanism
should be pursued.

"I rejoice in the study done by the AMIA that affirms the Church's
historic teaching for the episcopate and priesthood, but said the issue
of the diaconate needs "further study."

Moyer praised c loser ties w between FIFNA and the Traditional Anglican
Communion (TAC), the Anglican Province in America and the Reformed
Episcopal Church.

Moyer observed that a sign of the growing realignment was the recent
joint plan of the TAC and FIFAustralia to see Fr. David Chislett of the
Anglican Church in Australia be consecrated a suffragan bishop in
Archbishop John Hepworth and that FIFNA nominees for election as bishops
be consecrated as well.

Moyer blasted "diversity" and "inclusivity" notions promulgated by The
Episcopal Church saying, "When Christ comes again at the end of history,
he will not marry a harem."

Moyer said that his hope for Anglican Catholics was for reunion with the
Holy See and with orthodoxy. "I respectfully remind all of our SSC
bishops and priests that our Society is historically committed to this
reunion. ARCIC's 1999 "Gift of Authority" is to be our guide and goal."


(Following is the core text of Archbishop Drexel Gomez message to the
Lambeth Commission.)

By Archbishop Drexel Gomez

When someone is consecrated as a bishop two things have to occur in
order for a valid consecration to occur. There has to be a proper
outward form. That is to say, there has to be a laying on of hands with
prayer by the consecrating bishops. There also has to be a proper
intention. That is to say, there has to be the intention to consecrate
a bishop of the Catholic Church.

This means that the person who is being consecrated must be someone who
will be able to uphold the Apostolic teaching, act as a focus for unity
within the local church and link the local church to the wider Church of
which it is a part. If it is known in advance that someone would be
unable to fulfill these criteria then it would be impossible for those
consecrating to act with the intention that they should do so. As a
consequence the consecration would be invalid due to what is known as a
"defect of intention" and the person consecrated could not be regarded
as a bishop....

It follows that although the form of Canon Robinson's consecration was
canonical since he was appointed according to the constitution of the
Episcopal Church (USA) and consecrated by three bishops with the consent
of the Metropolitan, there must have been a defect of intention since
those consecrating could not have been acting with the reasonable
expectation that they were consecrating someone who could act as a
bishop of the Catholic Church. It follows that the consecration should
be regarded as invalid and that the see of New Hampshire should be
regarded as vacant.

Recognition that Canon Robinson was never properly consecrated suggests
a possible way forward out of the crisis currently facing the Anglican
Communion because of the actions of the Episcopal Church (USA).

First of all it means that Canon Robinson could not be invited to the
Lambeth Conference in 2008 since he is not a bishop and this would avoid
the problems that an invitation to him would raise.

Secondly, with the agreement of the other Primates of the Anglican
Communion, the Episcopal Church (USA) could be invited by the Archbishop
of Canterbury to fill the see of New Hampshire with an acceptable bishop
and to censure those bishops who were involved in his consecration on
the grounds that they took part in a consecration that they must have
known was invalid.

Failure to take this action within an agreed time frame could then be
regarded as a sign that the Episcopal Church (USA) no longer regarded
itself as part of the Anglican Communion. The reasons would be that the
Episcopal Church had taken action that it knew would lead to a breaking
of communion with other churches of the Communion and had refused to
rectify the situation when given the opportunity to do so, and that it
had refused to take notice of decisions agreed collectively by the
bishops of the Communion both at the Lambeth Conference 1998 and at
subsequent Primates' meetings....

If it was considered that the Episcopal Church (USA) had repudiated its
Anglican identity, the way would then be open for the Communion, through
the Primates' meeting, to ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to
re-establish the Anglican Church in the United States by appointing
bishops to form the nucleus of new church [sic] that was part of the

Evangelism and the Bible


June 25, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

788. Evangelism and the Bible
It is an observable fact of history, both past and
contemporary, that the degree of the church's commitment to
world evangelization is commensurate with the degree of its
conviction about the authority of the Bible. Whenever
Christians lose their confidence in the Bible, they also
lose their zeal for evangelism. Conversely, whenever they
are convinced about the Bible, then they are determined
about evangelism.

--From 'Scripture: The Light and Heat for Evangelism',
"Christianity Today" (6 February 1981).

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 328, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Ohio comes together in Common Cause

By Doc Loomis

June 20,2004

HUDSON, OH--Just one week prior to the announcement by several US
orthodox Anglican bodies that they would unite in a "common cause", a
meeting of representative rectors and church leaders of many of those
same bodies met in Hudson, OH, about 20 minutes south of Cleveland.

According to event coordinators, the "Church Plant Summit" was designed
to offer practical information and spiritual encouragement to several
new Ohio church plants as well as to members of neighboring ECUSA
parishes who are wrestling with their places in the fragmenting
Episcopal Church.

Among the topics covered at the one-day Summit were: Stewardship models,
Evangelism through multiplication, Case studies of new Ohio plants, A
review of the worldwide Communion, Matters of canon law, and the
formation of a new church planting organization called Great Lakes
Anglican Renewal.

The Rev. John Richardson of AMiA's St. Peter's, Birmingham was among the
featured speakers at the event which included representatives from
churches aligned with AMiA, ECUSA, ACN, The OEC, REC, and several
non-aligned church plants. Rev. Richardson also celebrated at powerful
mid-event Eucharist.

"Feeling the unquenchable fire of the Holy Spirit in the lives of our
various congregations, and seeing clearly that the renewal in this
country will come in large part through evangelism in church planting,
we felt led to bring these disparate groups together in this special
way. And based on our mutual affirmations of what God accomplished on
this day, we will be doing it again," said event coordinator Rev. Doc
Loomis of the Hudson Anglican Fellowship, one of the new Ohio plants.

Loomis also hopes to duplicate this type of event in other parts of the
country in the very near future. "This day was not so much a 'Place to
Stand', but a 'Way to Stand' event. Learning to weild the 'sword of the
Spirit' is a powerful and necessary teaching for us all at his critical

"After reading the statement signed by the leaders of several of these
same orthodox bodies last week, we are more encouraged than ever that we
are on the right track," Loomis continued. "These kinds of unifying
movements of the Holy Spirit may have their vision in the hearts of our
leaders, but they take on the hands and feet of those of us at the grass
roots level. It's up to us at the congregational level to yoke together
with Christ and with each other to help this work."

Great Lakes Anglican Renewal is an independent church planting network
specializing in "transplanting" existing ECUSA churches and helping them
grow as Anglican bodies preparing for realignment within the larger
Communion. GLAR is currently working with churches in Ohio, and four
additional states nationwide.

Doc Loomis, is the rector of the Hudson Anglican Fellowship. He is also
director of Great Lakes Anglican Renewal a consortium of orthodox
parishes in northern Ohio.



By Cynthia P. Brust

June 22, 2004

The Lambeth Commission, meeting June 14 – 18, 2004 at Kanuga
Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC, heard strongly divergent
viewpoints during their session on Tuesday, June 15.

A team of five individuals representing the Anglican Communion Network
and other mainstream Anglican voices within ECUSA offered testimony
about chaos and disarray within the Episcopal Church and recommended
specific action.

The Rt. Rev. Robert M. Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion
Network; the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Parish, Fairfax,
Virginia; Diane Knippers, President of the Institute on Religion and
Democracy; Mr. Hugo Blankingship, legal advisor to the American Anglican
Council; and Dr. Michael Howell, alternate deputy to General Convention
2003, presented remarks and participated in a question and answer

ECUSA made a similar presentation and was represented by the Most Rev.
Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop; the Very Rev. George Werner, President
of the House of Deputies; Mr. David Booth Beers, Chancellor of the
Episcopal Church USA; Mrs. Barbara Braver, Assistant to the Presiding
Bishop for Communications; the Rt. Rev. Arthur Williams, former
Vice-President of the House of Bishops; and the Rt. Rev. Charles
Jenkins, President of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice.

"I am grateful to the Lambeth Commission for their invitation to present
our grave concerns and recommendations," said Bishop Duncan, ACN
Moderator. "We were given a fair hearing on a par with ECUSA. The
Commission clearly understands that the actions of the Episcopal Church
have created chaos within ECUSA as well as the Anglican Communion."

"Archbishop Eames made it clear that the principal issue the Commission
was assigned to address was how the Anglican Communion could re-shape
its life in light of a Province (the Episcopal Church in the United
States) that has rejected the clear counsel and stated teaching of the
Communion. The secondary issue the Commission struggles with –
though not its stated assignment – is how deeply it is appropriate
to enter into resolutions of the internal dispute within this Province,"
he added.

In addressing a way forward, Bishop Duncan outlined six specific
recommendations for consideration by the Commission: Acknowledge that
the schism ACN describes has occurred; observe that the minority in
North America is at one with the majority of the Communion and with the
undivided voice of evangelical and catholic Christianity; implore that
the minority not be forced to submit to the aggressive and
uncompromising innovators who insist, under plans like delegated
episcopal pastoral oversight, that the endpoint is "reconciliation"
[i.e., "submission"]; ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to give immediate
protection and provide structural relief to that minority; recommend
some form of discipline of ECUSA sufficient to return it to recognizable
Anglicanism; and propose some core covenant or inter-Anglican code of
canon law establishing broad limits to innovations against received
Faith and Order, for consideration and adoption by any province desiring
full membership in the Communion.

Other presenters noted dissonance in the Episcopal Church including
issues involving breach of trust on the part of ECUSA, a sense of
betrayal on the parish level and negative ecumenical ramifications. In
addition, speakers addressed the untenable argument that advocacy for
homosexual behavior is comparable to civil rights issues.

Speakers also shared their alarm over survey results showing that
episcopal teens were less likely to believe in God than average American
teens. In addition, they explained that the Church must counter, not
accommodate, many North American cultural trends regarding sexuality and

"The Commission emphasized that their primary focus is to look to the
future of the Anglican Communion, and we pledged to do our part to help
the Communion move forward," Bishop Duncan continued. "We remain
committed to the rebirth of orthodox Anglicanism in North America, will
continue to faithfully pursue that goal and remain grateful for the
Commission’s encouragement." The Lambeth Commission is expected to
issue its report by late September or early October this year.

In deference to Lambeth Commission, the presentations will be released
to them for posting on the official website and may be accessed at

Thursday, June 24, 2004
New Bible translation
promotes fornication
Archbishop of Canterbury praises
version for 'extraordinary power'

Posted: June 24, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

A brand-new translation of the Bible – praised by Britain's archbishop of Canterbury, that nation’s senior Christian voice – flatly contradicts traditional core Christian beliefs on sex and morality.

Titled "Good as New," the new Bible is translated by former Baptist minister John Henson for the "One" organization, to produce what the group calls a "new, fresh and adventurous" translation of the Christian scriptures.

The 104th archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams – leader of the Church of England – describes it is a book of "extraordinary power," but admitted many would be startled by its content.

"Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers and 'abusers of themselves with mankind'," says Ruth Gledhill, the London Times religious affairs correspondent, "the new version of his first letter to Corinth has St. Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long in case they get 'frustrated.'"

"The new version, which Dr. Williams says he hopes will spread 'in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike', turns St. Paul's strictures against fornication on their head," adds the Times.

The One organization that produced the new Bible translation is dedicated to "establish[ing] peace, justice, dignity and rights for all." It is also focused on "sustainable use of the earth's resources," challenging "oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination" as well as accepting "one another, valuing their diversity and experience."

According to Ekklesia, a London-based "theological think tank" that supports the "One" translation:

The translation is pioneering in its accessibility, and changes the original Greek and Hebrew nomenclature into modern nicknames. St. Peter becomes "Rocky," Mary Magdalene becomes "Maggie," Aaron becomes "Ron," Andronicus becomes "Andy" and Barabbas becomes "Barry."
In keeping with the times, translator Henson deftly translates "demon possession" as "mental illness" and "Son of Man," the expression Jesus frequently used to describe himself, as "the Complete Person." In addition, parables are rendered as "riddles," baptize is to "dip" in water, salvation becomes "healing" or "completeness" and Heaven becomes "the world beyond time and space."

Here's how Williams, the top Anglican archbishop, describes the new Bible: "Instead of being taken into a specialized religious frame of reference – as happens even with the most conscientious of formal modern translations – and being given a gospel addressed to specialized concerns … we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshipping that is fully earthed, recognizably about our humanity."

In addition, notes Ekklesia, the archbishop praises Henson's translation for eliminating "the stale, the technical, the unconsciously exclusive words and policies" in other translations.

Here, according to the London Times, are a few sample passages:

Mark 1:4

Authorized version: "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

New: "John, nicknamed 'The Dipper,' was 'The Voice.' He was in the desert, inviting people to be dipped, to show they were determined to change their ways and wanted to be forgiven."

Mark 1:10-11

Authorized version: "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from the heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

New: "As he was climbing up the bank again, the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. At the same time a pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God's spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, 'That's my boy! You're doing fine!'"

Matthew 23:25

Authorized version: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"

New version: "Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!"

Matthew 26:69-70

Authorized version: "Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, 'Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.' But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest."

New: "Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: 'Haven't I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?" Rocky shook his head and said: 'I don't know what the hell you're talking about!'"

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

KJV: "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."

New: "Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offences. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner."

1 Corinthians 7:8-7

KJV: "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn."

New: "If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated."

Saint John Baptist's Day

ALMIGHTY God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of they Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
The Second Sunday after Trinity

O LORD, who never failest to help and govern them who thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Network announces common cause with others in Anglican

June 17, 2004

For Immediate Release

June 17, 2004

Cynthia P. Brust


200,000 come together in new alliance

The Anglican Communion Network (ACN) announced today
an unprecedented alliance of six groups in the
Anglican tradition. The groups, all based in the U.S.
have committed to a “common cause” under the
chairmanship of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, ACN
Moderator. In a letter to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, leaders of the Reformed Episcopal Church
(REC), the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA), Forward
in Faith North American (FiFNA), the Anglican Province
in America (APA) and the American Anglican Council
(AAC) pledged “to make common cause for the gospel of
Jesus Christ and common cause for a united, missionary
and orthodox Anglicanism in North America.” As a
whole, the groups represent or provide pastoral
oversight for approximately 200,000 Christians in the
Anglican tradition.

Calling divisions among orthodox anglicans in North
America “scandalous”, the letter goes on to state that
the signatories clearly committed to cooperation
through “additional steps as will help all observers
to recognize that a new day is dawning.”

“To see orthodox Christians in the Anglican Tradition
move from competition and divisiveness to cooperation
signifies a new season in the life of the Church,”
Bishop Duncan said. “This is not a declaration of
organic unity – far from it – but it is a proclamation
that we can function as allies in the common cause of
Jesus Christ,” he added.

The Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican
Province in America had been engaged in ecumenical
dialogue with the Episcopal Church for years, but
actions of ECUSA’s General Convention 2003 halted such
efforts. Both welcomed the opportunity to join the
common cause initiative undertaken by the Anglican
Communion Network.

“The events of history have resulted in separations
among those who claim the same Anglican heritage. The
circumstances of the present compel us to find ways of
reestablishing and rebuilding relationships among all
those in the Anglican world who remain steadfast in
holding ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’,"
said the Rt. Rev. Leonard W. Riches, REC Presiding
Bishop. “We share a common heritage with our orthodox
brethren in the Episcopal Church and pledge our
support in building unity among faithful Anglicans,”
said the Rt. Rev. Walter Grundorf, Presiding Bishop of
the APA.

Leaders of the various anglican groups pointed to the
growing crisis within ECUSA and the importance of
working cooperatively for creative solutions to
fulfill the mission of the Church. "Even as we watch
with some sadness the painful yet necessary
realignment in the Anglican Communion, I am encouraged
by the willingness of a growing number of orthodox
groups and voices to work together and to shape a new
Anglican witness for the 21st Century," noted the Rt.
Rev. Charles Murphy III, Chairman of the Anglican
Mission in America.

“The Holy Spirit is uniting Biblically-centered
Anglican jurisdictions and organizations for the
common cause and integrity of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ; and for the necessary re-alignment of the
Church,” the Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer, FiFNA President.
“The crisis of faith and authority in this Episcopal
Church that cripples, undermines and damages the
witness of the Anglican Communion in North America has
impelled us as leaders to embrace and uphold each
other in unity of spirit and action. We have
prayerfully committed ourselves to each other in this
new relationship for the maintenance and growth of our
Anglican heritage for our children and our children’s

The American Anglican Council, which, with other
orthodox groups in ECUSA, assisted in organizing the
Anglican Communion Network and serves as its interim
Secretariat, considers this a key alliance. “We have
maintained, since the debacle of General Convention
2003, that realignment in North America is a
necessity,” said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, AAC
President. “Our common cause effort with these other
Christian communities increases our numbers, our
strength and our witness.”

The Anglican Communion Network is a growing ecclesial
structure that counts nine Episcopal Dioceses and
scores of individual Episcopal congregations as
affiliates. The affiliated dioceses provide pastoral
oversight for approximately 140,000 communicants in
595 local congregations. The scores of individual
Anglican Communion Network parishes account for
thousands more. Approximately 14,000 communicants
worship in the 137 churches of the Reformed Episcopal
Church. The Anglican Province of America includes 55
congregations in the United States with some 5,000
members as well as a further 15,000 members overseas.
The Anglican Mission in America counts 65 member
congregations and numerous church plants where some
15,000 Anglican Christians worship. Though many in
Forward in Faith North America and the American
Anglican Council are also members of a
Network-affiliated diocese or parish, both have
memberships that number in the tens of thousands.

Text of letter to Archbishop Williams
6th June, A.D. 2004
Trinity Sunday

The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace

Dear Archbishop Williams,
Grace and peace from God the Father and from our Lord
Jesus Christ.

Much has been made of the divisions among the orthodox
here in North America. The divisions are, in fact,
scandalous and we recognize that we must do everything
we can to bring them to an end.

We write to you as leaders of key Anglican movements
in North America. We write to you in cooperation with
and under the chairmanship of Bishop Bob Duncan,
Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion
Dioceses and Parishes.

This letter is a first step in signifying our
commitment to make common cause for the gospel of
Jesus Christ and common cause for a united, missionary
and orthodox Anglicanism in North America. While
little trumpeted, there are already numerous specifics
of cooperation among us. Our intention is to take
such additional steps as will help all observers to
recognize that a new day is dawning among us.

As we seek to do our part, please be assured of our
prayers for you as you strive to give leadership at
this extraordinary moment in the history of the
Christian Church and of the Anglican Communion.

Faithfully in Christ,

Robert Wm. Duncan, Moderator, Network of Anglican
Communion Dioceses and Parishes

Leonard W. Riches, Presiding Bishop, Reformed
Episcopal Church

Charles H. Murphy III, Bishop Chairman, Anglican
Mission in America

David L. Moyer, President, Forward in Faith North

Walter H. Grundorff, Presiding Bishop, Anglican
Province of America

David C. Anderson, President, American Anglican

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A Parent’s Prerogative
When it comes to a daughter’s abortion, parents have a right to be involved.

By Pia de Solenni
The National Review

Two weeks ago, during a Senate Judiciary hearing on the Child Custody
Protection Act (CCPA), Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, an Episcopal
priest, testified on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She explained:

I recall vividly a day when I left my home near Cambridge,
Massachusetts, and drove to one of the economically challenged cities to
the north of me to pick up a fifteen-year-old girl and drive her to
Boston for an 8 a.m. appointment for an abortion. I didn't know the girl
— I knew her school nurse. The nurse had called me a few days earlier to
see if I knew where she might find money to give the girl for bus fare
to and cab fare home from the hospital. I was stunned — a
fifteen-year-old girl was going to have to get up at the crack of dawn
and take multiple buses to the hospital alone?

In Ragsdale's mind, apparently, riding the bus is more worthy of anxiety
than having an abortion. Yet she testified immediately after Crystal
Lane and her mother, Joyce Farley, who related that when Crystal was
just 13, she was taken out of state for an abortion by the mother of her
19-year-old assailant. Joyce didn't know about the abortion until
Crystal developed severe complications that required hospitalization.

It wasn't a bus that put her in the hospital.

The CCPA would make it illegal for someone to transport a minor out of
state for an abortion without parental consent. It makes an exception
for judicial bypass in particular cases when a parent is not available
to give consent. To date, 44 states have some form of laws requiring
parental consent for a minor's abortion. But unfortunately, due to
constitutional infirmities (state or federal) and clauses allowing
abortion providers to determine when parental consent is not required,
only 26 of those states have actual working consent laws.

In Crystal's case, parental consent would have meant the difference
between the life and death of her unborn child. It would have meant
maintaining her own health. It might also have meant stopping her
assailant sooner — before he could go on to other victims.

Ragsdale explained in her testimony that during the drive with the
15-year-old girl she'd never met before, the teenager indicated that her
pregnancy had been the result of coerced sex. Yet Ragsdale makes no
mention of any type of follow-up in this matter. Coerced sex, whether
rape or date rape, should never be taken lightly or ignored. In fact,
most states have mandatory reporting laws for any teacher or counselor
who learns of any possible sexual abuse of a minor.

Ragsdale doesn't tell us when this trip took place. Since she's given
the same testimony several times in recent years, perhaps we can presume
that it occurred before Massachusetts required mandatory reporting for
clergy as well.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Alab.), presiding at the hearing, asked
Ragsdale whether she'd followed up with the girl. Ragsdale vaguely
indicated that she might have been in touch with her once or twice. No
mention was made of legal action against the young man who allegedly
forced this girl to have sex.

Professor Teresa Stanton Collett of the University of St. Thomas School
of Law was to have testified prior to Lane, Farley, and Ragsdale at the
same hearing. But the panels were switched to accommodate the Senate
schedule, and when she did at last speak, the timing couldn't have been
better. After anecdotal testimony from both sides indicated that sexual
coercion was a factor in an underage pregnancy, Collett provided data to
confirm the trend of young women being exploited by older men.

Various studies have indicated that almost two-thirds of adolescent
mothers have sexual partners older than 20. More children of minors are
fathered by older men than by men under the age of18. In a survey of
1500 unmarried minors who had had abortions, 89 percent said that the
boyfriend was involved in deciding or arranging the abortion. Taken as a
whole, as Collett suggests, the data indicates that a number of young
girls who have abortions are encouraged by partners who could face
statutory-rape charges. Getting rid of the pregnancy allows these men to
destroy public evidence of their crime.

Although Ragsdale indicated during the questioning that her experience
was actually a case of judicial bypass and therefore not relevant to the
CCPA, the grave absurdity of the situation cannot be ignored: Riding the
bus is dangerous, but an abortion is just a little "procedure" that
helps stymie the prosecution of a sex offender.

Many parents faced with the unexpected pregnancy of a teenage daughter
understandably have a difficult time accepting the situation. But that
doesn't mean they don't want to be involved or that they've forfeited
their rights as parents. Moreover, in the case of criminal behavior,
they will certainly want justice for their daughter. But secret
abortions deny them their right to be involved in her life.

And yet, when the abortion leaves physical or emotional damage — or both
— it'll be her parents who are responsible for care of their daughter,
not the Reverend Dr. Ragsdale.

Pia de Solenni is the director of life and women's issues at the Family
Research Council, Washington, D.C.


Special Report

By David W. Virtue

NEWTOWN, PA--The wardens and vestry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church has
written a letter to PA Bishop Charles Bennison asking that he not make
an episcopal visit on June 20 because it will cause "deep and
unnecessary spiritual distress."

In their letter to Bennison, they said the bishop's views have caused
"deep spiritual distress" because we cannot accept teachings he has
promulgated in person and in print, such as 'we wrote the Bible; we can
re-write the Bible.' 'He (Jesus) acknowledges his own sin. He knows
himself to be forgiven.'

Fr. Larry A. Snyder, rector of the 700-member traditionalist
congregation near Philadelphia, said that during a meeting in the
bishop's office, in April, Bennison said that Jesus was not the only
Messiah, nor the unique means of salvation for the world; and that each
of us becomes a Messiah.

"Your teachings are in conflict with the biblical message, and therefore
do not carry the power of the Gospel, nor present the faith and worship
of the Book of Common Prayer as expressing traditional Anglican theology
with its appeal to Scripture, the Creeds and the Councils of the
undivided Church. Although you have been elected to an apostolic office,
your teachings do not bear the authority of apostolic witness," wrote
the vestry.

The wardens and vestry said they had petitioned Bennison "many times to
authorize a traditionalist bishop to make official episcopal
visitations." Bennison rejected their pleas saying he had to come to
maintain the unity of the diocese.

The wardens then lit into the bishop saying; "Your response continues to
be closed to any modification for our spiritual needs, even to the
minimal offering of the House of Bishops program for Delegated Episcopal
Pastoral Authority (DEPO)."

In their letter they accused the bishop of having double standards
saying that while he was willing to go through the process, "there would
be no change of present diocesan (i.e. your) policy." They also
challenged the bishop saying that he promoted unity but it was a unity
outside "The Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church" which
clearly identifies that such agreement had to be in agreement with God's
Holy Word. "Without unity of faith, there can be no true unity," they said.

No members of the parish family will present themselves, they will seek
confirmation elsewhere. "Many will not receive communion because you
sound an uncertain trumpet in conflict with traditional Christian faith
and morals, and many will be present and praying for your return to the
faith." No one will receive the laying on of hands.

In a devastating blast at Bennison they wrote, "We fear that you have
denied the need for God's plan of salvation offered in the unique
ministry of Jesus, God incarnate, and faith in His atoning death, bodily
resurrection, and physical ascension. Therefore, we are concerned for
your eternal soul, and pray for your conversion."

The rector, wardens and vestry have prepared a 14-page indictment of
Bishop Bennison that includes failed reconciliation talks, broken
promises over the Parson's agreement for alternative episcopal oversight
and more, which they have sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr.
Rowan Williams, as well as to Frank Griswold, ECUSA's Presiding Bishop,
Irish Archbishop Robin Eames of The Lambeth/Eames Commission,
Archbishops Peter Akinola, (Nigeria); Drexel Gomez, (Nassau); Gregory
Venables, (Southern Cone); and US Bishop Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh).
Copies were also sent to the Rev. Glenn Matis, head of the Diocesan
Standing Committee and Canon Ellis Brust a leader in the American
Anglican Council.

NOTE: If you are not receiving this from VIRTUOSITY, the Anglican
Communion's largest biblically orthodox Episcopal/Anglican Online News
Service, then you may subscribe FREE by going to: Virtuosity's website has been accessed by more
than one million readers in 45 countries on six continents. This story
is copyrighted but may be forwarded electronically with reference to
VIRTUOSITY and the author. No changes are permitted in the text.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004


A local Episcopalian Church in Rochester will attempt to finalize an
Adequate Episcopal Oversight arrangement with V. Gene Robinson, the
elected gay bishop of New Hampshire, on June 23. The AEO would permit
an orthodox, scripturally-based bishop other than Robinson to oversee
the parish, without Robinson's involvement.

According to Jerry DeLemus, Senior Warden of Redeemer, the church has
previously met with the bishop to try and resolve their differences on
AEO, but have not been successful. Robinson has recently been quoted
as saying that he is not optimistic that he can approve the church's
position for an alternate bishop to supervise Redeemer. Robinson has
stipulated several requirements for AEO that the small church sees as
impossible to meet based on Holy Scripture.

The parish is encouraging regional orthodox believers from all
denominations to meet at the church at 7 PM on June 23rd for a candle
light prayer vigil.

Press Protocol for June 23rd 2004

The meeting will start at 7pm

1. We ask that everyone in attendance be prayerful, respectful,
as this is about our savior and Lord, and not about our own personal

2. Your Press credentials are needed to be on site or in the

3. The Press Officer will arrange for any interviews the press
would like to have with attendees and participants.

4. The full vestry will address the media after the meeting and
answer any questions you may have.

5. Please make sure that you understand the sensitive nature of
this matter, with

emotions running high for all as we try to come to a resolution that
will work for all.

6. Candles will be distributed for those participating in the
prayer vigil.

Thank you and God Bless you,

The Vestry of Redeemer

For further information, please contact Richard Ellwood, Press Officer
for the New England Anglican Communion Network, at 603-883-8430, or
Lisa Ball, Clerk of the Redeemer Vestry, at 603-332-0412.

Altar Call Evangelism

By Paul Alexander

As far as we can see from our little perch here in DC, the invitation/altar call method is still in use today. It's not nearly as prominent as it used to be, say, at the height of the Billy Graham Crusades. Some have quit calling people to walk the aisle and make a public decision for Christ because they think their theology implies that inviting people to respond to Christ is unnecessary. Others have quit calling people to come down front because they think everyone within earshot is already saved.

Still, there are many churches out there that sing the last stanza of Have Thine Own Way just one more time as they wait for the convicted sinner to step out of the pew and into a new relationship with Christ. But even though it is still somewhat popular, we think that the invitation system has done more harm than good among many evangelical churches. We do not implement an altar call in any service here at Capitol Hill Baptist, and we would discourage other churches from doing so as well. Yet we don’t refrain because we’re hyper-Calvinists or Universalists. So why disparage a time-honored tradition?

The altar call too easily confuses the physical act of "coming forward" (walking an aisle) with the spiritual act of "coming to Christ" (repentance and belief). People are urged to come forward as if that coming forward is the critical element in being converted. But what’s required for salvation isn’t walking an aisle. It’s repentance from sin and belief in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). Initial repentance and belief – conversion – can happen anywhere, in the pew or in the pub.

This confusion deceives people about their spiritual state. It encourages people to think that they have responded savingly to the gospel in their hearts just because they've come forward externally and prayed a prayer at an altar. But this isn't necessarily true. It simply isn't the case that just because someone is coming forward after the sermon, they are responding to the gospel in repentance and belief. Hebrews 6 warns that there are those who have not just come forward, but who have “once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come” who, notwithstanding these seemingly convincing proofs, do not enjoy “things that accompany salvation” (Heb 6:4-5, 9; for a historical treatment, see Iain Murray's Evangelicalism Divided [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000]). In other words, there is a type of true spiritual experience of the Holy Spirit, a real hearing of the word, and even an observation of the power of God, that is nevertheless not saving. Is this not also the point of the parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20)? External, emotional, and even temporary spiritual movement do not necessarily imply internal conversion.

This confusion often obscures the requirements of repentance and belief. This is often how people are deceived into thinking they are Christians when in fact they are not. Thousands of sermons have been preached that have failed to present repentance and belief (Mark 1:15) as the non-negotiable way of responding to the gospel savingly. Then people are told to come forward to "accept Jesus" (language found nowhere in the Bible), and are encouraged on that basis to feel assured of their salvation and even encouraged to join the membership of the local church, never being told that they must repent of their sins and believe in the gospel if they would be forgiven. And even if repentance and belief were preached in the sermon, often people coming forward are not notified that they – individually – must repent of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ – and must bear good and lasting fruit that confirms the genuineness of their initial profession (Matt 7:15-27; John 15:8, 16). They are simply encouraged to come forward and "make a decision for Christ" or "accept Jesus into your heart". These people are thus kindly but damningly deceived into thinking that they are saved because they came forward, prayed a prayer, and were received into the membership of a local church on the spot. No repentance, no belief, no confirming godliness – which adds up to no salvation.

This confusion encourages people to base their assurance on a one-time event. The aisle walked or prayer prayed becomes a false stone of remembrance they look back on to assure themselves despite their lack of growth or blatantly sinful lifestyle. Yet the Bible tells us to base our assurance not on a prayer prayed or an aisle walked in the increasingly distant past. It tells us to look at our present and increasing love for others (1John 4:8, 20), the present and increasing holiness of our lifestyles (Matt 7:15-27; Heb 12:14; 1John 3:7-8), and the present and increasing orthodoxy of our doctrine (Gal 1:6-9; 2Tim 4:3; 1John 4:2-3; 15).

This confusion brings false converts with false assurance into the church’s membership. This is terrible individually because the person thinks he is saved but is not. And it is terrible corporately because these false believers are welcomed as members, compromising the purity of the local church membership rolls and continuing to sin in ways that compromise the purity of the corporate witness of the local church in the community. The church is God's evangelism program (John 13:34-35). Welcoming unconverted members by the use of confusing evangelism methods is to give the camp over to the enemy, making evangelism that much harder.

The altar call makes conversion look like a work of man, when in fact it is a work of God. Repentance and belief are gracious gifts that God bestows supernaturally, not meritorious works that men perform by walking an aisle or praying a prayer (Acts 11:18; Eph 2:8-9; 2Peter 1:1).

The altar call confuses people regarding sacred space. It makes the front of the church look like the only place to really "do business" with God. But a biblical theology of sacred space disallows such notions. The inside of a church building is no more sacred than any other place now that Jesus has risen and sent His Spirit into our hearts. Whereas God's presence used to be representatively localized in the tabernacle or temple in the Old Covenant, the new covenant brings God's presence into every believer's heart. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, not our church buildings (1Cor 3:16-17; 6:18-20; see esp. 2Cor 6:16).

The altar call confuses “coming forward” with baptism. It mistakes "coming forward" as the initial public profession of faith God requires. According to the Bible, baptism is the initial way in which we identify ourselves publicly with the people of God (Matt 28:18-20; Rom 6:1-6).

The altar call distracts Christians from the main point of the service. The main weekly gathering of the church is intended for the edification of believers (1Cor 14:3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 17, 26). [DC: Actually, this is just about the only part of this article that I would disagree with. The main weekly gathering of the church, as with all other worship, is primarily intended for the glorification of God. Edification is still vitally important, however.] But the effect of the altar call is often to encourage Christians to apply the message to unbelievers, not themselves. Instead of examining their own hearts, the altar call often leaves Christians examining the hearts of others – and coming out feeling better than they should about their own.

But does our reticence to extend altar calls imply that our evangelistic zeal has run dry? No. We should always be inviting unbelievers to a relationship with Christ, whether on Sunday morning at church or on Saturday afternoon in the neighborhood. Let’s not limit our evangelistic invitations to Sundays at noon! But we must be careful how we invite them so that both our message and the required response are clear.

When inviting people to a relationship with Christ in the context of a church gathering, we must first be careful to present the gospel clearly – God, man, Christ, response. God is our holy Creator and righteous Judge. All people have sinned against him, both in Adam as our corporate representative, and in our own lives individually. That sin deserves eternal death – separation from God in Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die the death we deserved for our sin and reconcile us to Him. And He requires that we repent of our sins – turn away from them – and believe in Jesus Christ’s divine righteousness and substitutionary sacrifice. When we do – and only then – God credits us with Christ’s righteousness, and begins to bring our character into conformity with His holiness.

Once we’ve presented the gospel clearly, we need to make sure that no other response can be confused with the proper response of true, persevering repentance and belief. To do so, we may need to discontinue calling people to the altar, or even stop praying a sinner’s prayer with people since we never find Paul or Peter or Jesus doing so, or commanding us to do so. If our church situation is such that the pastor is unable to discontinue such practices without wreaking havoc on the unity of the church, then the least that should be done is for the pastor to explain publicly that coming forward and praying a prayer should not be confused with a saving response to the Gospel. Repentance and belief is the only saving response – whether or not an aisle is walked or a prayer is prayed.

Next, it would be wise to conduct individual membership interviews in which potential members, new converts or old, are asked to give a brief explanation of the gospel and the proper response to it, along with some confirming evidences of that repentance in a godly lifestyle over a period of time. This practice, while potentially intimidating, is worth it, because it will ensure that potential members have understood the gospel biblically, responded to it savingly, and evidenced their sincerity in a converted lifestyle. This carefulness will protect people from spiritual self-deception, preserve the purity of the local church’s membership, and will protect the purity of the local church’s witness in the community by refusing membership to those who have no gospel power to forsake their sin.

For Further Reading

If you'd like to read more about method in evangelism, go to Mark 5 on Evangelism at 9 Marks Ministries. For more on the invitation system, contact Christian Communicators Worldwide for their pamphlet entitled The Dangers of the Invitation System, by Jim Ehrhard, or read Iain Murray’s booklet entitled The Invitation System, published by Banner of Truth. For a historical treatment of evangelistic method and its role in the ecumenical movement over the last 50 years, read Iain Murray’s Evangelicalism Divided (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2000). If you are interested in the historical roots of the invitation system, read Iain Murray’s Revival and Revivalism (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1994).

'No-one can ...'


June 16, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

779. 'No-one can ...'
It is grievously mistaken to suggest that the purpose of
evangelism is to cajole sinners into doing what they can
perfectly well do if only they put their minds to it and
pull themselves together. This the Bible emphatically
denies. Consider these two statements: 'No one can say
"Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit' (1 Cor. 12:3).
'No one can come to me unless the Father ... draws him'
(Jn. 6:44). We need to hear much more in the church of
this 'no-one can', this natural inability of men to believe
in Christ or to come to Christ. Only the Spirit can reveal
Christ to men; only the Father can draw men to Christ. And
without this double work of the Father and the Spirit no-
one can reach the Son. It is quite true that Jesus also
said 'you are not willing to come to me that you may have
life' (Jn. 5:40, lit.), and that the human mind finds it
impossible neatly to resolve the tension between this
'cannot' and this 'will not'. But both are true, and man's
refusal to come does not cancel out his inability without
grace to do so.

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1967), p. 113.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", pp. 324-325, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Keeping our distance


June 15, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

778. Keeping our distance
Close contact with people involves an uncomfortable
exposure of ourselves to them. It is much easier, in both
fellowship and witness, to keep our distance. We are more
likely to win the admiration of other people if we do. It
is only at close quarters that idols are seen to have feet
of clay. Are we willing to let people come close enough to
us to find our what we are really like and to know us as we
really are? True witness, born of friendship, requires a
great degree of holiness in us as well as love. The nearer
we get to people the harder it is to speak for Christ. Is
not this the reason why the hardest people of all to whom
to witness are members of our own family? They know us too

--From "Motives and Methods in Evangelism" (London: IVF,
1962), p. 16.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 324, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Monday, June 14, 2004
Meeting for Orthodox ECUSAans in Upper South Carolina

Sanctuary, a company of orthodox Episcopalians in the Diocese of Upper South
Carolina, is hosting a blockbuster of an event on Saturday, August 28, from 9
a.m. to 6 p.m. for other Episcopalians of like mind.

This will be a day of insightful talks, networking, discussion, connecting
with others and, of course, lunch!

Date: Saturday, August 28
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Greenville, SC
Cost: $25 -- includes lunch!
To register, call 864.627.5001, x 2, or email

Among other speakers will be our keynoter, Diane Knippers, speaker at the
original Plano conference & President, Institute on Religion and Democracy, a
Washington think-tank working for the renewal of mainline denominations.

This will be a day of equipping, encouraging, learning, and connecting with
others of like mind who are struggling as Episcopalians. We hope that it
will also be a day of hope.

For more information about Sanctuary, go to
Chane's Same-Sex Ceremony Prompts Protests, Prayer

By Robert England

The Christian Challenge

June 12, 2004

GENN DALE, Maryland -- Bishop John Chane's blessing here late this
afternoon of a same-sex relationship between the rector of St. George's
Episcopal Church and his long-time sexual partner prompted a protest across
the street from the church and a prayer service nine miles away in

Bishop Chane blessed the homosexual union of Fr. Michael Hopkins and John
Bradley at St. George's in a ceremony closed to outsiders and the media.

The blessing reportedly followed a new liturgy under development in the
diocese, but one which has not yet been formally adopted at diocesan

Bishop Chane sent copies of the proposed new liturgy to priests in his
diocese earlier this week, asking for comments.

Crosses Draped in Black

About a half hour ahead of the service, a group of 9 Episcopalians stood
silently across the street from St. George's, holding up several crosses
draped with black cloth. Each of the crosses were about 2 1/2 feet tall.

The group consisted of 8 parishioners from across the diocese in parishes
from Christ Church, Georgetown in Washington to All Faith parish in
Charlotte Hall. They were accompanied by a priest, Fr. Ted Lewis, who has
been resident in the diocese for more than 40 years.

In holding a cross draped in black, Fr. Lewis said the protestors took
their cue from a traditional Good Friday practice.

"We felt that the ceremony taking place was obscuring Christ, just as
Christ is obscured on Good Friday," said Fr. Lewis.

The protestors said they did not represent any organized group, but decided
to devise a protest after reading about the same-sex ceremony in a story in
the Washington Post.

"We came up with the idea of a cross draped in black as a way of expressing
our views," explained Bill Boniface, a parishioner of St. Thomas Croom, who
noted that he was present as an individual and not as a representative of
his parish.

Boniface said the protestors felt that crosses draped in black would be a
more reverential and dignified form of protest than holding signs.

As Bishop Chane's car passed the protestors on its way to the parking lot
down the street from the church, he appeared to be visibly startled at the
sight of the protest.

The views of the protestors in Glenn Dale stand in stark contrast to the
views of Bishop Chane reported in the May 31 edition of the Washington

Same-sex unions, Bishop Chane is quoted as saying, are "holy and deserved
to be blessed, deserved to be held up by the community and they deserve to
be called what they are: sacred."

Both the protestors in Glenn Dale and people attending the service in
Bladensburg took exception to Bishop Chane's claims. "It's not holy. It's
unholy," said Gary Schenck of St. Luke's.

Fr. Lewis, in an interview, stated that the blessing service presented a
fundamental problem for Christians because it mistakenly elevated
experience above Scripture and tradition.

"As a result, the Episcopal Church has cut itself off from its moorings,
leaving it adrift in the wilderness of secular culture," Fr. Lewis said.

Fr. Lewis also suggested that those in the Episcopal Church who support
same-sex blessings were not, in fact, doing a good deed for homosexuals.

"What they are offering homosexuals is not bread, but a stone," Fr. Lewis
said. The church is offering "something which does not have the power of
salvation in it and is not going to remedy their condition."

Defiance of the Anglican Communion?

In interviews, protestors raised concerns that the timing of blessing may
have been chosen to make a defiant statement to the Anglican Communion.

"It is obvious that the concerns of the Anglican Communion and the voice of
those of us who hold to the apostolic, Biblical faith and practice of
Christianity as accepted for 2,000 years have become muted by an agenda
that will proceed at any cost," stated Wes Courtney of Christ Church in
Accokeek, Maryland, in a statement released by one of the protestors to the

Courtney, who had planned to attend, was out of town on business and unable
to be present. Chuck Claggett, also a parishioner from Christ Church,
Accokeek, handed out Courtney's statement to the media.

The blessing in Glenn Dale occurs on the same day as a meeting in Kanuga,
N.C. of the Eames Commission, an international body set up by Archbishop of
Canterbury Rowan Williams to find a way to prevent schism in the Anglican
Communion over actions of the Episcopal Church in America.

Last year, the Episcopal Church's general convention sparked a crisis in
the Anglican Communion when it gave consent for the elevation of V. Gene
Robinson, a homosexual priest living with his sexual partner, to be Bishop
of New Hampshire, after strong warnings against approving Robinson from
Anglican Primates in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The convention also voted that dioceses could proceed on a local option to
adopt liturgies for same-sex blessings.

Prayer and Benediction

As the ceremony at St. George's got underway, another group of 40
Episcopalians gathered nine miles away for a time of prayerful silence,
followed by evening prayer and benediction at St. Luke's Episcopal Church
in Bladensburg.

"We held this service to draw the focus of the church back to Our Lord and
Savior," said Fr. Michael Heidt, rector of the St. Luke's.

The service in Bladensburg was held at the request of the American Anglican
Council of Washington, a local affiliate of the national American Anglican
Council, which urged Bishop Chane in a statement earlier this week not to
go forward with the blessing at a sensitive time for international Anglican

AACW, in a statement of protest released ahead of the ceremony, charged
that Bishop Chane's actions made it necessary for faithful Christians in
the diocese to call for alternative episcopal oversight.

"We believe a leader must cast his personal views aside, no matter how
strongly he believes his views to be correct, and do what is best for the
well being of his diocese and the greater church. This [Bishop Chane] has
not done," stated the AACW.

"When Bishop Chane determines 'it is the right thing to do' in blessing
these relationships, we ask, right for whom? Certainly it is not the right
thing to do for the well-being of the once proud Episcopal Church, now
ridiculed as the Gay Church," the AACW stated.

"It appears that faithful Christians in this diocese have few alternatives.
Perhaps one of those alternatives is a laity call for another shepherd --
for it is the right thing to do," the AACW stated.

At the service in Bladensburg, homilist Fr. Ted Logan, rector of Calvary
Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., called on the congregation to look to
themselves for repentance and then to a reaffirmation of the doctrines of
the church found in the Articles of Religion adopted by the Episcopal
Church in 1801 and included in the Book of Common Prayer.

Taking scripture as an indispensable guide for all Christians, Fr. Logan
said, "If it is not found in the Word of God, then God does not bless it."

Fr. Logan cited Article VI: "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary
to salvation, so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved
thereby, is not to be required of any man that is be an article of the
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

Most of the approximately 100 people who arrived to attend the ceremony at
St. George's walked down the sidewalk to the church without looking across
the street at the protestors.

The situation, while peaceful, was occasionally tense. Two police cars
arrived just before the protestors gathered. After the protestors appeared,
a few men posted in front of the church watched the protestors closely
until just before the service began.

While there were only four protestors at first, three more joined shortly
after they began. Later, another two protestors joined them.

After donning his mitre and crozier, Bishop Chane came outside and stood on
the walkway leading to the entrance ahead of the ceremony. He was
accompanied by a party of acolytes preparing to make a procession into the
church, including a few children.

Prior to the service, workers for a catering service were busily taking
items into the church on a wheeled cart from a truck parked directly in
front of the entrance to the church.

Shortly after 4 pm, all those standing outside went inside the church, and
the doors were closed.

There was a smattering of the media present -- Channel 13 from Baltimore,
the Washington Times, and a local Prince Georges County newspaper, as well
as the Washington Blade.

Let God be God


June 14, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

777. Let God be God
Our greatest need in evangelism today is the humility to
let God be God. Far from impoverishing our evangelism,
nothing else is so much calculated to enrich, deepen and
empower it.
Our motive must be concern for the glory of God, not the
glory of the church or our own glory.
Our message must be the gospel of God, as given by Christ
and his apostles, not the traditions of men or our own
Our manpower must be the church of God, and every member
of it, not a privileged few who want to retain evangelism
as their own prerogative.
Our dynamic must be the Spirit of God, not the power of
human personality, organization or eloquence.
Without these priorities we shall be silent when we ought
to be vocal.

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton,
1967), p. 117.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 324, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Lord Carey faces complaint over Royal revelations

By Rajeev Syal
(Filed: 13/06/2004)

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is to be the subject of a
formal complaint to the Church of England for revealing confidential
details of conversations with members of the Royal family.

In his autobiography, extracts of which appeared last week, Lord Carey
describes himself as "the Royal family's parish priest" and details private
meetings with Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Margaret and Camilla
Parker Bowles.

One lay member of the Church of England said yesterday that he would ask
the Bishop of Southwark, who officiates over Lord Carey's pastoral
responsibilities, to investigate his comments.

It is the first time that a senior clergyman has been accused of breaching
guidelines of confidentiality. If found to have broken the rules, Lord
Carey could face censure. The draft of the Guidelines for the Professional
Conduct of Clergy were drawn up in 2000 and 2001 when Lord Carey headed the
Church. He retired in 2002 and the guidelines were finally approved by
Synod last year.

The complainant, a London barrister, said that he would write to the Bishop
of Southwark tomorrow asking for an investigation. He said: "Carey has
forfeited the right to a licence to officiate by breaching the guidelines
as published by the Church of England last year - which applies to all
priests, irrespective of their status."

David Stancliffe, the Bishop of Salisbury, advised Lord Carey last night to
keep silent about his pastoral work. "This [Carey's book] has really cut
the ground from under the present Archbishop if he wants to establish a
role as pastor to the Royal Family," he said. "If a former church leader
cannot keep his counsel, people will ask can they trust their local priest?"

Andrew de Berry, a member of the clergy section of Amicus, the trade union,
said that he would support further examination of Lord Carey's
comments. "At worst, it is an illustration of betrayal. At best, it is a
sad example of 'bless and tell'," he said.

"It is simply not appropriate for the former Archbishop to articulate his
observations about confidential discussions he had with Diana. I think
Carey has been unwise in dragging up observations he may have had about
Diana when she was in absolute tumult. In the circumstances of marital
conflict, whoever it is, such discussions have to be treated with absolute

Lord Carey's autobiography, entitled Know The Truth, compared The Princess
of Wales to a fictional, schizophrenic monster when describing their
meetings following her divorce from Prince Charles.

"My last meetings with Diana following her divorce revealed a Princess who
was determined to go her own way and show the world what she was made of,"
wrote Lord Carey, 69. "The 'Jekyll and Hyde' sides to her character came
out strongly in her deep upset and bitterness about Charles and the divorce
which she claimed she never desired yet to which, sadly, she had
contributed greatly."

In another passage, Lord Carey described how an ailing Princess Margaret,
swollen by medicines, sought comfort from him as she lay ill in bed in
Kensington Palace.

Lord Carey also revealed that he met Mrs Parker Bowles after details of her
relationship with the Prince of Wales became public.

The Guidelines For The Professional Conduct of The Clergy state that
members of the clergy should not pass on details of private conversations
to third parties.

"What is said to clergy in confidence must be understood to be confidential
at all times. Information may only be divulged with the other parties'
informed consent," the guidelines read.

Neither Lord Carey nor the Bishop of Southwark would comment.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
The First Sunday after Trinity

O GOD, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without thee, grand us the help of thy grace, that in keeping of thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The honour due


June 13, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

776. The honour due
The greatest incentive in all evangelism is not the need of
human beings but the glory of God; not that they shall
receive salvation, but that they shall give to God the
honour that is due to his name, acknowledging and adoring
him forever.

--From "Favourite Psalms" (Milton Keynes: Word UK, 1988),
p. 69.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 324, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
Kinsolving on Chane at President Reagan's Funeral

An excerpt from Les Kinsolving (himself a former Episcopal priest), WCBM Radio, AM 680 broadcast:

"The brief but wonderfully poignant sermon, like the unforgettable opening
words of an Episcopal funeral: "I am the resurrection and the life saith the
Lord. He that believeth in me, though he were dead....yet shall he live. And
whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die." were given by the Rev
Honorable John Danforth, former US Senator from Missouri and just nominated to
be the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

This widely admired man who stood up so unforgettably in defending the
Supreme Court nomination of Justice Clarence Thomas, was asked ten years ago, to
officiate by Mrs. Reagan, reported this morning's Washington Post.

But the Post did not report that Mrs. Reagan ever asked for the opening
prayer at the front door, and the benediction, to be delivered by the Washington
Diocese's new bishop John Chane.

That apparently came as a price for using the Washington Cathedral. For
tomorrow in Bishop Chane's Maryland part of his diocese, he will undoubtedly
receive more TV coverage, as he engages in a service of blessing the sodomy of
of his clergy and his male lover.

The additional participants, Justice O'Connor, Rabbi Kirshner, Cardinal
McCracken and former Maryland Episcopal Bishop Ted Eastman brought no such
to the proceedings as did Bishop Chane."

Evangelism defined


June 12, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

775. Evangelism defined
Evangelism is neither to convert people, nor to win them,
nor to bring them to Christ, though this is indeed the
first goal of evangelism. Evangelism is to preach the

--From "Christian Mission in the Modern World" (London:
Falcon, 1975), p. 39.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 323, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

Evangelism defined


June 12, 2004
Authentic Christianity
From the writings of Dr. John R. W. Stott

The Call to Evangelize (cont'd.)

775. Evangelism defined
Evangelism is neither to convert people, nor to win them,
nor to bring them to Christ, though this is indeed the
first goal of evangelism. Evangelism is to preach the

--From "Christian Mission in the Modern World" (London:
Falcon, 1975), p. 39.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 323, by
permission of InterVarsity Press.

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