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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spitting in the wind


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth  in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".   John 3:16


What links Barak Obama, Tony Blair and David Cameron?
Answer: Their claim that "Islam is a religion of peace" here. They should have checked the ideology (here and here).

The latest Islamic atrocity in Turkey bears witness to a corrupt ideology which puts Allah above everyone and everything while his holy warriors happily slaughter anyone to gain their supposed place in paradise with 72 virgins:

Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

“Islam grew with blood . . . . The great prophet of Islam in one hand carried the Koran and in the other a sword . . . . Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.”


"In summary, there is no other conclusion except to admit that the overwhelming evidence shouts that killing is the big difference between Islam and all other religions". From 'Is It a Religion of Peace? Original Islam'.

Muslims base their faith on the Koran while Christians base theirs on the Bible which forms the basis of Britain's Christian values. Unlike the Bible which describes how Jesus shed his blood for all, the Koran dictates how believers must shed the blood of disbelievers and apostates to appease their god and ensure for themselves a life in paradise on the blood of innocents. Despite this glaring difference, equal weight is given to a religious ideology which condemns Christians and other disbelievers, regarded in Islam as "the worst possible crime", while ignoring the clear biblical warning about false prophets.

It is against this background that yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech which outlined plans for a new Extremism Bill to prevent radicalisation. He was spitting in the wind. British values are anathema to Islam and British democracy is used as a tool for Islam's advancement. Our policy of equal opportunities for all encourages its growth while misplaced political correctness and false charges of Islamophobia allow Islamic influence to spread unabated, the worst excesses having been highlighted in Birmingham and in Birmingham's schools, in Rotherham where the most vile abuse of children has taken place and in Tower Hamlets where people were fearful of speaking the truth resulting in corrupt elections. Much of this was allowed to take place because the British people have been conditioned not to speak up for fear of being classed as racist, prejudiced and Islamophobic while Islamists 'run riot'.

Meanwhile Christianity is ridiculed in a manner that would not be tolerated if there were any hint of criticism of a Muslim's faith. Note how Liberal Leader Tim Farron was sneered at for his Christian faith on the BBC's Today programme and on Sky News driven to declare that his personal faith "will not affect his political decisions and that he supports equality".

Not content with having a Muslim heading the BBC's Religion and Ethics department, Mr Cameron's solution is to promote more Muslims to positions of power and influence in Great Britain, apparently ignorant of the fact that as Islam increases in strength, the danger to non-Muslims increases simply for being disbelievers. According to the Pew Research Center, Muslims are the world’s fastest-growing religious group so they hardly need any help from the British Prime Minister.

Muslims can only accept Christian values if they become Christians. Islam recognises Jesus as a prophet along with Abraham and Moses but against all the evidence Muslims deny that Jesus died on the Cross. This is not only false teaching, it is clear deception resulting in millions of Muslims being condemned by their own religion. There is no virtue in pretending Islam is a religion of peace when all the evidence is to the contrary. That the majority of Muslims do not take up arms does not mean that Islam is a religion of peace. This notion was nicely shot down by Alexander Boot in his blog entry 'Pardon me, boy, who is the Chattanooga shooter?'

Muslims are constantly trying to convert non-believers to Islam but there is a reluctance to refute erroneous Islamic teaching explaining that one of their own prophets, Jesus, showed the way to eternal life before Muhammad was born. That is what Muslims need to know, not how they should integrate their mistaken beliefs into Western culture. Until leaders grasp that, they will continue spitting in the wind.

Postscript [24.07.2015]

More "Easy Meat":
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-07-24/you-get-passed-around-victims-of-horrifying-aylesbury-child-sex-ring-speak-out/

"...the word “Asian” was used in
order to stop people from realising that the vast majority of the
criminals were Muslims, and that the vast majority of the victims
were non-Muslim girls..." Full report here.

Postscript [25.07.2015]

Read also ‘Ee bah gum–there’s Sharia up ‘ere! by The Rev Dr Peter Mullen in his Blog 'All Things Considered'.

Postscript [27.07.2015]

Islamist “Justice”: Slow Painful Death for Christian Mother in Pakistan by Raymond Ibrahim in Muslim Persecution of Christians. Petition for Asia Bibi's release here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Basics





"We have created the conditions for full scale revisionism not just of order in the Church but our very understanding of revelation."

"How we speak of Jesus reveals something of our faithfulness or not to what God has revealed."

"What it is that makes the Church I would say is the passing on and the receiving and the passing on again of the Apostolic Teaching and the Apostolic Tradition."

"The legitimacy of what the teachers teach in fidelity to Scripture and Tradition does not depend on reception by the faithful...This has always been the case in the past."


Hat tip to TitusONENine for this Anglican TV video of Bishop Michael Nazir Ali speaking on "The Necessity of Unity in Truth for the Church’s Mission", at the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans, Fort Worth; also to Anglican Mainstream.

Recommended viewing if not seen already. A refreshing change from the personal pulpit politics of many Anglican Bishops today.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Statistics of Omission


Note: The image of the Archbishop of Wales is disproportionate to average Sunday attendance to ensure his visibility.
In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population) here


The video in my 24 June entry, + Richard outlines his survival strategy, gave some clues to the dismemberment of the Church in Wales as the bishops implement Abp Barry Morgan's strategy for their survival, ie, retain all the bishops with their expensive diocesan structures, get rid of paid parish clergy and fool the laity into running the ministry areas nobody wants apart from Barry and his bench sitters.

Despite all Dr Morgan's political posturing the secularised Church in Wales (CinW) is barely significant in Anglicanism representing less than 0.04% of the Communion. If he were to be represented in the above chart in proportion to the average number of people attending CinW services the Archbishop of Wales would be invisible. According to CinW published figures the average adult Sunday attendance in Wales is 31,048 (Table 1 here) out of a population of 3,063,456 (1%). With seven bishops supported that works out at a mere 4,435 attendees per bishop.

When it suits them the CinW hierarchy refer to other provinces such as in the Church of England as examples of good practice as they did in support of their women bishops legislation. Archdeacon Peggy Jackson referred to CofE proposals when she conned the CinW Governing Body into accepting the Jackson/Wigley amendment which gave Barry Morgan a free hand to do exactly as he planned. Having secured the vote to appoint women bishops, he made no alternative sacramental and pastoral provision in the CinW Code of Practice, contrary to proposals in the Church of England and his bench sitters went along with him.

Following the CinW example I have been looking at the Church of England's Statistics for Mission 2013. The population of Wales is about the same size as the population of the diocese of Chelmsford but with a greater average Sunday attendance. They manage with one diocesan and three assistant bishops. Alternatively, based on population density, Wales with 381 people per sq mile, is similar to the diocese of Lincoln. They manage with a diocesan bishop and one assistant.

In the Table below I have included the diocese of Oxford, occasionally referred to in this blog and said by some commentators to be Dr Morgan's favourite diocese. These three dioceses together have 11 bishops with an average 90,000 souls regularly attending Sunday services or 8,182 attendees per bishop, almost double the number the bishops in Wales have in their charge yet the number of dioceses and bishops appears to be the only area off limits in their 2020 Vision strategy. A strategy which is being implemented under the heading "Serving community, inspiring people, transforming church". Serving and inspiring, no; transforming the church, yes, but not in a manner recognised by the vast majority of the world's 80 million Anglicans of which Wales makes up a mere 0.039%. Yet Dr Morgan would have his Church members believe that it is he who holds the keys.

Diocese/ Population Pop Density Average Sunday Number Attendees
COUNTRY
per Sq Mile Attendance of bishops per bishop






Chelmsford 3,060,000 2,000 34,100 4 8,525
Lincoln 1,051,000 390 12,200 2 6,150
Oxford 2,313,000 1,040 43,700 5 8,740






WALES 3,063,456 381 31,048 7 4,435


Canterbury Ave. Sunday attendance  622,000
York             "           "           "            227,400

CinW            "           "           "              31,048

In Wales it has been not so much a case of Statistics For Mission but the consequences of omission. Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age".

Rather than "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you", the Church in Wales has become obsessed with a mission to reflect society, misusing the Bible in the process. Questions such as, What did Jesus say about women priests/homosexuality/gay marriage, etc, etc? are posed to provide the predictable answer, "Nothing", ignoring what has been commanded. A faith based on what wasn't said rather than what was said is doomed to fail. *

The same mistakes have been made in the Church of England, also in steep decline as they too follow the path set by the US Episcopal Church (TEC) but the rot has been more severe in the Church in Wales. Read the Rev Dr Peter Mullen's "The meaning of TEC" for his assessment: "those modernising more rapidly are also failing faster".

If Wales were a Church of England parish rather than a separate province the faithful would still have the benefit of alternative Episcopal oversight. But the bench of bishops seem determined only to feather their own nests at the expense of everyone else.

Clerics who have seen the light are already departing for the Church of England. Ideally the 2020 strategy would be for the province to return to the Church of England where honouring promises ameliorates the sins of omission. That would give all an equal chance of survival since equality is the name of the game.

* Postscript [12 July 2015]

A further example of what wasn't said from York Synod:

"Elliot Swattridge, who represents the Church of England Youth Council on the Synod, said: "When Jesus instituted the first celebration of the eucharist during the last supper his words were simple: 'Do this in remembrance of me’.
"In this characteristically simple statement he instructed the entire body of his disciples to participate in not only receipt but also the administration of communion.
"Note that Jesus did not state 'do this but never administer it unless you have been ordained'. Neither did he state 'do this but only of you are over 18 years of age'."

Therefore, children and worshippers who have not been confirmed should be allowed to administer the sacrament at Eucharist services! Story here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The journey's end but for whom?


It began here


became adapted here


and here


and now here:

Canon Jeremy Pemberton (right) and his husband, April 2014                               Photo BBC

Is this the crunch and if so for whom?

Canon Jeremy Pemberton was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because his 'marriage' was against the Church of England's teachings so he brought a discrimination case against his bishop giving the distinct impression that for some clerics sexual preference is more important than their priestly ministry. This is not equality, it is stupidity. A line needs to be drawn to avoid further haemorrhaging of Church members, something the ordination of women clearly failed to do.

Traditional Anglicanism in England and Wales has given way to self interest. Career choices, often second choices for middle-aged women, are represented as 'a calling' with what appears to be virtually automatic acceptance for female candidates while a young male candidate with traditional views about the ordination of women is rejected. That is discrimination. 

After equality, 'love' has become the in-word but it is also used as a euphemism for lust. Advocates correctly claim that Christ commanded that we should love one another but that was not given as a license to pursue every conceivable twist of the word. If it had been, it would not have taken 2,000 years for people to understand the Bible. 

Reaching a new low the House of Bishops of the  US Episcopal Church (TEC) wants to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed. - Read Anglican Curmudgeon's 'Bishops bless blasphemy' here and the Archbishop of Canterbury's reaction here

What happens in TEC has been used as a green light by revisionists to push for changes in the Anglican Church in England and Wales while ignoring the views of the wider Church. See "Pride Festivals Draw Liberal Clergy on Parade" (here) and "John Sentamu calls for harmony as Church of England rows over sexuality escalate" (here).

Same sex marriage has become the sticking point for many. The vote in Ireland and more recently by the Supreme Court in the US has turned tolerance and understanding into an absurdity. The Tory Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan warns, "Children who hold homophobic views [are] more likely to become extremists". Ms Morgan who is also Minister for Women and Equalities must be unaware that opponents of same sex marriage are branded homophobic simply because they hold to the traditional view that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Such views are not confined to the Conservative Party. Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat leadership contender has argued that children’s TV shows like Peppa Pig should feature gay characters. In line with fashionable thinking he said  "Our broadcasters must realise that sexuality is not, fundamentally, about who you want to have sex with – but who you are, and who you love", an open sesame if ever there was one. As Melanie McDonagh put it in The Spectator, "If love now rules supreme, should incest and polygamy also be legalised"?

Labour leader hopefuls also talk of equality confusing equality with sameness. Andy Burnham whose LGBT credentials had been questioned now says that "faith schools should be forced to teach about gay relationships", forgetting the transient nature of childhood feelings: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. A childhood crush is just that. Attempts to spread the gay agenda on TV and in our schools should be resisted, not supported.

These false views of equality should be seen for what they are, stupidity giving licence to lust masquerading as love. Again in the US, Diana Butler Bass, "an independent scholar and expert on U.S. religion" penned a piece for the Washington Post in which she reflected on Katharine Jefferts Schori’s tenure as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Regarded by many as a heretic there was nevertheless a glowing appreciation of the retiring Presiding Bishop which included a reference to innumerable indignities, "most noteworthy of which was a 2010 order by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that she not wear a mitre (the hat worn by Christian bishops to symbolize their spiritual authority) when preaching in an English cathedral". 

Predictably the facts were twisted. The other side of this incident can be read here. Jefferts Schori's called, "their canons about the ministry of clergy from overseas" nonsense and said, "It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre", much like her ministry.

Diana Butler Bass is a leading voice in Progressive Christianity in which Christ's new commandment to "love one another" has become an excuse for every excess, ignoring Christ's example "as I have loved you". That is, no women Apostles, no gay agenda, no same sex marriage.

One would have hoped, even expected, that when the Church is so obviously being used for political advantage to the detriment of the body of Christ, the successors to the Apostles would have something to say about it. To their shame, those who do are more often part of the problem supporting the latest fad rather than defending the faith.

Speaking at the discrimination case brought by Canon Pemberton against the Church, the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, described the Church of England's teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman as "a lousy definition". This created outrage drawing in the Archbishop of York. However, the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, "defended York Minster's support for a section of the community that frequently experiences discrimination and hostility" as she played the well worn victim card.

The 'victim card' has become an absurdity. The new victims are the very people who are accused of victimisation while the majority of bishops seek popularity by reflecting current trends in society rather than follow Christ's message: "Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me".

Meanwhile I see that the Venerable Ruth Worsley is to be the next Bishop of Taunton in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. On hearing the news she said: "I am surprised and amused to be chosen as the next Bishop of Taunton as I grew up in a non-conformist church where women held no roles of leadership". Par for the course in New Anglicanism!

Postscript [11 July 2015]

"Church of England hosts away-days and retreats in luxury stately homes in bid to break deadlock over homosexuality....the events would collectively cost £360,000". Story here.

 According to the Telegraph report, the Archbishop of Canterbury hopes that encouraging people to take part in frank, face-to-face discussions will help "break the deadlock over what has become one of the most toxic issues in the Church. A similar tactic led to breakthrough over the issue of women bishops which was finally agreed last year after decades of argument". 

What is there to talk about? Homosexuality is already recognised as a fact of life. Civil partnerships have been welcomed as a significant advance in human rights but the current movement to put homosexual relationships on a par with the institution of Holy Matrimony designed for the procreation of children is a step too far. That the Church of England, along with the Church in Wales, even discusses the issue illustrates the extent to which Anglicanism has lost its way in this country. And at such a cost when children are going hungry!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

+ Richard outlines his survival strategy



That is, a survival  strategy for the six diocesan bishops of the Church in Wales (CinW) whose membership can't stretch to 1% of the population of Wales and continues to shrink based on the CinW's own figures. 

From the 2013 Membership and Finances Report quoted in Highlights:
"The trend is down across the board. There is no set of figures which indicate a rise in physical numbers in any single category. There are no positive indicators—every field shows decline compared with previous years, and in some cases that decline is significant. Our core membership continues to fall year on year."

In senior manager positions implementing strategies for growth in a declining market the bishops are far more secure than they would be if considering the continuing need for six dioceses with six Bishops and an Ass Bishop, six Deans, numerous Archdeacons, etc, etc. Clearly top heavy but in management terms spot-on in mirroring society today which has become the primary aim of liberal Anglicanism

Bishop Pain explains that "as time has gone on we need to be more focused": There's lots of changes happening in the Church and in society and there are challenges which we are facing and I think any organisation needs to have a clear understanding about where it is going. The key message is to harness our resources...to develop ministry in new and exciting ways.

And here is the crunch, "but you need to have a plan for that. You need organisation. And you need resources for that. There are tensions I think between what parishes want and sometimes what the diocese needs and you need to hold all those together and that is what the plan is trying to do."
Without any hint of irony the bishop says that he would be very surprised if you didn't have any organisation which was working well that didn't have focused leadership. [My emphasis - Ed.]  Working well doesn't sit comfortably with the bishop of Bangor's comments when he introduced the Finance and Membership Report. He said, More money today is being spent on ministry than at any other time in the history of the Church in Wales. That means less on buildings, more on people. For a Church that wants to orientate itself towards mission, that is very, very good news. The bad news comes with membership.   

According to the bishop of Monmouth, because of the economic stringencies we are facing at the moment, we have to have a clear understanding of how we manage the money, so that we can have the right resources in the right place. This will mean cutting the number of clergy down but hopefully having good teams which will enable us to go forward in the future. 'Hopefully' being the operative word.

The Diocese of Monmouth's new strategy is headed: "Monmouth 2020: Becoming the people God calls us to be. The bishop says that the roots of the Church go back "hundreds and hundreds of years" but "plants go in different directions at times". He claims that the diocese is "going back to the roots of what the Church is about". But what "the Church is about" is not what the Church in Wales is about, or the Church of England for that matter. Plants which go off in different directions are often regarded as weeds to be plucked out or left to wilt after hoeing, a process already in evidence in England and Wales having spread from the US.

How much more deluded can our career focused bishops become? The "people God calls us to be" are those Anglicans who have remained true to the Catholic faith along with our brothers and sisters in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. 

What the Church in Wales fails to realise is that in departing from the Catholic faith they have set themselves apart from the Apostolic Church. The roots are in the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Any survival strategy which ignores that will protect only its senior strategy managers at the expense of their flock.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's a funny old world


Christina Rees CBE (Photo: Guardian)                 Bishop Anba Angaelos OBE (Photo: Cranmer)


Ebola scarcely warrants a mention in the media these days thanks to the selfless individuals who literally put their lives on the line in their fight to halt the spread of this highly infectious and generally fatal disease. The Queens Birthday Honours 2015 included a wide variety of people with carefully scaled awards. One of those in the news was a poorly paid Ebola nurse Will Pooley. He was awarded an MBE.

Contrast Will's lowly award for risking his life for the benefit of others with the higher accolades handed out over the years to over-paid footballers for kicking an inflated bladder around a large, grass covered spittoon in front of worshiping clones who clap and gesticulate in unison with hands held aloft, cheering or jeering as the mood takes them while chanting their local mantra, all in the name of sport!

There was less publicity for the Women and the Church (WATCH) starlet Christina Rees who bizarrely was awarded a CBE for "her services to the Church of England". How involvement in the campaign for women bishops is seen as a service to the Church of England is not explained but deluded as ever, Ms Rees said she was "thrilled" by the honour which to her shows the campaign was "recognised as a service for the whole Church, not just about women".

The "whole Church" includes the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and the majority of Anglicans who view her campaigning as a disservice to the Church which has resulted in a steep decline in Church attendance as the feminisation of the Church of England accelerates.

But do not despair says the Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and former NHS Chief Nurse, Dame Sarah Mullally, who was recently named as Bishop of Crediton: "Empty pews are not the end of the world" (here). Perhaps not but the end of the Church of England.

Again, contrast the CBE award to Christian Rees for "her services to the Church of England" with the lesser OBE awarded to Bishop Anba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, honoured for services to international "religious freedom", not something that WATCH is renowned for except on their own terms.

Meanwhile in Wales there was no honour for the Archbishop of the Church in Wales who like Ms Rees has used every device to secure the admission of women to the episcopate. But he has been invited to deliver a keynote speech exploring the "ethical dilemmas faced by decision-makers when investing billions on behalf of charities". Not know for his own charitable views towards anyone who disagrees with him, he has plenty of experience of how things can go downhill. It is interesting to note that charities for the advancement of religion account for about one fifth of all registered charities. One pound in six given to charity goes to religious charities (here).

Dr Morgan said, "How and where we invest our money can say a lot about us. If we believe in values such as justice, equality and respect for others we need to reflect that as much as possible in our investments – literally putting our money where our mouth is." It is thought unlikely that the Archbishop's discretionary funds will be referred to.

As Margaret Thatcher said at her last cabinet meeting after being ousted from office, "It's a funny old world". Not words a compliant bench of bishops is likely to hear.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Help make it happen


Swimmers hit the near freezing water at Blackroot Pool in Sutton Coldfield Credit: Express & Star

Whether braving the icy waters on Christmas Day,














Escaping the summer heat in China.                                                                  Credit: Telegraph

escaping the Summer heat,















Do you shower or bathe every day?                                                                   Credit: Guardian

taking a shower,

















How on earth can I use a Canadian toilet without splashing myself?                      Credit: Travel

or simply doing what comes naturally.

















Millions of people around the world do not have the luxury of choice. Dirty water and inadequate sanitation spreading disease which leads to the early death of over 1,400 children a day.













This is the reality for over 750 million people who live without safe water.

Two and a half billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation, one in three of the world's population.

Over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

WaterAid need our support to gather 100,000 signatures to get taps and toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030. Please help by signing their petition #MAKEITHAPPEN.

They are half-way there.