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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Christ the Redeemer mimics Muslim icon


Source: Twitter #Rio2016

My 'In tray' this morning contained a recommended tweet, #Rio2016. Above is the lead 'photo'.

'Christ the Redeemer' is, for some, "the ultimate religious symbol", for others, an "irresistible tourist attraction". Read about the construction of this modern wonder of the world here

As celebrity cults continue to be pumped out by the media with the BBC frequently taking the lead, questions have been asked about why the BBC 'ignores Olympian Usain Bolt's commitment to Christ': "Usain Bolt is a Bible-believing, God-honoring, Jesus-worshipping Christian. But not a whisper from the BBC; not a word of explanation of the real significance of these 'moments to himself.'"

By contrast Mo Fara's Muslim prayers on the track are a constant reminder of his faith before displaying his characteristic 'M' symbol on his head.

Many interpretations will be applied to the changed Rio image of Christ, all detracting from the primary image of Christ the Redeemer but few today will care if Christians are offended by it.

The Olympic movement strives to strengthen its ideals by condemning the Egyptian judo star who refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent after being beaten and there was widespread praise for the Olympic spirit when New Zealand and American runners helped each other during their race after collision.

If the BBC and the rest of the media displayed similar standards Christians would have less cause for concern.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales


"Be joyful and keep the faith!"                                                                                                                                   Source: Credo Cymru


"Credo Cymru [Forward in Faith Wales] is to host a conference in Cardiff on September 21 and 22 entitled 'That Nothing Be Lost - Fel Na Choller Dim'. This title was chosen in order to stress our hope that we may preserve the theological breadth (and depth!) of Anglicanism in Wales.

"Some thirty-five participants will take part; they include clergy and laity from Wales as well as seven members of the Church of England. The conference has been organised as a result of the decision of the Governing Body to authorise the consecration of women as bishops in the Church in Wales. The organising committee, which includes the Director of Forward in Faith, Dr Colin Podmore, has sought to bring together those who rejoice at this decision and those who are perturbed by it. Our aim is to see how much common ground there is between the two groups of Anglican Christians. The participants  will consider carefully what is required to ensure a place for people of differing convictions to feel secure and able to flourish within the Church in Wales and to hear how a similar intention is, even now, being worked out in our sister church in England.  To this end the bishops of St Asaph and Gloucester, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron and the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, will make important contributions to the discussions." Full details here.

Keeping the faith in Wales is not without obstacles when it comes to worship. To their credit there are male and female clergy who recognise the theological difficulties of members who are unable to accept the sacramental ministry of women. Arrangements are often made to avoid embarrassment to women clergy and laity by naming the celebrant in weekly notice sheets. That did not find favour with the Archbishop of Wales who stopped the practice at Llandaff Cathedral when he found time to take on the role of Dean. - Dr Morgan has since decided that the role of Archbishop is too onerous for one man (or woman) believing that three bishops are needed to run modern dioceses in Wales even though Wales as a Province has double the bishops per attendees than many English dioceses, see Statistics of Omission.

Contrary to the beliefs held by most Anglicans and members of the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Church in Wales followed the example of the US Episcopal Church and the Church of England, taking their own counsel to conclude that "the Church in Wales is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender", scripture and tradition being trumped by a misguided view of equality.

While the CofE made effective provision for members who "on grounds of theological conviction and conscience are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of women bishops or priests [but] continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion", the CinW decided in her wisdom to make no similar provision following the mean minded Jackson/Wigley amendment, only obstacles.

In these circumstances Credo Cymru and FiF are to be congratulated for their initiative. If the Welsh bishops remain unwilling to change their stance they will confirm their intention to kill off Anglicanism as a broad church in Wales.

The conference prayer:

Almighty God, Father of us all,
send your Holy Spirit to guide and renew all of us in our pilgrimage of faith.
Open our eyes to see your Spirit at work.
Bring healing where there is division,
bring hope where there is despair,
bring joy where there is sadness.
Help us to see how we can work together,
so that others may embrace Jesus as Lord and Saviour
within the family of your Church.
To Him be all honour and glory, now and until the end of time.  Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another farcical Church in Wales 'consultation'?


Abp Morgan hectoring Governing Body         Source: Church in Wales Highlights


A Church in Wales Press Release has details of another so-called consultation:
"The Church in Wales is taking a fresh look at the role and responsibilities of its most senior leader [archbishop] and people across Wales are being invited to make a contribution". 

Contributions have previously been requested from people across Wales in 'consultations' which have allowed the bench of bishops to cherry pick comments they found favourable before binning others which did not accord with their predetermined agenda.

Diocesan meetings were organised at considerable expense to discuss a Code of Practice designed to cater for faithful Anglicans who, on theological grounds, were unable to accept the ministry of women bishops. The wishes of the majority were ignored, see True to his word: "Over my dead body!". Then there was the farcical taking of opinions about allowing same sex marriages and/or blessings in church, see Marriage: Dodgy discipleship?. Barry and his bench sitters simply did what they wanted when the result did not fit their secular agenda, see Bishops' rank hypocrisy. So why should anyone expect other than a predetermined outcome this time?

Looking at some figures puts the latest consultation into perspective. From Wales Online in 2014 - "If church-going is the best measure of the health of a faith community, Wales’ Christian communities should see a warning light flashing":

"Research by Tear Fund in 2007 showed Wales had the lowest level of regular church attendance in the UK at 12%, behind England (14%), Scotland (18%), London (22%) and Northern Ireland (45%). The 2001 census showed 71.9% of the Welsh population were self-described Christians but this fell to just 57.6% by the time of the 2011 survey.

Between 2011 and 2012, the number of adults attending Church in Wales Sunday services fell by 5%, from 33,783 to 32,171. Easter attendance dropped by 8% from 60,924 to 56,063."

According to the 2011 census the population of Wales was just over 3 million of which 58% claim to be Christians. Only 1% of the population worship regularly in the Church in Wales. At 1.5% there are more regularly worshipping  Muslims in Wales with numbers increasing while the number of worshippers in the Church in Wales continues to decrease.

In this context the Church in Wales Press Notice suggests an unwarranted sense of self importance designed to bolster the influence of the archbishop:

"The Church has commissioned a team to conduct the review but it is hoped that as many people as possible will participate. The team will seek views from across the Church and wider society at various key stages and is beginning by inviting initial views on the Archbishop’s role and how he or she might best be supported in the future. The Archbishop has duties both within the Church and nationally and these roles need to be properly understood so that they can be robustly supported."

It is not the Archbishop who needs support but the worshippers. They have been led astray by bishops who have grasped every secular fad to make the church 'more relevant' to society.  The Archbishop should be a shepherd leading his people to God not to a dictatorship of relativism.

The Press Release  draws the attention of readers to Dr Morgan's Presidential Address published in Highlights (p.3). The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) has a more succinct summary.

Jobs for the girls and for the boys, if there are any left: 

"Archbishop Barry said it is worth noting that what that report [the 1980 Commission on Boundaries and Structures of the Church in Wales] was recommending was the same kind of things for bishops and dioceses that the later Harries report was recommending for parishes – a collegiate method of working. 'In other words, in every diocese, there should be more than one bishop, each with a distinct area of jurisdiction but forming a single unit for administration – just as in ministry areas each individual cleric would have a specific area for pastoral care but be part with others of a ministry area. This meant moving away from the concept of one bishop one diocese, to two or three bishops in every diocese, working closely together in partnership as far as the administration of the diocese as a whole was concerned, but each having pastoral jurisdiction over a particular area'. Other working groups and reports have suggested Llandaff as the permanent Metropolitical see, with the archbishop as diocesan, and an elected assistant bishop; or an archbishop without any diocesan responsibilities. Neither model has found favour. "

Dr Morgan's preferred option is for the archbishop to be based in Llandaff, an option previously rejected. This may come as a welcome release by the next archbishop given the mess created by Barry and his minions in Llandaff Cathedral.

Had Dr Morgan's mission been spiritual rather than political in making the church 'more relevant to society' the consultation would have had some relevance. Under his leadership the Church in Wales has been turned into a secular institution with prayers, giving wholehearted support to the sexual revolution which has demeaned the sanctity of marriage and twisted the meaning of love leading to sexual licence and promiscuity while masquerading as part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The best way to support the Archbishop is to encourage him to abandon the secular agenda and lead his, or her, people back to God.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It's not a game


A view from the US

Not content with changing the rules which protect the sanctity of marriage the gay lobby now expects the State to pay for unprotected sex via the NHS to help prevent them contracting HIV: "Aids campaigners are celebrating a watershed victory after the high court ruled that NHS England can pay for 'game-changer' drugs that prevent people being infected with HIV by their partners".

While it may be cheaper in the long run to prevent rather than treat Aids, there has to be added to the cost of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drug the cost of treating any side effects plus treating the added risk of STDs which is rising among gay and bisexual men. But there is more to this than the money. There is a moral dimension.

With limited resources to provide essential treatment there are, for example, needy children with cystic fibrosis, people with cancer who have to apply for funding to just give them some hope through no fault of their own. Twenty-five vital cancer drugs have been deemed 'too expensive' for the NHS.

With so many pressing health needs the tax payer should not be asked to fund a life-style choice at the expense of the needy.

Postscript [08.08.2016]

Transgender ‘men’ given IVF treatment by the NHS. Women who have undertaken sex reassignment surgery to become 'men' are being given IVF treatment on the NHS.

Conservative MP Peter Bone questioned why the NHS is choosing to fund this, especially considering its limited resources for more necessary medical services:

 "The NHS is does not have endless pots of cash and, with accident and emergency departments and hospitals bursting at the seams, we should stop pretending that it does," he said. 
"When you go into realms like this, I am not sure why the taxpayer should be funding it. It’s something that people could surely fund privately if they want to. We’ve had changes in the Cancer Drugs Fund which will stop some cancer drugs being available to people on cost grounds.
"I just sometimes ask if the NHS is getting its priorities right."

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Twisted


Photo: cnsnews.com

This photograph is displayed over a caption: "Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, right, demonstrates with others against the decision by Anglican Primates to punish pro-gay equality churches in North America, in front of the Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)".

Things have moved on, or should I say backwards. The photograph appears in an article "Anglican Church of Canada Adopts Gay Marriage, Endangers Future of Faith": 

"At the General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada, held July 7-12, a proposal to allow the Canadian Anglican ministry to solemnize same-sex marriages was voted upon and was reported to have failed by a single vote.  The next day, however, it was reported that there had been a counting error and that the measure actually had passed. Thus, by the closes of margins, the Anglican Church of Canada approved same-sex marriage". Full article here.

It is not homophobic to support the established definition of marriage which is "the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others". Nor has it anything to do with equality. These twisted views have wrecked Western Anglicanism to satisfy the desires of the few at the expense of the many.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mad or bad? If you are dead you're dead.





“All of you are infidels… we will go to paradise if we kill you and you will go to hell.”


There is no shortage of Muslims who believe that they will have a place in paradise if they die killing infidels even if their stock of virgins is depleted. It is neither here nor there that the vast majority of Muslims do not kill infidels. The God they worship sanctions death for unwilling converts as well as apostates. Unless Muslims face up to this reality and enter into serious dialogue about their supremacist religious ideology, the killings will go on and on.

After each atrocity the media scurry around to find any excuse they can to point the finger away from Islam. Why? It is the common thread that has linked 1400 years of violence. Two questions are usually asked. Was the perpetrator in need of psychiatric help? - as if other perpetrators are normal - and, Has the 'so-called' Islamic State claimed responsibility or is there any evidence of a link? The introductory video, 'Persecuted and Forgotten' clearly illustrates that the persecution of Christians is not peculiar to ISIS.

The quote "All of you are infidels… we will go to paradise if we kill you and you will go to hell" is taken from an article in the Catholic Herald: "A priest is slaughtered at Mass in rural France. This is what life is like for Christians in the Middle East". The article recalls: "One priest, Fr Thaer Abdal, was shot dead at the altar. In total, 58 innocent people were murdered. Their killers were members of an Iraqi faction of Al-Qaeda that had declared war on churches, “dirty dens of idolatry”, and in particular “the hallucinating tyrant of the Vatican. The Baghdad massacre was one of countless atrocities that have reduced ancient Christian communities in the Middle East to shrivelled and terrified ghettos or underground churches".

In Egypt: Muslim attacks on Christians are "increasing at alarming rate". So widespread has the problem become that after the French priest was murdered a 'UK Church leader' who asked to remain anonymous has warned that "it may be sign of things to come". He said:

"There needs to be a connection made between what is happening here and what has been happening in places such as Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Iraq. Suddenly we are seeing this in Europe. It could be an alarming sign of things to come. There is a lot of copycat psychology in these kinds of attacks. We are hoping this does not turn into anything more serious and get out of hand, but we are concerned that it might." Full report here.

For Christians there is only one way to the Father, through Jesus Christ. There is no compulsion.

For Muslims "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger".
This is the basic statement of the Islamic faith: "anyone who cannot recite this wholeheartedly is not a Muslim".

When a Muslim recites this they proclaim:
That Allah is the only God, and that Muhammad is his prophet
That they personally accept this as true
That they will obey all the commitments of Islam in their life

Little surprise, then, that other religions are held in contempt by Islam. 'Blasphemy' is a tool often used in Islamic states. Sadly this process is aided by attitudes in the West which imply that only Islam is sacred. In the wake of latest atrocity in France it has been reported that a "Fireman Sam" episode has been pulled amid a "Koran row" in marked contrast to the persecution of Christians highlighted in the "Persecuted and Forgotten" video above.

In the following video, former Prime Minister Tony Blair along with former US Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton insist, contrary to all the evidence available, that Islam is a religion of peace, ignoring the opinions of experts. Only a sensible dialogue will expose the truth but while Islam is regarded as above criticism the West will remain compliant without uttering a word of the Shahadah.



Meanwhile the slaughter of the innocents continues.

Postscripts [31.07.2016]

From The Telegraph: Islamism is an attack on our civilisation – this must be recognised, not evaded.

also [03.08.2016]

From OnePeterfive ISIS Rejects Pope’s Interpretation of Their Own Religion

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Is there any point in being a traditional Anglican, particularly in the Church in Wales?





The joy of the Christian faith is simply expressed in this rendition of the Te Deum (H/T Anglican Pastor). There is a far more stirring, majestic example here. It is punctuated by loud blasts on the organ which echo my feelings of exasperation and probably that of many other traditionalists at having been left by the Church.

Exhibiting their profound ignorance of matters spiritual, the response of New Anglicans to traditionalists  has been "Go to Rome if you don't like it" or, from the mainly menopausal feminist brigade, "Get used to it, we are in charge now". There have been no concessions in Wales. The only message is keep giving. For what? While the Church of England genuinely valued all church members as true Anglicans when binding provisions were made for faithful worshippers who, in common with most Christians, cannot accept the ordination of women on theological grounds, the attitude of the Church in Wales (CinW) has been take it or leave it. Theology is rejected while the latest secular fads are adopted by the bench of bishops for dissemination to congregations through largely compliant clergy.

Sunday by Sunday we are served with helpings of the latest Christian Response from an Anglican Perspective (CRAP) heavily laced with a misguided view of equality that has everything to do with political correctness and nothing to do with Christianity as the Gospel is bent to accommodate the latest alleged injustice. It is indeed very odd that the Bible can be taken literally in circumstances which threaten our very existence while bending other parts to suit a fashionable political stance.

Led by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Wales with the Archbishop of Westminster often in step, Christianity is continually being sold short to its own detriment with misapplied views on neighbourliness while giving succour to Islam as Muslims abroad continue to convert non-Muslims by the sword if necessary and in the UK demand more and more special privileges to enhance their status such as opting for Sharia, a legal code that systematically discriminates against women, children, apostates, blasphemers, non-believers (infidels), adulterers, and homosexuals. Imagine the outcry if Christians espoused such discriminatory values.

The CinW is fast reaching the end of the road with extinction predicted in a generation. The possibility of the first woman bishop in Wales draws ever closer making it even more difficult for traditionalists who have remained in the Church to continue their membership. Not that there should be a woman bishop in Wales. Better that the measure be rescinded as a breach of faith since the promises of care evaporated as soon as the bishops had their way with their ultimate plan unfolding.

Moving from feminism to their next PC project the bench of bishops has made it perfectly clear that the CinW is to fully embrace the LGBT agenda en route to the acceptance of same sex marriage, again under the guise of 'equality', while the Church of England talks her way into it with 'Facilitated Conversations' concluding with this mumbo-jumbo. If LGBT people are having such a hard time being accepted, how are there so many openly gay and lesbian people in the Church with clergy very much in evidence promoting their particular life style and often viciously condemning anyone who dares to hold a contrary view to theirs? Women deacons were not enough. Women priests were not enough. Civil Partnerships were not enough. What next? The slide is endless.

True Anglicanism is expressed here in a Pastoral Letter by the Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council, making all those pennies we saved in little cardboard boxes in Sunday School worthwhile. Too late for many, there are now just 'empty boxes, empty gestures, empty words'. Read the sorry tale of the final straw for an ex-CinW worshipper here.

For many traditionalists the final straw has been drifting in the breeze while searching for that crumb of comfort but there has been none, nor will there be. The Church in Wales is going from bad to worse with Credo Cymru apparently impotent. As Dr Morgan approaches retirement he will have much on which to reflect having brought the Church in Wales to her knees, not in prayer but in desolation. What a legacy.

So is there any point in being a traditional Anglican? Unless you are exceedingly fortunate I think not. But Christianity is not dead. "Be joyful and keep the faith!", even if your church has left you.