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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Not another victim!


Bishop steps down after speaking of campaign forcing him to quit - Christian Today

The Ass Bishop of Llandaff is resigning after speaking of a "sustained campaign forcing him to quit". David Wilbourne, a strong supporter of gay cleric Jeffrey John, will step down on Easter Sunday after 'considerable and increasing pressure to relinquish' his post for the past 18 months.

The Ass bishop of Llandaff knows all about victims. Back in 2011 when he was justifying his appointment by the Archimporter of PC persons, Barry Morgan, he claimed that the ordination of women would rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones.

The Church in Wales has since ordained sufficient women to illustrate the nonsense of his comment. With so many women now in place, accusations by Jeffrey John of homophobia must be absurd.

After his appointment vicars in Landaff  received a letter from Wilbourne instructing clergy how he was to be received. Suitable parking was to be provided and a bag carrier was to conduct him into church. Perhaps unsurprisingly his symbols of office were to be displayed on the Altar to emphasis his authority. It proved never to be obvious otherwise. In an unwise move the Ass bishop also let it be known that he would be honoured to made the diocesan.

Wilbourne mentioned nothing in his statement about a sustained campaign forcing him to quit, or of the alleged considerable and increasing pressure to relinquish his post for the past 18 months. He was brought in by someone with no scruples and supported a candidate with no scruples. He has been part of the say anything, do anything campaign to advance the liberal cause that has so damaged the Church.

Pray that the bench has the imagination to recognise the errors of the past. No more of the same please.

Going, gone, gone. Ass bishop Wilbourne and the briefly Dean Janet Henderson
with their appointer Archbishop Barry Morgan.      Picture credit; Church Times

Friday, 24 March 2017

Exactly!




In a brief interview with Christian Concern the Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden explains why he left the Church of England. He could be speaking for many.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Westminster - a plea


The suspected Westminster attacker being tended by medics                                     Source: Sky News

The Westminster attack has already triggered the response on BBC Breakfast programme, "This has nothing to do with Muslims".

Perhaps not but it has everything to do with their Islamic ideology. Some progress has been made since world leaders such as Barak Obama, Tony Blair and David Cameron claimed "Islam is a religion of peace" - see  my earlier entry Spitting in the wind - but people are mistaken when they accord Islam the same standards as Christianity.

"Muslims believe that, unlike Moses and prophets who heard from God directly, Muhammad heard through an intermediary, Gabriel. In these revelations Allah changes his mind many times leaving followers with the problem of abrogation which results in taking the more recent (violent) verses in preference to earlier (peaceful) verses. Consequently the religion of peace in the Quran gives way to the sword:  "The later verses, known as the “Sword Verses” (9:5 and 9:29), were considered by Muslim scholars to have cancelled the previous verses mandating kindness and persuasion. Expansionist jihad became the explicit norm."

By contrast with uncorroborated revelations received by Muhammad, Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of eight Old Testament prophesies. The probability of fulfilling all eight prophesies has been calculated as 1 x 1028 or 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000."

The Sky News picture shows the suspected attacker receiving the same medical assistance as his victim would have received. That is because we live in a Christian country. In an Islamic state he would be more likely be tied to the back of a truck and dragged through the streets.

There are regular reports form Pakistan, Egypt and the like about Muslim mobs attacking Christians for no other reason than they are not Muslims. If not attacking Christians they are attacking each other for being the wrong sort of Muslim.

Islam is a supremacist ideology. We must stop making excuses. Instead of saying it has nothing to do with Muslims we should be saying that it has everything to do with Islam and explain why. There is only one way to the Father. If we not believe that, how can we convince others?



Postscript [27.03.2017]

Taken for a Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty

President Erdogan, who is rapidly turning Turkey into a Caliphate, once said that “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Is religious liberty also a train that Islamists ride until they reach their stop?....Full article here.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

World Water Day 22 March 2017




Today, 22 March 2017, is World Water Day.

WaterAid is asking people in the UK to spring into action and email their MP to help raise awareness for the 1 in 10 people still living without safe water? Link here.


Monday, 20 March 2017

The Victim




Women in the Church were victims, allegedly. Gays, lesbians and transgenders in the Church are victims, allegedly. 

The true Victim was left hanging on the Cross. His words have been twisted to justify sectional interests to the detriment of the Church. The latest episode is witnessed by the LGBT campaign to have the high profile gay cleric Jeffrey John elected bishop of Llandaff.

Dr John says the bench of bishops is guilty of homophobia. This is the bench which wrote:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We recognise that you have often been persecuted and ostracized by the Church for your sexuality, that you have been mistreated by the Church, and forced into secrecy and dissimulation by the attitudes of prejudice which you have faced.  We deplore such hostility, and welcome and affirm the words of the Primates that condemn homophobic prejudice and violence.  We too commit ourselves to offering you the same loving service and pastoral care to which all humanity is entitled, and we commit ourselves to acting to provide a safe space within the Church and within our communities in which you can be honest and open, respected and affirmed."

Jeffrey John claims in an open letter to the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon that his situation is exactly similar to that of the Bishop of Grantham who is also in a same sex relationship. It may be insofar as civil partnerships are concerned but I have found no record of Bishop Chamberlain supporting the Out4Marriage campaign, twisting the Bible to support his stance.

Dr John also suggests that same sex couples are no different to infertile couples, or couples who are beyond the age of childbearing. He is badly mistaken. Addressing gay people directly in his Out4Marriage video Dr John claims that "the official church doesn't speak with integrity... so frankly doesn't deserve to be listened to". That does not bode well for the mission of the Church or for bench collegiality. It is a  pick and mix form of Christianity which leads John to claim that "God is Out4Marriage too"!

In his letter to the bishop of Swansea and Brecon who is the Church in Wales' most senior bishop, Dr John said he had been told by "a bishop present at the meeting of the electoral college" that “a number of homophobic remarks were made and were left unchecked and unreprimanded by the chair”. [My emphasis - Ed.]

For members of the Electoral College to leak information is a serious breach of confidence but for a bishop? He or she should seriously consider his/her position.

Regular churchgoers are dying out, literally and metaphorically. Those who have not been pressured into leaving and battle-on are fed up with gays and feminists claiming to be badly treated when the Church clearly has so many women clergy and gay people in their midst.

In England Archbishop Justin Welby appears to have sold out to Women and the Church (WATCH) despite their shameless campaign against Bishop Philip North because he is an orthodox Anglican. Read the history of this sorry saga here.

In Wales Archbishop Barry Morgan led the bishops into battle against Church members promoting same sex marriage. At the same time he was desperately engineering the election of the first woman bishop in Wales before he retired. His candidate also complained of discrimination. On investigation it proved to be nothing of the sort. One stitch-up is one too many.

I hope that the Bench has at last come to its senses. People need to hear about Christ crucified not false claims of victimhood.

Postscript [21.03.2017]

Unsurprisingly given the gay men's chorus which is singing ever louder to Jeffrey John's tune, the LGB pressure group OneBodyOneFaith this morning published an open letter (here) expressing their "concerns" about the way the process to appoint a bishop for the See of Llandaff has been handled. One of the signatories is the Rev Jeremy Pemberton, Chair for the Board of Trustee. It was he who thumbed his nose to the Church of England over the gay marriage issue.

OBOF have only Jeffrey John's word for what took place. That is second hand. There is no context, merely accusation. "The reported unanimity of the Llandaff electors is a strong indication of what they wish to happen" they write. There are two points here. It was common knowledge that many in Llandaff were desperate to avoid a woman bishop. Their best hope of avoiding that eventuality was to support Jeffrey John. Also, given the strong gay presence in Llandaff, the impression given is that many if not all form part of the chorus demanding that Jeffery John should be the bishop-elect.

As we approach Passiontide  the baying crowd becomes louder. There are echoes of "Give us Barabbas". The crowd had it wrong. So does OBOF and the media. Pray that the Bench withstands the media onslaught.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Bishop of Llandaff: Stage 3


 Epstein's Majestas,  Llandaff Cathedral                                                                                                                                                            Source: Cool Places


The tense wait for an announcement from the Bench of Bishops is over, for now. The Bishop-elect of Llandaff is to be appointed after meeting the short-listed candidates.

Following three days of deliberations by the Church in Wales (CinW) Electoral College from 21st to 23rd February, no nominated candidate received the necessary two-thirds of the votes cast to be declared Bishop-elect. Under the CinW Constitution the task falls to the Bench of Bishops. Their meeting this week is a step in that direction.

This is an anxious time. Many Anglicans will be hoping that their preferred choice will be successful to extend sectional interests. It is gratifying to note that, on the face of it, extensive lobbying has not pushed the Bench into a hasty decision.

After the tragic episode which saw Bishop Philip North withdraw from Sheffield, a period of prayerful reflection is needed.

Many people in Wales know the hurt being felt in England. After Bishop David Thomas was not replaced following his retirement in 2008 relations have continued to sour and Church attendance has declined.

Pray that the Bench will have the imagination to appoint a bishop who is conscious of the need for the two integrities to flourish if Anglicanism as we have known it is to survive.

Postscript [17.03.2017]

"Leading gay cleric Jeffrey John left off shortlist to be bishop"

It has been reported on the 'Christian Today' web site that the Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, is not on the new shortlist to be next Bishop of Llandaff. While it will disappoint some of his supporters the news comes as a welcome relief to many more.

Also, the sad news that "Former Queen's Chaplain Gavin Ashenden quits 'liberal' Church of England" here.

Postscript [19.03.2017]

'Christian Today' reports

 Gay cleric Jeffrey John speaks out: My homosexuality was the only reason I was blocked as Bishop of Llandaff

Not only is it too convenient to blame his rejection on his homosexuality, it is absurd. The weight of homosexuals in the Church lobbying for Dr John's appointment is testament to that. He mentions another reason, "namely that my appointment would bring unwelcome and unsettling publicity to the diocese". I am sure he has heard that before. Self promotion is no recommendation for the Episcopacy.

Postscript [20.03.2017]

The latest headline from 'Christian today':

Jeffrey John: Pressure mounts on Church in Wales after allegations of homophobia

Allegations are not facts. It is noticeable that pressure groups such as One Body One Faith accuse the Church of 'unjust and discriminatory behaviour' but they completely overlook the criticism of Dr John's unorthodox interpretation of the Bible. Now why could that be?

Postscript [21.03.2017]

Today's headline from 'Christian Today'.

More calls for Welsh church to make Jeffrey John a bishop

After the Chapter of St Albans Cathedral branded the treatment of their Dean, Dr Jeffrey John, 'wholly wrong' the clergy of another Anglican cathedral have "thrown their weight behind calls for a senior gay cleric to be made a bishop in Wales". The Chapter of Ely Cathedral has now added its 'unanimous support' to the growing calls for the Welsh bishops to reconsider Dr John.

I can understand the media taking Dr John's charges of homophobia at face value but for Cathedral Chapters to do the same suggests a parallel with will no-one rid the Church of England of this troublesome priest?

Critics should pause for thought. If Dr John felt aggrieved he should first have written privately to express his concerns after confidential information was scandalously leaked to him. Instead he chose to go public setting the mob loose crying "Homophobia!" when it is nothing of the sort. The pit is getting deeper. These people need to stop digging before the Church falls in.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Women in the Church


The 'dark' side.


"Women bishops would humanise the priesthood" said the then Archbishop of Canterbury in 2011. Dr Rowan Williams warned the Church hierarchy to prepare for the “culture change” that would come with the “full inclusion” of women. Not the full inclusion the Archbishop would have expected. Instead it is inclusion to the exclusion of anyone with views not in accord with Women and the Church (WATCH) and their fellow travellers as highlighted by the "Sheffield controversy".

At the time Ann Widdecombe was closer to the truth when she said,  "Christianity in Britain today is under severe persecution. And it will get much worse. I do not resent this persecution. I welcome it. For it will weed out the pseudo-Christians, the wimpish bishops and the caved-in Synod. By persecution we discover who our true friends actually are." In 2017 that has come to pass.

Feminists have mercilessly used the Church for their own political ends. On the face of it WATCH ran a legitimate campaign, as they saw it, for the ordination of women. But, as with the world wide web, there is a dark side. A deception which has been gnawing away at the soft underbelly of Anglicanism. Say anything, do anything to gain the advantage. Thus the five guiding principles were agreed allowing women to become bishops in the Church of England. Perhaps they were crossing their fingers behind their backs as they voted but either way, they have reneged on the agreement rendering the whole procedure untenable.

Critics of WATCH were accused of misogyny from the earliest days when Canon Lucy Winkett said in a keynote speech, "Never mind Gordon Ramsay, we have in modern society a new F-word: Feminism." Extracts from her speech can be read here, eg,

Now women are on the inside, are exercising authority in
state and church, although the power is not yet equally
shared and the pay is certainly not equal. We are in a
new situation; I am not here to make a case for women
to be bishops – that case is obvious...

From the historical perspective of exclusion, women are
able to speak with authority from long centuries of marginalisation,
to bring these perspectives into the decision
making structures of society and church.

In the West, we live in a half changed world. There are
now very few areas of public life not open to women –
except those protected by organised religion."

In their campaign WATCH have used Christian values as a weapon to secure an advantage over their target audience, secularists and Anglicans who have been brought up on 'love thy neighbour', 'turn the other cheek', etc. Many have been bullied into submission for fear of being branded un-Christian while the majority outside the Church either do not care or have become so secularised they no longer understand the issues. When Bishop Philip North withdrew from his appointment as Bishop of Sheffield a BBC News reader said it was because 'his congregation' had complained.

Similar tactics, including false accusations, are being used by LGBT campaigners to bully the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales into appointing the Dean of St Albans to Llandaff. In an undignified campaign Members of Parliament have become involved. They have been led to believe that Dr John has suffered discrimination because he is in a civil partnership.

The MPs wrote "We understand that Dr John, a fluent Welsh speaker, was born in Tonyrefail in 1953. He grew up there and went to Hertford College, Oxford where studied both Classics and Modern Languages and was awarded a First. He was ordained to a title at Holy Nativity, Penarth. From Penarth he went back to Oxford to study for a DPhil and became Dean of Divinity to Magdalen College."

Many Welsh Anglicans have been asking themselves why, as a fluent Welsh speaker, Dr John was not appointed to St Davids in what looks more than ever like the politically motivated appointment of the first woman bishop in Wales. A gay priest and friend of Dr John’s for 40 years said "There’s homophobia everywhere but that’s no reason to stop a gay person from becoming a Bishop."

It is not homophobia and not because Dr John is gay and living in a civil partnership. The reasons why Dr John was rejected are open to speculation but for Church members who have been alerted to the controversy it is because he has campaigned for same sex marriage in Church which was rejected by the Governing Body. Moreover, he has used an unorthodox interpretation of the Bible account of the healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7 to justify his stance.

Looking to feminism, to gay rights or any other secular cause to swell congregations is not what the Church is about. That has failed. Decline continues. False claims by campaigners are leading astray a politically correct audience for selfish, political ends. That is not the Way of the Cross.