Wednesday, September 06, 2017

A.S. Haley: Faults in the Diocese of South Carolina Decision Laid Bare

September 2, 2017

In two separate court filings yesterday, the attorneys for Bishop Mark Lawrence, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and twenty-nine parishes -- who had been told they must hand over their properties to the national Church (ECUSA) and its ersatz "diocese" (ECSC) -- laid bare the severe faults and conflicts of interest that permeate the bitterly divided 3-2 decision on August 2 by the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The first filing is a 37-page petition for rehearing that systematically points out the huge flaws and legal errors in the 35 pages that comprise the majority decision.

The second filing is a motion addressed to the four current justices of the Supreme Court (minus Justice Kaye Hearn, who is requested to recuse herself from sitting in judgment on herself). It seeks to disqualify Justice Hearn from participating further in the case, and to vacate her overtly biased opinion that resulted in a loss for twenty-nine parishes. Alternatively, it asks that the Court vacate all five separate opinions and rehear the appeal with (if necessary to resolve a tie vote) a specially appointed fifth justice to sit in place of Justice Hearn...
the rest-Part I

Faults in the South Carolina Decision Laid Bare (II) 
...The bottom line of this devastating motion is simple: Justice Kaye Hearn had no business sitting on the panel that heard and decided this case, and should have recused (disqualified) herself at the outset of the appeal. The evidence shown for her bias goes far beyond what your Curmudgeon wrote about in the post linked above (which was bad enough): it leaves now no room for doubt on the question...

Hurricane Irma; US western wildfires

Hurricane Irma live stream coverage

Altantic satellite

Katia joins Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Jose in the Atlantic

Strong magnetic storm watch issued, could ignite northern lights to Detroit, Chicago image

Wildfire Smoke Chokes US West; Ash Covers Oregon Cities   Dozens of wildfires burning in western U.S. states have sent smoke into cities from Seattle to Denver — prompting health warnings and cancellations of outdoor activities for children by many school districts.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a federal agency that coordinates wildfire-fighting, said 80 large fires were burning on 2,200 square miles (5,700 square kilometers) in nine Western states...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

GAFCON Chairman's September 2017 letter

5th September 2017
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

To the Faithful of the GAFCON movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council.

My dear people of God,

Gafcon is not just an organisation, but a movement that God has raised up and by his grace continues to work through. I have just returned from a visit to the Anglican Church in North America and rejoice in its continued growth and vitality. This is yet another reminder of the wonderful partnership we enjoy as confessing Anglicans and which we will celebrate with great joy as we gather in Jerusalem next year for our third Global Anglican Future Conference.

Gafcon is about hope and the future. It is about godly unity and faithful witness for generations to come, and I want to state these positive things very clearly as I share my reasons for not attending the Primates Meeting in Canterbury next month.

I attended the Canterbury Primates Meeting held in January 2016 because I believed it might be possible to make a new start and change the pattern of repeated failure to preserve the integrity of Anglican faith and order. I was disappointed. The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka the following April neutered the Primates’ action to distance The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) from Communion decision making. TEC has not repented, and continues to take aggressive legal action against orthodox dioceses. For example, the congregations of the Diocese of San Joaquin are currently having to turn over their places of worship to TEC, which has no realistic plan for filling them with worshippers. At the same time, the Diocese of South Carolina is now facing the potential loss of many of its historic buildings.

My disappointment was shared by the other Global South Primates who gathered in Cairo last October and we concluded in our communiqué that the ‘Instruments of Communion’ (which include the Primates Meeting of course) are “unable to sustain the common life and unity of the Anglican Churches worldwide” and do actually help to undermine global mission.

The only difference between the present and 2008, when Gafcon was formed, is that we have a different Archbishop of Canterbury. Everything else is the same or worse. There is endless debate, the will of the orthodox Primates is frustrated and misrepresented, false teaching is not being corrected, and nothing is being done to halt orthodox Anglicans in North America (and maybe soon elsewhere) being stripped of the churches that have helped form their spiritual lives.

In these circumstances, I have concluded that attendance at Canterbury would be to give credibility to a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity. Our energies in the Church of Nigeria will be devoted to what is full of hope and promise for the future, not to the repetition of failure.

However, some may object that we should not break fellowship over matters which do not directly go against the ancient creeds of the Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury himself has recently said that the church should not be split by issues that are not, as he puts it, "creedal", but it is important to remember that the authority of the Creeds is derived from the Bible, and it is the Bible which is the Church’s supreme teaching authority.

This truth is recognized in the Gafcon Jerusalem Statement. It says this:

“The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.”

Creeds have authority, but only because they are “agreeable” to Scripture, so false teaching is not just what is opposed to the creeds, but what is opposed to Scripture.

This is basic to our Anglican origins and how Anglicans should understand the Church. If Christians are never to break fellowship unless the disagreement is about the teaching of the creeds, the sixteenth century Reformation five hundred years ago, when the great doctrines of grace were at stake, must be seen as an error.

Now we are living in the midst of the next great Reformation. In our day also there is broken fellowship, over homosexual practice, same sex marriage and the blurring of gender identity, none of which are mentioned in the Creeds, but all of which contradict fundamental biblical understandings of marriage and human identity.

The question that Gafcon presents is therefore not a choice between unity or disunity, but what sort of unity? A unity that includes those who persist in rebelling against God’s Word is a false unity. So is a unity that undermines collective decision making as a communion. This makes our mission difficult and the purpose of our calling as a global communion becomes questionable. The creeds developed as a way of preserving the true unity of the Church in faithfulness to the Scriptures and that is what Gafcon also seeks to do as we face the challenges of the twenty-first century.

The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council

Found here

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Sugar maple coming down 8/30/2017

Last year National Grid replaced all the underground gas lines on our block.  The main line runs under the sidewalk on our side of the street, then branches out to all the houses from there.  Our sugar maple tree roots had pushed up the sidewalk and much of the root system would have to be cut in order to accommodate the new sidewalk. The city arborist determined that our tree would not do well with so much of the root system being removed.  So our tree came down.  A new tree will be planted to replace this one, but sadly it will be many years before it will be anything close to this. 

The tree removal crew graciously cut these slices from the trunk as mementos. Raymond is going to make them into small tables for our patio after they season a bit.

Anglican Unscripted Episodes 316 and 317

Aug 30, 2017
Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Communion. Each Episode Kevin, George, Allan, and Gavin bring you news and prospective from around the globe.
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Sep 1, 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

Unclouded Day: For Texas by the singing contractors

Aug 31, 2017
Dedicated to all the people in Texas.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Praying in the Middle of a Storm; The Nashville Statement...more

With Death Toll at 30, Storm Makes 2nd Landfall ...Emergency workers rescued many more soaked and frightened people in southeast Texas on Tuesday as floodwaters continued to rise and officials counseled patience, warning that conditions would not improve soon.

The slow-moving, record-shattering tropical storm Harvey battered the region for a sixth straight day and began to move into southwest Louisiana, where it made its second landfall early Wednesday morning. With hundreds of thousands of people under evacuation orders, shelters in Houston filled to bursting with people who craved some news about the safety of their loved ones and the state of their homes.

For now, the city’s focus “will continue to be on rescue,” and not on damage assessment — much less recovery — Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, said at a news conference...

Houston floods: Night curfew bid to stop robbery and looting
...Mr Turner said the curfew would help prevent "property crimes" against evacuated homes, and was in force "only to prevent potential criminal acts"...

Hurricane Harvey Likely To Destroy More Cars Than Katrina: “This Is Bad; Real Bad”

Praying in the Middle of a Storm
We are experiencing unprecedented crisis and chaos in our beloved city. Right now, all over social media you will find people telling others that they are praying and asking the nation to pray for the people of Houston. How are we to pray? The Scripture is clear on ways to pray in times of distress. As I’m praying, below are my requests to the Father and I thought I’d pass them along to you.

We should pray all three of these petitions below -- not just one. This is important. Praying all three allows us to seek the activity of God in all this and yet to display deep trust in God to work as He chooses for His glory...

Albert Mohler: The Urgency of Preaching
...Has preaching fallen on hard times? An open debate is now being waged over the character and centrality of preaching in the church. At stake is nothing less than the integrity of Christian worship and proclamation.

How did this happen? Given the central place of preaching in the New Testament church, it would seem that the priority of biblical preaching should be uncontested. After all, as John A. Broadus–one of Southern Seminary’s founding faculty–famously remarked, “Preaching is characteristic of Christianity. No other religion has made the regular and frequent assembling of groups of people, to hear religious instruction and exhortation, an integral part of Christian worship.”...

Top Evangelical Leaders Back New Nashville Statement on Sexuality  More than 150 Evangelical leaders representing churches, seminaries, and ministries have signed a statement affirming Biblical themes of marriage, gender, and sexual morality. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released the coalition statement, called the Nashville Statement, on Tuesday after gathering key Evangelical leaders for a meeting hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

“The Nashville Statement is an urgently needed moment of gospel clarity,” stated CBMW President Denny Burk. “In a culture nearly defined by sexual confusion and brokenness, the church of Jesus Christ has to proclaim with one voice that God’s good design for gender, marriage, and sexuality.”...

The Nashville Statement can be read here.
List of endorsements for the statement found here.

Rod Dreher: Why The Nashville Statement Is Needed   ...What these pastors, theologians, and Evangelical leaders have done is hugely important. So much is at stake! But it is only a start — and the laity cannot leave these leaders standing alone. The challenge Christians face to Biblical orthodoxy is overwhelming — and heterodox Evangelicals have a hurricane-force wind at their backs. For example, when our children are going to schools — public, private, and yes, even religious — in which their peers enthusiastically endorse homosexuality and gender ideology, we cannot realistically expect them to embrace fidelity?...

Calfornia closer to allowing third gender on state IDs  ...The bill allowing people to identify as “nonbinary” will be considered in the California Assembly. It would also make it easier for transgender people to make sure legal state documents appropriately reflect their gender...

80% of Teens in Obama-Funded Sex-Ed Programs Fared Worse Than Their Peers   ...Trump’s administration announced $200 million in cuts to the program earlier this summer, angering abortion activists and others. At the time, Health and Human Services Department spokesman Mark Vafiades told the New York Times that there is very little evidence that the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is working.

Huber verified this. She said there is no proof that the program reduced teen pregnancy rates, and research actually shows that 70 percent to 80 percent of teens were not positively impacted. She said teen pregnancy rates did drop during the program, but the decline began before the program started...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total Eclipse 2017-videos and photos

Total Eclipse 2017 - PBS/NASA from Nebraska

Total solar eclipse emerges from behind clouds in Nebraska

Watch the Moon's Shadow Move from Coast to Coast

Photos-Eclipse 2017

Image may contain: sky
Raymond's photo at totality from SC

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Google Burns a Heretic; Iran: Christian convert released from prison...more

Beyond Bathrooms: Why Transgender Battles Could Soon Impact Every Family   As it becomes clearer every day, Americans are sharply divided on how best to handle questions of children and gender identity. For better or worse, however, American parents are currently allowed (and even encouraged) to raise their kids as the opposite gender, and reports suggest many are doing so. But should these parents have the right to force other parents in their community to raise their own kids to question their biological sex? Should they have the right to impose their own transgender ideology on other families?

This is the question at stake in a lawsuit filed last week by the parents of 8-year-old Nicole (Nikki) Brar against Heritage Oak Private School in Orange County, Calif., alleging that the school engaged in discriminatory action by refusing to adopt a transgender-affirming school policy, recognizing their son’s new female name, pronouns, school uniform, and use of the girls’ bathroom and locker room...

Iran: Christian convert released from prison after over four years of captivity  At the beginning of the month, Maryam Nagash Zargaran, a Christian convert from Islam, was released from prison after over four years of captivity. She had been charged by the Iranian State of taking actions against national security...

A Theology of Vacationing
This summer has been no different than those which proceded it. At this time of year, you are possibly continuing to see references to the usual litany of 'Summer Reading recommendations for Pastors.' As end-of-summer vacations loom, men in the ministry feel the need to catch up on those weighty tomes of theology that have been gathering dust somewhere but which a guilty conscience tells them ought to be read. (Though their wife and children may have other ideas!)

Despite the title, these paragraphs are not intended to add to this ministerial guilt trip; but, rather, they are intended to relieve it! Instead of offering yet more theology to take on vacation, I wish to offer a theological justification for viewing a vacation as being a good thing - and this, not just at 'vacation times' when they happen to occur...

Google Burns a Heretic
...So what did he say that was so intolerable? Did he say women aren’t smart? Did he say that women should not be recruited to work at Google? Hardly. He offered that perhaps biological differences between the sexes may partially account for the fact that women are not 50 percent of the engineers at Google (though they are about 48 percent of Google’s non-tech employees). He observed that, on average, men tend to be more interested in things and women more interested in people. What a scandal! Except, in 2015, women accounted for 20.03 percent of all engineering graduates, but 84.43 percent of health professionals. As Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute noted, the share of women holding tech positions at Google (20 percent) is close to the percentage of women computer science graduates (18 percent).

Damore said that men are more competitive and women more cooperative. Studies of the effects of testosterone and other hormones confirm that there is a biological foundation for these differing traits. Damore noted that women prefer more workplace flexibility than men and that accordingly, Google might want to permit more part-time work to accommodate women’s preferences. He pleaded, above all, that Google treat every person as an individual...

Dreher: James Damore and ‘Ritual Defamation’ ...Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character or standing in the community of a person or group of persons by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. For the purposes of this essay, the central element is defamation in retaliation for the real or imagined attitudes, opinions or beliefs of the victim, with the intention of silencing or neutralizing his or her influence, and/or making an example of them so as to discourage similar independence and “insensitivity” or non-observance of taboos. It is different in nature and degree from simple criticism or disagreement in that it is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by an organization or representative of a special interest group, and in that it consists of several characteristic elements.

Ritual Defamation is not ritualistic because it follows any prescribed religious or mystical doctrine, nor is it embraced in any particular document or scripture. Rather, it is ritualistic because it follows a predictable, stereotyped pattern which embraces a number of elements, as in a ritual...

Wyoming judge punished for marriage beliefs takes her case to US Supreme Court   A Wyoming judge whom the Wyoming Supreme Court punished for her religious beliefs about marriage asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to take up her case. In Wyoming, magistrates may decline wedding requests for nearly any secular reason, but the court punished Judge Ruth Neely for saying that she would need to refer some marriage requests for a religious reason.

In March, the Wyoming Supreme Court publicly censured Neely, forced her to stop solemnizing marriages, and drove her from her magistrate judge position for stating, in response to a reporter’s questions, that her religious beliefs about marriage do not permit her to officiate same-sex weddings. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Neely are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Wyoming Supreme Court’s decision and declare that a judge cannot be punished for expressing her beliefs about marriage...