|Handle with prayer!
ANiC and ACNA events calendar
March 9, 10:30am – Bishop Don will ordain George Cooknell of Cornerstone (Sarnia) as a deacon
March 23, 4pm – Jonathan Ellis will be ordained a deacon, for ministry at Ascension (Langley, BC)
March 30 – Christ The King (Toronto, ON) – The Rev Len Finn inducted as rector by Bishop Charlie
April 8-10 – Ontario clergy silent retreat near Orangeville
April 13, 7pm – Ordinations to priesthood of the Revs Geoff Chapman, Mike Chase, Jordan Senner & Alistair Stern at Sojourn Church (Vancouver, BC)
April 24-26 – Women of the Word workshop for women in ministry in Vancouver
April 26 – Ordinations to priesthood of the Revs Jon Vickery & Terry Lamb, Resurrection (Kelowna)
May 2 – Dr John Goldingay speaks on the Psalms at Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC)
May 5-8 – Clergy and spouse retreat, Malibu Camp, BC
May 7 – Anglicans for Life conference, St Peter & St Paul’s (Ottawa, ON)
May8 – March for Life, Ottawa, ON
May 9 – Anglicans for Life wrap-up and prayer time
May 10-17 – Bishop Azad Marshall (Diocese of Iran) visiting AMMiC churches in Canada
May 16-19 – BC A4D chapter men’s weekend.
May 29-June 1 – BC A4D chapter women’s weekend.
May 30-31 – Catechists training for Sunday School & children’s ministers, St John’s Richmond (BC)
May 31 – "Recovering the Ministry of Blessing" seminar will be held at New Song (Port Perry, ON)
June 25-28 – Anglican Church in North America Assembly 2014 at St Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
November 5-7 – ANiC Synod 2014 in Ottawa, ON
For children, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC) has prepared both a calendar, which incorporates tidbits of global information and prayer items, and an accompanying mite box. You can download these from the ARDFC website."
For adults, Sojourn Church (Vancouver, BC) has prepared an extensive guide to Lent, called Lenten Experiment. Its 150+ pages contain an introduction to Lent, daily readings, prayers, meditations – and more.
Ordinations in British Columbia
Jonathan Ellis will be ordained a deacon by Bishop Trevor Walters on Sunday March 23 at 4pm at Milner Chapel north of Langley, BC. Jonathan ministers with Bishop Ron Ferris at Church of the Ascension (Langley, BC). Pray for Jonathan as he takes this step of faith.
The Revs Geoff Chapman, Mike Chase, Jordan Senner and Alistair Stern will be ordained to the priesthood at Sojourn Church (Vancouver, BC) on April 13 at 7pm
The Revs Jon Vickery and Terry Lamb will be ordained to the priesthood on April 26 at Resurrection Anglican Community (Kelowna, BC). Place and time will be announced later.
By popular demand… training for catechists; 1st session May 30-31
A team of ANiC clergy and lay members have been appointed to prepare training for catechists based on the ACNA’s newly released catechism, To Be a Christian. This team has identified the need to prepare training for three types of catechists: those teaching children, those working with youth, and those ministering to adults. See more on the ANiC website.
The initial training will focus on catechetical children’s ministry and will be offered for Sunday School teachers and those ministering to children. A two-day seminar will be held May 30-31 at St John’s Richmond (BC). An identical session in eastern Canada is anticipated but not yet scheduled. Once the training in catechetical children’s ministry is fully rolled out, the team will focus on training catechists for youth ministry and then for adult ministry.
Bishop Azad Marshall to visit ANiC churches in Canada
ANIC’s Asian and Multicultural Ministry (AMMiC) has invited Bishop Azad Marshall of the Diocese of Iran to minister in Calgary and Vancouver, May 10-17. His visit will be an encouragement to South Asian Anglicans in Canada, including Good Shepherd South Asian (Calgary, AB) where he will minister on the weekend of May 10-12. He will meet with AMMiC clergyand other groups during his time in Vancouver. More details to come.
Help improve healthcare for children in South Sudan
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada has launched its new project: raising $66,000 to build a children’s ward for a clinic operated by the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan. This clinic is one of the few in the region and has had a dramatic impact on the health of the community. Children who are treated in the clinic are most often suffering from malaria and dehydration. With proper treatment they recover quickly and can be released within 24 hours. Without treatment many die. To get a sense of this project and the urgent need, check out a short video, photos, and information on the ARDFC website. To better understand how ARDFC works see this short video.
Clergy and spouse retreat – time for serious refreshment!
It might be hard to imagine that spring will ever come, but May is actually not that far away and the deadline for registering for this year’s clergy retreat is fast approaching. The annual retreat has been moved this year from Cedar Springs (in Sumas, Washington) to Malibu Camp, 100 miles north of Vancouver on the spectacular Princess Louisa Inlet. The retreat is scheduled for May 5-8. Full information and registration instructions are on the flyer.
Ginger Group books now available online – free
The 21 short booklets, edited by Dr J I Packer and written by various Anglican theologians (known as the Ginger Group), have been available for purchase for several years – and still can be purchased through the ANiC online store. However, they are now also available as free downloads (pdfs) on the ANiC website. Thank you Ginger Group! Each book tackles an important and timely topic for Anglican Christians. They are the perfect size for use by adult Bible study groups – covering a different topic each week. May these books be a blessing to many around the world.
Report on meeting with Archbishop Bob Duncan, February 20-21
Archbishop Bob meet with ANiC leadership on February 20-21 in Richmond, BC to help them think through organizational options for the future. The geographic size of ANiC is daunting. As we grow in numbers, we need to think about how we restructure to facilitate episcopal ministry and support our mission of “Building Biblically faithful, Gospel sharing, Anglican churches. “ While there was no clear consensus achieved and this discussion will be ongoing, options were explored and a variety of views articulated.
The dinner on Friday, February 21 honoured Archbishop Bob’s leadership of ACNA – and its precursors – over the past decade. He told about coming to Vancouver first in 2002 to support the dissenting parishes which had just walked out of their diocesan synod which had determined to defy the plain truth of Scripture. Several tributes were given by various ANiC members and Bishop Charlie presented our Primate and his wife with token gifts of hats and mitts. You can see Patricia Young’s photos of the evening on the ANiC website.
Anglicans for Life & March for Life, Ottawa, May 7-9
The National March for Life speakers have been announced along with the theme – RU-4LIFE. See a great promotional video in on the Campaign Life website. Speakers include keynote, Rebecca Kiessling, an attorney and international speaker who will share her own story of being conceived in rape. See the full list of speakers here. The march takes place May 8 in Ottawa. ANiC’s Bishop Charlie Masters will lead the ANiC contingent.
The inaugural conference of Anglicans for Life is planned for May 7 at St Peter’s & St Paul’s in Ottawa. Plan to attend! We have been passive for too long.
Parish and regional news
The Table (Victoria, BC) and the Rev Josh Wilton are profiled in an Anglican Planet article that focuses on one of The Table’s ministries: Marketplace. Read this encouraging article about how Josh+ and Marketplace are reaching and serving Victoria-area professionals in business and government through biweekly Tuesday lunch-time forums.
St Luke’s (Pembroke, ON) is holding a ½ day retreat (9.30am-1pm) on Saturday, March 22 led by the Ven Desiree Stedman. Called "Peace in the midst of stress", it will include time for silence, reflection and prayer. All are welcome.
Church of All Nations - Japanese (Vancouver, BC) – The Rev Shihoko Warren of the Church of All Nations (Japanese) and her family will be visiting Japan at the end of March, speaking to churches and other Christian groups about the ministry among Japanese Anglicans in the Vancouver area. In particular, they will also share about their gardening ministry called “New Eden”. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese have become very concerned about environmental protection and care – opening this doorway to connect with Japanese youth. Please pray for the Warren family as they share their vision and ministry with Christians in Japan.
Good Shepherd (Vancouver, BC) officially launched a monthly outreach program called TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) on February 14. Since this year Valentine's Day and Chap Goh Meh (Chinese Valentine’s Day) coincided – something that happens just once every 19 years, this was an auspicious day to launch TGIF. More than 65 people attended – about 30 per cent non-churchgoers. May God bless this monthly TGIF ministry with many coming to faith in Jesus Christ.
On May 2, Good Shepherd will host the Rev Dr John Goldingay as he speaks on the Psalms. On May 3, Dr Goldingay will give two more lectures at the Carey Institute (Vancouver). The event is co-sponsored by the Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) and the Carey Institute. For more information on the three lectures, see the AMMiC website.
Christ the Redeemer – Multicultural (Toronto, ON) celebrated its 1st anniversary on March 1 with a banquet and time of sharing the vision, giving thanks to God, celebrating and worshipping. May our Lord continue to use this church to bless Toronto with His redemptive grace. Photos of the event are on Facebook and you can see a slide show overview of this past year of ministry. Also, see the church’s new website.
On March 2, the Rev Marion Karasiuk was commissioned by Bishop Stephen Leung for ministry at Christ the Redeemer, serving with the Rev Melvin Tai. Photos are on Facebook.
Good Shepherd - Cantonese (Calgary, AB) celebrated its 1st anniversary on February 16 with a service and thanksgiving and sharing dinner. Thanks be to God for the growth in this small church which has such a big heart for sharing the Good News! Ten people were baptized, and two babies were born into this community in the past year. May the Good Shepherd continue to use this church as a community of worship and witness.
St George (Burlington, ON) broke ground for their soon-to-be-constructed building. The ceremony was captured in a short video where you’ll see the artist’s rendition of the future building at the end.
Celebration Church (Barrie, ON) held a Bible-in-a-Day workshop on February 22 and captured photo evidence of the “great day” here. The Rev Ray David Glenn and Brad Melle led the workshop. Has your church held a Bible-in-a-Day workshop yet? If not, you’re missing out!
Cross Roads Peninsula Anglican Church (Brentwood Bay, BC) has an attractive new website.
Be sure to email your parish news to Marilyn Jacobson.
Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news
Theological Task Force on Holy Orders releases hermeneutic principles for study
The ACNA website reports that “The Theological Task Force on Holy Orders has completed the second phase of its work by identifying and articulating the biblical principles that will guide it in future deliberations.” You can read the full report to the ACNA College of Bishops on the ACNA website. The hermeneutical principles outlined by the task force “…may be organized under three headings: Scripture has primary authority; Scripture is coherent; and Scripture is to be interpreted in the context of the Church.” A final report from the task force is not expected until January 2016.
An Anglican TV interview with Bishop David Hicks, who leads this task force, offers insight into the work of the task force, the development of the ACNA Prayer Book, and the election of ACNA’s next Primate later this spring.
College mission conference, April 4-5, near Chicago
Anglican1000 and Greenhouse Campus Fellowship are offering a conference to equip and encourage those with a heart for campus ministry. The conference offers plenary speakers and in-depth training for campus ministry. The college mission training tracks offered are: Campus missionaries; Host churches; Reaching students from different cultures; Catechism; and Coaching; Church planting.
There are more than 22 million college and university students in North America, 1 million of whom are international students. Imagine the potential impact if those students’ lives were transformed by Jesus Christ!
Encouraging stories of growing ACNA church plants
Restoration Anglican in Arlington, VA – From 60 people in 2008, Restoration has grown to 450 today – and the congregation is starting to construct their own building. Read how God has blessed. And why they are known as the “church with snacks”.
Southside Anglican in Pittsburgh is located in “party central” where tattoo parlours and bars abound. Using their gifts in art and music, the church planters are making connections and helping people tell their stories. The services in a local market combine with a host of creative evangelistic events to welcome the disaffected into a community of Faith. Read the story on Anglican1000.
Grace Anglican in Sheridan, Wyoming – Run out of his Episcopal Church pulpit for preaching about the holiness of God, the sinfulness of mankind and the sacrifice of Christ, Kevin Jones was astonished by the support of other local pastors who “outfitted him with equipment so that he could continue his ministry in Sheridan through a new church.” Grace Anglican moved from storefront, to theatre, to owning a former country club. Grace has set audacious five-year goals of seeing 100 people come to faith in Christ and baptized and planting churches – one each year, reaching into Montana, Iowa and Idaho, eventually applying to be an ACNA diocese. Read the full story on the Anglican1000 website.
Togus Anglican Chapel in Augusta, Maine ministers to young combat veterans returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as elderly veterans who need the healing that comes only through the transforming love of Jesus Christ. About one in six veterans suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The Anglo-Catholic / Evangelical divide
Speaking at a recent Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) diocesan synod, Bishop Jack Iker of the ACNA Diocese of Fort Worth addressed the ties that bind as well as the tensions within the ACNA. (REC dioceses comprise six of ACNA’s 29 dioceses.) Bishop Iker, an Anglo-Catholic, begins by saying that the REC and his tradition represent “two different extremes of the churchmanship spectrum” but are now, by the Grace of God, part of “one united body - The Anglican Church in North America… This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. There is more that unites us than divides us. And this new sense of our oneness in Christ and our unity as a church is something God has done...”
However, he does not gloss over the tensions. Anglo-Catholics and the REC among others do not ordain women to the priesthood. “Those who do not ordain women make up a majority of the College of Bishops, and we see the ordination of women presbyters as a departure from the witness of Holy Scripture and the apostolic practice of the ancient Church. Pray for God's guidance as we seek to resolve this deeply divisive issue, in the interest of deepening our unity in Christ.”
The second area of tension he identifies – within the ACNA, the GAFCon movement, and the Anglican Communion as a whole – is between evangelicals’ and Anglo-Catholics’ reference point. Quoting Dr Edward Pusey, he says that Anglo-Catholics understand "reference to the ancient Church, instead of the Reformers, as the ultimate expounder of the meaning of our Church."
There has been a lot of grief and push-back since the dean of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, an Anglo-Catholic school, issued an invitation to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC), Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, to preach on campus. As a result, ACNA’s Bishop Jack Iker (Fort Worth) has resigned from the board – and other board members could yet follow suit. The former dean of Nashotah House Robert Munday offers extensive background that provides context for this astonishing move by the current dean as well as some advice. VirtueOnline provides additional background as due the commentators on AnglicanTV.
Canon Phil Ashey explains why seminaries are strategic and calls for a rescinding of the invitation; he also suggests ACNA look at other options for training Anglo-Catholics. The Christian Post quotes Archbishop Duncan saying, "This is a tragic and unwise decision that threatens the future of Nashotah House."
Archbishop Bob Duncan, on behalf of the ACNA College of Bishops, issued a public statement expressing regret and calling the invitation “insensitive”. “What is far more concerning, however, are the fundamental spiritual, biblical and institutional issues that the visit to Chapel raises. We have trusted Nashotah House with our students, our prayers and our support, recognizing that the House also serves the Episcopal Church, and that a remarkable community has been built there. We hope that ways can be found to restore the trust that this particular invitation has seriously shaken.”
Time to report in
Our Province, the ACNA, has begun the annual collection of congregation data. Congregations have until March 31 to complete their report. More information is here and reports can be submitted at: www.acna.org.
The US Supreme Court has refused to grant review of a lower court ruling involving The Falls Church and the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Virginia. As a result ACNA’s The Falls Church loses both its property and about $3 million. Read more from lawyer Alan Haley.
Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) campaign of misinformation
The Anglican Samizdat blog draws our attention to an interesting statement by the Rev Canon Kawuki Mukasa, who serves as the Anglican Church of Canada’s (ACoC) Africa Relations Coordinator as well as the US Episcopal Church’s African Relations Officer. Canon Mukasa, writing to the Diocese of Montreal, says that the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has engaged in a “campaign of misinformation” in Africa which has tarnished the ACoC’s reputation. His recommended solution is for ACoC dioceses to develop “companion links with African dioceses”.
Global South Primates Steering Committee statement
Meeting in Cairo, Egypt, February 14-15, some primates from the Global South released a statement which, among other things:
||Called for a Primates Meeting in 2015 to be called by the Archbishop of Canterbury “…in order to address the increasingly deteriorated situation facing the Anglican Communion” – and demanded that the agenda be set and agreed upon by the primates in advance.
||Established a Primatial Oversight Council “…to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”
Primate of Kenya refuses to welcome Archbishop of York
Because of Archbishop John Sentamu’s equivocation on Biblical standards of morality, the Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala and other Kenyan bishops absented themselves from a celebration in the Diocese of Butere where Archbishop Sentamu had been invited by the diocesan bishop to speak.
International news in brief
The Anglican Church of Canada’s (ACoC) Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador is facing a $9-million lawsuit for breach of contract as a result of allegedly reneging on the sale of property in St John’s.
Several ACoC dioceses have newly installed or newly elected bishops. Bishop Geoffrey Peddle succeeded Bishop Cyrus Pitman in the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador in January. Bishop Ron Cutler will succeed Bishop Sue Moxley in the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on April 1. Bishop Logan McMenamie was consecrated in the Diocese of British Columbia on March 2. Bishop Melissa Skelton was installed with great pomp in the Diocese of New Westminster on March 1.
The Anglican Planet reports that Dr Roseanne Kydd, a layperson, was elected chair of the Anglican Communion Alliance (ACA), a theologically conservative group within the Anglican Church of Canada. Dr. Roseanne Kydd formerly known as the Anglican Essentials Federation. She is quoted saying, ““My sense is that there is a deep substructure of conservative Anglicans who are biding their time, wounded but not defeated by the global and local turmoil that marks our Communion. It’s no secret that many of the churches that are thriving are conservative. We would like ACA to be a safe docking area for those committed to historic Anglican orthodoxy. Politically, we want to remind the larger church that their emphasis upon diversity includes us, and that welcoming space needs to be made for those who have not opted for theological accommodation to cultural innovation.”
With the call by the government of Quebec for a provincial election in April, the bill to legalize euthanasia in Quebec died – but will likely be reintroduced in the next sitting of the legislature.
The Government of Canada is offering an opportunity for us to make our views known by completing the five-minute online survey on prostitution laws. Why not take a few minutes to become familiar with and reflect on the EFC’s work, read the government’s discussion paper, then develop your own position – and make it known?
Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream provides a good summary of the state of the Church of England (CoE). His major point is that, given the number of “liberal” bishops and other church leaders in the CoE the likelihood is that canon law will increasingly be defied with impunity and evangelicals come under growing pressure; however, God is in control and we trust Him.
A CoE vicar announced he will defy the church’s ban on clergy entering into homosexual marriages. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali provides insightful analysis of the recently issued – and logically incoherent – CoE House of Bishops’ Pastoral guidance on Same-Sex Marriage.
In BreakPoint, Eric Metaxas, a speaker at this summer’s ACNA Assembly in Pittsburgh, notes that a UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights has condemned North Korea for “unspeakable atrocities” and threatened to send the report to the International Criminal Court. The Evangelical Alliance reports that “North Korea is one of the most oppressive nations in the world… Just this week, Kim Jong-Un ordered the execution of 33 North Koreans because they made contact with a Christian missionary from South Korea.” Read how one woman survived and shared Christ in a brutal prison labour camp.
The Christian Post reports that some of the few remaining Christians in the north of Syria have been given the options of converting to Islam, execution or becoming dhimmis. They chose dhimmitude which involves numerous restrictions, live as second-class citizens and pay a jizya – Islamic protection money.
Canon Andrew White, rector of St George’s Baghdad, has been awarded the Colson Center’s 2014 William Wilberforce Award.
The Washington Post explores the appalling abuses of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
International Christian Concern reports on kidnap for ransom of Christians and especially Christian children in parts of Egypt where criminal gangs operate with impunity. In one province alone, “during the past two years, there have been more than 150 reported kidnappings… all targeting Christians.”
VirtueOnline reports that Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has added his voice to that of the Primates of Uganda and Kenya in condemning the recent letter from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury which scolded the Churches of Uganda and Nigeria for their stand on legislation in their respective countries related to homosexual activities. Archbishop Okoh noted that the Church of England’s stand on sexual issues was unchristian and the attempt to excerpt pressure on the Church of Nigeria was “a new colonial philosophy at work”.
The DailyPost, a Nigerian online newspaper, reports that Christians in Borno State, which has seen hundreds of people massacred by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, were called to a week of prayer and fasting. They were called to humble themselves, to examine their relationships and ensure they were at peace with God and with their neighbour.
Anglican Ink reports that two bombs were detonated; one at the main entrance to Zanzibar’s Christ Church Cathedral, and the other nearby. While there were no fatalities, this is the latest in a series of threats and attacks by Muslim extremists on Christians in Zanzibar.
Central African Republic
The Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis, has called on Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) to step back from the growing violence in that country, calling them to exemplify the “teaching of Jesus Christ, who calls us to love, especially to love neighbours, regardless of their beliefs.” The conflict in the CAR has created a humanitarian crisis and triggered the deployment of UN peacekeeping troops. An All Africa article explains that the conflict is, at its deepest level, not religious but ethnic, with deep and complex social, economic and regional dynamics.
A BBC report estimates that there are now about 860,000 South Sudanese displaced by the often brutal, politically instigated civil war. A fascinating series of maps at the end of the article maps educational attainment, malnourishment, clean water availability, the location of the oil fields and other pertinent information.
While the World Bank has “postponed” a $90 million loan to Uganda because of the country’s legal stand on homosexuality. Uganda enacted new legislation – which, contrary to media reports, slightly softened previous legislation – defying threats and pressure from western nations. The Church of Nigeria Standing Committee, however, wrote to the Church of Uganda “…to commend you for your firm stand in upholding the authentic Gospel and the historic heritage of our Church, by rejecting the erroneous teaching and practice of homosexuality. We further wish to encourage you to stand firm in your resolve to please God and not men... and resist all manner of negative foreign influences.”
A Washington Post article provides a fair overview of the situation and the resentment by African nations to western – colonial – attempts to impose non-indigenous values.
Church leaders, including the Primate of the Anglican Church of Congo, Archbishop Henri Isingoma, have pledged to work to rid of the country of the cruelty of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Congo is considered the “rape capital” of the world.
Following the sudden death of Archbishop Tilewa Johnson, Archbishop Daniel Sarfo (Ghana) was elevated to become primate of West Africa.
The Daily Mail reports that “382 babies were rescued after four websites were found to be selling children under the guise of adoption.” “The nationwide bust saw 1094 people arrested… relating to four major internet-based baby trafficking rings.” The country’s one-child policy has created significant social problems.
Resources for ministry
Evangelism and church growth – Citing examples from present-day Kenya and ancient Ireland, Bishop Bill Atwood shows how we can embody the Good News as we seek to lead people to Christ. He also shares the good news that the current head of the World Council of Churches – Dr Agnes Aboum of Kenya – is Anglican and thoroughly evangelical.
Online daily office – The Trinity Mission website offers online morning and evening prayer – with both audio and text. You can easily post a customized link to this daily office to your parish website so your congregation is encouraged to participate. You can also subscribe via iTunes or an RSS feed. We have also added links on the ANiC website.
Pastors’ conference – Regent College (Vancouver, BC) offers its annual pastors’ conference on May 6-9 with speakers Mark Buchanan, Mariam Kamell, Rikk Watts and others. The theme this year is: “Transformation the Gospel Way: Cultivating Christ-like Persons of Holy Character and Faithful Ethical Action”. More information is on the Regent website. Your church and social media – If your church doesn’t have a presence – worth visiting – on the Internet, you don’t exist for most people, says Dr Albert Mohler. He urges us to use the digital domain effectively to share the light of the Gospel.
Pastoring for the long-haul – On the 9Marks blog, Mark Devers looks to three Anglican priests as examples of those who have had significant fruit by staying with one congregation for their entire ministry. He examines reasons to move on and how to pastor for the long haul.
Disciple-making – Tim Brister asks why Little League Baseball is better at making disciples than is the church.
Resources for Christian living
Article 6: Holy Scriptures – In his continuing series on the 39 Articles, Canon Phil Ashey discusses article six: “Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for salvation”.
Hostile culture – In an excellent lecture delivered at Brigham Young University, Dr Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed our culture’s precipitous descent into a moral abyss of secularism and relativism. He noted that, “…the secular worldview actually undermines the very values that the prophets of the secular age claim to cherish and preserve — human dignity, human rights, and human flourishing.” While not diminishing the theological differences between himself and his audience, he said, “I believe that we will not go to heaven together, but we might well go to jail together… Erotic liberty is in the ascent and religious liberty is in peril. We may go to jail sooner even than we thought.” You can read the lecture here or listen to it here.
Randy Alcorn advises that we shouldn’t be surprised by persecution. “…the gospel is good news, it is also insulting. Many people don’t like being called sinners and told they deserve to go to hell.”
Abortion is not, as generally claimed, about giving women control over their bodies. Dr Joe Kral writes: “No matter how much abortion advocates try to state that it is about a woman’s right to choose, history and present realities have proven that mantra to be blatantly false. Abortion has always empowered men in a destructive way.”
Just for laughs
Two good ol’ southern boys loved to fish and decided to try ice fishing. So, they drove up to Ontario and found a nice big frozen lake with a little bait shop nearby where they got supplies, including a sturdy ice pick.
About an hour later, one of them was back at the shop and bought another ice pick. In another hour the air-head was back, and said, "We're going to need all the ice picks you got."
The bait man said, "Well, OK -- How are you doing out there?"
"Not very well at all," said the one. "We don't even have the boat in the water yet."
You are not finished when you lose. You are finished when you quit.
And now a Word from our Sponsor
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:6-14 ESV
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