Southwark Responds as Story Hits the Mainstream Media

Mar 14, 2015 by

By David Ould, Stand Firm: The Southwark Muslim Prayer Story has begun to hit the mainstream media in a big way. A quick google search shows an increasing number of papers and other online news services picking it up. A number of images (screengrabs from the video) are being used repeatedly including this one which shows Cannon Goddard affirming the commonality of Allah and the God of the Bible, not a sight that will make the orthodox happy and which is beginning to give the bishop of Southwark no end of trouble. I reached out to the diocese for a response and got this: A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark said, “The Bishop of Southwark takes very seriously his responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church and to work within its framework of legislation and guidance. It is quite clear that Islamic prayer should not take place in a consecrated building.  This is why he has asked the Bishop of Kingston to investigate fully what happened. It is inappropriate to seek to make further public comments on this matter until this has happened.” As the Bishop affirms his “responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church”, conservatives will be wondering why he hasn’t done so with regard to the question of sexual ethics and same-sex blessings in particular. Read here...

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Liberal “Christianity” Reveals Its Soul and Bares Its Fangs

Nov 30, 2014 by

By Peter Jones, The Aquila Report: The Church’s conflict with non-Christian religions is to be expected. Israel’s monotheistic faith was in direct confrontation with the many gods of Babylon and Egypt. Christians were confronted with the many altars to the gods of the Greco-Roman Empire. Interfaith was not on the cards. This situation clearly reflected the fundamental differences between the many forms of Oneist paganism in which everything is God, and Twoist biblical faith, in which God is the separate Creator and everything else is creation. In one case everything is one and the same; in the other, God and creation are radically different. There is, of course, a certain confusion with the so-called Abrahamic religions, but on closer examination, the gods of heretical Islam and Rabbinic Judaism are ultimately impersonal because they are singular, not Trinitarian. For God to be personal, Islam and Judaism must see God as obliged to create human persons, but in that case, God becomes dependent on the creation and true biblical transcendence is therefore impossible. There are two reasons why the Islamic Friday prayers at the Episcopal National Cathedral on November 14, 2014, was strictly a form of religious non-sense. First, there is nothing in common between Allah and the Christian God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Islam rejects Christianity as polytheistic, and so refuses to recognize the true nature of the one who gives Christianity its name, namely Jesus Christ. Appropriately, with permission from their “Christian” hosts, Muslims on their prayer mats in the cathedral had their backs to a large Cross in the center of the church, graphically denying the central truth of the Gospel. Second, though its organizers called the event “a powerful symbolic gesture of religious tolerance,” the symbolism of the National Cathedral momentarily turned into a mosque is not lost on those eager for a global caliphate. The Islamic doctrine of wakf teaches that once a territory is Islamic, it is considered forever Islamic. These issues are of no concern to the event’s hosts in Washington, whose true commitments are clearer by the day. The National Cathedral Dean, Rev. Gary Hall, characterized the biblical views of God and Jesus as “extremist Christianity.” He felt so at home with the traditions of his Moslems guests that he announced ahead of time: “we will not to try to convert one another,” openly admitting: “I have much more in common with progressive Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists than I do with certain people in my own tradition, with fundamentalist Christians.” This astonishing admission reveals how paganism has taken over the heart of the nation’s shrine, dressed up as “Christian” tolerance,” but quite willing to vilify and sideline biblical Christianity as the real enemy. Read here...

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A litmus test for orthodoxy

May 16, 2014 by

From Premier Christianity: The Evangelical Alliance’s decision to remove Steve Chalke’s organisation Oasis from membership raises the question of what defines an evangelical today. Justin Brierley reflects on why homosexuality has become the latest tipping point. ‘So where do you stand on homosexuality?’ asked the church leader I had met only five minutes ago. We were attending a media event, and had reached the wine-and-canapés-hobnobbing part that inevitably follows. It’s the kind of question which, in any other context, would seem vastly inappropriate from someone you had just been introduced to. ‘Terrible weather we’ve been having…so what do you think about gay sex?’ There is an unwritten (and slightly depressing) rule in some evangelical circles that the quickest way to ascertain if a person is ‘sound’ is to find out what they think about sexuality. We live in a world of ever-increasing categorisation, and homosexuality seems to have become the de-facto crunch issue that can potentially mark you in or out of the evangelical fold. Read...

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ACI's letter to the Bishops of the Episocpal Church – revisited

Nov 30, 2012 by

Read open letter from The Rev. Prof. Christopher Seitz, The Rev. Dr. Philip Turner and The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner here Read also some of the comments from Kendall Harmon's blog, including this one by Pageantmaster (an Englishman) : If I were an Episcopal Church Bishop receiving this letter as an addressee, which thankfully I am not qualified to be, and therefore do not have to swear allegience to a particular interpretation of TEC’s constitution as Goodwin Proctor shall feel like making it up from time to time, I think I would not be very pleased with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. Consider: 1. She has a dreadful record of wasting Episcopal Church resources, mostly on the dreadful firm of Goodwin Proctor and its partner acting as her Chancellor. 2. She has made the Episcopal Church into a by-word for arbitrary and reckless behaviour and persecution around the world and in doing so has now purported to depose hundreds of priests and dozens of bishops, including Bishop Henry Scriven of the Church of England, to the extent that her actions are regularly quoted in England as an example we do not want to follow, and we treat her purported depositions which put Madame Defarge in the shade with contempt, including her presumption against Bishop Henry Scriven and her latest escapades against Bishop Lawrence. 3. Her latest little escapade has backfired massively, because she triggered by her latest attack on South Carolina an automatic dissociation of the entire diocese, and this is no tiny diocese like Nevada from which desert place she hails as its bishop and Dean of a divinity school which exists only as her ‘Truth’ in the Walter Mitty world in which she lives. 4. South Carolina is a huge loss to TEC – virtually its only consistently growing diocese, at 29,444 members.  5. Between 2010 and 2011, TEC lost 28,861 members. In one fell swoop, the Presiding Bishop managed to ensure a similar loss in 2012. Got to keep up her average, I suppose. Now in Episcopal Church terms, South Carolina is one of the largest dioceses, and is equivalent to the Presiding Bishop losing a small Anglican Communion province, being larger than the Scottish Episcopal Church, or the Province of South East Asia, or the Southern Cone. Let me just repeat that figure, twenty-nine thousand Epsiscopalians in a diocese have been alienated by the sole actions of the Presiding Bishop. That is a breathtaking record of failure by this Presiding Bishop, all of which comes down to her personal mendacity and total incompetence. It need not have happened but so determined is this vicious zealot that it seems not to matter to her. If I were a TEC bishop, I would be appalled. Read...

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Episcopal Bishop Promotes Homosexuality, Denies Biblical Authority

Aug 14, 2012 by

By Kristin Rudolph, IRD Christians on either side of the homosexuality debate have “a lot to agree on … [but] one of the things we might not agree on is that book … the Bible,” said Bishop Gene Robinson at Skyline Church’s “Conversation on the Definition of Marriage.” Robinson was the first openly gay bishop ordained in the Episcopal Church. On Sunday, July 28, San Diego’s Skyline Church invited Robinson, John Corvino, Jennifer Roback Morse, and Robert Gagnon for this discussion. Robinson, the retiring bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, and Corvino, philosopher and co-author of the recent book Debating Same-Sex Marriage, were defending homosexual unions. Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, and Gagnon, a theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, defended traditional marriage. “The Church is trying to ask and answer the question, how big … is God’s love for all of God’s children,” Robinson said in his opening statement. He explained that differing views of the Bible are a large reason for “why we miss each other in these conversations.” According to the Bishop: “The Bible is words about God [but] they were words not dictated by God … all of those words were meant to point to the living reality of a living God.” Robinson explained his view on the Scriptures. “I take the Bible unbelievably seriously,” he stressed. “I take it so seriously that I refuse to take it simply.” According to Robinson, “context means everything,” and when reading scripture, one should ask: “Is the context described there similar to our context and therefore is eternally binding?” Through this contextualization, he discounted scriptural prohibitions of homosexuality, and argued that Jesus’ promise in John 16 that the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all truth” means that Christians should adopt an evolving view on sexual ethics. Read...

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That’s enough flannel about women bishops

Jul 11, 2012 by

by Melanie McDonagh, London Evening Standard The Church of England has agonised for 12 years about whether to ordain women as bishops and at last has come to a decision, viz, to put the whole thing off until November. Or possibly February, so the new Archbishop of Canterbury can get to grips with the question. (And you wonder why there aren’t any outstanding candidates?)   The proponents of women bishops, you see, are hugely exercised by the opt-out clause in the deal. That allows opponents of women’s ordination to call on bishops for their parishes who are not only male but have been ordained by men. There aren’t many of these parishes: think very camp Anglo-Catholics, or evangelicals with strong views about women ordering men about. But these harmless dissidents are enough for the would-be women bishops to refuse to play. Nope. If they’re not going to be ordained on their own terms, they won’t be ordained at all. There are so many occasions when life calls out for Trollope, and this is one of them. I’ve got no business, myself, getting involved, given that I’m a Catholic and we don’t actually believe that any of them are properly ordained. But I do get a bit restive when I hear the likes of the Rev Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, one of the many media-friendly female clerics, declaring that “the whole point of having women bishops was to say that the Church of England believes that women and men are equal and made in the image of God. I do not want it enshrined in law that we officially do not believe that.” Hang on there. Our lot don’t have women bishops either but I’ve never had any problems on being made in the image of God, thanks all the same, Miranda. Read...

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