Bishop Michael Curry offers the world ‘Christianity-lite’

“Yes, Bishop Curry, as St John wrote, God is love. But unlike you, St John defines Love and shows us that it is a longing and meeting of longing that travels the way of the cross, the way of renunciation.

But if you want to be popular, don’t invite the people to renunciation. And Bishop Curry didn’t. But Jesus did. …”

– At his blog, Gavin Ashenden echoes the thoughts of many who watched TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s passionately-delivered sermon at the royal wedding.

More from David Robertson at The Wee Flea:

“… for the moment let me simply say that this was at best a pick ‘n’ mix Christianity – a Gospel sermon without the Gospel – a Christian sermon without Christ. …

It is not ‘curmudgeonly’ nor ‘unloving’ to ask that preachers should preach the Christ of the Bible. Indeed it is unloving to feed the people anything other than the bread and meat of the Word.”

See Bishop Curry’s sermon – Text (Episcopal News Service) and Video (BBC).

Photo: Episcopal Church of the USA.

Why Cranmer would have approved of the Oxford Martyrs’ Memorial

“How many British national newspaper journalists apart from Peter Hitchens would be willing and able to write so knowledgeably about the sixteenth-century Protestant martyrs burned at the stake in Oxford? Surely not very many.

Mr Hitchens’s highly educative piece about the English Protestant martyrs in First Things, the magazine for the New York-based Institute on Religion and Public Life, certainly achieved its purpose. It showed the moral difference between the Protestant Christians martyred under Mary Tudor and the Jesuit fanatics executed for high treason under Elizabeth Tudor.

But his portrayal of the conduct in the fire of persecution of respectively Bishop Hugh Latimer, burnt at the stake in 1555, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, burnt in 1556, calls for a rejoinder for the sake of a more complete picture of the Church of England’s theology as expressed in its historic formularies, namely its 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Ordinal and 39 Articles of Religion. …”

– Julian Mann, Vicar of Oughtibridge in South Yorkshire, reflects on Peter Hitchens’ characterisation of Bishop Latimer.

Defending Liberty in a Perilous Age

“Consider the fact that religious liberty is now described as religious privilege.

By definition, a privilege is not a right. It can be revoked or redefined as circumstances may dictate. It can be withdrawn or subverted by the courts in the name of liberation and justice. And, in our day, privilege is suspect in the first place – an embarrassment to be identified and corrected. …”

Albert Mohler writes of the collision of the secular age and religious liberty – focussing on the American context.

Euthanasia and Assisted Dying — the law and why it should not change

“This is a paper I presented recently at an evening considering issues around euthanasia and assisted dying: Euthanasia Paper May 2018. It presents reasons why changing the law in these areas is not a good idea in the interests of society at large and the vulnerable sick and elderly in particular.

For further material on this issue, see the excellent site “Health Professionals Say No”, which as well as providing a long list of health professionals who oppose euthanasia, also links to a set of resources for further study. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

Dear @Channel9, Help me out and cut the family-targetted soft porn

“Dear Channel 9,

We’re both adults. We need to talk.

Because we’re adults we’ll start by not pretending about where we’re coming from.

I’m a Christian and an Anglican minister at a cathedral. You’re in the business of making money off advertising by promoting TV shows that you think will be popular. …”

– David Ould writes an open letter to the Nine Network on their promotion of an upcoming series.

What is the biggest problem facing Evangelicalism? Comfort

“The biggest problem facing the British Evangelical church today is, without doubt, our own personal comfort.…

Far too many of us are happy in our middle-class Christian enclaves, in comfortable areas of the country, going to churches full of people exactly like them. …

… there is no soft and dressed-up way to say this, a generation of middle-class believers will have to give up their idolatrous worship at the altar of comfort and commit to taking the gospel to the urban poor and deprived communities.”

Here’s a hard-hitting article by Stephen Kneale, minister at an evangelical church in Oldham, near Manchester.

Scotland’s Little Pink Guards

“If the Israel Folau incident gives us an insight into how our ‘liberal’ elites seek to bully Christians into accepting their doctrines, then what has been happening back home in Scotland to the Church of Scotland minister Mike Goss gives another. …

When SSM was passed (in the name of tolerance) we warned that one of the consequences would be the marginalisation and demonisation of those who upheld the traditional Christian position – and of course, we were mocked and abused as extremists for suggesting such a ridiculous idea.…”

– David Robertson writes at The Wee Flea.

The Folau case is a public relations disaster for Qantas and Rugby Australia

“What has happened to Israel Folau indicates that the inclusion and diversity programs run by Qantas and Rugby Australia seem to be, to coin a Trumpsim, ‘fake’ initiatives.

Moreover, the exposure of the attempts to gag Israel Folau has created a public relations disaster for Qantas and Rugby Australia. …”

– Commentary by Spiro Zavos at The Roar. (Link via SydneyAnglicans.net.)

Related: Israel Folau – Heretic or Hero? – David Robertson.

‘CEO Activism clashes with Religious Freedom’

“Reports today that Qantas is considering withdrawing its sponsorship for the Wallabies because of Israel Folau’s recent comments about homosexuality are the latest example of the national carrier’s attempts to marginalise Christians.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Martyn Iles expressed concern at the reports, “It’s not enough for Qantas to preach tolerance, they have to demonstrate it.

“This is just the latest attempt by big corporates to try to silence Christians and marginalise them for their beliefs.

“The threat to withdraw sponsorship for an athlete sharing his personal belief should send a chill down the spine of the millions of Australians who voted ‘No’ last year, and every politician who promised that gay marriage would not affect religious freedom …”

– see the full media release from the Australian Christian Lobby.

David Ould has some background to the controversy.

When Facebook falls out of Like with your blog

“Sorry Facebook, it’s not me baby, it’s you.

Lots of people have fallen out of like with Facebook over the years, but when it’s the other way around, it stings a little.

So, Facebook, I’m starting to fall out of like with you – fast falling out of like with you actually – because you’ve fallen out of like with me.

Or more to the point, you’ve fallen out of like with my blog. You’ve gone all silent on me.  Don’t even talk about me to anyone anymore. It’s as if you’re ashamed of me. …”

– Stephen McAlpine in Perth has come to a realisation about Facebook.

It’s not cricket: “Crucify him”

“In the wake of one of the most controversial weeks in Australian sporting history, Shane Warne was out in the press today and bowling this delivery,

‘You shouldn’t crucify someone unless they deserve to be crucified.’ …

Warnie’s analogy couldn’t be more fitting, because this weekend happens to be Easter.”

– writes Murray Campbell in Melbourne.

Call for a new newspaper for the British Church

“It is now time for a new newspaper for the British Church, employing professional journalists whose news coverage will investigate the truth without fear or favour, preventing the new publication from being a mere echo-chamber.

Its comment columns should be robustly and persuasively orthodox, putting the revisionist agenda under rigorous intellectual scrutiny. …”

– Julian Mann, who recently explained why he can no longer write for the Church of England Newspaper, calls for a new newspaper.

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