Newcastle Synod decision pushes Australian Anglicans to Precipice

“The synod of the Diocese of Newcastle which met this past weekend has taken a decision that will only further exacerbate the already very high tensions in the national church.

As we reported last week, the synod was due to consider 2 controversial pieces of legislation.

The first is an ordinance to remove the possibility of clergy in a same-sex marriage being open to a disciplinary tribunal by virtue of that relationship. The second, a bill, sought to establish a “Wangaratta”-style blessing for persons in same-sex marriages.

Only the first ordinance actually passed. Reports from the synod tell of time running out on the second bill and so, although it had support in principle, it could not be completed and will have to be presented next year. …”

– David Ould takes a close look at what happened at last weekend’s Newcastle Synod.

Photo of Bishop Peter Stuart addressing the Synod: Diocese of Newcastle.

What future has the Anglican Church of Australia?

“There can now be no doubt that the Anglican Church of Australia is headed towards a crisis moment. Some might argue it has been a long time coming but recent events have catalyzed the sense that we are rapidly arriving at a moment of decision.

So what has brought us to the edge of this cliff? …”

– At The Australian Church Record, David Ould gives his take on what is happening, and where he thinks things may go from here.

‘Newcastle Anglicans support gay marriage’

Newcastle’s Anglican diocese has voted to change church rules to allow ministers to bless same-sex marriages and prevent clergy in same-sex marriages from being punished by the church.

More than 200 clergy and lay people voted on the two bills at the diocese’s synod on Saturday, the majority in their favour. …”

The Northern Daily Leader is carrying this AAP report.

Like the earlier move by the diocese of Wangaratta, it appears that this will be considered by the Appellate Tribunal.

See also:

Bishop Peter Stuart Opens Synod with Presidential Address” – Newcastle Diocese. It includes a link to Bishop Stuart’s Presidential Address (PDF).

Photo: Diocese of Newcastle.

True Discipleship and The 51st Synod

“He said what?!

By now, most of you would have heard about Archbishop Glenn Davies’ address at the 51st Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.  It has been quoted and misquoted on social media, the Sydney Morning Herald, and has even reached British shores where I am living, with an article in the Guardian from former Sydney pastor Joel Hollier.

As he has made clear, Archbishop Davies was not calling on those struggling with same-sex attraction to leave the church. We all struggle with sin, which is why the grace and mercy of Christ is such a wonderful message to the world. But there is a difference between struggling with sin, and declaring something not to be a sin. …”

Tom Habib cuts to the heart of the matter at The Gospel Coalition Australia. Be sure to read it all.

By sad contrast:

“The Bishop of Liverpool [in the Church of England] told the Guardian: ‘I still hope that bishops from Sydney will attend the Lambeth conference next year so that we can all talk together and learn from one another there.

‘Meanwhile, I’m glad that other parts of the Australian church are engaging in dialogue with Sydney and are advocating for a greater inclusion and a wider and more diverse church. It’s good to be in the same communion with all these people.’

Other Church of England bishops declined to comment on Davies’ comments, saying they did not represent mainstream views within the church.”

– from The Guardian.

A Model of Convictional Courage

In his The Briefing podcast for Friday 18 October 2019, Albert Mohler spoke about Archbishop Glenn Davies’ Presidential Address.

“I can only say that I pray for the day that the average evangelical pastor in the United States of America would summon the courage to speak as courageously as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney on these central and unavoidable issues that are necessary to our understanding of sin and sexuality, but also to gospel and church.”

The segments starts at 09:32 into the programme. Listen or read the transcript.

There’s an integrity problem in the Anglican Church of Australia

“Imagine the marketing director for a major soft drinks company who drank and promoted the competitor’s leading brand of drink at press conferences. They wouldn’t expect to keep their job very long.
If they had any integrity.

Imagine a left-wing politician who only ever advocated for conservative positions. You’d think they’d resign and join another party.
If they had any integrity.

So what about ordained Anglican ministers who promised to defend and promote the church’s teaching from the Bible but instead constantly undermine and attack it while banking their stipend every month. The right thing to do would be to resign and join another group.
If they had any integrity. …”

David Ould challenges Bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia to act with integrity. See it all at the link.

Melbourne Anglicans vote to express ‘sorrow’ over blessing of same-sex marriages

“Melbourne’s Anglican church has formally voted to record its ‘sorrow’ over a regional Victorian diocese’s decision to bless same-sex marriages.

The nod of approval given by the Wangaratta diocese in August has angered the Melbourne church’s governing body…”

– Story from The Guardian.

Here, we understand, is the motion which was passed at the Melbourne Synod:

Motion 17: Response to Wangaratta Synod

That this Synod expresses its sorrow to the Bishop and Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta for their approval of a liturgy that could be used to bless persons in same-sex relationships at their recent Synod meeting (August 30-31).”

Further, a motion concerning the consecration of Bishop Jay Behan was also passed:

Motion 11 Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand

That this Synod:

a) Welcomes the formation of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand.

b) Assures the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand and its bishop, Jay Behan, of our love and prayers.

c) prays for God’s blessing on all Anglicans in New Zealand as they seek to proclaim Christ faithfully to New Zealand.”

My words were for the bishops and I stand by them — Archbishop Glenn Davies

“Every year at about this time I am asked, ‘Why don’t you update what you believe – it doesn’t fit with modern Australia.’ The subject lately has been same-sex marriage, but it has been a kaleidoscope of issues over the years.

When representatives of our churches meet at our annual Synod, we do so publicly. Our churches are open to all people in the suburbs of Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains, so our governing body is public as well. We do not hide our beliefs, nor are we ashamed of them. People know what we believe and are free to comment on what we do and what we believe. …”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has written this opinion-piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, regarding reporting of what he said in his Synod Presidential Address on Monday 14th October.

Archbishop Davies was also interviewed on Sydney’s Radio 2GB by Ben Fordham.

The Cultural Left bares its teeth

“A moral, political, and cultural earthquake tremored last Thursday night as CNN’s Equality Town Hall featured the leading contenders for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. The rhetoric of the candidates finally bared the teeth of a Democratic Party sold out to the most radical proposals of the LGBTQ movement.

Indeed, a particular exchange between CNN anchor Don Lemon and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke revealed to what extent contenders for the Democratic Nomination will go to deconstruct religious liberty in the name of the newly declared sexual liberties. …”

– Albert Mohler writes about the latest moves against religious freedom in the USA.

Australian Christians need to be aware of this changing culture.

He also speaks about it at The Briefing podcast for 14 October 2019.

The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: An Overview from Ridley College

“Our purpose in writing this brief letter is to support our fellow Anglicans in wrestling with this issue by offering a summary of the scholarly discussion over what the Bible teaches on homosexuality, and an explanation for why we believe the traditional path on marriage and sexuality is the one that Christ is calling us to take.”

– Ridley College, Melbourne, has issued an open letter affirming the Biblical doctrine of marriage.

As David Ould notes, this is a significant contribution to the conversation among Australian Anglicans, especially in the light of the unilateral action of the Diocese of Wangaratta.

The big mistake many secular people make about religious discrimination

There’s a big mistake many secular people make about religious discrimination.

It’s a mistake I’ve seen repeated many times. Even by (or especially by) educated secular commentators. This mistake is a fairly recent one. But it’s impact is serious: it’s eroding religious freedom in Australia. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Akos Balogh thinks there’s a better way of understanding the issues.

Australia’s Anglican ‘Blessing’ Liturgy – What is it?

“The same-sex marriage blessing liturgy presented to the Wangaratta synod for their approval (and due to be presented to the upcoming Newcastle synod) is not a new piece of work but, rather, heavily dependent upon other similar liturgies first developed more than 20 years ago in the 1990s and earlier. …”

David Ould takes a look at the origins of the liturgies being promoted in Australia to bless same-sex marriages, and what they claim to achieve.

Fired for using the wrong pronouns

“Two cases have been highlighted overseas recently where a Christian employee has been fired for declining to use the ‘preferred pronoun’ of a person who identifies as a different gender to their biological sex.

The cases illustrate that religious freedom, and free speech generally, in the workplace can be under challenge in circumstances involving ‘gender identity’ issues. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster outlines recent cases in the United Kingdom and in the USA, and considers the Australian context.

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