Diocese of Wangaratta pushes ahead with Same-Sex Blessings

“The Diocese of Wangaratta, at its recent synod, passed the following motion,

That this Synod:

… commends the pastoral value of the Bishop authorising a Form of Blessing [of same-sex couples] for optional use in the Diocese of Wangaratta … and  …

requests that the Bishop of Wangaratta ensure opportunity for the clergy and laity of the Diocese to engage in further discussion as part of the process leading to the potential Diocesan provision for blessing of civil marriages. …

It is hard to see [Bishop Parkes’] actions here as anything other than a direct challenge to the position that the Anglican Church of Australia has established both at a national synodical level and also amongst his fellow bishops.”

– Read the post at DavidOuld.net for more.

Freedom for Faith Conference 2018 audio available

Thanks to the team at Freedom for Faith, you can now hear the audio from their recent conference, Freedom18, on the limits of religious freedom.

Speakers and topics were:

Dr. Alex Deagon: A Christian Framework for Religious Diversity in Political Discourse.

Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins: Building Constructive Partnerships in Politics.

Dr. Joel Harrison: What is Religious Liberty For?

Hon. John Anderson AO: How Do We Now Understand Freedom?

Prof. Patrick Parkinson AM: The Limits on the Freedom of Religious Organisations to Select Staff Consistent with Their Ethos.

Emeritus Prof. Rosalind Croucher AM: The Role of the Australian Human Rights Commission as the National Human Rights Body in Promoting and Protecting Rights.

Hear the talks at Freedom for Faith.

And be encouraged to pray.

Undivided – An Open Letter to Vicky Beeching

“Vicky Beeching is a relatively well-known Christian singer songwriter who is now better known for being gay and an advocate of the LGBT agenda within the church.

When she came out as gay she knew that her career on the American Christian music scene was over, but she now has a new career as a darling of the regressive establishment, as they continue their ‘redefinition’ of the Christian faith.

Her new career has resulted in numerous media appearances, an award from the Archbishop of Canterbury and a new book. ‘Undivided’ has just been published to a mixed reception. This is my review in the form of an open letter.”

– At his blog, The Wee Flea, David Robertson has published a very thoughtful open letter. Do take the time to read.

Revelation TV fined for ‘Homophobia’

“Yesterday [Beware the Promises of Politicians] we saw how politicians who pass laws which go against Christian social teaching and then promise that of course we will still be free to express disagreement are not to be trusted. They are incapable of keeping that promise.

Today I want to show further where this is leading.

I have been suggesting for some time that the acceptance of different social teachings to those Christian ones upon which our society has been built – would soon result in the Christian teachings being banned. This was always vehemently denied. Now – as we saw yesterday this is well under way. …”

David Robertson, at The Wee Flea, comments on what is likely to be coming soon to your Christian ministry.

Image: David Robertson on Revelation TV in 2013.

Trinity Western University loses before Supreme Court of Canada

“Trinity Western University, an evangelical tertiary institution in British Columbia, has lost two cases it had brought protesting the decision of two Canadian Provincial Law Societies to not authorise graduates of their proposed Law School as able to practice in the Provinces.

The reason for the denial of accreditation was that TWU requires students and staff to agree to a Community Covenant Agreement, which undertakes (among other things) that they will not engage while studying or working at TWU in ‘sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman’. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster provides his analysis of the decisions.

Related: Supreme Court of Canada strikes a blow against religious freedom.

Supreme Court of Canada strikes a blow against religious freedom

“The Supreme Court of Canada struck a brave blow on Friday for LGBTQ students who would be compelled to attend a proposed law school at Trinity Western University – a small, private, evangelical Christian school in Langley, B.C., whose ‘community covenant’ prohibits sexual relations except among married men and women.

That is to say, they struck a blow for nobody. …”

– Read the full article at Canada’s National Post.

From Trinity Western University:

“Until now, Canada has encouraged the rich mosaic created by the diversity of views, race, gender, and belief systems.

Sadly, the Supreme Court has decided that this does not extend to a law school at Trinity Western University.”

What is the Community Covenant? Read it here (PDF).

Then read this summary of the background to the legal case.

Image: Trinity Western University website.

New Archbishop of Toronto

While the soon-to-retire Archbishop of Toronto, Colin Johnson, is “personally opposed to assisted death on theological and religious grounds”, his newly elected successor, Dean Andrew Asbil, apparently has a somewhat different view.

From Canada’s The Globe and Mail back in April 2018, a story on a couple who availed themselves of Canada’s provisions:

“The Brickendens are at the vanguard of patients and families who are creating new rituals around dying in Canada – the kind of rituals that are only possible when death comes at a previously appointed hour. …

Dean Asbil prayed, while Mozart, Bach and Scottish folk songs wafted through the room. …”

Globe & Mail link via the Anglican Samizdat.

Photo courtesy St. James’ Cathedral, Toronto.

When the Content Police came for the Babylon Bee

“Facebook has always been the main source of traffic to my websites. When I started out, I was just excited that so many people were reading my stuff – I wasn’t worried about the implications of it all.

The first hint I got that something troubling was afoot was in November 2015 …“

– Adam Ford, who has just sold The Babylon Bee to focus on his new website, Christian Daily Reporter, says “it’s time to push back”.

‘Embrace pluralism’ — Gippsland Bishop-elect

“Bishop-elect Richard Treloar says Anglicans can offer the wider world a more relational understanding of truth as an alternative to binary thinking that accentuates differences …”

– The Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Gippsland speaks to The Melbourne Anglican about his ‘inclusive’ thinking.

Related: New Bishop for Gippsland.

Colorado Wedding Cake Baker wins before US Supreme Court

“In Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v Colorado Civil Rights Commission … the US Supreme Court by 7-2 overturned previous decisions against a Christian cake maker, Jack Phillips, who had declined to make a wedding cake for a same sex wedding. While the basis of the decision of the majority is fairly narrow, the outcome is clearly correct, and even in the narrow reasons offered by Justice Kennedy, there are a number of important affirmations which support religious freedom.

I have commented previously on cases which involve a claim that a cake maker or other “wedding industry professional” should not be allowed to decline to devote their artistic skills to the celebration of a relationship their religion tells them is wrong … But the Masterpiece decision is the first time such a case has made its way to the final appellate court in a common law jurisdiction, and for that reason is particularly important.”

– Assoc. Professor Neil Foster comments at Law and Religion Australia.

Response by former UCA President to Uniting Church Same-Sex Marriage Proposal

In July, the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia will vote on a proposal, brought by the Assembly Standing Committee, to change the doctrine of marriage and understanding of marriage within the UCA to be for any ‘two people’. Many see this as a ‘make or break’ moment for the UCA.

Dr. James Haire, ninth President of the Uniting Church in Australia, has published his response to the proposals. Quite apart from Biblical reasons to oppose them, he believes they would make it impossible for the Uniting Church in Australia to continue to exist according to its founding documents:

“The final sentence of Paragraph 2 of the Basis of Union (Of the Whole Church) states: ‘The Uniting Church declares its desire to enter more deeply into the faith and mission of the Church in Australia, by working together and seeking union with other Churches’ …

proposals (b), (c)(ii) and (d).1 are likely to cause further fracturing of relations between the UCA and other Churches in Australia, and certainly are likely to go against any moves to seek ‘union with other Churches’.”

Read it all here. (PDF file.)

And, from Peter Bentley, National Director of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations within the Uniting Church in Australia:

“In a nutshell, my view is that the adoption of the proposals would make the Uniting Church cease to be the Uniting Church as we know it, even it still has the legal name. … The grand experiment of ‘Uniting’ that was begun in 1977 as a church movement that was not ‘its own denomination’, but part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church would simply be no more.”

– Read this, and related articles, in the June 2018 edition (PDF file) of Confessing Congregations’ magazine “ACCatalyst”. (Photo: ACC.)

‘Melbourne Anglican church and clergy take part in same-sex wedding’ — report

“davidould.net has received video and photos from a same-sex wedding that took place on 12 May 2018 and involved a number of licensed Anglican ministers. …”

A report from David Ould, who is seeking clarification on what took place on a Baptist church property in inner-city Melbourne.

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