Bishop of Oxford and the relational dilemma for Reformed Anglicans

“On Palm Sunday in St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, their new diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, made a statement that epitomises the relational dilemma facing Reformed Anglicans in the Church of England.

Introducing his excellent sermon on our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 21, Dr Croft said:

‘It’s my hope to come as a servant to this very large Diocese, to respect and honour all traditions within it and cherish the life of the Church in its many different forms and do my best to lead us in God’s mission.’ …

His sermon was most edifying, biblically faithful and Christ-honouring. Lord willing, he will do a lot of good in Oxford Diocese.

But the difficulty for a Reformed Anglican church such as St Ebbe’s surely comes in their Bishop’s apparently intentional commitment to theological diversity within the Church of England. …”

The Rev Julian Mann wonders what reformed Anglicans should do when their bishop endorses ‘theological diversity’.

Photo of Bishop Croft: Diocese of Oxford.

‘Congo sacks British canon over gay marriage’

“An African diocese has stripped a high profile English priest of his title of canon, declaring the Rev. Jeremy Pemberton’s same-sex marriage and his agitation for change in the Church of England’s teachings on human sexuality renders him unqualified to hold the honorary title in the Congolese church.

In a letter dated 25 March 2017 to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s advisor for Anglican affairs, the Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, the Bishop of Boga in the Anglican Province of the Congo stated the Rev. Jeremy Pemberton is “no longer recognized” as a canon of Boga Diocese. …”

– Report from George Conger at Anglican Ink.

(Map: Province of the Anglican Church of Congo.)

Earth Day message from Canadian Anglican and Lutheran leaders

“Through our Lenten Journey to Easter we have been reminded once again that Jesus offered his whole life and death for the love of the world …

As followers of Christ, we are also challenged to offer our lives for the love of the world. …  What happens when we touch the earth with faith?

Our churches are committed to responsible stewardship of the earth. As we celebrate Earth Day, we re-commit to our care for creation and commend the efforts of our congregations across the country to live out this call. We recommend that you or your congregation get involved with the Faith Commuter Challenge, a creative way to reduce your carbon footprint …”

– Anglican Church of Canada Archbishop, Fred Hiltz, and his Lutheran counterpart, have issued a message and prayer for Earth Day.

As Anglican Samizdat notes, loving the planet is not what John 3:16 is about.

Photo by Harrison H. Schmitt.

Can kids tell other kids about Jesus at school?

“Astonishingly, the answer to the question posed here, recently provided by the Queensland Department of Education and Training is: No!

In their latest reviews of material used in Special Religious Instruction (SRI) offered in public schools in that State, they assert as follows:

While not explicitly prohibited by the [relevant legislation], nor referenced in the [Departmental published] RI policy statement, the Department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelising to students who do not participate in their RI class, given this could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

(This statement is found both in the Report on the Review of the GodSpace Religious Instruction Materials, March 2017, at para 3.1.1 on p 5, and in the Report on the Review of the ACCESS ministries’ Religious Instruction Materials, Feb 2017, at para 3.1.1 on p 6.)

In this post I want to explain why this over-reaching bureaucratic imposition is not justified by the law governing the Department’s activities, and indeed is probably illegal. …”

– Posted a few days ago, Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle, gives his opinion on directives from the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

Easter meaning. C of E training. The faithful are deciding.

“… after the joy of the Easter service and the thrilling reminders of the Gospel truth, Chris found himself feeling very despondent three weeks later, sitting in his study with his two trainee lay readers. They were all having a debrief of the Lent and Easter season, and Karen and Michael were reflecting on their latest seminar with the Diocesan lay ministry training programme.

‘We heard, er, shall we say a very different take on the Road to Emmaus story, from the Dean, Reverend Doctor whatever his name is’, said Karen. ‘Yes – a good job you warned us beforehand’, continued Michael. …”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes illustrates the all-too-familiar story of liberalism in the Church of England. Tragically, similar stories could be told across Australia, as many of our readers could attest.

Easter message from Archbishop Foley Beach

Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, Foley Beach, encourages Christians to cut to the chase, this Easter.

The offence of the cross: Why extremists attack churches at Easter

“On Palm Sunday jihadists attacked Churches in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Tanta killing at least 49 and injuring many others. In India Christians were targeted by Hindu extremists in at least five separate locations on the same day. …”

– Barnabas Fund points out that it is the Cross which many find so offensive.

Australian Presbyterians — Taking God Seriously


Presbyterian Moderator-General John Wilson outlines some of the ways Presbyterians in Australia plan to celebrate Reformation 500 – with evangelism!

See the video here. (3’42”)

The Rainbow Ringwraiths

“Totalitarians and fascists have always sought to demonise their opponents, in part by marking them out from the ‘normal’ majority. They are clearly identified one way or another as recalcitrants, and treated accordingly. Simply consider how Jews fared as the Nazi regime occupied various European countries: being forced to wear a yellow badge in the form of a Star of David.

Millions of our young men gave their lives to fight these totalist regimes and to preserve our cherished freedoms. But a new totalitarianism is descending upon the West, and it comes in the form of the militant and totalitarian rainbow activists. …”

– Bill Muehlenberg at CultureWatch has more on the ‘voluntary’ wearing of rings to promote same-sex marriage.

GAFCON Chairman’s April 2017 letter

“In our time, God is still active through his Word, the Scriptures. The Anglican Communion is a wonderful gift of God, but we see its witness degraded and confused by false teaching.

What is more, the Communion’s traditional leadership responds by accommodating it. There is no hope in that direction, but at the same time, we see a new future unfolding. This is the Gafcon vision and it is being demonstrated very clearly in North America. …”

– Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has published his GAFCON Chairman’s letter for April 2017.

‘A ring to bind them to their master’s will’

“Bosses at big companies like Qantas and Google have ‘suggested’ their employees wear black rings with a gap to show they support same-sex marriage. Or show that they have a future at their company, perhaps, because it’s not quite clear how this push for ‘tolerance’ quite works now. …”

– Andrew Bolt reports on a concerning move — Herald Sun.

More:

Firms ring in campaign for marriage equalityThe Australian.

“Qantas staff and cabin crew would wear them, he said, while Google Australia has also provided rings for its 1300 staff to wear. ‘Our goal is to build ­momentum around the issue of marriage equality and spark those conversations about ­acceptance,’ Mr McDonagh said.

The move is likely to fire up the debate about the role of corporations as lobbyists for contentious social causes, which has attracted criticism from some conservative politicians and religious leaders in light of the recent public hounding of brewer Coopers into pledging support for Australian Marriage Equality.”

Airbnb calls for marriage equality — AdNews.

“Launched with support from some of Australia’s biggest brands including Qantas, Google, ANZ bank and eBay, and in collaboration with The Equality Campaign, ‘Until We All Belong’ marks the most public corporate declaration for marriage equality in Australia to date.”

Image: AdNews.

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