An Easter message from Archbishop Ben Kwashi

Archbishop Ben Kwashi gives an update from GAFCON this Easter, and asks for your support.

Reflections on the Israel Folau affair

“Celebrity rugby player Israel Folau is in a complicated legal position. He shared a ‘meme’ on social media site Instagram recently, the text of which was: ‘Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You – Repent! Only Jesus Saves.’

To this he added his own personal comment: ‘Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.’ …

His remarks were not well-received by many members of the public, and in particular by the peak bodies in rugby. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster offers some comments on the latest news relating to Israel Folau.

Final Letter from Archbishop Okoh as GAFCON Chairman

“My dear people of God,

This month is the last time I write to you as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council before I hand over later this month to my beloved brother in Christ and fellow Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach.

As I look back over nearly three years in which I have been privileged to serve the cause of the gospel in this way, I am full of gratitude to Almighty God for his continued favour. By His grace, we have gone far, but it is because the Lord has helped us. Just as Samuel raised his Ebenezer, the stone of remembrance, I also humbly ask that we remember and do not forget how God has blessed this movement far beyond what we deserve and far beyond what our own efforts could have achieved. …”

Read Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s full letter.

‘Folau Sacking is Religious Discrimination’

Here is a media release from the Australian Christian Lobby* –

“The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed deep disappointment with Rugby Australia over plans to sack Israel Folau just for stating his beliefs.

We continue to stand with Israel Folau and support his right to express his beliefs,” said ACL’s managing director, Martyn Iles.

‘Far from being homophobic, Israel Folau’s social media post was very inclusive – drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, and idolaters – is a list which includes everyone, affirming the Christian teaching that all are equal in our need of salvation.’ …”

– Read it all at The Australian Christian Lobby.

Related: Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby Union statement regarding Israel Folau.

* The Australian Christian Lobby and the Anglican Church League have the same initials, but are separate organisations.

(Photo: PlayersVoice.)

The outrage mob is out to get Folau

“The outrage mob is out in force following rugby star Israel Folau’s latest social media comments.

The mob wants to more than disagree with Folau’s opinion, as is our right in a free society. It wants to ban him from expressing it, which is totalitarian. …”

– Morgan Begg,a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, writes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Related:

Israel Folau to be sacked by Rugby Australia over homophobic comments – ABC News.

What the hell, Australia? – David Ould.

See also earlier posts – mainly from April 2018, including a media statement, at the time, from Archbishop Glenn Davies:

“The way Israel Folau is treated will be a test of Australian Rugby’s ‘inclusion’ policy.

Israel Folau should be free to hold and express traditional, Biblical views on marriage and sexuality without being penalized – just as other players have spoken out with their differing views. …”

The 2019 Federal Election and Religious Freedom issues

Freedom for Faith Executive Director Michael Kellahan writes,

“The long awaited election has been called for 18 May. …

All the parties voice a commitment to religious freedom. What we need to know though is how this stated commitment will find expression at law. We have written to the parties asking a series of specific questions which will help you understand their positions heading into the election. We will publish a table of their responses.”

This article from Freedom for Faith board member Professor Patrick Parkinson discusses the key religious freedom issues. “Religious Freedom after Ruddock”:

“With the federal election campaign just around the corner, it would be understandable if people of faith were confused about the stance the major political parties take on religious issues, particularly given the differing responses of these parties to the Ruddock Report on religious freedom, which was completed in May 2018.”

High Court upholds abortion buffer zone laws

“In an important decision on free speech issues, the High Court of Australia, in its decision in Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11 (10 April 2019), has upheld the validity of laws in Victoria and Tasmania prohibiting communication about abortion within 150m of an abortion clinic.

The decision may have serious implications for free speech about other issues on which religious believers have deep-seated convictions contrary to the general orthodoxy of modern Australian society. …”

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

See also:

Kathy Clubb’s storyAustralian Christian Lobby.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – David Ould.

Standing with the Suffering

“At the end of February, Gafcon held a conference hosted by Bishop Michael Nazir Ali and Bishop Azad Marshall of Pakistan which, though much smaller than last year’s Jerusalem Conference, will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on all those who attended and the wider Anglican Communion.

From 25th February to 1st March, 138 delegates, including four Primates and 31 bishops and archbishops, gathered in Dubai for ‘G19’. The conference was designed for those who had been unable to attend Gafcon 2018 in Jerusalem for political reasons and many came from contexts where there are severe restrictions on Christian witness.

In his opening address, Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria set the tone of the conference…”

– GAFCON’s Membership Development Secretary, Canon Charles Raven, wrote this article for Evangelicals Now.

Good Friday – not just good, but glorious

“Childhood impressions linger, don’t they? I’m so grateful for (most of) them. My earliest memory of 1950s church life is full of happy thoughts, good people and full Sundays. Sunday mornings, afternoons and evenings – there was always something engaging and purposeful to do (yes, Sunday afternoons: Christian Endeavour).

As helpful as all that was, there are someone boyhood memories that need tweaking or straightening out later.

Each year, our evangelical Baptist church gave huge attention to Palm Sunday, followed five days later by a much more sombre Friday morning service. Even without specific instruction, this pattern taught me to celebrate the joy of Palm Sunday but to tone it down on Good Friday. This was the order of things, from glory to gloom: after the glory of the triumphal march into Jerusalem we must move to the gloom of the Cross. Which prompted, of course, that perennial childhood question: “Dad, why is Good Friday good? Isn’t it bad, what they did to Jesus?”

Reflecting on this glory to gloom transition, I now wonder if it needs correction. …”

– Presbyterian Moderator-General, John P Wilson, reflects on why Good Friday is glorious.

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand calls for Nominations for their first Bishop

“The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand is a new Diocese in New Zealand.

Because of the rejection of the authority of Scripture by the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia at the 2018 General Synod, a number of parishes and individuals have chosen to disaffiliate from ACANZP and gather together in 12 parishes to form a new expression of Anglicanism.

As a Christ-centred church in the historic Anglican faith and order, we are calling for nominations for our first Bishop. We are seeking a person who has a desire to serve as our Bishop…”

– News from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Toronto bishops issue statement in support of Kevin Robertson and same-sex spouse

“The same-sex spouse of Kevin Robertson, area bishop of York-Scarborough in the diocese of Toronto, will go to England at the time of the Lambeth Conference in 2020, though it’s as yet unclear to what extent any of the spouses of Toronto bishops will participate, the diocese’s College of Bishops said in a joint statement released March 25. …”

– Report from Anglican Journal, Canada.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

University hosting church summit where same-sex partners are banned to raise ‘ethical concerns’ with archbishop

“A university which has come under fire for hosting an Anglican summit that will exclude same-sex partners is due to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury to raise ‘significant ethical concerns’.

The University of Kent, which is hosting next year’s Lambeth Conference, faced criticism when it emerged partners of gay bishops had not been invited.

The institution has now said it will ensure accommodation is available on campus for spouses affected who wish to be in Canterbury with their partners. …”

– Report from The Independent.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

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