Folau’s faith compelled him to shout a warning: repent

“Folau’s employment looked so unfair to him that he bypassed their internal appeal process as pointless and announced his intention to test them in the courts. So Rugby Australia now will either lose the court battle or lose its major sponsor. It has already lost its best player.

This is no storm in a tea cup: this is central to Australia’s character as a nation and raises three questions:

Let’s tackle them. …

He is drawing attention to the fact that classical Christianity is certainly about judgment, but it is also about sacrifice and forgiveness. For 2000 years Christians have been calling it “good news” because the news that God loves you despite your behaviour and offers forgiveness can only count as very good news, indeed.”

– Kel Richards writes a very helpful article in The Weekend Australian. (Subscription.)

“I will not be at the Lambeth Conference” — Archbishop of Kenya

“The Archbishop of Kenya, Jackson Ole Sapit has announced that he will not be attending the Lambeth 2020 Conference …

Archbishop Jackson is the fourth Primate to publicly declare that he will not be attending.

In June 2018, even before it was announced that the three bishops in same sex unions were invited, Uganda announced that they would not be attending Lambeth 2020. In September the Nigerian House of Bishops followed suit, and in December Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Gafcon’s Vice Chair) announced that the Rwandan bishops would stay at home as well. …”

– Read more at the GAFCON website.

Election over; what now for religious freedom?

“Christians should continue to press for religious freedom after an election in which the issue appeared to play a significant part, according to the Bishop of South Sydney, Dr Michael Stead.

Dr Stead chairs the Religious Freedom Reference Committee and was a frequent commentator in the media during the campaign. He believes that notwithstanding the result of the election, there will be very significant questions around religious freedom in the next 12 months. …”

– Story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop of Canterbury on pilgrimage to Walsingham

“The Most Reverend Justin Welby appeared as a guest preacher at the National Pilgrimage to the Anglican Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham. …

The Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham has a long religious history, dating back to 1061 when it is said that the Virgin Mary led Richeldis de Faverches to Nazareth in spirit and asked her asked her to build a replica of the house where the Annunciation occurred.”

– Story from Eastern Daily Press in Norwich.

What is the Anglican Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham? From their website:

“After nearly four hundred years, the 20th century saw the restoration of pilgrimage to Walsingham as a regular feature of Christian life in these islands, and indeed beyond. In 1897, there was a Roman Catholic pilgrimage to the restored 14th century Slipper Chapel, now at the centre of the Roman Catholic National Shrine.

Fr Hope Patten, appointed as Vicar of Walsingham in 1921, ignited Anglican interest in the pre-Reformation pilgrimage. It was his idea to base a new statue of Our Lady of Walsingham on the image depicted on the seal of the medieval Priory. In 1922, this statue was set up in the Parish Church of St. Mary, and regular pilgrimage devotion followed. From the first night that the statue was placed there, people gathered around it to pray, asking Mary to join her powerful prayer with theirs. This work of intercession continues to this day.”

The Archbishop has visited Walsingham several times previously.

Earlier: Reversing the Reformation? – Church Society.

(Photo: The Anglican Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham.)

Vicar resigns as primary school imposes transgender ideology

“A Church of England primary school has taken the unprecedented step of allowing a child to transition from a boy to a girl in the school without informing parents until the day of the transition or putting any agreed policies and procedures in place. A rare audio recording has also revealed how the school brought in controversial trans lobby group Mermaids to train staff and governors. …

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting the courageous Rev. John Parker who resigned as a governor after his concerns were ignored and silenced.”

See the video from Christian Concern.

See also:

“After his worries were dismissed by the bishop, Mr Parker quit the church where he had been a vicar for 14 years, and also the school after seven years as governor.”

– from The Daily Mail, via Anglican Mainstream.

Uniting Church threatens to split over liberal same-sex marriage stance

“The Uniting Church is facing growing unrest as conservative factions push for it to reverse its decision to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages.

Multiple conservative movements have been gaining force since the church last year gave ministers the right to perform the ceremonies.

conservative worshippers claim they are being disciplined and isolated for participating in networks like the Assembly of Confessing Congregations.

Members of the Campsie Uniting Church in New South Wales said they were barred from the church and left to worship on the footpath. …”

– Story from ABC News.

Earlier, related, stories.

(Photo: Dr. Deidre Palmer, Uniting Church President.)

Giving thanks for BCA at their Centenary

One hundred years ago, on 26th May 1919, the Bush Church Aid Society was formed in Sydney.

Be encouraged to learn more at this link – download the Centenary videos – and give thanks to Almighty God for this work of his gospel.

(You can also download BCA’s latest Prayer Notes and The Real Australian.)

Reversing the Reformation?

“A number of events have happened in the past few weeks which make one wonder what on earth has happened to this nation’s ‘Protestant Reformed Religion established by Law.’  This phrase is, of course, is taken from the Coronation Oath, and is meant to describe the Church of England.

More often than ever it seems important to remember what is actually established by law and what is commonly found to be contrary to it.  Canon A5 tells us that:

‘The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures.  In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.’  — Canon A5

In other words, the doctrine of the Church of England is that of the Bible and those who agree with it. When asked ‘what do those people who agree with the Bible look like?’ — the Church of England replies, ‘they look like those who uphold the 39 Articles of Religion, the 1662 BCP, and the Ordinal.’

There are no prayers to Mary, or asking for Mary’s prayers, in the BCP. There is no veneration or adoration of statues or images in the BCP. Indeed there are no images or statues at all, nor are there pilgrimages, or a sacramental confession. Quite the contrary in fact. …”

– At Church Society’s blog, Adam Young points to some disturbing developments in the Church of England.

Related:

Journey with Mary from The Ascension to Pentecost: A guide to praying with Mary for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (“Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement … started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York…”)

(Photo of the statue of “Our Lady of Walsingham” being carried into Westminster Abbey, courtesy Westminster Abbey.)

Archbishop Foley Beach’s first Pastoral Letter as GAFCON Primates Council Chairman

“It is estimated that there are 2.1 billion people on the earth who have no contact with any Christian witness, and therefore, above all else, I want to see Gafcon uniting and equipping Anglicans around the world to be a missionary movement.

As the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration affirms, the reason we first gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 was ‘to free our Communion for a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ’ and this remains our great purpose. …”

– Read all of Archbishop Beach’s pastoral letter here.

Jay Behan to be first bishop of the new diocese of Confessing Anglicans in NZ

A significant development in New Zealand.

From the Synod of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand:

“Today representatives from twelve churches throughout New Zealand gathered and formed the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand.

By the grace of God we are a new Anglican Diocese in these Islands, standing firmly in Anglican faith and practice, and structurally distinct from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

This new Diocese is united in the crucified, risen, ascended and glorified Christ, committed to the authority of the Bible, and dedicated to our common mission of proclaiming to all the good news of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We praise God for his guidance and grace, and the sense of unity and common purpose we shared as we met.

We also prayerfully elected as our first Bishop the Rev. Jay Behan, Vicar of St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Christchurch.

Jay is a man of humility and grace, committed to the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Jesus. He is an excellent preacher and caring pastor, and will serve and lead the Diocese as together we seek to reach these Islands with the transforming power of the gospel. …”

– Read the full statement via the GAFCON website. (Emphasis added.)

Gracefully leaving an apostate denomination

From Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart:

“Minister of St Stephen’s Christchurch Jay Behan tells the heartbreaking story of leading his church away from the traditional Anglican Church in New Zealand and working to form a new Diocese for faithful Anglicans.

Jay Behan tells of his tearful resignation from the New Zealand Anglican Church’s General Synod, just hours after the Synod voted to abandon the teaching of Jesus on sexuality. …”

Watch here.

From Susie Leafe, Director of Operations, Gafcon UK:

Today and tomorrow (Friday & Saturday) the inaugural synod of a new Anglican extra-provincial diocese will be meeting in New Zealand. Last month, the Gafcon Primates affirmed the decision to form this new diocese and it would be great to pray for them as they face this ‘day of small things.’

And from the Gafcon Secretariat (via e-mail), some history:

In 2016, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) accepted a report which stated that the Church wanted to find a way to remain united despite having two integrities on matters of sexuality. After much debate, the Church changed their canons last year to allow the formal blessing of same-sex relationships.

For some, the decision in 2016 caused them to leave the ACANZP, others followed when the canons were changed.  Relationships between these folk and between them and the ACANZP have, for the most part been gracious and cordial.

The churches forming the extra-provincial diocese include those who left in 2016 and those who left later. As they made their decisions about the future, their desire to serve each other and those who will come after them, was evident.

4 Urgent Conversations Australians need to have after Folau

“The Israel Folau saga has uncovered an urgent need for Australians to have conversations about the sort of society we want to live in.

When Folau first posted his controversial Instagram post, there was an immediate reaction from many cultural commentators, demanding he step down. Rugby Australia, his employer, was only too happy to agree. But as time has passed and emotions have cooled, there seems to be a growing backlash against Rugby Australia’s actions toward Folau. And I don’t just mean from Christian or conservative voices. …”

– Akos Balogh writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

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