C of E’s Newcastle Cathedral plans a weekend festival of LGBT events

Posted on June 28, 2019 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

From Church Society:

“Newcastle Cathedral is planning a weekend festival of LGBT events in July. These events include a panel discussion on ‘Queering the Church: beyond tolerance to inclusion’ featuring, among others, ‘a nonbinary genderqueer transgender person’ who is an ordained deacon.

We are working with local evangelical ministers to support them in responding to this event. …”

More here. (Image via Anglican Ink.)

Related: How LGBT Pride Month Became a Religious Holiday – Joe Carter

“We do not love our neighbor when we tell them they can continue to engage in unrepentant rebellion against God.”

Reading or speaking the Bible?

Posted on June 27, 2019 
Filed under Resources

“Words are the lifeblood of relationships.

When a person speaks to another, the speaker reveals something of themselves to the hearer; when the hearers listens, they come to know the speaker better. …“

– At The Australian Church Record, ACL Council member Scott Newling reflects on reading and hearing the Bible.

GAFCON Chairman’s June 2019 Letter

Posted on June 26, 2019 
Filed under GAFCON

“Brothers and Sisters, greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord!!

Seeking to be Biblical Christians in a global age, participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference are busy proclaiming Jesus Christ faithfully to the nations by making disciples, evangelizing those who don’t know Jesus, and speaking into corruption, economic injustices, and moral concerns in their local communities.

Here are just a few stories from around the world. …”

– GAFCON Primates Council Chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach, has released his June 2019 Pastoral Letter.

Have all our changes been good ones?

Posted on June 26, 2019 
Filed under Opinion

“Perhaps it is an opportune time to ask ourselves about some of the changes that have occurred in church ministry in the last little while. It would be good to begin a conversation about whether those changes are all as good as we might have thought them to be.”

– Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson asks some questions about change, in order to provoke discussion.

See them, and consider your response, at Theological Theology.

Bishop Michael Stead speaks with 2GB’s Ben Fordham on backing Israel Folau

Posted on June 25, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars, Sydney Diocese

2GB’s Ben Fordham spoke with Bishop of South Sydney, Michael Stead, this afternoon.

Well worth hearing.

Freedom of faith and Israel Folau — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Posted on June 25, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Sydney Diocese

“Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media.”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has issued a public statement on Israel Folau and the issue of Freedom of Speech, Conscience and Belief.

Full statement follows:

“Israel Folau’s right to express his faith and act according to his conscience is of fundamental importance in any democracy, and it is of great concern to many Australians that this right is being denied and vilified. Many are wondering whether they will be next. No-one should suppose that there are not deeply held views on either side of this issue. But at the moment, only one side is being heard. The way in which Folau’s motives have been impugned and his avenues of support have been cut off smacks of a new and ugly Australia where dissent from narrow cultural views is not tolerated.

The original post on Instagram canvassed some basic tenets of the Christian faith. It was not the entire Christian message, but it was posted without malice and from a place of deep conscience and concern. It encompassed all people, for we are all liars. It was posted with respect and with urgency. It had nothing to do with rugby and it should have been his right as a citizen to speak of what he believes without threat to his employment.

Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media. I admire the resolute way he has given his personal testimony.  Why, in the diversity of views in modern Australia, is that faith to be silenced – the faith from which springs so much of the values and virtues of our own civilisation, let alone the charitable works of many Christian churches across our land.

Ultimately, this will not be decided in the media. The clear support of ordinary Christians has been ignored, marginalised and silenced. Many commentators (and many politicians) have failed to understand the precious nature of conscience and belief and its power in the lives of ordinary Australians. Loud, intolerant voices swamp the quiet faith of many. But I pray that what Israel Folau is going through may shine a light on an issue which is vital to our democracy and of crucial importance for Christians – freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to live according to our faith.”

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
25 June AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Australian Christian Lobby donates $100,000 to Israel Folau

Posted on June 25, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“In the wake of GoFundMe’s removal of Israel Folau’s fundraiser, the Australian Christian Lobby has today donated $100,000 to his legal defence and is assisting Israel Folaul to launch an alternative fundraising site. …

–  Read it all here.

Update: Israel Folau’s donations surge past $600,000 after GoFundMe ban – ABC News.

“The Australian Christian Lobby’s Israel Folau support fund looks set to surpass the sacked rugby star’s previous GoFundMe campaign total of $750,000 in just 24 hours.

Donations have poured in at a rate of almost $1,000 per minute with the fund now worth more than $675,000…”

(Editor’s note: The Anglican Church League and the Australian Christian Lobby share the same initials, but are different organisations.)

“Grafton Synod indicates rejection of both National Constitution and Bishops’ Agreement”

Posted on June 24, 2019 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Culture wars

“The Synod of the Diocese of Grafton, which met this last weekend, has passed a number of controversial motions and heard a question which indicate a walking away from aspects of the national church constitution and the recent Bishops’ Agreement. …

the Synod debated asking the General Synod to introduce same-sex marriage and blessing liturgies. That motion, as expected, was passed along with a number of related matters. What surprised some delegates at Synod was that the following motion was comprehensively defeated:

27. Standard of Worship and Doctrine

That this Synod affirms the authorised standard of worship and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as set out in the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of the Constitution.

The motion was defeated in a vote by houses with approximately 2/3 of the delegates voting against.”

– David Ould has a report.

‘Smear campaign’: Why Aussies are giving Israel Folau their money

Posted on June 24, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars

“The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby says Australians are pouring money into Israel Folau’s GoFundMe appeal in fear of their rights around religious freedoms. …

‘Israel Folau has today been accused of greed, playing the victim, and being in a conflict of his own making. All three accusations are false,’ the Australian Christian Lobby MD wrote on Facebook. …”

– Story from Yahoo! Sport.

In his weekly video, ‘The Truth of It”, published 19 June 2019, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Martin Isles read a long excerpt from Israel Folau’s ‘controversial’ sermon in which he allegedly ‘targeted transgender youth’. What did he actually say?

Update: ‘Israel Folau’s campaign shut down by GoFundMe, donors to be refunded’ – ABC News.

“Sacked Wallaby Israel Folau’s attempt to crowdfund for his legal action against Rugby Australia has been shut down by GoFundMe, which will refund all money raised to donors. …”

How might Folau’s court case impact religious freedom?

Posted on June 22, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Opinion

“A victory in his case would be helpful as sending a message that believers have the freedom to speak in accordance with their faith, even when saying something that offends. And perhaps in persuading employers that they should not try to rely on over-broad “codes of conduct”. …

If he loses his case, it will in my view send a message to corporate Australia that they can require uniformity of opinion on controversial topics. It may lead to further restrictions on what Christians can say in public.”

The Gospel Coalition Australia speaks with Associate Professor Neil Foster about the decision by Israel Folau to begin legal proceedings against Rugby Australia.

Bishop William Love addresses the Albany Diocesan Convention

Posted on June 21, 2019 
Filed under TEC

Last year, Bishop William Love, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in eastern New York state, directed his clergy not to use the trial same-sex marriage rites authorised by the TEC General Convention. This put him on a collision course with the TEC hierarchy.

At his annual diocesan convention, earlier the month, Bishop Love reported on the current situation.

“With the passage of B-012 by the General Convention, a line has been drawn in the sand — a line that I am unable and unwilling to cross.  As all of you know, in January of this year, the Presiding Bishop placed a partial restriction on my ministry in regard to overseeing Title IV Disciplinary Proceedings involving same-sex marriage. In issuing the partial restriction, the Presiding Bishop stated, “Bishop Love’s conduct in this regard may constitute a canonical offence…

I was told an investigation into the allegations made against me would be conducted and I should hear something in a couple of weeks.  That was in the middle of February.  It is now June. …

The jury is still out as to whether The Episcopal Church is truly welcoming, inclusive and diverse enough for those of us who cannot embrace TEC’s current progressive agenda.

If we are to have a real place in The Episcopal Church, we must be provided a way to remain true to our understanding of Holy Scripture and the sacramental nature of the Church, and to differentiate ourselves from TEC’s progressive actions and beliefs that violate God’s Word (as we understand it), and are so offensive and problematic to the vast majority of the wider Anglican Communion and Body of Christ. …”

Read it all here. (link via Anglican Mainstream.)

Some Research on Preaching in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria

Posted on June 20, 2019 
Filed under Other denominations, Resources

“In March each year the Presbyterian Theological Centre in Victoria runs a Pastors’ conference to encourage faithful and engaging expository preaching in our churches. … I presented an audit report on preaching in Presbyterian churches in Victoria.

In conducting the audit I listened online to 40 preachers, with at least one from each of the 13 Presbyteries in the state. …”

David Cook shares some encouragement – at AP, the National Journal of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

(You might remember that Peter Jensen conducted a similar exercise in 2016.)

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