Jesus on prayer

Posted on February 25, 2024 
Filed under Resources

St. Helen’s Bishopsgate has published the latest talk from Dick Lucas – Jesus on Prayer:

“Why bother with prayer? And how should it be done?

Jesus’ instruction is concise yet all-encompassing, embracing the eternal purposes of God, the daily needs of his wayward children and the reality of evil. It is an invitation to intimacy between the perfect father and the imperfect, but forgiven, child.”

Listen here.

Evangelism for the terrified

Posted on February 24, 2024 
Filed under Encouragement, Evangelism, Sydney Diocese

“I don’t know about you, but I find evangelism utterly terrifying.

It didn’t start that way. After becoming a Christian in my late 20s, one of the things God did in my heart immediately was help me see that following Jesus and sharing the news of Jesus were two sides of the same coin.

“How hard could it be?” I thought. Very hard, as it turned out. …”

Dave Jensen begins a regular column in Southern Cross magazine.

Diocese of North West Australia Pipeline for leadership

Posted on February 23, 2024 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People

“Geraldton student Nathan Hiscock has been appointed the first Ministry Apprentice in the North West Anglican Church, in a major push to raise up homegrown gospel workers.

The position is part of the new 3-stage Ministry Training Pipeline which includes theological studies and a stint as a curate before graduating to lead a church. …”

Encouraging news from the Diocese of North West Australia (and a reminder to pray for the progress of the gospel in that far-flung diocese).

More Diocesan news here.

Old Testament case law today

Posted on February 22, 2024 
Filed under Theology

“Friends in Christ, following historic Anglican patterns, at the Cathedral, we are committed to the public reading of Scripture, from both Old and New Testaments.

Our preaching generally seeks to expound (i.e. explain and apply) our systematic readings through one book of the Bible.

The other reading comes from the other Testament. This other reading is not generally selected to complement the sermon passage, but simply to expose us to another part of God’s inspired Word, the Bible.

After all, when Paul wrote that ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16), he was speaking with special regard to what we now call the Old Testament (since the New Testament was still being completed). Timothy had known these ‘Holy Scriptures from infancy’, and Paul said they were ‘able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 3:15).

But often parts of the Old Testament strike the modern person as far removed from our current culture and expectations. …”

– Sandy Grant, Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney, writes to the cathedral congregation about the key place of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Why the “equality” Bill is a threat to religious freedom — and what you can do about it

Posted on February 21, 2024 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Sydney Diocese

“The Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023 introduced by Independent MP Alex Greenwich is due to be debated next month and voted on in March.

The bill makes wide-ranging changes to 20 pieces of NSW legislation that will undermine religious freedom and entrench a radical gender ideology in NSW. …”

Bishop Michael Stead writes at SydneyAnglicans.net.

He emphasises,

“Christians need to act immediately to make our opposition to this bill known.

We need to contact our local State members. Most politicians have little idea about the contents – let alone the consequences – of this bill.

It is important they hear our concerns before the bill’s scheduled voting day on March 14.”

This is an important article and deserves to be widely shared.

See also contactyourmp.org.au for background and helpful resources.

LLF and Reconciliation- taking the wrong path?

Posted on February 21, 2024 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“‘This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’

These words, from Jeremiah 6:16 were quoted by the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair, retired Bishop of Birkenhead, at the end of his address at Gafcon IV in April 2023.  He had been asked to speak about the global implications of the decisions taken by the Church of England’s February General Synod to introduce prayers of blessing for same-sex couples. His presentation was masterful and measured – as befits one of the most respected conservative leaders in the Church of England – and it was met with the most extraordinary standing ovation. …”

This post from Anglican Futures warns that the Church of England’s direction into the abandonment of Biblical morality and teaching is fixed.

It is a certainty that there will be many private meetings and whispered conversations taking place over the coming week in a last ditch attempt to find a way of persuading Synod that a square is just a circle with pointy bits.

There is a crossroads ahead – but it is hard to see a good outcome for the orthodox.”

Image: Bishop Keith Sinclair at GAFCON IV. See his address at GAFCON IV here (it may take quite some time to load).

Creating a future proofed church – with Stephen McAlpine

Posted on February 21, 2024 
Filed under Resources

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Stephen McAlpine says the real question is ‘Does the future have a church?’

The statistics are not our friend.

We have been talking on The Pastor’s Heart about dropping church attendance. Stephen McAlpine is writing about the more widespread phenomenon. …

In Australia the proportion of people self identifying as Christians has shrunk to 51% down from 67% just ten years ago.”

Watch or listen here. Also on YouTube.

The Distorting Power of the Prosperity Gospel

Posted on February 20, 2024 
Filed under Opinion, Theology

“No one wants to suffer. In my culture, and in most African cultures, suffering is seen as a sign of bad luck; or proof that you did something wrong. Interestingly that was exactly the same thinking as Job’s friends. For example, Eliphaz says this about Job’s situation: “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?” (Job 4:7-8). His point? The innocent don’t suffer.

Everyone wants their best life now. And most would simply settle for a materially better life too.

This view of suffering explains the success of the prosperity gospel across Africa. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Africa, Thomas Endjala at Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary, outlines how the “prosperity gospel” ruins faith.

(Link via Tim Challies.)

Speaking of (the Church of England’s General) Synod

Posted on February 19, 2024 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

From Church Society:

“Halfway through this five-year term of General Synod, Chris Moore and Ros Clarke discuss what’s on the agenda, what it’s like to serve on synod, and why you should consider standing for election next time.”

Listen here – and there are links to papers and the livestream for those who are interested.

Pray for Mothers Union Sydney

Posted on February 19, 2024 
Filed under GAFCON, Sydney Diocese

Today’s GAFCON Prayer Request:

“The Mothers Union (Sydney) is hosting an event at the Cathedral on February 23: ‘It takes a Village – stronger together in the family of God.’

Pray for a good attendance, online and in-person, and warm fellowship of Word and Spirit.”

See more here.

I think we need to mention the war

Posted on February 18, 2024 
Filed under Australia, World news

“By ‘the war’, I mean world war II, of Basil Fawlty fame. The war during which the Holocaust happened.

Since the 7 October 2023 terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas, there’s been an alarming upswing in antisemitism in Australia. What is antisemitism? A useful definition is:

a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance …”

– Theologian and ACL Council member Dr. Lionel Windsor reports on today’s ‘Never Again is Now’ rally in Sydney.

Related:

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s statement on antisemitism – 13 October 2023.

Hundreds watch as Sydney’s latest ministers make their promises

Posted on February 17, 2024 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“On one of the hottest days of February, a congregation of more than 700 gathered to support ordination candidates as they made the final official step to ordained ministry.

Twenty three men and women lined across the Cathedral, and in a first, in the front row was seeing-eye dog Trixie. …”

– Russell Powell provides this encouraging report on today’s ordinations at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.

LLF road map to ‘rebuilding trust’ set out at General Synod briefing

Posted on February 17, 2024 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

Justin Welby Credit: Jacqui J. Sze

“A fresh way forward on Living in Love and Faith (LLF) will be presented to the General Synod later this month, in the hope of ‘rebuilding trust’ lost over the past year. …”

Anglican Mainstream has the link to an article in Church Times.

How to rebuild trust after what has happened?

Photo: Jacqui J. Sze, via The Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

Pray for the Upcoming Church of England General Synod

Posted on February 16, 2024 
Filed under Church of England, GAFCON

Prayer request from GAFCON:

“The General Synod of the Church of England meets February 23-27.

Pray for the orthodox faithful representatives. ‘Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ … striving side by side for the faith of the gospel’ (Phil. 1:27 ESV).”

Never Again

Posted on February 16, 2024 
Filed under Opinion, Resources

“Friends in Christ, last Monday evening, together with Bishop Michael Stead and a number of other church leaders, I attended a meeting hosted at the Great Synagogue, but convened by a group of Christians called ‘Never Again is Now’. They are concerned about antisemitism in Australia.

Antisemitism is the expression of hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people. It’s a form of racism, one that is particularly abhorrent, when we remember the impact of the Holocaust under Nazism in Germany before and during World War Two. …”

– In a recent Cathedral newsletter (and published on the Cathedral website), Dean of Sydney Sandy Grant explains why will he attend the Never Again rally 3-4pm on Sunday 18th February.

He also provides a link to the Never Again is Now website.

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