The Gospel in the Gospels — Two Ways Ministries Forum 2023

Posted on January 29, 2023 
Filed under Evangelism, Resources

From Two Ways Ministries:

Want to wrestle with God’s Word and develop a great network of other Young Adults who want to live single-mindedly for Christ?

Thursday Forum is the backbone of what we do – hear Phillip Jensen teach the Bible, ask your questions, discuss the implications in small groups with others in the 18-30 age group and pray together.

The topic for this year’s forums will equip us to read the gospel with a non-Christian friend (one of the best ways to evangelise), but what is the gospel in the gospels?

Location: Marcus Loane Hall, Moore College, Newtown

Time: Thursdays 7-9pm (BYO dinner to share from 6pm)

See the website for dates and links for further details.

Commissioning in Cowra

Posted on January 28, 2023 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People

From the Bathurst Diocese Facebook page:

“A great afternoon commissioning Ben (with Alissa) Connelly for ministry in Cowra with great thanks to BCA for their partnership. In the photos you’ll see the Rev’d Greg Harris, national director of BCA and various Bathurst clergy and spouses of who gathered for today.”

– A cause for thanksgiving and prayer. See also the BCA website.

CEEC formally responds to House of Bishops’ proposals and subsequent public communications

Posted on January 28, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

The Church of England Evangelical Council has issued a formal response to the Church of England’s House of Bishops.

CEEC calls for action and offers the Church of England a better way forward

CEEC is grieved and dismayed by the House of Bishops’ response to Living in Love & Faith, and subsequent public communications, believing them to be contrary to the doctrine and teaching of the Church of England. If pursued, we believe these proposals will create further division and broken fellowship within the Church of England and a greater tearing of the fabric of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

We wish to alert the House of Bishops to the depth, breadth and strength of opposition to their proposals among members of CEEC, which represents lay and ordained, charismatic and conservative and open, egalitarian and complementarian evangelicals. The Council is drawn from numerous networks including Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships, EGGS, The Junia Network, ReNew, New Wine, Living Out, Latimer Trust, JAEC, Fulcrum, Fellowship of Word and Spirit, Crosslinks, CPAS, Count Everyone In, CMS, Christianity Explored, Church Society and evangelical College Principals.” (emphasis added)

Read it all here.

‘Total betrayal of the doctrine of marriage’

Posted on January 28, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Global South

Speaking with the Christian Institute in the UK, Global South spokesman the Rev Paul Eddy highlights the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and calls on evangelical bishops to speak out against the House of Bishops proposals.

Failing the Green Test II: A critical examination of the advice from the Church of England’s Legal Office

Posted on January 27, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“In my previous paper on the bishops’ proposals I applied what I called the ‘Green test.’

This test, named after the late Canon Michael Green who taught it to me, holds that that there are two key questions that a student should ask of any item on a theological reading list.

These two questions are

(a) ‘What is this writer trying to sell me?’ and

(b) ‘Is this something I should buy?’

In my previous paper I argued that the bishops’ proposals failed this test. In this new paper I want to argue that the advice from the Legal Office likewise fails this test with the consequence that it does not show that what the bishops are proposing is legal. …”

– Martin Davie continues his analysis of the House of Bishops’ proposals for the blessing of same-sex marriages.

Part 1 here.

Photo: The late Canon Michael Green.

Preaching Trust Clubs in 2023

Posted on January 27, 2023 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

From The Expository Preaching Trust:

“The Trust is sponsoring clubs in Abbotsford, Armidale, Sutherland and Wahroonga. These Clubs meet 4 times each year and in one of the meetings feature a special guest.

Our special guest for 2023 is Phillip Jensen. Phillip will preach at each club and will speak on, ‘The future: obstacles and opportunities’.

There is no cost to register, but if you would like to attend the club for Phillip’s visit here are the details…”

See the details here.

Anglicans honoured in Australia Day list 2023

Posted on January 26, 2023 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“A senior public servant and a former Dean of the College of Divinity are among Anglicans in Sydney given Australia Day Honours. …”

– Russell Powell has the story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

(Image: SydneyAnglicans.net)

Richard Johnson’s Address to the Inhabitants of New South Wales

Posted on January 26, 2023 
Filed under Australia, Evangelism, History

 

This Australia Day, give thanks for the Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplain to the First Fleet and first Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales.

In 1792, Johnson wrote a tract designed to be distributed widely in the Colony. He gives his reasons for doing so:  Read more

Global South Releases Response to Same-Sex Blessings in Church of England

Posted on January 25, 2023 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England, Culture wars, Global South

The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA)

Press Release

For Immediate release 24 January 2023

CHURCH OF ENGLAND ‘BLESSING’ GAY UNIONS WOULD VIOLATE BIBLICAL TEACHING & JEOPARDISE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY’S CONTINUING ROLE IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION

IF the General Synod of the Church of England affirms the House of Bishops’ recommendations to ‘Bless’ Same Sex Marriage, or Civil Partnerships, the Church of England will be in violation of the “clear and canonical teaching of the Bible”, and it will lead to “impaired communion with many provinces of the Anglican Communion”.

The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as a “moral leader, and a figure of unity within the Communion” will also be “severely jeopardised”. So says the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) which covers around 75% of Anglicans across the globe, ahead of the Synod’s London meetings, February 6-9.

The House of Bishops’ Response to the six-year Living in Love and Faith ‘listening’ process says lawyers have advised them that the official Doctrine of Marriage would remain, despite the Church, from now on “joyfully welcoming and recognising permanent, stable same sex relationships” through services and prayers of blessing.

The Most Reverend Justin Badi, Primate of South Sudan, and Chairman of the GSFA responded, saying: “What the English bishops are recommending constitutes unfaithfulness to the God who has spoken through His written word. Their Response belies the loss of confidence by the bishops in the authority and clarity of the Bible as we have received it. They are re-writing God’s law for His creation; laws that are re-affirmed by Christ in the Gospel accounts.”

Last summer, at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, the GSFA sounded a global call to re-affirm ‘Lambeth 1.10’ (the Anglican Communion’s official teaching that the only place for sexual intimacy is marriage between one man and one woman for life, and specifically rules out blessing of same sex relationships). Archbishop Badi says the bishops’ proposals are “in clear contravention of Lambeth 1.10” , and “will lead to consequences for the Communion if the General Synod affirms. We therefore call on Synod to reject the bishops’ proposals on blessing same sex unions.”

Archbishop Badi said the GSFA “laments the bishops’ collective failure to keep their ordination/consecration vows to defend biblical truth by their life and doctrine, and are dangerously accommodating the culture of the day”. He said their 53-page Response: “turns out to be a farcical compromise, with many contradictions, and no theological case made for blessing same sex unions.” The GSFA says that the proposed pastoral resource of Prayers of Love and Faith for blessing and affirming gay couples, contradicts Holy Scripture taken as a whole, and in particular, the bible’s teaching on marriage and sexual ethics.

Theology apart, the GSFA also says the attitude towards the Anglican Communion shown by the House of Bishops in their Response once again demonstrates a problematic relationship between the Mother Province and the world-wide Anglican church.

Archbishop Badi said: “Anglican ecclesiology requires that provinces don’t act independently of each other. Even more so for the CofE in its special historical and ecclesiastical role in the Anglican Communion. Assent by General Synod would show disregard for the wider Communion (the majority of whom hold to orthodox teaching on Marriage & sexuality), and will increase the pressure for the Communion to fragment. Several GSFA provinces are already in ‘impaired communion’ with revisionist provinces like The Episcopal Church (USA), the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales. If Synod votes to back the bishops’ recommendations, then it is foreseeable that several Global South provinces will also be in impaired Communion with the Church of England.”

However, the primate says this does not mean GSFA provinces will leave the Communion. He added: “It would only double their desire to reset and revitalise the Communion along biblical lines, and in keeping with its formative theology, ecclesiology and ethos. The Anglican Church has always seen itself as an expression of God’s ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.’

“GSFA provinces are committed to our calling to be ‘a holy remnant’ within the Communion, marked by its loyalty to God and the plain teaching of holy scripture – whatever the cultural winds of the day. But a Synod vote in favour of the bishops’ proposals would be a major step in revisionism and sadly, alienate the Mother Church from large swathes of the Communion. It will inevitably lead to a re-configuration, and a re-structuring of the Communion as we currently know it.”

Archbishop Badi says it would also remove the Archbishop of Canterbury’s moral right to be an Instrument of Unity for the Communion. He said: “Archbishop Welby cannot compartmentalise his role as Primate of England from his role as ‘first among equals (head of the world-wide Communion)’. He says he will not personally use the ‘prayers of blessing’, but his “extremely joyfully celebratory” welcome of the blessing prayers, and his leadership of the House of Bishops in proposing this Response, means that he is actually advocating false teaching from a biblical point of view.”

The GSFA says if any Communion province was considering changing its Doctrine of Marriage, and/or its Pastoral Guidelines, then this should first be discussed and decided by the Primates’ Meeting. That is, if a global Anglican Church as a ‘communion of churches’ is to be maintained, rather than “a loose network, or federation of autonomous national or regional Churches,” he explained.

To orthodox clergy and laity in the Church of England, Archbishop Badi was keen to send a clear message of encouragement and support. He said: “The GSFA is committed to care for those who abide by the ‘faith once delivered’, and who want to be true to the Communion, and its foundational roots, while responding to a changing world. In a word, we seek to continue to ‘shepherd’ those who want to be faithful to the covenant-keeping God revealed in Christ and the Scriptures. This includes Orthodox Anglicans in England, bishops, clergy and laity. We will do this as best as possible in a non-schismatic way.

“We will also be especially mindful to care for, and encourage those who are same sex attracted, but whose love of the Lord, and His teaching, mean they abstain from same sex unions. Our mission of ‘truth and grace’ in a broken world will also include welcoming and relating to those in some form of same sex relationship. We will welcome them as persons into our church communities, relate to them as they present themselves, and seek to introduce them to the transforming love of Christ that heals our brokenness, and helps all of us sinners to be continually transformed more and more into His likeness.”

Finally, the GSFA leader says he believes that particularly over the last decade, the debate on marriage and sexuality has distracted, if not diverted, the life in many parts of the Communion, and certainly the Church of England, from the main task of the Church: proclaiming Christ and making disciples of all who live in the nation, including those who increasingly, in a confused and morally ambivalent society, struggle with issues of identity. He concluded: “The mission Christ entrusted to His Church must cause us to take the Gospel out to those who have yet to know and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ, and to live out the kingdom in a holistic way. We will, in the grace of God, both defend and propagate this death-defeating, life-transforming Gospel.”

The GSFA has recently invited orthodox provinces across the Communion to formally sign up as full Covenant Members of the Fellowship. It is also in the process of offering Associate Membership to Anglican Churches and organisations within revisionist provinces who are seeking to be a ‘holy remnant’, and who may require support from the global body of Anglicans, including alternative episcopal oversight at some point.

• For more information about the GSFA, and membership, visit www.thegsfa.org

ENDS

(This copy with thanks to The American Anglican Council.)

Woe to the English Bishops – with Lee Gatiss and Ben Kwashi

Posted on January 24, 2023 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England, Culture wars, GAFCON

From The Pastor’s Heart – a “Must watch”:

“The Bishops of the Church of England have announced that same sex relationships will be able to be blessed in Church of England churches.

In a massive turnaround, the English bishops are saying that what God says is sin, is blessed.

The prophet Isaiah says,

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. – Isaiah 5:20

Despite the u-turn, in a fudge, the Bishops claim that by not authorising same sex weddings in church, there is no change in doctrine.

We talk with General Secretary of the Gafcon Movement, Ben Kwashi and Director of the Church Society UK, Lee Gatiss.

Watch or listen here.

How can we bless what God detests?

Posted on January 24, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Theology

“Arguments against the use of Leviticus 18 in any serious discussion in the church about same-sex relationships have become so commonplace as to feature in everything from Radio 4’s The News Quiz to Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing.

If we want to argue that homosexual sexual activity is wrong, the argument goes, we must stop eating prawn sandwiches, put people to death for working on the Sabbath, and get rid of any polycotton garments we might own.

And yet, even a quick glance at the chapter in question will show that none of those things are mentioned. In fact, the list of things prohibited in Leviticus 18 is rather more sinister: various forms of incest, child sacrifice and bestiality. I wonder whether President Bartlet would have been happy to make those things legal. I certainly doubt that Bishop Stephen Croft would want to support them, despite his willingness to use the argument of President Bartlet his recent publication Together in Love and Faith (p31-32).

I suggest that we need to take a clearer look at (i) the place of the Old Testament law in Christian ethics and (ii) the particular context of Leviticus 18, rather than rely on the tired lines of stand-up comedians and political satire. …”

– This was written in December 2022, after the Bishop of Oxford had released his booklet endorsing same-sex marriage. Church Society’s Associate Director, Dr. Ros Clarke addresses the big question behind the call for the church to bless same-sex relationships.

In her conclusion she asks,

“How can we tell people that something God has said will lead to death, will actually lead to life? How could we be so wicked as to lie about something so important? How could we hope to avoid God’s judgment on us for knowingly leading people astray?”

‘Praying in Love and Faith’: an initial response – CEEC

Posted on January 24, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) shares the profound concern being expressed by evangelicals across the Church of England in response to the bishops’ proposals published on Friday and the Archbishop of York’s interview with BBC Radio 4 yesterday morning 

At a meeting of the Evangelical Group on General Synod (EGGS) on Saturday there was overwhelming support for opposition to these proposals. 

John Dunnett, Director of Strategy and Operations, CEEC, said: “I share the profound dismay expressed by thousands of evangelicals across the country. I’m deeply troubled by the bishops proposals which seem to me to be either contrary to or indicative of a departure from Church of England doctrine. 

I want to reassure you all that the CEEC will be leading and coordinating a robust response as we contend together for faithfulness to biblical teaching within the Church of England, on issues of sex and marriage.

CEEC is holding its annual residential this week. CEEC is the body founded by John Stott, which brings together evangelicals from Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships (DEFs) and all the main evangelical networks, organisations and societies. It will be agreeing how CEEC will lead and support evangelicals at this time.  We will issue a statement later this week with further details. 

Please pray for all at the CEEC annual residential this week and evangelicals in local churches, deaneries and dioceses who are at the frontline of contending for the faith as we have received it. 

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you (Philippians 1: 27-28a).”

– from The Church of England Evangelical Council, 23 January 2023.

The Hypocrisy of Authoritarian Bishops

Posted on January 23, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

Here is this week’s ‘Must read” response to the House of Bishops to get a sense of how serious is the situation in the Church of England –

“Like many clergy, over the weekend I read GS2289, the response of Church of England bishops to Living in Love and Faith.

Let me confess honestly, that in my personal lived experience I am experiencing this stuff from the bishops as a deeply hypocritical, flawed, insulting, and overtly manipulative attempt at institutional gaslighting.

The whole document feels to me personally like an insincere jargon-filled betrayal of the gospel and an abandonment of all I hold dear and love about Anglicanism. It gives me immense pain and sorrow. I feel profound personal grief. I am hurt, embarrassed, and humiliated that the leaders of my denomination could be so brazen in their rejection of the Bible and in their sneaky attempt to pretend that it is not a rejection of the teaching of Jesus as we have always received it. I am upset that I have been treated with intellectual and spiritual contempt by such a poorly argued, thinly veiled power grab. The emotional impact of GS2289 for me is akin to being mugged. …”

– Director of Church Society, The Rev Dr Lee Gatiss, quite rightly has strong words to say about the Church of England’s House of Bishops.

Be sure to read it all – and do pray. Pray for those who hold dear to Christ and his authoritative word, that they might have godly wisdom – especially as the Church of England’s General Synod approaches next month.

Darrell Parker be installed as Bishop of North West Australia on 15th February

Posted on January 23, 2023 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People

The Diocese of North West Australia advises that Darrell Parker will be installed as the Bishop of North West Australia at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Geraldton on Wednesday 15th February at 6:00pm AWST (9:00pm AEDT).

“We would be delighted if you could join us for this special occasion, either in person or through the livestream.

But above all, please join us in praying for Darrell and Elizabeth as they work out how to serve God faithfully and well in this new role, and that under Darrell’s watch the gospel will be boldly proclaimed in all the towns in North West Australia.”

Darrell will be consecrated at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney at 7:00pm AEDT (4:00pm AWST) on Friday 3rd February 2023.

Both services will be live-streamed on the Geraldton Cathedral website.

Photo: Darrell and Elizabeth Parker.

Commissionings and encouragement in Bathurst Diocese

Posted on January 23, 2023 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Encouragement

Many will be encouraged by recent news from Bathurst.

The Bishop’s Newsletter – Summer Edition 2023 is available for download (PDF file).

Bishop Mark Calder writes, “This is the second of a semi-regular newsletter from me as a way of trying to increase communication around the diocese.”

Highlights include:

COMMISSIONING SERVICES

Grenfell – Tim Smith 11am Sat Jan 21
Oberon – Jonny Lush 1.30pm Sun Jan 22
Cowra – Ben Connelly 1.30pm Sat Jan 28
West Wyalong – Steven Klouth 11am Sat Feb 11
Cobar – James Daymond 11am Sat Feb 18

Ordination—04 Mar, at the Cathedral, 10am – James Boardman to be made deacon.

There’s also a parish profile for the Parish of Kelso which is vacant (and in a strategic location).

There’s plenty to pray about for Bathurst (and other country dioceses). In particular, pray for Bishop Mark Calder and his wife Susan with oversight and responsibilities for such a large area of NSW. Pray for those beginning ministries from Oberon to Cobar, and for the churches in which they minister. Pray that the men and women of these country areas might thirst to hear the gospel and to know Christ.

Photos – Commissioning services held over the weekend for Tim (and Jess) Smith at Grenfell and Jonny (and Liz) Lush at Oberon. Via the diocesan Facebook page.

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