Reformed Church in America splits as conservative churches form new denomination

“On New Year’s Day, 43 congregations of the Reformed Church in America split from the national denomination, one of the oldest Protestant bodies in the United States, in part over theological differences regarding same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy. …”

– Story from Religion News Service.

Link via Albert Mohler’s The Briefing for 13 January 2022 (from 12:10.)

– worth hearing his commentary on the history of the Reformed Church of America, and what might happen to the new grouping. There are many parallels in the Anglican world.

ePetition for Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital

Presbyterian Social Services in NSW are seeking help in gaining vital funding for the Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital in Dundas.

The only hospital dedicated to the health of children with disabilities in NSW is Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital. It operates on a $5,500,000 budget to employ 150 staff, mostly nurses, as they meet the health of 120 special children.

While Allowah is grateful for the adhoc MOU with Sydney Children’s Hospital Network to help fund this healthcare, the nature of the agreement means it provides just $5,000 per year.”

– from the ePetition at Jericho Road, the website of Presbyterian Social Services.

Read more background at their website:

“For the longer term, in order to address the financial vulnerability caused by setbacks such as COVID-19, we have been discussing ways that Allowah could better partner with NSW Health to meet the needs of children with complex medical needs and disabilities. We have had several discussions with Senior Policy Officers from the Ministry of Health and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and hope to progress a number of partnerships with NSW Health.

The reality is though that these longer-term initiatives will not address our immediate and urgent need for funds in 2021 due to COVID-19. We need $1.6M emergency funding to see us through 2021.”

– and do consider signing the petition.

Methodist Church and the way of the world

“Following prayerful consideration by the whole Church, the Methodist Conference has voted to confirm provisional resolutions on the principles or qualities of good relating, understanding of cohabitation and same sex marriages conducted on Methodist premises or by Methodist office-holders.

A report on marriage and relationships, ‘God in Love Unites Us’, was received by the Conference in 2019 and the local District Synods were asked to consider the provisional resolutions and report back to this year’s Conference which is being held this week in Birmingham.  The Conference received a report on the results of the local conferring which showed that 29 out of the 30 Synods confirmed support for the provisional resolutions.

The Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Conference, prayed ahead of the main debate on Wednesday morning in Birmingham, asking that the Conference’s ‘words may be imbibed with your grace, with tenderness from on high.’

A range of views were expressed on the resolutions, in particular on cohabitation and same sex marriages. The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, spoke to the Conference acknowledging the ‘depth of feeling, pain and anxiety that there is’ with a commitment to work across the Connexion with District Chairs to heal divisions. …”

– from this news release from the Methodist Conference in the UK.

The discussions can be seen here – scroll down to “Wednesday 30 June 2021 – Session 3 14:15 – 16:15”.

‘The Marriage Madness in Methodism’

“The annual Conference of the Methodist Church of Great Britain is meeting in Birmingham this week and next, other things it will debate a report entitled ‘God in Love Unites Us’.

The report will be endorsed, unless something spectacular (or miraculous?) happens, as it has already been approved by 29 of the 30 Methodist synods.The report recommends that the Methodist Church approve of cohabitation and extend its understanding of marriage to ‘two people’ rather than ‘a man and a woman’. …

Rather than regard Scripture as authoritative, the report tells us that it relies for ‘authoritative commentary’ on sexuality from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which it naively describes as ‘independent’. And among other things, the report commends ‘queer theology’; tell us that sex is assigned at birth, based on ‘perceptions’ of biology; and that sexual desire is a part of the wider desire for just and loving relationships. …”

David Robertson writes about the Methodist Conference in the UK.

Related:

Albert Mohler speaks with Carl Trueman on ‘The Triumph of the Modern Self’

A conversation with Dr. Carl Trueman on the modern self and the sexual revolution.

Silver and Gold have I None

“Those who know the Scriptures – or Scripture in Song – will recognise the heading as coming from Peter’s words to the lame man who had been lying by the Beautiful Gate, as part of the temple in Jerusalem (Acts 3:6). Not possessing any money, the apostle could not help him in the way the lame man was hoping for, but, being an apostle, Paul was used to perform a Messianic miracle whereby the man was sent on his way, walking and leaping and praising God. The episode is certainly a reminder that the New Testament Church was not driven by finances and high-powered administration…”

– Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Dr. Peter Barnes, writes this pastoral letter responding to the financial challenges facing the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.

The Way Forward for the Southern Baptist Convention

“Southern Baptists will soon be gathering in Nashville, and the one big question looming over the Convention will be this — how do we move forward?

This meeting comes as several issues have been building in intensity for years, while others have erupted more recently. Some of the intensity is because the issues are genuinely important. But the fact is that many Southern Baptists left the Convention meeting in Birmingham in 2019 with real concerns about the future. …”

– Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explain why he has allowed himself to be nominated for the position of President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

He lays out the steps he would plan to take if elected.

How to reach Australia + The Queensland Presbyterian crisis

On the latest edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with Queensland Theological College Principal Gary Millar at the Reach Australia conference on the NSW Central Coast.

As well as sharing from his keynote addresses on Holiness and Hope, Gary is asked about the problems facing Queensland Presbyterians and the College he leads.

Watch or listen here.

Presbyterian Church of Queensland goes into receivership

“The Presbyterian Church of Queensland has gone into receivership, raising questions about the long-term fate of its aged-care facilities, schools and other operations.

PwC Australia intends to continue all operations while it carries out a sweeping review of the church’s activities and financial position.…”

– Unwelcome news via The West Australian – and a matter for much prayer.

See also this PCQ Media Statement which gives some of the background, and a Letter to Congregation Members from the Clerk of Assembly.

‘We’ve failed the Great Commission and lost the Gospel’

On this week’s episode of The Pastor’s Heart,

“A prophetic word from the most senior evangelical leader in Australia’s Uniting Church, Stu Cameron.

Stu has published two short essays over the last week, the first diagnoses the problems in his denomination, saying: We’ve failed the great commission; Stifled entrepreneurial leadership; and most significantly, Have lost confidence in the gospel.

The second essay suggests a five fold solution: 1. Confess, Repent, Pray; 2. Obsess about Disciple-Making; 3. Release Property Joyfully; 4. Learn Humbly; and 5. Blow it all Up.

Stu Cameron is the new senior pastor of the influential Wesley Central Mission in Sydney…”

Watch or listen at here.

Women Pastors, Women Preachers, and the Looming Test of the Southern Baptist Convention

“In truth, the issue of women serving as pastors fuelled the Conservative Resurgence in the SBC. The question was instantly clarifying. The divide over women serving in the pastorate served as a signal of the deeper divide over the authority and interpretation of the Bible. …”

– Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler sees a fresh test coming to the Southern Baptist Convention.

Release From a COVID Christmas

“The pre-covid, covid, and post-covid worlds have striking similarities: we are imprisoned in a world of sin, pain, and death …”

– Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, shares his 20200Christmas message.

People and the Reformation

“October 31 is remembered in some places, not as a wretched Halloween Day, as the date when, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses in Latin to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg in Saxony. In doing so, he unwittingly, to some degree at least, triggered off the Protestant Reformation. …”

– The Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, writes for Reformation Day, this coming weekend.

Knowing our Limitations

If anyone is looking for suitable reading in lockdown – or in wild freedom, for that matter – Blaise Pascal’s Penséesis indeed food for the soul and for the intellect.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a distinguished French scientist who sought to write an apologetic for the Christian faith, but death took him before the work could be completed. No matter, for Pascal’s work in its unfinished state outdoes other writers whose works are finished and neatly revised. Pascal was especially incisive when it comes to exposing the human condition. …”

– Presbyterian Moderator-General, Dr. Peter Barnes, on the understanding we need at this time.

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