When insurgents infiltrate God’s church — Jude 1-4

Posted on January 22, 2023 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

When insurgents infiltrate God’s church

God’s people always have been and always will be under threat from false teachers who infiltrate the church. Jude, the brother of James (and Jesus), warns us about this reality. He insists that if we wish to preserve God’s saving truth for the next generation, we must contend for it.”

At St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, William Taylor has recently begun a sermon series on the Letter of Jude – A Necessary Conflict.

The Letter of Jude is as relevant today as it ever was. Here’s the first sermon in the series.

The Anglican Network in Europe asks, “Where is repentance?”

Posted on January 22, 2023 
Filed under ANiE, Church of England, GAFCON

Here’s a Press Release from Bishop Andy Lines and The Anglican Network in Europe:

The Anglican Network in Europe wholeheartedly echos Archbishop Foley Beach (Chair, Gafcon Primates’ Council):

“We, in Gafcon, call on leaders in the Church of England to repent and return to the teaching and practice of Holy Scripture and the historical one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”

We do so as the provision for faithful orthodox Anglicans in Europe initiated by the Gafcon Primates’ Council.

The proposals presented by the House of Bishops as the outcome of Living in Love and Faith are incoherent and contradictory but, most seriously, they reject the clear teaching of Scripture in favour of plural truth and personal preference. The suggested use of the commended prayers denies the Lord Jesus Christ’s call to repentance and faith as his loving invitation to all people.

Our heart goes out to those who have been profoundly disappointed and feel sadly betrayed by such abject failure of leadership. We pray for those who are now struggling to discern how to remain loyal to their Lord without compromise and cultural capitulation within the Church of England.

We join with all faithful orthodox Anglicans around the world in deploring this lamentable departure from ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 1:3) and call on them to declare impaired communion with those who have failed to uphold the truth and drive away error.

We commit ourselves to work with others in Gafcon and the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans to safeguard the gospel of Christ in a renewed faithful Anglican Communion as we continue to offer an authentic and globally recognised home under the Jerusalem Declaration.

ENDS

Note: An excellent and helpful initial critique of the House of Bishops’ proposals has been written by Rev Ian Paul at psephizo.com

This present darkness and the crisis of contemporary Anglicanism: Thesis 1

Posted on January 22, 2023 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England, Culture wars, Opinion

“The world of the 21st century is dominated by principalities and powers opposed to God and the biblical faith.

In much of the non-Western world, enmity and persecution has come from militant religions and totalitarian regimes.

In the West, postmodern ideologues have sought to overturn the biblical worldview of God as the Creator and Lord of life and death and of sexuality and marriage as His blessing for mankind and the sign of His love for the Church. In this quest, they have enjoyed apparent success (but cf. Psalm 2).

Many Anglican churches and their leaders in North America and the UK have succumbed to this false ideology and are promoting its agenda. …”

Dr Stephen Noll publishes the first of fourteen theses toward reviving, reforming and reordering the Anglican Communion.

Photo: GAFCON.

What are the bishops saying and doing in response to the end of LLF?

Posted on January 21, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

“Well, the time has come. The long-awaited (and much leaked) statement from the House of Bishops after the exhausting process of Living in Love and Faith has at least been made public. …

It is difficult to know how different groups in the Church will respond to this. Justin Welby has said (at the press conference) that he himself will not use  these prayers, in light of his role in the Anglican Communion—but that will make no difference at all. This will be the last straw, and the complete break-up of the Communion, which began to happen at the Lambeth Conference in the summer, will surely follow swiftly.”

– British theologian Ian Paul at Psephizo takes a close look at the Bishops’ commitment to blessing same-sex marriages.

Anglican Unscripted 782 – Living in Love & Faith

Posted on January 21, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

Earlier this week, Anglican TV’s Kevin Kallsen spoke with Susie Leafe about the UK House of Bishops’ announcement on the blessing of same-sex marriage.

Church of England publishes draft prayers for blessing same-sex couples

Posted on January 20, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

From The Church of England today:

“The draft texts, proposed by the bishops of the Church of England, will be considered by General Synod next month alongside other proposals in response to a six-year process of listening, learning and discernment on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage known as Living in Love and Faith. …”

Read here. And see the Draft prayers (PDF).

2018 GAFCON interview with Vaughan Roberts

Posted on January 20, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, GAFCON

At GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem, Dominic Steele spoke with Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St. Ebbe’s Oxford. Worth watching again in the light of this week’s disastrous moves by the Church of England House of Bishops.

“You  can’t compromise on the Apostolic faith. … if people move away from the Apostolic faith, they’re the breakers.”

Watch here.

An Eton Mess: The Failure of English Bishops

Posted on January 20, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, Opinion

“The Church of England has finally announced its proposals to their General Synod to deal with the vexed question of how to respond to same-sex marriage. The presentation was led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Eton-educated Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, who together are seeking to lead the Church of England through these difficult times.

For the last six years the Church of England has been going through a process of discussion called “Living in Love and Faith” in order to get to this moment.

In a press release issued while Australia slept, the House of Bishops outlined the legislation they will propose to the upcoming General Synod.

So what are the plans, what do they mean, and what effect will they have on the wider Anglican Communion—especially here in Australia?…”

– David Ould writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

What’s an Eton mess?

“It’s a bowl full of broken bits of meringue, fruit and topped off with cream. If at this point you’re thinking that sounds awfully like what you did with your pavlova last year when you dropped it on the floor and rescued those bits not red-carded by the five second rule, then you would be absolutely correct. Eton Mess is, at it’s heart, a failed Pavlova dressed up in a fancy bowl and passed off as something worthy. It is the next generation of that other famous Anglican sweet; the fudge.

What else is the Church of England on about these days?

Archbishop of Canterbury FC lace up for green campaign alongside Premier League stars

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s football team will host a ‘green’ football match as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis with football the focus for practical steps to reduce carbon.”

GAFCON Response to CofE Bishops Statement

Posted on January 20, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars, GAFCON

Archbishop Foley Beach responds on behalf of GAFCON to this week’s press release from the Church of England’s House of Bishops:

“What are the faithful in England and around the world to do now that the mother Church has departed from biblical faith and morality?  We cannot follow the Church of England down this path which leads to spiritual and moral bankruptcy.  Lord, have mercy upon us all.”

“19 January 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
Grace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ during this Epiphany Season!!

I write to you with a heavy heart as we are hearing of the continued Crisis of Leadership and Faith coming out of the Church of England.  Once again, our Western Anglican Provinces continue to ‘go their own way’ on matters of faith and practice without consultation or concern for the majority of Anglicans around the Global Communion.  Their actions not only deny holy practice, but reject the authority of Scripture, the teaching of the historic church, and the consensus of the Body of Christ from every tribe, tongue, people and nation alive today.

The release of the recent statement “Bishops propose prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and for God’s blessing of same-sex couples” (Find It Here) is a clear rejection of Lambeth 1998, I:10, and cannot help but ask the question: “What is next?” We continue to find ourselves disillusioned with the incredible audacity of major unilateral decisions (e.g. changing the nature of what it means to be ‘male and female’ in his image (Genesis 1:27) that run counter to ‘the faith once delivered’ (Jude 3).

What makes this current (and continued) Crisis of Leadership and Faith in the Church of England especially troubling is the clear and willful decision by the bishops to blatantly ignore the global Anglican consensus (as well as many more other Christian traditions) and ‘bless’ in the Name of Christ and the Church what God clearly calls sin.  God does not bless sin regardless of the stamp of endorsement by church leaders, clergy, and bishops.

Most of our Provinces have their origins in the Church of England because of the incredible and sacrificial missionary ministry of faithful British followers of Jesus.  What are the faithful in England and around the world to do now that the mother Church has departed from biblical faith and morality?  We cannot follow the Church of England down this path which leads to spiritual and moral bankruptcy.  Lord, have mercy upon us all.

Gafcon has a better story to tell: the story of our Lord Jesus who has and is rescuing us from brokenness (and often ourselves) and His unmistakably gracious offer of salvation which calls us ‘into the light’ where repentance and trust mark a new, right relationship to God through Christ.  Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus can be saved (Romans 10:13).  And in this great salvation story through Jesus, the Apostle Paul remarks about our former way of living, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11].  He says further that “If anyone is in Christ, s/he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Jesus adds that his followers are called to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:15-21).  We in Gafcon, call on the leaders in the Church of England to repent and return to the teaching and practice of Holy Scripture and the historical one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

Brothers and Sisters, let us pray earnestly for the faithful followers of Jesus in the Church of England as they struggle to fight and repel this false teaching which has been thrust upon them.  Let us also pray for their bishops and leaders that God would turn their hearts to return to His ways.

The Lord richly bless you!
Your Brother in Jesus Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach 
Chair, Gafcon Primates Council and Primate of North America.”

From GAFCON.

See also:

Together in Love & Faith? Should the Church Bless Same-Sex Partnerships? A Response to the Bishop of Oxford – Vaughan Roberts.

“Who do they think they are?” Church Society responds to the CofE House of Bishops Proposals for Same-Sex Blessings

Posted on January 20, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

Church Society’s Lee Gatiss responds to the ‘unworkable compromise’ that is the Church of England’s House of Bishops proposal for Same-Sex Blessings:

“The bishops of the Church of England have finally announced what it is they want to do at the end of the Living in Love and Faith process. …

They will be issuing an apology to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex, and other people (LGBTQI+) for the ‘rejection, exclusion, and hostility’ they have faced in churches. After what they describe as a 6 year period of listening and learning, they have decided they will ‘offer the fullest possible pastoral provision without changing the Church’s doctrine of Holy Matrimony for same-sex couples through a range of draft prayers, known as Prayers of Love and Faith, which could be used voluntarily in churches for couples who have marked a significant stage of their relationship such as a civil marriage or civil partnership.’

They will also be replacing Issues in Human Sexuality, which binds clergy to celibacy outside of heterosexual marriage, with new pastoral guidance. The basis for this is given in large bold letters as ‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.’ (1 John 4:16). …”

He argues that, despite claims to the contrary, it is a change of doctrine. Of the Bishops behind this, he writes,

“Who do they think they are? Bishops are asked at their consecrations: ‘Will you teach the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it, will you refute error, and will you hand on entire the faith that is entrusted to you?’ Were they serious when they replied ‘With the help of God, I will’? What are we to conclude about God’s help, if they no longer will? It would be a fearsome thing to be led by those whom God had abandoned.”

Further, he writes,

“There has been no convincing argument made for us to change our doctrine and practice. Living in Love and Faith and its associated survey, provided no warrant for change, no biblical justifications for a shift of this magnitude, as I have already stated elsewhere.

The Bishop of Oxford made no real attempt to argue from the Bible in his case for change, so ably countered by Vaughan Roberts.

The Bishop of Worcester delved so deeply into the Bible that he was able to make a puerile point about Solomon having hundreds of wives, which apparently proves there is no biblical doctrine of marriage. Teenagers would hoot at such impudence in a sixth form debating society, but it is hardly biblical scholarship. Again, Martin Davie easily takes his argument apart piece by rusting piece.”

Read it all at Church Society’s blog.

Make 2023 the year of truly knowing Jesus

Posted on January 19, 2023 
Filed under Encouragement

“There is a time for everything, the Teacher of Ecclesiastes tells us. Whether it is a time for birth or for death; to plant or to uproot; to weep or to laugh; to mourn or to dance – understanding the time in which we live as we enter 2023 really matters.

Knowing our time will dictate how we should act, what we should do, what we should prioritise, and what we believe is most significant. So, what is the time in which we live?…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Ben George has both challenge and encouragement.

Dean of Sydney: ALP ‘can do better’ on Pokies

Posted on January 18, 2023 
Filed under Opinion, Sydney Diocese

A media release from earlier this week:

“The Dean of Sydney, Sandy Grant, a long-time campaigner for poker machine reform in NSW, has responded to the NSW ALP’s launch of its gambling reform policy today.

He said:

Although I am pleased to see some helpful steps in the ALP’s proposals that will be helpful, the ALP can do better by committing to the principal of introducing a cashless gaming card, with mandatory pre-commitment, for poker machine use right across NSW.

With NSW losses on poker machines approaching $8 billion per annum – that’s over $20 million/day! – we urgently need ‘Airbags on Pokies’.…”

Read it all here.

January sale at Matthias Media

Posted on January 18, 2023 
Filed under Resources

Matthias media has a number of terrific books on sale – the sale “ends 11:59pm 31 January 2023, unless a product sells out first. Our standard generous quantity discounts don’t apply.”

John Chapman’s A Foot in Two Worlds is available for just $5.

“This book from John Chapman helps us understand both the joys and the hardships that we experience as part of the normal Christian life.”

Many would find it a great help and encouragement.

See what else is on offer here. (This is not an advertisement – we just thought you might like to know.)

‘Holy Scripture is the one that must give way’: Bishop Calls for Church of England to Change its Doctrine on Sexuality

Posted on January 17, 2023 
Filed under Church of England, Culture wars

In his The Briefing for 17 January 2023, Dr Albert Mohler addresses last week’s letter in support of same sex marriage from Bishop John Inge of Worcester.

Hear Parts 2 and 3 of The Briefing. Image: Bishop Inge.

Same words. Different worlds. Reaching Roman Catholics.

Posted on January 17, 2023 
Filed under Evangelism, Resources

On the Pastor’s Heart this week, Dominic Steele speaks with Leonardo De Chirico and Rachel Ciano on understanding our Roman Catholic friends and sharing the saving news of Jesus with them.

Leonardo De Chirico, Director of The Reformanda Initiative in Rome, is currently in Australia. Rachel Ciano serves at SMBC.

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