Christianity is Counting the Cost and Not Sweating the Small Stuff

Friday, November 17th, 2006

From Christianity is Counting the Cost and Not Sweating the Small Stuff, by Jan LaRue, published Nov 16, 2006, by Concerned Women for America:

jan-larue.JPG“Episcopal leaders vote to leave,” reads the caption today announcing that “two of Virginia’s most historic Episcopal parishes have voted to split from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia.” It’s a move that will likely lead to litigation and could cost the congregants of Truro Church in Fairfax (est. 1732) and The Falls Church (est. 1752) millions of dollars in prime real estate. George Washington was a member of the vestry of both churches. [Julia Duin, Washington Times, Nov. 16, 2006, p. 1].

When the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, an exclamation point was added at the end of the handwriting that had been on the Church wall for many years. Robinson is an open homosexual who left his wife and children for a man.

By the way, if they had consecrated as bishop an unrepentant heterosexual adulterer or unmarried fornicator, the sin would be just as grievous. Sin brings equal opportunity condemnation.

Christianity is all about choices, costs and consequences. The congregants of Truro and The Falls Church reportedly told their leaders that “the theological disconnect between Biblical Christianity and the road the [Episcopal] Church had chosen to walk was so profound, the time had come to separate from the denomination.”

One of the countless characteristics that makes Jesus unique as the greatest leader of all time is that although He came to save all mankind from the condemnation of sin, He never stayed where He wasn’t wanted, and He never kept anyone from leaving. His words had a thinning effect on crowds. “For many are called but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

In fact, He said that when someone leaves Him, it’s proof that the person isn’t one of His. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (I John 2:19)

Shaking off the dust of an unfriendly town and dodging stones came with Christ’s calling. But He never compromised. Everything He did was consistent with everything He said. He leaves no space between following Him and obeying Him.

“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) Christ suffered the agony of the Cross because of His intolerance of sin and love of sinners. We can’t bless and make holy that which God has condemned as sinful.

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Run, Don’t Walk, from ECUSA’s Incoming Leader: Homosexuality Not a Choice

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Excerpted from ECUSA’s Incoming Leader: Homosexuality Not a Choice, Jesus Not the Only Way, by Jody Brown and Allie Martin, published Nov 2, 2006, by Agape Press:

Where does [Katharine Jefferts-Schori] stand on the issue of homosexuality? The Episcopal Church has been embroiled for years in a debate over the ordination of homosexual clergy and “blessing” ceremonies for same-sex couples. Jefferts-Schori supports both — and in fact, she voted in 2003 to confirm her denomination’s first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson. She told AP that she does not believe the Bible condemns “committed” homosexual relationships. God, she says, made some people “gay.”

“Sexual orientation is pretty clearly defined at a very early age, before the age of reason. It’s not a choice,” she said. “In that case, a person of faith would need to say that it’s a piece of how one is created.” Consequently, she says, the Church should offer what she calls “a sacramental container” to help homosexuals find “holy ways of living in relationship.”

Scriptures in the Bible about homosexual acts being sinful, she says, are misunderstood. “They’re not about what today we see as mature human beings entering into committed relationships with each other on a full and equal basis,” says Jefferts-Schori, who believes such “committed” relationships can be blessed. “The religious community’s job, really, is to help all human beings find healthy and whole and holy ways of living in relationship.”

Run, Don’t Walk
Canon David Anderson is president of the American Anglican Council, a group of conservative clergy and lay people from the Episcopal Church. Anderson says he’s not surprised at the recent comments by Jefferts-Schori, and offers what he sees as the only option for those still in churches aligned with ECUSA.

“I think they need to run, not walk, to the exit and find an orthodox Episcopal church,” suggests Anderson.

According to Anderson, the Episcopal Church cast off biblical beliefs long ago in favor of postmodernism. Jefferts-Schori’s comments, he claims, is merely in harmony with that. “Her remarks with regard to the plurality of ways to God are consistent both with what she has said before and with what the top level of leadership in the Episcopal Church has been saying now for probably a decade,” says Anderson.

Continue reading at Agape Press…

Prince Charles Praises Openly Homosexual Anglican Priest

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

From Prince Charles Praises Openly Gay Anglican Priest, by Terry Vanderheyden, published Oct 11, 2006, by LifeSite News:

Prince Charles, the future head of the Church of England, has sparked controversy by endorsing an openly homosexual Anglican clergyman.

Harry Williams, the former dean of Cambridge University who died earlier this year, was praised by the Prince in the forward to a new book of poems being published. The Prince of Wales wrote that Williams’ “proved to be a star; a man of intense humanity and warmth whose humour and originality created an aura of approachability,” according to a UPI report.

Williams’ 1982 autobiography meanwhile, titled “Some Day I’ll Find You,” describes the pastor’s experiences as a practicing homosexual while at Cambridge.

“I slept with several men, in each case fairly regularly,” he wrote, adding that “I have seldom felt more like thanking God then (sic) when having sex.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention – wrote about Prince Charles that

“In just over 50 years, Prince Charles has managed to make himself a mockery of marriage and morality and to pose, as one leading British newspaper observed, as ‘a well-intentioned eccentric seeking divine inspiration.’”

Mohler added:

“There is indeed much to learn by observing the example of Prince Charles. He has become a living portrait of what happens when Christianity is separated from its central truth claims, and when faith becomes a matter of emotional aspiration rather than firm belief in the truth.”

Virginia Congregation Withdraws from Pro-Homosexuality US Episcopals, Joins Pro-Truth Ugandan Anglicans

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

From the church’s press release:

colbanner.gifThe members of Christ Our Lord Episcopal Church, a thriving congregation of about 200 faithful Christians in this suburb of Washington, DC, have voted to dissolve the church and to conclude its existence as part of the Diocese of Virginia of The Episcopal Church of the U.S. The members of the congregation have reconstituted themselves as a new Anglican church, named Christ Our Lord Church and affiliated with the Anglican Province of Uganda.

The eligible voting members of Christ Our Lord Episcopal Church voted Sunday, October 15 by a 95 percent margin to dissolve the church and to terminate its relationship with The Episcopal Church in the US and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The congregation also voted to relinquish to the Diocese the church property on Omisol Road in Woodbridge because it was titled in the name of the Diocese. At that meeting, the Rev. George Beaven, the vicar of the church, submitted his resignation and announced that he would retire from The Episcopal Church…

“Our experience is that the Episcopal Church has become an unhealthy environment for orthodox Christians…” Mr. Beaven said.

“Events in The Episcopal Church that have shown profound disrespect for Scripture and Biblical teachings…”

Excerpted from N. Va. Episcopal Church to Pull Out of Diocese Over Gay Issues, published Oct 25, 2006, in the pro-homosexuality Washington Blade:

The 200-member Christ Our Lord Church is the third northern Virginia Episcopal church to withdraw from the diocese and affiliate with the Anglican Province of Uganda.

It joins other conservative congregations upset with denomination leadership…

South Riding Church in Loudoun County left the diocese in November. The Church of the Holy Spirit, also in Loudoun County, left in February.

Two other northern Virginia Episcopal churches will soon decide whether to leave the denomination.

Continue reading in Washington Blade…

Episcopal Bishop in Connecticut Approves Homosexual Couple Blessings

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

We agree with Christopher Leighton, rector at St. Paul’s Church in Darien, who called Smith a ”perpetrator of false teaching” and said his decision defies ”Scripture and worldwide Christianity.”

Excerpted from Episcopal Bishop in Connecticut OK’s Same-sex Blessings, published Oct 24, 2006, in the pro-homosexuality newspaper The Advocate:

asmith.jpg Episcopal parishes in Connecticut may bless same-sex couples, the state’s bishop announced over the weekend in Hartford. Bishop Andrew Smith‘s decision does not create an official prayer service for the blessings and does not allow Episcopal clergy to officiate at civil unions. But it allows parishes to acknowledge gay and lesbian couples who have had a civil union granted by the state.

”What I have permitted is a pastoral ministry of blessing, which does not mimic a wedding ceremony,” Smith said Saturday after the diocese’s two-day annual convention ended.

…At the heart of the matter is whether the church will ”bless persons who are homosexual and partnered as cherished and fully accepted members of the body of Christ,” Smith told the convention.

Continue reading in The Advocate…

How Britain is Turning Christianity into a Crime

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Excerpted from How Britain is Turning Christianity into a Crime, by Melanie Phillips, published Sept 7, 2006, in The Daily Mail (UK):

The problem for Christianity is that it holds that homosexuality is wrong. This, however, it is no longer allowed to say because it treats a minority practice as sinful. So it can no longer uphold a central tenet of its own faith without being accused of prejudice.

…Author Lynette Burrows received a warning from the Metropolitan Police merely for suggesting that gay people did not make ideal adoptive parents. The former leader of the Muslim Council of Britain, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, also had his collar felt by police after he said that homosexuality was harmful.Notably, in his case the matter was swiftly dropped. If there’s one thing that terrifies our PC police even more than being called homophobic, it’s being called Islamophobic — even though Islamic fundamentalism poses a real threat to the human rights of gay people.

If this wasn’t all so frightening, it would be hilarious.

Christians, by contrast, get very different treatment. An elderly evangelical preacher, Harry Hammond, was convicted of a public order offence after he held up a poster calling for an end to homosexuality, lesbianism and immorality. Although he had been the victim of a physical attack when a crowd poured soil and water over him, he alone was prosecuted.

And Lancashire pensioners Joe and Helen Roberts were interrogated by police for 80 minutes about their ‘ homophobic’ views after they had merely asked their local council to display Christian literature alongside gay rights leaflets in civic buildings.

Christianity is fast becoming the creed that dare not speak its name…

The ‘diversity’ agenda, in other words, is a fig-leaf for an attack on Christianity…

This attack on Christianity…is not merely a threat to freedom of speech and religious expression. It is a fundamental onslaught on the national identity and bedrock values of this country — and as such will destroy those freedoms which Christianity itself first created.

Continue reading in The Daily Mail…

San Diego City Council Shames Itself Over Pride

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Excerpted from City Council Shames Itself Over Pride, by Nicholas Owen, published Aug 2006, in San Diego News Notes:

By Nicholas Owen

…The July 29 parade lasted over three hours and included 185 contingents. Many entries featured scantily clad participants, mostly men, gyrating suggestively to loud, throbbing music. Float titles included “In Dmood for Decadence.” Simulated sex acts were performed in several entries, and many advertised gay bars, pornography vendors, and male prostitution businesses. A rider in the convertible flashed the devil sign with his hand. Handouts to parade spectators included condoms, sexual lubricant samples, and literature promoting a pornographic web site. Numerous trash receptacles bearing the slogan “Got lube?” (advertising an anal sex lubricant) were placed along the parade route and in the festival venue inside Balboa Park.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag queen group in outlandish outfits parodying Catholic women religious, carried an “Asylum of the Tortured Heart” banner, mocking Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the Gay Pride festival, they provided crowd control and received an award for the “most outrageous contingent.”

A woman who was topless except for pasties walked alongside the parade. A man wearing a body thong covering only his genitals roller-skated by parade watchers in defiance of municipal code which prohibits nudity on public lands and defines it as being “devoid of an opaque covering which covers the genitals, pubic hair, buttocks, perineum, anus or anal region of any person, or any portion of the breast at or below the areola thereof of any female person.”

Several law enforcement and government agencies participated in the parade or had a booth at the festival, including San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender, the San Diego Fire Department, the Chula Vista Police Department, the Oceanside Police Department, the Harbor Police, and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority.

[S]ponsors included Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo Bank, Cox Communications, Viejas Casino, Sparkletts Water, Starbucks Coffee, Verizon, Sirius Satellite Radio Sempra Energy, iSOLD It, Great American Credit Union, Kaiser Permanente, Travelocity, Yahoo, Smirnoff, Bud Light, Avis Car Rentals, Glaceau Vitamin Water, and the Old Globe Theatre.

Participating churches and synagogues included All Saints Parish and Saint John the Beloved Cathedral of the Catholic Church of America (not affiliated with the true Catholic Church); Dignity, another group using the Catholic label but not sanctioned by the Catholic Church; Christ Chapel of North Park; Saint Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral; Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad; Temple Emanu-El and the Metropolitan Community Church, founded by a homosexual “leatherman.” Participating schools included San Diego State University, UCSD, Cal State University San Marcos, and the San Diego Cooperative Charter School.

Continue reading in San Diego News Notes…

Gays Must Change, Says Archbishop

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

Excerpted from Gays Must Change, Says Archbishop, by Jonathan Wynne-Hughes, published Aug 27, 2006, in The Telegraph:

The archbishop of Canterbury has told homosexuals that they need to change their behaviour if they are to be welcomed into the church…

…The Rev Rod Thomas, a spokesman for the evangelical pressure group Reform, said: “There is no doubt that he is distancing himself from the views that he has previously expressed. He’s right to want to see people converted. The fact that he’s saying this is a hugely welcome development.”

The revelations came in a newspaper interview last week in which the archbishop denied that it was time for the church to accept homosexual relationships, suggesting that it should be welcoming rather than inclusive. “I don’t believe inclusion is a value in itself. Welcome is. We don’t say ‘Come in and we ask no questions’. I do believe conversion means conversion of habits, behaviours, ideas, emotions,” he told a Dutch journalist.

“Ethics is not a matter of a set of abstract rules, it is a matter of living the mind of Christ. That applies to sexual ethics.”

…The archbishop said that he was determined to preserve the unity of the church from being destroyed by the warring factions in the gay crisis. He said he has backed a resolution which says that homosexual practice is incompatible with the Bible.

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