The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Virtue Online - An Overview of the News - Good and Bad


http://www.virtueonline.org/diocese-ft-worth-iker-wins-next-round-property-warscliteracy-art-sewanee-outrages-alumniepiscopal

It is impossible to reconcile such decisions with the commandments of Scripture and traditional Christian morality. The Orthodox Church has condemned the aforementioned innovations as apostasy from the norms of the apostolic faith and church order as fixed by the Gospel and Church Tradition. --- Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Our mission is to introduce people to life in the Kingdom, to the range of God's effective will--where what God wants done is done. We introduce people to such a biblical understanding of discipleship: that it is literally living our lives as Jesus would if he were in our shoes, our context. --- Dallas Willard

"As I look back over fifty years of ministry, I recall innumerable tests, trials and times of crushing pain. But through it all, the Lord has proven faithful, loving, and totally true to all his promises." --- David Wilkerson

God is watching. Forget about the judgment of history. For those of you who are religious people, you have to think about the judgment of God. And don't worry about asking God to bless what you are doing. Look for what God is doing and get involved in that, because that has already been blessed. --- Bono

The mark of true preaching. Persecution or opposition is a mark of every true Christian preacher ... The Old Testament prophets found it so, men like Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. So did the New Testament apostles. And down the centuries of the Christian church, until and including today, Christian preachers who refuse to distort or dilute the gospel of grace have had to suffer for their faithfulness. The good news of Christ crucified is still a 'scandal' (Greek, *skandalon", stumbling-block), grievously offensive to the pride of men. --- John R.W. Stott
If, in the enlightened perspectives of tolerance, equality and sexual anti-discrimination, Parliament (UK) sees fit to 'pardon' those who were once found guilty of gross indecency, why, in the enlightened perspectives of theological ecumenism, spiritual sophistication and religious anti-discrimination, will they not pardon those who were once convicted and executed for heresy? Not enough votes in it? ---- Archbishop Cranmer blog




Dear Brothers and Sisters
March 6, 2015

After a bitter, seven-year legal dispute, state District Judge John Chupp ruled Monday that Episcopalians, led by Bishop Jack Iker who broke away from the national Episcopal Church, are entitled to an estimated $100 million in property in the 24-county Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth-area Episcopalians, who remained loyal to the national Episcopal Church and reorganized the diocese under Bishop Rayford High, have the right to appeal the decision.

"We are grateful for the ruling in our favor. It is clear that both church laws and Texas laws have been rightly applied in this dispute," Iker proclaimed.

The schism occurred in 2008 when Iker and a majority of the 56 churches in the diocese broke away from the national church over issues including ordaining of gays and lesbians. Now Iker's group is a part of the Anglican Church in North America.

Chupp's order reversed his 2011 ruling declaring that the property belonged to the national Episcopal Church for use by the Fort Worth group that chose to remain affiliated with the New York-based denomination.
Chupp's earlier decision was based on what are called "deferential" principles, meaning that state law should defer to the rules of hierarchical religious institutions. An Episcopal Church law, called the "Dennis Canon," states that church property belongs to denomination, not local dioceses.

The Texas Supreme Court overturned that decision and ordered Chupp to rehear the case on "neutral principles" that govern nonreligious organizations. That favored Iker's group, which several years ago passed several local diocesan ordinances declaring that the Fort Worth diocese, not the national church, owned the property in the diocese.

Suzanne Gill, a spokeswoman for Iker's group, announced an appeal of the decision is expected. "This will likely go to the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth ... and possibly to the Supreme Court again."

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
has destroyed, murdered, and scattered the flock.
Remember that Selective Outrage is
a component of Selective Diversity.
She is a one-hit wonder and will retire from office.


*****
The outrage continues at Sewanee: the University of the South -- from gay marriages to porn movie showings to the latest piece of outrage. Officials at Sewanee excitedly unveiled a massive golden clitoris statue in the main library at the Episcopal Church-affiliated liberal arts school in Tennessee. It will be there for two weeks. Following the unveiling, there was a reception.

The sculpture is part of a project called "CLITERACY" by feminist artist Sophia Wallace. She has presented her work in exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, at the Kunsthalle Wien Museum, Art Basel Miami, Scope NY, Taschen Gallery, Aperture Gallery, and more. Her work has been reviewed in the New Yorker, Salon, and Hyperallergic, among others, and has been recognized with awards such as the Critic's Pick Award at the Griffin Museum. Not a single Christian university or theological college in the U.S. has embraced this sexualized "art". Only the Episcopal Church's one university.

The Cliteracy "Art" outraged Alumni and Friends. VOL sent an Open letter calling upon Dean McCardell to remove this monstrosity and apologize to parents.

According to an official announcement, CLITERACY will disrupt not only the silence of its setting, but also the overall cultural silence surrounding female bodies in a phallocentric society.

A few days later, the following was reported in the Sewanee Purple campus newspaper. Laci Green comes to Sewanee advertising "The Best Sex Ever."

"My hope is that you will be given some tools, ideas, and information in order to have whatever you would consider the best sex," Green started. The lecture followed a simple outline, addressing anatomy, health, and consent. Noticeable 'ewwwwws' were heard when Green presented a photo of a vulva. "What is that? A vagina? It's actually a vulva -- which is the technical term for the outside."

A large portion of the section that followed was dedicated not only to eliminating "ew" as a reaction to a healthy vulva, but also to debunking myths about vulvas and sex, including the myth that longer labias are a result of a woman having more sex. "Sometimes I'll hear 'Um she just had a lot of sex. She's just a slut.' Honey, no. The myth that you get longer labia from more sex is just a myth," Green announced. She also destroyed the idea that if a vagina is more open and wet, the woman is more sexually active. To the contrary, if a woman's vagina is not wet and open, it is likely that she is not aroused.

"Trying to find a good picture of an average, front-facing, unerect penis was nearly impossible," Green explained when the talk turned to the male anatomy. "The average size of a penis is 5.5 inches. Most teenagers will assume the average size is 7-8 inches, usually thanks to porn." She then went on to explain how societal pressure to measure masculinity based on penis size is completely unfounded. "Not only is it something you shouldn't have to worry about, but size also has very little to do with pleasure. It's all about how you use it."

Other topics Green discussed included masturbation and STIs. On the subject of STIs, Green said "STDs are normal, preventable, and often curable. But STDs are especially shamed because they are usually gotten from sex." The most common STIs on college campuses are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Genital Warts, and Herpes. The best way to avoid getting an STI is to use protection every time. She said STDs were NORMAL!!

As the talk concluded, Green reminded the audience that respect and enjoying oneself are the foundations of the "best sex ever." Afterwards, a large portion of the audience lined up to take photos with Green and/or the large blue dildo. In order to make safe, healthy sex as easy as possible for everyone on campus, free condoms are always available at the Wellness Center, while free condoms, lube, and dental dams are always available at the Women's Center.

By sponsoring the STD preventing dental dams, Sewanee is admitting the kinds of sex it encourages are unsafe.
No mention is made of what the Bible has to say about sex before marriage. Apparently, that was of no concern to Green. Fornication is now normal. Not a word of rebuttal from Dean McCardell has been heard either.

Sewanee University Chapel -
truth on the scaffold,
error on the throne.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND BOARD OF REGENTS
We call upon Dean John McCardell, Chaplain Thomas MacFie, Diversity Change Agents Benjamin and Hamilton, Bishop Alexander, Jon Meacham, and All Regents by Name to either apologize for this dangerous sickness and promise it will never happen again, or come out and admit that "Civility and Respect" demands of them that they affirmatively and actively support vile sex addictions for teens and lesbian pornography for all.

The question must be asked: What is Sewanee doing to curb the growing spread of teen STDs and AIDs on Campus? Would they allow this at their own successful businesses?

We call upon them to remove this so-called piece of art from the premises of this Episcopal University, apologize to alumni and parents and vow it will never happen again.
Write to Dean John McCardell here: vc@sewanee.edu

*****
Chapel design and Photoshop by Norma Boeckler.


A Church that is no longer able to say "it is written" has placed itself in great spiritual danger, but that is where the Anglican Communion is headed, according to Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabukala and GAFCON chairman in his Lenten letter.

Citing a review of Living Reconciliation, by CofE theologian Dr. Martin Davie, a book written to promote the "Continuing Indaba" project, Wabukala said the book is not faithful to the Bible's teaching that reconciliation has evangelism at its heart. What the writers are really concerned about is institutional unity; they simply assume that the deeply divisive promotion of same sex relationships by such Churches as the Episcopal Church of the United States is not a barrier to full and continued fellowship.

According to Dr. Davie, "The New Testament's emphasis is not on people learning to live with what divides them, but learning to live out what unites them." The New Testament teaches that reconciliation with one another flows from reconciliation with God through repentance and faith in the gospel message. It does not make sense to call for reconciliation in the Church while, at the same time, accepting behavior the Bible says excludes people from the Kingdom of God unless they repent.

He concludes that the path recommended by the authors of Living Reconciliation is "effectively a blank check for the acceptance of any and every possible form of deviation from New Testament Christianity."

*****

Four Episcopal laypersons have written a letter to the Deputies of the 2015 Episcopal Church General Convention asking for an accounting of the $20 million spent on litigation in 94 civil lawsuits. Their letter reads:
We were among the 5,000 signatories of an unanswered petition requesting an accounting and transparency from the Church in spending more than $20 million dollars of church funds for litigation in 94 civil lawsuits. Five dioceses and hundreds of parishes wished to depart the Episcopal Church with their property but the Presiding Bishop and her chancellor abruptly ended peaceful negotiations for departure and filed civil lawsuits to seize those properties. Over forty of the lawsuits involved actions against parishioners who voluntarily served as vestry members or other leadership positions. In several cases, the Presiding Bishop was seeking the personal assets of these parishioners for monetary punitive damages causing undue and unjust personal financial hardship and mental suffering to them. In the past two decades, an estimated 1.5 million Episcopalians transferred to another Anglican Church, left for another denomination, or left the Christian faith altogether and more than 500 Episcopal Churches have closed.
Further, more than 700 former clergy and 12 Bishops were defrocked or suspended from their ordained ministry when they sought transfer to another Anglican Church. By misuse of the canons, and without a hearing or trial, the Presiding Bishop extinguished the right of those clergy to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority conferred in ordination at the Anglican Church body where they have transferred. Countless lives were shattered and relationships destroyed by these actions, for these good men and women did not take their solemn vows of ordination lightly, and they were unjustly defrocked for it.

Two Dioceses, the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of South Carolina, saw the harshness of the Presiding Bishop's action against her Brothers and Sisters in Christ and lessened the Abandonment charge to "restrict [the] exercise of ministry" only within TEC.

We seek an end to these unprecedented unjust acts by an appropriate resolve and executed by this 2015 General Convention committing the Episcopal Church to make full restitution for these actions, with the 94 lawsuits withdrawn from secular courts and all associated court costs paid for by the Episcopal Church. We call for the Convention to support those Dioceses and parishes wishing to depart from the Episcopal Church, to go with your blessing, recognizing that departing are members in good standing and the convention supports their quest to transfer and/or become recognized members of the Anglican Communion if they so desire.

To our 700 Clergy Brothers and Sisters, realizing the church can never make amends for what the Church has done, we call for the Episcopal Church to begin a process of healing and conciliation for all concerned at the diocesan level and the church begin with all rights and privileges of ordination totally restored.

Finally, to all members of the church, we call for the Episcopal Church to communicate an apology for misleading your members, for lack of transparency in your leadership roles and hold yourselves accountable for all these actions, with the assurance this will never happen again.

Faithfully,
Bradley Hutt, former Senior Warden, Christ Episcopal Church, Clinton, MD.
Bill Boniface, former Senior Warden, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Croom, MD.
Nancy Virts, former Senior Warden, All Faith Episcopal Church, Charlotte Hall, MD.
Bob McCarthy, former Senior Warden, St. Georges Episcopal Church, Valley Lee, MD.

*****
Brent Bozell, III


Conservative activist and media critic L.Brent Bozell, in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend in National Harbor, Maryland, predicted that "an effort [will be made] within three years" to bring criminal charges against a priest or a pastor for "talking about traditional marriage."
The founder and president of both the conservative Media Research Center and Cybercast News Service warned in a 20 minute speech from the main stage at CPAC on Friday that "the radical left" is trying to "destroy the last vestiges of freedom in America," evidenced by, among a list of other things, the belief that "there's only one morally acceptable position on gay rights."

Asked to elaborate on his thoughts, Bozell said that in the "radical left" world view, "there are the oppressors and the victims, and the oppressors are Christians, and the victims are the ones they are oppressing for not abiding to the dictates of the state.

"I think it's very dangerous," he continued. "I'm not going to be at all surprised to see an effort made within three years, an effort made somewhere against a priest or a pastor for talking about traditional marriage and for calling homosexuality a sin. I will not be at all surprised if there are criminal charges brought against one of them."
Bozell also condemned laws barring discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations, such as bakers or florists, saying the state "should have no say" in the matter.

*****

The University of the South's School of Theology has launched a new seminary program, EQB Fellowship, to address seminarians' debt. The university's motto, Ecce Quam Bonum ("How good it is"), is shortened from "How good it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity" (Ps. 133).

EQB Fellowship program will create a new model of sustainable living and learning in a residential community for 12 seminarians. Students will receive full scholarships, including living expenses, which will allow them to graduate debt-free and provide a rich environment for leadership formation. Students will live in EQB House on the University of the South's campus.

Four students will be admitted to the program each year, beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, with a maximum of 12 overall. These 12 students will be selected for their commitment to change-the-world ventures for the Church of the 21st century.

The real question is: What they will learn while there and what impact will it have on a dying denomination that is rapidly aging and whose congregations are now under 70? If the recent blast by pipsqueak Sewanee theologian Paul A. Holloway against a giant like N.T. Wright is any indication, this EQB program might not be worth much, if anything.

*****

Knox was not one to dabble in public relations.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a senior American churchman in Rome who has been one of the most outspoken critics of Pope Francis' push for reform, is roiling the waters yet again, this time arguing that the Catholic Church has become too "feminized."

Burke, who was recently demoted from the Vatican's highest court to a ceremonial philanthropic post, also pointed to the introduction of altar girls as why fewer men are joining the priesthood.
"Young boys don't want to do things with girls. It's just natural. I think that this has contributed to a loss of priestly vocations."

Perhaps Cardinal Burke should take a long hard look at the Episcopal Church, the most feminized, sodomist church in modern history and only getting worse, as to what he and his church can look forward to. Masculinity is almost a swear word in TEC these days.

*****
The two-headed calf -
Rome or Fuller Seminary?


The big news this summer at General Convention will be the Marriage Task Force, which calls for revision of the marriage canon into gender-neutral language.

The proposed change would allow clergy to solemnize same-sex unions. The A050 Task Force on the Study of Marriage is recommending that the 2015 meeting of General Convention authorize Episcopal Church clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages.

The task force proposes the change in its just-released Blue Book report by way of a resolution (numbered A036) that would revise Canon I.18 titled "Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony" (page 58 of The Episcopal Church's canons).

The revision removes, among many edits, the language of I.18.2(b) that requires couples to "understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman." Removing that and other gender-specific language from the canon, the report says, in satisfying the mandate in the group's enabling resolution that it "address the pastoral need for priests to officiate at a civil marriage of a same-sex couple in states that authorize such."

Section 3 of Canon 18 would be rewritten to, in part, remove the requirement that the couple sign a declaration stating they "solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer."

The revision would recast the requirement in the canon's first section that clergy conform to both "the laws of the state" and "the laws of this Church" about marriage. The rewritten portion of that section would require that clergy conform to "the laws of the State governing the creation of the civil status of marriage, and also to these canons concerning the solemnization of marriage."

It is fair to say that this will pass with little fuss except from a handful of orthodox bishops and deputies. It's a forgone conclusion really. It will be heralded as a great step forward for gays in the church and America. Nobody really cares what Archbishop Justin Welby thinks or how this will impact the Global South. TEC doesn't care. Of course, the Episcopal Church will carry on about "shared conversations" and "generous orthodoxy" -- the latter not even Rowan Williams could get his head around. There will be the endless talk of Indaba and living into our differences and so on. TEC is determined to walk apart and so has GAFCON. This act will just be another point of departure.

*****

Malcolm Muggeridge was a serial groper who "caused much hurt to those close to him," his niece admitted in an article that appeared in the Daily Telegraph. The former deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph was "anything but a saint in his first sixty years," says Sally Muggeridge, but his conversion to Christianity was "genuinely life changing."

In a letter to the Telegraph, she said the transformation saw him adopt a more austere lifestyle and give up meat, sex, smoking, and drinking.

His niece, who is the international president of the Malcolm Muggeridge Society, says he was reportedly nicknamed "The Pouncer" within the BBC and was also described as "a man fully deserving of the acronym NSIT -- not safe in taxis".

She said the society had "never sought to paint Muggeridge other than a man with very great gifts but also some serious flaws. The latter caused much hurt to those close to him, particularly his wife, my aunt Kitty."
It was therefore "all the more remarkable, perhaps, that Muggeridge was able to effect such a life-changing transition in his sixties to born-again Christian, adopting a much more spartan lifestyle: not only giving up sex, smoking and drinking but also becoming a vegetarian."

I knew Malcolm and Kitty Muggeridge in the late 60s when I met him at an Anglican Retreat Center near Robertsbridge in Sussex. It was at the time of the Czech invasion by the Soviets and a group of young Czech Christians had fled the country to start new lives in England. When we met there was an instant connection. He later invited me to his home where I met Kitty, his wife. They took me - a young man without family who had left his home country of New Zealand to study abroad - under their wing. Over the following two years, I was repeatedly invited to their country home away from the temptations of London. They cared for me as their son during that time. All their children had long since grown and gone. I did a television show with Malcolm, Why Christianity with people like A.J. Ayers fulminating against Christianity. We bonded further.

After his conversion, of course, Muggs, as he was affectionately known, was totally faithful to his wife Kitty (but they previously had what might be described as an open marriage for many years.) She had a child by another man and Muggs himself was certainly promiscuous in his unregenerate years. Their lives were changed through their encounter with Christ. They touched neither wine nor meat, and did not smoke. Both chose to live celibately, faithfully reading the Book of Common Prayer each day.

This scurrilous attempt to blacken Muggeridge because of recent revelations of celebrity Brits like Jimmy Saville and Stuart Hall, both sexual perverts and pedophiles, is outrageous both to the Muggeridge legacy as a Christian who was once described by the Rev. John Stott as a "prophet" and to the contribution he made to the Christian cause at a time when England was fast heading towards modernity and paganism. His critics forget that St. Mugg was a groper when he was one of them, and stopped when he was one of us! He was, then and now, a light in the darkness. I loved them both and treasure their memory.

*****

There were two notable deaths in The Episcopal Church this week and both wrought havoc in their own way on the church. The first was the author of Are you Running with Me Jesus Malcolm Boyd, activist-writer priest who died at 91 in Los Angeles. He was ordained one of the first openly gay priests whose partner was with him when he died. His books made him moderately famous as did his sexuality at the time.

The other death was the former Bishop of Long Island Orris Walker, one of the truly great disasters of our time, right up there with Charles Bennison.

In 2009 I wrote that the Long Island Episcopal Bishop faced Presentment Charges if he did not step down.
Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, made a phone call to Walker, and in a no holds barred conversation she told the bishop, a man who has been in and out of rehab for years with serious drinking problems, that he was out, finished as bishop, and that any attempt by him to hold on for three more years following the election of a new bishop would invite canonical charges.

Specifically, she informed Walker that he had better bow out gracefully and fade away, or the House of Bishops would formally look into the voluminous charges against him, not the least of which were his numerous cases of failure to comply with the canonical visitation to parishes.

Walker took the conversation to heart and reluctantly agreed.

For years, Walker and his diocese have been plagued with sexual scandals chronicled in Penthouse magazine, Standing-Committee mandated forensic audits for misuse of his diocesan credit card, constant financial failures, and numerous closed parishes. The list is endless. Any and all critiques of his ministry were struck down with the bloody shirt of racist allegations. Neither man will be missed, both contributed to the ongoing destruction of The Episcopal Church.

*****

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In Christ,
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