Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Ascension and the Return of Christ

With the recent . . . mishandling of the truth that Jesus will return, I find it timely that the Ascension of our Lord, to be celebrated this Thursday, points to some important truths about his return.

The first words the disciples heard after his Ascension are particularly relevant.

Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Act 1:11 ESV

I think the angels’ question was a nice way of saying, “What are you standing around here for? Get to work!” And, indeed, Jesus’ last words to them before he ascended commissioned them (and us) to be witnesses to Christ throughout the world. There is work to do!

And Jesus’ parables teach that the proper response to his return also includes doing the Lord’s business until He comes. The parable of the minas stands out in this regard. (Luke 19:11-27) The return of Christ is not to be used as an excuse for idleness and irresponsibility.

The angels then state that the 2nd Coming of Christ will have similarities with his Ascension. What could those similarities be? I can think of two.

1. The timing is not predictable. From the question the disciples asked just prior to the Ascension (Acts 1:6), we can tell that they were not expecting it, not at that time at least. We cannot tell what day or hour or century even Jesus will return. And anyone who pretends to have such knowledge is to be put in his place.

2. Both are literal, real time events. The disciples saw with their own eyes the Ascension. Christ’s return will be “in the same way,” an actual, real time event.

So when someone tells you Christ has or will return “spiritually” as Harold Camping did after another of his predictions blew it or as liberals do, they are wrong. This and other scriptures (e.g. I Thess. 4:13-18) simply do not allow us so to wriggle out of the truth of his real time return.

Thus a good remedy for false teaching on the return of Christ is accurate teaching on the Ascension of Our Lord.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dayton Gives the Finger to Voters

I apologize if the title to this post seems crass, but I know of no polite way to describe what Gov. Mark Dayton just did to the voters of Minnesota.

He vetoed a popular measure to require ID to vote. Then he had the gall to excuse his action by saying the bill lacked “bipartisan” support.

Oh, really? A Survey USA poll indicates that 76% of Minnesotans support voter ID. Heck, I doubt 76% like apple pie. And, yes, a majority of Democrats support voter ID, too.

Probably about the only ones who do not support Voter ID are Democrat politicians like Mark Dayton. How are they going to cram Demorats like Al Franken down the throats of the electorate without vote fraud?

And do not be fooled. Dayton’s veto supports Democrat vote fraud as usual in Minnesota, as Don Surber notes.

Gov. Dayton and like-minded Demorats do not give a damn about democracy and about those voters who do not vote their way. He vetoed voter ID because he wants Democrats to continue to veto the will of the electorate in close elections.

And, remember, it is because of the fraudulent “election” of “Senator” Al Franken that we have Obamacare. Vote fraud is undermining our republic, our rights and our freedom.

It is time for a nationwide voter ID law at the very least. That should be part of a real Voting Rights Act that is desperately needed to make it more difficult to nullify real votes and with election fraud.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obama working on gun control “Under the radar”

I will resist the temptation to say Obama is shooting himself in the foot. But the last thing he needs is to feed the perception that he is coming after our guns.

And I thought it was mainly a perception and not his agenda. Besides, who would push such a combustive issue when it has no chance in Congress, right? But now it looks like I have overestimated (or underestimated if you prefer) the Dear Leader once again.

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

And reports indicate the “processes” being considered involve bypassing Congress through executive orders or agency regulation. It would certainly not be the first time he tried to impose his will over the heads of the people’s representatives, as Ed Morrissey notes:

That also matches up with Obama’s approach on … nearly everything, it seems. Regulatory adventurism has been a hallmark of every other Obama priority, whether it be health care, financial-services reform, labor policy, and now on gun control. When his agenda is too radical for Congress, Obama simply plans to bypass Congress and rule by decree.

“Regulatory adventurism” is a nice way of putting it. I call it tyranny.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Harold Camping Goes Liberal

Harold Camping has made a statement. And he is getting a lot of grief over it.

I will say he is correct on one thing. He has said for some time that the world ends on October 21st. Many thought he said the world would end on May 21st. But that is not what he said. He said the Rapture would occur that day . . . around 6pm . . . time zone by time zone . . . accompanied by a great earthquake.

Hey, who’s nitpicking?

But I will not give Camping a pass. Why? He has gone lib’rul:

It took the Anglican Church centuries to get from a belief in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ to the liberal – some would say wishy-washy – belief in a “spiritual” resurrection.

Harold Camping made the journey in just one day: not on behalf of the resurrection, but the rapture. Apparently, all appearances to the contrary, the rapture did occur on May 21st – spiritually:

He continued: ‘We were convinced that on May 21 God would return here in a very physical way by bringing a great earthquake and ushering in the final five months of the day of judgement and the fact is when we look at it spiritually, we find he did come.'

So Jesus “spiritually” returned, eh? Lib’rul!

But something similar has happened before . . . and gave birth to a denomination. After The Great Disappointment of William Miller’s failed predictions of Christ’s return, some of his followers said Jesus did return . . . in heaven. And from them the Seventh-Day Adventists were formed.

So even when October 21st passes, we may not have heard the last of Harold Camping, his bad math, and his damnable heresies.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Supreme Court Does Criminals, Republicans a Big Favor

If I were a Republican campaigner, I would start writing the ads skewering Obama for how his two Supreme Court appointees voted on this one. Just leave blanks for the scripts for the criminals and crime the Supreme Court just released on society.

The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed a court order requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars.

The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity.

There are more than 142,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons, meaning roughly 32,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.

Antonin Scalia’s dissent is right. This “radical injunction” is an outrage. And Republicans would be right and smart to stir up the outrage once released criminals start preying on society. If Obama had appointed common sense Constitutionist justices, this ruling would not have happened. But no, in Kagan and Sotomayor, he wanted justices who would be yes women for leftist agendas.

This will be a huge campaign issue in 2012. Obama will be made to pay for his appointments. You’ve heard it here first.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Yes, I’ve had a bit of fun with the May 21st craze. But in all seriousness, a lot of people have been misled and hurt by Harold Camping. False prophets can do great harm. It is not for nothing that the Torah punishments against such were severe.

Please pray for those harmed by this deception. And if any such visit or return to your parish, please welcome them with grace. One of Camping’s odious teachings was that the church age is ended, and therefore people should leave their churches. (That has harmed a number of Reformed Episcopal Church parishes in particular.) I pray many are returning to church this morning and in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the sunrise here was spectacular with sunbeams radiating up from the veiled sun. God is glorious. And the return of His Christ will be glorious in His good timing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

AARP: “Obamacare for thee, but not for me”

I’ve been known to foam at the mouth on occasion on the subject of the AARP. So I will have mercy on my readers and keep this post short and to the point.

The AARP, one of the biggest pushers of Obamacare, who spent big $$$ on ads smearing Obamacare opponents . . . is now getting a waiver from Obamacare.

And that even though Obamacare already gives AARP an unfair competitive advantage for its own plans.

“Obamacare for thee, but not for me.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Firestorm to Come: Elena Kagan and Obamacare

Despite to best efforts of the Obama Regime to cover it up, it is becoming clear that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, back when she was Obama’s Solicitor General, was involved in efforts to defend Obamacare from legal challenges. And that more so than she had disclosed previously.

Now, if she were to follow any semblance of legal ethics, she would recuse herself from the Obamacare case sure to come to the Supreme Court. . . .

I apologize if any readers just now spewed coffee on the computers.

Of course, she is a Leftist. She will not let the Constitution get in the way of her agenda. She will certainly not let a triviality like legal ethics get in the way, either.

Which means the matter of Obamacare coming before the Supreme Court will get especially *interesting*. What if the case is decided by a single vote . . . Kagan’s? What if further forced disclosures confirm she was knee-deep in preparing the legal defense of Obamacare? (And, God forbid, what if said disclosures occur after she votes on Obamacare?) What if the Justice Department persists in withholding relevant documents? What if she helped cover up her involvement in defending Obamacare? Excerpts from released e-mails suggests she may have:

On March 21, 2010, Katyal urged Kagan to attend a health care litigation meeting that was evidently organized by the Obama White House: “This is the first I’ve heard of this. I think you should go, no? I will, regardless, but feel like this is litigation of singular importance.”

In another email exchange that took place on January 8, 2010, Katyal’s Department of Justice colleague Brian Hauck asked Katyal about putting together a group to discuss challenges to Obamacare. “Could you figure out the right person or people for that?” Hauck asked. “Absolutely right on. Let’s crush them,” Katyal responded. “I’ll speak with Elena and designate someone.”

However, following the May 10, 2010, announcement that President Obama would nominate Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Katyal position changed significantly as he began to suggest that Kagan had been “walled off” from Obamacare discussions.

For example, the documents included the following May 17, 2010, exchange between Kagan, Katyal and Tracy Schmaler, a DOJ spokesperson:

Shmaler to Katyal, Subject HCR [Health Care Reform] litigation: “Has Elena been involved in any of that to the extent SG ]Solicitor General’s] office was consulted?...

Katyal to Schmaler: “No she has never been involved in any of it. I’ve run it for the office, and have never discussed the issues with her one bit.”

Katyal (forwarded to Kagan): “This is what I told Tracy about Health Care.”

Kagan to Schmaler: “This needs to be coordinated. Tracy you should not say anything about this before talking to me.”

Should that be translated as “we need to coordinate to keep our cover-up story straight”?

I hesitate to jump to conclusions. But what has been revealed so far combined with what the Justice Department is still covering up invites such conclusions.

Let’s recap. Obama appointed his own Solicitor General to the Supreme Court to be his rubber stamp. At the time, there was concern that she would (or would not) recuse herself from cases she in which she had been involved as Solicitor General. In the confirmation process, she pledged that she would so recuse herself:

In the questionnaire she filled out for the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation process, Kagan said she would abide by the “letter and spirit” of 28 U.S.C. 455 in deciding whether she felt compelled to recuse herself as a Supreme Court Justice from any case that came before the High Court.

According to the law, a ‘justice … shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be reasonably questioned.’ It further says any justice ‘shall also disqualify himself … [w]here he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceedings or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.’

Now it is coming out she very likely was involved in preparing the legal defense of Obamacare. Further documents that might clarify that matter and whether it would merit recusal continue to be withheld by Obama’s Justice Department. And, of course, there is a snowball’s chance that she will recuse herself from any Obamacare decision, in which she very well may be the deciding vote.

I see a firestorm coming.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that, in due time, she will be impeached over this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hillary Puts Jimmy Carter in his Place

I am heartened to see that, in Hillary Clinton, we have a Secretary of State with the backbone to put Jimmy Carter in his place after his outrageous trip to North Korea:

Former President Jimmy Carter and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari were hoping to visit the State Department this week to brief officials on their recent trip to North Korea, but nobody at the State Department was available to meet with them…

It’s no secret at all that the Elders’ trip to North Korea was viewed as extremely unhelpful by the governments both in Washington and Seoul. Chris Nelson reported on April 29 that Clinton reacted strongly when asked in a morning meeting if she wanted to meet with Carter. . . .

“‘Do you want to meet with Carter?’ Clinton is looking at papers, and just says ‘No.’ Then she pauses, looks up and adds, ‘HELL no!!!’”

And that, combined with the delicious snub of “Sorry, no one is available to meet with you,” is the appropriate response after Carter, while in North Korea, accused the U. S. and South Korea of violating human rights. (No, you do not want to get me started on that outrage.)

I would be engaging in Anglican understatement if I were to say I have never been a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. But I have to admit she has now earned my respect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Soviet Sweden UPDATED

What kind of government yanks a child off a plane from a Christian family seeking to flee its tyranny? A totalitarian government, like that of Sweden.

Yes, Sweden. From afar off, it is hard to see anything brutal or totalitarian about Sweden. But its government shows its fangs in its insistence that it, not parents, must educate, really indoctrinate, children.

Last year, the government passed a law banning homeschooling and religious instruction in so-called free schools. All educational institutions will soon be teaching the government curriculum — including the notion that there is no difference between genders.

Families who refuse to turn over their children to government indoctrination are fleeing the country. The Johanssons were among them. But Swedish authorities acted like the old Soviet Union in refusing to let them leave intact.

Almost two years ago, following years of harassment by the municipal social services, the Johansson family made plans to leave Sweden for good. The government had been pestering the parents about putting their young son, Domenic, into daycare. They refused. Later, instead of enrolling the young boy in government school, the parents decided to educate Domenic at home until they left for India, the mother’s homeland. Homeschooling was — despite draconian restrictions — still legal in Sweden, after all.

But as they were sitting on the plane, just minutes before takeoff, armed police stormed onboard and seized the then-seven-year-old boy. There was no warrant, no suspicion of physical abuse — just an angry social-service bureaucracy that couldn’t stand the thought of the Johansson family escaping its iron fist.

Again, what sort of government does not allow a family to flee its secularist tyranny?

Thanks to Mere Comments for bringing this outrage to my attention.


The Friends of Domenic Johansson blog is following this and similar cases.

A petition to free Domenic Johansson is here. I’ve signed and urge readers to do likewise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

“Suing Churches? Who, Us?”

The “bishop” of The Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Pittsburgh, Kenneth Price, has given his clergy some talking points on TEC’s litigious attacks on Bishop Duncan’s Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (belonging to ACNA).

The Anglican Curmudgeon has fisked the TEC spin of these talking points in his usual withering style and detail. I will not duplicate his excellent post here. But one talking point from puppet “Bishop” Price stands out:

Is the Episcopal Church continuing to sue the realigned diocese?

No, it is the other way around and has been for over a year. The Stipulation signed by Bishop Duncan and diocesan leaders in 2005 came into play with the realignment vote and, after Judge James’ ruling regarding its application in 2009, it has been the realigned diocese which has been suing to appeal, rehear and overturn this ruling.

Oh dear. Such an absurdity tempts me to intemperate language. As the Curmudgeon points out, the case in question is under appeal, meaning the lawsuit continues. The Episcopal Church and its diocese have in no way stopped or withdrawn their lawsuit. For “Bishop” Price to twist this into saying The Episcopal Church is not suing the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is contemptible deceit. Anyone who tells such a – well it is hardly even a half-truth – under church auspices truly has no shame.

It reminds me of the following scripture:

This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”
Proverbs 30:20 ESV

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More on Presbyterians Going Episcopalian

In the midst of mainline Presbyterians opening ordination to sexually active homosexuals, some salient facts have been overlooked. I share the blame for that as I did not spell those out yesterday. So, with a helpful nudge from Peter Ould, here goes.

First, reports give the impression that the PCUSA had a mean “No Gays Allowed” policy, and that it is now reserved. Not so. The requirements for ordination as far as sexuality is concerned were as follows:

Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

Note that there was nothing disqualifying a gay person from ordination. What was required from a gay candidate was “chastity in singleness,” which is exactly what was required from a heterosexual single (a policy with which I heartily agree).

The second aspect of what the Presbyterians have done which is being overlooked is that there are now no clear standards for sexual behavior for candidates for ordination. Read the new language which now replaces the above and see for yourself:

Standards for ordained service reflect the church’s desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G.14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate’s calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate’s ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates.

Of course, “scripture and the confessions” demand chastity from singles. But you know what happens to such guidance in the hands of libchurchers. In any case, there is now no direct mention of sexual morality.

So what the mainline Presbyterians have done really has more to do with sexual anarchy in the clergy than with including gays. There was nothing in the canons excluding chaste gays. Now there is little in the canons requiring chastity from anyone.

Alan Wisdom of the IRD is among those who get it:

This is a lonely day for Presbyterians who believe what the Bible and the Church have consistently taught: that God’s will is that we be faithful in marriage or chaste in singleness. Now we belong to a denomination that is no longer sure it believes that teaching.

Now we belong to a denomination that gives no clear counsel on sexuality. It is a denomination that will not necessarily support its members as they struggle to obey the high standards of Scripture. It will not call them to repentance when they fall short of those standards, and it will not offer God’s forgiveness for what it no longer recognizes as sexual sins. In a society where the abuse of sexuality is devastating millions of lives, this abdication by the PCUSA is tragic.

By dropping the ‘fidelity and chastity’ standard, the PCUSA separates itself from the Scriptures that are supposed to be its ‘rule of faith and life.’ It separates itself from the historic Christian tradition and the vast majority of the global Church. It separates itself from many of its own members who remain committed to upholding ‘fidelity and chastity.’

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Presbyterians Go Episcopalian

I think it worthy of note that the deciding presbytery has voted to open ordination to sexually active gays in the mainline Presbyterian Church.

The New York Times report rightly notes that this is a reversal from just two years ago. As I’ve noted before, libchurchers, particularly in the mainline Presbyterian Church, do not care that much for peace and unity in the church. They push their agendas again and again and again without giving their churches a break.

But when they finally win, it’s like the Hotel California or a roach motel – once in, there is no going back and there is no escape . . . at least not without leaving much or all of your local church’s property behind. Despite the costs, the orthodox will now accelerate their departures from the PCUSA, solidifying the libchurching of the denomination that remains. There is no going back.

Presbyterian libchurchers seem not to care much about church growth either. Every denomination that has gone in the direction of actively gay clergy has shrunk and markedly so. So their celebration in the midst of committing seppuku is a bit odd.

But I guess they’d rather not have those nasty homophobic bigots Christians in the way.

GAFCON Communique

An important GAFCON Communique was released today. I will likely comment at a later time, but for now will simply present it for your consideration.

Nairobi Statement from the GAFCON/FCA Primates Council

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

1. We met in Nairobi from April 25th through April 28th, 2011. We gathered as the elected leaders of provinces and national churches of the Anglican Communion and as leaders of GAFCON/FCA. We rejoice in the Easter proclamation that Jesus Christ is alive and we joyfully acknowledge his love for all humanity, his Lordship over all the earth and his promise to return with power and great glory.

2. We are profoundly saddened by the many disasters that have afflicted our world in recent months and offer our prayers for those whose lives have been devastated. We take to heart the warning from our Lord that in our age there would be “wars and rumors of wars” and a season when, “nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and famines and earthquakes in various places.” We also remember His solemn warning that no-one can know the time for the end of this age and so we acknowledge all these events as reminders of the urgent need for repentance and reconciliation with our heavenly Father.

3. We are distressed that, in the face of these enormous challenges, we are still divided as a Communion. The fabric of our common life has been torn at its deepest level and until the presenting issues are addressed we will remain weakened at a time when the needs before us are so great. We were disappointed that those who organized the Primates meeting in Dublin not only failed to address these core concerns but decided instead to unilaterally reduce the status of the Primates’ Meeting. This action was taken with complete disregard for the resolutions of both Lambeth 1978 and 1998 that called for an enhanced role in “doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters”. We believe that they were seriously misled and their actions unacceptable.

4. We note the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to offer support for those Anglican clergy and congregations who find themselves alienated by recent actions in the Communion. We believe that the provision of an Anglican Ordinariate is intended to be a gracious gift but sadly one that also points out that our own Communion has failed to make adequate provision for those who hold to a traditional view of the faith. We remain convinced that from within the Provinces that we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family.

5. We devoted a considerable portion of our time together exploring some of the presenting issues regarding Anglican ecclesiology. We were mindful of the importance of letting scripture speak directly to the nature of the church and not simply let our current experience delimit our doctrine. While we are grateful for our history and our particular Anglican tradition we believe that there is and can only ever be one church of Jesus Christ which he has purchased with his own blood and over which he is the Head. The local church is the fundamental expression of the one true church here on earth and is bound together with other local churches by ties of love, fellowship and truth. From such networks have come denominations, national churches and global communions.

6. As members of the global Anglican Communion we delight in the particular history with which we have been blessed. We are grateful for the missionary heritage that gave birth to our global communion with its distinctive balance of reformed catholicity. Meeting in Nairobi we are especially thankful for the influence of the East African Revival with its emphasis on the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, a call to Holy living and unquestionable desire for evangelism.

7. We believe, however, that we are fully the church in our various settings, created and sustained by Word and Sacrament, and marked by obedience that results in faith, hope and love. We also recognize the Lord’s call to discipline demands from us a commitment to unity, holiness, apostolicity and catholicity. All of these are aspects of what it means to be church and we are committed to resourcing our bishops and other leaders so that we can more fully become the church that God has established.

8. We continue to be troubled by the promotion of a shadow gospel that appears to replace a traditional reading of Holy Scriptures and a robust theology of the church with an uncertain faith and a never ending listening process. This faith masquerades as a religion of tolerance and generosity and yet it is decidedly intolerant to those who hold to the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints”. We believe that the theological principles outlined in the Jerusalem Declaration offers the only way forward that holds true to our past and also gives a sure foundation for the future.

9. Confident of the power of God’s Word to renew His church we are creating a network for theologians and theological educators who embrace the Jerusalem Declaration to give further support for our seminaries and Bible Colleges. We have also reviewed and approved plans for the leadership conference now scheduled for April 2012 and the beginning preparations for an international gathering of Primates, Bishops, Clergy and Lay Leaders now scheduled for the first half of 2013 and provisionally designated “GAFCON 2”.

10. We are delighted in the election of the Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya to serve as Chairman of the Primates’ Council and also the Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to serve as Vice-Chairman. We were pleased to appoint Bishop Greg Venables and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini as trustees. We also welcomed the Most Rev’d Hector Zavala, Province of the Southern Cone and the Most Rev’d Onesphore Rwaje, Anglican Church of Rwanda as new members of the Council.

11. We also recognized that if we are offer adequate support to our member provinces, sustain our various initiatives, and strengthen our communications capabilities we must add capacity to our current secretariat. Consequently it was agreed that a GAFCON/FCA Chairman’s office would be established in Nairobi, Kenya and a Global Coordination office would be established in London under the direction of the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Church of Nigeria, serving as Deputy Secretary and Executive Director.

12. Finally we know that it is only be God’s grace that we can accomplish anything and we call on all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to join us in prayer for our world and especially for those who are suffering because of natural disasters as well as those who struggle to live under violent and oppressive governments. We know that our only hope is in the redeeming and transforming love of God and we pray that we will all be faithful to our call to be an instrument of God’s grace.

13. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

The Primates Council
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya, Chair
The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, Archbishop, Anglican Province of West Africa
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev ‘d Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Henry Orombi, Archbishop, Church of Uganda
The Most Rev’d Hector Zavala, Province of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev’d Peter Jensen, Archbishop, Diocese of Sydney, Secretary

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Second Thoughts on Rejoicing in Osama’s Death

Since I’ve opined that is o.k. to rejoice in the death of Osama bin Laden, I’ve noticed that I may be in a distinct minority among orthodox Christians, particularly in the Anglican and Catholic traditions. And several whose opinions I greatly respect have a decidedly different opinion on this matter than mine. That has given me pause.

Now to be fair to myself, I wrote that “there is a long and prominent Biblical tradition of rejoicing in the justice of God rained down on the sniff necks of unrepentant men.” But I most certainly had the death of OBL in mind.

Which brings up something important in favor of my argument. If one rejoices in the justice of God, then how can one not also rejoice in the results of that justice, particularly on the likes of Osama?

Nevertheless, there is strong, and deeply felt, reasoning on the other side, that rejoicing on Osama’s death is not appropriate at all.

So I’ve been turning the question around in my mind these past few days. Now, I am still convinced this is a question on which faithful Christians can disagree. And, frankly, I advise those who disagree with my position to avoid looking down, as some have, on those who rejoiced in OBL’s demise.

Still, as one who puts weight on the teaching of the whole (orthodox) church, I’ve personally decided to leave this question open and keep an eye out for what scripture and godly teachers have to say on such matters. And, yes, my confidence in my opinion stated last week is not so strong now.

As I’ve ruminated these past days, St. Paul’s teaching in Romans 14-15:5 has come to mind. If this matter is one on which faithful Christians can disagree, as I still maintain, then both sides should exercise love by avoiding needless offense to those of a sensitive conscience who disagree. I most certainly have noticed that many Christians are offended (I am not talking about those who are “offended” like Pharisees. That is a different situation I will not delve into here.) by other Christians who rejoiced in OBL’s death. Many Christians have sensitive consciences about such situations, particularly on the other side of the pond, but on this side as well. And I am afraid I have disappointed some of them. (My apologies to any readers who are among these.)

Therefore, and I hope I am in line with St. Paul on this, I think it wise and loving that those who do occasionally rejoice in the demise of exceedingly evil men do so with discretion and not in people’s faces. For this is a sensitive area for many of good faith.

I am confident in asserting that. I admit I am not so confident anymore in the rest of this area.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Osama Humor Already

Is there something about being extremely evil that also makes one extremely funny? Adolf Hitler has been – and still is – the source of a great deal of humor through the years. I wonder if a similar process has already begun with Osama bin Laden.

The videos of him watching TV have gone viral (which may be a smart PR move by the Obama Administration). The results are predictable and funny.

We’ve also been informed that he dyed his grey beard. That fact should provoke some faux Grecian Formula ads. Oops, already done . . . three years ago.

Then there are reports that this scourge of all things Western liked infidel Coke and Pepsi. I have not seen any attempts to exploit that for humor yet, but you just KNOW it’s coming and very soon.

There are also reports (and I am not yet confident in these) that what Osama bin smoking is some homegrown weed.

Oh, boy.

Feel free to post (somewhat clean) humor about Osama bin Laden in the comments. (But don’t bother with the drink called Osama. That one is old . . . already.)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

New Flying Bishops for Church of England

Two new “flying bishops” have been appointed in the Church of England. I rejoice that one of them is Jonathan Baker, Principal of Pusey House, to become the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Pusey House under Fr. Baker was a haven for me back in 2007. I particularly remember delightful conversations he led over breakfast with his sharp, dry, and, yes, mischievous wit. If there is a downside to this announcement, it is that perhaps he will need to resign as Principal, but I do not know whether that is the case.

Forward in Faith is monitoring this news and response to it here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

What if . . . ?

Late last week, John Burton, the Chairman of the Californicate Democrat Party opined as follows:

In an interview with Bay Area News Group this week, Burton said Brown "can try shooting somebody and tell the next guy, 'You don't want that to happen to you, you better step up and vote.' "... What's Jerry going to do unless he took out a gun?"

Now, the statement itself does not shock me. The Burtons have been political thugs for a long, long time. What shocks me is that I did not hear about this until this morning when catching up on my MCJ reading. The story was out there, but rather quietly I would say if it took this long for it to come to my attention.

Now what if the Chairman of the Texas Republican Party had said Gov. Rick Perry should start shooting Democrats to get them to vote the right way? You know there would be a media frenzy and outrage, ooouuuuttttraaaage!

I guess news media double standards should not shock me any more. But I’m still shaking my head over this one.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Al Qaeda is in Deep . . .

. . . Well, I will let my godly readers complete that sentence.

What prompts my slightly filtered pontification? We not only killed Osama bin Laden. . . .

We got his hard drives:

The assault force of Navy SEALs snatched a trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called “the mother lode of intelligence.”

The special operations forces grabbed personal computers, thumb drives and electronic equipment during the lightning raid that killed bin Laden, officials told POLITICO.

“They cleaned it out,” one official said. “Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?”

U.S. officials are about to find out. The material is being examined at a secret location in Afghanistan.

“Hundreds of people are going through it now,” an official said, adding that intelligence operatives back in Washington are very excited to find out what they have.

“It’s going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable,” the official said.

This haul might be more important than killing OBL.

More occasions for rejoicing may be in our future.

Monday, May 02, 2011

It is o.k. to rejoice today.

Just as I very clearly remember how I received the awful news of 9-11, I will remember how I received the news of the death of Osama bin Laden. After a quiet evening studying in my den, namely The Oxford History of Christian Worship and some chess study and casual online chess chat with a friend, I was near signing off from the Internet Chess Club and retiring to bed when I noticed someone “shouting” on ICC that Osama was dead.

I suspected that was someone goofing around or a spurious rumour. But I immediately looked around online, and sure enough. I immediately turned the TV on (By the way, as much as I prefer Fox to CNN, CNN ate Fox’s lunch last night.) and surfed around. Sometime after Obama’s speech, I made myself go to bed, still a bit wired by the news.

Which brings me briefly to my subject. I’ve noticed some Christians feel a bit awkward about rejoicing in the news. Allow me to ease your conscience.

From scripture, there is no question God prefers evil men to come to their senses and repent instead of dying in their sins. However, also from scripture, there is also no question that deadly judgment upon the heads of evil men who refuse to repent is an occasion for rejoicing. We see this in the Psalms, in the Revelation of John (e.g. 16:4-7), and in the Song of Moses (Exodus 15). In that song, the Hebrews clearly rejoice in God drowning Pharaoh’s army. And surely, that army was not nearly as evil as Osama.

Much more can be said. And the subject is surely more complex than how I present it here. But let us not overanalyze or be oversensitive. We recognize that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4, NASB) At the same time, there is a long and prominent Biblical tradition of rejoicing in the justice of God rained down on the sniff necks of unrepentant men.

So, yes, it is o.k. to rejoice today.

And I intend so to do.