Friday, May 31, 2019

87% of Recent “Refugees” Not Showing Up to Asylum Hearings

I know.  This subject may seem very off-topic.  But it is not; so bear with me.
We hear a lot of propaganda about the poor, poor “refugees” now surging into the U. S.  Here is a basic fact that speaks volumes:

In testimony before Congress this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said that the agency had recently conducted a pilot program with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to test how many recent illegal aliens would show up to their asylum hearings after being released into the U.S.
The results, an ICE official told Congress, were that about 87 percent of illegal aliens, or almost 9-in-10, recently released by DHS into the U.S. did not show up to their asylum hearings. 
So 87% of these recent “refugees” don’t even show up for their hearings.  Most are not legitimate refugees in the first place; they are country shoppers. Otherwise they would seek refuge closer to their home countries, which would be in Mexico for most of them. Then they perpetuate their fraud by not even showing up for their asylum hearings.  That is the respect they show for our laws.

That’s not to mention the child smuggling, including fake families.  Or that Illegals commit a disproportionate amount of crime once in the U. S.
Why am I posting this?  There is a lot of sentimental weaponized compassion that opposes taking the measures necessary to secure our border and to deport at least the worst of the illegals.  We hear sob story after sob story about these poor, poor “refugees” and “undocumented immigrants” and how we should welcome them.

And a lot of this weaponized compassion comes from the organized church, including some in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
We need to call it out for the bull manure it is.  I do not pretend to know the balance between compassion on one hand and self-defense and not enabling criminal behavior on the other.  But we as churches and as a nation need to be realistic about who is entering the U. S. And we need to cut the crap that would have us think measures to defend our home are racist, bigoted, un-Christian, etc.

It is documented: most surging across our border are hardly good people and do not respect our laws.  The church should not enable them to defraud us. The government should defend us and deport them.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Vigano: Francis Lied

It is getting harder to escape that Pope Francis is a liar.  To be specific, he has lied about his knowledge of Cardinal “Uncle Ted” McCarrick’s sexual predations.
The Pope has said he knew nothing, nothing:

“I knew nothing, obviously, of McCarrick,” the pope says in the new interview. “Nothing, nothing. I said several times that I didn’t know, that I had no idea. You know that I didn’t know anything about McCarrick; otherwise, I would not have stayed quiet.”
Archbishop Vigano has been quick to call that out as a lie.  For he himself told Francis about McCarrick after Francis had asked:

Immediately after, the Pope asked me in a deceitful way: “What is Cardinal McCarrick like?”  I answered him with complete frankness and, if you want, with great naiveté: “Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.” The Pope did not make the slightest comment about those very grave words of mine and did not show any expression of surprise on his face, as if he had already known the matter for some time, and he immediately changed the subject. 
One Peter Five is on top of this, including some *creative* editing by the Vatican of Francis’, well, lie.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Peter Toon’s Last Days

Last week in Oxford, as part of the proceedings accompanying the Peter Toon Memorial Lecture, hosted by The Prayer Book Society and Pusey House, the Rev’d Tony Noble preached the sermon at Evensong. Noble happens to be Peter Toon’s last rector, and he began his sermon by telling of his time with Fr. Toon, including administering last rites:
I first met Peter Toon about 12 years ago, when I was Rector of All Saints, San Diego. I knew of him as an evangelical scholar, writer & defender of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. 
It was a Saturday night & my phone rang. The voice said, “Is that Fr Noble?”. I replied, Yes. “I understand that you use Rite 1 with catholic close to the Prayer Book are your Services?”, he asked. I said that the 8 am Mass was mostly from the Prayer Book. 
Next morning Peter & his wife, Vita, attended the 8 am Mass. he introduced himself & I felt quite honoured that such a notable evangelical had attended my church. They continued to attend faithfully every Sunday. Thus began a pastoral relationship which became a friendship. 
Peter described himself as an evangelical catholic & his great theme was that the Anglican church was “reformed catholic”. He believed that the 1662 BCP was the foundation document for this understanding. I enjoyed our theological discussions & listening to him. 
Peter came to San Diego for health reasons & to be near his family. In due course his health declined. I visited him with Holy Communion in hospital & at home. Then came the day. It remember it well - it was a Saturday & St Mark’s day. I had just finished saying our usual Saturday Mass & the phone rang. It was Vita, saying the time was near for Peter to go to his Lord. 
I got the Blessed Sacrament & Holy Oil & drive to their home. Upon arrival Peter asked for the Last Rites “in your tradition”. I was humbled to be asked by this great evangelical scholar to administer the last rites. It was a grace-filled experience for me. 
I spent the rest of the morning with Peter, listening to his favourite hymns on an old cassette player, occasionally praying or reading the bible. In the afternoon I went home to prepare for Sunday. About 8 pm the phone rang - Vita telling me that Peter had passed. I went over & Vita had lovingly dressed Peter in his robes. His instructions were that I should commend him using the 1662 Burial Office, which was typed out in Peter’s non-nonsense way. 
It was a privilege to have ministered to Peter & his family. 
This and the remainder of Noble’s winsome sermon may be downloaded from the recent sermons page on the Pusey House site. (If you are reading this some time in the future and the sermon is no longer there, try the sermon archive page.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Kennedys Explain the CANA Situation

For those who find the CANA situation in ACNA and the Church of Nigeria perplexing, Matt and Anne Kennedy in their Preventing Grace podcast have the best explanation I’ve heard (beginning after around 8 minutes).
To rehash, the three CANA dioceses, by agreement between the Church of Nigeria and the Anglican Church in North America had to choose which of the two provinces to stay in.  CANA East chose ACNA and therefore changed their name, to the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word.  CANA West and the Diocese of the Trinity will be staying in the Church of Nigeria.
Sadly, there has been some heat during this process.  But I will let the Kennedys discuss that.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now II – Scripture Fads

In beginning this series on The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now (TECoWHaN), I emphasized the American Evangelical penchant for fads.  (And something I should have mentioned yesterday: this series will focus on the American Evangelical scene.) 
Now fads are not all bad, particularly when they focus on good things.  And what is better than scripture?  There have been a number of TECoWHaN fads focused on scripture through the years.  I will mention two.
During my teen years in the mid-1970’s, I heard again and again and again Philippians 2:3-11.  Yes, that is a particularly important passage. Yes, focusing on it was good. But as a young teen, I heard that passage so often, I got sick of it.

And that was not because I was not eager to read the Bible and be taught from it.  In about two years, beginning at 13, I read the entire Bible and kept on reading it just about every day. No one suggested that to me either. And I not only heard good Bible teaching but sought it out.  Still, I got really tired of hearing Philippians 2:3-11 or portions thereof.
Now, granted, little harm was done.  I did take some years before I began to appreciate what an excellent passage that is.  And it would have been better for me and for others in evangelical churches to get more balanced teaching on scripture.  But if focusing on such an important passage was the worst Evangelical fad of the past fifty years . . . well, then I wouldn’t be bothering to write this series.

A scripture fad that was more questionable is The Prayer of Jabez.  I can hear the groans now.  But wait, it gets worse: I bought and read the book back in the day (It was published in 2000.) . . . and liked  it.  Please don’t hate me.  Yes, it was in my pre-Anglican days when I could be caught up in what TECoWHaN was selling as bad as anyone.  And it sold – about nine million books.
But let’s give credit where credit is due. The book certainly got people reading a scripture that had been ignored, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.  And it did not contain any obvious heresies, although perhaps I would find one or two if I re-read it now.  (NO.  I will not re-read it.)
The problem is it fed American evangelicalism’s penchant to be about ME (and God).  It fed Prosperity Theology.  And the book encouraged people to focus on that one passage, which many did, instead of reading and studying the Bible as a whole, which too few do.  What makes that worse is that versions of The Prayer of Jabez were written for children.  Anything for a buck, even distracting children from learning the basics of the faith.
Hey, if The Prayer of Jabez motivated people to pray and God answered, then praise God.  But it is safe to say that this fad, a craze really, was unhealthy, focusing on one small passage in a way that distracted from the truth of scripture as a whole and in a way that fed self-aggrandizing tendencies in American evangelicalism.  Personally, I now know that at that time in my life there were many better things for me to read.
And that is probably the biggest problem with scripture fads.  They enable neglect of scripture as a whole.
But having ranted a bit on that, I do freely acknowledge that it is certainly true that there are worse fads than scripture fads, far worse ones.  We will get to those in The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now

Recently, in reflecting upon the plague of “social justice” agitation in historically evangelical churches, even the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), it occurred to me that this is part of a bigger picture of evangelicals being prone to be carried away by fads and “new things.”  It is not just the Athenians of Acts 17 who are habitually obsessed with whatever seems to be “something new.”
And I have to confess that in my evangelical days, from my conversion to sometime into my Anglican years, I, too have been caught up in an evangelical fad or two . . . or three . . . or – well, lets just say my knowledge of several evangelical fads is up close and personal.
You may have already read between the lines and surmised I no longer consider myself an evangelical, and you would be correct.  It’s not that I am less committed to orthodoxy and the authority of scripture; my commitment continues hot.  It is that I have become influenced by Anglo-catholicism and that evangelicalism has evolved into something I for the most part no longer wish to be associated with.
And evangelicalism has evolved, devolved really, in part because of its tendency to be carried away with “every wind of doctrine” and practice.  Yes, many evangelicals resist this devolution and tendency doggedly sometimes with temporary success even.  But “Big Evangelicalism” is going and is too close to gone, is more The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now (TECoWHaN) than a church old school evangelicals and other traditional Christians can stomach anymore.
Thus TECoWHaN not only erodes orthodoxy; it erodes unity.  Watch the Southern Baptists to see that.
But I am necessarily painting with a very broad brush here.  And not all evangelical fads have been bad.  I still think the WWJD bracelets were a good idea for one thing. Yes, mock me if you wish.
Still the evangelical tendency to be The Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now, to give itself over to fads and “new things” big and small, is so deep seated and has done so much harm that I am starting a series on it.  Yes, I will be critical, but I will be self-critical as well.  For I have oft been an enthusiastic participant in TECoWHaN with very mixed results.  And I hope my experiences will assist in being a warning not to go and do likewise.
Stay tuned . . . perhaps wearing a hard hat.

Monday, May 20, 2019

CANA East Decides to Stay in ACNA, Change Name

Matt Kennedy, though his Sunday School class (which he usually has live on Facebook. I recommend it and sometimes listen as I get ready for church.), informs that the CANA East Synod voted overwhelmingly to stay in the Anglican Church in North America rather than to remain in the Church of Nigeria.
You may recall that the Church of Nigeria and ACNA earlier agreed that the three dioceses in both provinces would separately decide which province to remain in forthwith.  Kennedy expects the other two dioceses, Trinity and CANA West, to leave ACNA and stay with the Church of Nigeria.
Since CANA East will no long be in CANA, an arm of the Church of Nigeria, the diocese will change its name to the Diocese of the Living Word.

Friday, May 17, 2019

George Bell Group Decries “Disgraceful” Conduct of ++Welby & +Warner

The George Bell Group under the name of its Convenor, Andrew Chandler, has issued a statement calling for the Church of England clearly to declare the late George Bell innocent of accusations of sexual abuse.
I urge reading the statement itself as quoting from it would not do it justice.  I will say that, especially when one considers the English penchant for understatement, the statement is very strongly worded.
Further, Mr. Chandler calls out Archbishop Justin Welby and the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, in no uncertain terms.  And their conduct as well as the conduct of others in the George Bell matter is “disgraceful” indeed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What the Church Needs Now Is Some Lancelot Andrewes

Yes, the church, in America especially but everywhere, needs an old fashioned REVIVAL!
No, not the rolling around, running around, barking, or (gag) holy laughing kind.  I am talking really old fashioned.  We need a revival along and within the lines noted by Bishop Lancelot Andrewes:

One canon reduced to writing by God himself, two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries, and the series of Fathers in that period – the centuries that is, before Constantine, and two after, determine the boundary of our faith.
Yes, we need some boundaries, these boundaries, instead of chasing after every cloying putrid “wind of doctrine.”
What prompts this brief rant will become evident in due time. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Why the Temporary Quiet?

I am being quiet for the moment.  Trust me when I say that it is not because of any lack of things to rant about.  Oh, no.  I am being provided with so much ranting ammunition.
But I am preparing for a fun yet scholarly talk.

Those in South Texas, particularly take note.

Friday, May 03, 2019

More Clarification Needed about CANA and ACNA

I have a confession to make.  I was about to post on the agreement between The Church of Nigeria, its CANA and ACNA.  It sounds like CANA is leaving ACNA but that their dioceses can vote to stay in ACNA if they wish.
Anyway, I was working on the post, then I read something that if true (and it probably is) would make my post look foolish and alarmist. There goes a lot of work down the drain, but then that’s where it needed to go.
I’m posting this confession not just because confession is good for the soul, but to illustrate that ACNA and CANA need to clarify matters. There is confusion and opinions flying about that do not reflect well on ACNA and on the Church of Nigeria.
Personally, I think the situation is not as bad as some think. But it’s obvious there is unhappiness out there.  ACNA and the Church of Nigeria may wish to clarify matters further.
That is all.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Charlottesville Revisited II: Dilbert Debunks a Hoax

This week, I did my humble part to debunk the hoax of Trump loving those Nazis just revived by Lying Joe Biden. But now Scott Adams of Dilbert fame has done better with a doggedly logical and detailed takedown of the Charlottesville Hoax.  At the same time he notes that hoaxes can be hard to kill due to the commitment of useful idiots (not his term – he is more polite than I) to believe them.
I doubt any further summary on my part can do his work justice, so get thee hence and read it for yourself.