Monday, January 30, 2006

Online Photo Album of my Advent England Trip

It took me a while, but I finally have finished the online photo album of my trip to England this past Advent. That’s the trip I blogged here extensively. You may find the album here.

Oh. Do be aware it’s in reverse chronological order. If you want to see things as I saw them, begin on page 8 at the very end of the album.


(And I might refer back to it from time to time. And do feel free to ask any questions about what you see.)
A difficult weekend for Anglicans

Going over the weekend’s Anglican news last night was depressing. It got to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to even look at the resolutions from the Diocese of Washington.

But they approved same sex blessings while Bishop Chane had the gall to accuse conservative bishops who *horrors!* cross diocean boundaries of “disregard[ing] the very roots of the Anglican Church’s catholicity.” That’s like Al Capone complaining about the crime rate in Utah.

On the other side of the Potomac, while gushing about unity, the Diocese of Virginia voted down an amendment stating that marriage is actually between one man and one woman. Mustn’t take stands on such divisive issues, you know.

The sad summary of these two conventions may be found here. I suspect the meetings of these two prominant dioceses have pushed Anglicanism closer to division . . . which may be a good thing at this point.

But from Nigeria comes news that puts sordid happenings here in perspective. Anglican Rt. Rev. Elisha Yisa was murdered in cold blood by assassins. The murder occurred in Muslim-dominated Niger State where persecution of Christians has been severe.

My prayers are with the family and with all who suffer for the name of Christ in that region.

A sad weekend it was indeed.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bishop Bennison is Incredible.

Well, Bishop Bennison must have quite the pipeline to God. As noted yesterday, the unanimous Standing Committee of his diocese asked him to leave. But Bishop B already knows it’s God’s will for him to stay.


I almost feel sorry for the guy. I wonder if he’s rational. But to echo what I said yesterday, he has shown he probably wouldn’t know God’s will if it kicked him in the rear . . . which it just has.

Additional thought: Maybe the Standing Committee needs to threaten to do this excommunication against Bishop B to make him go away.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

And I thought the Commination was harsh!

If you think the Commination or even cuddly ol’ me is a bit harsh, you ought to read this excommunication.

Bishop Bennison is in the Bible.

That’s right. Uhhh, huh. Yesss.

Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. is right here in the Bible:

*swings the Bible around in your face*

He has dug a pit and hollowed it out,
And has fallen into the hole which he made. Psalm 7:15

And I can mention at least five other similar verses. –Bennison is in there a lot! Can I hear an amen?

He digs the pit:
-Bennison is a big time supporter of Gene Robinson being made bishop. And he alienated the orthodox (and others) with his attacks on conservative parishes. Not to mention he’s an out-and-out heretic who says the church can rewrite the Bible.

He falls into it:
One result is his diocese is in financial trouble.

And another result came today: The Standing Committee of said Diocese of Pennslyvania has unanimously asked him to resign, retire, quit, go away, whateveryouwanttocallit, please GO! And it’s safe to say the committee isn’t exactly a conservative bastion.

Now whether he will go quietly is not yet known. He says he’s seeking God’s will. But he has shown he probably wouldn’t know God’s will if it kicked him in the rear . . . which it just has.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

ECUSA Presiding Bishop Nominees – What a Sorry Lot

Well, today the Episcopal Church announced its nominees for Presiding Bishop. And what a sorry lot it is.

I’ll look at the bright side though: electing any of these four will likely speed along the Anglican Realignment. It’s becoming more and more clear General Convention ’06 will give orthodox Anglicans, either in North America or worldwide, little reason to put up with ECUSA much longer.

Titusonenine is posting numerous stories on this.
Interesting AMiA Doings . . . and Realignment?

There’s a couple recent items concerning the AMiA that I find very interesting, but haven’t been getting a whole lot of attention.

First, as noted over at MCJ, the ECUSA Diocese of Pittsburgh, led by ++Duncan, is apparently cool with its chancellor also serving as the executive officer for the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).

One more sign of the coming Realignment of Anglicanism in North America?

Speaking of realignment, no less than nine primates of the Anglican Communion attended the recent AMiA winter conference. Heck, they out-primated my REC!

Something’s going on. And I don’t think it’s the usual Anglican fudge.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An ECUSA rector takes a stand against Moloch.

This rector is to be commended for taking a stand against ECUSA’s support of abortion and for refusing to aid that support.

For those who feel they should remain in ECUSA (or the mainline Presbyterian Church or the like) for a season, I think that is the right approach, really the only defensible course: refuse to participate in the support of abortion with even one red cent.

And the rector asks a good question:
Finally, I would ask you to consider this: by taking such a strong position on the most contentious and morally-freighted issue of our time, and particularly doing so at the height of the divisions we already suffer, is it not plain that the entrenched powers-that-be in the Episcopal Church are not only being disingenuous when they speak of reconciliation and tolerance, but are actually intent on driving every evangelical- and/or catholic-minded Episcopalian out of the Church?

Indeed. And isn’t it also strange that, after all the protests that ECUSA can’t act on Windsor or Dromantine until General Convention, ECUSA joins The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Moloch before General Convention? Hmmmm?
Paul Martin, Good Riddance!

Congratulations, Canadians, for ridding yourselves of Paul Martin. He campaigned as a centrist yet crammed Leftist social policies and uberliberal judges down Canada’s throat. (Hmm. Sounds like our last president.) Now he’s getting his just desserts.

Canadian election coverage may be found here and elsewhere.

UPDATE: This is hilarious!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Church of Moloch

Yesterday was the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision declaring open season on unborn children. Appropriately, the Pontificator chose the day to post another excellent piece on the Episcopal Church’s support of abortion.

A little personal history: Indoctrinated by population control propaganda at my school, I entered my teenage years pro-abortion although the question was way down there on my priority list well below getting a nice girlfriend, surviving algebra, and becoming the youngest ever to break the 4 minute mile.

Not long after I became a Christian on my 14th birthday, I wondered why most of the Christians around me were so anti-abortion. Then one day at school, there was a debate between representatives of pro and anti-abortion groups. The anti-abortion lady focused on the speedy development of the fetus, making it quite clear that, at least very early on, you’re talking about human life.

That clinched it for me. Thou shalt not murder + the unborn child is a human life = abortion is wrong and should be prohibited except in the most extreme circumstances. Though perhaps slightly precocious, I was no moral theologian. But it was that simple for me.

Later, I became aware of what a central issue abortion is. And I marched in Washington more than once on January 22nd and became president of Duke Students for Life. Later, I turned my energies elsewhere for the most part. Abortion is a hard and distressing issue to stay with for long. But my views on it have changed very little.

So I have very little understanding towards those who use the name of Christ to support abortion on demand. We’re talking about killing children here, people. It’s really worse than Moloch worship, because at least Moloch worship didn’t invoke God’s name in its vile child sacrifices.

I have a much bigger problem with those who so use Christ’s name than with the troubled woman who mistakingly sees abortion as a way out of her troubles.

And this is a bigger issue for me than gay clergy, quite a lot bigger actually. As I’ve said, it’s a big reason I left the mainline Presbyterian Church. To use Christ’s name to support open season on unborn children is unspeakably vile and intolerable.

The Pontificator is right. Christians would do well to run, flee any denomination that does so before God’s righteous justice comes down.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

I’m back . . . and as cranky as ever.

My DSL is finally working again. So I’m busy trying to catch up with the world. I probably won’t be able to make a full post today.

But . . . here’s two items of interest:

1. The Pontificator has an excellent post on the Episcopal Church’s support of abortion .

You may remember that the mainline Presbyterian Church’s support of abortion on demand is a big reason I left that accursed denomination.

2. If you think I’m alarmist on Iran and a warmonger on the necessity of taking out their nuclear capability, then read the future history that a Harvard professor (of all people) sees as a possibility. (Hat tip to titusonenine.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I don't know how much I'll post this week as my DSL has been down since Monday night, and SBC still can't tell me why.

I'm not especially pleased with SBC.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dealing with anti-social young adults: respect or crackdown . . . or both?

The proposed crackdown on unruly anti-social behavior in England has become a topic of discussion over there. The Archbishop of York, Dr. Sentamu, has weighed in, suggesting showing respect to young people may be more important and needed than any crackdown.

He makes a good point. I have said more than once, if you want respect, show respect. (In fact, I said it in my previous post Friday.) I wince when I see adults demand respect from the young but show no respect in return. That just about guarantees (and deserves) a disrespectful response.

On the flip side, I’ve found that if you respect youth, they will usually give respect and more in return. I’ve found this to be the case even with several troubled or difficult kids.

So Dr. Sentamu is correct on the importance of respect. And respect is indeed a two way street.

However, I’ve also found that there are those, especially among college-aged adults, who are so selfish that they do not care how much disruption their anti-social behavior causes regardless of how much appropriate respect they are shown. I’ve more than once had unruly young adult neighbors back in Denton that I tried to work matters out with in a respectful manner. And more often than not, it was necessary to get management or even law enforcement involved.

So, while mutual two-way respect between young and not-so-young is important, respecting the rights of those who just want to live (and sleep) in peace is also important. And those who don’t respect those rights should be cracked down on.

Now it’s, of course, much preferable that youth learn self-discipline before they leave the house. And among other things, that means parents must neither let their kids run riot nor keep them under such a rigid regime that they only experience discipline as something imposed on them instead of learning self-discipline.

But even excellent parenting is no guarantee of young adults being willing to respect the peace of others. And I have no problem at all with cracking down on those who don’t and do have a problem with a society that would be too slow to do so.

Those who see me interact with youth and usually get along great with them might be surprised that I have that “mean” side. But I don’t see this as an either-or issue. (And I don’t know if the Archbishop does either, although the linked article seems to imply that.) Youth, as people created in the image of God, deserve respect. But so do those who just want to live in peace. And a society that doesn’t guard their rights from louts of all ages is a dysfunctional one. The government of the UK is right on this one.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Gay Rights Crowd Targets . . . White House Easter Egg Roll?

I’m not kidding. And I promise I’ll try to refrain from salacious humor.

Anyway, I received this press release from the respected Institute of Religion and Democracy (IRD) yesterday:


Thursday, January 12,2006: Soulforce, in coalition with other groups advocating acceptance of homosexual practice within Christian churches, is planning to crash the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

“On April 17, 2006, when the White House lawn is opened to families for the Annual Easter Egg Roll, imagine if the first 1,000 families onto the lawn were LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] families,” enthused an e-mail alert from Soulforce.

“LGBT” participants are being urged to gather at the White House gate the night before so as to be the first to enter the next morning. They will also arrive with special t-shirts to identify themselves as “LGBT.”

The White House Easter egg roll dates back to the years after the Civil War and has become a venerated event. Besides thousands of children and parents, the roll often includes prominent entertainers, the Easter Bunny, and sometimes the President and First Lady.

Soulforce, in cooperation with other pro-homosexuality caucus groups, such a the “Reconciling” group for United Methodists, is asking same-sex couples and other non-traditional families to bring their children to the White House so as to expose America to “LGBT” families.

“The media will be there (they are always there for the egg roll) and millions of Americans – many for the first time – will meet our families,” the Soulforce e-mail reported. “This is an amazing opportunity to reach homes in blue states and red states with positive images of our families participating in this great American family tradition.”

Soulforce went on to promise: “This event will be like nothing anyone has ever seen before. The White House lawn – the Bush White House lawn – will, quite unexpectedly, be filled with gay and lesbian families. This is something people will be talking about for a long time, an event that will make history!”

According to Soulforce, “It is time to claim our place at the table. Come to our nation's capital and let America see who we really are.” Soulforce promised: “It is basically going to be the biggest LGBT family party ever, you and your kids will have a great time.

Recipients of the Soulforce e-mail were asked to be “discreet” and not to post the information on websites because the “success of this action depends on keeping it under the radar of the media and the administration!!!”

Over the years Soulforce has become well known for its disruptive demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience at church conventions. Other sponsors of this effort to target the White House Easter egg roll include: the Metropolitan Community Church, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), Love Makes a Family, BLGT Office of the Unitarian Universalists, and the unofficial Reconciling Ministries Network within the United Methodist Church.


Soulforce went on to promise: This event will be like nothing anyone has ever seen before.

No. No. I promised to refrain from salacious humor.

But seriously, a problem I have with the gay rights crowd is their lack of respect for others and their consciences. The Easter Egg Roll is not a big event for me. But even I know that event is not the time for grandstanding on pet issues.

To bring it closer to home, I’ve seen good men who can’t spend much time with their children because their ex-wives don’t abide by custody agreements and get away with it. I feel very strongly about that issue, and it’s certainly family related. But I wouldn’t dream of using the White House Easter Egg Roll as an opportunity to create a grandstanding stunt on even that worthy issue. It would be inappropriate and disrespectful.

If you want respect – and the gay rights crowd seems to DEMAND respect – then respect others. That’s pretty basic, but some don’t seem to get it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

BIG Sale on my Book

I haven’t talked much about my book God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager here. But I have a situation that you can take advantage of.

I’m losing my distributor – which means that very soon, I’ll need to have the books shipped somewhere. And right now, somewhere is my garage. I’d much rather somewhere be you, your youth group, church, or ministry.

So for about a month more, I’m selling God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager for only $1 a book for orders of 10 or more books from the 48 states. That’s right – a buck a book. That barely covers shipping (And, yes, I’ll pay for shipping.). And if you have a really large order (over 90 books), I might even charge less than a buck a book if you talk me into it.

I wrote God Knows in my pre-Anglican days. It uses the Psalms to look at everyday teen life. And, yes, it got good reviews from Youthworker Journal and Tom Nelson among others.

The website for God Knows What It's Like to be a Teenager is on the right. It’s There’s excerpts on the site.

E-mail me at mark at godknows99 dot com if you want to order. Save my garage.

P. S. In my humble opinion, these books make great confirmation and teen birthday presents.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Let’s hear it for Reverse Church Growth! :D

Sorry. I’m trying to put a positive spin on the Episcopal Diocese of Florida bleeding parishes.

But if that diocese ever goes bankrupt, perhaps holding Reverse Church Growth seminars would make an excellent second career for Bishop Howard. He clearly has a gift in that area.

Seriously, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: In the Episcopal Church USA, even in orthodox dioceses, you are only one bishop away from disaster.

The Diocese of Florida is Exhibit A.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

-Peter Lee responds to ++Orombi

The ECUSA bishop of Virginia has written a response to the Archbishop of Uganda. And, boy, is it lame!

My decision with regard to Mr. Ashey, based upon his letter to Bishop Jones, his comments to me and to the Standing Committee of the Diocese, concerned Mr. Ashey’s clear and unambiguous desire to be removed from the Episcopal Church.

Ignoring the fact the Rev. (NOT Mr.) Ashey left ECUSA, not holy orders. Then –Lee engages in some diversionary finger pointing:

I am disappointed that you and the Church of the Province of Uganda have chosen to exercise episcopal acts outside the jurisdiction of your Province without collaboration with me, and contrary to my understanding of traditional Anglican principles.

And that has exactly what to do with twisting the canons to try to strip Rev. Ashey of holy orders?

The Diocese of Virginia has had a long and affectionate relationship with the Church of Uganda. The late Most Rev. Yona Okoth, Archbishop of Uganda, participated in my consecration in 1984. He and his family were provided asylum in Virginia during the reign of the tyrant, Idi Amin, for their protection. I will continue to encourage churches in Virginia to support mission efforts in Uganda in parishes and dioceses, including such projects as the Solar Light Project and the Chain Foundation. We believe all these efforts have the approval of local Ugandan bishops.

I do *good things*, too. But if I abuse churchly power to try to strip a faithful man of his rightful position, I don’t think a recitation of those *good things* would have anything to do with anything. I might as well brag of my membership in The Society to Put Things on Top of Other Things.

My prayer is that our attention to mission in the name of Christ will help put differences among us in perspective and unite us more fully in Christ.

He tries to strip a man of holy orders for leaving ECUSA for another Anglican Communion jurisdiction, then lectures the Archbishop of Uganda on “perspective.” Sheesh!

Where does ECUSA get these guys?

UPDATE: Two good readers are interpreting +Lee's statement as backing down from stripping Rev. Ashey of holy orders, that now he is instead simply recognizing that Rev. Ashey is leaving ECUSA. I don't see that in the statement, but will keep my eyes open for clarification.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Archbishop of Uganda puts the ECUSA Bishop of Virginia in his place.

Last night, I was delighted to read this open letter from the Archbishop of Uganda to –Peter Lee. Lee has had the presumption to treat a priest who has left his jurisdiction to move to the Anglican jurisdiction of Uganda as if he has left holy orders altogether. And he has twisted the canons to do so.

The Archbishop’s letter wonderfully puts –Lee in his place. It’s even a bit in-your-face. ++Orombi states “We have asked him to continue the good work of church planting he has been doing in the South Riding community in Virginia.” That’s in your diocese, isn’t it?

And this: “Even those of us for whom English is a second language understand his plain English to mean that he has resigned from the staff of the Diocese of Virginia, but not from his priestly orders.”

And this: “This kind of re-inventing of the plain meaning of a text is the same problem we are facing today throughout the Anglican Communion with regard to bishops and leaders in ECUSA reinventing the plain meaning of Scripture.”

But what I find most interesting is this paragraph:

Your refusal to recognize Rev. Ashey’s holy orders in the Church of Uganda has huge implications for your understanding of the interchangeability of holy orders and the nature of the Anglican Communion. Accordingly, we accept your written press release of 20th December 2005 as your notice that the Bishop and Diocese of Virginia have broken communion with the Church of Uganda.

Thus the Archbishop of Uganda makes clear that playing canonical games against clergy who move (flee) to jurisdictions of the Southern Primates will not be without cost and will be taken as playing games against the Southern Primates themselves. You don’t recognize our priests? Then you don’t recognize our jurisdiction either, and we will treat it as such.

I’m glad to see a Primate take action against canonical games against the orthodox and put an Episcopal practitioner of those games in his place. Archbishop Orombi’s letter is excellent, timely, and, yes, very well written and right dead on target!
Pat Robertson, please shut up!

I have a confession to make. I used to be an admirer of Pat Robertson. Yes, he’s always been a bit over-the-top. Still, I saw him as a constructive force in society. Note the past tense there. My perception was before he acquired (or exercised more) his current spiritual gift of presumptuous pontification.

Yesterday (after I posted), I heard on the radio that the President of Iran expressed his wish for the death of Ariel Sharon. Anyone want to let him have the bomb? Then, the same evening, I read that Pat Robertson has suggested that Sharon’s stroke is punishment for giving land to the Palestinians.


One of my pet peeves are bigots who lump Fundamentalist Christians and terrorist Fundamentalist Muslims together. Thanks for feeding that misperception, Pat, with your idiotic statement.

Now, please shut up.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2006 and Iran

I hesitate to make this prognostication because it is so obvious. But the subject is also important, so . . . Iran, its nuclear ambitions, and how to deal with them will take center stage in 2006.

The Guardian, of all papers, has published leaked information that makes it that much more clear that we cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

I suspect that sometime in 2006 or early 2007 at the latest, Israel or the U. S. will do what has to be done and militarily take out Iran’s nuclear facilities.

And I strongly suspect if Israel or U. S. does not take out Iran’s nuclear facilities we will not only live to regret it, but that history will condemn us for our inaction and cowardice.

But I think President Bush and Israel’s leadership are smarter than that. So Iran in 2006 will be interesting. Don’t freak out if we see much unpleasantness, including screaming Leftists, moronic moral equivalence, and $3.50 gas.

But that beats the heck out of Iran making 2008 interesting.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

About Kwanzaa . . .

One of the blessings of this Christmas season is that I’ve heard absolutely nothing about Kwanzaa until this morning. I’m not sure why. Last year, I heard about Kwanzaa again and again.

Anyway, this morning I came across this excellent expose of Kwanzaa.

Why is this information normally hidden from us? Hmmmm? This is the first time I’ve heard about the criminal nature of the founder of Kwanzaa and his hatred of Christianity. I have always suspected a hidden agenda of Kwanzaa is to distract from Christmas. That suspicion is now confirmed, and the truth is worse than even my suspicions.

Now that I’ve been more informed by this article, I will now put my foot down and pontificate: celebration of Kwanzaa is not compatible with Christianity.

Monday, January 02, 2006

How long?

We need to be praying for all orthodox Anglicans that still find themselves in the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). They have some hard choices to make in 2006.

Namely, they must decide how long they will stay in that denomination. And I honestly don’t know what to suggest as the best course of action. (Of course, I would be thrilled if a great many of them joined my Reformed Episcopal Church, but anyway . . . )

You can guess my view of ECUSA: It is apostate, though with strong pockets of vibrant orthodoxy. And pressures build month by month and year by year on those pockets to “reconcile” with apostasy or else. Like Christopher Johnson, I therefore feel the orthodox should not allow themselves to be forever strung along by exhortations to wait until this meeting or that. For in ECUSA, time favors the apostates as they gain and exercise more and more control. Being strung along from year to year, meeting to meeting may be the worst possible scenario. And that even goes for orthodox strongholds as the Diocese of Ft. Worth. Bishop Iker is a rock. But he’s not going to be bishop forever. Do you expect ECUSA to let another +Iker to take his place? I’m convinced even strong dioceses like Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Pittsburgh can’t wait too long.

Waiting until Lambeth ‘08 seems and indeed may be reasonable. But even if all goes well at Lambeth, there is no guarantee at all that actions taken there won’t be subverted. Frankly, I think that’s what happened to the Primates’ directive to form a Panel of Reference. What was a matter of “urgency” has now become a joke. I expect to see more of such subversion by other Anglican Communion authorities, including by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, after Lambeth.

Yet, it is possible that a place apart from apostate ECUSA will be provided for orthodox North American Anglicans within the Anglican Communion. And there are Primates and other leaders striving for that. As long as there is reasonable hope for such a resolution, a strong case can be made to sticking it out with the processes underway in the Anglican Communion.

And the history of those too eager to split denominations in the U. S. has not been a happy one. And, yes, my Reformed Episcopal Church has had a difficult history until recent years.

But there comes a point when conservatives sticking it out in a liberal denomination is a bit like having an Auburn booster club at the University of Alabama. It becomes pointless.

Are we at that point yet in ECUSA? I don’t know. And those faithful in ECUSA who are struggling with what to do have my empathy and prayers.