Saturday, December 31, 2005

Anglican Church Finds “No Room at the Inn" in Baltimore

[American Anglican Council] December 30, 2005--Church of the Resurrection, an Anglican start-up church in Baltimore, Md., has found that there may be “no room at the inn” for them this Christmas season. In November, the congregation entered a “gentleman’s agreement” with Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church to rent worship space for a two-month “trial period” beginning on Christmas Eve. On December 22, the Rev. Eliot Winks, rector of Resurrection, and Patrick Cunningham, a lay leader in the church, were informed that the congregation could only use the facility for three weeks. In addition, they learned that bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland had pressured their Presbyterian counterpart, Executive Presbyter the Rev. Peter Nord, to deny use of the church. Nord instructed the Brown leadership to cancel the agreement.

Two Disclaimers from the Church of Nigeria Regarding Fraudlent Activity/Individual{E4CC78A0-0DC1-4CBC-AE3D-B07052CAE3E6}&notoc=1

[American Anglican Council] December 30, 2005--The general public is hereby warned of the activities of some fraudulent personalities who exploit Christian love and the good name of the Church all in a bid to defraud unsuspecting people especially foreigners of money.

Rebels on principle

[The Columbus Dispatch] December 30, 2005--Dissident Episcopalians in Chillicothe form new congregation.

Violence Against Women... What Role for the Clergy?

[] December 29, 2005--The clergy referred to the Holy Bible in Gen. 3:16 and Eph. 5:22-32 which states that "it is therefore unlawful and sinful to disinherit the woman of her husband's property when the husband dies for they were one when he was alive". Corroborating, Bishop Chukwuma observed that the church does a lot to save women from bastardisation on unknown influences of the old, stating that the church has not rested in seeing that the dignity of women are not trampled upon. He added that "whatever belongs to the man belongs to the wife. The attitude of punishing women over inheritance is archaic. The church now ensures that women do not suffer all these problems; it is now tagged "Christian Family. The church is saying women must be free but government should also support women", he said.

Churches let Narnia film speak for itself

[Narnia Fans] December 30, 2005--Families have taken to the Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but not at the urging of religious leaders.

Cardinal quashes gay priesthood protests

[IOL] December 31, 2005--South African men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies, who were barred from becoming priests in the Catholic church, had no reason to take the issue to the Constitutional Court, according to Catholic leader Cardinal Wilfred Napier.

Anglican Church Disowns Nigerian Gay-Activist

[Vanguard] December 31, 2005--The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has in Abuja disowned Davis Mac-Iyalla, a self confessed gay-activist.The church insisted in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja that Mac-Iyalla ceased to be a member of the communion since 2003.

Bishop: gays 'amongst the best' clerics

[Church Times] December 30, 2005--Gay clerics are among the best in East Anglia, said the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Richard Lewis, this week. The Bishop also backed the new civil-partnership legislation, and urged people to affirm gay clergy.

Methinks Bishop Lewis is trying to rationalize away sin. Character is an essential qualification for ordained ministry. As long as gay clergy are sexually active with a member of the same sex - even in their imagination, they lack the right character to serve as deacons, priests, and bishops in the Church and as examples to their flocks.

Manners - or not?

[Church Times] December 30, 2005--Church Times readers have given the lie to the hope that church is inhabited by nice people. In reply to a request in the paper, readers have submitted examples of insensitivity, intemperance, and ineptness from clergy and churchgoers.

Does the Family Have a Future? Part 1

[The Christian Post] December 30, 2005--Does the family have a future? The question is offensive to the evangelical mind, but it is a controversial debate fast pressed upon us by the incredible social transformations that now shape American culture. The continued flourishing of anything that resembles the traditional family is an open question.

Christian Leaders Join Interfaith Protest against Islamic Threat in Malaysia

[The Christian Post] December 29, 2005--Christians and other religious minorities in Malaysia held candles and a banner in an interfaith protest against what they feel is the increasing threat from the country's Islamic authorities.

Mass. Drive to Ban Gay 'Marriage' May Face Strong Opposition

[The Christian Post] December 30, 2005--An effort by voters in Massachusetts to ban gay “marriage” without making a provision for civil unions is being dismissed as a non-issue by a congressional representative in the state who says it may trigger an “angry, divisive” fight.

Barny Frank's response is not surprising since he himself is gay.

Deliver Us from Kony

[] December 30, 2005--Sixty years after Allied soldiers liberated the Nazi death camps, the world stands silent in the face of another holocaust—one so horrifying that U.N. officials call it "one of the worst human-rights crises of the past century."

Brutality Therapy

[] December 30, 2005--Every week, children from all around northern Uganda arrive at the Children of War Rehabilitation Center with gunshot wounds, missing limbs, broken bones, and mutilated faces. Most are badly malnourished and sick. All are emotionally traumatized, frightened of how they will be treated, and profoundly confused about Christian faith.

Related article:
Peace Not Out of Reach -

Parents: The First Teachers of Morality and Ethics

[] December 31, 2005--With small children being arrested and handcuffed at public schools -- a little girl in Florida and a little boy in Wisconsin -- kindergarten round-ups may be substantially altered.

Helping Your Children Know the Jesus You Know

[] December 31, 2005--Most of us bow under the weight of more than a few questions about children and how they come to faith. How do children believe? When are they able to believe?

Friday, December 30, 2005

The making of meaning

[The Age] December 24, 2005--In the first of a three-part series, Barney Zwartz argues that we all have faith but that doesn't necessarily make us believers.

A rude awakening at the church door

[THe Age] December 30, 2005--In what remains of the season of goodwill, a religious newspaper has uncovered spectacular examples of Christians falling short of religious ideals in their treatment of fellow churchgoers.

Russian Orthodox Church condemns Lutheran gay weddings

[Pravda] December 30, 2005--The Moscow Patriarchate hierarchy could not but take note of the sexual revolution in Sweden where the Lutheran Church had blessed same-sex marriages. During the last annual meaning of the Holy Synod, The Russian Orthodox Church decided to break up the relations with the Lutheran Church of Sweden

Gays don't want to get married, says MP,10117,17687675-2,00.html?from=rss

[] December 30, 2005--Gay marriages should be opposed because they would not be popular among homosexuals, Parliamentary Health Secretary Christopher Pyne has declared.

Diocesan Convention Explodes over possible ties with pro-gay ECUSA Dioceses

[VirtueOnline] December 29, 2005--A heated debate broke out on the floor of the Jerusalem Diocesan Convention recently when sides were drawn up over whether the orthodox Middle East Diocese should twine with the revisionist Diocese of Los Angeles which openly espouses gay and lesbian unions.

Narnia rules,10221,17683418-7485,00.html?from=rss

[] December 29, 2005--The golden lion has thoroughly trounced the giant gorilla in the most hotly contested box office battle of the year.

The Tide Is Rising In The Diocese Of Florida

[VirtueOnline] December 29, 2005--As 2005 draws to a close, we have been sadly reminded of the tsunami that brought such devastation just one year ago. Just as the multiple waves of that tsunami were caused by the one earthquake, there seem to be similar 'waves' of churches realigning away from The Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) and The Diocese of Florida (DoF) toward alternative Anglican jurisdictions due to the actions of the General Convention 2003...ECUSA's earthquake.

Courage and Compassion on Homosexuality

[The Christian Post] December 29, 2005--The church's engagement with the culture involves a host of issues, controversies, and decisions--but no issue defines our current cultural crisis as clearly as homosexuality. Some churches and denominations have capitulated to the demands of the homosexual rights movement, and now accept homosexuality as a fully valid lifestyle. Other denominations are tottering on the brink, and without a massive conservative resistance, they are almost certain to abandon biblical truth and bless what the Bible condemns.

Vatican Adopts 'Instructions' on Gay Priests

[The Christian Post] December 28, 2005--The controversial Catholic document restricting the ordination of homosexuals was adopted on Tuesday, sparking protest from liberals and widespread praise from conservatives who had warned against the growing gay subculture within contemporary Catholic seminaries.

Justin Martyr: A Man for Our Season

[] December 30, 2005--It is important to recall those of the faith that have gone before us, to examine the history of the Church, and its profound influence in the world particularly in the area of thought. As J.R. Lowell said, "History is clarified experience." History can help us clarify and validate the truth claims of the Christian faith.

Judge Upholds Ban on Christian Prayers in Indiana House of Reps

[The Christian Post] December 29, 2005--The federal court judge that banned sectarian prayer, including specific references to Jesus Christ in the Indiana House of Representatives, on Wednesday denied a request to amend his ruling. An appeal to a higher court is expected.

Why European women are turning to Islam

[Christian Science Monitor] December 27, 2005--Mary Fallot looks as unlike a terrorist suspect as one could possibly imagine: a petite and demure white Frenchwoman chatting with friends on a cell-phone, indistinguishable from any other young woman in the café where she sits sipping coffee.

Christians can learn from what is attracting European women to Islam.

Marriage amendment signature drive breaks record in Mass.; amendment faces opposition in Minn.

[Baptist Press] December 29, 2005--Meanwhile, homosexual activists have launched a website with the name and address of every person who signed the petition. (The signatures are public information.) A letter to the editor in The Standard Times in New Bedford, Mass., championed the website: "Are your neighbors anti-gay bigots? Your relatives? Your elected officials? Your barber? How about your children's teachers? Find out."

Sounds like homosexual activists are trying to deliberately stir up hatred against the signers of the petition with their website. Isn't that what constitutes a "hate crime"?

2008 Lambeth Conference Faces $3 Million Shortfall

[The Living Church] December 29, 2005--With less than three years remaining before the opening session, the 2008 Lambeth Conference is facing a potential cash shortfall of more than $3 million. Funding for the once every 10-year gathering of bishops from around the Anglican Communion is administered by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Churches launch food collection centres

[The Standard] December 28, 2005--The Anglican Church of Kenya and the African Inland Church have launched food collection centres to assist hunger victims in the country.

South Riding priest removed by Bishop

[Loudoun Independent] December 28, 2005--A priest who pulled his South Riding church out of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in November has been removed from the priesthood, according to Episcopal Bishop Peter Lee.

NBC 'gay' alert!

[RenewAmerica] December 29, 2005--NBC says "The Book of Daniel" is a serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith. IT IS NOT! Consider....

Related article:
NBC to Air Series About Dysfunctional Christian Family -

Gay priests rebel over 'marriage'

[BBC News] December 24, 2005--The Church of England is facing a rebellion from gay clergy over the question of same-sex partnerships.

Nominees for Tennessee Bishop Election Announced

[The Living Church] December 28, 2005--The Episcopate Committee in the Diocese of Tennessee has released a slate of three nominees for the March 18 election convention at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville.

Five Theses About Post-Modernism JK Rowling and the Inklings

[] December 27, 2005--I was asked by John Granger about JK Rowling, the Inklings and post-modernism. This is his reply.

Calif. Marriage Initiative Falls Short, Reconsiders Strategy

[The Christian Post] December 28, 2005--One of two groups seeking a California constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman in the November 2006 ballot dropped its bid citing fundraising difficulties and a politically uncertain climate.

Trends Reshaping the American Church, Part III

[] December 29, 2005--Four key factors are reshaping the American church according to the Barna Group. Let us now turn to numbers three and four and add a few thoughts.

Trends Reshaping the American Church, Part II

[] December 28, 2005--According to the Barna group, four key factors are reshaping the American church. Two of those factors were highlighted in part one of this article. Let me briefly add some comment.

The Bible on Sex—The Way to Happiness and Holiness

[The Christian Post] December 28, 2005--What does the Bible really say about sex? Given the controversies over same-sex marriage, homosexuality, and gender-bending now raging in our culture, what is the biblical pattern for human sexuality?

Puritans miss the real message of Narnia

[The Age] December 27, 2005--It is hard to find a group today more puritanical than the anti-Christian, anti-Narnia brigade. They have unleashed an entirely disproportionate assault on the film The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which opened in Melbourne at the weekend.

God sees embryos as full and complete humans - Pope

[Reuters] December 28, 2005--God sees embryos as "full and complete" humans, Pope Benedict said on Wednesday in an address that firmly underlined the Roman Catholic Church's stance against abortion and scientific research on embryos.

Moderate Muslims try to rein in extremists' messages

[The Seattle Times] December 28, 2005--It's becoming known as the war of the fatwas: the dizzying exchange of proclamations between Islamic moderates and extremists on what it means to be Muslim. The duels have been waged everywhere from pamphlets to cyberspace.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here We Stand

[VirtueOnline] December 27, 2005--Anyone who has followed developments in the Anglican Communion over the last couple of years must surely be deeply depressed by now.

No Church? No Problem

[] December 28, 2005--George Barna wants commitment to the local congregation to sink lower than ever.

The Christian Counter-Revolution

[The Christian Post] December 27, 2005--Throughout the centuries, Christians have faced the vexing question: How are we to live as Christians in the midst of a secular culture? This question reaches to the heart of Christian discipleship and the meaning of the Gospel--and challenges the church of the twenty-first century no less than the earliest disciples.

Church group is split over women bishops

[The Telegraph] December 27, 2005--Church of England bishops are at loggerheads over proposals aimed at averting a new split over women bishops.

Bishop Wolfe Says Anglican Communion Network out to cause Schism

[VirtueOnline] December 28, 2005--It is becoming clear that the objective of the Anglican Communion Network is to create schism in the Episcopal Church....

The Future of the Episcopal Church

[VirtueOnline] December 27, 2005--For 34 years I have been an Episcopal Priest. For most of this time, the church that I serve has been in decline. For years I have struggled hard to understand this decline and why the church that means so much to me cannot seem to find a viable future in our society.

Bishop grabs Japanese parish from departing orthodox priest

[VirtueOnline] December 27, 2005--A congregation made up of Japanese Anglican believers has left their 'Holy Cross Japanese Church building' after its rector, the Rev. Dawn McDonald, 47, an Evangelical and former lesbian, departed to take a parish in Fort Nelson in the Diocese of the Yukon under Bishop Terry Buckle.

Group protests NBC's dysfunctional 'Christians'

[WorldNetDaily]December 28, 2005--A pro-family group has launched a protest campaign against a new NBC drama featuring a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest who is the father of a dysfunctional family.

Novel Use of Canon in Virginia Raises Concerns

[The Living Church] December 27, 2005--A priest who left the Episcopal Church in November and, along with the majority of his former congregation, transferred to the Anglican Province of Uganda, has accused the Bishop of Virginia of stretching the canons in declaring that his resignation was a renunciation of the ordained ministry.

Trends Reshaping the American Church, Part I

[] December 27, 2005--Four key trends in the church should be noted according to the Barna Group. explains: "Ignoring reporters' questions about church growth figures by stating, 'church attendance is grossly overrated as a measure of anything that is spiritually significant,' researcher George Barna instead offered four factors that he described as "indicative of the reshaping of the church in the U.S."

Canada new destination of choice for pedophiles

[WorldNewsDaily] December 27, 2005--The Canadian Supreme Court ruling that redefined obscenity for that nation and legalized group-sex clubs, combined with Canada's unusually low age of consent – 14 – will result in an influx of pedophiles to America's neighbor to the north, contends a former consultant to the U.S. Justice Department.

Magistrate who refused to officiate at gay marriages resigns

[] December 26, 2005--The Madrid magistrate who refused to marry same sex couples has presented his resignation to the Supreme Court.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

[] December 24, 2005--The image of a faun carrying parcels in the snow was, for C. S. Lewis, the first glimpse of a world that would be Narnia.

Fringe church explores next step

[] November 28, 2005--The next six months will be crucial for Blue Mountains-based Explorer Christian Church (ECC), as it seeks to employ a paid 'leader' for the first time in order to cope with growth over the past three years.

Does Christianity squash women? Author explores feminism

[Baptist News] December 27, 2005--Can women have it all? A new book from Broadman & Holman explores that very question by defining womanhood from a biblical perspective.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Archbishop speaks out in Christmas message

[The Spoof!] December 27, 2005--Archbishop Rowan Williams, leader of the Church of England, has spoken up against harming terrorists this week in his 2005 Christmas message. Dr Williams, speaking from a tea hut behind Canterbury Cathedral, said, 'They do not speak our language; they are disaffected and deranged; but we must show compassion and tolerance. In our society, is it right to persecute someone, just because they believe mass murder is the way forward?'

Iraqi worshippers risk their lives to celebrate Christmas in church,,7374-1958923,00.html

[TimesOnline] December 26, 2005--Iraqis gathered for Christmas behind Kalashnikovs yesterday. Midnight Mass was cancelled because of bombing fears and curfews, but the country’s rapidly dwindling Christian minority turned out in their thousands for early morning services.

Major Anglican Group Prepares for Full Communion With Rome

[VirtueOnline] December 24, 2005--As the Anglican Communion threatens to break up, one large group of Anglicans is blazing a trail to Rome, and another could follow suit.

Gay issue rips Anglican Church down the middle

[The Standard] December 25, 2005--As the year draws to a close the subject of homosexuality continues to be a thorny issue for the Anglican Church.

Primate Venables writes personal letter to all deposed clergypersons

[VirtueOnline] December 26, 2005--To Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and all the clergy of the Diocese of Recife 'excommunicated' by the Brazilian Province received in September personal letters from the Archbishop of the Southern Cone containing the following message....

West seeks spiritual refuge in war-torn Uganda

[Telegraph] December 26, 2005--Churches in the United States are turning their backs on religious liberalism at home and looking 9,000 miles away to "biblically orthodox" Uganda for a spiritual refuge.

Christmas message from the Primate of all Nigeria

[Church of Nigeria News] December 23, 2005--As we celebrate another Christmas, we thank God for all His mercies towards us as individuals and as a nation. The main reason for joy and celebration is that at the fullness of time, God sent to us His only begotten Son to deliver us from our sins. Christ came into the world at a time such as this to give us joy, peace and eternal life.

The mogul, the movie and the man on a mission

[VirtueOnline] December 25, 2005--Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz hopes 'The Chronicles of Narnia' will change Hollywood forever.

All Saints rejoices in its new life

[Anglican Communion Network] December 20, 2005--All Saints Church in Irondequoit is puzzled that the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester has now acknowledged the congregation’s new life within the Church of Uganda. The diocese cannot seem to decide whether our parish is extinct or is a living congregation of the Anglican Communion.

Sydney rebuffs appeal to halt church affiliations

[The Church of England Newspaper] December 23, 2005--Sydney’s Standing Committee has rebuffed a plea from its Primate not to plant churches in other dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia and has written to the Bishop of Southwark asking him to reconsider his censure of the Rev Richard Coekin. Archbishop Phillip Aspinall asked Sydney to defer implementation until July 2006 of the “Affiliated Churches Ordinance” passed at the October meeting of Synod.

Defections on the increase in American Church

[The Church of England Newspaper] December 23, 2005--The pace of parish defections in the US quickened last week, as seven congregations announced their secession from the Episcopal Church over its institutional support for the gay agenda.

Bishops express worry over civil partnerships

[The Church of England Newspaper] December 23, 2005--Bishops have expressed their frustration with the legislation on civil partnerships and backed the House of Bishops’ pastoral advice that clergy in civil partnerships should be celibate.

Commissary plan to appease the opponents of women bishops

[The Church of England Newspaper] December 23, 2005--The latest provision for those opposed to the consecration of women bishops could see a parish given the power to opt out of the local bishop’s pastoral care and look to a representative of either Archbishop under plans being considered by the House of Bishops.

Brokeback Mountain Receives Top Criticism from Ex-Gays

[The Christian Post] December 24, 2005--Ex-gay ministry leaders say there is a new movie on homosexuality that accurately portrays the gay lifestyle and all of its empty promises, but misleads people when suggesting that society's condemnation caused the men's tortured unhappiness.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

[] December 27, 2005--Over the last days of Christmas, I unmistakenly heard retail clerks and just plain folks wish me a "Merry Christmas" right and left, practically everywhere I went on my holiday rounds. Same thing for you? Here's why this means something...

Judge nixes California ban on selling violent video games to children

[] December 23, 2005--A federal judge has blocked California from banning sales of violent video games to children, prompting backers to vow to take their case to the US Supreme Court if necessary. In a decision late Thursday, US District Court Judge Ronald Whyte granted the entertainment software industry's request for an injunction halting implementation a California law slated to take effect January 1.

Ottawa mall says 'No' to accordion-playing Santa

[CBC News] December 22, 2005--Salvation Army officers are shaking their heads after an Ottawa mall ordered a fundraising Santa to leave the premises because he was playing the accordion.

Defiant Liberals urge gay unions,5744,17655653%5E2702,00.html

[The Weekend Australian] December 24, 2005--Liberal backbenchers are pushing for Australia to follow Britain's lead and recognise civil unions for gay people.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Very Merry Christmas from AnglicansAblaze

Common Prayer, Common Mission

The Anglican Mission's Prayer Initiative supports the work of mission, and provides helpful insight and resources to strengthen prayer ministries in the local church. Led by Elizabeth Walter (who will be teaching on prayer at the upcoming Winter Conference), this network is daily holding up the work of the mission, its churches and leaders. Visit the Connections section of the AMiA web site for more on this vital part of the Anglican Mission's life.

More information can be found at

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Still looking for the perfect gift? Try these:--Many of the Pastors in Rwanda serve with very little monetary compensation, and their families are not getting proper nourishment. Sandi Harding, a lay worker from Atlanta living in Rwanda, is raising funds to purchase animals for clergy families. Each cow (or goat) provides milk, fertilizer for crops, and the promise of additional milk to sell. A cow costs $350, with each goat going for $30. Make a difference this holiday season with a gift of an animal to a clergy family in Rwanda. Send checks to the Anglican Mission in America, PO Box 3427, Pawleys Island, SC 29585, and earmark for “Sandi’s Cow Fund” .

--Help those working to rebuild following the genocide, as Hutis and Tutsis work together on the Rwandan hillsides to raise coffee beans for export. Purchase fair-trade coffee at

Make a special one-time gift to the Anglican Mission utilizing a special provision enacted following Hurricane Katrina. To read more, go to

Silent Night, Merciful Night

[] December 22, 2005--That's when it hit me, this epiphany of Christmas. He came for those who need him, not because they are poor or slovenly or unable to care for themselves. He came for all those who need him, even some like me, the elitists, self-satisfied with the arrogance that insists they need nothing at all. He came for me because I, too—in my annoyance and pride—am very much among the needy.

Christmas Attacks Suspected

[] December 22, 2005--Christians in Indonesia are taking few chances this Christmas. As the choirs prep and evangelical rappers rehearse their hip-hop gospel numbers, church leaders are digging bomb pits and coordinating security with local police and the military.

Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?

[The Christian Post] December 22, 2005--Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth? This question would perplex the vast majority of Christians throughout the centuries, but modern denials of biblical truth make the question tragically significant. Of all biblical doctrines, the doctrine of Christ's virginal conception has often been the specific target of modern denial and attack.

U.K. Civil Unions Pose New Questions for Anglican Communion
[The Christian Post] December 22, 2005--Gay rights groups celebrated while conservative and evangelical bodies criticized the first wave of civil unions that took place across the United Kingdom this week. However, for the Anglican Communion, a global body already struggling over internal divides over homosexuality, the legal recognition of gay relationships is bringing on new challenges on how to handle the question of gay clergy.

Related article:
Gay Couples 'Tie the Knot' in England, Wales - The Christian Post

Priest removed from Church

[The Washington Times] December 23, 2005--An Episcopal priest who pulled his church out of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia last month is being removed -- under protest -- from the Episcopal priesthood by his bishop.

Anglican Mainstream Calls on Government to Reconsider Civil Partnerships Act

[Christianity TOday UK] December 23, 2005--Anglican Mainstream has urged the Government to reconsider the Civil Partnerships Act which came into force at the start of the month, with the first gay civil partnership ceremonies taking place across the country this week.

Merry Christmas or Merry PC?

[The Dickson Herald] December 23, 2005--As the night before Christmas approaches, some people are still stirring; they’re tossing and turning and wondering whether the word “Christmas” is being stolen by the Grinch of political correctness.

Evangelical Council Warns of Negative Impact of Gay Civil Partnerships

[Christianity Today UK] December 22, 2005--The Evangelical Council has warned of the negative consequences of the Civil Partnerships Act following the hundreds of gay civil partnership ceremonies that took place up and down the country.

Church blessing for homosexual vicar

[Telegraph] December 22, 2005--The couple failed to tell the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, of their plans and have made clear that they will refuse to give him any assurances about their behaviour in the bedroom.

Navy Chaplain on Hunger Strike Outside White House

[ABC 7 News] December 23, 2005-- A U.S. Navy chaplain is conducting a hunger strike that includes nightly prayers outside the White House.

Simon Mayo interviews Rowan Williams

[Fulcrum] December 22, 2005--Yes. It's the old pagan thing, really. This is the midwinter festival and the Church, very early on, latched onto the idea that it was good to have a festival in midwinter, but that they had a better story to tell. And that's still true.

For the real story behind the origin of Christmas I again recommend to AnglicansAblaze readers Dr. Thomas J. Talley's The Origins of the Liturgical Year.

Rector of South Riding Church (Fairfax, Va.) Responds to Bishop Lee{6F5F62A6-557A-42CB-BAEC-A56CD426350D}&notoc=1

[American Anglican Council] December 20, 2005--If your intent is to remove me as a Minister of the Episcopal Church, the use of Canon III.13 is overbroad. I have only changed my "address" from ECUSA to the Church of Uganda. As I mentioned to you and the Standing Committee, an appropriate exercise of Canon Law would be to refuse to license me to function in any ECUSA church, as you might refuse any priest from another province of the Communion.

On the other hand, if your intent under Canon III.13 is to render a judgment that I have renounced Holy Orders and the Priesthood in Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, my answer is simple. A resignation is not a renunciation. And by no stretch of the imagination can it be made so without my voluntary renunciation of ordained ministry according to the language of Canon III.13.

"No Middle Way" says Ugandan Bishop

[VirtueOnline] December 22, 2005--The following sermon was delivered on the occasion of the consecration of two bishops in the town of Arua in Uganda on November 27, 2005 in the Diocese in the Anglican Church of Uganda.

Deliver us from 'Corporate Perversion'

[VirtueOnline] December 22, 2005--Can anything good come out of the South? Judging from the 'Communion perception'-to borrow the phrase from Dr Ephraim Radner's comment on the Church of Nigeria's Constitutional Revision - the answer is no.

'Sing now: talk later' - counc

[Church Times] December 23, 2005--Confusion surrounded the licensing laws for carol-singers this week after churches cancelled a joint event that could have gone ahead without a licence.

Pews fuller for the long Christmas

[Church Times] December 23, 2005--An opinion poll commissioned by the Church of England suggests that nearly half the adult population will attend a church service this year during the period of Christmas celebrations - an increase of ten per cent since 2001.

Homosexual Activists Cheer Appointment of New San Francisco Archbishop

[] December 22, 2005--Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer, soon to be installed as the new Archbishop of San Francisco, has told a local news outlet that he is opposed to the Vatican’s prohibition of homosexuals in seminaries.

Kansas Bishop Condemns 'Informational' Letter

[The Living CHurch] December 22, 2005--The Bishop of Kansas recently wrote his clergy and senior wardens condemning as deceitful and divisive a letter sent to senior wardens at 2,200 Episcopal churches located in 20 states.

The Christmas gift that breaks the curse

[sydneyanglicans,net] December 24, 2005--In C.S. Lewis' story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which will be on our movie screens from Boxing Day, the land of Narnia is under a curse that means that it is always winter but never Christmas....

Australian PM Howard Says Gay Unions Out of Question

[] December 22, 2005--Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Australia would not be following Britain’s lead by introducing a class of marriage for same-sex couples.

We Have a Huge Stake in Christianity

[Human Events Online] December 21, 2005--Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only one in five American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first president to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn.

UK School Sticking to Ban on Wearing Crucifix Despite Protest from Muslims and Sikhs

[] December 2, 2005--England's Sinfin Community School is not backing down from its decision to suspend a 16-year-old for her refusal to take off a crucifix she wore around her neck on a gold chain for three years. The student, Sam Morris, was allowed back to school after a day's suspension only after she removed the crucifix. Sikh religious bracelets, and Muslim sacred daggers are permitted at the school but the crucifix worn on a chain is not.

The Power of Christmas

[National Review Online] December 22, 2005--And so it came to pass that Joseph, the earthly father of Our Savior, had to go out of town, and in his absence, my son Galen was promoted from lowly shepherd to the most famous stepfather in history.

Christmas parties in Asia point seekers to faith in Jesus & fellowship in house churches

[Baptist Press] December 22, 2005--Throughout southern Asia, Southern Baptist workers are hosting Christmas parties to introduce Jesus to Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist friends who do not yet know the true meaning of Christmas.

Orthodox Anglicans might consider inviting their unchurched friends, neighbors and relatives to Christmas parties like those described in the article to help them learn the true meaning of Christmas and to find fellowship in an Anglican house group.

His Unequaled Love’

[Baptist Press] December 22, 2005--Take God’s Word and turn, if you will, to Luke, chapter 2, the Christmas story. I’m going to begin reading in just a moment in verse 1 of Luke, chapter 2.

Call Darwinism what it is -- a religion

[Baptist Press] December 22, 2005--The headline read, “Judge rules against Intelligent Design: Religious alternative to evolution cannot be taught in public school classes.” Evangelical and conservative commentators alike picked up the rhetoric and most bemoaned the fact of another public setback in the culture wars.

The Apocalypse at Christmastime

[Baptist Press] December 22, 2005--At the outset of the Christmas season a few Sundays ago, I was preparing to teach a Sunday School class in a series from Revelation on Jesus as a conquering Warrior Messiah, dripped in blood and destroying His enemies. Somehow it seemed a little inappropriate for this time of year.

Are you listening?

[Baptist Press] December 22, 2005--What does God respond to? One thing should be a no-brainer, but for most of us it’s a very neglected aspect of our lives: listening to Him.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pastor starts new church

[Gazette] December 22, 2005--A new church called the Lamb of God Charismatic Episcopal Church will hold its first service at 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve in what locals call the ‘‘Little Church on the Hill” on Angleberger Road in Lewistown.

The Charismatic Episcopal Church is not part of the Anglican Communion or a Continuing Anglican Church . However, it has attracted disaffected Episcopalians in recent years.

Straw's sister in ritual dance

[Telegraph] December 22, 2005--An Anglican dean has defended the sister of Jack Straw after complaints about her "spiritual dancing" at his cathedral.

Some churches not taking holiday this holy Sunday

[The Herald-Mail Online] December 22, 2005--While many area churches are having elaborate and traditional Christmas Eve observances, few are using that as a reason not to have a service on Christmas Day, which falls on Sunday this year.

Christingles light up special service,,486_1854575~E,00.html

[Hermanus Times] December 22, 2005--Christmas is the time of the year when the birth of the Christ child is celebrated. On Sunday evening a very special family carol service was held in St Peter's Anglican church.

Standing with Christ crucified

[The Church of England Newspaper] December 22, 2005--Constantine’s victory over Maxentius in 312 at the battle of Milvian Bridge saw the beginning of the end of official persecution of Christians, as Constantine became Emperor and adopted an increasingly sympathetic approach to Christianity as the fast growing faith in the West. The ‘establishment’ of Christianity followed quickly and Constantine was the convenor of the Council of Nicea in 325 to define the status of Christ as the divine Son. Slavery was later abolished under Justinian. The Christian way became part of the fabric of society. Establishment in England continues structurally to reflect such influence. But this ancient pattern, which of course had it dark side as well its merits, now exists in form alone. It becomes clearer by the day that Christianity as a kind of moral stitching of social value is being deliberately unpicked at many levels. The Constantinian pattern is going into reverse, and this leaves an established church particularly exposed and tempted to water down its message.

The Episcopal Church and Biblical Fundamentalism - a Response

[VirtueOnline] December 22, 2005--Recently, a senior priest in the Diocese of Florida posted an article on the web titled "THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND BIBLICAL FUNDAMENTALISM." Posting something on the web is a little like nailing something on cathedral doors at the time of Luther, it is an invitation to discussion. Because I know and respect the priest who wrote this piece, I will assume he wanted to spark honest discussion.

Military chaplains told to shy from Jesus

[The Washington Times] December 21, 2005--To pray -- or not to pray -- in Jesus' name is the question plaguing an increasing number of U.S. military chaplains, one of whom began a multiday hunger strike outside the White House yesterday.

Vicar's blessing ignores guidelines from bishops,,2-1953129,00.html

[Times Online] December 22, 2005--A vicar who had his civil partnership blessed at a church service yesterday could face disciplinary action from the Church of England.

Priests, Nuns Brutally Assaulted in China

[Compass Direct] December 22, 2005--Mobs attacked nuns in Xi’an and priests in Tianjin during the past month as the Roman Catholics peacefully tried to settle property disputes with the government.

Christmas draws record numbers back to church

[Telegraph] December 19, 2005--The Church of England is experiencing a huge resurgence of churchgoing this Christmas, according to a new survey hailed as evidence that Britain remains essentially Christian.

Where Does Christ Fit into Your Christmas?

[] December 22, 2005--Imagine throwing a birthday party for a friend, inviting hundreds of guests, preparing an abundant supply of food, and decorating for hours on end, without ever inviting him or her to the party. That would be crazy!

Canada Legalizes "Sex Clubs" - "14-year-olds will be exploited"

[] December 21, 2005--The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that group sex in publicly accessible venues is legal.

Group sex neither offends nor harms the Canadian public, argues Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.

Christian school faces discrimination suit

[NCTimes] December 20, 2005-- In what one state official is calling the first case of its kind, two students and their parents are suing a private, Christian high school for expelling the two students for allegedly being lesbians.

True Christian must wish everyone a Merry Christmas

[Tribune & Georgian] December 22, 2005--Dear Editor, You've probably noticed during the last couple of weeks the people, the stores are saying "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas." I guess they want to be politically correct.

Costco Replies to Numerous Complaints Regarding Fired Knight of Columbus

[] December 21, 2005--Costco has received numerous complaints after broke a story about a Knight of Columbus fired from Costco for denying a co-worker a hall for her same-sex wedding (see story:

Christian beliefs are being suppressed

[Quad-City Times] December 22, 2005--Our country was designed so that we have the right to choose to believe or not believe in Christ. It is Christians who are now being suppressed.

"Nothing Extraordinary"?

[Inside the Vatican] December 22, 2005--An analysis of the new Vatican document on homosexuality and the priesthood, dated November 4 and published in Rome on November 29.

ACLU Secularists Defeat Intelligent Design Choice; Lose on Kentucky Ten Commandments

[] December 21, 2005--Judge John Jones, of the District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania, has ruled that the Dover school district violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, usually called “separation of Church and State,” by allowing their schools to teach so-called “intelligent design” (ID) as an alternative to Darwinian evolution.

Related articles:
Intelligent Design Is Too Religious For Schools, Judge Rules -
It’s God or Darwin - National Review Online
Appeals court upholds Ten Commandments display, judge rebukes ACLU as 'tiresome' - Baptist Press

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Church Planting in Uganda: An effective system for the States

[Seed and Harvest] November-December 2005--Ben and I learned several things in Uganda regarding church and diocesan planting. The first was the importance and power of the laity. The growth of the church in North Ankole does not revolve around a few gifted clergy; it is driven by passionate, mission driven lay people. Secondly, the diocese is designed to support the mission of the local parish as opposed to the parish supporting the mission of the diocese. It has been my experience in the US that the parish functions to not only keep its own programs functioning, but the diocesan programs as well. What we saw in the Diocese of North Ankole was a bishop and diocesan staff whose primary purpose was to uphold the mission of the local parish. What was so beautiful was that because of the diocese’s support, the parishes were then in return freely able to support the ministry of the diocese and see to it that it would not only grow, but multiply.

Anglicans mourn Bishop Ereaku

[Church of Nigeria News] December 14, 2005--The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is in a state of mourning after the death of a young enterprising and evangelical Bishop.

Evangelism: Missionary diocese of Western Izon maps out 117 communities for church planting

[Church of Nigeria News] December 6, 2005--The Anglican Communion, which has an ambitious project to double its size to 36 million by 2007, has mapped out 117 riverine communities in Bayelsa and Delta States, for church planting beginning from 2006.

‘Happy Christmas.’ Why in God’s name should that cause offence?

[Irish Examiner] December 21, 2005-- “It is a totally unnecessary example of political correctness to avoid sensitivities people simply do not have,” argued Anglican archdeacon John Barton....

How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus: One Theory

[Zenit News Agency] December 20, 2005--The modern persona of Santa Claus is a far cry from its origins: St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra.

The Church of Ireland - A Church for Ireland in the 21st century?

[Reform Ireland] December 21, 2005--When the foundations are being destroyed....

Lay Presidency at the Lord’s Supper: Opening a Debate for the Church

{Reform Irleand] December 21, 2005--In terms of its present practice with regard to the Lord's Supper the Church of Ireland might easily be accused of a creeping Catholicism. Whereas for the most part the entire congregation now joins in the erstwhile 'priestly' words of the Collect for Purity and the Prayer of Humble Access, or again it is admissible for a licensed lay reader to read, or preach, or even pronounce absolution in the first person plural form, only the ordained minister, and an ordained presbyter at that, is permitted to preside at the Lord's Table during the Prayer of Consecration. In a church which claims to be biblically reformed and reforming this surely must be questioned - if ever there were a case of Protestant priestcraft, this is it! For evangelicals who remain opposed to the use of stoles because of the division of word and sacrament which they imply, such a pattern is tantamount to a 'vestiture of praxis' in that the opportunity to serve for those who are otherwise seen as leaders in the local church is denied at this crucial point. Perhaps the time is now right for some considered reflection and courageous thinking as to how this restriction might be ended.

The Windsor Report and Scripture

[Reform Ireland] November 16, 2005--Following the decisions of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster, to approve 'same-sex blessings', and the appointment by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) of a practising homosexual to be bishop of New Hampshire, the Primates of the Anglican Communion at a meeting in Lambeth Palace in October 2003 not only condemned such moves, but also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a commission to look at the theological and legal issues that surrounded these dangerous innovations. However, the decision was taken for the subsequent Lambeth Commission not to rule on whether or not the Canadian and American innovations were unbiblical, but rather to focus primary attention on how best to maintain the institutional unity of the Anglican Communion.

Have yourself a megachurch Christmas

[Scripps Howard News Service] December 21, 2005--"I think the whole Christmas wars story was being driven by TV talk shows and politics and we just turned into the next day's story," said Mark Ashton, who serves as "pastor of spiritual development" at Willow Creek.

"Ironically, when all is said and done, this could turn into the biggest outreach event that we've ever done as a church."

Willow Creek has, as a rule, never held services on Christmas Day, he explained. The exception came in 1994, which was the last time Christmas fell on a Sunday. After hosting the usual throngs in the pre-Christmas services, hardly anyone _ which at Willow Creek means 1,000-plus people _ returned that Christmas Sunday. This is serious, since it takes 1,000-plus people to operate the children's ministries, youth groups, food services, bookstore operations and parking lots when the megachurch opens its doors on an ordinary Sunday.

Thus, Willow Creek's leaders decided to create a 12-minute DVD this year containing a story _ entitled "Emmanuel: God With Us" _ about a young woman in Chicago struggling to understand the meaning of Christmas. The church produced 25,000 of the DVDs for home use by families on Sunday.

"We don't think that we're skipping worship on that Christmas Sunday," said Ashton. "What we're doing is decentralizing it. ... We're hoping to end up with 20,000 miniservices in homes in the Chicago area and all across America."

Church Leaders Combating National Negatives By Energizing Congregations, Says Faith Alive

[VirtueOnline] December 21, 2005--Faith Alive is ramping up to meet new demands for ministry as an increasing number of churches look to its lay witness weekend as an opportunity to keep focused on how God is working within their congregations.

Bishop Accepts Missioner's Departure as Renunciation

[VirtueOnline] December 20, 2005--On Monday, Dec. 19, 2005, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, accepted the written statement of departure from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church of the Rev. Phil Ashey as a notice of renunciation of the ordained Ministry of the Episcopal Church under Canon III.13 of the Episcopal Church Canons.

Without A Website a Church Is Not On the Roadmap, Says Expert

[The Christian Post] December 20, 2005--A church without a website is a church that's not on the roadmap, according to the head of a Web development company that specializes in building websites for larger congregations.

In the 21st Century a website is a must for churches seeking to pursue and reach the unchurched.

Christian Student Club Denied Official Status over Homosexuality Restrictions

[The Christian Post] December 20, 2005--The number of California universities in conflict with Christian organizations or clubs increased by one this week in a case where a campus group is being denied recognition because it denies membership to homosexuals.

The War Against The Light

[The Wanderer] December 22, 2005--We elderly and semi-elderly people can still remember a time when nothing was less controversial than the words “Merry Christmas.” If you said them in July, of course, you might be regarded as more than a little eccentric, perhaps in need of professional help of some kind, but even then people would have been puzzled, not offended.

Noted U.S. Psychologists Condemn Gay Activist Influence on APA

[] December 20, 2005--Accuse mental-health associations of allowing gay activists to distort research.

Dispatches from the War on Christmas

[CitizenLink] December 14, 2005--CitizenLink readers weigh in with stories from the front lines on the battle to call the Dec. 25 holiday by its actual name.

1st Amendment 'doesn't create church-state wall of separation'

[WorldNetDaily] December 20, 2005--Court whacks civil-liberties group, OKs Ten Commandments display.

Catholic Church again protests against registered partnership;story=Catholic-Church-again-protests-against-registered-partnership

[Prague Daily Monitor] December 19, 2005--The Catholic Church again sharply protested against the bill on registered partnership of same-sex couples passed by the Chamber of Deputies on Friday in a statement issued by the Catholic Bishops' Conference today.

UK Church Leaders Speak Out Against Anti-Christmas Trend

[] December 21, 2005--As Christmas nears, religious leaders here have launched an unprecedented attack on "political correctness" and what they call the increasing secularization of the holiday.

Appeals Court Approves Ten Commandments Display in Kentucky

[] December 21, 2005-- A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of keeping the Ten Commandments in a display of historical documents at the courthouse in Mercer County, Ky.

Fewer services doesn't mean lesser Christmas, syas ministers

[] December 22, 2005--Amidst verseas media reports of US 'mega churches' shutting down Sunday services at Christmas, Sydney Anglicans have offered their ownexplanation for reduced gatherings this year.

Stop apologising for being Christian

[Telegraph] December 21, 2005--A measure of the sort of country we now live in - or fear we live in - was to be found on the front of Monday's Daily Telegraph. "Stand up for Christmas, archbishops tell their flocks", our headline read.

The Fight Before Christmas,8599,1139412,00.html

[Time Online Edition] December 9, 2005--Evangelicals split over the decision by some megachurches to close on Christmas Day. Inside the controversy.

Western Isles votes to ban gay wedding ceremonies

[The Herald] December 19, 2005--The Western Isles is to become the only region in Britain to ban gay wedding ceremonies, it emerged yesterday.

Twisted tradition

[The Age] December 21, 2005--Christmas means many things to many people. To some, it's a celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which we commemorate by exchanging gift vouchers and consuming enough carbs to last us until autumn.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The House of Bishops: a generation of vipers

[VirtueOnline] December 19, 2005--By now, it must be apparent to orthodox evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parishes caught in revisionist dioceses, that their days are numbered.

Scottish Gays Say 'I Do'

[] December 20, 2005-- Seven gay and lesbian couples headed to town halls and registry offices in Scotland on Tuesday to sign the register and become official civil partners, a day after their counterparts in Northern Ireland, and day before those in England and Wales, did the same.

Three of the couples tied the knot in Edinburgh. One of them was an American couple - John Maguire and Laurence Scott-Mackay who live in Washington but who have returned to Edinburgh for their ceremony. Following the registry officer ceremony their union was blessed by the former Anglican Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway.

Canadian Anglicans wipe themselves out

[] December 20, 2005--That’s a possibility.

Ousted Episcopal church establishes new connections

[Rochester Democrat & Chronicle] December 20, 2005-- A church that was recently voted out of the local Episcopal diocese has aligned itself with the Church of Uganda.

Related article:
Excised All Saints here now Church of Uganda - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

O Come, Let Us Ignore Him

[The Christian Post] December 19, 2005--The war waged against Christmas has been horrendous this year. Cities have refused to allow for public Nativity displays. Public schools have forbidden Christmas religious themes and decorations, revised old Christmas hymns and replaced the words with secular phrases. Retailers have substituted the Merry Christmas greeting with Happy Holidays. Christmas trees have been renamed Holiday trees.

CHRISTMAS - it's all in the word

[VirtueOnline] December 20, 2005--We have seen a secular (could we say sinister) attempt to eliminate "Merry Christmas" and replace it with "Happy Holiday". Take away the name to take away the message.

Catholic, Protestant Divide

[VirtueOnline] December 19, 2005--In recent times there has been a rekindling of the effort to reconcile Rome with Anglican Protestants. I do not condemn such effort, but I have to point out that there are differences and that it will take years of hard work between men of good will. If John Calvin and the Vatican could talk of reunion way back then, there is much good to say about the current talks. Of course, remember that Calvin's underlings were against reconciliation because it affected their positions.

Sticking Points

[] December 20, 2005--Despite recent rapprochement, evangelicals and Catholics remain far apart on key issues.

Do all roads really lead to heaven?

[Baptist Press] December 19, 2005--A documentary from ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters, titled "Heaven: where is it? And how do we get there?" airs Tuesday night, Dec. 20, purporting to bring viewers closer to the celestial abode than they may have ever been.

Truth, Christmas, and the Eucharist

[] December 20, 2005--Why I didn't like the hymns and praise songs we were singing—and why I was missing the point.

Fray over ‘Christmas’ fuels SBC leader’s column, novella

[Baptist Press] December 19, 2005--Author, lawyer and Southern Baptist missions leader Randy Singer has entered the national debate over the appropriateness and legality of public religious expressions during the Christmas season with the publication of his newest novel and a column in USA Today.

A Year of Violence Against India's Catholics

[] December 20, 2005--As Catholic believers across India gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus, many will carry physical or emotional scars as a result of attacks launched by Hindu extremists over the past year.

All Major U.S. Media Lean Left Except Fox News and Washington Times, UCLA Study Finds

[] December 19, 2005--While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

City Sued for Banning Christian Dancers from Performing in Holiday Event

[AgapePress] December 19, 2005--The American Family Association Center for Law & Policy (CLP) has lodged a civil rights complaint against the City of Chula Vista (California) and the supervisor of its recreation department. The complaint stems from a December 3 incident in which a Christian hip-hop dance group affiliated with a local church, after being invited to perform, was removed by a city official from a holiday festival performance sponsored by the city.

Pope’s New Representative to U.S. Had Denounced Jerusalem “Gay Pride”

[] December 19, 2005--Archbishop Pietro Sambi, newly appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, had condemned a Gay Pride celebration planned for Jerusalem last August. Then Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Sambi called the planned gathering “a provocation to the Jews, Christians and Muslims of Jerusalem and all over the world,” reported Joel Greenberg for the Jewish World Review.

Belgian Pharmacists Given Green Light to Supply Euthanasia Cocktail

[] December 19, 2005--Belgian pharmacists were given the go-ahead to dispense lethal cocktails to physicians who request them for the purpose of euthanizing patients, three years after the practice was legalized.

Related article:
Swiss Hospital Sanctions Euthanasia -

Christian schools don't restrain celebration

[MSNBC] December 19, 2005--As public schools walk the line of political correctness during the holiday season, private schools are welcome to celebrate to their hearts' content.

Plano woman sues over Christian pamphlets

[] December 19, 2005--A woman who was told she couldn't hand out religious materials on a sidewalk in front of a school sued the Crowley Independent School District on Monday.

Corporatised churches shun Christmas

[The Age] December 20, 2005--Some of America's megachurches - independent Protestant churches that each attract up to 20,000 worshippers on a Sunday - are reported to be closing their doors this Christmas. They say they want to free their pastors and volunteers to enjoy Christmas at home with their families.

Here is the take of a leading liberal Anglican down under on the media-generated "controversy" over a number of megachurches not holding services on Christmas Day. Please note that she perpetuates in her article the erroneous belief that Christmas was once a pagan festival, the Feast of Sol Invictus. For the true story of the origin of Christmas I recommend Dr. Thomas J. Talley's The Origins of the Liturgical Year.

More Adults Plan to Attend Church this Christmas
[Chritianity Today UK] December 19, 2005--A new poll has found that more adults are planning to attend church at some point over the Christmas period, an increase from the numbers in 2003 and also 2001.

Belfast Witnesses Britain’s First “Gay Marriage” Amid Protests

[Christianity Today UK] December 19, 2005--Belfast was the scene for Britain’s first “gay marriage” today, which went ahead despite large protests and objections taking place from Catholic and Evangelical Christians that have given the stark warning that such civil partnerships would lead to an eventual break-down in families and society.

Related article:
Belfast Lesbians first to “Marry” in UK -
Civil Union Ceremonies Spark Protests in Conservative Northern Ireland - The Christian Post

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Truth About Seperation Of Church And State

[The Post Chronicle] December 17, 2005--Liberals have run off with this phrase, prostituting it per usual.

The Passion according to C.S. Lewis

[The New Republic Online] December 18, 2005--lan Jacobs observes in his book that C.S. Lewis seems not to have been a particularly likeable or interesting man before his conversion to Christianity in 1929. Lewis himself would probably have agreed. Looking back at that time, he recalled examining himself with a practical purpose for the first time and being appalled by what he found: "a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds." He was probably judging himself by standards that would condemn most of us even more severely, but certainly his conversion appears to have infused and changed every part of his life and action.

With fewer faces in pews, two Pawtucket churches merge

[The Pawtucket Times] December 17, 2005--Last summer the parishioners of the Church of the Advent, faced with dwindling numbers and prospects, decided they would be better off relocating to a nearby parish.

Don't stifle Christianity by political correctness, says Carey,,2-1939710,00.html

[Times Online] December 19, 2005--The public expression of the Christian faith and other religions is being undermined by political correctness, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, says.

The Christmas War: Secular and religious battling over the holiday

[Chico Enterprise Record] December 18, 2005--One week remains until an armistice in the Christmas War, when the religious and the secular move on to other battles, until this front opens up again next fall.

Day I was called black monkey – Archbishop of York

[The Sun News On-line] December 19, 2005--With Dr John Sentamu’s recommendation for the office of the Archbishop of York by Prime Minister Tony Blair, not a few wondered what a black immigrant from Uganda had to offer. But when the Queen of England ratified the appointment, Dr Sentamu entered the history books as the first black man to hold such an exalted post.

The Real War on Christmas

[National Review Online] December 19, 2005--Christmas is a time of joy for Christians and, for multitudes around the world, a time of suffering. Last Wednesday, under the auspices of Senator Rick Santorum and the Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom that he cochairs with Congressman Roy Blunt, some of the world's foremost defenders of persecuted Christians gathered in the U.S. Capitol to draw attention to this suffering.

Islam remains number one danger to the Christian Church

[VirtueOnline] December 19, 2005--The Rev. Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo is the international director of the Barnabas Fund based in England. The Fund is a ministry which assists Christian minorities in the Islamic world and in other areas where Christians undergo persecution. Dr. Sookhdeo was recently in the United States where he spoke with David W. Virtue of VirtueOnline. Dr. Sookhdeo is a leading world authority on Islam, author of several books on Islam including "Understanding Islamic Terrorism" and "A Christian's Pocket Guide to Islam". Born in Pakistan of Islamic parentage he converted to Christianity while a student in London in the early 60s.

Caspian in the Works?

[] December 19, 2005--The buzz is that the next Narnia film, Prince Caspian, gets the thumbs-up. Plus: Golden Globe noms; Da Vinci Code trailer; Geisha riles Chinese; docudrama on 12 Apostles; and more.

Pakistani Christians Call for Day of Prayer, Fasting for Repeal of Blasphemy Law

[The Christian Post] December 17, 2005--Churches in Pakistan are calling for a day of fasting and prayer for the repeal of the country’s “blasphemy law,” under which many Pakistani Christians have suffered and even died.

Traditionalist Parish Leaves ECUSA for APA. Priest inhibited

[VirtueOnline] December 16, 2005--A traditionalist, Forward in Faith parish in the Diocese of San Diego has walked away from its building and allied itself with the Anglican Province of America (APA), coming under the ecclesiastical authority of Bishop Richard Boyce, (Diocese of the West) and its Presiding Bishop Walter Grundorf.

Iran's President: "I will stop Christianity in this country"

[Compass Direct] December 18, 2005--An Iranian convert to Christianity was kidnapped last week from his home in northeastern Iran and stabbed to death, his bleeding body thrown in front of his home a few hours later. Ghorban Tori, 50, was pastoring an independent house church of convert Christians in Gonbad-e-Kavus, a town just east of the Caspian Sea along the Turkmenistan border.

Why Do We Preach? A Foundation for Preaching, Part Two

[The Christian Post] December 16, 2005--"In the past," wrote the author of Hebrews, "God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe" [Heb. 1:1-2]. The God who reveals Himself (Deus Revelatus) has spoken supremely and definitively through His Son.

Is The Gift You're Giving Worth Your Life?

[The Christian Post] December 18, 2005--I love Christmas.

Alpine Episcopal rift confirmed by separate worship services

[SignOn SanDiego] December 19, 2005--There are two churches, where there once was one.

United Kingdom Opens Doors to Civil Unions

[The Christian Post] December 19, 2005--The first “gay marriages” in Britain are to take place today despite strong objections from Catholics and Evangelical Christians who warn that such unions will lead to a greater break-down of family and society.

University Administrator Declares Christmas 'Forbidden'\Culture\archive\200512\CUL20051216a.html

[] December 16, 2005--An administrator at California State University, Sacramento has banned decorations pertaining to Christmas and the 4th of July, among other holidays, from her office because they represent "religious discrimination" and "ethnic insensitivity."

Discretion Recommended for British Civil Partnerships

[The Living Church] December 17, 2005--With Great Britain’s first same-sex civil unions set to be recognized under law on Dec. 21, an informal poll conducted by the advocacy group Changing Attitude suggests uneven enforcement of disciplinary procedures spelled out in a July 25 pastoral letter by the House of Bishops.

Courts Are to Blame for War on Christmas

[Human Events Online] December 16, 2005--For generations, Christmas trees, nativity scenes, Menorahs and other traditional holiday items have been displayed in places of business and public squares, largely without objection. Groups could sing carols, schools could hold pageants, children could exchange Christmas cards, and towns across America could place Christmas trees and menorahs in front of courthouses.

Critic Believes Narnia Emphasizes Human Ability Over God's Redemptive Work

[AgapePress] December 16, 2005--While many evangelicals are praising Disney's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as an overtly Christian movie, one Christian author claims the film twists more biblical truth than it alludes to.

To read more articles from AgapePress, go to

Sydney supports suspended evangelical

[] December 19, 2005--Sydney Diocese has announced its support for a British clergyman whose license to minister was revoked by the Bishop of Southwark last month.

A religious plot

[The Age] December 18, 2005--The Chronicles of Narnia has done the unthinkable - it's put Christianity smack-bang in the middle of a pop-cultural debate. Stephanie Bunbury spoke with Tilda Swinton and the Kiwi director Andrew Adamson about the film's "hidden" meaning.

Archbishop attacks 'PC' Christmas

[BBC News] December 18, 2005--Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said "silly bureaucrats" wanted to wipe Christian symbols from Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Church – The Greatest Force on Earth

[The Christian Post] December 15, 2005--The Church is the most magnificent concept ever created. It has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution, and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years.

Chapel Hill Church Vandalized

[] December 16, 2005--Nothing seemed unusual Thursday morning as Johnsie Wilkens arrived at St. Benedict's Anglican Church on Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill.

Then, she saw it.

In bold red and black letters, someone had written "Jews Rule" on the church's sign.

Millions Still Shelterless in Pakistan; Winter Temperatures Plummet

[The Christian Post] December 16, 2005--World Vision is urgently pushing to get shelters to the millions in Pakistan still left living in the open air as temperatures drop.

Would C.S. Lewis Have Risked a Disney 'Nightmare?'

[The Christian Post] December 16, 2005--A newly published letter by C.S. Lewis shows how clearly he would have objected to a live-action version of his Chronicles of Narnia story, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Lewis writes in the letter dated Dec. 18, 1959, “I am absolutely opposed … to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare.”

AFA May Renew Boycott on Ford over Gay Ads

[The Christian Post] December 16, 2005--The American Family Association is considering renewing a boycott of Ford Motor Company after it said the automaker turned back on some agreements it reached with the organization.

Weblog: Sydney Churches Burn

[] December 16, 2005--Plus: Indiana House prayer ban challenged, Wa. Democrats apologize for anti-fish item, cloning fabrications, and other stories from online sources around the world.

Anglicans, Catholics Revisit Joint Mary Document

[The Christian Post] December 16, 2005--Catholics and Anglicans are revisiting their joint reflection on understanding the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in shaping the life and doctrine of the church.