MANY CURRENT EVENTS INTEREST
AMERICAN CHRISTIANS, BUT THE
LAMBETH CONGRESS MAY BE
THE MOST MEANINGFUL
In some respects, the Episcopal Church in America
is nor particularly important. It has become a small
denomination of less than 2 million members, and
in 2005 was dropped from its ranking as one of the
10 largest denominations in America (replaced, it
might be noted, by the Assemblies of God). But as
part of the Anglican Communion, it is a member of
the third largest of the world's churches, after Roman
Catholic and Orthodox.
And it is the Episcopal Church in America which
has led the Anglican Communion into the present
crisis mode by their violations of Anglican
doctrine -- the ordaining of gays and lesbians as
priests, the ordaining of women as bishops, the
confirming an openly practicing homosexual as a
bishop, the blessing of same-sex "marriages" --
even between two homosexual Anglican priests.
Now a large group of orthodox, Bible believing
leaders of the Anglican Communion have met in
Jerusalem in advance of the every-ten-year Lambeth
Conference, and have delivered the GAFCON
Statement in an attempt to correct the present
problem within the Anglican Communion.
One week from today the Lambeth Conference
will begin. Rowan Williams, the present Archbishop
of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican Communion,
will be faced with this problem caused by just a very
small element of the Communion, (the American
Episcopal Church), which represents only 3 percent
of Anglicans world-wide. The GAFCON statement,
as an attempt to return to Orthodox Anglican doctrine,
represents the views of well over half of the the total
number of Anglicans in the world.
And as Lambeth begins, it does so in the shadow
of a secret meeting of senior Church of England
Bishops with high ranking representatives of the
Pope in the Vatican -- the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, formerly headed by Pope
Benedict XVI. The subject under discussion:
the homosexual problem in all of its aspects, and
the ordaining of women as bishops. With respect
to the last item, a preliminary step toward the
ordaining of women as bishops was agreed to
this week, with one more major vote still remaining.
A definite schism seems likely if the vote prevails.
These problems are not unique to the Anglican
Communion. In various aspects, they are being
faced by denominations of American churches as
well. The seriousness and breadth of the problems
merit our close observation. It is sad, indeed, to
witness one "main line" denomination after another
turn away from the Bible centered principles on
which they were founded and follow instead some
heresy-du-jour. To the extent that those same
problems exist here, the attempt to resolve them
from within the denomination is certainly worth our
As gasoline prices continue to soar, some
Christians are turning to God and prayer in an
effort to lessen the financial burden. The program
is called the "Pray at the Pump Movement," and
was founded by Rocky Twyman, a church music
director from Rockville, MD. He has led prayer
vigils at various gas stations across the country,
and last week held prayer on the steps of the
Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington. His
initial goal is to get the Saudis to release 1.2
million barrels of oil a day for six months. He says
he is now going to move into a more active phase
than just prayer, believing that faith without works
Who are you more likely to know, a person
who is an Evangelical or one who is a homosexual?
According to a new study by Ellison Research only
24% of Americans who are not Evangelical say
they know an Evangelical well, compared with 53%
who say they know a homosexual well. The facts
behind this comparison should be noted -- less than
10% of the population are homosexuals, while just
over 17% are Evangelicals. Many questions arise
from the study; among them: Are the homosexuals
more open, more proud of what they are than the
Evangelicals? Or: Are Evangelical less likely to
reach out to the community in which they live?
Those questions are worth thinking about.
A thought about the 4th of July: perhaps a few
days late, but timeless and applicable. Rick Lance,
executive director of Alabama Baptist State Board
of Missions wrote in Baptist News: "History, liberty
and responsibility are the three words which
come to my mind as we celebrate the Fourth of
July. Americans aren't better than any other
people in the world. But for providential reasons
we have been blessed with a history that tells our
story, a story of liberty and responsibility. Perhaps
Viktor Frankel was right when he said, 'Americans
need a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast to
balance the Statue of Liberty on the east coast.'
That was one European who may have
understood us better than we understand
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
Liberals run amok is the heading for a statement
by Ed Vitagliano, writing in Agape Press: "The
litany of liberal offenses within mainline churches
has begun to sound like the well-worn horror
stories told around a campfire: bishops who deny
the orthodox doctrine of the Christian faith; the
abandonment of the true gospel for a politically
correct 'social gospel;' and the embracing of
homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. The
problem with those horror stories, however, is
that they are true."
About abortion, Pope Benedict XVI said :
"Political leaders have a duty to defend the
fundamental right to life." And what is the
viewpoint of the principal political candidates?
Barack Obama: has pledged to nominate only
judges who support legal concepts at the heart
of Roe ... and the first thing he would do as the
president is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act --
which would make abortion-on-demand the law of
the land, and also overturn every pro-life law.
John McCain: "I do not support Roe v. Wade.
It should be overturned," and vowed that if elected
he would appoint judges who "strictly interpret
the Constitution of the United States and do not
legislate from the bench."
About marriage, Pope Benedict XVI said:
"The union of love, based on matrimony between
a man and a woman, which makes up the family,
represents a good for all society that cannot be
substituted by, confused with, or compared to
other types of unions." And where do those
same candidates stand on this issue?
Barack Obama, in an "open letter" said: "As your
president I will use the bully pulpit to urge states
to treat same-sex couples with full equality in
their family and adoption laws." He opposes the
effort to amend the California constitution (and any
other state) to ban same-sex marriages, and adds:
"I support the complete repeal of the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA). I believe we should get rid
of that statute altogether."
John McCain: "I support the efforts of the people
of California to recognize marriage as a unique
institution between a man and a woman," and
added, "I do not believe judges should be making
With those facts in mind, here is a good approach
to the upcoming election from Tony Perkins, of the
Family Research Council, taking into account the
huge financial resources available to the Liberal Left
through the ACLU, "Move On," George Soros and
Barack Obama's fund-raising abilities:"We may be
outspent, but we are not outnumbered. It's time to
engage as never before ... Join us in voicing your
values on the local level and motivating your
community to learn where elected officials stand
on life, marriage, faith, family and other issues."
Two items which came our way this week; (1)
Naomi Ragen, writing in the "Jerusalem Connection,"
after the bull-dozer rampage by a Palestinian terrorist:
"To live in Jerusalem is to face the fact that here,
in the holiest city in the world, there are vast
numbers of inhabitants who are the kind of human
beings willing, able and committed to perform
acts of sickening bloodshed, breaking every rule
that human beings have created... Worse, they
involve G-d in their offenses, desecrating His
holy name and His city in their maniacal search
for the ultimate act of barbarism to promote their
(2) A posting by "Rudy" on the "Infidels are Cool"
website: "Now Muslims in the Untied Kingdom
(pun/typo intended) are comparing themselves
to the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered by
their old ally, the Nazis. Of course the Jews were
not destroying airport terminals, airliners, trains,
blowing themselves and each other up. Nor
were they torching cars in annual riots, wantonly
raping non-Jewish women and girls, or calling
for Judaism to rule over all of Europe. Oh, and
no one is placing Muslims into giant gas chambers
and dousing them with zyklon-b."
And these quotes from Jesus: "Ye are the salt
of the earth ... ye are the light of the world ...
let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven." (Matt 5: 13, 14, 16)