Martin Davie: A Failure to Take Sex Seriously

Though this article refers to the situation specifically within the Church of England, it does offer a brief, biblical, and classically Anglican response to trangenderism and why the Church cannot (if it is to be truly loving) accept it.

UK: A failure to take sex seriously: A response to General Synod Misc. 1178

REFLECTIONS OF AN ANGLICAN THEOLOGIAN

By Martin Davie
https://mbarrattdavie.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/a-failure-to-take-sex-seriously-a-response-to-gs-misc-1178/
Jan. 25, 2018

Introduction

In July last year the Church of England’s General Synod passed a motion brought forward by the Blackburn Diocesan Synod. This motion declared ‘…that this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.’

In advance of this February’s General Synod the House of Bishops has responded to this motion in GS Misc 1178, An update on ‘Welcoming Transgender People.’[1]

The three key paragraphs in this paper are paragraphs 3, 6 and 4.

Paragraph 3
In response to the call in the July Synod debate for the Church of England to welcome and affirm transgender people, paragraph 3 declares:

‘The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that one body, into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit.’

The problem with this paragraph is its use of the term the term ‘unconditional affirmation.’

It is unquestionable that all people should be regarded as having infinite value because they have been created by God in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27) and because Christ died and rose for them in order that they might have eternal life (Romans 5:1-21). It is also unquestionable that in obedience to the Great Commission (Mathew 28:18-20) the Church is called to welcome everyone in order that they may have the opportunity to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

However, this does not mean that is right to offer anyone ‘unconditional affirmation.’ We live in a world in which ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) and this means that there are many aspects of everyone’s lives which it is not right to affirm because they are contrary to God’s will. For example, it would certainly not be right to affirm the ‘works of the flesh’ listed by St. Paul in Galatians 5:19-21.

As a result what we need to offer to everyone is ‘conditional affirmation.’ We need to

Continue reading Martin Davie: A Failure to Take Sex Seriously

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Episcopal Visit and Confirmation

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July 27 we were blessed to host the bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of Central States, The Rt. Rev. Dan Morse. This was Bishop Morse’s sixth visit to Redeemer since its formation in 2008. He has been a wonderful pastoral figure for all of the churches of the diocese, and our congregation loves him dearly.

The episcopal visit was also occasion to confirm in the Faith the newest member of our congregation, Brittney Howell. Brittney has been a wonderful addition to the Redeemer family. She is a native of Wilson but has served in ministerial internships that have taken her around the country. She is a student with plans to study nursing. Around Redeemer she has definitely increased the energy level and is one more member around here who can dish the vicar’s humor right back to him!

Thank you, Bishop Morse, for your ministry.

Welcome, Brittney, to the Church of the Redeemer and to the worldwide family of Anglican Christians!

Found this on the ACNA site featuring our Suffragan Bishop

Meet Bishop Peter Manto of the Diocese of the Central States

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“As a new diocese, we are working to establish our identity as a working and growing family of believers,” say Bishop Manto. “By strengthening the relationships…we hope to open channels of ministry.” Read more of this interview with the new suffragan bishop.

Bishop Peter Manto sees his role as “providing pastoral care for the clergy in our diocese and the parishes they serve, strengthening the networks of relationships between the various parishes, encouraging cooperation among the various parishes, and initiating outreach into each region—all the while being certain that we remain true to our Lord and His Gospel.”

In addition to being a parish pastor for over 35 years, he was the church-planter for a nondenominational church in Mason, OH, that he later guided to become Trinity Church in the Reformed Episcopal Church. On Dec. 7, 2013, he was consecrated as the Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of the Central States (Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America). Bishop Manto has been married to his wife, Janice, for 39 years, and they have four adult children and six grandchildren.

How did you become a Christian believer?
I was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and grew up in an Italian/American Catholic home. I attended Catholic schools for junior and senior high, with the latter being an all boys school in Newark, New Jersey. I went on to attend St. Bonaventure University.
I left the faith during my second year of college. I transferred to Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio for my junior year and returned to my faith in my senior year (1971-1972) amidst the campus revivals (Jesus People) and Charismatic Renewal of those days.

What led you to the call to pastoral ministry?
I was part of a nondenominational student prayer group meeting on the BGSU campus that was started by a former hippie-turned-Christian. We were very active in street witnessing, Bible study, and prayer. Many students became Christians or returned to their faith through this ministry, and the group continued to grow. With the help and guidance of a local pastor, the group was eventually organized as an independent church, part of an association of Congregational Christian Churches.

I was involved in the development of the church from the earliest days. I had graduated, married, and was working as a line supervisor in an Ace Hardware warehouse when I was asked to serve as assistant pastor for the church. I was surprised and had little understanding of just what being a pastor was all about, but my life had been radically changed by Jesus and the Gospel. I had a deep desire to serve and please our Lord and so, after discussing it all with my wife and our Christian friends, I agreed to become the assistant pastor of the new and growing congregation.

I was ordained through the local parish and the Congregational Christian Church in 1977. I started a Christian school as a ministry of the church in 1984, and served as principal for five years while also serving as assistant pastor. I moved to Cincinnati to plant Trinity Church in 1990, and completed a seminary degree at Cincinnati Christian Seminary in 1995.

Your congregation, Trinity Church, was originally a non-denominational church before it joined the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). How did you become interested in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition? How did you introduce Anglicanism to your congregation?

Trinity Church in Cincinnati/Mason was one of several church plants of the original church in Bowling Green, Ohio. The innocence, honesty, and sheer joy of knowing the forgiveness and love of Christ had launched the original group and continued to sustain the ministry, but we needed more if things were to continue. Attempts to form an association of churches failed, and eventually each local parish sought out their own affiliation. Trinity Church joined Christ the King Church, our sister parish in Dayton, Ohio, in that process.

Liturgy, Sacraments, Reformation theology, episcopacy, and the ancient church had become important to us, and the Anglican world was a natural fit. Bishop Grote and the other REC bishops were very helpful to us in making the transition. Learning to use the Prayer Book, weekly communion, and following the church calendar were also particularly important in the process of becoming an Anglican parish. We began the affiliation process with the REC in 2001, and were received as full members in 2002.

How do you envision your role as a bishop in the Anglican Church? What is your role as the Bishop Suffragan in the ACNA/REC Diocese of the Central States?

The same: providing pastoral care for the clergy in our diocese and the parishes they serve, strengthening the networks of relationships between the various parishes, encouraging cooperation among the various parishes, and initiating outreach into each region—all the while being certain that we remain true to our Lord and His Gospel.

How many churches are currently in the Diocese of the Central States? What do you believe has led to the growth of your diocese?

There are currently 20 parishes and missions in our diocese. The growth in the number of parishes derived from helping small groups of people interested in Anglicanism to form mission works. The bishop assists these groups in establishing an Anglican identity and finding ways to grow in their communities.

What are the mission priorities in the Diocese of the Central States?

As a new diocese, we are working to establish our identity as a working and growing family of believers. By strengthening the relationships between the various parishes, as well as between the clergy of the diocese, we hope to open channels of ministry to our congregations and to our geographic region.

What excites you most about ministry?

The opportunity to lead people to Christ and His Church and find their place in His unfolding salvation story.

You have been married to your wife Janice for 39 years. How do you balance your family life with your calling as a pastor and bishop?

Janice and I will be married 40 years in August! My family enjoys preparing meals and eating together, and those times have provided points of contact for our family members amidst the demands of pastoral life. In maintaining these types of events, Janice and I have tried to lead the way for our family in making time for one another and being interested in each another.

What is the name of a book you are reading right now? What do you like about it?

Jewish Background of the New Testament, by J. Julius Scott. The title says it all. The more we know about Judaism in the days of Jesus, St. Paul, and the other apostles, the more we know about the Faith and Church they have entrusted to us.

What do you enjoy doing as hobbies or interests?

I like to cook, and enjoy preparing meals for family and friends.

What do you see as a major challenge facing Christians today?

Individualism and consumerism in the U.S.

How do you see Anglican Christians making a difference in that challenge?

I have a high regard for the power of our liturgy and sacraments in pushing back against the “cultural liturgies” of our day and challenging the individualism and consumerism with the peace and beauty of the Kingdom of God.

What has being a father—and grandfather—taught you?

The reality that other human beings are depending upon me to be a good example.

How may we pray for you?

Pray that I might have the wisdom and courage along with the mental and physical strength and health to preach the Gospel and to love and care for God’s people

Highly Recommended Christianity Today Article (by an Anglican biblical scholar)

Christopher Wright—Learning to Love Leviticus

The Old Testament laws…exemplify how God wanted certain kinds of situations to be handled. They embody values and objectives, on the assumption that people would understand how to extrapolate from a particular case to a general principle and apply that to new situations. So to take all of the Old Testament laws at face value is to misunderstand their original intent in the first place.
How commands can function in relationships and communication. If I hear someone on the street shout, “Freeze! Put your hands behind your head!” I need to know two things. First, who is shouting? If it’s a police officer—someone whose authorized command I need to submit to—then yes. Second, is he addressing me? Likely the answer is no. It’s addressed to the guy who just robbed a street vendor and is running away. So the command has authority because of who gave it, but it is not addressed to me in that moment. It claims my respect—I should not break the law in that way either—but it does not claim my compliance.

Read it all.

The Apostle: Pentecost 2013 edition online

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Hot off the presses! The newest edition of The Apostle is now available.  This edition features stories on Anglican chaplains, introduces a new Anglican publishing house, provides details of Anglican Relief & Development Fund’s work in the DRC and much more!

To read the digital edition, click the image below:

Blessings,

The Anglican Church in North America

 

From C. S. Lewis: “God made us….”

“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.”

Mere Christianity

A Letter from the Anglican Bishop of Egypt

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”(Psalm 121:1-2)

A Groaning and Divided Egypt

14 December 2012

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Advent greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I cannot tell you how much I am heavy-hearted because of what is going on in my beloved country Egypt. Many Egyptians were expecting that after the 25 January Revolution in 2011 there would be no exclusion for any citizen or groups because of their political or religious stance. Sadly, we are still groaning for this equality.

A new committee was formed to write the Constitution, replacing the old constitution that was dissolved by a court judgment. This new committee, which included the churches and other liberal politicians, was accepted with reluctance because it was still dominated by Islamists. The constitutional committee worked for approximately six months however in November 2012 many moderate members and the churches withdrew from it because the draft constitution lacked clarity and the assurance that Egypt would move in a democratic way.

In several Articles in the new Constitution there are some expressions that can be interpreted differently, such as “the government and the society are responsible to keep the authentic nature of the Egyptian family and its integration and stability while affirming and protecting its morals” (Article 10). People are afraid that the word “society” will allow certain Islamic groups to restrict the freedom of people. We have already seen some groups such as “The Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” who, in the name of Islam, punish others without resorting to the legal authorities.

Another example would be how Article 2 mentions that “the principles of the Islamic sharia is the source of all legislation” while Article 219 defines “the principle of the Islamic sharia” in a vague way which can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the different Islamic sects.

While people are arguing about these issues, the President announced that the Referendum on the new Constitution should take place on Saturday 15 December 2012. This gave no time for people to read, discuss and suggest amendments in the Constitution before the Referendum. The Egyptian people were promised that there would be a comprehensive process that would ensure the ownership of the Constitution by all people. There is no time for this.

In response to this sudden decision, the people are demonstrating in the streets against the new Constitution and the Referendum. Others are demonstrating in support of the President’s decision. The two demonstrating groups became violent and more than 450 people were injured and 8 people were killed. The demonstrations continue now and the fear is that another wave of violence and bloodshed may happen tomorrow.

Those who are against the new Constitution say that all parties should be involved in writing the Constitution and that it should achieve national unity and cohesion within the society. However, it is dividing the society into Islamists and non-Islamists (moderate Muslims and Christians). Those who support the new Constitution do so believing that a new Constitution would bring stability to the country and will pave the way for a new Parliament which will be a proper legislative authority. Many people appealed in vain to the President to postpone the Referendum.

As a result, demonstrations continue in many parts of Egypt. It is worth mentioning that many judges have refused to oversee the voting process in protest of the timing of the Referendum. I wish that the President would postpone the Referendum and begin a process of reconciliation and building trust among the different parties of the society, similar to what South Africa did at the time of Nelson Mandela.

It is heart-breaking to see Egyptians against Egyptians. I wonder what is going to happen at the voting polls tomorrow? So, I request your prayers for tomorrow and Saturday 22 December which is the day of voting for other provinces outside Cairo. We don’t want to see Egypt in a civil war.

As a church in Egypt we are praying for our beloved country and its leaders. We also encourage our people to be positive and go to the voting polls to say what they think is right.

I found the words from 2 Chronicles 20:12 to be the words on my lips today “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

May the Lord bless you!

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican
Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East