Church

One in Ten Children Asked for a Daddy for Christmas

This is the real culture war:

A truly heartbreaking story broke over Christmas. A British consumer agency released a survey that showed that the tenth most requested gift from Father Christmas was “a dad” (coming in just behind “snow”). The first choice was a baby brother or sister, which is a heartening sign that materialism hasn’t quite claimed our souls yet. But the stand out figure is one that shows that a growing number of children see a father not as a “given” but as a “blessing” – as precious and elusive as a Nintendo Wii…

On Christmas Day, the Washington Times published some sad facts about the changing face of the American family:

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

More here.

Heartbreaking indeed. But it is more than just a cultural war. It is profoundly spiritual.

My son, who turns 13 at the end of next month, drew this illustration a couple of years ago. (Traditionalists please forgive the orientation). I keep it in my Bible and it serves to remind me of my responsibility towards him and his sister.

The other piece I keep with it, tucked in the Bible, is by Dr James Dobson:

Through the Darkness

I’m told that when I was a very small child—maybe two years of age— my family lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and my little bed was located beside the bed of my parents. My father said that it was common during that time for him to awaken at night to a little voice that was whispering, “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”

My father would answer quietly, “What, Jimmy? And I would say, “Hold my hand!” My dad would reach across the darkness and grope for my little hand, finally engulfing it in his. He said later that the instant he had my hand firmly in his grip, my arm would become limp and my breathing deep and regular. I would immediately fall back to sleep.

You see, I only wanted to know that he was there! Until the day he died, I continued to reach for him—for his assurance, for his guidance—but mostly just to know that he was there.

Then, so very quickly, I found myself in my dad’s place. And I wanted to be there for my children—not just a name on their birth certificate, but a strong, warm, and loving presence in their lives.

You see, a dad occupies a place in a child’s heart that no one else can satisfy. So to all the men out there who are blessed to be called fathers: I urge you to be there for the little ones in your life who call you “Dad.”

So if you are a Dad, then please, just be that, and be there! Christlike, and faithful.

 

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Church

Fr Chadwick’s TAC Survey

Fr Anthony Chadwick’s survey of the Traditional Anglican Communion has begun. At the moment, what he basically has done is visited and appraised the existent TAC web pages (most of these are already found by simply following the links here) and made a few further observations.

He has started with ‘the easiest – because the web sites are detailed and kept up to date’.

They are:

Church

Church of England Should Consider Opening Doors to Muslims and Hindus

Good grief! Inspired lunacy:

The Church of England should consider opening its doors to congregations from other faiths including Muslims and Hindus, the head of the Countryside Alliance has said.

Sir Barney White-Spunner said he was concerned that churches in villages and towns were falling into disrepair and not being used enough.

He said he was “hugely excited” about opening up churches to other Christian denominations and, in the longer term, other faiths.

Sir Barney, a Roman Catholic, said: “Personally I think it would be hugely exciting, it would restore life and vigour to these incredibly important buildings.

“The poor old Church of England is faced with an enormous bill to maintain these wonderful structures. I happen to be a Roman Catholic…

Oh dear. The rest – if you can bear it – here.

 

Church

Militant Islam the Greatest Threat to Middle Eastern Christianity

A British think tank has released a lengthy report claiming that militant Islam is the greatest existential threat to Middle Eastern Christianity, bringing Christian communities in the region “close to extinction.”

The London-based Civitas, also known as the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, published the report in December. “Christianity is in serious danger of being wiped out in its biblical heartlands because of Islamic oppression,” reads a statement from the group issued Sunday.

“But Western politicians and media largely ignore the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the wider world because they are afraid they will be accused of racism.”

Titled “Christianophobia” and written by reporter and Religion Editor for The Times Literary Supplement Rupert Shortt, the report details the persecution of Christians in Burma, China, Egypt, India, Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan…

Read on here.

While noting the large-scale persecution of Christians in societies that are  Communist, Buddhist, or Hindu, Shortt stressed the growing impact of intolerance  in Islamic countries.

“In the large area between Morocco and Pakistan, for example, there is  scarcely a country in which church life operates without restrictions. Syria has  been one of the exceptions until now,” wrote Shortt.

“The prognosis for the rest of the Middle East is hardly encouraging: there  is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical  heartlands…