Here’s some interesting reading for your weekend.
> The CofE House of Bishops has issued some Pastoral Guidance on homosexual ‘marriage’:
Following their meeting on February 13th 2014 the House of Bishops of the Church of England have today issued a statement of Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage.
The statement comes as an appendix to a pastoral letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York addressed to the clergy and people of the Church of England.
The text of the letter and the statement is here.
> But, they have banned gay priests from ‘marrying’.
… While insisting that traditional doctrines remain unchanged, they added that they recognise that same-sex relationships contain some of the same “virtues” as marriage, upheld by the Church for centuries…
Good grief! Do they have any idea how convoluted, confusing and false this sound?!
> Fr Dwight Longenecker: Anglican Church in Meltdown.
> And while on the subject of confusion (gender-wise), I see Facebook users are to have 50 different gender options from which to select!
> Whatever happened to the Gospel? Good question.
One thing you can always bank on is this: if we preach a wishy-washy gospel, we will end up with wishy-washy Christians. If we proclaim an anaemic message from the pulpits, we will end up with anaemic believers in the pews. If radical discipleship is not taught in our churches, we will not have radical Christian disciples.
One of the greatest tragedies of the Christian church in the West today is that we have lost the gospel. Yes, we have lost the gospel…
> The Episcopal Church (USA) Annual Litigation Summary 2014 is here. Shocking!
> Now in some former-Anglican news: Fr Carl Reid moves from Ottawa to Vancouver Island.
The announcement of Fr. Carl Reid’s upcoming move to Vancouver Island to assist in the Ordinariate there is a great boost to our western brothers and sisters in the Catholic Personal Ordinariate in Canada. While the people of Ottawa will miss his firm and steady leadership both in the parish and in the wider community, at the same time they are thankful that Fr. Carl has worked so well with his colleagues Fathers Hayman and Cooper to ensure a seamless transition.
A faithful pastor to the Ottawa Ordinariate community, Fr. Carl has seen the Parish of the Annunciation through many tests which have brought them safely into full communion with the Holy See over the past few of years.
As a pioneer of the Ordinariate in Canada, we all have much to thank him for. The fledgling missions spread across the country are now poised to welcome more people into full communion from Anglican, Lutheran and Protestant backgrounds as well as many baptized but unconfirmed Catholics who are beginning to look to Ordinariate churches as a way back into the worldwide Catholic family.
By the end of this year, the Ordinariate in North America will have around 100 clergy along with thousands of lay members and with more each month. The upcoming round of voting on issues of doctrine and discipline in various liberal Protestant groups will move many more to seek a way into the unity ensured by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. Ordinariate congregations are well suited to many of those seeking communion with the wider Church while bringing their love of English liturgy, music and pastoral patrimony.
Along with ministry to students and young families, many of the Ordinariate congregations have quite a youthful look compared to the congregations that people have come from. Our commitment to the New Evangelization reaches out to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Fr. Reid will bring his energy and experience to fresh challenges while leaving a growing parish in Ottawa. A heartfelt thank you to him and to Barbara, along with best wishes and prayers as they prepare for the move and a new life and ministry (as well as gardening) on the Pacific Coast. May the road rise to meet them.
> Still with the Ordinariate, Another Pastoral Provision Community has joined.
God’s not dead
> Of course He is not! A new movie coming out:
> Speaking of movies, I see Rick Warren and some other Christian leaders want to rent out theaters for the ‘Son Of God’ premiere:
Christian leaders, including megachurch pastor Rick Warren, plan to rent every screen in numerous multiplex theaters across 10 cities for the premiere of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s upcoming Jesus film, “Son of God,” on Feb. 27.
The unusual move reflects the confidence Christian leaders have in Burnett and Downey’s work in the wake of “The Bible,” a hit miniseries on the History channel.
The “Son of God,” an adaption from “The Bible” series, opens in theaters nationwide Feb. 28.
Many religious leaders are citing the movie as a natural opportunity to evangelize. Warren may have a vested interest in the film, since he wrote a curriculum tied to the movie and published by LifeWay Christian Resources.
Cinemark Theaters is scheduling a few large-scale buyouts on Feb. 27, said James Meredith, head of marketing and communications.
“The interest level for meetings, events, screenings and buyouts seems to be on par with that of major blockbuster, tentpole or franchise movies,” said Meredith…
Biblical Archaeology etc.
> Searching for Biblical Mt Sinai:
Where is Mt. Sinai? At a recent colloquium in Israel, an international group of scholars debated the question. At the center of the debate was Har Karkom, a mountain ridge in the Negev Desert that archaeologist Emmanuel Anati believes to be the Biblical Mt. Sinai. Or could Mt. Sinai be in Saudia Arabia, where Moses was thought to have fled after escaping Egypt?
Biblical Mt. Sinai has never been identified archaeologically with any scholarly consensus, though several sites have been considered…
> ASOR has a fine archaeological round up of the week.
If you missed anything from the ASOR facebook or twitter pages this week, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some of this week’s archaeology news into one convenient post. If we missed any major archaeological stories from this week, feel free to let us know…
> They (ASOR) also have Remembering King David:
Why didn’t the biblical authors present a more flattering image of King David, and why did they make his stories so complex?
> Should unprovenanced cuneiform tablets be published?
> Watch N. T. Wright on Paul and the Faithfulness of God: A Conversation about Preaching.
> The Biblical site, Beth Shemesh, features here.
Beth Shemesh is an Israelite site located 12 mi. west of Jerusalem in the Sorek Valley where it exits from the Hill Country of Judah into the Shephelah.
> More ‘Christ At The Check Point’ hypocrisy: In the shadow of death.
… I approached a certain “Christ At The Checkpoint,” (CATC) a Christian conference held in Bethlehem. I wanted the opportunity to speak and honour the memory of my murdered, Christian friend. The conference prides itself on being ecumenical and draws a mixed audience of western Christians and Palestinians. One protagonist of the conference is an Israeli Arab. I hoped that the seeming openness of the CATC towards Israelis coupled with the fact that Kristine was a Christian would grant me a platform. I was declined on the grounds, “there is no space” bizarrely concluding, “this is not what the Lord wants.”
I suspect that I was refused because the CATC manifesto does not allow a voice like mine to be heard…
The Times of Israel has more.
When you find Christ [in the heart], you are satisfied, you desire nothing else, you find peace. You become a different person. You live everywhere, wherever Christ is. You live in the stars, in infinity, in heaven with the angels, with the saints, on earth with people, with plants, with animals, with everyone and everything.
When there is love for Christ, loneliness disappears. You are peaceable, joyous, full. Neither melancholy, not illness, nor pressure, nor anxiety, nor depression nor hell. When Christ enters your heart, your life changes. Christ is everything. Whoever experiences Christ within himself, experiences ineffable things––holy and sacred things. He lives in exultation…
> Divorce – A Form of Child Abuse.
> Religious people are more likely to feel they’re addicted to porn, according to a new study.
Feel like you’re addicted to porn? Your religion could have something to do with your answer…