Sunday, 26 October 2008

There is Evil Here

From the Anglican Essentials blog, Anglican bishops of Montreal and Ottawa have indicated they intend to proceed with the blessing of same-sex unions in their respective dioceses. Recently, the Anglican parishes of the Central (B.C.) Interior also voted to ask their bishop to permit these blessings as well, but Bishop Gordon Light has decided to "...suspended any action pending consultations with the Canadian house of bishops, which meets Oct. 27 to 31," as if we don't already know the outcome of that consultation.

In regards to that story I used the term arrogance, and I take none of that back, but I now call it for what I see it, and for what I believe it is -- evil.

Leaving aside the presenting issue, that of these totally inappropriate, 'blessings', and not even commenting on their rightness or wrongness, the evil I see is much more sinister; much more blatant; much more deliberate.

Because, given the climate within the Anglican Church of Canada, and given the recent request to hold back on such blessings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the titular head of Anglicans worldwide, these Canadian bishops and their followers are embarking on a course, engaging in actions, that will destroy the Anglican Church of Canada. And they know it. They cannot help but know it. The fracture of the Anglican Church in Canada will be a direct consequence of their courses of action. And yet this will not give them pause. I believe the next few weeks and months will see them wilfully and knowingly commence the dismantling of their church. To be even more plain, and here is the unspeakable evil, they are deliberately setting out to destroy part of Christ's body.

Now they might see this as justifiable, purging the organization of those pesky conservatives who hold on to outdated notions of Biblical authority and other such nonsense, but we have been warned about this haven't we.

Take Care

PS: Read what the Muse has to say, Here...

November 1: Update Here...

November 2: Update 2 Here...

Again, I rest my case.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Still More Church Bulletin Bloopers

Mikey's Funnies just keeps 'em coming.

~ This one I said myself during the congregational prayer when leading prayer for our unsaved loved ones: Father, we just want to pray for our unloved saved ones.

~ Please welcome Pastor Don, a caring individual who loves hurting people.

~ Come out this evening for a time of prayer and sinning.

~ A woman's blouse was found at a table in the middle of the servant appreciation dinner. If you lost your blouse, please come to the church office.

~ Overeaters Anonymous meeting will be held at 8 pm in the large room.

~ The ladies in the style show will meet with their dresses down in front after morning worship.

~ A worm welcome to all who have come today.

~ Sermon Outline:
I. Delineate your fear
II. Disown your fear
III. Displace your rear

~ Next Friday we will be serving hot gods for lunch.

~ If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check and drip in the collection basket.

~ Nov. 11: An evening of boweling at Lincoln Country Club.

~ Women's Luncheon: Each member bring a sandwich. Polly Phillips will give the medication.

~ Karen's beautiful solo: "It is Well with my Solo"

~ Congratulations to Tim and Rhonda on the birth of their daughter October 12 thru 17.

~ If you choose to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.

~ We are grateful for the help of those who cleaned up the grounds around the church building and the rector.

~ Hymn: "I Love Thee My Ford"

~ Sign-up sheet for anyone wishing to be water baptized on the table in the foyer.

~ Newsletters are not being sent to absentees because of their weight.

~ Helpers are needed! Please sign up on the information sheep.

~ The Advent Retreat will be held in the lover level of St. Mary's Cathedral.

~ The District Duperintendent will be meeting with the church board.

Take Care

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Arrogance in the Interior

Central Interior Assembly Says ‘Yes’ to Blessings

From the Anglican Journal
The assembly of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) (British Columbia, Canada, JK) has requested its bishop, Gordon Light, to allow clergy whose conscience permits to bless civilly-married gay couples where at least one party is baptized. The assembly passed the motion when it met Oct. 17 to 19.

This in the face of the recent request by the worldwide Anglican Communion who issued, after the Lambeth conference, a request for a moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions. This is the former Diocese of the Cariboo which was bankrupted by having to make reparations for the abuse suffererd by aboriginal peoples in its residential school system. Apparently they are still determined to display the same arrogant attitude that says, "We know better than you. We are modern. We are enlightened. In short, we don't care what the rest of you think, our way is best."
“We had a very respectful discussion. All voices were heard,” said Rev. Susan Hermanson, rector of St. Peter’s Anglican church in Williams Lake, who moved the motion.

All voices may have been heard, but orthodox voices and the clear teaching of Scripture were obviously ignored. And so another diocese heads down the road to the point where its parishioners may as well just stay at home and watch Oprah.
A notice of a similar motion was filed at the synod of the diocese of Ontario but was declared out of order by the diocesan bishop, George Bruce,

At least, as one person on the Anglican Essentials blog commented,the Bishop of Ontario showed some backbone. The Diocese of Edmonton also just held its synod, and the Bishop had made it plain, as I understand it, that she would not even entertain such a motion, so the matter wasn't even on the table.

But people like the Rev. Susan Hermanson and the bishop Gordon Light just don't get it. They are strolling casually, yet blindly, down a broad road, ignoring, even flouting, warnings of danger from the faithful; spitting in the face, effectively, of the great majority of Anglicans of the world, including, may I add, the majority of Canada's First Nations Peoples whom their predecessors so miserably abused in the past.

Take Care

Monday, 20 October 2008

If Necessary, Use Words

I came upon this phrase again this past weekend. It is attributed to St Francis of Assisi, who may (or may not) have said something like,
"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words."

I was reminded of what Pastor Terry once said, that the true gospel cannot be communicated in anything but words.

Nowadays the term, 'gospel' is used in all sorts of applications and has been assigned all sorts of meanings by people of all sorts of theological stripes. But the Apostle Paul tells us clearly exactly what the real Gospel is:
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

In short, the Gospel is simply that Jesus died and rose again so that those who believe in him may have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with him. How do you communicate that without words?

Now, I am not trying to diminish the thought behind the initial quote, but I think it applies more to a verse like Matthew 5:16:
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Or another,
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

These two can indeed be shown without words, and Christians are called to do so, but they are not the Gospel. They may be a prelude, or a means of gaining the opportunity to present the Gospel. But the true Gospel of Jesus Christ still requires words, either spoken or written. There is no other way.

Take Care

Saturday, 18 October 2008

I Have Decided?

I played the music for St Catherines Anglican here in Edson on a recent Sunday. I wanted everyone to go out on an enthusiastic note, so I picked for the last song, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." Frankly, I gave a lot of thought to the theological correctness of the song, and here's why.

Occasionally I have opportunity to go into Edmonton on business on a weekday morning, and on the Christian radio I catch programs by Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah and others, many of whom seem to claim that our salvation depends upon our making a decision to accept Christ as Saviour. I always wince at this because some may be given the false confidence that merely mouthing the words of a 'sinner's prayer' ensures their salvation. I'm afraid the greatest example of this is Joel Osteen, who tacks on, almost as an afterthought, such a prayer at the end of every program, then says, "We believe that if you prayed that prayer, you got born again..." I shake my head at such an oversimplification of regeneration. I think this is misleading counsel, perhaps devastatingly so. It is God who gives us new life. We do not regenerate ourselves. We don't have any more control over our second birth than we had over our first.

But the truly born-again Christian can indeed decide to follow Jesus, Indeed, he must, every minute of every day. We must choose right over wrong, good over evil, in every area of our lives, personal, spiritual, business or career. We must choose everything we do by what God says rather than by how we feel. The authority of the word of God must govern every decision to which it applies.

Those who do not yet know God cannot decide to follow Jesus on their own. Because the things of Jesus are foolishness to him. It is a decision the unsaved person is not equipped to make. But the unsaved person must be invited to seek God with all his heart, with God's promise in mind that all who seek will find.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.(Jer 29:13)
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.(Luke 11:10)

Which, LORD willing, will bring him to the point where, as William Wilberforce is reported to have said, "I didn't find God... He found me."

Take Care

Friday, 17 October 2008

More Church Bulletin Bloopers

From Mikey's Funnies


~ The associate minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge, Up Yours!"

~ The Rev. Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight of his audience.

~ The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's "Hamlet" in the church basement on Friday at 7 pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

~ A new loudspeaker system has been installed in the church. It was given by one of our members in honor of his wife.

~ The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

~ The Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

~ Evening massage: 6 p.m.

~ The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

~ The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

~ Thursday at 5:00 pm there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers, please see the minister in his study.

~ Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 pm. Please use the back door.

~ Ushers will eat latecomers.

~ The third verse of "Blessed Assurance" will be sung without musical accomplishment.

~ Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."

~ Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

~ Stewardship Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"

~ The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

~ In the church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD! Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Take Care

Thursday, 16 October 2008

This Is (Apparently) Not Made Up

From a comment on This thread...
It’s not the most bizarre thing I’ve seen this week (month?) from the ACoC though; that has to be a Hallows Eve resource handout from the Ottawa Diocese Christian Education distribution list which includes an “Evening Hymn for Autumn” to sing around “your smiling Halloween jack o’lantern”. Lyrics (I’m not making this up) are:
"O Great Pumpkin, O Great Pumpkin,
Give Us Light! Give Us Light!
On An Autumn Evening, On an Autumn Evening,
Give Us Light! Give Us Light!"

The email states that this material was originally developped by Diocese of Connecticut and helpfully suggests participants “check the comfort level of your priest before singing ‘An Evening Hymn for Autumn’ shown at the bottom of this handout which uses the Great Pumpkin language for God”.

The sender comments that this “wouldn’t be appropriate in all settings. Need to be clear who we are worshipping and why.”

Indeed.

Scary stuff.

Take Care

Update: A more complete post on this subject is Here... Apparently this wonderful new addition to the world's hymnody is to be sung to the tune of 'Frere Jacques'

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

When the Jehovah's Witnesses Call

The Ugley Vicar has a helpful post on witnessing to Jehovah's Witnesses.Please read the whole thing.

The JW's are quite strong in Edson, but what should our attitudes as evangelical Christians be? Should we see them as nuisances to be avoided? Or should our hearts be moved to view them as people who need, just as much as anyone else, to come to know the truth about Jesus Christ as God and Saviour?

Surely the latter. In my experience, we cannot argue them (or anyone else) into the Kingdom, even though there are many points on which they are in serious error. It is only God, by His Holy Spirit, who can open someone's spiritual eyes and bring them to new life. Becoming bogged down on points of doctrinal differences can be counter-productive. But aside from doctrines of God and the Trinity, one of the areas upon which I think it effective to focus is our salvation, and our assurance of it. JW's do not have the concept of what it is to 'know' we have eternal life, even though the Bible promises us that we can (1 John 5:13)

I once told a Witness that I had been born again by the Spirit of God. To them, being 'born again' cannot happen in this life. It is something future. But then I quoted, to clarify what I meant by being born again, 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The tense is present, not future. We can know here and now, that we have new life and that our eternal future is secure.

This is where I personally would try to focus. That we can have a hope and assurance by trusting Christ right here, right now, that they can never have trusting what they are being told by the Watchtower.

It is, however, important to be well equipped in any discussion with the Witnesses who come to our door, lest we be caught offguard by some of their well rehearsed and, perhaps to the uninformed, persuasive, arguments. One of the best resources I have found is This booklet from John Ankerberg

Jesus died for whosoever will come to him in faith, and who knows but that might includes these visitors to our doors we may see as 'unwelcome.'

Take Care

What's your theological worldview?

Try This Quiz... I'm not sure how the quiz is scored according to the questions posed (some were rather vague and not quite to a particular point, in my opinion), but let me know how you make out.

Here are my results:

You Scored as Reformed Evangelical
You are a Reformed Evangelical. You take the Bible very seriously because it is God's Word. You most likely hold to TULIP and are sceptical about the possibilities of universal atonement or resistible grace. The most important thing the Church can do is make sure people hear how they can go to heaven when they die.

Reformed Evangelical 89%
Fundamentalist 75%
Neo orthodox 68%
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan 61%
Roman Catholic 46%
Emergent/Postmodern 36%
Classical Liberal 36%
Charismatic/Pentecostal 25%
Modern Liberal 11%

I have no idea how I got 46% Roman Catholic, seeing as how I answered the questions on Mary and the Pope in complete disagreement. It may be that I gave some importance to Holy communion (my Anglican background, I suppose). The 11% in the modern liberal category is even more of a puzzle. As far as I know, I don't have a modern liberal bone in my body.

Take Care

Monday, 13 October 2008

Church Bulletin Bloopers

~ At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

~ Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

~ The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

~ Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child.

~ Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

~ The Lutheran men's group will meet at 6 pm. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel.

~ For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

~ During the absence of our Pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

~ Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

~ The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.

~ This afternoon there will be a meeting in the north and south ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

~ Tuesday at 4:00 pm there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

~ Wednesday the Ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs. Jones will sing "Put Me in My Little Bed" accompanied by the pastor.

~ This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

~ Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 pm.--prayer and medication to follow.

~ The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Belzer; the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

~ Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

~ The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

~ Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to the church secretary.

Form mikeysFunnies.com

Take Care

Monday, 6 October 2008

This is For My Grandchildren

At least it made me think of them.


You might recognize the music from a Sun-Rype commercial. It's by an indie group called 'Her Space Holiday'. I can't speak for any of their other material, but I love this song, and I just think of my grandkids when I hear it.
Oh I like so very much.
So much in fact I gotta wake you up.
It's not that I have words to speak,
I just wanna see you look at me...


Take Care

PS: Jen, I think you could lengthen this and make a great tap number out of it.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A Most God-Honouring Service

The funeral service for Emily Stauffer was the most God-honouring event I have ever experienced, and that includes some wonderful services, concerts and conferences, including Alpha conferences. It was at once touching and joyful. I hope (subject to any possible deference to the privacy and feelings of the Stauffer family) that the entire service would become available to the public. It would make a great television special on a Christian channel. I'm sure parts of it may become available on YouTube and I hope they will be widely viewed.

Many of the media have presented the service and the events of the past week with great sensitivity, in my opinion. Here is a link to some of the coverage by CFRN, the Edmonton CTV affiliate. I hope this link will be a permanent one.

TGBTG

Take Care

Edited to add: Although I link to Pastor Terry's blog below, check it out here... to see the comments that have poured in from across our nation and around the world.

At The Mercy of The Lunatics

Scott Gilbreath, formerly of 'Magic Statistics' has relocated, both geographically (from the Yukon) and blogically (a new word that rhymes, but is not necessarily synonymous, with 'logically'). His new blog is Nova Scotia Scott, a title that may give the truly discerning reader some hint as to his new location.

But to link the content of this post to its title, here is a quote from his blog I found irresistible, especially in light of my own reference to the 'lunatics' a few posts back:
"A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us'." --- St Anthony of Egypt

Take Care

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Please Pray...

... for the funeral service to be held tomorrow, Friday Oct 3 for Emily Stauffer.

Thanks be to God for the prayers of His saints for the Stauffer family over these difficult days. Please pray now for the services to be held tomorrow. Pray for Emily's grandfather Al as he delivers the words Gods has given him. Having prayed in faith that God would indeed give him the words to say, we can now stand on God's promise that He will, and has done, exactly that.

Pray, then, for those who will hear; that by God's Spirit, hearts will be touched, ears unstopped, eyes opened, veils lifted. Pray for the Town of Edson, that through it all God’s glory might be seen in these testing times.

Take Care

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

TGBTG

I have closed a couple of my posts with the above letters. My daughter called me to ask what they stood for. First, I will what they do not mean.

1. They do not represent a new deli sandwich, from Tim Horton's or elsewhere.

2. Nor do they represent people with new alternative sexual orientations.

It means, "To God Be The Glory."

Take Care

I Had to Chuckle

Katharine Jefferts Schori, the top Episcopalian in the US continues to preach everything but the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Included in her latest discourse, all of which may be seen Here... (Warning: this may lead to a heightened sense of exasperation) is this gem:
Cattle were not created to eat corn, but rather grass, and while hamburgers and steaks may be produced more rapidly on corn, it is at great cost to the health of the cows...

It just occurred to me that being turned into hamburgers and steaks is an even greater cost to the health of the cows than their diet of corn.

But maybe that's just the way I see things.

Take Care

h/t to The Midwest Conservative Journal

A Famine of Hearing The Word

I have spent days trying to put these thoughts into words and organize them on screen. I'm still not sure I'm quite there even yet.

During our study of the minor prophets, this verse came up:Amos 8:11 "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD." What implications does this have for today?

It seems to me we are suffering a definite famine of hearing the word of God in these days. It has been kicked out of the schools and out of the public square to a great extent. Within liberal churches, even though it may be read every Sunday, its authority is widely ignored and its meaning twisted by the culture and personal moral preferences. Our enlightened western society seems to be deliberately rejecting, even fleeing from God, His word and His authority over us. Morality has been abandoned in favour of an anything-goes, self-centered, pleasure-is-all model of behaviour.

But notice that, according to the verse, the famine is coming from God. It is He who is sending it. I believe that as much as we might arrogantly claim that it is we who are asserting our independence and our self sufficiency; as much as we may think we are in control of our own destiny, it is not done without God's allowing us to do it.

I think Romans chapter 1: 18-32 especially applies here. God has given us over... to sexual impurity ... to shameful lusts... to a depraved mind. We have exchanged the truth of God for a lie. In other words, we, as a people and as a society have been so insistent in having our own way that God has said, in effect, "OK, go ahead!" I think it was C.S. Lewis who said that in the end, either we say to God, "Thy will be done," or He will say to us, "Alright then, thy will be done."

Back to the Prophets. In Ezekiel chapters 9 and 10, Ezekiel sees God's Glory leaving the temple -- but it does so in stages. It does not leave it all at once. It pauses at the threshold, as if offering a chance for repentance. Is God's Glory and all that it entails; His blessing and protection, leaving our nations? Is it too late? Is this North American society about to be granted what we seem to want? I hope not, but I fear so. I believe it is now leaving, and will indeed leave completely if we as a people do not repent, turn around and follow the right path. Today it is at the threshold, poised to leave if we continue to push it away. Only a great repentance and revival can change what otherwise must inevitably follow.

TGBTG

Take Care