To: *The General Secretary of the Methodist Church and Connexial Team*.
In your annual conference you have passed a policy calling for a boycott of goods from "illegal" Israeli West Bank settlements".You claim this is not anti-Semitic. But how else do you explain this strange obsession with Israel?
5/11/2011 8:45:00 AM
Prominent pro-homosexual groups are applauding a decision by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that opens the door for churches in that denomination to ordain individuals who identify as lesbian, "gay," bisexual, or transgender.
PC(USA) has struck down a requirement that unmarried clergy remain celibate, removing a key barrier for homosexuals who want to be ordained. Ordination standards under the new policy remove the constitutional requirement that all ministers, elders, and deacons live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness" -- and replace it with "joyful submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life."
Delegates to the PC(USA)'s general assembly endorsed the new policy last year, but the change still required ratification from the majority of its 173 regional districts, known as "presbyteries." The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in Minneapolis provided the deciding vote Tuesday night.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force describes the move as a "gift" that reflects the PC(USA)'s "sacred persistence, its faithful pursuit of justice, and its joyful celebration of the gifts God has given to [LGBT] persons called to ministry."
More Light Presbyterians, a pro-LGBT group within the denomination, hails the move, saying passage of amendment 10-A restores the denomination's "longstanding...emphasis upon faith and character" regarding ordination.
"Now, faithful and qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Presbyterians can openly serve the church with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love," notes a spokesperson for More Light Presbyterians.
The change will allow presbyteries to decide who should be ordained. But according to The Associated Press, some of those regional bodies are expected to continue to reject candidates who are openly homosexual. About 100 of the 11,000 PC(USA) churches have already broken away in anticipation of the vote, but other conservative congregations have decided to remain in the 2.1 million-member denomination for now.
The new policy takes effect July 10.
What's your reaction to this decision by the PC(USA)?
Please click here to view the article Connecting the "Dots" on Brian McLaren
May 9, 2011 8:12 A.M.
By Mark Steyn
An employment tribunal in Britain has ruled that a belief in public service broadcasting is equivalent to religious faith:
Its extraordinary decision elevates the BBC's core principle to a place in the law equivalent to Christianity"¦
By Richard Gibson
Is the modern state of Israel God's great mistake?
In recent years some Christian ministers have been seeking to convince Christians, Muslims and non-religious people around the world that the State of Israel is in no sense, part of God's plan for the world let alone fulfilment of any Bible prophecy. It seems that many modern Augustinian Supercessionist theologians consider that the millions of Jews who live in Israel are there by theological accident and are flaunting the will of God and must be stopped! The growth of the Israeli Messianic Jewish community is virtually ignored by these good folk. It is more than a little distasteful that clergy would spend their time in theological daydreams about the end of the modern State of Israel, ignoring all that would mean for millions of Jews already living there, they would "solve" one refugee problem by creating another one. Some modern commentators resurrect elements of Crusader theology in order the wrestle the promises of the land away from the Jewish people and, this time in a strange twist, give it to "˜Saladin' rather than take it for Christendom.
Some months ago in the UK, I visited a Bible college for training seminarians for ministry in a particular nation in the Middle East. The deputy principal was a former English missionary to that nation who worked with a para-church mission organization.
He seemed strongly opposed to my own belief that contemporary events in the Middle East are of prophetic significance eschatologically. He disapproved of my own friendship with Tim LaHaye, stating that the kinds of ideas Tim LaHaye represents were disproven because of the collapse of the Iron Curtain, meaning that Gog and Magog could not mean what people like Tim LaHaye have always believed. He said such people as Tim LaHaye and others like him were proven wrong.
by Tony Sasse
There are 4 Laws that affect everyone.
- The Consequences of Unforgiven Sin.
- The Consequences of Living in a Fallen/Defective World
- The Forces of Evil.
- The law of Free Will.
You can run, but you can't hide from these. No exemptions. Real laws, powerful.
Philip Powell the author of this piece is planning a short ministry tour of UK in May/June 2011, when he had hoped to offer the first of a series of books entitled Whatever Happened to the Assemblies of God. That now seems unlikely so it is being published as a two part series in CETF as a prelude to the book series, God Willing. Preparatory to this an early draft of this article was sent to the AoG-UK and Elim head-quarters and, through the kind service of John Glass, General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal Churches (ECC) was forwarded at the suggestion of Philip Powell to Colin Dye , senior pastor of Kensington Temple London, UK. Colin Dye and Philip Powell engaged in extensive email correspondence, which ultimately led to an impasse. During the discussion Colin Dye attempted to embargo Philip Powell, who refused to accept Colin Dye's restrictive confidentiality insistence.
In the mercies of Jesus no one known to us was among the victims in the double barrel earthquakes in Christchurch (nor in Japan where we had a contingent of Moriel contacts).
In the initial hours after the second earthquake we scrambled amidst our prayers to get word that our associates in that city were alright. We know Jesus warned of a unique increase in seismic activity as a sign of His Return, but it would be difficult not to attribute some spiritually emblematic significance to the fate of the Anglican cathedral given the utterly backslidden state of that institution. It has already caved in morally, doctrinally, and spiritually so I suppose the cathedral's demise is simply a reflection of those painful realities, although I wish Anglicans no personal ill and I grieve for the victims of that horrific dual tragedy.
Contrary toÃ‚Â the lyrics in a popular worship song currently being invokedÃ‚Â in the church today,Ã‚Â "These are the days of Elijah", I believe a Ã‚Â more accurate description of our timeÃ‚Â would rather Ã‚Â be fromÃ‚Â 1 SamuelÃ‚Â 3, Ã‚Â "These are the daysÃ‚Â of Eli, the priest of Shiloh".
It is important to understand theÃ‚Â trueÃ‚Â condition and diagnosis that we asÃ‚Â a church haveÃ‚Â enteredÃ‚Â into, Ã‚Â and unfortunatelyÃ‚Â it is not a condition that warrantsÃ‚Â singing about ourÃ‚Â health and well-being. Scripturally, theÃ‚Â Ã‚Â "righteousnessÃ‚Â being restored"Ã‚Â will actually come through judgement not favouritism. According to God's Word Ã‚Â whatÃ‚Â reallyÃ‚Â lies ahead propheticallyÃ‚Â isÃ‚Â aÃ‚Â period ofÃ‚Â Ã‚Â trouble, exile,Ã‚Â and persecutionsÃ‚Â andÃ‚Â notÃ‚Â triumphalism. What we doÃ‚Â needÃ‚Â Ã‚Â is to beÃ‚Â prepared spiritually and mentally. We need Ã‚Â aÃ‚Â deepÃ‚Â sense of humility, and a determination to obey God's Word (indeed, as ElijahÃ‚Â did) Ã‚Â so asÃ‚Â not to missÃ‚Â theÃ‚Â direction the Lord is taking us in.Ã‚Â We must, among other things, not end up trying to protectÃ‚Â Ã‚Â an establishedÃ‚Â Ã‚Â leadership in so many cases in today's church when so much of this contemporary leadership Ã‚Â is actuallyÃ‚Â under God's condemnation ( as John the Baptist and ElijahÃ‚Â warned Israel).