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Jennifer Green of the Ottawa Citizen is on the scene of the Ottawa Synod meeting: NAV CANADA Conference Centre, Cornwall, Ontario. The first entry in her newly inaugurated blog covered Bishop John Chapman’s charge to the assembled clergy and laity.
This morning Ms Green reports on the debate on the controversial motion to recommend authorisation of same-sex blessings in the diocese. The first speakers expressed support for the motion, but then other voices came to the fore.
In Cornwall this morning, delegates lined up at the microphones by the dozens. The first speakers were uniformly in favour of the motion, saying to is an obvious step forward. After all, the diocese offers pension benefits to same sex couples. It seems absurd that it would not bless their existing marriages.
ople spoke out against it and they did not seem like anti-gay Neanderthals.
She sounds surprised.
George Sinclair, pastor at St. Alban’s in Ottawa, said that if the church passed the motion, “We are saying we are smarter than Jesus. We are saying Jesus was wrong and we are right.”
not mention if anyone has raised the Windsor Report or the Dar es Salaam Communiqué.
The debate goes on. She promises to let us know the result of the vote as soon as it becomes available.
Next week, Montreal Synod will consider an almost identical motion.
UPDATE: Kendall Harmon gets the news out before Ms Green: The motion was passed 177 to 97.
One Ottawa Anglican appears to think it likely that Bp Chapman will accept the motion and allow SSBs in the diocese.
Previous related posts:
RLCC Comment: Everywhere, homosexuality rips the churches apart in the process of separating the sheep from the goats. Those who choose no homosexuality will be further refined into those who choose no war and no greed but rather the full spirit of the New Commandment and, therefore, doing the deeds called for by Jesus Christ bringing forth on earth as it is in heaven, feeding the lambs and sheep.
Proselytizing homosexuality: False-Christianity
Our main post on the subject: "Homosexuals: What they ignore"
I trackbacked to this lady’s website and found it to be well worth the visit. Homosexuality is such a divisive topic within the church, some think it may very well make or break many denominations. I think that any of us could benefit to listening to her story. Her testimony is entitled “The Peace of God”. It is thoughtful, respectful and displays a deep and authentic love for the Lord. It is also well written. No matter what your position on this issue, please take the time to read her entire story. For those of you who are are not familiar with anyone who is gay you may be surprised at what you find.
RLCC Comment: The homosexuals have been being given only the false-conservative reaction to their error. It is time they hear the truth from real liberals. They are ignoring the harm done to children and the whole of society by the diseases caused and spread by homosexuality, itself a disease. Only selfish souls would continue ignoring these things and not change.
We tell them to warn them to stop, turn, repent of their selfishness, and be healed.
CHURCH AND STATE
Public outcries can have positive results. Such is the case in this story. Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly likes to call these sort of battles part of a “culture war”. I believe there’s more to it than that…I believe it’s part of a spiritual battle that goes on every day whether some people recognize it or not.
This from FOXNews:
WASHINGTON — The Architect of the Capitol, responding to a public outcry, ruled Thursday that, from now on, the word “God” may be inscribed on certificates accompanying flags that have flown over the U.S. Capitol.
Acting Architect Stephen T Ayers said in a statement that the policy of disallowing political and religious statements on flag certificates has been inconsistently applied and does not fulfill the objectives of the office.
“It is inappropriate and beyond the scope of this agency’s responsibilities to censor messages from members,” Ayers said.
“The Architect’s role is to certify that flags are appropriately flown over the U.S. Capitol, and any messages on the flag certificates are personal and between a Member of Congress and his or her constituents,” Ayers said.
“The Office of the Architect of the Capitol is a service organization. Flying the flags over the Capitol is an important constituent service for Members of Congress. When one of our services or policies doesn’t effectively serve Members of Congress or the American public, it needs to be changed immediately,” he added.
The issue gained widespread attention this week after 17-year-old Andrew Larochelle of Dayton, Ohio, inquired to his congressman, Rep. Michael Turner, why the personal inscription he requested to go with his flag was censored.
The message — to accompany a flag he had bought from Congress for $9 to be flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his grandfather Marcel LaRochelle — read: “In honor of my grandfather Marcel Larochelle, and his dedication and love of God, country and family.”
The flag flew on Sept. 11, Marcel Larochelle’s birthday. But when Andrew finally received the flag in the mail on Sept. 30, “God” was taken out of his note.
Andrew said he was surprised God’s name had been omitted and couldn’t understand why his free speech rights had been infringed. The Eagle Scout said he included God in his dedication because his grandfather is “very devoted to his faith.”
“His faith life is just very vital to him, he is very God-centered and relies on God whenever he needs strength,” Andrew told FOX News. “Without God in the certificate, it’s almost like taking a piece of him away.”
Note: The U.S. Capitol Flag program lets you order a flag to be flown at the Capitol building for the dates you request and with a special inscription. You go to any congressman’s site and they have a text link: “Obtain a Flag Flown Over the U.S. Capitol”. Prices start at $9 and vary according to size of flag.
Here is what one congressman says on his site:
My office can provide you with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol. This makes a perfect gift to commemorate a birthday, holiday, or other notable occasion. Flags are available in either nylon or cotton and come in sizes from 3′x5′ to 5′x8′. All flags flown over the Capitol are made in America.
RLCC Comment: This shows the mistake of confusing the Beast (the devouring Empire) with God's Kingdom. It is correct that there is no separation of the real Church and the real state. However, the Empire is the false state that will fall. It is the Beast with feet of clay and iron that will be shattered by the Rock who is the spirit of Jesus Christ and God as one.
RLCC Comments are at the end of this article.
My first reaction to this story is to remember that we are all new creatures in Christ for those that have accepted Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Can I hear an “Amen”?
This from Associated Press:
Faith-Based Prison Programs Flourish
RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — Killer-turned-artist Manny Hernandez on the prison where he's finishing an eight-year term: "It's a blessing to be here."
Fellow murderer and inmate Raymond Hall likens it to heaven.
"I love this place," says their warden, Cynthia Tilley. "It's so calm."
They're praising the Carol Vance Unit, founded in 1997 on the outskirts of Houston. It's the oldest of a rapidly growing number of faith-based prison facilities across the nation.
Even as they proliferate, fueled by the fervor of devout volunteers, these programs are often criticized. Evidence that they reduce recidivism is inconclusive, and skeptics question whether the prevailing evangelical tone of the units discriminates against inmates who don't share their conservative Christian outlook.
However, evidence is strong that violence and trouble-making drop sharply in these programs, and they often are the only vibrant rehabilitation option at a time when taxpayer-funded alternatives have been cut back.
Inmates at Vance offer another compelling argument. Unlike many of America's 2 million prisoners, they feel they are treated with respect. They have hope.
"A bunch of cats in prison, they never had anyone show them love — even their mother and father," said Anzetta Smith, who served 18 years for attempted murder before graduating from Vance this year. "You get in the program, and everybody shows you love."
Impressed by the Vance operation, Texas officials have opened a dozen faith-based dorms elsewhere in the state, accommodating some 1,300 inmates. At one dorm, at the maximum-security Allred prison near Wichita Falls, infractions by the inmates dropped more than 90 percent once they entered the program.
At Vance, a minimum-security prison, fights among inmates are rare, said Tommie Dorsett, a former parole officer who has directed the unit's Christian-based InnerChange Freedom Initiative since its inception.
He could recall only one incident in those 10 years when a correctional officer used force. "And that officer overreacted," Dorsett said.
Security at Vance is the state's responsibility. But the intensive, daylong programming is entirely in the hands of InnerChange, a project of the Prison Fellowship ministry founded by Chuck Colson, the former Nixon aide imprisoned because of the Watergate scandal.
Vance and eight other InnerChange programs in Kansas, Minnesota, Arkansas, Missouri and Iowa operate on the strength of Prison Fellowship's private financial resources and legions of volunteers.
In Florida, by contrast, the Department of Corrections has taken a more direct role, transforming three prisons — two for men, one for women — into "faith and character-based institutions" which it runs itself. The department says inmates at the three prisons committed 30 percent fewer infractions than comparable inmates elsewhere. A state task force recommended creating five more faith-based facilities.
The InnerChange program at Vance is open, on a voluntary basis, to men with less than two years left on their sentences. Sex offenders and inmates with bad disciplinary records are excluded. The days are filled with spiritual and academic classes, community meetings and work duties.
Bibles are a common sight on the bedside tables in the inmates' cubicles. Religious paintings, including eye-catching works by self-taught Manny Hernandez, decorate the walls.
Tilley, the warden, said the security staff is asked to treat the inmates politely. The atmosphere can be a pleasant shock to men arriving from tougher prisons.
"In my other prison, on a daily basis there was rape, drugs," said Raymond Hall, who was convicted at 16 of murder and hopes to complete his 15-year sentence in early 2009. "When you come to Carol Vance, it's like a load is lifted. It's like heaven."
Hall had just completed a class where readings included Bible passages and pastor Rick Warren's best-seller, "The Purpose Driven Life."
The instructor, Doug Jeffrey, urged the men to focus on using their resources — family, faith, education — to plan for succeeding when they go free.
"When you got accepted for this program, maybe that was the first time you realized God has a plan for you," Jeffrey said. "You guys are a chosen nation. You go out from prison with a different mind-set from guys not in this program."
Each inmate is assigned a volunteer mentor who provides counseling before and after release, assisting with job hunting and housing. Outgoing inmates are feted at a graduation ceremony, then leave the prison with their mentor — a sharp contrast to most Texas inmates, who exit with no assistance beyond $50 and directions to the bus station.
Florida's program also welcomes help from a wide range of volunteers, mostly but not exclusively from Christian organizations. Among them is Allison DeFoor, a former sheriff and judge who volunteers at the Lawtey prison near Jacksonville.
"It didn't feel like any prison I'd been to in my life," DeFoor said. "It felt more like a college."
However, the department's chaplaincy director, Alex Taylor, sees possible problems ahead if well-motivated inmates are concentrated in a few facilities.
"These type of inmates have a calming effect — they help maintain good work levels and good behavior," Taylor said. "If we put them all in one institution, it could have a bad effect on the bad guys elsewhere."
Elizabeth Alexander, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, has qualms about whether the faith-based programs are fair to non-Christian inmates but hesitates to criticize them because they fill a void. Two decades of tough-on-crime policies have sharply reduced the number of rehabilitative prison programs, she said, and volunteer-driven religious initiatives offer states a low-cost way to meet some of the demand.
In all, at least 10 states now have faith-based prison dorms. The Corrections Corporation of America, which operates private prisons, has separate "faith pods" housing about 1,660 inmates at 24 prisons in 13 states.
"The inmates have far fewer discipline issues," said CCA's John Lanz.
While disciplinary trends have been easy to track, it's been harder to compile data proving that faith-based programs succeed at their core mission — reducing recidivism.
Nationally, federal experts estimate that two-thirds of inmates released from state prisons are re-arrested for serious offenses within three years, and 52 percent go back behind bars. Proponents of faith-based programs insist they can achieve lower rates. But supportive data remains scarce, and some skeptics say the programs "cherry-pick" motivated inmates who would be less likely to re-offend under any circumstances.
Only about 10 percent of the inmates released from Florida's faith-based prisons have been reincarcerated. But an independent study last year also found very low recidivism among Florida inmates with similar characteristics who didn't go through the faith program.
Similarly, proponents of the InnerChange program at Vance have touted a 2003 study asserting that only 8 percent of its graduates returned to prison. But critics belittled that finding, saying it measured recidivism only for inmates who completed the program and got jobs, not for the larger number who dropped out and had a high recidivism rate.
"It's not that these programs are a bad idea," said Dan Mears, a Florida State University criminologist. "But there's no good evidence that they work."
To some graduates, like Anzetta Smith, their own positive experience is evidence enough.
He now works for a tent manufacturer and dates a nurse who shares his newly deepened faith.
"There's a team of support that's willing to help with any problem you have," said Smith, 47, after a weekly self-help meeting in Houston. "Our chances of staying out are way better because of it."
Leaders of InnerChange and other faith-based programs say they don't tolerate coercive proselytizing and welcome inmates of all faiths, as well as nonbelievers.
At Vance, the inmates include Quan Pham, 28, a Buddhist whose family came from Vietnam to Texas when he was 2. He's now in eighth year of a 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery committed while he was attending the University of Houston.
Pham said he was comfortable with the volunteers who teach Christian principles at Vance.
"They say, 'Try it, you might like it,' but they don't try to impose it on you," he said. "They don't expect anything from you except to participate."
However, the InnerChange program in Iowa is the target of a lawsuit filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which contends that state funds were used for religious indoctrination. It alleges that cooperative inmates received preferential treatment, while some Roman Catholic inmates — not embracing the evangelical approach — were denigrated.
A federal judge agreed with Americans United. He ordered the program be shut down, and said InnerChange must reimburse its $1.5 million payment from the state. The case could have ramifications for faith-based programs nationwide. It's now under appeal, and the program has been allowed to continue temporarily using only private funds, as is the policy at Vance and other InnerChange programs.
Alex Luchenitser, an Americans United attorney, said his group's primary concern is equal treatment of all inmates, regardless of their faith or lack of one.
"Legally, it's not relevant whether these programs are effective or not," he said.
InnerChange officials have repudiated the anti-Catholic attitudes recounted during the Iowa trial and insist they welcome a diversity of inmates.
Nonetheless, participation by Muslim and Catholic inmates in some of the programs has been modest. At Vance, only 16 of the more than 270 inmates are Catholic — far from the overall 20 percent that Catholics constitute throughout the Texas prison system.
Sam Dunning, a deacon overseeing Catholic social-justice programs in Houston, suggested that InnerChange's evangelical flavor could unsettle Catholic inmates even if they encountered no overt pressure.
"For us to go to Bible study, to hymn sings — that's not complete," Dunning said. "We need the Mass, we need a priest present."
Prison Fellowship's president, former Virginia attorney general Mark Earley, said any move to curtail evangelicals' volunteer work in prisons would undermine the prospects for greater nationwide emphasis on rehabilitation.
"If you excluded faith-based groups, you're excluding the largest number of people willing to be involved," he said. "There's not a whole lot of other people lining up at the prison doors."
Lloyd Knapp, a retired corporate executive who volunteers at Vance, is among those who pitches in.
As a mentor, Knapp, 76, tries to keep in touch with his proteges after their release. At the prison, he counsels inmates who come into a tiny office to share their troubles.
"Some just need someone to listen," Knapp said. "I'm not telling them how to live their life. Everything in life God has given them, and it's up to them how to use it."
A faith-based prison is a privatized prison. Which ones are for-profit prisons? What Christian makes a personal, private profit from the incarceration of others? How can Christians be jailers for the Beast: The Empire? What about the innocent who have been wrongly found guilty?
Faith-based initiatives are taking coerced tax dollars and handing them over to people who evangelize and proselytize in ways that often run counter to the message of wholeness of Jesus and the lifestyle of Jesus's original disciples. The so-called conservatives running these programs are inculcating false Christian views such as the just-war doctrine versus pacifism and the DNA-family-values doctrine versus spiritual-family values and all the other false doctrines to which they ascribe.
Rehabilitation is exactly right; however, why discriminate concerning those toward whom one is to extend the New Commandment? It isn't right to do that. It isn't really Christian.
There is a mundanely political and more-so a capitalist agenda here.
All the people need the New Commandment all the time.
This program isn't consistent with the solution. It's built on half-truths and private gain and doesn't lead to God. Those coming out of it will have to unlearn false indoctrination.
I was walking by the book section in Walmart the other day when the title of a book caught my eye:
“THE FINAL MOVE BEYOND IRAQ,
The Final Solution While The World Sleeps”
Author: Mike Evans
Published: May 15, 2007
The author is a “Christian” minister and a ”Christian” zionist. I picked up the book and glanced at the back cover. I am familiar with this type of teaching, nevertheless I was shocked by what I read. Does this sound like something Jesus would say?
“The U.S. must strike Iran within the next twelve months, or the next president may be presiding over a nuclear 9/11.”
Many Christians, born again, look for some distant figure identified as the anti-Christ, yet fail to see the anti-Christian system that is before their very eyes. In fact, they are supporting it! That anti-Christian system is an apostate church, that is yoked with the secular government, and with secular unbelieving Israel.
Let the bible speak for itself . . .
Mark 8:15 “And he (Jesus) charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
2 Peter 2:1 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
1. Victor // Sep 20th 2007
Interesting thoughts. Here I find myself again on your blog after surfing some wordpress tags. Why don’t you think that America is a Christian nation?
2. giannina // Sep 20th 2007 at 3:20 pm
Thank you for your comment.
See post entitled A HOLY NATION regarding your question.
RLCC Comment: All so-called Christian-Zionists are false-Christians. They are neither Christians nor real Zionists. Zion is the city of peace. It doesn't make war in the flesh. It stands pacifically in the words of truth that shall finally deliver them, already has delivered those who truly believe it, from evil.