Encouraging Words from Archbishop Beach

I have hesitations about ACNA on many fronts, but one thing that heartens me is the basic love for the Bible that Archbishop Beach displays. The latest example of that love is this post on the denomination’s website, part of which says:

4) Learn them – What does the verse or passage really mean? What is the context of the passage? How does this apply today to my life and ministry? How many of the 10 Commandments do you know? How many of Jesus’s Commandments do you know? Can you explain God’s plan of Salvation? Do you know any of the promises of God which apply to your life now? Can you share any of the miracles which Jesus did? Can you explain any of his parables and what they mean? God’s people need to learn the Word of God. Learning the Word of God includes studying and memorizing it.

5) Inwardly digest them – This means to meditate on them; reflect on them; and think on them. The Hebrew word for meditate is a word picture of a cow chewing its food. How does a cow eat the grass? Chews on it; swallows it; brings it back up; chews it some more; swallows it; brings it back up; and chews it some more. This is what we do with the Word of God. We are to inwardly digest it; think about it.

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The Proletariat is the New Israel

Berdyaev writes:

In order to understand the meaning of the sociological determinism of Marxism and of the illusions of consciousness which it exposes, one must turn one’s attention to the existence of an entirely different side of Marxism, which is apparently a contradiction of economic materialism. Marxism is not only a doctrine of historical and economic materialism, concerned with the complete dependence of man on economics, it is also a doctrine of deliverance, of the messianic vocations of the proletariat, of the future perfect society in which man will not be dependent on economics, of the power and victory of man over the irrational forces of nature and society. There is the soul of Marxism, not in its economic determinism. In a capitalist society man is completely determined, and that refers to the past. The complete dependence of man upon economics can be explained as a sin of the past. But the agent which frees humanity from slavery and establishes the best life, is the proletariat. To it are transferred the attributes of the chosen people of God; it is the new Israel. This is a secularization of the ancient Hebrew messianic consciousness. The lever with which it will be possible to turn the world upside down has been found. And there Marx’s materialism turns into extreme idealism.

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Berdyaev on Russian Darwinism

Nicolas Berdyaev writes:

Russians are always inclined to take things in a totalitarian sense; the skeptical criticism of Western peoples is alien to them. This is a weakness which leads to confusion of thought and the substitution of one thing for another, but it is also a merit and indicates the religious integration of the Russian soul. Among the Russian radical intelligentsia there existed an idolatrous attitude to science itself. When a member of the Russian intelligentsia became a Darwinist, to him Darwinism was not a biological theory subject to dispute, but a dogma, and anyone who did not accept that dogma (e.g. a disciple of Lamarck) awoke in him an attitude of moral suspicion. The greatest Russian philosopher of the nineteenth century, Solovev, said that the Russian intelligentsia professed a faith based upon the strange syllogism: man is descended from a monkey, therefore we ought to love one another.

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Analyzing the Appointments of Archbishop Beach

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A couple months ago, the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made some appointments to assist him in governing the Province. While I don’t see anything about Deans in the Canons of ACNA, they do say:

Section 5 – Concerning Officers of the Church

The Archbishop shall be the Presiding Officer of the Church, and the Presiding Officer of the Council. The Council shall appoint a Deputy Chair, a chancellor, a secretary, a treasurer, a registrar, and such other officers of the Church as it deems necessary. The Council shall define the duties of each officer of the Church.

Archbishop Beach appointed seven people to six roles; they are:

  • Bishop Ray Sutton as Dean of College Affairs and Dean of Ecumenical Affairs.
  • Bishop Terrell Glenn as Dean of College Affairs.
  • Bishop John Guernsey as Dean of Provincial Affairs
  • Bishop Bill Atwood as Dean of International Affairs
  • Bishop Don Harvey as Senior College Chaplain, assisted by Bishops Bena and Ackerman.

As noted in this post, Bishop Sutton came close to a victory in the Conclave before he voluntarily stepped aside. Bishop Guernsey was also thought to be a frontrunner for the job of Archbishop heading into the Conclave.With that in mind, these appointments look a bit like consolation prizes for these men. I am not asserting that they are, but it is a very status quo set of appointments.

The affiliation of these men and their position on women’s ordination are:

 

Bishop Affiliation Position on WO
Ackerman ACNA, FiFNA Against
Sutton REC Against
Glenn ACNA Against
Guernsey ACNA For
Atwood ACNA For
Harvey ANiC For
Bena CANA For

This group also skews Anglo-Catholic or charismatic, with only one Bishop being notably Augustinian in conviction (as far as I know). I don’t know how much to invest in these observations, but the convictions of these men may show up in policy in the years ahead. It also signals that as much as we thought the election of Archbishop Beach signaled the arrival of a new generation of leadership, there are a lot of holdovers from the last two decades still in power. This is neither good nor bad of necessity, but is simply the reality.

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Rwanda’s Untold Story

This is a must watch documentary. Please devote an hour to watching it:

Rwanda’s Untold Story Documentary from RDI-Rwanda Rwiza on Vimeo.

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Who Cares About Facts?

How many people care about truth and where it leads them? Do they care even if it could cost them their job, their status, or the narrative they use to justify their stance in the world? Precious few care when it comes down to it. A TLS review of the book “The Good Spy” says that “U.S. foreign policy is not fact driven.” It goes on to quote from the book:

“You have the notion that all you need to do is get the…facts before the policy makers…and things would change. You think you can make a difference. But gradually, you realize that the policy makers don’t care.”

As Hebrew prophets from Moses to Jeremiah could testify, this is oh so true. Warnings of impending judgement or sober reality do not matter much to those with hard hearts. As Rob Asghar just pointed out, this is particularly true of cause based groups:

Personality cults end badly, because anyone objective finds themselves mauled by loyalists trying to hold the cult together. (Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer remains a pivotal resource for understanding the motivations of cult-type personalities, who often have their entire identities fused into their nation, organization or holy cause.)

Part of accepting the way the world is involves the realization that the truth just doesn’t matter to a lot of folks, despite what they say.

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Body Bags Found in Lake are From Rwanda

This year, as in years past, Rwandans are disappearing inside the country. They simply vanish, never to be seen again. As I mentioned in this post, people are forced into cars and then are gone. Imagine the anguish of their families, who can say nothing in the Police State.1

Recently, body bags started turning up on a lake that borders Rwanda and Burundi, see here. Now, we have confirmation that the body bags originated in Rwanda. It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that they contain the disappeared from Rwanda, whose families will never be able to investigate this heinous evil because to do so would mean the end of their lives as well. A crude Google translation of this story shows the palpable fear on the Rwandan side of the border:

Rwandan fishermen were more reserved: they recognized that it is the Kagera who was carrying the body but when asked where is this river and many answers become a little elusive. They stammer unclear answers and do not hide that they are afraid.

The fears of farmers and fishermen Rwandan side

RFI went up the Kagera River and several canoes approached the Rwandan side. We headed to a dozen straw huts planted among fields of beans and sweet potatoes.

Suddenly we see people rushing into their huts and others running away. The guide is amazed and says these Rwandans are usually very welcoming. He then shows us two men who are likely to speak to us.

After ten minutes spent persuade them, they end up admitting that the Rwandan authorities have passed the previous day, ie Friday. They would have forbidden to speak to Burundian journalists. We promise not to disclose their names. So they begin to explain what they saw.

“I saw and spend twenty bags”

The youngest, aged 20-25 years, says that he saw the first bodies down the course of Kagera in mid-July. ”  Initially, we saw many bags packed, we did not dare touch it , he said. Someone here has said that this could be a product that would sell. This catch one. When he opened the bag, it was the horror, there was a corpse inside. We closed the bag and discarded the body in the stream. O n did not want trouble with the authorities ” , he assures, explaining as he saw and spend twenty bag alone. 

The second man said that it showed that it was the work of a specialist. These bodies were, he said, a hood over his head. They legs folded, attached so that the thighs touched bust. The arms were also tied behind the back and the same rope was wrapped around her neck.

Finally the other inhabitants of this locality Rwanda joined us. Scared, they recognized that these bodies came from off the inside of Rwanda. But ”  we do not know what is happening  “, they all assured.

Will PEAR USA say anything about this? Will Anglicans in Rwanda dare to question what is going on?

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  1. See this post also. 

Leah Karegeya on Rwandan Anglicans

The widow of Patrick Karegeya is Leah Karegeya. She just gave an interview where she exhibits the grace of the Gospel in how she treats her husband’s executioner, Paul Kagame, and his henchmen in Rwanda. The interview is located here. She calls out Rwandan Anglican Antoine Rutayisire for his friendship with a wicked tyrant:

JF: Tell me about Paul Kagame. How would you describe him today versus the man you knew years ago?

LK: I personally have no words to describe Kagame but I think he said it all himself when he told a journalist, “God made him in a strange way.”  How do you define someone who has stolen your property, revoked your citizenship, fabricated  lies and crimes about you and as if that is not enough, murders your husband? There is no human description I have for Kagame but this is what I know and believe; God did not create anyone to kill, to steal and or destroy his people. There is a scripture in the bible that gives me an idea of who he may be, but wise and Godly people should debate to know who he is exactly.

The scripture is John 10:10, which says, “The thief comes to lie, to kill, to steal and to destroy,” referring to the devil.  Kagame perfectly practices these three elements, which qualifies him to be either a devil or someone acting directly on his behalf. His wise friends Rick Warren and Antoine should tell us better because clearly they should know the difference between good and bad.

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

Antoine Rutayisire and his Dictator

She also exhibits a great deal of mercy for the Anglicans who applauded the maniacal Kagame this January, when he boasted of killing her husband:

JF: President Kagame also made some vicious remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast regarding the death of Patrick. How would you respond to Kagame in regards to these remarks?

LK: The speech was awful, disgusting and embarrassing to those that still have human hearts. It has to be indeed a strange human being to murder another human being and at the same time be proud of it.  Moreover, standing on holy ground, where people are gathered to worship their creator and make such evil remarks.

How can one preach about killing in a place of worship? Kagame is not God; he does not get to go on determining who should live and who should die. To me, this is far from human sanity. Besides, it is one thing to sin but entirely a different thing to be proud of it and expose it yourself before the entire world!  It is human nature to hide one’s sins but it is sociopathic to boast about ones sins in a prayer breakfast. I believe, like the blood of Abel in the bible that haunted his murderous brother Cain, so is the blood of my husband to Kagame. This I believe is what triggered him into confession and surely, it still does considering what he has done since the death of my husband.

I simply sympathize with the listeners that day who were forced to clap their hands for such remarks and I wonder if he believes he received genuine praise or a mere wish to have another day to live.

Applauding a Madman

Applauding a Madman

Finally, she is asked about forgiving the murderer, Paul Kagame:

JF: You are a woman of faith and God commands those to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Do you think you will ever be able to forgive President Kagame?

LK: Yes, I can because the scripture demands me to do it and clearly If I do not I will keep myself in captivity.  Another reason is that when I think deeply I realize that Kagame did not know what he was doing, as Jesus said.  Kagame believed that killing my husband would deliver some peace and consolidation of his power, he lied to himself.  What I know is that my husband is at peace where he is while Kagame is more at war with himself and many others as never before. I guess it is worse to fight with the dead considering what he is doing today to those who are so called “loyal” to him. That makes me consider again leaving the matter to the Lord.

Having said that, I cannot lie to you and say that it is easy, more especially because the death of my husband remains fresh in us as if it happened yesterday and Kagame is a constant reminder which keeps it fresh in our minds.  The bible states clearly that what is impossible to man is possible with God, this includes forgiveness. It will take time and it will be a long process but where there is a will there is always away and i know that it is in the will of God that I forgive.

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The Younger Days of Bishop Todd Hunter

“This is normal Christianity.”
This video (audio really) is from the Toronto Blessing days of Todd Hunter, a decade or so before he became an Anglican Bishop:

What does he think about this insanity these days?

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Hirohito’s Religion

David Bergamini writes:

The dream of the ancestors to rule theocratically and keep Japan sacred for the sun goddess remained unfulfilled. Hirohito had reservations about the dream. It was too insular, too mystical and unscientific. Because of his training in geography and economics, Hirohito could not think of Japan in isolation but only as a part – the leading part – of Asia. Because of his scientific training he could not accept the legend of the sun goddess at face value. He was a devout Shinto priest and believed in the ghosts of his ancestors, but not in a simple superstitious way like most of his countrymen. He would eventually rationalize his creed by grafting onto it the semi-scientific spiritualism of such Western thinkers as the astrophysicist Sir James Jeans and the physiologist J.S. Haldane. Hirohito believed that the spirits were always present and even available for consultation, but only as psychic wave forms permeating the ether. He doubted that they could provide physical assistance to men in battle, as many Japanese believed.

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