Have you ever heard of the Gamaliel principle? It is based on the account in Acts about a Pharisee in Israel who warned the Sanhedrin to not kill the Apostles, but rather let their movement play itself out to see if it was of God. This is fine of course, until you see how it gets applied these days. Now, certain heretics and manipulators use this idea to mean that if someone’s church or ministry is growing, God is certainly behind it. How can you oppose the LDS Church or Benny Hinn, when he has big crowds or they are building new temples? Certainly their success means they are blessed by God, and therefore anything they may do wrong can be overlooked.
John Span addresses this kind of nonsense in this excellent article. He quotes Abraham Kuyper, among others, on the passage in Acts. Kuyper wrote:
Gamaliel’s advice is bad. It is not true that God destroys forthwith that which is not from him and crowns with success every endeavour of his believers. .. How is it that Gamaliel’s advice, so profoundly untrue, is repeated again and again in life? Could it not be just as well the other way around, that to have no success suggests virtue?… Oppressed, downtrodden, molested—can these not be signs that you are walking on the way of God?”
Generally speaking, if you hear someone throwing around this “principle”, it is a good sign to run away from his church/parachurch/ministry.
Retired Archbishop Yong Ping Chung has been part of the Anglican Mission In the Americas (AMiA) “College of Consultors” since its odd inception, but is finally retiring. Archbishop Chung stood by the AMiA in the face of its defiance of both Rwanda and the ACNA. He also stayed affiliated with the group after his home province had moved on from sponsoring it.
In this interview, Tish Harrison Warren is quoted on living as a Christian in the day to day environment of life:
Daily life, dishes in the sink, children that ask the same questions and want the same stories again and again and again, the long doldrums of the afternoon. These things are filled with repetition and much of the Christian life is returning over and over to the same work and the same habits of worship. We must contend with the same spiritual struggles again and again. The work of repentance and faith is daily and repetitive. Again and again, we repent and believe.
CANA East has a synod coming up. Bishop Julian Dobbs writes:
2017 is the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, therefore I have called our Synod, “Reformation 500 – Synod 2017.”
We are thrilled this year to have Archbishop Foley Beach (Archbishop of ACNA) and The Rev. Dr. Less Gatiss (Director of Church Society, UK) as our guest speakers. I believe that Archbishop Beach and Dr. Gatiss are two very significant leaders within the Anglican Church in this generation.
I have asked our speakers to address the five solas of The Reformation:
* Sola Fide, by faith alone.
* Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
* Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
* Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
* Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
It is very encouraging to see activity within ACNA that actively promotes the type of Anglicanism that Cranmer, Latimer and so many others would be familiar with, rather than a watered-down version of the same.
It is predictable that whenever someone other than a Democrat wins election to the Presidency, we start to hear about “fascism” all over the place. Reagan, Bush and now Trump are “fascists.” This demeans and trivializes a term that actually means something.
According to The Oxford Guide to Philosophy,1) Honderich, Ted. The Oxford Guide to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 fascism is:
Political doctrine combining ethnic nationalism with the totalitarian view that the state should control all aspects of social life. Fascism is thus opposed both to liberalism—individual liberty and fulfillment being held to be relative to the nation’s, rather than vice versa—and to communism—class-identity and aspirations being held to threaten national unity.
If anything, the left has pushed an agenda through educational institutions, the State and corporations that has more to do with controlling all aspects of social life. Donald Trump is many things, but he is not a fascist. Like the boy who cried wolf, the left is weakening us against real fascism in the future by throwing the word around whenever they disagree with someone.
The Task Force has now completed its work and handed its report off to the College of Bishops. The report from the College of Bishops says:
In 2012, the task force was asked to develop resources to help guide the bishops’ future discussions on holy orders in general, and the ordination of women in particular. At our meeting this week, the Holy Orders Task Force presented Phase 4 of their work to the college. The College thanked the task force for the hard work that they have done on this topic in just a few short years. Having received the report at this meeting, the conversation then turned to the timeline for addressing these issues.
The Phase 4 report is being formatted and combined with the previous documents from the task force. This report will be passed on to the GAFCON Primates and to our ecumenical partners for feedback, and released to the whole Church in late February. The bishops will pick up these discussions at their next two meetings, in June and September of this year.
The task force’s report does not represent the position of the college, as our formal discussions on this topic are just now beginning, but it is our hope that this document will begin to give us a common language for conversation in the College, and aid dialogue in the larger Church.
We are well aware that this is a passionate topic. We would remind our members of the clergy and laity that in all our conversations, whether they be in person, or on social media, our conduct must always honor Christ, and model his sacrificial love.
In light of the post that Doug Wilson just wrote about the Federal Vision, it might be good to review some of what he said back when the FV was the hot item on the theological market. To that end, here are some of his papers from the Knox Theological Seminary Colloquium on the Federal Vision, from 2003:
I am a little unsatisfied with Medium. It has broken most of my old WordPress posts due to captioning and the lack of footnotes. I’m thinking about rolling back to WordPress, but I’m afraid I’ll break something badly. If the site vanishes for awhile, that will be what is happening.
There is an in-depth look at Rwanda and its neighboring states and the risk for war in this article. It contains some interesting speculation about the possibility of U.S. — China tensions spilling into a new cold war in Africa.
The birth of a Roman was not merely a biological fact. Infants came into the world, or at any rate were received into society, only as the head of the family willed. Contraception, abortion, the exposure of freeborn infants, and infanticide of slaves’ children were common and perfectly legal practices. They would not meet with disapproval or be declared illegal until a new morality had taken hold, a morality which for the sake of brevity I shall describe simply as Stoic. A citizen of Rome did not “have” a child; he “took” a child, “raised” him up (tollere). Immediately after the birth it was the father’s prerogative to raise the child from the earth where the midwife had placed it, thus indicating that he recognized the infant as his own and declined to expose it. […]
A child whose father did not raise it up was exposed outside the house or in some public place. Anyone who wished might claim it. An absent father might order his pregnant wife to expose her baby as soon as it was born. The Greeks and the Romans thought it peculiar that Egyptians, Germans, and Jews exposed none of their children but raised them all. In Greece it was more common to expose female infants than males. In 1 B.C. a Greek wrote his wife: “If (touch wood!) you have a child, let it live if it is a boy.If it is a girl, expose it.” It is not at all clear, however, that the Romans shared this prejudice. They exposed or drowned malformed infants. This, said Seneca, was not wrath but reason: “What is good must be set apart from what is good for nothing.” The Romans also exposed the children of their daughters who had “gone astray.” (Ariès et al. 9–10).
Ariès, Philippe, et al. A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium. Eds. Philippe Aries and Georges Duby. 12th ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992. Print.