In The News

Michael Heidt

Lambeth Inclusion 2020: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, caused waves on two fronts by telling the world that partnered LGBTQ bishops will be invited to the decennial Lambeth Conference in 2020, but their partners aren’t allowed to attend. Welby’s gay compromise infuriated GAFCON bishops, who threaten to boycott the meeting, and angered same-sex marriage advocates. But help is at hand.

The University of Kent has offered to accommodate gay episcopal partners, with its Council stating:

“Council members were clear that exclusion of same-sex spouses, on grounds of orientation, would be contrary to the values of the University. Council determined that the University shall ensure that accommodation will be available on campus for those spouses affected by this decision who wish to be in Canterbury with their partners during the conference period. The University welcomes them and affirms its belief in, and commitment to, diversity and inclusivity.”

Anglican theologian Ephraim Radnor noted, “The Anglican Communion is hurtling, like a train without brakes, toward the Lambeth Conference in 2020. What happens when it crashes into the conference is anybody’s guess.” 

Church of England Backs Gay Sex Ed: The CofE has backed new government required LGBTQ lessons in schools, under the proposed statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum.

“The Church strongly supports the importance of RSE and health education, as a natural overflow of the ethos of faith schools. It is important for children to develop the virtues and values of healthy relationships and to respect the differences in other families,” stated Lambeth Palace.

RSE has come under fire from furious Muslim, Jewish and Christian parents, who object to their children being taught a view of sexuality contrary to their faith. Protests in Birmingham and elsewhere have caused several schools to suspend the curriculum and the controversial RSE is up for debate in the House of Lords.

Forward in Christ has to ask, what’s more important to the venerable CofE, interfaith dialogue with Islam or the rainbow flag?

Justin Welby Leads Vatican Retreat: The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead an ecumenical retreat in April at the Vatican within the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Civil and ecclesiastical authorities from South Sudan will participate and Pope Francis will conclude the event.

Unplanned: The pro-life movie Unplanned has been a box office hit despite being censored by Twitter and given an unexpected R rating. The film is centered on the life of former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson, who quit her job after watching an ultrasound guided abortion.

“It’s a little surreal, if I’m honest, to watch someone play out the worst version of yourself in a film,” Johnson told CBN News, “But it’s also just a good reminder that God can literally use anything from our past and use it for His glory and use it for His kingdom.”

In related news, fetal heartbeat protection bills are moving through several state legislatures, including, Ohio and Georgia. The pro-life laws prohibit abortion if the baby’s heartbeat can be heard. Pray for an end to the satanic evil of abortion.

Methodists Ban Gay Clergy And Gay Marriage: Meeting in February, the United Methodist Church (UMC) worldwide conference voted to ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages. 

The move heartened traditionalists such as the Rev. Keith Boyette, the Wesleyan Covenant Association first president. “I believe that those who engage in the practice of homosexuality are not living a life that pleases God,” Boyette said. However others weren’t pleased. 

“You will be putting a virus into the American church that will make it very sick, and it will be sick quickly. Many of us have members who will leave and have already notified us to tell us so,” said Rev. Thomas Berlin, who is the lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia.

With 12 million members, the UMC is the largest denomination within the Methodist movement and the largest Protestant denomination in the US.

Curious Clergy: The United Church of Canada (UCC) has decided to allow a self-identified atheist, lesbian clergyperson, Gretta Vosper, to remain as pastor at West Hill United Church. The UCC and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) have issued a communique stating that the two denominations remain in “dialogue and cooperation.”

The number of atheist clergypersons serving in ACoC is currently unknown, but at least one Canadian cleric self-identifies as a druid. 

For example, Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck of Saskatchewan serves as a regional dean and describes himself as a “Christo-Pagan.”

“I am a ‘ChristoPagan’,” stated Beck to CBC, “I practice magic, study the runes, and talk to trees and fairies; ...and I am a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.”

Both UCC and ACoC curiously self-identify as Christian. 

Pray For Bishops Iker And Donlon: Please pray for the Bishop of Fort Worth, Jack Iker who is receiving experimental cancer treatment in Houston, Texas, and Bishop Kevin Donlon of Florida, who suffered a pulmonary embolism travelling in Africa. May they return to full health.

Christ is Risen! Forward in Christ wishes all of you a happy and joyous Easter.

O GOD, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; Grant us so to die daily from sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through the same thy Son Christ our Lord. Amen.

Forward in Christ

Proclaiming the Faith and Order of the Church, given to us by Christ.