Sunday, March 30, 2014

20 years ago: Evangelicals and Catholics Together

On March 29, 1994, Evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders signed the joint declaration Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd Millennium. Dave Hunt provided an excellent commentary on the event in The Berean Call's May 1994 newsletter, The Gospel Betrayed.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Charismatic pastor drops dead immediately after confessing marital infidelity

A bishop then must be blameless... I Timothy 3:1a

Confession may be good for the soul, but may also be fatal to the body, at least in the case of the late Bishop Bobby Davis. As reported by Daniel Tepfer of the Connecticut Post, Bridgeport, March 13, 2014:

BRIDGEPORT -- A congregation loudly confronted its longtime pastor about his alleged infidelity -- and in the midst of their yelling, the pastor dropped dead.

That's what happened Sunday at the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church, according to members of the congregation and police sources.

Bishop Bobby Davis, pastor of the Harriet Street church since its founding in 1967, was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital.

"After the service on Sunday the bishop's family asked us to remain in the church and the bishop confessed to us something that happened long ago," said Judy Stovall, an elder at the church. "He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness."

Members of the congregation were very vocal with Davis just before he passed out, but they were shouting support for him, Stovall said.

"We were shouting, `We forgive you, we love you,' but the stress of all of it -- he had a heart attack," Stovall said. "I held his head as he lay on the floor," she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "Our congregation is hurting now."

The cause of death is pending further review, according to the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

Police spokesman William Kaempffer would only confirm that a detective has been assigned to the case. "The circumstances are under investigation," he said.

Stovall conceded that the shouts from the congregants did get loud. A woman, who wouldn't give her name, said she had been outside the church at the time and heard yelling coming from inside, but didn't know what was being said.

Davis founded the church with his wife, Christine. The couple, of Monroe, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June.

According to a church biography, the couple initially held prayer meetings in the home of Christine Davis' mother in Stamford. In 1987 they moved to the Harriet Street building and in 1998 they opened a new church facility at 754 Main St. in Monroe.

That building is no longer in use for church services, parishioners said.

Bishop Davis graduated from the Vision Christian College of Ramona, Calif., with a doctorate degree in ministry and a master's degree in theological studies. He was is a certified marriage and family therapist.
Bishop Davis's public confession may not have been as voluntary as it seemed, as reported by Leonardo Blair of the Christian Post, March 13, 2014:

...One source, who asked not to be identified during an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday, said the confession wasn't that clean-cut based on what they were told, and feels the situation could have been handled better.

"He (Bishop Davis) had confessed it (infidelity) personally to his wife prior to the service, and she called a meeting after church with just the members and the members stayed. He wasn't there at the time, he was somewhere else apparently, neither of them were in the service that morning. They had one of their pastors do the service," explained the source.

"From what I was told, she (pastor's wife) told the congregation what he had done. And so, when he comes through the door he had no idea what he was walking into. So it wasn't even. 'We're gonna make an announcement today' ... in a unified way as a couple," the source continued.

"I'm told that when he walked through the door she basically told him, 'Tell them what you just told me,' which is what induced the heart attack, because it's not like he was walking into it knowing," the source explained.

"She said it and he said, 'Yes, that's right.' She asked him to say who exactly it was. And he said, 'Well, it doesn't matter [because] that person has passed. God forgive, let's get past it.' Apparently it was his family members who reacted out in anger, from what I understand. It was not the congregation," the source noted.

"It got physical. One of the sons attacked him. I was told one of the daughters poured water on him. It was like something out of, not even like the Old Testament, but a bad reality TV show," said the source. "My heart is so devastated because it could have been handled in a private manner."

The source, whom Bishop Davis once pastored, said his confession must have been difficult for the family to handle because he was "a very black and white preacher."

"There was this expectation for us growing up as kids. If we fell short we should be able to know that, as our church family, we can confess it in public and kind of move on from there," noted the source.

CP reached out to the Bridgeport Police for an official account of what happened on Sunday and spokesman William Kaempffer said they responded to a medical call at the church on Sunday.

"A detective was assigned to the case. Over the last two days dozens upon dozens of people have been interviewed. Detectives were able to review video from inside the church that was taken by a member of the church. And based on what we observed, there is no criminal aspect to it. This was a medical call and the case is closed," he said.

When asked about the cause of death, Kaempffer responded: "You would have to call the medical examiner for that. That is what it appears to be, but we are not doctors."

Bishop Davis and his wife told the New York Times in 1999 that it was a miracle that inspired the start of their church in 1967 after Mrs. Davis' mother was cured of cancer following prayer meetings at her home.
Bishop Davis's alma mater, Vision Christian College, is affiliated with Vision International College, founded in Tasmania in 1974 by Ken Chant, brother of well-known Australian charismatic leader Barry Chant. The college operates Internet Bible College.

The perceptive reader will note that Miracle Faith World Outreach Church has at least one female elder, an unscriptural practice common among charismatic churches. However, this is the first time I've ever seen a pastor's wife referred to as a church's "First Lady." One might also wonder why a church that goes by the name of Miracle Faith World Outreach Church wasn't able to summon a miracle and raise Bishop Davis back to life.

March 29, 2014 update: It seems that I'm not as up to date as I should be. The Praise Centre, a Pentecostal church in Maple, Ontario (Greater Toronto Area) has Michelle E. Meredith, the pastor's wife, listed as "First Lady"--a position not found anywhere in the Bible. I don't know if this is now a common practice in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, or just among churches of that ilk that are led by people of a certain race.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Scientists discover brain activity related to out-of-body experiences

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
II Corinthians 12:1-4

It seems as though scientists have discovered that some people have voluntary out-of-body experiences, and that he experiences are related to brain activity. As reported by Lucy Scholey of Metro News, March 10, 2014:

An out-of-body experience might sound like something from a paranormal movie or a religious cult, but a pair of researchers from the University of Ottawa have the science to back the curious case.

Claude Messier and Andra Smith conducted a study on a woman who can voluntarily have an out-of-body experience. It had become common practice for the 24-year-old, who said she started doing it when she was a child to help her fall asleep.

Messier and Smith conducted functional MRI scans of the woman while in this state and found that there’s brain activity linked to the feeling of being lifted out of one’s body or seeing one’s body while outside of it. They had her imagine she was doing jumping jacks or roll over while in this out-of-body state.

Normally, when one imagines doing jumping jacks, both sides of the brain are active. But in this woman’s out-of-body state, the scanned images showed activity predominately on the left side of the brain.

“That was a cue to us that we were just doing something different than just regular imagery,” said Messier.

“It was a bit of a surprise and we certainly didn’t expect anything special,” he said, adding that they tested her twice. “We were a bit unsure, skeptical, that this was actually happening.”

This woman was an interesting case, said Messier, because most people have out-of-body experiences following a traumatic event or drug use. While typically frightening – especially for those experiencing them for the first time – this woman was able to do it on her own terms.

Since this study was published, Messier said he’s heard from other people who say they can voluntarily have out-of-body experiences. He’s also seen blog articles that link this study to religion or paranormal activity, but he said those are misleading.

“There’s science that backs the idea that the brain generates our body image and that changes in the brain, very often pathological, can induce the out-of-body experience,” he said.
Click on the link to see the full text of the original article Voluntary out-of-body experience: an fMRI study from Human Neuroscience, February 10, 2014.

In the case of the experience reported by the apostle Paul in II Corinthians 12, it should be kept in mind that he didn't know if he was in or out of his body when he had the experience. More important, Paul didn't initiate the experience--it was a revelation given to him by God--and nowhere are Christians encouraged to seek such experiences. To deliberately attempt to have out-of-body experiences may make a person vulnerable to spiritual deception.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Antichrist Ambrose University College continues on its downward, leftward, and Romeward course

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Matthew 7:17-19

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them
. Acts 20:29-30

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
II Corinthians 6:14-18

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:11

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
II John 9-11

It comes as no surprise to this blogger to find that, thanks to Brannon Howse's Worldview Weekend broadcast (with guest Mike Gendron) of March 3, 2014, Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta, the denominational school for both the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and Church of the Nazarene Canada, is using its Global Impact Week of March 4-8, 2014 to engage in ecumenical activities with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. I've been warning about Ambrose for five years (see links at the bottom of this post), and predicted that the college would go in an increasingly Romeward direction when Jesuit-educated Gordon T. Smith was named President in 2012. From Ambrose's home page item on Global Impact Week (See also the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary item):

March 4 – 8, 2014
“Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission – Together”
Ambrose University College and the Calgary Catholic Diocese

Keynote Speakers:

Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP is Director of the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, DC. He did his graduate studies in theology at the Washington (D.C.) Theological Union and the University of Geneva. Ordained a Paulist in 1975, he served in campus ministry at the Ohio State University (Columbus) and at McGill University (Montreal, QC.), prior to directing the Montreal-based Canadian Centre for Ecumenism for 14 years and working in all ten provinces of Canada. He spearheaded the founding of Unitas in Montreal, an ecumenical center for spirituality and Christian meditation co-sponsored by eight different denominations.

Rev. Dr. Gordon T. Smith is President and Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary, in Calgary, Alberta. Previously he served as Vice President and Dean of Regent College, Vancouver; more recently, he has been the President of reSource Leadership International. He is an ordained minister with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and served with the Alliance as an international worker in the Philippines. He has been the senior pastor of two congregations and is the author of a number of publications, including Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity (IVP, 2013) and Courage and Calling: Maximizing your God-given Potential, rev. (IVP, 2011).

Why this topic?

“Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission—Together” is an unprecedented opportunity to come together to talk about Christian unity and mission. Church unity is a global issue that matters: Jesus prayed in the closing hours of his life for the unity of his followers, and the church’s vocation is to be a sign in our world of God’s reconciling power. The truth is that Evangelicals and Catholics share much more in common than not. The events, talks, and opportunities of Global Impact Week 2014 invite us to rejoice in the gifts of God present in our Christian communities and affirm our shared mission.

Tuesday Chapel, March 4 – 11:15am

Dr. Gordon T. Smith: “ONE LORD, ONE FAITH—ONE MISSION, THE MISSION OF GOD”

With all the diversity between church traditions, it is vital that we affirm our common faith, in response to one Lord – Jesus, the Christ. From this affirmation two things follow: we resolve to learn from each other; we resolve to witness together, in word and deed, to the reign of Christ.


Chapel, March 6 – 11:15am

Fr. Tom Ryan: “THE SPIRITUAL GIFT EXCHANGE”

Some gifts from different traditions of Christian faith--Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic –will be lifted up in the spirit of "receptive ecumenism" with an eye towards an exchange of Spirit-given gifts for the growth and development of disciples in each tradition.


Thursday Evening March 6, 7PM Public Lecture

Fr. Tom Ryan: “CATHOLICS AND EVANGELICALS: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD, ASSESSING THE RELATIONSHIP”

An overview of each of our origins and theological tendencies: differences that can’t be ignored, commonalities we share, and creative challenges we offer one another for our mutual enrichment.


Friday Evening March 7, 7PM Public Lecture (Location: St. Anthony’s Church, 5340 4 St SW)

Dr. Gordon T. Smith: “VATICAN II – FIFTY YEARS LATER: AN EVANGELICAL RESPONSE”

Vatican II is one of the most significant church councils in the history of the church – significant for all Christians, not just Catholics; it opened up new learnings and an extraordinary opportunity for conversation between Christians of diverse traditions, including Evangelicals and Catholics. (Note: For students wishing to attend this lecture and “The 17th Avenue Post-Vatican II Friday Night Food-Fest,” bus leaves Ambrose at 6:15 pm. See “Student Events” section for more details.)


Saturday Morning, March 8, 10AM Public Forum at Ambrose

Dr. Gordon Smith & Fr. Tom Ryan: “ECUMENISM AND EVANGELIZATION: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES”

This session will be an informal discussion of obstacles, opportunities, and unique challenges for Catholics and Evangelicals where they are called into mission together. For example: What can we learn from each other about Christian mission? What mistakes have we made and what have we learned from them? Why do many evangelicals continue to proselytize Catholics, especially in developing countries? Is the reverse a problem too? Who has a vision for what practical expressions and initiative for shared mission looks like? What is the vision? (Coffee and refreshments will be served at 9:30 am.)


Tuesday, March 4 – 6:30 pm

The Serving Together Event

Ambrose and Catholic university students will be serving together at The Centre of Hope in Calgary’s East Village (420 9 Ave SE). The Centre of Hope provides life-changing social services and programmes every day, providing practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, and providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. Ambrose students: Please meet in the Sylvester Atrium at 6:30 pm. Contact: Tasha Klassen, tashaklassen@yahoo.ca


Thursday, March 6 – 2:30 – 4pm

Open Class: “HEALING OURSELVES, HEALING OUR WORLD”

Open to all students regardless of program, Fr. Tom Ryan will reflect on his Reconciliation and Unity study tour to Northern Ireland; Coventry England; Geneva, Switzerland; and Taize, France—all areas of our world where people are working for healing and reconciliation. Come and get a big-picture view of inspirational things happening in our world today that could fuel your own energy and vision. Location: Classroom A2210


Friday, March 7 – 6:15 pm

The 17th Avenue Post-Vatican II Friday Night Food-Fest”

Board the bus to go hear Dr. Smith’s talk “An Evangelical Response to Vatican II” at St. Anthony’s Church, followed by a downtown food-stop at Clive Burger and The Big Cheese Poutinerie. No cost for the first 48 students who register for this event. Bus leaves in front of Sylvester Atrium at 6:15 pm. Book your free ticket by emailing: giw2014@ambrose.edu


Presented by Ambrose University College and the Calgary Catholic Diocese
The blog Muddy Streams has an informative post on the strange and definitely non-Christian resume of Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP. I'd like to know how Ambrose U.C. knew Fr. Ryan as someone to invite for this event. It reminds me of Rick Warren bringing New Agers to Saddleback Community Church to help in his "Daniel Plan" weight-loss program in 2011. How do they know these people? Such associations strike me as very suspicious.

I have problems with some of the things mentioned above. When it comes to evangelicals and Catholics sharing "much more in common than not," the same was true of Christians and Judaizers in Galatia in the 1st century, but the apostle Paul, writing under divine inspiration, condemned the Judaizers for proclaiming a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). Christianity and Roman Catholicism don't share a "common faith."

The question is asked above, "Why do evangelicals continue to proselytize, especially in developing countries?". The perceptive reader will notice that this is presented as a "problem." I prefer the word "evangelize"--"proselytize" seems to carry a connotation of coercion. The reason that evangelism is still done among Roman Catholics in backward nations developing countries is because the missionaries are often those who, like the Reformers, were Roman Catholics, and when they heard the true gospel, realized that they weren't saved within Roman Catholicism, came to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and then left the Roman Catholic Church.

Many people, including Christians, are under the erroneous impression that the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) resulted in the Roman Catholic Church becoming more liberal in its doctrine, but that just isn't so. From Lumen Gentium--Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, November 21, 1964:

CHAPTER VII

THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH
AND ITS UNION WITH THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN

...

51. This Sacred Council accepts with great devotion this venerable faith of our ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in heavenly glory or who having died are still being purified; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea,...the Council of Florence...and the Council of Trent.


The Council of Trent was the Counter-Reformation council that took place between 1545-1564. For a sample of the doctrines that the council promulgated, go to The Council of Trent: The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848): SESSION THE SEVENTH, Celebrated on the third day of the month of March, MDXLVII: DECREE ON THE SACRAMENTS, pp.54-58. These pages contain canons on sacraments in general, and canons on baptism and confirmation. In these few pages you will see several dozen anathemas--ecclesiastical curses accompanied by excommunication--against the Biblical gospel. The passage from Vatican II cited above says that the decrees of the Council of Trent are still official Roman Catholic teachings today.

Global Impact Week is just the latest example of Ambrose's ecumenism. Go to Ambrose's Chapel Schedule Winter 2014, look at the entry for January 23, 2014, and you'll see that Ambrose's chapel speaker that day was Adrian Martens, Coordinator of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. Mr. Martens is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary's contact person for Ambrose's Global Impact Week; he was speaking during Ambrose's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

And what is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity? It's an ecumenical event with Roman Catholic roots. Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, A Ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, has this to say about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
(January 18–25, 2014)

Has Christ Been Divided?
(cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13)

The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).

In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968 these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. The theme of the 2014 Week of Prayer, ‘Has Christ been divided?’ was chosen and worked upon by the Christian Churches in Canada.
On the theme for 2014, GEII says:

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2014

Chosen Theme: Has Christ Been Divided?
(cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13)

The 2014 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity finds its origins in 1 Corinthians 1:1-17. The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance. The initial work on the theme for this year’s week of prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from different parts of Canada, brought together at the invitation of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism. The texts were approved at a meeting of the International Committee composed of members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting of Christian Unity. Being faithful to Christ’s desire for the unity of his disciples, has led to this year’s theme which focuses on Saint Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians: “Has Christ Been Divided?” We continue to be divided by doctrine, polity, and practice, and to maintain our own religious identity, yet our pilgrimage towards unity continues under God’s guidance.
The statements and information packages regarding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are identical for the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. For the statement from the WCC, go here; for the statement from the Vatican, go here. For the information package from the WCC, go here; for the information package from the Vatican, go here.

Here's what the Canadian Council of Churches said about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

Launch of Human Trafficking Resource & Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Celebrated in Calgary

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an internationally celebrated time of prayer, reflection, and study bringing together Christians from across denominations and around the world. This year’s materials were prepared by a Canadian writing team and focus on a theme from Corinthians, “Has Christ Been Divided?” Major Canadian celebrations include a series of Calgary. The Rev. Victor Kim of local host Grace Presbyterian Church notes, “It’s a chance for us to discuss and celebrate what we all have in common, identify what role our beliefs have in today’s ever-changing society, and how it can apply to everyday teachings and situations.” A number of officiants from across Alberta will lead prayer and discussions.

This week will also see The Canadian Council of Churches present its leadership and learning kit for churches on human trafficking in Canada. This resource facilitates adult learning, theological reflection, and common action on human trafficking through a series of reflections, awareness raising exercises, bible studies, and background materials. “With rising incidences across the globe, and within our own borders, we need to understand that human trafficking is human rights abuse, economic injustice, violence; and organized crime,” says The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches. She continues, “As a national council, we have heard from all churches of Christian faith across the country in their desire to become educated in the signs and solutions for human trafficking in our country.” Rev. Hamilton will be in Calgary to preach at an ecumenical gathering on Sunday, January 19th.

All are welcome at the Week of Prayer events listed below, including the public launch of Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches.

For more information, please contact the Rev. Victor Kim at 403.244.5861.

Events

Sunday, January 19 7:00 PM
Grace Presbyterian Church. 1009 – 15 Ave. S.W.
Evening Grace Worship
Officiant: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary, The Canadian Council of Churches

Monday, January 20 Noon
Press Conference with Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton
Public Launch of “Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches”
A resource from the Canadian Council of Churches
Grace Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, January 21 7:00 PM
Prince of Faith Lutheran Church. 2523 – 56 St. N.E.
Officiant: Pastor Scott Peterson

Wednesday, January 22 12:00 PM
University of Calgary
The Loft – 4th Floor McEwan Center, University of Calgary
Officiants: The University of Calgary Chaplains

Wednesday, January 22 7:00 PM
“Conversations of unCommon Grace”
Screening of human trafficking documentary “Not My Life”
And conversation with representatives from Action Coalition on Human Trafficking, ACT Alberta
Grace Presbyterian Church
Information and tickets: www.uncommongrace.ca

Thursday, January 23 11:15 AM
Ambrose University College Chapel Service. 150 Ambrose Circle S.W.
Officiant: Adrian Martens

Thursday, January 23 7:00 PM
St. Mary’s Cathedral. 219 – 18 Ave. S.W.
Officiant: Bishop Fred Henry

Sunday, January 26 7:00 PM (preceded by international/intercultural dinner at 6:00 PM)
St. Matthew’s United Church. 2035 – 26A St. S.W.
Officiant: Pastor Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Siksika Nation

On January 15, 2014

While the abolition of human trafficking is a worthy cause, it's not a cause that's distinctively Christian. However worthy the cause may be, the World Council of Churches and Canadian Council of Churches (which is part of the WCC) are notoriously liberal and apostate, and real Christians should have nothing to do with these bodies or any of their initiatives.

It hardly needs mentioning that the Roman Catholic Church's idea of "Christian unity" is to bring "separated brethren" back into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church. When the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church invoke I Corinthians 1:17 to ask, "Has Christ Been Divided?," my answer is that Christ hasn't been divided, but the Roman Catholic Church and the liberal churches in the WCC and CCC aren't part of the body of Christ. While Christ hasn't been divided, Christ Himself does divide: He divides families (Matthew 10:34-36); true from false (John 8:12-55); the church from the world (John 17:9); and sheep from goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Any real Christians who are still in the Roman Catholic Church or churches in the WCC or CCC should "come out and be separate."

HT: Worldview Weekend

See my previous posts on Ambrose:

Why is an Alliance-Nazarene college named after a Roman Catholic saint?

The Ambrose-contemplative connection

Ambrose University College trains Nazarene pastors using materials from a company with ties to Mormonism

Ambrose University College and "Transformation"

The Outhouse (aka The Shack) in God's house

Ambrose Seminary teaches contemplative spirituality in 2009-2010

Ambrose University College hires Jesuit-educated contemplative spirituality proponent as its new president

Ambrose University College's "Jazz Day" provides evidence of increasing worldliness in evangelical schools

February 15, 2015 update: They're at it again. Ambrose's Chapel message for January 15, 2015 was Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The speaker was Don Bolen, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

Friday, March 7, 2014

10 years ago: Vicky Gene Robinson becomes first openly sodomite U.S. Episcopal Bishop

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 1:18-32

This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour,...
I Timothy 3:1-2b

He told me his name was Vicky Gene
And he caused a scene...

--with apologies to Michael Jackson

On March 7, 2004, Vicky Gene Robinson, who had put the fulfillment of his homosexual lust ahead of his marriage vows and duties to his family, was invested in Concord, New Hampshire as the Episcopal Church U.S.A.'s first openly sodomite bishop.

10 years ago: John Jay Report reveals the extent of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic clergy

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 1:18-32

On February 27, 2004, the first version of a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice--popularly known as the John Jay Report--was released on the Internet and reported that 10,667 children in the United States had made allegations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests between 1950 and 2002.

The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, based on surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. Go here for a copy of the report.

30 years ago: Jesse Jackson and "Hymietown"

On February 26, 1984, Rev. Jesse Jackson, veteran civil rights activist and a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in the November 1984 election, apologized to Jewish voters for having referred earlier to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown." Rev. Jackson's had initially denied uttering the slurs, but recordings of his comments made further denial impossible.

The main thing I remember about the incident was the lack of major outrage expressed by the liberal mainstream media in the United States. It's amazing what one can get away with if one is a member of a politically correct racial minority, and a political and theological liberal. I imagine the reaction from the American political, media, and religious establishment would have been somewhat different if anti-Jewish slurs had been uttered by, say, Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ambrose University College's "Jazz Day" provides evidence of increasing worldliness in evangelical schools

With each passing day, it becomes increasingly difficult to notice anything distinctively Christian in evangelical schools. As evidence, I submit the following item. Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta is the denominational school for both the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and Church of the Nazarene Canada.

All Jazz, All Day

The sound of jazz was heard throughout the Ambrose campus recently, as 40 students gathered for a full day jazz clinic featuring instrumental lessons, ensemble time, a student open mike session, and a faculty concert to end the event. Event attendee Joel Untinen felt that “it was a great experience to learn with other students, share ideas, and play together. It was also amazing to see the Ambrose jazz faculty perform together.”

The day’s faculty team consisted of clinicians Ralf Buschmeyer (guitar), Tyler Hornby (drums), Stefano Valdo (bass), Allistair Elliott (trumpet), and Pat Beliveau (sax) from Ambrose, as well as Carsten Rubeling (trombone) and Michelle GrĂ©goire (piano). The special guest clinician was John Daversa (trumpet), head of the jazz program at the University of Miami. “As a newcomer to the jazz world, it was exciting to meet and play with those involved in the local scene and learn from some of the best in the city,” commented James Sylvester, who also attended the day-long event.

Students were divided into groups for instrumental lessons and ensemble time. In the late afternoon, all of the students were able to participate in an open mike session. “They would have performed all evening if possible,” noted event coordinator Barbara de Bruyn.

Many students in attendance heard about Ambrose for the first time, with some now even considering attending Ambrose next year. Ambrose is one of the few schools in the city that offers jazz studies and clinics like this are an opportunity to draw students in as they experience first-hand what Ambrose music offers. Given the success of the first Jazz Day, the Music Department is already in discussion and planning for next year’s event...
...Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 10:23am
Just one question, Chief: Is there a kind of jazz that could be described as "Christian jazz?"