Thinking Anglicans

Akinola in the news

Update Saturday
Stephen Bates reports in the Guardian on all this: Church in new row after Nigerian primate bans Brazilian archbishop from conference
Also, here is Homosexuality’s Destructive Effect on Church & Culture apparently written by Peter Akinola and published on the website of the Kairos Journal that gave him (and others) the award mentioned below.
later note I have added the content of that extraordinary Kairos webpage below the fold here, to ensure the full text gets safely archived.

Update Sunday
Trevor Grundy Scotland on Sunday Africans set to found rival Anglican church
Somewhat to my surprise, the New York award event is reported on ACNS Digest Archbishops honoured.

First, some correspondence has been published concerning the attendance of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil at the upcoming III Global South Encounter scheduled for Alexandria, Egypt October 24-29 this year.

There is a letter from Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria to Archbishop Orlando Santos de Oliveira of Brazil, and his response. Also a letter from Bishop Jubal Neves, another Brazilian bishop.

For the full text of these letters, see here.

Mark Harris has already commented about this exchange in Let Brazil Through the Door!

Church Times Pat Ashworth Akinola blocks Brazil from Global South meeting

Second, there is an Associated Press report quoting both Archbishop Peter Akinola and Archbishop Henry Orombi, on the subject of the Church of England and Civil Partnerships, African Archbishops Fault Church on Gays (here from the Washington Post but published on newspaper websites all across the USA)

This matter is also mentioned in a report from the Daily Independent Nigeria, Anglican Church Synod begins Saturday in Onitsha

Further reports about this synod are on the Nigerian provincial website:
Akinola invites journalists to be abreast of developments in the Church
Church of Nigeria 8th General Synod holds at Onitsha. An extract:

The relationship of the Church of Nigeria with other national churches of the Anglican Communion in the wake of the controversy generated by homosexuality and same- sex unions is also expected to engage the Synod.

“Before, it was America and Canada, but now England is joining the bandwagon to say that homosexuality and same -sex unions are acceptable practices,” Akinola said, adding that the Nigerian church will review what her level of relationship will be in the Communion.

Homosexuality’s Destructive Effect on Church & Culture

Archbishop Peter Akinola is primate of over 17 million Anglicans in Nigeria. Here he responds to the practice of appointing homosexual bishops in the Anglican Church.

Within the ambit of this ‘hand over’ [Romans 1] lie many destructive tendencies, understandings and conjectures which war against the Church and society and what they stand for. These include for the Church:

  • The removing of the ground on which the Christian faith has stood since its inception—the Scriptures. By indicating that a particular prohibition in the Scriptures can be blatantly violated with impunity . . .
  • The revisionist trend thereby initiated is such that no one can say where it will eventually lead to or end. Once the water source is muddied/poisoned, the down-stream cannot expect to be better.
  • Official recognition by the Church of the practice of homosexuality portrays her as a morally confused entity—condemning some sins and sanctioning others. It therefore implies, as some have advocated, that the Church should apologize to the world for peddling a Scripture that is ignorant of and incorrect on the human nature and thus cannot be held as a standard for conduct.
  • The moral confusion thus occasioned by the Church’s sanction for homosexuality opens the door officially to many other immoralities hitherto lurking at the Church’s doors (and cupboards) in a state of fear and shame. Now they too can come out and stand to be recognized, and the Church will have no moral integrity to say no. * The society will stop (and has stopped in most places) looking up to the Church for moral guidance, resulting in a further relegation of the Church to social irrelevance.
  • At the center of [the] “sacred canopy” [of marriage and family] is the understanding that God has, in creation, entrenched certain modes of behavior and relationships as beneficial to humans and thus acceptable to Him. This implies that behaviors and relationships contrary to these accepted ones must be condemned as disobedience to God. To opine that, unknown to humans, God had hitherto created some people to be homosexuals and lesbians (i.e., sexual orientations) is tantamount to creating God in our own image and introducing a cancerous element into the fabric of the African understanding of marriage and family.
  • Homosexuality and lesbianism, like divorce, breed a society of single parents which gives rise to a generation of bastards. And in the context of much poverty and lack of education, this further produces an ill-bred generation of hooligans, portending much terror to the peace and stability of the society.
  • Homosexuality and lesbianism thrives on many sexual aberrations and improvisations typical of human selfishness and greed in the name of pleasure and self-actualization.
  • In a society where many women are finding it difficult to have husbands of their own due to the depletion of men by many factors, homosexuality will exacerbate the existing social disequilibrium, leading to much social unrest.

Granted, the American society as a super-power is in the forefront of human adventure. However, in this case of human sexuality, it is nothing but adventure in ungodliness. For people like Gene Robinson, who was married for years with children, to wake up one morning and discover that they are homosexuals is nothing but adventurous promiscuity and unfaithfulness. The Church condones that at her own peril. If this is not yet clear to many today, it will surely be tomorrow.

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François VivonneJ. C. FisherJohn HenryMark BeatonAlan Marsh Recent comment authors
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Tim
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“they will walk apart.”

Interesting to see who the judgementalists are versus those who simply don’t provoke conflict.

IMNSHO Akinola should grow up or shut up.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The split is certainly on its way, and it will be Akinola and his followers who choose to walk apart from Canterbury.

And Canterbury will be far better for it.

I just wonder how much of the CofE will choose to leave and follow Akinola?

trish lindsay
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trish lindsay

Many of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion are also members of the Commonwealth – ie, they were once a part of the British Empire. Once that Empire started to collapse, many countries were glad to be able to “walk apart” from the “Mother Country”. Indeed, they are now encouraged to do so, to be self-governing, self-defining, independent countries. What Akinola is doing/proposing seems to me to be the theological equivalent of the breaking up of the British Empire. If we applaud the independence of the commonwealth countries, should we not also see Akinola’s moves to “walk apart” as being… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

Wrote the American poet, Robert Frost: “The Church is meant to be like a family, the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in.” Unfortunately, we are losing this understanding of what the Church is about as an “inclusive community.” Today’s split in the Anglican Communion is really not about homosexuality, same-gender marriages, the admission of gays and lesbians to the ordained ministry. It is rather about old-fashioned “Puritanism”. It is about keeping perceived sinners out of the Church or, at least, excluding them from the sacraments–not only gays and lesbians, transgendered persons, but… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Oh, Trish, I think we would not only survive but would be in a much better position – I just think that those bishops might need a few lessons in walking on their own two feet after sitting on that fence for so long, and we muct make sure that they don’t constantly veer over to the middle of the road, for fear of being knocked down….

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

“It is about keeping perceived sinners out of the Church” Actually it is about whether the teaching of Jesus and the rest of the scriptures are accepted any longer in any real sense by parts of the Church, in which the concept of “sin” itself has ceased to operate. Those who do not accept that there is any such thing as sin are evidently uncomfortable to be in the company of those who continue to think in such categories. Hence the repeated “invitations” to classical Christianity to “leave” the Church and join Peter Akinola or whoever. In fact the Church… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

So, without going into the usual tedious liberal vs. conservative arguments, why do we remain in the same denomination?

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“including perhaps in the future bankers who charge interest on loans in violation of OT prohibitions”

Well, *that* exclusion I might go for.

(just kidding, just kidding! *g*)

“the evidence of the New Testament is utterly against you.”

Thank you for your opinion/interpretation, Alan. However, it still fails to persuade me—nor millions of other S,T&R-formed, Christ-centered Anglicans.

(Millions? Thousands? Dozens? Whatever. It’s faith *in* God, not bean-counting of believers, that matters. A faith that, by Christ’s invitation, is open to ALL! :-D)

Mark Beaton
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Mark Beaton

JCF, please explain the acronym ‘S,T&R-formed, Christ-centered Anglicans’. In reply to ‘To sum up, JH, if you think it is possible to enter the kingdom of God without conversion of life, the evidence of the New Testament is utterly against you’, you said: ‘Thank you for your opinion/interpretation, Alan. However, it still fails to persuade me—nor millions of other S,T&R-formed, Christ-centered Anglicans.’ I don’t think anyone reading the NT – or ANY Anglican liturgy in the world – could conclude that faith, repentance and amendment of life are not essential parts of the Christian life. This is not a matter… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

S,T&R – Scripture, Tradition and Reason? Which scriptures do you have in mind? In my Greek New Testament the kingdom of God is indeed open to all, but only after “metanoia” takes place – repentance and conversion of life. This implies that there is such a thing as sin, that it has to be rejected by a would-be believer, and remain rejected in the new life which is in Christ. This is a consistent theme in the New Testament, and it is consistently held and understood in Tradition (which means the modern, present day Christian consensus as well as the… Read more »

Tim
Guest

Alan Marsh says “…all forms of sexual activity outside Christian marriage.” I suggest that the role of the Church is as a place to come in order to come to know the Lord. It, and its hierarchy, are not perfectionist cliques. And I’ll outright tell you that the path of Christianity does not mean everyone coming in the door will have a miraculous salvation and instantly be converted into non-smoking non-speeding non-alcoholic happy middle-class puritans; rather, if you acknowledge God’s Will is involved, then you should see that it’s up to Him to convert people as He will over the… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

“non-smoking non-speeding non-alcoholic happy middle-class puritans” That is a very telling phrase. It indicates that you have a rather stereotyped and fixed image of those with whom you think you are disagreeing. I don’t know anything about Dr Akinola’s smoking, driving or drinking habits, or whether he is middle-class, (rather an English turn of phrase, do you not agree?) but his church expects new Christians to leave behind certain aspects of their former lifestyle when they are baptized and join the Christian community. And it does not seem to deter people from joining: it is one of the fastest growing… Read more »

Mark Beaton
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Mark Beaton

Getting back to the subject of this posting:
What do contributors to this site think of the action of the Primate of the Anglican Church of Brazil in *deposing the Bishop of Recife and 32 clergy of that Diocese? This is what lies behind Akinola’s action. I have looked on many sites and have found NO COMMENT at all by ‘liberals’ on this. So come on, J. C. Fisher, Tim Merseymike, John Henry etc: please tell us what you think of this. I read Stephen Bates’ piece and he made virtually no reference to these actions.

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Mark: inasmuch as I don’t believe in other Anglicans interfering in ECUSA’s polity, why would *I* presume to interfere in in the AngCh of Brazil’s? (I’m sure I could find episcopal decisions with which I disagree, in EVERY Anglican province, but it is certainly not my place—no more but no less than +Akinola’s—to go about *excluding* on the basis of these disagreements) “In my Greek New Testament the kingdom of God is indeed open to all, but only after “metanoia” takes place – repentance and conversion of life.” I’m not going to debate in Greek with you, Alan. But NT… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

J.C. Fisher and others who have responded to my earlier statement about the split in the Anglican Communion and about the “neo-Puritan” or “Pure” Anglican Communion centered, not on Canterbury, but on Lagos or Alexandria/Cairo, have raised interesting questions about prevenient grace, God’s unconditional love as proclaimed by Jesus [especially in Matthew 18:21-35: Mercy and forgiveness are crucial in human relationships and community life. Christ commanded Peter to forgive seventy times seven. If God commands humans to forgive each other to such an extent, how much more will God then forgive human beings?], and the place of METANOIA in God’s… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“From the Northern Hemisphere, non-evangelical point of view, one may see homosexual persons being transformed by prevenient grace . . . “

I would agree with you, John Henry, except that I would say that plenty of evangelicals (like myself) see this grace-in-action, also (although perhaps not capital-E “Evangelicals,” as a brand-name for Christian social conservatives: pro-forma anti-gay).

[NB: And many in the *Southern Hemisphere* believe in such grace, as well: or why else is there disagreement about the Brazilians?]

François Vivonne
Guest
François Vivonne

Hello everybody. I am a Roman Catholic (oecumenically-minded) just discovering this site, and enjoying very much the depth and finesse of the debates – so please may I be “let through the door” ? Hope so…

About Dr Akinola : I wonder whether his views about homosexuality are mostly dictated by a thorough study of the Scriptures, exegetic traditions, etc., or by Africans’ general revulsion when it comes to same-sex relationships…

François Vivonne
Guest
François Vivonne

Another thought : isn’t the idea that provinces of the Anglican Communion might become autonomous because they disagree on this or that a remain of old congregationalism ?