Thinking Anglicans

more Nigerian stuff

From the official Nigerian website:
PRESS BRIEFING BY THE PRIMATE OF ALL NIGERIA, THE MOST REV’D PETER J. AKINOLA ON THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2005 which should be read in full, but includes this:

To refresh your memories, in Onitsha we took a number of actions to clarify our commitment to the apostolic faith. One of the things we did to strengthen this position was to amend our constitution.

Our amended constitution deleted all such references that hold colonial intonation defining us with the See of Canterbury and replaced them with a new provision of Communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

This action has been largely misrepresented by those who think that schism in the Anglican Church has become inevitable following the disarray the United States and the Canadian Churches brought on the Communion because of their revisionist agenda on homosexuality. And most recently the House of Bishops of the Church of England’s apparent double-speak on the Civil Partnerships Act that comes into force by December 5, this year.

There is also this paragraph towards the end of the much earlier release MESSAGE TO THE NATION

CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX DOCTRINE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY:

The Synod condemns the position the House of Bishops of the Church of England has taken regarding human sexuality which runs contrary to the decision taken at the All Primates Meetings, and commends the untiring effort of our Primate and other like-minded Primates for maintaining their stand on Christian orthodoxy, and calls on all doctrinally alert Anglican to stand up in defence of New Testament Christianity, as opposed to the revisionist theology of ECUSA, the Church of Canada and the Church of England.

And this Open Letter from the Archbishop of Nigeria to his Fellow Anglican Leaders (which I haven’t yet found on the official website)

The press briefing (first item above) has resulted in press reports such as:
Mail & Guardian Online Nigerian archbishop warns of break with mother church
Washington Post Nigerian Warns of Split From British Church
Reuters Nigeria archbishop sees pro-gays leaving Anglicanism

An earlier report, in the Church Times of last week, is here: Nigerians distance themselves from Canterbury

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Thomas Bushnell, BSG
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The triennial Synod of the Church amended the language of our constitution so that those who are bent on creating a new religion in which anything goes, and have thereby chosen to walk a different path may do so without us. The Big Lie, once more. Of course, I want a church in which not anything goes. Among other things, I want a church in which bigotry most certainly does not go. Akinola, as Official Chief Bigot of the Anglican Communion (or what’s become of it) would of course be welcome, for he and I disagree about what “going” amounts… Read more »

Tim Stewart
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Tim Stewart

Actually the plain reading of the press conference release is that Nigeria has thrown in the towel.

They will decide the members of the true faith.

We’ll see when they publicise exactly who is who.

They “broke communion” years ago over OW and, I suspect, will never return.

YMMV

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Well, given that the definition of being Anglican is looking towards canterbury, I think this is doublespeak.

What they are saying is that the CofE isn’t really Anglican any more. That is simply an impossibility.

What they also mean is that they will attempt to portray their Communion as true Anglicanism, defined by conservative theology, suggesting that the CofE is no longer Anglican.

I just wish they would get on with it. And that Reform , Anglican Extreme and their acolytes will go with them.

Dave C.
Guest
Dave C.

Yes, how dare the African colonists have the temerity to think and act for themselves.

Of course when the Americans by their unilateral actions placed themselves outside the bounds of traditional Anglcanism, that was to be praised and cheered on.

badman
Guest
badman

Archbishop Akinola opens his briefing by referring to “the Anglican Communion, where by the divine providence, I serve to lead and lead to serve.” This seems to be an emphatic assertion of personal leadership in the whole Anglican Communion which I have not seen him make before. He refers to “colonial intonation defining us with the See of Canterbury”. Yet Canterbury as the focus of unity is the underpinning of the Anglican Communion even in the Windsor report: it has nothing to do with “colonial intonation”. Was it “colonial intonation” when Canterbury, long before a British Empire, before even a… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Merseymike, “What they are saying is that the CofE isn’t really Anglican any more. That is simply an impossibility.”
Really?
You mean the CofE could potentially deny everything Anglicanism stands for doctrinally and expect to still be regarded as Anglican?! I guess that would mean that to be “Anglican” was totally meaningless.

Badman, I reckon 2 years since the Gene Robinson affair kicked off is not moving *fast*. It is incredibly patient and restrained – and it is clear that aciton is not precipitative but is reluctant.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Yes, Neil. Churches are Anglican if they relate to the See of Canterbury, nothing more.

If those churches choose to move away from that, they will no longer be Anglican. They may call themselves Anglican, as I am sure Akinola will christen his new denomination in that fashion, but they will be no more Anglican than any o0ther break-away

Its clear enough that a break away, disguised as ‘continuing Anglicanism’ is on the cards, so can we make it quick please – cancer does have this habit of spreading, and an excision would be preferable.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Sorry Merseymike, but, if you were right, that ‘church’ would bear no resemblance whatsoever to the Church of God. And God would spit it out of His mouth.

Thomas Bushnell, BSG
Guest

“Of course when the Americans by their unilateral actions placed themselves outside the bounds of traditional Anglcanism, that was to be praised and cheered on.”

What on earth do you mean by “unilateral”? Do you mean that there are no supporters of the Episcopal Church across the Anglican world?

More of the Big Lie.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Thats your conservative evangelical opinion, Neil. I take it that you will be joining Akinola as he departs from Anglicanism?

Dave C.
Guest
Dave C.

No, I do not mean there were no supporters (but all four Anglican instruments of unity were against it, Abp. of Canterbury, Lambeth Conference, the Primates, the Anglican Consultative Council). That a tiny percentage of Anglicans outside the US did support it does not affect the comparison I was making, and that is, why are there now such apoplectic fits by those who approved the American action when the Nigerians dare to do something on their own?

Tobias Haller
Guest
Tobias Haller

One word (among others) that comes to mind as I read the words and hear of the works of Abp Akinola is “irascible.” I grow weary of the shell-game of bluster followed by explanation. Clearly the Archbishop is “in a mood.”
Check in by month’s end to see how far the towel has been thrown, the relative width and chilliness of the Rubicon versus the Tiber, and whether Iacta Ale[xandri]a est!

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“That a tiny percentage of Anglicans outside the US did support it…”

Bean-counting: *irrelevant* to discerning the Truth.

[It *is* relevant to democratic structures—i.e., majority-rule—but ONLY where those structures are so *constituted* (such as the General Convention of ECUSA). Majority-rule can be deeply WRONG, or course. But the same democratic process can then, at least, correct such errors (unlike Primatial monarchism, where “L’iglese ce moi'”). Would that *every* Province of the AC had such democracy!]

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

Merseymike: “Churches are Anglican if they relate to the See of Canterbury, nothing more”

Sorry Merseymike, it seems that definition is changing to:

“Churches are Anglican if they were started directly or indirectly by the Church of England AND remain in the teachings recorded in the Holy Scriptures first and foremost, with the Articles, and ordinal of 1662 as additional guides.”

Even you must agree that makes much more sense. If in doubt, Try Jer. 7: 8 -14 for clarifications.

kath
Guest
kath

I have just read this series of comments and would like to add my own. It seems to me that when I read the words of Bishop Akinola – in his press releases and in his letters – there is a particularly unpleasant slant to his language. I cannot imagine Jesus saying similar things were he here today. Yet when I read the writings of the Bishops of the USA and Cananda, I find a very restrained, even humble approach to how they represent this problem. I am inclined to judge the validity of the sides by the way in… Read more »

Kat
Guest
Kat

What is all the fuss really about? The Anglican Church of Nigeria has made their decision based on their beliefs, or should I say interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, just as ECUSA, the Church of Canada and the CoE. The question of who’s right and who’s wrong doesn’t arise in my opinion, because how do I or anybody else for that matter, know who’s right and who’s wrong. Should the Anglican Worldwide Communion split, which it is unlikely to do, more it is going to take a new shape, is more likely than not the fault of Church itself. One… Read more »

Jimmy Cannuck
Guest
Jimmy Cannuck

The issue is one of power as well as about how the church views and accept homosexuality. Mr. Akinola appears to be using the second to pursue the first. On his return Jesus will no more wear a cross than allow more people to be crucified. I will pray for Mr. Akinola and all leaders to become calm and reasoned, and slow to anger and rejection. I will also pray that we can become comfortable with disagreeing as a status quo for the time being.

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Kath wrote:

“Yet when I read the writings of the Bishops of the USA and Cananda, I find a very restrained, even humble approach to how they represent this problem.”

That may be because you agree with ’em, Kath! I find their style rather irritating in its Uriah Heapish sanctimony. “We’re ever so ‘umble, and ever so reasonable, but we’ll carry on doing what we like.”

Ralph
Guest
Ralph

It is unbelievably baffling that so-called believers have chosen not to believe in the standards of Christ, but in wordly standards. Am I to believe that there is no difference between the two? Or are we to say, o well, there is no difference between the two? I am deeply worried about Christianity, especially the Anglican branch.

Graham
Guest
Graham

Archbishop Yong’s reported comments in Nigeria (where he was a guest speaker) are also very concerning “I am not going to let my pulpit get defiled by people who don’t accept the gospel. If you want to preach in my province I will allow you as long as you are from Nigeria. But if it is from America I have to check. Even from England now, I may have to check”. This is a highly irresponsible statement from a man 6 months away from retirement. Under what authority does he feel he can ban American and US preachers, not only… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Yes, how dare the African colonists have the temerity to think and act for themselves.”– Dave C. Um, err, Dave—the Africans, Akinola included, are not “colonists.” They are native born Africans. (Unless, of course, you were talking about the Afro-American colonists of Liberia, in West Africa, for example; the Americo-Liberians. Established by the American Colonization Society, and various American State manumition and colonization societies, Liberia was the only African nation to be founded by Americans). “Of course when the Americans by their unilateral actions placed themselves outside the bounds of traditional Anglicanism, that was to be praised and cheered on.”—Dave… Read more »

Richard M
Guest
Richard M

Tunde: “Churches are Anglican if they were started directly or indirectly by the Church of England AND remain in the teachings recorded in the Holy Scriptures first and foremost, with the Articles, and ordinal of 1662 as additional guides.” By definition, that excludes the CofE (as that church cannot have been started by itself…) Anyway, ‘Anglican’ can only mean ‘of England’, which is why churches in the USA and Scotland use ‘episcopal’ as a description. A church not in communion with the Church of England cannot be described as ‘Anglican’, whatever else it may share in doctrine or history. Whatever… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

“It’s time for Akinola and his supporters to go–whether they be in Nigeria, Pittsburgh, or Manchester.”

“I take it that you will be joining Akinola as he departs from Anglicanism?”

We don’t seem to be getting this do we?

Akinola is Anglican whether you like it or not.
Those who uphold and “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3) are not leaving.

It is those who insist on denying the basic foundation of Anglicanism who have already left Anglicanism.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Neil. Wrong.

Anglicans are those in communion with the See of Canterbury.

Should Akinola decide to do that, he will no longer be an Anglican, whatever he decides to call his proposed new Fundamentalist Reformed Protestant Conservative Communion.

if you follow him out of a church looking towards Canterbury, then you will no longer be an Anglican either.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Akinola is Anglican whether you like it or not.”–Neil

I would argue that the members of the “Continuum” are also Anglicans. They are just not members of the Anglican Communion.

When Akinola and his followers leave the Anglican Communion, I for one, will still consider them Anglicans. I will be very thankful to God, however, that they have left. Hopefully Duncan et. al. in the United States will follow them out. I don’t know of any “Network” supporters within 100 miles of New York City; perhaps there are some outside of Hartford, CT.

RG
Guest
RG

The Episcopal church in America is called episcopal in order to set it apart from England (not to necessarily cut it off) after the American Revolution since England was no longer popular due to the Revolution. It does not mean that the Episcopal church was not Anglican but was an attempt to americanize the church.

Graham
Guest
Graham

The Windsor Report contains a useful description of the Anglican Communion: “Various different but interlocking descriptions of the Anglican Communion exist amongst us. The Lambeth Conference has described the Anglican Communion as a fellowship of churches in communion with the See of Canterbury[26]. Individual provinces express their own communion relationships in a variety of juridical forms, as: bipartite (in communion with Canterbury)[27]; multipartite (in communion with all Anglican churches)[28]; or simply through the idea of “belonging to the Anglican Communion”[29]. Communion is therefore a relationship between churches (institutional or ecclesial communion) as well as between individual Christians (personal communion).” 26.… Read more »

Kat
Guest
Kat

I guess the real problem affecting the Anglican Communion is that no one, in the hierarchy that is, is willing to open their eyes and acknowledge what is clearly written on the wall. The Communion as espoused in all former resolutions and reports no longer exists, squarely because of the ECUSA and the unability of the ABC to restrain them. Look no further than practise, in a communion one would expect that the same priviledges and courtesies are extended to all members, according to their offices, yet there are Anglican Churches of the South that have not, since the ordination… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

From the opposite point of view, I agree. I think it would be greatly preferable if Akinola and his followers started an alternative denomination.

Simeon
Guest

Kurt – “I don’t know of any “Network” supporters within 100 miles of New York City; perhaps there are some outside of Hartford, CT.” Lucky you. Wish I could say the same about my Diocese (Dallas), but you can’t throw a rock around here w/o hitting one. As far as “Pope Peter the First of Alexandria,” I’ll have to agree with MM, et al. If you’re out of communion with the Abp. of Caterbury and the CoE, then you ain’t Anglican. It’s like calling your church “Roman Catholic” while being out of communion with the Vatican… Would they still be… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest
Tobias Haller

First of all, thanks Kurt for the comment on the American role in building the Anglican Communion in the first place. This is what we mean by the words “constituent member” in our Preamble (admittedly a late — 1967 — addition to our Consitution.) That means that should the Episcopal Church be exiled from the Anglican Communion, the Communion will cease being what it was — that’s what happens when you remove constituent parts of things. On a related matter, with all the excitement about the excision of references to Canterbury from the Nigerian Constitution, I think the really telling… Read more »

Gerard Hannon
Guest
Gerard Hannon

I find myself in agreement with Kat on one point, and one point only; we should promptly dissolve the bonds between Nigeria and its supporters, and Canterbury and its supporters. This has become a struggle between those Anglicans who see the Church as formed in the love of Christ, or the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan, versus those Anglicans, such as the Primates of Nigeria and Southwest Asia and Rwanda, who can only see the Church as formed by a pharisaical approach to scripture. This goes way beyond the homosexual “compatibility-with-Christianity” issue, and gets into the… Read more »

Dave C.
Guest
Dave C.

What holds the Anglican Communion together? There are 4 instruments of Anglican unity. Imperfect as they are, they are what we have. The American actions were opposed by all 4 instruments. How many are opposed to the actions of the Nigerians? We as individuals can sit around pontificating all we want, but it seems to me if we are talking about unity of the Anglican Communion, the discussion needs to incorporate the view of the 4 instruments of unity.

John Schuster-Craig
Guest
John Schuster-Craig

Linguistically, this is getting difficult. I think we need to distinguish between who is in communion with what See(s), and what heritage a church has grown out of. As an American Episcopalian, I am in full communion with my Lutheran brothers and sisters in ELCA – but not Lutherans in the Missouri Synod. I am in full communion with those European churches in communion with Utrecht. But if the Nigerian church will not allow Bishop Robinson to celebrate the Eucharist in their churches, then it is impossible for me to see myself as being in communion with the Anglican Church… Read more »

William
Guest
William

“It seems to me that when I read the words of Bishop Akinola – in his press releases and in his letters – there is a particularly unpleasant slant to his language. I cannot imagine Jesus saying similar things were he here today.” Please remember the unpleasant slant to Christ’s language when He spoke of the corrupt religious leaders in His day. Being in Apostolic Succession to Christ’s Apostles, Archbishop Akinola has a right and duty to speak harshly of heresy in faith and practice in Christ’s Holy Church. Our God is Unchanging and so is His hatred of the… Read more »