Thinking Anglicans

Nigerian communiqué

The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is much larger than you would suppose from its name and normal Western usage of that term:

The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, met at All Souls Chapel and Oduduwa Hall at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, from March 10-14, 2009. The Standing Committee serves as the Executive Body of the Church of Nigeria between meetings of the General Synod. One hundred and fifty five bishops, one hundred and fifty clergy and one hundred and thirty nine laity were present…

The General Synod must be truly huge in scale.

See earlier item for the Primate’s Opening Remarks.

This body has issued a Communiqué which includes the following:

5. RELIGIOUS CRISIS

For more than twenty years there has been an unrelenting religious crisis in Nigeria. The Christian Church has been the target of attack and has suffered irreparable losses in many parts of the North. At different times various reasons have been advanced: unemployment, poverty, politics and sectarian tensions. However, those who have perpetrated these destructive actions have never been brought to justice, operate with impunity and appear to be motivated by the conviction that if they persist they will be able to claim entire sections of Nigeria for their faith. We reject this claim.

We also view with grave concern the recent inflammatory statement by Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima calling for the total Islamization of Nigeria. This attitude threatens the very existence of our nation. Since this call violates specific Constitutional provision for the freedom of religion and his pubic oath to protect the Constitution we ask the leadership of the Senate to investigate as to whether Senator Yerima is qualified to continue to hold office.

We call for a national conference of all relevant stakeholders especially the National Assembly, Media practitioners, religious leaders and the guardians of our constitution to deal with these issues and plan for a peaceful and just future for Nigeria. We are convinced that unless urgent action is taken we may have no future for the next generation.

6. OUR ASSURANCE

As Anglican Christians we continue to be distressed by the spiritual crisis within our own family of faith in other parts of the world. Since 2003 the unilateral revisionist actions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church Canada have torn the fabric of our common life. While the Church of Nigeria stands resolutely and uncompromisingly on the truth of the Holy Scriptures and the Lordship of Jesus Christ endless meetings and repeated communiqués have done nothing to bring restoration of our beloved communion. In this, however, and in all these matters our hope is not in our own efforts but in the Lord Himself. We can therefore boldly declare to our nation and to the world, “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

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Father Ron SmithFord ElmsRen AguilaRev L RobertsCynthia Gilliatt Recent comment authors
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JCF
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JCF

“repeated communiqués have done nothing to bring restoration of our beloved communion”

…so they said in another communiqué?

Back to the top: how does the Standing Committee believe that making one-sided accusations against Nigeria’s Muslims is going to get them anywhere? Wouldn’t making a “both sides have fallen short of the Compassion of the Almighty” admission be likely to produce better (more peaceful) results?

Lord have mercy!

Tim
Guest

Can someone tell –Akinola to stop abusing one of my favourite scriptures please?

John B. Chilton
Guest

The Standing Committee is much larger than you would think by Western usage. But the communique and the opening remarks of Akinola are the same. As you would expect.

dodgey_vicar
Guest
dodgey_vicar

When does contextual theology become revisionism?
When someone else does it is revisionist, when I do it it is contextualising.
It’s interesting to see Maoist concepts such as ‘revisionism’ oozing like pus from this wound in the body of Christ. Are they experts in Sino-Soviet relations to use this phrase? it is a singularly inappropriate choice of words.
Admittedly there are limits to contextual theology, but those limits are by definition from outside that context. Recognising the interdependence of the Anglican Communion is an optional extra for independent national or supra-national Churches.
The boundaries of contextual theology are, then, non-existent.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, met at All Souls Chapel..” – Nigerian Church communique – One cannot but marvel at the surety with which communications from the Nigerian Anglican Church makes the Statement -“Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit” linked with – “And the leadership of the Primate of All Nigeria” – as though these were concomitant factors in the situation. Where one might understand the description of a meeting… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Such good timing, for it to come out as my piece did at The Daily Episcopalian…

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/anglican_communion/for_the_sake_of_the_oppressed.php

Richard
Guest
Richard

I know it’s not really funny, but on opening my electronic Church Times this morning I saw the headline ‘Nigeria to continue with gay blessings’. As the world stopped turning on its axis and the sun set in the east, I blinked and re-read the page: ‘NIAGARA to continue…’

If only the first were true!

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

“The Christian Church has been the target of attack and has suffered….”

I can see that our brothers who commented above are not concerned with this statement. Thanks.

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

It would appear that some believe that our Faith can be protected from the onslaught of radical Islam, only by bringing the Gospel into conformity with the Koran.

BobinSwPA
Guest
BobinSwPA

Tunde: This hangs in the front hall of the school I teach; “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr. ” Christ certainly knew this to be true. So may I ask what would you have us do? Akinola persecutes gay and Muslims persecute Christians and visa versa. I”ll leave you with my personal favorite quote; “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it. Martin Luther King Jr.… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

I am concerned with the attacks and suffering by BOTH Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, Bishop Popoola, as my previous question, above, reflects.

Now, when are you going to show the *slightest concern* for your LGBT brothers and sisters in your country, whose suffering and DEATH your church has been instigating?

Lord have mercy!

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Fr. Smith, I had thoughts similar to your own, except my first thought was “Well, at least he mentioned the Holy Spirit first, and himself second! How courteous of him.”

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Tunde:

We are concerned…we just don’t believe that support for gay rights in western churches have anything to do with it.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Let’s say, we reserve judgement.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“The Christian Church has been the target of attack and has suffered….”

“I can see that our brothers who commented above are not concerned with this statement. Thanks.”

No one would deny that Christians have been attacked by Islamic extremists and not one of us who comments here would do anything but deplore such attacks, as we deplore Christian attacks on Muslims.

However, to connect those attacks to the election of a gay partnered Bishop of TEC in New Hampshire is ludicrous.

Looking at Africa’s really serious challenges, it is a toss-up whether Abp. Akinola or the Pope is the more irresponsible.

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

Looking at Africa’s really serious challenges, it is a toss-up whether Abp. Akinola or the Pope is the more irresponsible.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 20 March 2009 at 8:02pm GMT

A trult close run thing.

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

“Looking at Africa’s really serious challenges, it is a toss-up whether Abp. Akinola or the Pope is the more irresponsible.” I understand the faux pas the two have committed make them look irresponsible. But I find it deplorable that readers ignore the fact that the Church is growing in Africa, along with the values we thought went out the window with being a “modern, inclusive society.” The two may be the most extreme expression of those values, and the most irresponsible, but can we not listen to real voices from the growing Church speaking for those values? Ignore Africa at… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“”The Christian Church has been the target of attack and has suffered….” I can see that our brothers who commented above are not concerned with this statement. Thanks” Ah, Bishop Popoola, welcome back. But you see, the problem is that you want us to believe that you can somehow stop it by sacrificing gay people. Is it really the case that you are willing to compromise the Gospel for the sake of peace with Muslims? Are you really willing to oppress people like that? You do know that, regardless of where you stand on homosexuality, the kind of rhetoric you… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Seriously, Your Grace, how can you say doing this to people is in any way consistent with the Gospel?” – Ford Elms –

Ford, there is only one episcopal personage in Nigeria who has the privilege of being called *Your Grace* – and that is the Archbishop. Bishop Popoola would be more accustomed to being called: *Your Lordship* – which is a Bishop’s legal entitlement.

However, in view of Archbishop Akinola’s action re the GBLT community in Nigeria, one might question the propriety of using the ‘Grace’ word in this particular instance. Perhaps ‘Lordship’ would more accurately describe his charism.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Well, Fr. Ron, if modern Evangelical Christianity that rejects the Christology of four of the Seven Councils and a good bit more of the catholic Faith can be called “orthodox”, if jailing people for five years constitutes “loving them” (remember Akinola’s claim to love gay people more than to let us wallow in our sin), then I figure the meaning of the word “grace” has a somewhat different meaning in Nigerian English.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

‘It is time to stop playing games of religious bureaucracy. There is no ethical position of flogging a dying horse of a centralisation project when that is based on sacrificing others.” – Pluralist, on ‘episcopalcafe’ The more we hear from Nigeria, the more one begins to believe that the ‘Anglican Communion’ needs desperately to distance itself from the death-dealing maunderings of Archbishop Akinola. His incursions in the territory of TEC and the AC of C. should be discredited at the highest level, and his latest approval of anti-gay legislation in the Nigerian Parliament pronounced ‘un-Anglican’. For the ABC to consider… Read more »