Thinking Anglicans

latest Nigerian news

There are no new reports relating to the Minns consecration in today’s Church Times but Paul Handley’s interview with Bishop Peter Lee that I mentioned last week, is now on the web: ‘Lawsuits would be unbiblical’ says Bishop Lee.

The Church of England Newspaper also has no further news about the consecration on its website but it does have an interesting story about the Nigerian church by George Conger: Nigeria’s Hezbollah fears. See the original press release here.

But the most interesting report is on the Nigerian provincial website itself: Coming Over to America to Help:

Coming Over to America to Help

A Background to the Nigerian Mission to America.

CONN/0530806

Thousands of Anglicans in North America have long watched with dismay as their much loved Churches slid from the known teachings of the Bible to that which seems to conform more to the ideas of civil society groups.

Questionable doctrines include teachings that;

  • Imply the Creator God is unable to decide whether he wanted to make a person male or female.
  • Portray Jesus the Christ as only ‘a way’ out of ‘many paths’ to God instead of THE WAY. John 14:6
  • Love of a person means acceptance and love of the person’s sins.
  • The Holy Spirit stopped convincing of sin (John 19: 8 ) and became a dispensable adviser.
  • The Holy Scriptures lost relevance as the ‘developed industrialized world’ could respond to many human problems.
  • Different people could propound any new teaching as long as it makes the listeners feel good. 2Tim 3:3-4
  • Heaven and hell are figurative languages used in the bible as it is wrong to frighten people with such old ideas in the modern world.
  • Mission and ministry assumed new meanings.

Many Nigerians in the US found it increasingly difficult to identify with the Anglican communities, and thus found themselves worshiping in other denominations.

When a Canadian diocese approved church ceremonies to allow homosexuals exchange marital vows and The Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) followed by consecrating a practicing homosexual as a bishop, the spiritual life of many got threatened, and the Church of Nigeria became concerned.

“For us it is crucial and most urgent that we find ways of providing alternative avenues for the thousands of Nigerian Anglicans who live and work beyond our shores,” said Archbishop Peter Akinola, at the Standing Committee meeting of the Church in Ilesa, March 2004.

What started as an outreach to provide a safe harbour for Nigerians soon became overwhelmed with requests for participation and the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) was born. Announcing the formation of the Convocation in April 2005, Archbishop Akinola wrote:

“Our intention is not to challenge or intervene in the churches of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada but rather to provide safe harbour for those who can no longer find their spiritual home in those churches”

In September 2005 at the 8th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, the necessary constitutional changes were made to permit the formal establishment of the Convocation in the USA and by November the necessary legal framework to establish CANA as a recognized Anglican Church structure in the USA was completed. Abraham N. Yisa, Esq., Registrar of the Church of Nigeria was appointed chairman of the board of trustees, Chief Gboyega Delano of Chicago, the secretary and Mrs. Patience Oruh of Maryland, the treasurer for CANA. The Rev. Canon Nathan Kanu was appointed the interim communicator, and some Nigerian bishops were delegated to give Episcopal oversight.

In November, the Church of Nigeria entered into a covenant agreement with the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America. These are two Churches spread over the US that had also separated from ECUSA on doctrinal issues. Though their bishops and some other faithful bishops in the US continued to be very supportive of the Nigerian initiative, the need to have a US- based Bishop for the growing convocation became more apparent over time, as the ECUSA remained unwilling to change course.

In June 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria met to among other things, elect bishops to fill vacant Sees after which the names of four new bishops-elect including that of the first CANA bishop was announced. Also a committee led by the Rt. Rev Benjamin Kwashi, Bishop of Jos and including the Rt. Rev Segun Okubadejo, bishop of Ibadan North and the Rt. Rev Ikechi Nwosu, bishop of Umuahia, was appointed to supervise the CANA mission.

The consecration service for the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns as Bishop in the Church of God for the CANA is on Sunday, 20th August 2006.

(Church of Nigeria News)

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Cheryl Clough
15 years ago

One of the questionable doctrines cited is “Imply the Creator God is unable to decide whether he wanted to make a person male or female.” How are do they cope with the reality of hermaphradites or testosterone females? It’s reality Peter, just not as you know it… Let them attend to their flocks and give them comfort. I just hope they are content to stay within boundaries and not launch assaults against liberal parishes in the same neighbourhood. After all, somebody has to minister to those who are created imperfectly and somebody has to minister to those who can not… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
Charlotte Pressler
15 years ago

“Imply the Creator God is unable to decide whether he wanted to make a person male or female.” I would think this sentence gives us the conceptual model by which the Nigerian Church at present understands homosexuality. In other words, the Nigerian Church understands a gay man to be a man created by God to be a biological man, but who thinks he is a biological woman, and who therefore takes up the gender roles appropriate to women, including that of being the sexual partner of a man. In short, the Nigerian Church conflates homosexuality with transsexuality, and both with… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
15 years ago

Whence questionable teachings? (I) 1. Empirically, we now know that male/female includes continuums of complex variation or differentiation in human nature at biological, psychological, social levels. The old, simplistic categories are inadequate to the facts as we know them. In any controversy between traditional categories and biological-plus facts, the facts will win in the long run. 2. Discerning how God in whom we trust is/is not at work in other world religions is complicated and nuanced. One does not simply begin by presumptively informing all other world believers (and non-believers?) that they are trash, their beliefs are trash, and that… Read more »

mumcat
15 years ago

“When a Canadian diocese approved church ceremonies to allow homosexuals exchange marital vows and The Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) followed by consecrating a practicing homosexual as a bishop, the spiritual life of many got threatened, and the Church of Nigeria became concerned.”

Are there any Nigerians in Canada? Is the Nigerian Church as busy in Canada as it is in the US?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Charlotte, I agree. I would further state that the other “questionable doctrines” represent oversimplifications that are not only inaccurate, but offensive. Why is it that some people seem to think that if you are not willing to condemn all non-Christians to Hell, you are somehow saying that Jesus is not “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”? I happen to agree that Jesus is the only way to salvation, I just don’t think that means that Gandhi will be tortured for all eternity without hope of death because he was a Hindu. I wonder if Tunde Popoola would like to… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
15 years ago

“known teachings of the Bible”

Everything after this phrase merely expounds the disastrous POWER-OVER that the phrase portends.

Did the Reformation never make it to Nigeria? I thought the whole point of the Reformers, was that every believer had to *read the Bible for themselves* to DISCOVER what it taught! (But apparently, since Peter Abuja has “known” what the Bible teaches, *definitively*, no one else need ever crack open the Good Book to engage the Word of God)

Lord have mercy!

Prior Aelred
15 years ago

JC —

One of the fantasies held by some Reformers was that once every plowman & milkmaid (etc.) could read the Scriptures for themselves, THEN everyone would agree about everything — that was obviously pretty foolish & the authority of the learned was quickly reimposed by the leaders of the Magisterial Reformation.

John Henry
John Henry
15 years ago

To appease ++Peter Abuja, and guarantee the ascendency of true biblical orthodoxy, let’s dissolve the Theological Faculties at Oxford and Cambridge and terminate all professors of theology tainted and contaminated by the bibilical criticism of the German universities of Goettingen, Tuebingen, Berlin, Bonn, Muenster and Munich. Also, dismiss those who have earned degrees at the (Jesuit) Gregorian University at Rome. In addition, let’s go back to sola scriptura as defined by the infallible Primate and Metropolitan of, say, Abuja… and by the Network bishops embracing the neocon worldview of the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, supported as they all are… Read more »

Clueless in Cana
Clueless in Cana
15 years ago

Oh, yeah! I saw that movie! Eddie Murphy was GREAT! Is this, like, a sequel or something?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094898/quotes

Cheryl Clough
15 years ago

Charlotte et al. Thanks for picking up the baton and running with it. The point is that if they can not even accept the existence of physiological variations, then how are they going to cope with accepting the non-physical (e.g. psychological) variations? In a change process there are the visionaries, explorers, innovators, early adopters, mainstream, late adopters, and die-hard resisters. The latter group can stay in denial to the point that one needs to protect creation because they will try to destroy the evidence that the world does not look like their paradigms. And in terms of unbiblical teaching: I… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
15 years ago

Whence … II 4. Part of the Holy Spirit’s abiding is to continue to lead us into all truth and righteousness. Obviously, correcting empirically mistaken ideas/understandings must be a part of this larger mystical life we live in this century as believers who follow Jesus of Nazareth. Clinging to factual errors in our understandings of gender or other matters enacts a triple harm. The facts we misconstrue are harmed insofar as we misunderstand something that is, indeed, the (complex) empirical case. The actions we take, based upon our mistaken views, may compound this harm, especially when we use inaccurate ideas… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

F.E. wrote; “I wonder if Tunde Popoola would like to comment?” Yes! in the words of this prayer; Gracious Father we pray for your Holy Apostolic, Catholic Church Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace Where it is corrupt, purify it Where it is in error, direct it Where in anything that is amiss, reform it Where it is right, strengthen it Where it is in want, provide for it Where it is divided, reunite it For the sake of Jesus Christ Your Son our Saviour. Amen I do hope every Christian will be able to… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

Greetings Tunde from the “inclusive” Province of Central America in the sort’a Global South…here’s one for you and other Christians to say “amen” to also:

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Tunde! Amen to that, however, I ask you to pray for me. You see, the Enemy has gotten hold of my judgemental brain, and I can’t help but think that you believe that the things that are amiss, corrupt, in error, in want, or divided are all in the evil West, and that your pure Church has none of those problems. Is there nothing to be put right about the Church in Nigeria? Also, this is a lovely pious way to avoid the issue. Let’s begin with number one: how is that the West, or at least ECUSA, is implying… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

From A First-timer. Obviously, the differences in understanding and application of Scriptures are getting wider and wider everyday. Would it not be better, at this point, to let ECUSA/TEC continue with what it understands to be the “Gospel” and “true Christianity”, while Episcopalians in the US who disagree with ECUSA/TEC are allowed to align with whoever and whatever Church in the Communion of their choice? The insults and name-calling are deafening. From reading the postings, a person who is unfamiliar with the issues and positions would think that EVERYONE ELSE IN THE US AGREES WITH ECUSA/TEC and only the Simpletons… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“The insults and name-calling are deafening. From reading the postings, a person who is unfamiliar with the issues and positions would think that EVERYONE ELSE IN THE US AGREES WITH ECUSA/TEC and only the Simpletons and ‘uncivilized bush people in Nigeria/Africa’ don’t get it.” Spiro Spiro, by all means “jump in” and join us spontaneously here at the Thinking Anglicans conversation regarding the discrimination and hate laws in Nigeria directed against Christian and Muslim LGBT people. I’m not certain what name-calling you are speaking of? Would any of that be Akinolas demeaning speech about the children of all LGBT Christians… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

Spiro, Thanks. You are correct though most of TA commentators may not agree. The Rt. Rev. M. Minns is a fine example of such people. We continue to pray for strength and courage to the faithful. Ford, NO! I do not know of any perfect Church on this earth. Even the Apostles did not have one. The first step is however to recognise the imperfection and seek to change the situation. As for other issues, the trenches are so deeply dug on the two sides that 2nd Tim. 2:23 is a warning you and I must learn to heed in… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
15 years ago

The clarification article is this one:
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/000985.html

Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

Peter Akinola, the Archbishop of Nigeria, was the recipient of the Kairos Journal Award in late Summer 2005…here are some of the “statements” that you should be aware of (or keep in your memory) as “press secretary” Tunde before “denying” they exist:

“Gays Produce Hooligans”

http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/2005/09/archbishop-akinola-gays-produce.html

Simon Sarmiento
15 years ago

The kairos article is no longer available except to registered users (and registration requires a sponsor) but Google provides it from its cache here: http://tinyurl.com/mzkov

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

Thanks for pointing me to the supposed statement. Except for hatred or a guilty conscience, I wonder why people read such meanings to clear statements. He said: 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. YOU WROTE: children of *all LGBT* Christians being “Holligans?” Apparently you took it from the blog headline which is a wrong and demeaning conclusion… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Tunde, The Church in Nigeria is pretty clear on what she thinks is imperfect and needs changing in TEC. In some aspects she is probably right. However, what is imperfect in Nigerian Anglicanism? Might I suggest these for starters: 1. Support of a law that would jail people for being gay or for trying to comfort gay people, 2. Condemning something without understanding it, namely homosexuality. I am not saying that understanding should bring acceptance, merely that if Abp. Akinola is going to condemn homosexuality, he should do so based on fact. His public statements would indicate he doesn’t know… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

Thanks for welcoming me, folks. Obviously, the name-calling is coming from both sides. I know that the Nigerian Primate has used very harsh words in statements and responses regarding the crisis in the Church and Homosexuality. Some of these words should be condemned. (I am sure Akinola may have had his reasons for such “harsh” words. I am not here to defend him). However, I find it difficult to understand why the supporters of homosexuality are not up in arms against the Moslems and Nigerian government that want death-by-stoning for homosexual practice. On the other hand, the Nigerian Church/Christian leaders… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

By the way, I am not implying that I support any law that sends a homosexual to prison for his/her sexual……

I am simply putting the issues and discussion in context. Period.

Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“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.” Akinola HOMOSEXUALITY and LESBIANISM, like divorce…what? Homosexuality and Lesbianism are the SAME as divorced heterosexuals with kids? Where did Akinola get this information? 1. HOMOSEXUAL and LESBIAN couples with children are NOT divorced SINGLE parents! 2. Divorced people who had CHILDREN did not give birth to BASTARD children before they were… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

Lord Have Mercy!
Christ Have Mercy,
Lord Have Mercy!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Spiro, Are you really suggesting that I should be grateful to someone who would jail me rather than kill me for being gay? Let me put it this way: the Church has a responsibility to defend the oppressed. Lambeth, which conservatives seem to think is a doctrine setting council rather than a friendly gathering of the Church, has repeatedly stated that we should oppose the oppression of gay people. I believe the Church can do this and still say that gay people must be celibate. I might not agree with this last statement, but it need not be oppressive. So,… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

Thanks Ford Elms for your latest contribution.

However, please note that I also said: “By the way, I am not implying that I support any law that sends a homosexual to prison for his/her sexual……

I am simply putting the issues and discussion in context. Period.”

Having said that, I still would want you to tell me
“….why the supporters of homosexuality are not up in arms against the Moslems and Nigerian government that want death-by-stoning for homosexual practice.”

This deafening silence from the supporters of Homosexuality says a lot about the motives and motivations of the Homosexual “rights” supporters.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Well, gay people are up in arms about this, actually, have been since the 60s. It’s taken since then to make the Western world a relatively safe place to be gay. There are numerous organizations fighting anti-gay violence, so it is not true that no-one’s up in arms about it. Ask rather why it isn’t very public. I suggest it isn’t a hot media topic. Where did you hear about the Nigerian law? I’d venture to bet it wasn’t a major news station. The Anglican Church tearing itself apart might be a bit more newsworthy, but gay Nigerians being incarcerated… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

Thanks again Ford.

I take it you agree with me on the point that the “supporters of Homosexual Rights” are sometimes (and in some ways) self-serving.

I am for consistent fairness. The selective condemnation of some, versus a slap-on-the-hand for others who oppose Homosexuality do not sit well with me. As Christians, Christ calls us to be impartial in all our judging and our dealings.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

“The selective condemnation of some, versus a slap-on-the-hand for others who oppose Homosexuality do not sit well with me.”

Can you clarify? And can you clarify your use of “supporters of homosexuality” like it’s some kind of political position?

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

Ford Elms, Reading from the seemingly unending number of websites dedicated to the promotion of Homosexuality, and attacking those who have problems with this lifestyle, one sees an inappropriate heaping of insults and rubbish on Akinola and other Christians who disagree with these innovation in the Church. Meanwhile, according to you, “state sanctioned murder of gay people, sometimes of those merely suspected of being gay (go on in) Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, (and) Saudi Arabia.” With regard to fighting those who advocate and give death to homosexuals, I am not satisfied with how much the “supporters of homosexuality” are doing. They… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Spiro, By using words like “promote” you appear not to understand the issue. I’m sure you’ve heard this all before, but how can you “promote” what is innate? I spent my teenage years fervently praying that God would change me. He didn’t. Hardly a choice one can “promote”, wouldn’t you say? You can’t promote, you can accept, and by giving people the freedom to be what they are without fear, then I guess you can support, but you can only “promote” something that people are free to choose, and we aren’t free to choose our sexuality. I have no quarrel… Read more »

Spiro
Spiro
15 years ago

Dear Ford Elms, The only truthful and meaningful thing I can tell you is this: As a heterosexual, I struggle (and I succeed by the power of the Holy Spirit) with maintaining sexual purity. I don’t think that just because it is very, very difficult for you to experience an attraction for the opposite sex in stead of a person of your own sex makes it acceptable for you to engage in a same-sex relationship. I know that most healthy men (myself included) are NATURALLY DRAWN to want to have multiple sexual partners and have sexual relationships in very promiscuous… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
15 years ago

Spiro, is it merely very, very difficult for you to be attracted to a man? Would you be able to do it if you thought it was right? That would make one of us. I’m not straight. Period. It’s not that I have to work really hard to find a woman attractive. To say that monogamy and celibacy are the same is rediculous. I’m in a relationship, I don’t find monogamy difficult at all, actually. Lambeth conferences have repeatedly called for the Church to listen to gay people. You have obviously not obeyed, if you come out with this kind… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
15 years ago

I am terminating this sequence of comments as it has nothing to do with the subject of the article.

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