Thinking Anglicans

more Nigerian reports

First, my earlier article on official church news items was incomplete. Several further press releases have followed:

2007 Episcopal Retreat Press briefing Q & A : Abp. Akinola answers questions on Elections, Niger-Delta, Lambeth, and other issues. This includes the following:

Primates February Tanzania meeting and the homosexuality issue
We are not going to Tanzania to discuss gay marriages. We are going to Tanzania because we are Primates of the Church and we have many things to talk about and to pray about. We come together primarily for fellowship as Primates, we come together to study the word of God and to think together on various matters that concerns our provinces. So the gay marriage thing is not the main agenda. It may rear its ugly head again but it is not the main agenda.

Church of Nigeria Bishops and Lambeth 2008
We are part and parcel of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Lambeth Conference is called once in every ten years for all Anglicans Bishops therefore it is our conference. What we are saying in Church of Nigeria and in many other provinces in Africa is that for us to gather all over the world as many as 800 Bishops, and to build that consensus and to agree on certain things, and for some to say “well it doesn’t matter; we can continue things in our own way”. Then think of the financial implication, think of the risks involved. For 120 Bishops from Nigeria to travel to England, consider the financial implication. It will not cost any diocese in the country lest than N1million – for the delegates and other expenses-. We are talking about N120million and we are going to spend three weeks there. And then on return, there is nothing to show for it, that is what we are arguing against. So, we are part and parcel of Lambeth Conference, but we are challenging the authorities that before we come, we have to be sure that we are not coming for a Jamboree. We are coming for serious business and we have plenty of time before Lambeth to decide whether we are coming for a mere jamboree or a serious conference.

Press Release : 20 new bishops elected : Names of newly elected bishops and their dioceses
Church on the MOVE…: Rare glimpse into activities surrounding election of bishops.

Second, there has been this report in the Wall Street Journal In Nigeria, a Bill To Punish Gays Divides a Family which has also been reproduced at The Nigerian Village Square. This legislation is not mentioned in the press briefing.

45 comments

  • Ford Elms says:

    At House of Rainbow, Rev. Jide repeatedly encounters his own family struggle in members of his flock. “The biggest issue,” he says, “is people have been wounded in their family by being rejected, by being totally unloved.”

    Ah, Conservative Evangelical family values. Gotta love ’em, eh?

  • Tunde says:

    Beats me why the WSJ article should go along with our official church releases. Why is Thinking Anglicans joining those that see nothing else in the Church of Nigeria except the homosexual issue.

    Also the article is flawed in that Jide and Father’s misunderstanding dates back to 2004 while the yet to be ratified bill was proposed in 2006. Is this timing as deliberate as the NYT Christmas story?

    Anyway, I hope readers see what our bishops are talking about and not what some others want to present us preoccupied with.

  • drdanfee says:

    Apparently, there are many more indigenous, non-western African LGBTQ citizens in Nigeria than we were first told by the ConsEvs forces, including ABN Akinola. The changes are surely coming to Nigeria as much as to the rest of us, thanks in no little part to the witness of South Africa holding forth equalities on the same continent.

    Given the deprivations common in Nigerian prisons, I would not be surprised if a multi-year sentence were a de facto death sentence in terms of the risks – both of violence by other inmates, and disease due to medical-physical neglect.

    If prison sentences turned queer folks straight we could use them for church treatment of sexual orientation variances in many countries, now couldn’t we? In an economically developed nation, you can usually send somebody to a public university for about what it costs to lock them up.

    I think Akinola is pretty cagey, and is considering how to set the stage for Nigeria not attending Lambeth 2008 if his leadership is not allowed to realign all the other Anglican bishops. Imagine a million Nigerian bucks, just to send a bishop to the conference for a few weeks – they must be traveling/sojourning in high style? Are Ahmanson and Scaife and Other USA Rightwingers on board to help fund this line item?

    A good sign in that direction might be if/when dis-invitations to certain other bishops (mainly like KJS and VGR and ????) are not clearly issued as Anglican denunciations.

    Once TEC is finished with, other provinces wait in the wings. One cannot expect the juggernaut of realignment to suddenly screech to a ConsEvs halt? Next stops, Canada? Scotland? Europe? New Zealand? Brazil? South Africa? ???? Fill in the blanks?

    How much longer should TEC help pay for meetings in which TEC is presupposed to be nothing but all the negatives hurled in an snowstorm of false witness and anathema?

  • Cynthia Gilliatt says:

    Wow! Why do we bother taking the time for choosing an election committee, writing a profile of the diocese, inviting nominations from the whole of TEC, reading resumes, conducting background checks, interveiwing candidates in their home parishes, inviting the finalists to meet with members of the diocese in a week-long series of open meetings, and then hold an election at our annual council?

    This is SO much quicker.

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Imagine a million Nigerian bucks, just to send a bishop to the conference for a few weeks – they must be traveling/sojourning in high style?

    I think it works out at about USD 8000.

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Also the article is flawed in that Jide and Father’s misunderstanding dates back to 2004 while the yet to be ratified bill was proposed in 2006. Is this timing as deliberate as the NYT Christmas story?

    Can’t see that this qualifies as a flaw. Surely the point is that TEC is now being gripped by an issue (that of churches wishing to come under Nigerian oversight): the use of this story is not some conspiracy – it just acquires particular relevance for the US readership at this present, now that a wider US audience is becoming aware of the tensions within that minority denomination, Anglicanism.

    It is a rather inconvenient story, however. Truth does have sharp edges.

  • Jim Naughton says:

    The idea that the NYT and WSJ are deliberately timing their stories to harm the Church of Nigeria is peculiar to say the least. The Journal is no friend of gay rights, and having the Times’ very damaging story appear on Christmas morning, a day of low readership and low internet usage, was probably the best Archbishop Akinola could have hoped for having said the self incriminating things he said.

  • Ford Elms says:

    Tunde,
    The bill is symptomatic of something greater. It shows that there is in Nigerian society a deep seated aversion to homosexuality. This aversion is exhibited in ways which, far from making gay people feel a need to repent of anything, drives them to dispair. It divides families. It causes grief, hardship, and misery. If you really wanted to convert gay people to a celebate and, as far as you are concerned, Godly life without the sin of homosexuality, you would want to find ways to preach that message so that your intended audience could hear it. Instead, you have upheld the very factors in your society that force gay people underground and, if anything, turn them away from God. This yet to be ratified bill is perhaps, for those of us on the outside, the most glaring example of how hollow is your claim to hate the sin but love the sinner. You claim to want them to find salvation, yet forcing them underground actually prevents them from finding ways to practice the celebacy that you claim God wants for them. Frankly, you are failing to Evangelize gay people and others, who preach a message different from your own, are stepping in to fill the gap. Your behaviour shows that, far from wanting gay people to be included in the Kingdom of God, you want them off the streets and in the jails, but most importantly, out of sight so you don’t have to think about them.

  • Very sad and very moving. But also in a strange way hopeful, witnessing to God’s love and the love of God.

  • drdanfee wrote: “Given the deprivations common in Nigerian prisons, I would not be surprised if a multi-year sentence were a de facto death sentence in terms of the risks – both of violence by other inmates, and disease due to medical-physical neglect.”

    So were these sentences when introduced in England little over a century ago.

  • Thomas+ says:

    Re: Church on the move…

    I wonder what the clergy and laity of the CANA churches is thinking knowing that they have been shut out of the elections to the episcopate altogether. Who is going to elect the next Martyn for them?

  • Leonardo Ricardo says:

    “We are part and parcel of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Lambeth Conference is called once in every ten years for all Anglicans Bishops therefore it is our conference.” +Peter Akinola of Nigeria

    Amazing. +Akinola THEN wants to project the “outcome” of Lambeth so he can decide if the “spiritual investment” will balance out the “financial investment” (meanwhile he keeps increasing the number of Bishops to add to his financial “strain” and add to his “voting” clout).

    Perhaps +Akinola ought try and hire the “Holy Spirit” directly to advise him “free lance” in advance of any “listening” type revelations that may occur at Lambeth that he may disapprove of!

    Allowing conversations about “worldwide moral dilemmas” at HIS Anglican Communion must be AVOIDED at ANY cost! Out-of-Akinolan-control *ideals* against his “partyline” puritan/despostic morality/mentality would clearly endanger The Anglican Church of Nigerias abilitiy to hear anything other then the sound of the +Akinola voice!

    +Akinola employs PROJECTING, demanding and threatening with *others* in his silly/heavyhanded “press release.”

    Bullying tactics may be “normal” in Nigeria but around here a ill-spirited threat by a selfrighteous “bigshot” is viewed as a pathetic and dangerous grab for control.

  • Leonardo Ricardo says:

    Dear Canon Tunde,

    When will Bishop Akinola “listen” to LGBT Christians at Changing Attitudes at the Anglican Church of Nigeria?

    Will Bishop Akinola and his many “Bishops” attempt to resolve social problems/differences at “Changing Attitudes Nigeria” with LGBT Christians before venturing abroad for the Lambeth Conference?

    Isn’t it sane and more rational for +Akinola to STOP threatening us on the subject of LGBT relationships until he knows more “details” about LGBT “relationships” (both intimate and merely social) in NIGERIA and beyond?

    Ought +Akinola stop the “war drum” beating and strident warning to us against *possible* Lambeth “off” conversations/topics that he will REFUSE to discuss or “listen” to?

    Ought Bishop Akinola simply be “part of” the Anglican Communion Lambeth Conference as other Bishops who come from every corner of world and world believing?

    Does +Akinola think he thinks/speaks for everyone in the Anglican Communion?

    Does +Akinola try to find “Love thy neighbor as yourself” solutions for LGBT Anglicans whom are OUTCASTS, SHUNNED, SHAMED, SLANDERED (soon to be jailed?) in NIGERIA?

    Bishop Akinola, please don’t threaten us anymore with your noisy “words” while simultaneously exporting dangerous and pompus versions of religious discrimination, fear and hate to other locations in the Anglican world.

    Mil Gracias from the Global Center

  • Prior Aelred says:

    drdanfree & Göran —

    The anecdotal evidence that was shared with me is that gay men are not expected to survive their prison sentence (& don’t). As in Victorian England, lesbians are really a non-issue.

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Hm. Prior Aelred’s comment above means that the position of the Anglican Nigerian church might be said to be less compassionate than that of sharia law: to condemn someone to a moderately quick deat by stoning is probably preferable to the cruel and unnatural punishment which imprisonment with extra-judicial execution presupposed.

    This is a position of which no Christian can possibly approve, and I think Tunde needs to explain how he squares support for the Nigerian legislation with his compassionate concern for the gay community in his country. I don’t believe that an appeal to ‘double effect’ would cut much ice with TA or the UN.

    If the forseeable consequence of action x is y, then support for action x necessitates accepting responsibility for consequence y. The Nigerian Church approves of legislation which will directly lead to the death of those who fall foul of it, ergo the Nigerian Anglican Church believes that extra-judicial execution is not an unfitting consequence of two gays meeting for a drink.

    Perhaps THAT’S why some correspondents talk about a correlation between homosexuality and shortened life expectancy….

    Scandalised of Mercia.

  • Pluralist says:

    Perhaps if Akinola can be convinced it is a mere jamboree the 120 might not turn up…

  • Mind you, there are 2 famous examples of people that survived Victorian prisons on bread, water and knocking on stone… Oscar Wilde and a painter whose name I forgot who in his after-prison life drew in chalk on the pavement he slept on outside the National Gallery.

    “So much fresh air!” he said.

  • The denial alloyed with fear in AB Akinola’s declarations make me think things are not going quite as well for the realigners as they would have it.

    Somehow…

  • John Richardson says:

    mysterinpost=David Rowett, above, accuses the Nigerian delegation of intending to live the ‘high life’ when they come to Lambeth – an almost-but-not-quite libellous allegation as it stands. He bases this on Akinola’s statement that it will cost each diocese no less than N$1m to send its delegation, a figure he says is ‘roughly’ US$8,000. The latest currency conversion I can get is that it is actually US$7,800, or about £4,000 sterling. I understand that bishops sometimes go to Lambeth with spouses who have a special Lambeth programme organised for them. Typical airfare at the moment is £450 each. Add on airport tax (UK), travel insurance, taxis, etc. and call it £1,100 for two. The Conference is 19 days – call it 21 if you arrive the day before it starts and leave the day after. London is probably the most expensive city in the world – the cheapest journey on the tube (subway) is now £4 (US$7.9). Each participant is responsible for their own conference fees and accommodation costs. Plus there are costs to the diocese itself while the bishop is away. I can see where £3,900 would go for two people in that time. I couldn’t find much about what other dioceses will spend, but I note that in 2004, West Texas had US$17,000 in its Lambeth Conference reserve fund. That’s N$2.2m. Minnesota seems to be budgeting US$5,000 per year.

  • John,
    The conference is not scheduled to take place in London.

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Mr Richardson:
    you will note that the words ‘imagine a million bucks….’ are words of Drdanfee.

    My own small contribution is to convert the Nigerian currency into something more internationally recognisable, the US Dollar, and to have read my post otherwise seems strange. I would NOT make reference to ‘a million bucks’ and then gloss it at about USD 8K, would I????

    Please pay attention at the back there!

  • Ford Elms says:

    “Perhaps +Akinola ought try and hire the “Holy Spirit” directly to advise him “free lance” in advance of any “listening” type revelations that may occur at Lambeth that he may disapprove of!”

    But he doesn’t need to. The Spirit, if present at any gathering of the Church can only speak so as to quote Scripture. Anything else is just “following the traditions of men”. So he knows how Lambeth should turn out, he’s merely now trying to figure out if Lambeth will quote Scripture, which will indicate to him the action of the Spirit, or if it will attempt to find some common ground, some way to live together in mutual repsect, which will of course, not be from the Spirit at all. We all know how much the Spirit hates to see us get along!

  • laurence says:

    It would be so lovely if the C of N could incorporate the rite of consecration to the episcopate into the rite of initiation — baptism, chrism, first communion, ordination – why not ?

    BTW
    I had never considered that Lambeth Conferences were much more than jamborees. Though Bishop Richard Holloway, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, likened the atmosphere and episcopal behaviour of the last presided over by George Carey, to a Nuremberg Rally. And he cancelled his planned retirement so concerned was he about the goings on in the AC – prophet or what ? He remained in post until he reached the mandatory age of retirement.

  • drdanfee says:

    Well the per capita income figures on the net are so far not quite clear. One site reports that the per capita income is 1, 154.00. But doesn’t say for certain whether this is USA Dollars or Nigeria currency.

    Either way, a million Nigeria seems like quite a lot compared to 1,154.00 in either Nigeria currency or changed USA dollars. It is still possible that outside realignment funders will warm to the notion of paying to send Nigerian bishops to Lambeth, if Nigeria attends. There is lots of money on the USA right, no doubt about it. Viewed it would seem as uber-clean money, untouched by queer/progressive believer hands.

    I cannot cite the reference, but dimly remember reading somewhere that the Nigerian Christians are at the economic forefront of business development in Nigeria, and maybe that explains in part their greater budgets. Of course this opens us up to the critique of the God wants believers to be rich sort of gospel that some ConsEvs mega-churches are currently preaching.

    These are sideline issues to the main themes: Should TEC help pay for meetings at which it is presumed ahead of time to be unwelcome as an equal provincial Anglican church? Plus, exactly what is the Nigerian Anglican gospel justification for a de facto sentence of Nigerian queer folks to death? (Just because Mulsim fundamentalist law does involve the death penalty?) Plus, can Rowan Williams simply presume that the progressive believers have no where else to go, sort of like the Democrats did with lefties and queer folks during a few past decades, while he busies himself with finessing the Anglican rightwing realignment that actually would dump him in a quick minute if it were now possible to do so? Plus, even if Canterbury acquiesces to the exclusion of TEC, what will then next have to happen with others like Brazil, Canada, and CoE itself? Plus, How can we best support and nurture from afar the Nigerian queer folks, kicked out by their own religious families?

    The juxtaposition of WSJ and official Nigerian church pronouncements allows us to compare the reporting of the facts, vs. the percentage of spin doctoring content. Either forum can seemingly fall either way. So far. Alas. Lord have mercy.

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Just as a continuation of discussion on the longevity prospects of a Nigerian prisoner, the US state department released a report on Nigerian prisons in 2005 which included the following.

    “Disease was pervasive in the cramped, poorly ventilated facilities, and chronic shortages of medical supplies were reported. Prison inmates were allowed outside their cells for recreation or exercise only irregularly, and many inmates had to provide their own food. Only those with money or whose relatives brought food regularly had sufficient food; petty corruption among prison officials made it difficult for money provided for food to reach prisoners. Poor inmates often relied on handouts from others to survive. Beds or mattresses were not provided to many inmates, forcing them to sleep on concrete floors, often without a blanket. Prison officials, police, and security forces often denied inmates food and medical treatment as a form of punishment or to extort money from them.

    Harsh conditions and denial of proper medical treatment contributed to the deaths of numerous prisoners. According to the National Governmental Organizations (NGO) Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), dead inmates were promptly buried on the prison compounds, usually without notifications to their families. A nationwide estimate of the number of inmates who died in the country’s prisons was difficult to obtain because of poor record keeping by prison officials.”

    It should be remembered that these are the conditions into which someone having a coffee with his boyfriend may well be catapulted. Is homosexuality expressed at this social level sufficiently sinful (to those who consider it sinful in the first place) to make this justifiable? Is Christian support for legislation which will bring such suffering about an affirmation of or a complete negation of ‘good news’?

    Anyone out there in the Nigerian Anglican Church care to comment? Do you consider this punishment proportionate to the crime? If so, fine, we know where you stand: if not, how do you defend your support for the legislation?

  • Davis d'Ambly says:

    Göran asked: ‘Mind you, there are 2 famous examples of people that survived Victorian prisons on bread, water and knocking on stone… Oscar Wilde and a painter whose name I forgot who in his after-prison life drew in chalk on the pavement he slept on outside the National Gallery.

    “So much fresh air!” he said.’

    That would be Simeon Solomon

  • Davis Mac-Iyalla says:

    If Rev Jide Macaulay were to be an Anglican in the church of Nigeria, Oh dear the world must by now be reading that a new Scammer has joined the race.

    Slowly and clearly the world will come to know that facts and pains we are feeling in Nigeria because of the actions of the Nigerian Anglican Church Supporting that Bill that will make us an outcast in our country.

    Most of us have been separated from our families and many disowned by their family.

    All WE Request from ++Akinola is to create a safe place for us where we can tell our stories without any threat or violence against us.

    Changing Attitude Nigeria continue to remain faithful and committed Anglicans despite the many attacks we are getting from the Nigerian Church and Canon Tunde.

    We will welcome any form of support from friends and supporters.

  • “Bishop Richard Holloway, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, likened the atmosphere and episcopal behaviour of the last presided over by George Carey, to a Nuremberg Rally.”

    My bishop was appalled: “They were so angry, you can’t believe how angry they were” he said to me.

    Swedish bishops are invited to Lambeth – no explanations given, but remember Dr Reuterdahl, the Archbishop of Upsalla was invited to the first Lambeth conference (he agreed with Bishop Colenso on Dr Darwin, but declined the invitation).

  • mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) says:

    Göran commented:
    “Bishop Richard Holloway, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, likened the atmosphere and episcopal behaviour of the last presided over by George Carey, to a Nuremberg Rally.”

    There was an interesting article penned by Andrew Brown on the subject of the last Lambeth. Originally written for Granta, an edited version eventually appeared in the Church Times. I did not get the impression from it that Lambeth was a happy occasion.

    Another source told me of the strange logic which enabled (I think) a Ugandan prelate to insist (after Augustine of Hippo)that heterosexual sex was only for the purposes of reproduction, and yet simultaneously to find a way round that restriction for himself. It did not give me any confidence in the integrity of that individual’s moral theology.

  • Colin Coward says:

    I think it was Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester, who likened the debate to a Nuremburg Rally. The bishop doesn’t really matter. The character of the debate does. I was there, and it was foul.

  • John Richardson says:

    Dear mynsterpreost

    I’m sorry I didn’t notice you were quoting someone else in your post. The words weren’t in quotes, so I misread it. Ditto thanks to whoever pointed out the conference isn’t in London, but at the University of Kent.

    The point (obviously) I was making is that it seems a bit ‘rich’ to accuse Nigerians of coming over to the UK to ‘live it up’ courtesy of being at the Lambeth Conference. I’m sure their own folks back home are capable of raising an eyebrow or two if the figures given are suggesting any such thing. I presume even the Nigerians are capable of adding up fares, fees and so on and working out if their bishops are cheating or not.

    John R

  • John Richardson says:

    As a PS, I think in drawing attention to the figures given for sending the Nigerian delegation to Lambeth 2008, we may be missing the point Akinola is making, which is that it is so expensive they might not come at all, meaning they would save the money.

  • drdanfee says:

    Akinola’s frugality seems one way if you stay just with the money – he is a poor struggling church leader, and has better things to spend on than attending frilly expensive church parties with despicable queer-friendly believers who soon will be finally defined out, as non-Anglicans, God be praised and God be willing.

    If you allow that money comment to sit in the other chairs Akinola has occupied as a realignment leader – Don’t worry about Rowan, he will do what we tell him to do – or – Who needs Canterbury? – or – I don’t hate queer folks, I love, love, love them and maybe God can use a prison sentence to turn them straight like they are supposed to be? – it all sounds like spin doctoring to me. Bravo USA Right, then, for they are succeeding in transmitting their spin doctoring public media ways to the rest of the world, Colonialisms be damned. This sort of talk from a church leader may pass muster in Nigeria, although I would not bet on it absolutely, but it wears thin and tinny for anybody who isn’t already brainwashed according to closed categorical ConsEvs protocols.

    Culturally, historically, the facts remain, along with the core meanings of the facts: Europe was once as institutionally, economically, and legally prejudiced about people of color and about its queer citizens as Nigeria still is about queer citizens and about their friends and about their church family. That still does not make it ethical. Let alone factually accurate.

  • drdanfee says:

    Money issues complaints are maybe part of the continuing realignment Nigerian smoke screen, just as passing comments on the Muslim death penalty for queer Nigerians helps to deflect us and obscure the death sentence that Akinola is confortable dealing out to citizens like Rev. Jide. All maybe just in case this whole inevitable realignment movement to judge and condemn queer-friendly or science-friendly believers or all the other former varieties of worldwide Anglican believers – suddenly goes sour on Akinola. That would mean some of his comments being seen, pretty much for what they are in context, cultural and historical, instead of always being read the ways ConsEvs like to read the Bible – i.e., don’t study it, don’t explore it, just repeat it knowing already what it means.

    Plus, maybe, what goes for Tanzania might go for Lambeth? Something like: Under those circumstances (open door policy?), I could not possibly sit at the same tables or in the same rooms with THOSE AWFUL people. Who failed to DIS-invite THEM? We follow Jesus, so the first thing on our minds is always to set out who is sinful and inferior to us as the saved ones. If we saved folks are not the ones sitting deservedly at Jesus’ right hand in the place of honor reserved for important guests at ancient near eastern feasts, then what, what, what, what is the point?

    Maybe other comments might be heard. Along the lines of – it was nothing but a silly Anglican party that that horrible queer bishop and that vile woman presiding bishop got to attend, so who in his right mind wanted to be there? – or – I’ve spent so much money ordaining bishops for missionary work in USA that I have no money left to come to Lambeth? – or – ??????

  • David Walker says:

    I’m perplexed about this notion that Lambeth ’08 might be a “jamboree” – at least if I’m reading that word in its colloquial, pejorative sense rather than that used in the scouting movement.

    I guess bishops will come together to spend time in prayer and worship; to give and receive hospitality and welcome to each other; to study the scriptures in depth; to re-invigorate ministry through engaging with one another. There will be some rest and relaxation both before the main programme and during it; and some formal statements to be agreed and issued in the name of the conference.

    If that all amounts to a jamboree then I guess the earthly ministry of Jesus was a bit of a jamboree too, and just as well nobody wasted vast sums getting to Israel for it. But to me it sounds like exactly what bishops should be doing when they gather together outside their formal jurisdictions.

    And if bishops really only want to come in order to vote on matters over which they’ve already made up their minds, then I guess we could save even more money and do it by internet.

    David

  • There is a big obsession about being on the right hand of God. There is a misconception that the left hand is unsaved and unwanted.

    David did not guard only one side e.g. “…though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left.” (see 2 Samual 16:5-14) Plus in Zechariah 12, God makes it clear that both the left and the right will be rebuked. Interestingly this passage also tells us that “The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.” Maybe that is why the OT/Hebrew texts are being so useful at this juncture in history?

    2 Corinthians 6:3-13 also seems useful. It starts with “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited” and includes :…with weapons of righteousness in the RIGHT hand and in the LEFT …”

    Jeremiah 5:30-31 probably best summarises God’s complaint for this generation: “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”

    Plagues, wars, famine, poverty will not be overcome through divine intervention. They will continue until we repent of aggressive and selfish paradigms that condone the promotion of selfish elitists needs at the expense fair and legitimate needs of the majority. Shunning the eunuchs and afflicted is insufficient to mitigate the excesses of this generations’ most greedy. It is not 2% – 2%. It is 50% – 2%. God seeks balance and moderation, compassion and mercy, truth and justice. Attacking 2% of the population will not solve 50% of the world’s problems.

  • Tunde says:

    Simon,

    See what I mean, Our bishops had a retreat where the gay issue was not on the agenda. You graciously added it and the usual TA folks forgot about most of the bishop’s statements from the retreat.

    THANKS

  • David Walker wrote: “I guess bishops will come together to spend time in prayer and worship; to give and receive hospitality and welcome to each other; to study the scriptures in depth; to re-invigorate ministry through engaging with one another.”

    800 of them? at the same time?? after Dromantine???

    David Walker wrote: “There will be some rest and relaxation both before the main programme and during it; and some formal statements to be agreed and issued in the name of the conference.”

    Just a reminder: a Lambeth Conference is a conference in the ancient sense. Get together. Conversation, sharing. Tea and cakes, bread and wine.

    It is not a political assembly; it doesn’t vote, it has no powers, it doesn’t legislate. For itself or for others.

  • laurence says:

    ‘…Our bishops had a retreat where the gay issue was not on the agenda. You graciously added it and the usual TA folks forgot about most of the bishop’s statements from the retreat. ‘

    My understanding of a retreat must be very different. Retreats do not have ‘agendas’ or produce ‘bishops statements from the retreat.’

    Retreats are being alone with GOD together, & together alone with GOD.

    Maybe the good bishops needed to have spent a lot more time on their knees. Time for the heart’s Adoration, before the blessed Sacrament exposed. GOD not politics. Silence not more words….

    Is this why the AC is in this state if the bishops neither know what retreat is nor enter its costly, ineffable embrace

    They received their religion from the UK didn’t they ? SO when do WE change , turn again ?

    If only all the bishops of the Anglican Communion would put aside their mobiles, lap-tops and radios and go in to the Wilderness for the 6 months… that would take faith and guts ….

  • For Elms says:

    “Time for the heart’s Adoration, before the blessed Sacrament exposed.”
    LOL. My understanding of the tradition of most African Anglicanism, especially that of Nigeria, is that this would cause more than a little consternation. My worry with the rise of Evangelicalism is that those of us who find great spiritual comfort in such an act will one day be cast into the outer darkness along with the gays and their sympathizers as the quest for True Evangelical Purity continues.

  • Merseymike says:

    Laurence : yes, the problem is that they would only come back….

  • This quote came through from Sojourners today:

    “The only purpose of the gospel is to reconcile people to God and to each other. A gospel that doesn’t reconcile is not a Christian gospel at all. But in America, it seems as if we don’t believe that. We don’t really believe that the proof of our discipleship is that we love one another (see John 13:35). No, we think the proof is in numbers … Even if our “converts” continue to hate each other, even if they will not worship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, we point to their “conversion” as evidence of the gospel’s success. We have substituted a gospel of church growth for a gospel of reconciliation.”

    – quoting John Perkins from “With Justice for All”

  • Prior Aelred says:

    Clearly Nigeria has assumed leadership for many of the disaffected primates of the Global South, no doubt partly because of its size, but unquestionably also because of the personality & opinions of its primate, but as the primates’ meeting approaches, I think we need to be clear that the Akinolists have NEVER accepted the Windsor Report — NEVER! The WR does not condemn TEC or New Westminster because their actions were contrary to Scripture but because their actions were not in keeping with the current mind of the WWAC & that they should stop (but NOT asking +Gene to resign) for a period so there can be further discussion of the matter. This position of the WR would never be acceptable to the fundamentalists of the Global South nor have they ever accepted the prohibition of boundary crossing. They have always rejected the WR in its entirety, except as a weaopn to beat TEC. There is absolutely no reason to believe that there will be any change in this.

  • laurence says:

    ‘Laurence : yes, the problem is that they would only come back….’

    Possibly Mike !

    On the other hand, possibly changed, perhaps beyond immediate recognition, like characters in The Cocktail Party

  • laurence says:

    Thanks for this message Cheryl. Encouraging and inspiring.

    What is the Sojurners ?

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