Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of Nigeria addresses the Press

The Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh addressed a press conference on Wednesday. The full text of his prepared remarks can be found at ADDRESS OF PRESS CONFERENCE DELIVERED BY THE MOST REVD NICHOLAS OKOH.

Among his remarks was this:

We congratulate Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the new CAN President and wish him a very successful tenure. We invite him and all denominational leaders to protect Christian interests and our cherished way of life, including speaking out against the invading army of homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexual lifestyle under any guise. In this matter silence can be detrimental to public well being. The issue at stake of human sexuality is not an Anglican prerogative and it is by no means limited to the Anglican circle as it is clearly shown all over the world. Same sex marriage, paedophilia and all sexual pervasions should be roundly condemned by all who accept the authority of Scripture over human life…

And then he continued:

…Recently, our Church was classified along with Churches who have broken call for moratorium by the Anglican authorities in Canterbury, in certain areas such as ordination of Gay Bishops, conducting of same sex marriage and border crossing. Our church is said to have crossed borders in its pastoral work in the USA. We reject being put in the same category with churches conducting gay ordination and same sex marriage, and the equating of our evangelical initiative (for which we should be commended) with those who are doing things unbiblical. But for the Nigerian initiative and others like her, many of our faithful Anglican American friends who cannot tolerate the unbiblical practices of the Episcopal Church in America could have gone away to other faiths. The great commission to go in to all the world to save souls is our compelling constitution. The step taken by Canterbury in this regard therefore is ill-advised and does not make any contribution towards the healing of the ailment in the Anglican extended family.

The Church in the West had vowed to use their money to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and Churches; after all Africa is poor. They are pursuing this agenda vigorously and what is more, they now have the support of the United Nations. We therefore call on parents to ensure that their children obtain their first degree in Nigeria before travelling abroad. Parents and guardians should closely watch and monitor the relationship which their children or wards keep so that deviant behaviour could be timely corrected. The sin of homosexuality, it must be reemphasised, destroyed the communities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Hat tip Episcopal Café which reported it under the headline Primate of Nigeria speaks on homosexuality and border crossing.

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Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
11 years ago

I’m sorry but I just laughed out loud when I read this, especially the clinching argument about Sodom and Gomorrah. For sheer ignorance it just about takes the biscuit.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
11 years ago

What a sad testimony, to bring our faith so low by qualifying it in such terms. And what of this? “(vi). We also wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of the moral appropriateness of specific human behaviours, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

Good heavens – it really is an idee fixe with the Nigerian Church!

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“The Church in the West had vowed to use their money to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and Churches; after all Africa is poor. They are pursuing this agenda vigorously and what is more, they now have the support of the United Nations.” – Archbishop Okoh, Primate of Nigeria – This is just further evidence of the unbalanced theological stance of Abp. Okoh – on matters about which he clearly has little understanding. His insistence that there is some kind of liberal ‘funding’ for the ‘spread of homosexual teaching’ in the continent of Africa is nothing less than… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
11 years ago

Since all the clergy are to be educated within the ( presumably safe ) confines of the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary in Abeokuta things seem unlikely to change.it would be interesting to know what the ordinands are taught? not much biblical criticism one fears.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
11 years ago

“the invading army of homosexuality”
If this were not so vicious and horrible, it would be funny. “Onward Homo Soldiers, marching as to war…”

“The Church in the West had vowed to use their money to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and Churches”

Actually, of course, many TEC dioceses have companion ministry relationships with African dioceses, working for potable water, food, medicine, giving out masquito nets etc., whereas the antigay money pours forth from Scaife et alia.

But hey, who needs facts when you can make up your own?

Waiting, as usual, for any word from Lambeth.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
11 years ago

I guess Martyn Minns stopped writing the speeches for the Primate of all Nigeria

chenier1
chenier1
11 years ago

And ‘Canterbury’ has his just reward in the contempt shown to him by those whom he has spent so long trying to placate…

Fr John
Fr John
11 years ago

This so called ‘Bishop’ is the one beyond all human understanding, and the enemy of Christs Gospel. It is laughable if it were not for the fact that many families, and young people believe his words, and become bound in those very chains that Christ woulod release us from. Pray for the people, and pray they may hear the true Gospel, and their children be free to rejoice in the many varied ways God has created us.

Fr John (SCOTLAND)

Zach
Zach
11 years ago

I, an American Anglican, considered myself a moderate in the matters of the Great Anglican Divorce for a long time. Comments like this, however, have completely obliterated any desire to “make a deal” with the conservative Provinces. While the ECUSA is often condemned, especially by +Canterbury, for failing to work with the Communion, I rather think the Communion has completely failed to offer us any compelling reason to deal.

bobinswpa
bobinswpa
11 years ago

Lovely chap isn’t he!!!

Michael
Michael
11 years ago

It seems that any association with the Church in Nigeria and other GAFCON churches will interfere with the Church of England’s efforts to spread the Gospel at home. Therefore, for the sake of protecting the credibility of the C of E (& other Anglican provinces), the Archbishop of Canterbury must publicly dissociate from churches that are pretending to represent the true version of Anglicanism. Of course, he will not do this, which is a pity. He is allowing provinces such as Nigeria to run amok with a revised and distorted definition of Anglicanism.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
11 years ago

“Since all the clergy are to be educated within the ( presumably safe ) confines of the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary in Abeokuta things seem unlikely to change.it would be interesting to know what the ordinands are taught? not much biblical criticism one fears.”

I presume some of our homegrown clergy train there too.

peterpi
peterpi
11 years ago

I was away for a couple of weeks “on holiday” with my partner and her family enjoying God’s Creation in Western Colorado, and came back just in time for Abp. Okoh. With no apologies whatsoever, Abp., the “sin” of homosexuality, it must be reemphasised, is NOT what destroyed the communities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A very long rabbinical tradition of exigesis, I believe supported by many Christian theologians, is that inhospitality and cruel treatment of the strangers in their midst is what condemned Sodom and Gomorrah. But why let the real traditions of two faiths interfere with inhospitality towards the… Read more »

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

“The Church in the West had vowed to use their money to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and Churches”

What can one say of (much less, *to*) a man so disconnected from reality?

Someone (obviously not TEC) needs to spread the “lifestyle” of SANITY to Archbishop Okoh!

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
11 years ago

No, Michael there is a wide belief at Lambeth that Archbishops Okoh and Orombi are extremists, but these people also think TEC and New Westminster are out on a limb. Remember Nigeria and Uganda were the leaders of the Lambeth Conference boycott, both have disparaged the leadership of Rowan Williams and attacked the CofE, Orombi has turned up his nose at the ACC and the Joint Standing Committee – both have criticised the outcomes of Primates Meetings. The thinking of Lambeth Palace apparatchiks is that the power struggle is between these extremes and their supporters, so their tactics have been… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
11 years ago

Clearly this new Nigerian Anglican leader will tow the party line, funded and shaped by the far religious right in USA policy and money streams. He commits the key sin of Sodom-Gomorrah in his hostile lack of hospitality, no doubt wishing to hunt out the visiting strangers whom he otherwise claims not to know at all. Queer folks are substitute scapegoats in this uneasy scenario. I cannot take at all seriously his facile, rote ascription of deep dangers (per his Nigerian mythology about queer folks) and real modern queer life – as if suddenly anybody, anybody at all, can inadvertently… Read more »

Dirk Reinken
Dirk Reinken
11 years ago

Abp Okoh said, “including speaking out against the invading army of homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexual lifestyle under any guise.”

But our army isn’t (yet) allowed to knowingly have known gay soldiers!

We should remember this if Nigeria ever needs UN assistance with their own blossoming regional conflicts . . .

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

Frankly, I hope the Archbishop holds many more similar press conferences in the future. I hope he loudly rails against the evil, queer-enabling UN being in cahoots with the West to threaten the precious bodily fluids of Nigerian youth. And I hope he gets lots and lots of press coverage abroad for it. Nothing – absolutely nothing – is better PR for the Gay Agenda than the sincere, honest, hateful, crazy ravings of its opponents.

John B. Chilton
John B. Chilton
11 years ago

On the subject of boundary crossings he is (as CoN always has) admitting and proudly embracing the truth — that CoN has and is doing them.

Is he saying that Kearon has been in touch to double check?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
11 years ago

“Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary in Abeokuta”

I tried to find a web page for this place via Google and another search – only found a few references in speeach by Akinola and something else tangential.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
11 years ago

Selective acceptance of authority – never!

How will he ever sign up to a covenant??

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

“Revisit this whole flat earthed Sodom and Gomorrah business. Bad Bible scholarship makes for very bad sermons. Alas, Lord have mercy.”

Please re-read Jude 7. And may the Lord have mercy on *you*.

Rob+
Rob+
11 years ago

Dan, Are you saying that we should listen to Jude about Sodom and Gomorrah over modern scholars? That Jude, one of the twelve apostles hand picked by Jesus after praying all night, whose mind was opened by Jesus himself to understand the scriptures at Jesus’ resurrection and who was empowered by God the Holy Spirit to preach to the world and martyred for it was actually right? Really? But surely the liberal revisionist scholars in the thriving and healthy western part of the Anglican Communion know better now. I mean, just look at the fruit of their teachings… at how… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
11 years ago

Gee, okay, Thanks for asking. As it happens I have read Jude, in parts and in whole, along with the rest of the NT and OT literatures. Jude is even more years removed from the original events than the direct citations in the OT story (written fairly long afterwards, but not so long afterwards as Jude?) – so, Jude read as long-removed from the original; and rehearsing what most scholars agree was one of the going beliefs of the day (now long removed from us, critically and culturally?) … about angels, strange flesh, and so forth. I prefer looking a… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
11 years ago

There are no British asylum seekers in Nigeria
( rather than the other way around) because it is such an awful place. The Church of 12 million Anglicans ( alleged numbers) has no effect on that nation at all.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
11 years ago

As long ago as 1955 Dr Sherwin Bailey showed that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality, something my (ordained) RE teacher told us when I was at Grammar School in the 1960s. I would love to know that my stewardship giving was being used to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and Churches. Perhaps my diocesan authorities know something I don’t?

Göran Koch-Swahne
11 years ago

Dr Dan has spoken the Truth! A Gnosticist writ, one of the youngest of the New Testament. Late 2nd century.

Savi H
Savi H
11 years ago

Jude 7 does indeed accuse the people of Sodom and Gomorrah of ‘going after strange flesh’ – humans seeking sex with angels, an echo perhaps of the passage in Genesis 6 about the ‘sons of God’ marrying ‘daughters of men’, just before the flood. But I would assume that this is unlikely to be less of a temptation to present-day Christians than inhospitality, and that the Gospel references to Sodom in the context of rejection of Jesus’ followers – unfamiliar people offering new truths, see Matthew 10, Mark 6, Luke 10.

Counterlight
Counterlight
11 years ago

Anyone up for starting a “homosexual army?”

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“at how many souls they have saved”

That’s funny – I was under the impression that only Jesus Christ could save one’s soul, and that the idea that it’s something that people do to other people was pretty unAnglican.

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

The idea goes back to the prophet Ezekiel, who says “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

Savi H
Savi H
11 years ago

Sorry, I should have written ‘likely’ rather than ‘unlikely’. Ezekiel is indeed also relevant in a world of great inequality.

Tobias Haller
11 years ago

Savi H is correct. Jude says nothing about same-sex relationships except in inaccurate translations. The “strange flesh” is that of angels, not men. Jude was drawing on the Enoch / Jubilees / Testaments of the Patriarchs language that makes the link to the “Watchers” explicit. Interestingly enough, the Greek word translated in the KJV as “strange” is “heteros”! What it at issue is heterocarnality, at least according to Jude.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
11 years ago

Yes, Counterlight, I want to sign up ….. But there will be an awful tussle for the Chaplains job!

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“Jude 7 does indeed accuse the people of Sodom and Gomorrah of ‘going after strange flesh’ – humans seeking sex with angels, an echo perhaps of the passage in Genesis 6 about the ‘sons of God’ marrying ‘daughters of men’, just before the flood.”

Or maybe a reference to the fact that Lot’s neighbors wanted to rape the angels. It’s not the gender of the intended victim that’s involved here, but their being strange, in a couple of senses of the word – they’re strangers (to whom is owed hospitality) and they’re not human.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 years ago

Rob + wrote “Jude, one of the twelve apostles hand picked by Jesus after praying all night” That letter is written by Jude the Apostle is improbable. Brevard Childs writes “..the pendulum has clearly swung in the direction of those who view the letter as post-apostolic and pseudepigraphical. Indeed, the large majority of Catholic scholars (Schelke, Knoch, Vogtle) now support this latter position which was once defended by radical protestant. Still the interpretation of the letter is far from settled by the decision regarding its authorship and dating.” (B. Childs. The New Testament as Canon An Introduction. p. 489-90) One… Read more »

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