Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Akinola's Zealous Pronouncements

Once again, Thinking Anglicans points the way to the latest interesting bit of Anglican news, this time from Bishop John Chane of the diocese of Washington;

...One very disturbing outcome of the ACC meeting in Nottingham was the Council's decision to admit Primates to membership on the Council. To this point, the Anglican Communion has been held together by four "Instruments of Unity": the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting. We are not a Church dominated by a Curia of Primates and Bishops. And yet that seems to be the direction in which we are heading. This is fearful indeed given the rhetoric of some of the Primates claiming new authority for themselves. The well-balanced essence of Anglicanism, as it has been handed down through the ages, is now under attack by a few who presume to speak for many...
Keep in mind that with the exception of the ACC, all the members of the other three Instruments of Unity are bishops. Only the ACC included representatives from the orders of priest, deacon and laity. Now, with Primates as members of the ACC, some of whom are indeed "claiming new authority for themselves," those who do not wear purple no longer have a voice within the Anglican Communion. We're not headed in the direction of domination by bishops; we've arrived.

...One of the most outspoken of this small group of men who presumes to speak for the entire global Communion is the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria. Archbishop Akinola has almost single-handedly led the attack against the Episcopal and Canadian churches with his zealous pronouncements against homosexuality. More recently, he has set his sites on the Church of England...
"Zealous pronouncements"? You are too gracious, Right Reverend Sir. But I'm not. Let's try "bigoted hate speech." Seems more accurate to me.

...With the Archbishop's reference that "no Church can ignore the teaching of the Bible with impunity," I must ask myself who has been left with the ultimate authority to interpret the teaching of the Bible? Certainly such important work has not been left up to the Archbishop of Nigeria alone...
Ah, but if you aspire to become the Pope of the Alexandrian Catholic Church, you can indeed expect such important work to be left up to you. To understand the Archbishop, one must enter into his delusion.

...And if the Church is to really focus on the issues of the Bible's teaching and the core teachings of Jesus Christ, why does this Archbishop spend so much time on human sexuality issues while so many of his countrymen and women are oppressed by poverty, illiteracy and violence? Where is the strong voice of the Nigerian Anglican Church in opposing the continued neglect of vulnerable women and children, or in advocating on behalf of the poorest of the poor? Jesus was very clear in his hard teachings that one could always tell the righteous from the damned by whether they lived into feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger and visiting those who were in prison...
If Akinola championed the oppressed, he'd be written off as just another "libral social gospel hippie" who had abandoned the true faith. He might miss his chance for the power that is now nearly within his grasp. Sex sells. It gets him in the news. So what if must walk on the backs of innocents on his way to the throne? Get out of his way. He is on a mission from God.

Don't ask me about the God who would sanction such a mission. I have never encountered this particular deity. I doubt if I ever will. I suspect this God is the result of the Archbishop's delusional state.


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