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African Primates Take the Gloves off in Fight with Welby over Homosexuality and other Issues

African Primates Take the Gloves off in Fight with Welby over Homosexuality and other Issues
They spare no quarter in criticism of the Anglican Communion leader
They will not be attending the next Lambeth Conference

By David W Virtue, DD
July 5, 2022

Future historians will marvel at how two percent of Anglicans managed to persuade the other 98 percent that they must change their minds about the clear teaching of Scripture on human sexual behavior even though the book they claim to believe in (the Bible) gave them no such mandate to do so.

The combination of cultural Marxism (theological liberalism) combined with the ideology of Gramsci and the Frankfurt School to alter modes of thinking and behavior of the masses have not persuaded the three biblically grounded orthodox archbishops to change their minds; "We will not join multitudes or dine with you against scriptural principles," they said. Strong language indeed.

The Primates of the Churches of Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda responded to the Archbishop of Canterbury's letter dated 27th May, 2022 where he urged and cajoled the three Primates to attend the forthcoming Lambeth Conference.

We are three weeks away from Lambeth and despite pleas from Archbishop Justin Welby and Dr. Josiah Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the recalcitrant primates have not changed their minds; the answer is still Nyet.

Archbishop Henry Ndukuba of Nigeria, Archbishop Laurent Mbanda and Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba in a letter jointly signed, noted that they will not 'join the multitudes to do evil'. They emphasized that right from the earliest Council in Acts 15, and other instances from the Epistles where there were reports of lifestyle in direct opposition to Scripture, there was no place where Christians were enjoined to continue to fellowship with the disobedient members of the Church.

'Evil' is a strong word to use, but it is justified when you bear in mind that the destination of souls and eternal life are at stake and any attempt to find middle ground is impossible, (despite a Windsor Report and a Covenant). If, after listening to the whine of a handful of homosexuals, the primates are still not persuaded, they will be accused by the British press of being backward obscurantists and fundamentalists.

They will be publicly scorned by the handful of American and Canadian homosexual bishops attending. These mitered miscreants will put on a command performance, ridiculing and mocking "uninclusive" African primates, just as Episcopal bishops John Shelby Spong and Barbara Harris did at a previous Lambeth Conference.

Simply put, the Africans would be in a no-win situation. I have seen it all before. Nothing has changed. Full pansexual acceptance is slowly, but surely making its way into the Church of England despite protestations by the ABC that the law prevents ministers of the Church of England from carrying out same-sex marriages, your local church can still support you with prayer. It's the thin end of the wedge.

But that which Welby does not understand, or refuses to acknowledge, the relentless forces against him, should he ultimately waver on the subject. Gentlemanly "disagreement" will be rolled over. Homosexuals will accept nothing less than full acceptance of their lifestyle on equal footing with heterosexuals.

The primates were not moved by this sidestep by Welby and said this, "We doubt if this claim can be justified by trends and moves by the Church of England in regard to blessing of same-sex marriages."

The three primates refused to cut Welby any slack.

"Ordinarily, we are disposed not to engage in further correspondences over the issues in contention, since the basic facts and positions surrounding the crisis in the Anglican Communion are already well-known. However, we are compelled to respond yet again to your letter in order to clarify some assumptions and statements therein."

They blasted Welby with this: "The Bible is at the heart of Christian life. Anglicans hold to scripture as the ultimate authority in matters of faith, as the church has down the centuries". We believe that this fundamental fact should be applied to the rejection of homosexual lifestyle especially among Christians. The Church is an assembly of Believers who are "Called out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:9); not a community that indulges unrepentant sinners. While Christians are sinners forgiven by grace, that grace must not be received in vain."

They then went after Welby over "disagreements" between Anglican leaders arguing that it was misleading. "It is an example of virtue-signaling that condones evil by hiding behind endless prayer and discussion, thereby giving the impression that what is really laudable is the discussion rather than the decision to obey the clear word of God on the pressing issue of human sexuality and marriage. Genuine Christian faith does not separate between the faith and the life of the believer."

Theological Pushback

The three primates pushed back on Welby's interpretation of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, which they said was presided over by the Apostle James, not Peter. "The current debate over Anglican orthodoxy, biblical ethics and human sexuality may not ultimately be decided by the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury, despite his leadership position in the Communion. Faithful Anglicans, including those in GAFCON have a loud voice on this matter despite our resolve not to participate in the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. Our positions and those of GAFCON and the Global South, have been clearly articulated severally, over the years; they are in the public domain."

The three primates tore into Welby's duplicity over Resolution 1:10 saying it had not been rescinded. "Tying this to a resolution against homophobia and discrimination against homosexual people" is unacceptable. Resolution 1.10 did not advocate recognizing homosexuality as an acceptable way of life, rather it simply presents homosexuals as candidates in need of pastoral care and evangelistic outreach. God, who literally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their practice of homosexuality cannot ever permit accommodating such abominable practices in the Church of His Son, Jesus Christ."

"There is no doubt whatsoever that the Bible condemns homosexual behaviour. Consequently, standing with the Bible and correcting gay sex and same-sex relationships is not and should not be construed as discrimination against gay people. Insisting that the church of God adhere to the word of God in matters of human sexuality and marriage is not discriminatory by any stretch of imagination. Bishops are called to maintain Faith and Order in the Church."

They accused Welby of "dishonoring the Lord and undermining the integrity and mission of the church in the world" and urged the ABC to lead the Anglican Communion back to Scripture in matters of human sexuality and marriage based on the glorious gospel of Christ.

The primates said they wanted to correct the impression that they were opposed to discussions on climate change by the Church. "What we frown at is focusing on a climate change related topic -- 'God's Church for God's world' at the next Lambeth, while sweeping under the carpet, the reality of a fractured Communion, because of the serious issue of human sexuality. Any social gospel that completely ignores the issue of human sexuality within the God-given template is an aberration. While it is important to address issues of poverty, climate change and other social problems, we cannot ignore the main thing which is the church's responsibility, as the pillar of truth, to feed the people of God with the pure word of God. We have an obligation to proclaim Christ to the world."

The primates said they disagreed with Welby's view "that boycotts do not proclaim Christ". Rather, biblical precedents and precepts teach Believers not to 'join the multitudes to do evil' (Exodus 23:2). Right from the earliest Council in Acts 15, and other instances from the Epistles where there were reports of lifestyle in direct opposition to Scripture, there was no place where Christians were enjoined to continue to fellowship with the disobedient members of the Church. The admonition is to 'Come out of them' and 'Do not be unequally yoked together' (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Again, we reaffirm our position that, 'two cannot walk together unless they are agreed'" (Amos 3:3).

The archbishops ended their blast at Welby on an historical note; "We proudly recall the historical fact that in the Early Church era, African Church fathers and Apologists such as Tertullian, Irenaeus, Augustine of Hippo and Athanasius, etc., stood gallantly to defend the Christian faith against Roman persecution and the different heresies and controversies that bedeviled the church, resulting in its consequent decline especially in North Africa and Asia Minor. The current controversy may have the same effect on the future of the Anglican Church tomorrow. Just as the Church Creeds (Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian) served to remind the Christians of the biblical foundations of their faith, the GAFCON 'Jerusalem Statement' is commended to the global Church of Christ as the way back to genuine Christian faith and indeed, Anglican Orthodoxy."

Here endeth the first (and last) lesson.

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