A couple weeks ago, Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) came to Virginia to install his new missionary bishop for “CANA” (Convocation of Anglicans in North America), his new church in the U.S. (or missionary diocese under his jurisdiction). Martin Minns is that new missionary bishop.
So then, CANA has a few parishes under its umbrella throughout the U.S., although primarily, it seems, in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Since Archbishop Akinola is the Primate of this fledgling new “missionary diocese” or denomination in the U.S. (that is providing a safe-harbor from the evil Episcopal Church), he seems to presume he must speak out on American politics and social issues. For good measure, he throws in some comments about the state of things in the U.K. as well.
I wonder whether he honestly believes that the American and British public is going to pay any attention to his opinions or pronouncements. Maybe it is because we are arrogant imperialists, but I really think he is in for a rude awakening if he things he now has the ability to move American or British political or social policy. Then again, I am beginning to believe that Peter Akinola thinks he has been divinely commissioned by God to restore Christianity (as he understands it) and God’s kingdom in the West.
Here are some excerpts from his latest press conference:
Press briefing by Archbishop Peter Akinola on Sunday 13th May at the end of the Abuja Diocesan Synod
Gentlemen of the Press.
We welcome you to this press briefing at the end of our diocesan synod in Abuja
We met to study and discuss the theme â€œBe ye Holyâ€ 1Peter 1:16. We examined Godâ€™s calling upon our lives to be holy and live exemplary lives. You will find in the distributed communiquÃ©, our resolutions on this important issue. Allow me highlight some salient points.
Considering how the world is making it increasingly difficult for Christians to live holy lives, we ask:
WHERE IS THE CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE?
Many people look to the USA as a Christian country and its leaders often assume the role of moral leaders for the world who are ready to point the finger at problems around the globe and yet we must not forget that there is another side to their story. The present generation of Americans would do well to remember their own history. While they and their forebears claim their nation to be a gift from God it is in truth a land forcefully taken with no respect for the human rights of the despised and dispossessed Indians â€“ it is also a land where a great deal of its early economic foundation was built on the sweat and blood of de-humanized African slaves.
Americans seem to have forgotten the same LORD in whom they say â€œIn God we trustâ€. Deuteronomy 7 and 8 are relevant biblical passages
â€œAnd you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealthâ€ 8:18a
“Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.â€ 8: 19
The God who has blessed so abundantly is also a jealous God who requires obedience and holy living. But instead of calling for obedience to the Word of God we now have the situation where those who call for faithfulness in holy matrimony or abstinence outside of it risk being accused of hate speech. The breakdown in marriages in the USA is a scandal. It is causing a massive crisis in their own society and the rest of the world. But instead of admitting the problem and finding creative ways to strengthen traditional families we see a relentless promotion and protection of so called â€˜alternative lifestyles.â€™ Recent legislative bill H.R. 1592 (Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007) passed in the House on May 3rd 2007, and the H.R 2015 (Employment Non-Discrimination Act.) being discussed are worthy of note. God will not be mocked.
We see a similar crisis in the UK. The decline in marriages and the breakdown in families has become an epidemic. But instead of encouraging holy living and strengthening family life we read of a bishop of the Church of England called before tribunal to explain his refusal to hire a certain youth worker. His offence was â€˜discriminationâ€™, we were told because the job seeker in this case was a self-confessed homosexual and who said he had just ended a five-year homosexual relationship. Surely the Church has an obligation to promote holy living not apologise for it!
* Where is the Christian voice in all these?
* Why are Church leaders not concerned about this breakdown in society?
* Why are they ashamed of promoting holy living?
* Why have they lost their confidence in the Word of God?
We are very much aware of the challenges that face us today in Nigeria. Many of these we addressed in our Synod and continue to do so day by day. Our hope is in the Lord â€“ the maker of heaven and earth – and in His Holy Word.
We call on Christians worldwide to rise to the challenge of protecting our Christian: –
* Freedom to read the Bible privately and in public
* Freedom to preach from the Bible, and declare uncompromisingly the total oracles of the Lord
* Freedom to shield ourselves, and our children, from what we believe our God says is immoral and abominable.
* Freedom to seek to help those willing to escape Satanâ€™s deceitful traps.
* Freedom to live holy and acceptable lives in the sight of God
The issue here is not about homophobia. We are concerned about defending the right to existence of Biblical Christianity. It is about allowing the Spirit of God to transform people rather than deceive them that there is nothing wrong in their unholy practices. It is about rejecting a world system that wants to curtail our freedom to live as our Saviour taught us to. It is simply trying our best to live and encourage others to live to be HOLY as our GOD IS HOLY.
May the Lord keep us Holy.
Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola CON.
Bishop of Abuja and Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria