Baring False Witness

In my e-mail today, I received the daily news update from Focus-on-the-Family known as Citizenlink. One of the news blurbs focused on the Bishop of Recife in Brazil being deposed from his position.
This story is yet another, and in my opinion one of the most egregious, example of the failure of Christians to be Christian in the ideological “wars!” We simply must stop this kind of blatant mischaracterization, intentional misinformation, and forthright lying. Neither theological liberals nor conservatives are innocent. I have heard as many theological liberals as conservatives castigate and defame their opponents.
As followers of the Way of Christ, we are told: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NIV) What are the weapons we are to use: prayer, humility, mercy, grace, peace, truth telling, care for those unable to care for themselves, selflessness, and many others. Yet, to listen to the forces theologically aligned against one another in the Church is to hear the worst of the ideological and political battles going on between Republicans and Democrats. Our way should be profoundly counter-cultural, but only if we dare to live out the call of the Gospel of Christ.
I want to say that Focus-on-the-Family just doesn’t understand Anglican structures and polity, but these people are not stupid – plus, the American Anglican Council played a large part in this news piece.
It is an example of propaganda and the intentional practice of baring false witness against the American Church, its parishioners, and its leaders. Whether we agree or not with the approval and consecration of Bishop Robinson in the Diocese of New Hampshire, or on the gay question generally, to knowingly misinform, twist the truth, and lie about people and events is completely unjustifiable and unchristian. The end does not justify the means, even if you consider this whole affair war.
If you do not recall, this bishop traveled to the U.S. to participate in illegal and irregular confirmations in the Diocese of Ohio. The four or so reactionary parishes in Ohio conducted a protest confirmation service with retired American bishops and the Bishop of Recife (and perhaps others?), without informing and receiving the permission of the Bishop of Ohio. These confirmations were done in secret in an Orthodox Church building and only later made public. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Brazil responded by disciplining the Bishop of Recife over his illegal actions.
The news story:

Brazilian Bishop Defrocked for Standing Up for Truth
by Pete Winn, associate editor
SUMMARY: The ordination of a gay bishop in the U.S. is having repercussions worldwide.
A major Anglican bishop in Brazil has been defrocked because he opposed the installation of American homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson — and said so publicly.

This is absolutely a distortion of the truth. The bishop would not have been removed if he protested against the inclusion of homosexuals in the Church, but he illegally transgressed not only diocesan boundaries but also provincial boundaries by coming to the Diocese of Ohio to participate in secret and irregular confirmations without the knowledge of his own Archbishop or the Bishop of Ohio. I am sure there are priests and bishops in Brazil who publicly disagree with the American and Canadian Churches’ positions on homosexuals and have not been removed from office. This statement is a lie, and these people know it!

The archbishop of Brazil, Orlando Santos de Oliveira, has ousted the Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti.
Cavalcanti is a solid evangelical and opposes the recognition of homosexual clergy, according to the Rev. Canon Ellis Brust of the American Anglican Council, who has been following the situation.

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