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The Big Read

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Mirror

Homosexuality: We’ll rather break up than concur, say 1,358 bishops

Newly wedded lesbian couple

Chukwuma (right) and another Bishop on arrival from Kenya



t’s not quite clear why the issue of homosexuality was not included the communiqué of the second Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON that ended in Nairobi Kenya, between October 21 and 26 where 1,358 delegates, including 331 Bishops representing tens of millions of the Anglican faithful worldwide, including Nigeria attended. Yet GAFCOM, as Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma of Enugu Diocese said, was primarily formed because of the issue of homosexuality and lesbianism that was accepted by some Anglican faithful in Europe and America. Coming out of the meeting almost enraged, Chukwuma warned that if care is not taken, the issue will again throw the Anglican Church worldwide into fresh crisis with the Church of Nigeria and other sister churches across the world threatening to secede from the Church of England. Chumkwuma further said the Archbishop of Canterbury did not help matters on the issue at the Nairobi Conference as his stand was neither here nor there on an issue threatening the union of over 20 million communicants. Addressing newsmen at Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu when he returned from the GAFCON conference, Chukwuma stressed that if the American and European communion of the Anglican Church that favour homosexuality do not renounce such acceptance, the Anglican Communion may disintegrate worldwide. He emphasised that it was one of the key outcome of the conference, maintaining that different communions of the Anglican church may secede if they insist on imposing homosexuality on the church. Different Bishops of the Anglican Church from the South-East that arrived the airport from Nairobi with Chukwuma agreed that what Bishop Chukwuma said was their opinion, stressing that they would severe their relationships if their pro-gay Bishops do not back down. Archbishop of Owerri Diocese, Caleb Maduoma was also among the Bishops that resolved not to compromise on the issue of homosexuality. The Anglican Bishops said they were rather more interested in having other issues to discuss, rather than homosexuality, adding that they deliberated on things

Two gay priests being joined together in wedlock





concerning their future in theological education, ministration, Holy Spirit, the way Islam is invading the churches and the whole world, culture, among others. The Church of Nigeria and others in Africa, Britain and America expressed readiness to secede because they were not ready to yoke with colleagues they called unbelievers or to have communion with a person who is a lesbian or homosexual or a Bishop who has forsaken his wife to marry a gay friend. They said they were standing seriously on the authority of the Bible, to defend the faith, adding that there is no going back. Bishop Chukwuma who spoke for the Nigerian Bishops said: “We are not going to compromise. And we have made it quite known even to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the whole Europe and America, that there is no compromise as far as the scripture is concerned. So, if they do not repent, we are ready to stand on our own and go ahead with that authority of the scriptures and confess that faith as Anglicans for the future of the church of Anglicanism. “We are ready to secede because if you look at Ephesians Chapter 5, verse 7, it says that you should not have anything to do with those people who are becoming disobedient. So, why should we yoke with unbelievers. So, if they do not repent, we are ready to say, go away, we go our way. We love them but we hate their sins. “He (the Archbishop of Canterbury) left a day be-

fore we came because he was going to baptise the grand child of the Queen of England. But we got his statement which is very pathetic that he is not straight forward about his stand on this homosexuality and we are not going to comprise with this at all. We feel that he is still sympathetic with these homosexuals and we need to really watch him. And if he does not come to our side, the next Lambert conference, we will not attend.” He disclosed that from many dioceses in Africa, even from Britain and America, all over the world, the bishops came to Nairobi and they were all saying that they did not want homosexuality. Bishop Chukwuma said they were making a force that would shake the whole world. In a communiqué after the GAFCON, the Bishops resolved to commit themselves to teaching about God’s good purpose in marriage and in singleness and to oppose the secular tide running in favour of same-sexmarriage. They also resolved to commit themselves anew to the Jerusalem statement and declaration, with emphasis upon the gospel of Christ, as well as rely on the power of the gospel to be effective in mission. They further resolved to commit themselves to supporting mission and encouraging lay training in obedience to this great Commission to make and mature disciples, with particular attention to children and youth. “We commit ourselves to work for the transformation of the society. We repudiate all violence against women and children. We shall work for the economic empowerment of those who are most deprived and we shall be a voice for persecuted Christians,” the Bishops stated. The conference identified the Anglican Church core priority, according to Matthew 28: 19-20, to mean making disciples in the word, meaning that the movement must be committed to evangelising the West Africa and bringing the gospel to unreached people. It also identified another priority to mean supporting genuine gospel initiatives, re-organising that there are times when the maintenance of structures can constrain the gospel. “In such circumstances, we will seek to work beyond those structures as an obedient response to our Lord’s primary command to take the gospel to all nations. “Guarding the gospel, we shall continue publicly to expose any false gospel that is not consistent with apostolic teaching,” part of the communiqué said.