Saturday, July 14, 2007

Which Bishop Is the Greater Danger?

This e-mail was sent to me and several others by Ben Lowe []...

Dear friends,

I think we may be the victims of one of the greatest diversionary scams to hit the Anglican church in some time. When you listen to the interview here of Davis Mac-Iyalla at the end of the July 6 program you will wonder why the Communion is consumed with a compassionate gay bishop in the U.S. who preaches and lives the gospel instead of a primate who encourages violence toward a segment of the population that he believes doesn’t even exist. When you erase another person’s humanity you are acting so contrary to Christ that it is unimaginable to me that you would be permitted to lead any kind of church much less an archdiocese. And Mac-Iyalla’s words about Akinola are corroborated elsewhere; it’s just that to hear how they affect real human beings (yes, they are real) cuts deep into the soul and heart.

As someone who is currently researching and writing a book about an early Anglican bishop who was actually burned at the stake for standing true to the gospel, I am amazed at the contrast with today. There was a time when the church was not afraid to take action and deprive renegade prelates--who mock the gospel and damage the church’s mission--of their office and their platform to do harm. Perhaps it is time to stop playing defense and start to take action. No more rhetoric about accepting Akinola and others like him into the full body with no strings. This only serves to give their positions and behavior some validity. How long do you tolerate this and the misogyny that is also part of their message? And this is to not even mention the corruption that has been uncovered (see the most recent Advocate). Why is there no serious call for disciplinary action? Why are they the only ones being permitted to give ultimatums? They have made it clear that they have no interest in dialogue. (They have said that gay people don’t even exist in their own congregations.)

Instead let’s be willing to take a stand and say that maybe it is they, not the Episcopalians, who don’t belong in the church, or at least in a leadership position, even if their congregations are the largest in the world. Would the bishop of a small diocese be accorded this kind of servility? Remember, they are on record denying the humanity of some of God’s creatures and of abetting the violence being done towards them. And Gene Robinson is the problem? Where is Canterbury’s leadership on this issue? Why are they being invited to Lambeth when they’ve violated Anglican teachings far more than the Bishop of New Hampshire who can only come unofficially as a guest? Let’s be consistent folks. . .

You can hear the streaming audio of this podcast on your computer even if you don’t have an iPod. The interview is in about the last 20 minutes of the hour-long program. Listen and weep, but also take courage in the heroism of this man:


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