As reported by Washington Blade: The Church of England’s decision to allow clergy to bless same-sex marriages has angered the Anglican churches of Uganda and Kenya to the point that they are considering a total disassociation with it.
The Kenya and Uganda churches are now looking upon a conservative Anglican breakaway group — the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) — to which they also belong to give them direction on their association with their mother Church of England in April. Anglican Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba revealed this while condemning the General Synod of the Church of England, its top governing body, for, in his words, embracing sin by recognizing homosexuality against God’s word.
Gafcon’s 4th conference will begin in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 17. More than 1,000 people, who include “Bible-believing” archbishops, bishops and Anglicans from across the world are expected to attend.
The General Synod, which comprises hundreds of elected members who meet at least two times a year, on Feb. 9 supported the proposal for priests to bless gay couples. Two hundred and fifty bishops, clearly and lay people voted for it, while 181 opposed it and 10 abstained.
The meeting took place in London.
“The Church of Uganda has more than 200 members traveling to Kigali in April,” Kaziimba said. “We shall pray, sit together and discern the mind of Christ for the way forward. We need the wisdom of Solomon to know how to faithfully respond to the crisis at hand.”
Kaziimba through his press statement in response to the Church of England’s decision demands it to abandon the Anglican Communion and form a Canterbury Communion with other liberal Anglican churches that include the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and others in Brazil, Scotland and Canada.
All country Anglican churches have the freedom of conducting their affairs independently.
The Anglican Church of Uganda started to distance itself from the fellowship of the Church of England when the Episcopal Church in 2003 consecrated now retired New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay. The Archbishop of Canterbury refused to take any disciplinary action against the Episcopal Church, which led to Gafcon’s emergence in 2008.
Kaziimba accuses the Church of England of departing from the Anglican faith and turning into “false teachers” by condoning same-sex marriages, while noting the Bible only recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman.
Archbishop Foley Beach, who chairs Gafcon, in a statement also criticized the Church of England and called for Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s resignation for breaking his vows to forbid “all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s word” in the church.
“This decision by the Church of England raises questions regarding the relationship of Anglican Provinces around the world with the Church of England and the continued role of the Archbishop of Canterbury,” Beach stated.
He noted that “we shall have more to say and do about these matters” in the Kigali conference.
The Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit also criticized the Church of England’s decision of blessing gay couples as “devious.”
He noted the liberal Anglican churches have lost all theological and doctrinal legitimacy and have resorted to using their political dominance to secularize the church by normalizing all manner of sin.
“It is ridiculous that the Church of England affirms to remain faithful to the traditional teachings of marriage yet it has sanctioned the so-called prayers of love to be used in its churches to bless unions between persons of the same sex,” Sapit said.
He warned what he described as political and secular correctness that exists in liberal Anglican churches only seeks to undermine the true Gospel, thereby rendering them irrelevant after losing their church identity.
Sapit maintained the Anglican Church of Kenya recognizes marriage as the union between a “man and a woman, monogamous and heterosexual.” He added that any deviation from this Godly union is sinful and unacceptable.
“If there are people who are not called to marriage and are faithful followers of Christ, let them embrace celibacy, and live a life obedient to the teachings of the bible as they so profess to believe in,” Sapit said.
Kenya and Uganda criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. The churches have been at the forefront of supporting these laws.
For instance, Kaziimba on Feb. 13 challenged Ugandan lawmakers not to relent in the fight against homosexuality in order to protect the country’s morality.
His comments come against the backdrop of plans to introduce a new bill in the Ugandan Parliament that seeks to further curtail homosexuality by criminalizing LGBTQ and intersex organizations and activities in the country. Uganda’s NGO Bureau, which monitors NGOs that operate in the country, last month recommended a new law that “prohibits the promotion of LGBTQ activities in the country.”
This is tragic for Christianity but it is not surprising given the history behind the establishment of the Church of England. King Henry VIII, a serial adulterer with six wives and a murderer who ruled England by the chopping block of beheading his political adversaries went ahead to found the church all in his bid to get his divorce which the Pope didn’t grant him after ironically being dubbed the Defender of the Catholic Faith. He then founded the Church and made himself the Head of it – an English monarchical tradition that has endured till this day.
Given its foundation, do you in all honesty expect any ounce of morality?
It is crystal clear that the chickens have come home to roost.
Chief Editorial Curator