Gay marriage: Sundanese Anglicans, Episcopals part ways

The Episcopal Church of the Sudan hurled an ecclesiastical bomb at the American Episcopal Church this week and announced that they were severing all ties with the US Church because TEC had endorsed gay marriage, changed its canons on marriage and allowed trial liturgies. The Sudanese church argued that such innovations are not in conformity with the Scriptures.
Meeting in Juba, Sudan the Episcopal Church of Sudan’s 43 House of Bishops in a single stroke broke complete ties with US Episcopal Church and then promptly announced that they would formally recognize the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and its Archbishop Foley Beach.
The House of Bishops said they were encouraged by the 18 TEC Bishops who issued a minority report dissenting with the TEC resolutions: “We encourage these Bishops to stand firm on their position as well as those parishes within the TEC who disagree with TEC resolutions but abide with the Biblical understanding that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.”
The bishops said they would make an exception to the dioceses of the 18 TEC bishops who issued the minority letter of objections to TEC Convention resolutions.
This is the first blow at the new Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and drives a wedge into the heart of TEC. Curry might have hoped for a honeymoon period with the Global South and an opportunity to do his “don’t worry be happy” song and dance routine in Canterbury next month.
Not going to happen. He just got gob-smacked by the powerful Sudanese Episcopal Church and their fearless leader Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul (aptly named I think). Not to state the obvious, but the Sudanese Primate just ratcheted up the pain on Archbishop Justin Welby, who might have hoped that his Consigliere for Reconciliation, one David Porter (who works part time on the Archbishop’s personal staff at Lambeth Palace), might pull a reconciliation rabbit out of the Anglican Communion hat in January.
That now seems less likely. Primate Deng Bul said he will attend the Primates Meeting in January in Canterbury and will probably give Curry if not Welby a piece of his mind Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Kenyan Primate Eliud Wabukala, Uganda Primate Stanley Ntagali and Rwandan Primate Onesphore Rwaje will likely do the same. It doesn’t look good for Welby.
The central and first agenda item when the Primates meet is the disciplining of The Episcopal Church regarding the Dar es Salaam Declaration and Lambeth 1.10. If the vote goes against the GAFCON primates, will that force closure of the event? Will they then leave?
The truth is this. The ABC is pushing “sin management,” not reconciliation. This is a phrase made famous by the late Dallas Willard, and I don’t believe the Global South will buy it. There is talk of a federation of dioceses loosely held together if the idea of a communion is no longer viable. This might include a two tier system. But there is no hint that leaders like Okoh or the GAFCON primates will go for that. Sin is sin, and the ratification of sin by TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, Wales and Scotland is untenable and irreconcilable.
The African Primates have Islam to consider, and they hate sodomy and anybody associated with sodomy. Why should the GAFCON primates jeopardize their own lives to save Curry’s pride—or Fred Hiltz (ACoC), for that matter?
These two Western prelates have nothing to fear from extremists except the extremism being pushed on the church and the West by a growing Anglican Gaystapo!
The Global South will die for Jesus. They will not lay down their lives for Bishop Gene Robinson or Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
That’s a totally lost cause, and they know it.

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