|God is calling on the Anglican South|
The Anglican Global South 4th meeting comprising of 20 Anglican provinces and over 75% of the 75 million Anglicans was held in Singapore this week. The more conservative Anglicans were dismayed that the two North American Provinces had not repented, and nothing seemed to have changed with their call for strong action toned down by the Archbishop of Canterbury using administrative and procedural techniques. The GSA has tried their best to provoke the situation despite the call for gracious constraint by strongly supporting the creation of the breakaway “Anglican Church in North America” (ACNA) from the Episcopal Church breaking long held protocols.
The activists Anglicans are perturbed by the recent appointment of a Reverend Mary Glasspool , a Lesbian, as a Bishop by the Episcopal Church in United States, and the blessings of same sex unions in the Anglican Church of Canada. The attempt by the Archbishop of Canterbury to implement an Anglican Communion Covenant with different levels of associations seems to be an administrative way to keep the church united instead of the two provinces in America being expelled for siding with the very small gay minority.
'I am troubled, I am sad, and in fact I am confused. Eight years have gone by without a global communion, and this doesn't seem to bother some leaders of the Church.' said Archbishop Akinola. He was the main champion of the Global South indirectly criticizing Canterbury. It is indeed a sad day for Christianity when they deemed as a transgression to the core and fundamental to their faith when a very small minority of peoples with the same sex orientation enters the church.
We have changed much since the day of Jesus, and behaved more like the Pharisees rather than the disciples of Jesus. "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."said Jesus, in Mat 16:6, vary that the same law based religious fundamentalist orientation of the pharisees would somehow affect the whole body of the church and changes its core and fundamental beliefs in the Gospel. We have essentially a “Gospel of Homosexuality”, where our actions are governed by our crusade against the very small gay minority rather the preaching the message of God’s love, grace, and mercy to all peoples irrespective of their God ordained sexual orientation.
We have concentrated on condemning people for self proclaim sins just like the Pharisees calling Jesus a “sinner” rather than seeing Him as the Messiah. In our religiosity and religious self righteousness, could seldom penetrate our hardened hearts devoid of God’s grace, and mercy. In many ways, the presence of the Gay community is a test for the church, a stumbling block just as Jesus was a stumbling block to the conservative Jewish community and to the Intellectual Greeks.
The Archbisop Nicholas Okoh highlighted the ‘absolute’ necessity for economic empowerment in the Global South, vary, that Anglican provinces outside the Global South are the much richer Western Nations. Jesus called the poor blessed for they will see God, understanding that our wealth and riches sometimes becomes our God, whilst the African Archbishop is urging the church to be ‘richer” so that they can counter the influence of the Western Churches. Our angst against gays is leading us the wrong way, in the continent of Africa where money, power, and religion all intertwined with massive corruption, poverty, human rights abuses, and religious wars. There are very few human rights.
The answer to economic improvement lies not in getting richer motivated by an anti-gay zeal, but implementing basic social justice and liberty. We are free as a nation, when the individual can be free from the yoke of bondage that each can achieve his/her potential so that the entire society can be blessed and be enriched. The lesson learnt from Singapore is to have the maximum secular space because this will prevent religious and social battles, and gives individual space and rights to grow and prosper without the tyranny of the majority or constraints of narrow religious dogma imposed by others.
Preach the Gospel we must, but never preach sin especially when it is no sin but just our prejudice against the very small minority so different from us. When we are confused about sin, we will be confused about God, and we preach a self centered message where we become totally sinless and holy, whilst others are sinners condemned by us. Jesus came not to condemn, but to proclaim the good news message of salvation in Christ, to be reconciled to God through faith in God’s grace and mercy shown at the cross. Jesus died for us at the cross, whilst we Christians “hunt” the weakest in the community which we deemed as sinners so that we can crucify them. Jesus died for the least, whilst we insist that they die that our righteousness may be exalted.
With the announcement of the appointment of S’pore own Archbishop John Chew to be the new head of the 75 million Global Anglican South, we will no doubt see a more strategic and militant take over of the Anglican Communion after lessons from the Aware saga. As the battle drums sound, who knows maybe we are fighting against God Himself on the Gay issue, and God is hardening the hearts of the primates to antagonize the situation until a reach a melting point to justify a response that Gays be set free from their Egyptian closets whom Christians have been holding onto the keys.
The new building at the Anglican Cathedral has a large sign proclaiming it as “Chapel for all peoples”. God is calling for Gays to be included in the life of the church, and the TES is not the issue but the primates of the Anglican South huddled up in the Anglican Cathedral and fortress in Singapore vary of change. Like the old Fort Siloso, Singapore is not a good fortress with a gaping hole behind, so are our arguments to make gays the forefront of condemnation. God is calling on the Anglicans and knocking at the door, and they have not answered for the last 20 years. God is patient, but very soon the doors of the church will be broken down, for Jesus died for the gay community too, and when He comes back, the gathering will include a tribe from every nations and peoples, including the gay tribe. We have gone to the ends of the earth to preach the Gospel, but have forgotten the gay ghettoes right in the middle of our cities. God is calling us to outreach to a forgotten people whom we have rejected as humanity and a distinctive people and tribe loved by God.