- Say Church headquarters, leaders joined rebellion against God
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has kicked against the decision of its spiritual headquarters, Church of England to authorize the blessing of same-sex marriage and threatened to redefine its relationship with the western Church should it refuse to reverse the decision.
The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of Church of Nigeria, Most Revd Henry C. Ndukuba, while responding to the mother church’s nod to gay marriage, described the head of the Anglican Communion worldwide, the Archbishop of Canterbury and others who were in support of the same-sex marriage as rebels against God and the Church of God at large.
Expressing grief at the development in a statement dated February 12, 2023 and entitled: “Response of the Church of Nigeria to the Decision of the Church of England to Authorize the Blessing of Same-Sex Marriage,” Ndukuba disclosed that a gay priest had already been appointed Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, lamenting that the spiritual headquarters of the Anglican Communion has been deliberately compromised by the appointment, and the future of the entire Anglican Communion was in jeopardy.
He said, “on the 9th of February, 2023, the synod of the Church of England voted in favour of the proposals of the House of Bishops to approve the Church’s blessing of Same-Sex Marriages while at the same time claiming that it has not changed its traditional doctrine recognizing that marriage is between a man and a woman. This disingenuous manipulation of the language to conceal their true intentions and unwillingness to stand by principled positions and Biblical truth has characterized the behavior and statements of the Church of England for a while.
“The leaders failed to call to order and discipline the Episcopal Church of America, Canada, etc. when they violated resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 by consecrating Gay Bishops and recognizing the blessing of the same-sex marriage partnerships. They have hitherto sat on the fence as the crisis tears the Communion apart. They have failed to function as ‘Defendants of the Faith’ and ‘Instrument of Unity’ in the global Anglican Communion.
“The decent decision by the Church of England did not come as a surprise to discerning minds because it is the logical result of the path they have been consistently and painstakingly taking for the past decade. This decision to redefine marriage different from the teachings of the Scripture and proposal to change the male gender used for God to a neutral or inclusive language is a clear departure from the truth. Human words are not sufficient to express the depth of the unfathomable truth and power of God or His person. All these bring to the fore the folly of the human mind in questioning the authority of God, who created mankind male and female. Church of England, by this decision can best be described as ‘quarrelling with God’
“In Isaiah 45:9, God declared: “Woe to hike who quarrels with His maker… Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” To decide to bless gay marriage without changing the doctrine of marriage between a man and a woman is “to speak from two sides of the mouth.” The death knell must be recent appointment and Justin Welby’s endorsement of a senior priest, who is in a gay partnership as Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Spiritual headquarters of the Anglican Communion has been deliberately compromised by this appointment, and the future of the entire Anglican Communion is in jeopardy.
“The souls of the faithful departed members of the Church who built and promoted the Christian faith throughout the world, sponsored missionaries, built Churches and Cathedrals, enthroned Christian Civilization and encouraged Christian families, education and civil society would be grieved at the recent actions of the current leadership of the Church of England, especially the Archbishop of Canterbury and that bad decisions of the Church’s secular synods. Sadly, the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury have joined the widening rebellion against God and the Church of Jesus Christ, a move that will just be challenged, resisted and reversed by the rest of the faithful Church.”
While warning the Church of England against repeating what led to the exodus of Anglican Communion from the Roman Catholic, the head of Anglican Communion in Nigeria explained that, “the Church of England is one out of the 42 Provinces in the Communion, spread across 165 countries of the world. It cannot hold the rest of the Communion, especially the majority population located in the Global South, to ransom. The Protestant Movement arose out of the Reformation which was a response to the heresies and ecclesiastical abuses by the recognized Church then; the Roman Catholic Church. History is about repeating itself. The Anglican Church is at the threshold of yet another reformation, which must sweep out the ungodly leadership currently endorsing sin, misleading the lives of the faithful Anglicans worldwide and endangering their prospects for eternity.
“We grieved that the deviant, revisionist actions of some Western Anglican Churches, including the Church of England are negatively affecting the image, moral credibility and evangelical activities of faithful Anglican Christians because of the likelihood of many other denomination perceiving or labeling the Anglican Church as a ‘homosexual church ‘, more so, with the capitulation of our Mother Church,’ Geoffrey Chaucer’s statement in the Canterbury tales comes to mind here.
“If gold rusts, what can iron do?” Hence, the fates of Christianity and the Church have experienced a terrible decline, loss and irrelevance in the secular and post Christian western world. We must take steps to redefine our relationship with those who persist in willful disobedience to God’s Word and strive to bring the gospel and Church of our Lord Jesus Christ into disrepute.
“We of the GAFCON family encourage other orthodox bodies in the Communion to remain firm and resolute in upholding and defending “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jn 1:3). In the choice between truth and falsehood, light and darkness, secular and biblical cultures, we call on all people of God not to be deceived, but like Joshua, deliberately choose to serve the Lord the way He has revealed Himself in the Bible, our historic formularies and time-honoured tradition. We agree with the statement of Abp. Foley Beach Primate of the Anglican Church in North, America (ACNA) and Chairman of GAFCON which says: “Most of our provinces have their origins in the Church of England because of the incredible and sacrificial missionary spirit of faithful British followers of Jesus. What are the faithful in England and around the world to do now that the mother Church has departed from Biblical faith and morality? We cannot follow the Church of England down this path which leads to spiritual and moral bankruptcy.”
“If the bishops genuinely love the people in their care, they will think twice about their ongoing redefinition of what constitutes sin. To continue down that path is to deny those caught in those circumstances the opportunity to repent. Christianity speaks of how we should live here in light of eternity, which we want to spend with God. Pursuing this path has made the Church of England ‘Blind Guides’ for those who desperately need to repent from their chosen path of disobedience to the clear commands of the scripture.”
Ndukuba noted that the bishops of the Church of England and other western Anglican Communion are “on a slippery slope to spiritual anarchy where everyone will begin to do what is right in their own eyes,” adding that, “Christianity has a rule book which is the Bible, the revealed world of God inspired by the Holy Spirit. It’s not about our opinions, passion or emotional disposition. Their job as shepherds of the Flock of Christ in their care is to tend and feed them with the undiluted Word of God unto life and maturity and not to lead them astray. It is also to uphold Christian doctrine handed down over the centuries.
“It is time for them to repent and return to our spiritual foundations. If they fail to do so, we urge believers in the Church of England to distance themselves from where the Church of England and their likes are going, stand up for what they truly believe and have the courage to defend the Biblical truth for the sake of their children and generations coming after them. We must immediately extricate ourselves by disassociating from those Church leaders who have infiltrated the Anglican Communion with ungodly teachings.
“The Church of Nigeria remains committed to the faith once delivered to the Saints and re-affirm our decision redefine what it means to be a member of the Anglican Communion as contained in our 2020 Constitution and Canons, Chapter 1:3: “The Church of Nigeria shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662and in the Thirty-Nine Article of Religion,” he declared.