The Anglicans of the Global South have become a force to be reckoned with at Lambeth 2022. Some from Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and Uganda have stayed away. Others who have come have distanced themselves from sharing Holy Communion with those who have polluted the Gospel message.
At issue is Lambeth 1:10, the Resolution passed at Lambeth 1998 which affirms that biblical marriage is between a man and a woman until death; homosexual practice is rejected as incompatible with Scripture; and the legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions is ill advised as is the ordination of those involved in same-gender relationships.
Lambeth 1:10 has been wholesale rejected by the Global North which has embraced the modern concept of anything-goes-marriage, homosexual relationships, and the ordination of gay, lesbian and transgender clergy.
Six partnered homosexual bishops — three gay and three lesbian — from the United States, Canada and Wales are attending Lambeth with their “spouses” who are lurking in the shadows in a flagrant violation of the first clause of Lambeth 1:10 that marriage is between a man and a woman until death.
The Global South bishops have had enough. They are letting their collective voice be heard loud and clear echoing across Lambeth Conference.
Now even the Archbishop of Canterbury is sitting up and taking notice.
When the 31-page Lambeth Calls Study Guide was first released, the preamble on the Call on Human Dignity stated: “All human beings are made in the image of God. Therefore, Anglicans are committed to respect, protect, and acknowledge the dignity of all. There has been, however, a gap between rhetoric and reality. Historical exploitation, deepening poverty, and prejudice continue to threaten human dignity. Amidst these threats, and our own divisions and discernment, we call for: (i) an Archbishop’s Commission for Redemptive Action; (ii) the establishment of an Anglican Innovation Fund; and (iii) a reaffirmation of Lambeth I.10 that upholds marriage as between a man and a woman and requires deeper work to uphold the dignity and witness of LGBTQ Anglicans.”
The original Paragraph 2.3 read: “Prejudice on the basis of gender or sexuality threatens human dignity. Given Anglican polity, and especially the autonomy of Provinces, there is disagreement and a plurality of views on the relationship between human dignity and human sexuality. Yet, we experience the safeguarding of dignity in deepening dialogue. It is the mind of the Anglican Communion as a whole that same gender marriage is not permissible. Lambeth Resolution I.10 (1998) states that the “legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions” cannot be advised. It is the mind of the Communion to uphold “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union” (I.10, 1998). It is also the mind of the Communion that “all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation are full members of the Body of Christ” and to be welcomed, cared for, and treated with respect (I.10, 1998).”
Bishops from The Episcopal Church exploded. They were incensed that Lambeth would call for upholding the tenets of Lambeth 1:10.
They mounted a vicious social media attack on the proposed Lambeth Call on Human Dignity. They made their comments known on Facebook, their bishop’s blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and diocesan websites.
Making their loud voices heard were: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry; Eugene Sutton (XIV Maryland); Audrey Scanlan (XI Central Pennsylvania); Marc Andrus (VIII California); Robert Skirving (VIII East Carolina); Robert Fitzpatrick (V Hawaii); Kevin Nichols (VII Bethlehem); Nicholas Knisley (XII Rhode Island); Matthew Gunter (VIII Fond du Lac); Sam Rodman (XII North Carolina) Anne Hodges-Copple (North Carolina – Suffragan); Ian Douglas (XIV Connecticut); William Stokes (XII New Jersey); Sean Rowe (VIII Western New York & Provisional Northwestern Pennsylvania); Daniel Gutierrez (XVI Pennsylvania); George Sumner (VI Dallas); Mark Lattime (VIII Alaska); Susan Brown Snook (V San Diego); Jennifer Anne Reddall (VI Arizona); Thomas Brown (X Maine); Jon Taylor (VII Los Angeles) Mark Edington (VII TEC in Europe); Betsy Monnot (X Iowa); and Prince Singh (Provincial bishop for the dioceses of Eastern & Western Michigan).
Joining the strident chorus were: the Scottish Episcopal Church College of Bishops; Church of Wales Bishops; Susan Bell (XII Niagara, Canada); Steve London (XI Edmonton, Canada); Emma Ineson ( Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury & York); Andrew Nunn (Dean of Southwark Cathedral UK); Jonathan Clark (UK Bishop of Croydon); Anothony Poggo (Secretary General-designate of the Anglican Communion); Kelvin Holdsworth (Provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland); Thabo Makgoba (XII Cape Town, South Africa); David Hamid (CofE Bishop in Europe); Changing Attitude England; and the bishops leading “Living in Love & Faith.”
The barrage of criticism was just too much for Justin Welby. He folded and gave in to the woke crowd and the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity, when it came to Lambeth 1:10, was hastily rewritten with the reference to the reaffirmation of 1998 Resolution being removed.
The preamble was totally scrubbed and Paragraph 2.3 was reworked to be more pastoral in approach, then as a teaching document of the historic, time-tested Anglican position on traditional marriage.
Paragraph 2.3′s revised version reads: “Prejudice on the basis of gender or sexuality threatens human dignity. Given Anglican polity, and especially the autonomy of Provinces, there is disagreement and a plurality of views on the relationship between human dignity and human sexuality. Yet, we experience the safeguarding of dignity in deepening dialogue. It is the mind of the Anglican Communion as a whole that ‘all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation are full members of the Body of Christ’ and to be welcomed, cared for, and treated with respect (I.10, 1998). Many Provinces continue to affirm that same-gender marriage is not permissible. Lambeth Resolution I.10 (1998) states that the ‘legitimizing or blessing of same-sex unions’ cannot be advised. Other Provinces have blessed and welcomed same-sex union/marriage after careful theological reflection and a process of reception. As Bishops we remain committed to listening and walking together to the maximum possible degree, despite our deep disagreement on these issues.”
In addition, a third response option to the Calls was added. A response that says: “This Call does not speak for me. I do not add my voice to this Call,” which is exactly what the Episcopal bishops wanted — a way to say “No!” to Lambeth 1:10, not “Yes” or “Maybe”, but an unequivocal “No!”
Even the electronic voting has been scrapped in part due to confusion on how the electronic tabulators worked. Now each Lambeth Call is to be affirmed through a simple voice vote in the room.
The collective roar from the liberal bishops over Lambeth 1:10 has awakened the sleeping giant — the bishops from the Global South. And now they are becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The 250 bishops from the Global South are taking the bull by the horns and will do whatever it takes to wrestle that bovine to the ground. They are not going to allow themselves to be shouted down by the strident voices of the western church.
They needed to make their position known to the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. They also needed to visibly show that they, in good conscience, “cannot receive Holy Communion alongside gay bishops and those who indulge same-sex unions.”
For Paul says: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (I Corinthians 1:10)
The Communion Sit-out is the start of a number of ‘visual differentials’ to highlight the differences between the biblically orthodox believers and the progressive Anglicans.
The orthodox bishops and the heterodox bishops are divided. They are not perfectly united in mind and thought, particularly over Lambeth 1:10 which calls for the biblical approach to marriage and by extension, human sexuality.
The Global South bishops see Lambeth 1:10 as not just being about sex and marriage, but fundamentally about the authority of the Bible which Anglicans believe to be central to faith and order.
“For too long the Anglican Communion has been driven by the views of the West,” South Sudan Archbishop Justin Badi explained. “We often feel that our voice is not listened to, or respected.”
Archbishop Badi is the chairman of the orthodox bishops of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches.
GSFA is a grouping of 24 Anglican Provinces and churches (quasi-provinces) including: Alexandria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Central Africa, Chile, the Congo, Sydney, the Indian Ocean, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, North America (ACNA), Pakistan, Papau New Guinea, Rwanda, South America, South East Asia, South Sudan, the Sudan, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and West Africa.
Now the move is being made to make sure they have a place at the table and their voice is being heard.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is starting to hear their voice and to respond. He agreed to a sit-down meeting with them over Lambeth 1:10.
On Monday (Aug. 1), Lambeth Palace confirmed that Justin Welby met with the GFSA bishops over the weekend.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury had a planned meeting on Saturday (July30) with Archbishop Justin Badi, Chair of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GFSA), and some other Primates from the global South,” the news release stated. “This was one of several meetings that the Archbishop is having with Primates and others during the Lambeth Conference. It was a constructive conversation in a spirit of mutual listening about the concerns that the GSFA has already publicly shared.”
As Lambeth Conference continues, the controversy swirling around Resolution 1:10 stays in the limelight, much to the consternation of Lambeth officials who would like to see the focus switch to global warming and climate change. They are frustrated that one issue — Lambeth 1:10 — is sucking so much air out of the room and that Lambeth 2022 is becoming a “single issue” conference.
“Resolution 1:10 is the official teaching of the Anglican Communion, it is the biblical standard and those who oppose it are putting themselves outside the Communion,” explained Archbishop James Wong, the primate of the Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean. “It is not the Anglican Communion pushing us out; they (the liberal and revisionist bishops) are pushing themselves out of the Anglican Communion.”
Justin Welby is starting to hear and understand what is being said. On Tuesday, Welby wrote a letter to all bishops in the Anglican Communion addressing the controversy over Lambeth 1:10.
“I wanted to write this letter to you now so that I can clarify two matters for all of us.
Given the deep differences that exist within the Communion over same-sex marriage and human sexuality, I thought it important to set down what is the case,” the Archbishop of Canterbury writes to his bishops in the Anglican Communion, not just those attending Lambeth. “I write therefore to affirm that the validity of the resolution passed at the Lambeth Conference 1998, 1:10 is not in doubt and that whole resolution is still in existence. Indeed, the Call on Human Dignity made clear this is the case, as the resolution is quoted from three times in the paragraph 2.3 of the Call on Human Dignity.”
The letter was written ahead of Tuesday’s (Aug. 2) closed-door session on the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity to allow for the bishops to speak openly without fear that their words would be broadcast to the world. Other Lambeth Call sessions have been live-streamed.
In advance of closing the session to the public and reporters, the Archbishop of Canterbury again addressed the issue of Lambeth 1:10.
“There is no attempt to change people’s minds in this Call. It states as a fact that the vast majority of Anglicans in the large majority of Provinces and Dioceses do not believe that a change in teaching is right. Therefore, it is the case that the whole of Lambeth 1:10 1998 still exists. This Call does not in any way question the validity of that resolution,” he said. “The Call states that many Provinces — and I say again, I think we need to acknowledge it’s the majority — continue to affirm that same-gender marriage is not permissible. The Call also states that other provinces have blessed and welcomed same sex union or marriage, after careful theological reflection and a process of reception.”
The Global South bishops are being heard. The Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged that a majority of the Communion do not accept same-sex marriage as permissible. Welby acknowledged that same-gender marriages are a reality in only a few Anglican provinces.
“We are living at a time of great spiritual confusion and moral flux. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot afford to lose its moorings in Holy Scripture and drift with the world,” Archbishop Badi explained. “Based on the need to establish clear doctrine on Marriage and Sexuality at this defining moment for the Anglican Communion, this conference must reaffirm the biblical teaching of Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10.”
The GSFA bishops have developed a way that Lambeth bishops can privately reaffirm Lambeth 1:10 as the ‘official teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality’ yet keep their anonymity secret, while making their collective voices heard.
“Anglican identity is first and foremost ‘grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church,’” the South Sudan Archbishop said. “Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is a test of faithfulness to this doctrinal standard, because it explicitly applies the clear and historic teaching of Scripture to matters of sexual morality. The Resolution does not take its authority from the Lambeth Conference, but from Holy Scripture.”
A GSFA news release outlines how the reaffirmation of Lambeth 1:10 will go.
“To prevent any fraud in the ‘sign in’ process, the GSFA has asked bishops to take a photo of their official Lambeth Conference pass (which contains an up-to-date picture, full name, the province/diocese they serve in and a unique ID number). They are then asked to email it to a dedicated email address, and in the subject line, include their name and importantly, the number of worshippers under their direct episcopal care,” the news release states. “Bishops have been assured the process will be completely anonymous. Their names will not be revealed at the Conference, or at any time after. Only the province, how many bishops in that province reaffirmed, and the number of worshippers in their direct episcopal care will be revealed.”
The results of GSFA’s Lambeth 1:10 reaffirmation vote will be released at a later date following its verification.
Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline
THE SLEEPING GIANT AWAKES
Resolution 1:10 does not take its authority from Lambeth Conference, but from Scripture
By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
August 3, 2022
The sleeping giant in the Anglican Communion is the Global South, with 75% of faithful Anglicans living south of the equator — actually south of the Tropic of Cancer.
Quietly, they have lived the Faith. The Word is powerfully preached, the Sacraments are faithfully celebrated and joyfully received. They have remained steadfastly faithful to the Scriptures and historic Anglican teachings. Their churches have grown and now their quiet voice is starting to be heard.
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