Archbishop of Church of Uganda Issues Home Truths to Church of England
On 10 February, The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda has penned a lengthy response to recent events at the last meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod. He pulled no punches and it would appear that this is the opening salvo in addressing the matter from a Global South perspective.
The EC is printing the most pertinent parts in the print edition but the entire document is found on the www.englishchurchman.com website.
A flavour of the Archbishop’s position and that of majority of Anglican Provinces follows.
“We now want to ask the Church of England, “Do you have the integrity to step out of the Anglican Communion because you have departed from the Anglican faith?” God called you to preach a Gospel of repentance and faith. Instead, you’re like Jonah. You have disobeyed and are running in the opposite direction.
“God called the church to go to Nineveh and preach repentance, but the Church of England is running to Tarshish and preaching acceptance of sin. There is no way we are walking together.
“The Church of England, together with the Episcopal Church in America, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, and others – these are the Provinces that have walked away, but we pray for them to repent.
“And, if they refuse to repent, then we call on them to have the integrity to form their own Canterbury Communion because what they believe is not Anglicanism and it is not the faith once delivered to the saints.
“If they want to take their whole church into the belly of a whale, they are free to do that; we are, after all, autonomous Anglican Provinces. We think it’s a bad idea, but they are free to do it.
“But, they are NOT free to drag the whole Anglican Communion with them. The Anglican Communion is NOT an extension of the Church of England.
“The Church of England has departed from the Anglican faith and are now false teachers. We fear Jesus’ words for them, “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Rev 2.5b) It’s that serious.”
Church of England’s Decision
The General Synod of the Church of England (their top governing body, like our Provincial Assembly) passed several resolutions that are of great concern to us in Uganda. They have decided to allow clergy to preside at Blessings of Same-sex Unions and have approved supplemental prayers and liturgies for such occasions.
The Church of England is very good at making contradictory statements and expecting everyone to believe both can be true at the same time. That’s what they have done with this decision.
On the one hand, they say that the Church of England has not changed its doctrine of marriage, namely that marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman.
On the other hand, they are giving clergy permission to preside at services of Blessing for same-sex unions, especially for gay couples who are already considered “married” by the British government. In other words, a gay couple joined together in a civil marriage would then go to the church to receive prayers of blessing.
The only significant difference between a wedding and a service of “blessing” is the terminology used.
The Church of England insists it is not changing its doctrine of marriage. But, in practice, they are doing precisely that. You may read various articles, opinions, and commentaries on this decision that try to justify its action.
But, what I want you to know is that if it looks like a wedding, and sounds like a wedding… it IS a wedding.