We're covering the full spectrum tonight - from VirtueOnline to the Episcopal Cafe. We remember the first time we met Bishop Daniel ten years ago in Fairfax. He is now taking a courageous stand for biblical truth, despite a massive effort by The Episcopal Church to court his favor. If only the Archbishop of Canterbury could follow his lead. The Diocese of Washington's Canon Jim Naughton reports here on his conversation with Rowan Williams, including a clear indication that he is open to same sex marriage personally, but in his role as Archbishop must uphold Lambeth 1.10. Jim Naughton writes:
[Rowan Williams] said he viewed as immoral “any relationship which is outside of a public covenant of mutual support and love in the presence of God.” There seemed to be room in that formulation for gay marriage, even after Williams offered further nuance: “I don’t believe that sex outside of marriage is as God purposes it.” But then Williams added that as far as same-sex marriage was concerned, he stood behind previous Lambeth Conference resolutions on the issue “as archbishop.” I took him to mean that he was speaking as an office holder, rather than an individual.What else is marriage, from Rowan Williams personal view, but "a public covenant of mutual support and love in the presence of God." Not one word about the public covenant being between a husband and a wife. But as Lambeth 1.10 views marriage from a biblical point of view, Rowan Williams expressed to Jim Naughton that he must support it in his role, but that's not the same as in his heart. Now, is that leadership? Is this someone you'd like in the foxhole with you? Contrast this with the firm statement from the Archbishop of the Sudan who knows a thing or two about foxholes. Here is the article on the statement from the Primate of the Sudan, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul:
The Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan has issued a statement at the Lambeth Conference condemning homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and saying the consecration of an openly homosexual American bishop has caused divisions within the Anglican Communion and harmed the Church's witness in Africa.Read it all here.
The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul made the statement available through intermediaries to VirtueOnline. In a clear and concise statement said that human sexuality is God's gift to human beings and can only be expressed within a life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman.
"We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this," said the Archbishop.
"We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships. This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church's witness in Africa and elsewhere, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment."
The Archbishop said the unity of the Anglican Communion is of profound importance as an expression of our unity within the Body of Christ. "It is not something we can treat lightly or allow to be fractured easily. Our unity expresses the essential truth of the Gospel that in Christ we are united across different tribes, cultures and nationalities.
"We have come to attend the Lambeth Conference, despite the decision of others to stay away, to appeal to the whole Anglican Communion to uphold our unity and to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.
"Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we appeal to the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada to demonstrate real commitment to the requests arising from the Windsor process. In particular: To refrain from ordaining practicing homosexuals to bishops or priests; To refrain from approving rites of blessing for same-sex relationships; To cease court actions with immediate effect; To comply with Resolution 1:10 of the 1998 Lambeth conference; To respect the authority of the Bible."
"We believe that such steps are essential for bridging the divisions which have opened up within the Communion. "We affirm our commitment to uphold the four instruments of communion of the Anglican Communion: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth conference, the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council, and call upon all Provinces of the Communion to respect these for the sake of the unity and well-being of the Church.
"We appeal to this Lambeth conference to rescue the Anglican Communion from being divided. We pray that God will heal us from the spirit of divisions. We pray for God's strength and wisdom so that we might be built up in the unity of the Body of Christ."