Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anglican Bishops of Rwanda to boycott Lambeth

This is of interest to those of us who attend St. Andrews Church in Little Rock, part of the Anglican Mission in America. Our bishops are in Rwanda, and they today joined the growing discontent with invitations to American Episcopal bishops who took part in the consecration of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson.

St. Andrews is among the early congregations to seek orthodox oversight from Africa. That happened years before the Robinson matter. The Anglican division is over biblical authority, not homosexuality.

There is another Arkansas connection to the Robinson story. Retired Arkansas bishop Herbert Donovan, Jr. was among the bishop who laid hands on Robinson.

David Virtue files a lengthy report. There is a lot to it, but here is one relevant passage.

Today the House of Bishops of the Province of Rwanda said they would not attend Lambeth because some of their bishops were not invited and because the faith was being undermined by liberal elements in the Anglican Communion.

The Province of Uganda has also said it will not be present if those who consecrated V. Gene Robinson are allowed to attend while some orthodox bishops are not.

Virtue notes the widening Anglican rift.

The Standing Committee of the Evangelical Diocese of Sydney is urging Archbishop Peter Jensen and his five regional bishops (Forsyth, Davies, Tasker, Lee and Stewart) to make a stand to protest to the Lambeth Conference guest list that denies orthodox bishops while including heretical ones, and suggests that a parallel Lambeth be held at the same time in England next year.

Bishop Robinson's divorce and open lifestyle aside, his elevation is outside the norms of the worldwide Anglican communion. We would say that it is an offense against the unity of the church, and that is an understatement.

From the practical standpoint, this is interesting to those, like me, who follow this kind of thing. It doesn't matter much in the AMIA or St. Andrews, which thankfully have left the fight behind years ago and moved on to the kinds of things churches should be busy doing. You know, the Great Commission and that kind of thing.

St. Andrews will officially open it's new church home later this summer. It's a launchpad for mission.

People in the AMIA think of themselves as indigenous missionaries to the main steam American culture. That's a big job.

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