The Times Interviews Peter Akinola—For God’s sake

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In spite of what Western church leaders fear, he has no ambitions to lead a breakaway church. “That has never been on my mind. This is the media thing. You see we have scripture. We have our traditions. We have not broken the law. It is your churches that are breaking the law. You are the ones breaking the rules. You are the ones doing what should not be done with impunity. We are saying you cannot sweep it under the carpet. Maybe in the past you could get away with it, but not any more. We have aged. So we are not breaking away from anybody. We remain Anglicans. We are Anglican Church. We will die Anglicans. We are going nowhere.”

Read it all.

UPDATE:
Ruth Gledhill has more on her blog

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

21 Comments
Posted July 4, 2007 at 6:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. jumpinj wrote:

Thank God for Peter Akinola.  He tells it like it is!  Black is black and white is white!  Nothing inbetween. 
Jumpinj

July 4, 7:30 pm | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

In case of interest I see Ruth Gledhill has posted further background to this visit ‘Unity will never be at the expense of truth’ on her personal blog which she introduces:

This is some more of what he said regarding Lambeth and Canterbury, which is also in this week’s Church of England Newspaper. There wasn’t space in The Times to quote him at full but I thought readers might be interested in reading him at a little more length.

http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/07/peter-akinola-w.html#more

July 4, 7:39 pm | [comment link]
3. DonGander wrote:

What a rare and great article! I recommended it to my pastor.

Excerpt:

Like me, he has heard the hope that lights up among Western liberals at talk of his pending retirement, as if once he is gone Nigeria will suddenly cease its evangelical mission. “Someone told me they hope when Akinola retires the Church will revert,” he says. “They are making a big mistake. The Church is already receiving hundreds of people who are better, stronger. I can assure you this is God’s own church and the gates of Hell shall never prevail against it. God raised Peter Akinola to what he has done. The same God will raise hundreds of people more gifted than me to get the job done. It is God’s Church not mine.”
^^^^^^^^^^^

It IS about God! Not about appeasing our corrupted desires and dreams.

God bless His Church!

DonGander

July 4, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
4. Brian from T19 wrote:

I still find it astounding that no one questions his actions.  His support of the anti-speech legislation and Ruth Gledhill’s hyperbole aside, what about his grab for power in Nigeria?  Does this not trouble any reasserters?

“I have been so demonised by the Western media,” says Dr Akinola. “I tell people when they talk about this, Christ had it so much worse. If this is the price I have to pay for leading the Church at this time, so be it. They can punch me here, punch me there, but in the midst of all that are people who say Akinola is the right thing.

So let’s read what the Nigerian Press says:

CAN: How clerics aborted Akinola’s tenure elongation bid

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/news/national/2007/july/01/national-01-07-2007-center.htm

July 4, 8:40 pm | [comment link]
5. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Reply to comment #4.
Brian from T19,

Why do you focus on the personalities of the orthodox leaders rather than on the commitment of those leaders to the Anglican Communion? 

These are men who refuse to ‘morph’ into something that denies or heretically modifies Scripture, the creeds and the traditions of the Church Catholic.

I don’t believe in wagering, but I believe that ++Akinola’s replacement with be as committed to the Church Catholic as he has himself has been committed.

Brian, if you think that secular/temporal, progressive/revisionist American/British pressure or money is going to cause other parts of the Anglican Communion to step away from their committment to Christ and the revelations of God through the prophets, you are very mistaken.

The “Faith once given” still stands among those who remain Anglican.

July 4, 9:53 pm | [comment link]
6. Barry wrote:

Two more articles on ++Akinola….just to round out Brian from T19.  Best to have the other point of view represented.

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/features/citysun/2006/jan/18/citysun-18-01-2006-004.htm

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/news/national/2007/june/20/national-20-06-2007-06.htm

July 4, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
7. Brian from T19 wrote:

Why do you focus on the personalities of the orthodox leaders rather than on the commitment of those leaders to the Anglican Communion?

Actually, a fair question.  I am not really focusing on the personality of any leader, but their actions.  We learned the lesson from Yasir Arafat that what we say and what we do can be polar opposites.  I have no question about ++Akinola’s commitment to to God nor do I believe that his intentions are bad.  My point is that we will know these leaders by their fruits.  Evil tears down and good builds up.  If we try to separate the actions from the intentions then we are left with a severely flawed ethic.

July 4, 10:53 pm | [comment link]
8. DonGander wrote:

Brian, you have brought up some very interesting points. I’ve time to address but one.

When you say, “If we try to separate the actions from the intentions then we are left with a severely flawed ethic”, I do not disagree. But I was never very good at judging intentions. I rather think that we should say, “If we try to separate the actions from the outcomes then we are left with a severely flawed logic”.

The thing is, when I look at what comes out of the Nigerian Church; amazing growth, a love of Holy Writ, the challenge of their government’s ethic, the effective co-working with the Moslems (unlike Lebanon and nearly anywhere else), and all of this based not on charismatic man but a broad gospel message, I am very, very impressed.

DonGander

July 5, 12:09 am | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:

+Akinola also dares to stand up to TEC.  That alone will earn him villification and demonization.

July 5, 7:22 am | [comment link]
10. Stuart Smith wrote:

++Akinola is an easy polimical target for those who are not willing to address the theological stand he and the GS as a whole have taken.
So…yes, demonize a man…ignore the witness of the GS as a whole to the Gospel…that’s a very American “lawyer” like thing to do!
Concering the Gospel and its application:  the GS primates, THANK GOD, are not going to swallow the gnostic, immoral teachings and behaviors of the American church. 

The question is:  Why do WE swallow them?

July 5, 10:52 am | [comment link]
11. Alice Linsley wrote:

Archbishop Akinola’s prominence takes a toll on him personally, and on his hard-working staff.  There are many demands on the Archbishop’s time, so it is gracious of him to grant Ruth Gledhill this interview.  “I used to play table tennis,” Akinola explained in an interview with the Nigerian Guardian, “but now I take a long walk if I can. That’s all I have time for now. Where’s the time? Is it when I’m thinking about Nigeria, Africa or the global South? They won’t let me rest! Everybody wants a little bit of me, every second. I have about 18 million Anglicans and 94 bishops so where’s the time to go and start watching football.”  (The Nigerian Guardian, 29 Jan. 2006)

“Pastors, Bishops and all religious leaders are called upon to remove the masks and do away with all pretence. It is time to be true Shepherds and feed the flock. False prophets are called upon to remove the mask and stop the exploitation and manipulation of the gullible, unsuspecting flock and stop shouting peace when God has not sent them.” (Source:  Akinola’s New Year Address, Church of Nigeria News, Dec. 2005)


“We find it pitiable that the media spin is drawing attention away from the deep Biblical discussions contained in our response” to draft at AlSukhna. (Source: Global South Anglican, 18 Nov. 2005)

Andrew Carey has said, “The fact is Archbishop Akinola is viewed as the devil incarnate by many Church of England liberals and many of these ‘inclusive-church types’ have an extremely exclusive side to them.”  (Source: Mainstream Anglican, 7 Dec. 2006)

Read a refutation of revisionist lies about Akinola at Drell’s Descants. See Lies They Love to Tell About Akinola.

July 5, 2:36 pm | [comment link]
12. Fred wrote:

“....he has no ambitions to lead a breakaway church…”—If you believe that, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you!

July 5, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
13. William Scott wrote:

#12 Fred,
Akinolla retires in 18 months.  He is not a king.  Do you think he holds his values to grab power?  He does not want to form a different Church.  He wants to maintain the one that already exists faithfully.

July 6, 12:21 am | [comment link]
14. Brian from T19 wrote:

William Scott

Do you think he holds his values to grab power?

See this article that I cited above to find out why the answer is yes.:

CAN: How clerics aborted Akinola’s tenure elongation bid
http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/news/national/2007/july/01/national-01-07-2007-center.htm

July 6, 12:56 am | [comment link]
15. William Scott wrote:

Brian,  I read the article.  I am not sure it gives any indication that he holds his view dishonestly, or that Akinola is attempting a break away church.  There is at least this much political intrigue in our Synods and GCs, and strategic posture from standing committees.

July 6, 1:21 am | [comment link]
16. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Anyone who opposes the agenda approved by BfT19 is undoubtedly a powermad oppressive dictatorial imperialist of the worst order (should that be first order?).  If you don’t believe him, just ask the other reappraisers invested in the same re-appraisal of “Christianity”.  They all agree that such persons as they perceive to be opposed to their power grab should be labelled “exclusively” so they don’t have to be included in the “inclusive” newchurch envisioned for the proletarian masses.  But you don’t have to take my world for it, just check out Father Jake and Susan Russell’s blogs.  Not to mention Elizabeth Kaeton’s.  Compare and revise your opinion of ++Akinola as regards the allegations against him.

July 6, 7:09 pm | [comment link]
17. icj wrote:

I really don’t want to be confrontational, but I have been searching the web for articles in which the archbishop denounced the hideous practices against women that are common in Nigeria for over an hour and have found not one.  It distrubs me that ++Akinola seems far more interested in what happens half way around the world than right under his nose. Does this bother anyone else?
Here are examples of the atrocities that I just found:
“10 February (2007)  Female Genital Mutilation - sometimes misleadingly called Female Circumcision - is one of the traditional practices that are deeply entrenched in many cultures and traditions worldwide. This practice has over the years received global attention and condemnation because of its many serious physical and mental consequences, which have social, economic and political implications.
Nigeria is one of the 27 countries in Africa where FGM is still practiced. In Nigeria, the harmful practice has a prevalence rate of between 40 and 50 percent, according to earlier Nigerian estimates. UN estimates however puts the FGM rate at approximately 60 percent among the nation’s female population, with local rates reaching 90 percent.”

“28 November (2006) - “Disturbing trends of rape and sexual violence against women and girls at the hands of police and security forces” have been revealed in Nigeria. Some security forces act as if they were entitled to rape local women, and they are sure never to face justice.
“There were three men. I have pain even today… they used my daughter too. She is 12 years old… They also raped my sister. Another man raped a woman who was 4 months pregnant and she lost the child…they were military men. Everyone in the village saw them, they didn’t hide, they didn’t care. I didn’t tell the police because I fear them.” “

This is one of the testimonies presented at a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria,

July 6, 9:10 pm | [comment link]
18. Alice Linsley wrote:

You are being confrontational, sir, and also provocative.  When offering material such as this, it is always helpful to cite your sources so that your readers may investigate for themselves.  As to the many problems you have pointed out, what has Schori said about the problem of rape of girls inthis country?  Or is she far more interested what happens in Cuba, Canada or Canterbury?

July 6, 9:35 pm | [comment link]
19. Irenaeus wrote:

“I have been searching the web for articles in which the archbishop denounced the hideous practices against women that are common in Nigeria”—- ICJ

ICJ: Akinola has denounced corruption and abuse of power in Nigeria, both of which lie close to the root of sexual violence against women by police and security forces.

Do you believe Nigerians are in doubt about whether Abp. Akinola supports or opposes the crime of rape?

I agree that we should denounce female genital mutilation and work to end it now. But isn’t the practice considerably more common among Muslims than among Christians? Doesn’t that sort of practice wane as Christianity takes root in a culture?

One might also ask (albeit provocatively) whether you have denounced the hideous practices against unborn babies that are common in Western countries.

July 7, 12:15 am | [comment link]
20. Brian from T19 wrote:

Alice

It is not necessary to cite sources for the facts about female circumcision and abuse of women.  However, here is what the Episcopal Church does for women:

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/41685_73417_ENG_HTM.htm?menupage=73411

July 7, 7:34 am | [comment link]
21. Tunde wrote:

Had refrained from commenting on the CAN Issue for so long but since it keeps coming up, I hope those celebrating it ask the following;

HEADLINE ON LOVE OF MONEY;  Is the CAN president paid any amount of money? My answer, NO! Was there any mishandling of money issue surrounding the past administration? Interestingly the past Treasurer was a Roman Catholic. Did the tabloid story have any details on the money that is the root of the desire? Search through. I did not see it.

LOSS AT ELECTORAL COLLEGE:  Does anyone link the preference of Pentecostals to Roman Catholicism to the problems facing the worldwide Anglican Church?
Can anyone link the preference of Northern Churches to the cordial relationship between the Archbishop and Muslim leaders? (though he is portrayed in the West as inciting religious violence)

Abp. AKINOLA’S SILENCE:  Is it really true a man who has indicated he’d retire from what qualifies him to contest at 65yrs (mandatory retirement age in CofN Episcopacy is 70yrs) in less that two years time will be so vigorously seeking an office with a term of at least 3 years?  What other credible articles can be attributed to the writer?

July 7, 10:52 am | [comment link]
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