Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Anglican dilema: "Doctrine and Holiness (in African Churches) vs. Pastoral Care (In the Western Churches)

"Same Sex Marriage" rites in The Episcopal Church in the USA, TEC, and soon to be approved rites in the Anglican Church of Canada, ACC, are at the roots of a 12 year long battle between completely different points of view.

African Provinces, in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, all of them characterized by growing numbers of adherents, emphasize Biblical doctrines and holiness. The leaders of churches in the USA and Canada, more swayed by "Human Rights" than their African counterparts, stress "Pastoral Care" for those of the GBLT community.

These three articles in The Guardian show how the recent decision of the Anglican Primates has been received on the "liberal" end of the spectrum in the UK.
Anglican Church risks global schism over homosexuality (January 12) and
Anglican church avoids split over gay rights - but liberals pay the price (January 14) and
Chris Bryant quits Church of England over its views on homosexuality (January 15)

Churches in African, Asia and South America,, which are growing and possibly make up 85-90% of active Anglicans, as measured by church attendance and other criteria, see things from a completely different point of view.

Left out of most aspects of the conversation is that these churches were begun during a time of colonialism. The main ideas forming the basis of their understanding came from the West, from colonial powers. Now, colonialism is a bad word. And it is now that new winds, new "doctrines" are coming from the West, principally from academics, seminaries and top ecclesiastical leaders, and African leaders, especially, are not about to accept what they call, "this new colonialism".  They are grouped under an organization called GAFCON, or Global Anglicans . . .. Here is their statement after the Primates gathering.   A close reading of these four articles shows the impossible gap between the declining, older and wealthier congregations in the West, and the exploding, younger and impoverished churches in the South.

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