23 February 2009

Akinola's silence is prophetic

I've been ruminating about the letter of rebuke sent by the Rt. Rev'd Mr. Peter Akinola, heiland of the episcopi vagrantes, to the Most Rev'd and Right Honourable Mr. Rowan Williams, Metropolitan Bishop, Primate of All England, and Spiritual Head of the Anglican Communion.

By now all of you will have read the letter found here. Also, many of you may have read the lengthy diatribe, The Episcopal Church: Tearing the Fabric of Communion to Shreds, prepared by Akinoa's henchmen. Notice that the attacks on the Most Rev'd Katharine Jefferts-Schori are authored by the Rev'd Matthew Kennedy, who was recently told by the court to vacate the TEC property he was attempting to steal.

One of the interesting darts they fling at TEC is "Accelerating Litigation." Apparently Akinola's US owners do not believe theft is worthy of legal intervention. We should not be surprised: criminals stick together. I believe part of the criminal code says, "assist other criminals by moral and material support."

For TTLS's new readers, some background is necessary. The quote above certainly describes the schismatics in TEC and their supporters, chief of whom has been Akinola. He is a man who has a history of immorality and unchristian virtue. For one thing, he promotes violence against Muslims.
The revenge killings came a day after the country's leading Anglican primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, warned Muslims that they did not have a "monopoly on violence." He said churches "may no longer be able to contain our restive youths should this ugly trend continue".
When asked about his part in the massacre, he smugly said he was doing what the Holy Spirit had told him to do.
. . . When asked if those wearing name tags that read “Christian Association of Nigeria” had been sent to the Muslim part of Yelwa, the archbishop grinned. “No comment,” he said. “No Christian would pray for violence, but it would be utterly naive to sweep this issue of Islam under the carpet.”

He went on, “I’m not out to combat anybody. I’m only doing what the Holy Spirit tells me to do. I’m living my faith, practicing and preaching that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to God, and they respect me for it. They know where we stand. I’ve said before: let no Muslim think they have the monopoly on violence . . . [Emphasis added]
He has resisted repeated calls to explain his remarks and to repudiate the violence.

He is also famous for his attacks on GLBT people and has called for their murder.
Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man
He defended exceeding vicious laws in Nigeria with would send people to prison, or worse, for merely talking with someone who is suspected of being homosexual.
When the Nigerian government introduced legislation last year making not only same-sex relationships an offence, punishable by five years' imprisonment, but also those who support such relationships (potentially any parent, relations or friend of a gay person), the archbishop vigorously approved.
This hypocrite has the hubris to lecture Rowan Williams on who the "enemies" of the Communion are. This charlatan wants to lead that Communion.

This is the moral and religious leader to whom the fundamentalist wing of TEC have looked for their spirituality. What a very sad comment on the theology of the fundamentalists.

Perhaps we should let John Cardinal Newman speak to the subject:
If any part of the Church be proved to be antichristian, all of the Church is so, the Protestant branch inclusive.*
Jesus had this to say:
Those who do evil hate the light and do not come into the light lest their works should be reproved. John 3.20

All men will know that you are my disciples -- if you love one another." John 13.35
Paul and James continue the theme:
They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Titus 1.15-16

What does it profit if a man says he has faith but does not have works? James 2.14
To most of the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, Jesus said, "I know your works . . ." He knows Akinola's works, too, and they do not survive the scrutiny of Jesus teachings and, therefore, are antichristian.

Fr. Jake (The Blog-father) wrote some excellent posts on Akinola (some linked above). You'll find them here, here, here, and here.)

Turning to the letter itself, there are three interesting observations to make.

First, Colin Coward of Changing Attitudes calls the authorship of this letter into question. What we know for sure is that it is not written in the precise style of any ghostwriter Akinola has used heretofore and it is certainly not the writing or speaking style of Akinola. My first guess was Minns but it doesn't sound convincingly like him. It could be Chris Sugden. It could be a combination of several of the usual suspects. We will probably never know for sure.

Second, Akinola has been uncharacteristically quiet since he was detained by the Jordanian government and barred from entering the kingdom. That decision had to come from someone in a very high government position who probably reads The Times. We shouldn't be surprised if Akinola is never allowed to enter a Muslim country again. Nor should we be surprised to read that he has been indicted for war crimes.

Third, according to sources, there was no show of bravado and arrogance from Akinola in Alexandria as has been his modus operandi. Quite the contrary, he was eerily quiet and, surprising all who attended, he agreed to the final communique. Then, a few days later he releases this letter. Why?

I believe it was an attempt to refocus the schismatic movement back to himself.

It appears that Archbishop Akinola is no longer the primary front person for the schismatic alliance within the Anglican Communion. Perhaps he has passed the baton on to Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone? More likely, the baton was passed for him.

ADDENDUM: According to the Lead this morning, more violence is happening in Nigeria and more deafening silence from Akinola.

* The Patristic Idea of Antichrist, No. 83 of Tracts for the Times, republished in Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects (London, New York, and Bombay 1897)