Two items appeared yesterday on the Church of Nigeria web pages: One a report of the Archbishop of Nigeria’s trip to China in June, the other a most peculiar article titled, “ FROM CARPENTER TO PRIMATE: Ambassador Sagay writes on Abp. Akinola.” It is a reprint from an article in THE GUARDIAN (a Nigerian paper, not the GUARDIAN of English fame) of Sunday 1st October.
Regarding the trip to China: The Archbishop of Canterbury has just completed a trip to China and this article reminds us that the Archbishop of Nigeria is every bit as traveled, ever bit as lionized as is the ABC. It never says it, of course, and it could be the very simplist of coincidences that brings this report out immediately on the ABC’s trip.
The real article of note is however, “From Carpenter to Primate.” I call attention to it only because of its shamelessness in extolling the virtues of the Archbishop of Nigeria. An appallingly fine example:
“Laudable as these accomplishments are, they still do not tell us much about the inner man behind the veil –the shepherd with the heart of a lion. Outside of the hallowed precincts of the Church and his Bishop’s Court, this “Lion” is self-effacing almost to the point of meekness; nevertheless, such is his aura and “presence”, that despite his elegantly casual way of dressing, especially when traveling in cognito, (in civilian mufti), no-one could fail to notice him when he passes by, or enters a room. And when he opens his mouth to speak, authority and command issue forth, to compel your attention. The magic is in his voice! His voice is a cross between a muffled trumpet sound and an Army commandant’s barking orders during parade. His English when he addresses an audience, is totally without Oxford accent affectation, yet it has the resonance and clarity of a bell. It is authoritative, yet pleasing and re-assuring. His assertions carry a note of finality –not unlike Pilate’s, “what I have written (spoken) I have written (spoken)” No listener is left in doubt, or wondering as to what is meant –he means what he says, and says what he means to say –without ambiguity. He has the spell-binding gift of the anointed, and leaves no one in doubt that he is the oracle of God, speaking the mind of Christ, especially in his prophetic pronouncements, based on the hidden truths of the Scriptures. You feel the Power in God’s Words, as they cascade and issue forth from the spiritual well-spring of his inner being. Let me tell this story, by way of illustration, and as a testimony –and to God be the glory!”
Need we say more?