Ever the political lion, etc, the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has seen fit to make comments on the Western and US scene. As a primate with oversight of a proto-diocese in the United States, he speaks "from the chair" to the West. All part of ecclesial sausage making: he seems to think that if you package it right, you can put anything in it they will eat it. But not this time. This time the Archbishop has put poison in the grinder.
So here are some choice statements from the Archbishop's message to the 9th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria.
"As a Church we cannot but continue to decry the disturbing level of moral decadence and spiritual degradation eating deep into the soul of western societies. In the United Kingdom, all through Europe and in ever increasing number of States in America, Legislators make laws to upturn the natural order and throw God away from the public domain. Marriage and family life as we know them in the word of God have been jettisoned. People of the same sex are legally permitted to marry. Parents’ right to discipline their children is legally denied, the age of discretion that used to be 21 has been lowered 18 and there are efforts at reducing it to 16 if not 14. As if these are not bad enough, only last week the TELL magazine reported in its 36th edition on page 12 that a 27 year old man was arrested for having sex with a sheep in Dulwich, south east London."
There it is: the three strikes and out - Strike one, upturning the natural order, Strike two marriage and family life are jettisoned. Strike three, guy pokes sheep.
"More disturbing is that the first day of the week, Sunday, traditionally set aside for worship and rest is no longer free. Also, the right to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus the Christ for the salvation of all is severely curtailed and in the name of multiculturalism fuelled by oil politics and economic consideration and benefits, other religious faiths and culture are promoted over and above Christianity. Hiding under the principle of “political correctness” Satan has misled many to deny the reality of sin and God’s final judgement. In sum, the western world is not only losing its Judaeo-Christian heritage from which it received its civilisation; it is fast becoming anti Christ and anti Church."
I know the Archbishop will find this shocking, but in at least part of the West we have replaced theocracies with democracy (sometimes only a pale version of it). As to the rest of this absurd paragraph the less said the better.
"We call on the remnant of the people of the biblical faith to wake up, be courageous, stand in the gap, proclaim the word faithfully and uncompromisingly in season and out season and reclaim these nations for Christ before it is too late. The Parousia may well be at hand."
Got it...the call for desperate action...the end is coming, the end is coming.
Specifically about the United States the Archbishop has the following to say:
"We salute those who emerged as presidential candidates of both the Republican and Democratic Parties. It was a rigorous, time and energy sapping exercise. But it was participatory as all stakeholders were openly involved in all parts of the vast country. As we wish them well in their electioneering we have our fears and reservations about the dangerous trends we see in American politics.
Ordinarily, it should be our joy that an African American is popularly nominated for the first time in American political history to slug it out with other contenders and going by popular forecasts, he is likely to be heading for the White House.
We should however be concerned that this is a politician considered to be a far leftwing liberal for whom all that counts is victory at the polls. He sees abortion as normal and a matter of right for those who do it. So life is not sacrosanct and man can terminate it at will.
By the same token homosexuality is okay and so under him, the world is likely to see more liberal and widespread acceptance of same sex marriages.
We urge Senator Obama to prayerfully reconsider some of his ultra liberal dispositions not only for the sake of “God’s own Country” but in the interest of the world. His endorsement of what the scriptures and much of the world condemn will definitely deepen in America the religious and spiritual vacuum which ungodly influences will of course seek to fill by whatever means. And that will have grave consequences for him and his country.
As you know, whenever America sneezes, the rest of the world catches cold. In matters of religion, we plead; do not take today’s world for granted. A stitch in time saves nine."
The Archbishop is full of bromides (a stitch in time, etc), but under the guise of supposedly helpful commentary, he interjects threatening warnings, "We urge Senator Obama to prayerfully reconsider some of his ultra liberal dispositions...that will have grave consequences for him and his country."
What is remarkable is that the Archbishop of Nigeria has decided to chastise an American presidential candidate. Now to be fair, clergy of American congregations are given occasionally to telling their governors what to do, and the Archbishop of Nigeria is known to have done the same in Nigeria. But for the Archbishop to make public comments regarding one but not both of the candidates for election in the US Presidential election is very peculiar indeed.
He is meddling in US Politics at a very primary level, calling on one of the candidates to "reconsider some of his ultra liberal dispositions," that is to repent.
He can do what he damn well pleases, of course. Freedom ain't worth nothing but its free. Still, he might remember that a fairly large number of Americans do not particularly like foreign potentates telling them what to do, who to vote for, and we sure don't like them telling particular candidates of ours to repent.
Archbishop Akinola, back off.