The Associated Press reports on a meeting in Zanzibar, Tanzania of the Bishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion. As the Anglican Church is embroiled in a controversy over the moral status of homosexuality and gender, many of the orthodox Bishops from Africa refused to take communion with the schismatic Bishops from the west.
The U.S. Episcopal Church, the American wing of the fellowship, consecrated its first gay bishop in 2003, and last year elected its first female leader, Katharine Jefferts Schori, fueling the divide.
Conspicuously absent from Sunday’s [communion] service was Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, who has called the acceptance of gay relationships a “satanic attack” on the church and who now leads a rival network formed by conservative Anglicans in the United States.
On Friday, Akinola led seven conservative archbishops in refusing to take communion with Jefferts Schori.
If you want to understand what’s at the heart of the Anglican divide, consider this sentence from the AP report:
Supporters of ordaining gays believe the Bible’s teachings on social justice take precedence over its view of sexuality.
In other words, the supporters of ordaining gays have an unorthodox view of holy Scripture. They believe the Scripture contradicts itself and that it errs in its view of sexuality. Make no mistake. This dispute is about the authority and the integrity of God’s written word. I’m glad to see that the AP got that much right.