Anglicans debate sexuality

Many conservative Anglicans would agree with Nigerian lay minister Davis Mac-Iyalla that the summer of 2003””when the Episcopal Church approved the first openly gay bishop””left a gaping hole and wrenching pain in their hearts. But not for the same reasons.

For Mac-Iyalla, that summer was when the Anglican Church of Nigeria, in which he was born, baptized and became faithful turned its back on him because he is gay.

“God created me a gay man and put me in the womb of my mother. I was born into the church, baptized and sang in the choir,” Mac-Iyalla told parishioners Sunday at Trinity Church in Highland Park. “Now, the church rises against me when I speak who I am. The church is supposed to be a house of joy, a house of peace. It has become a place of fire.”

As the worldwide Anglican Communion of 77 million faithful spirals toward schism over issues of homosexuality, the leading Nigerian voice has been that of Archbishop Peter Akinola, who believes tolerating gays and lesbians violates Scripture. Akinola and other conservatives in the global communion have severed ties with the U.S. church. Last month, against the wishes of U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Akinola consecrated a new bishop to oversee conservative dissidents on American soil.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

10 comments on “Anglicans debate sexuality

  1. Donal Clair says:

    “The church is supposed to be a house of joy, a house of peace. It has become a place of fire.”

    No, Davis, its not. It is the house of the God. I’m friendly and would love for you to come visit me, but don’t expect to prop your dirty shoes on my coffee table. I have rules in my house and so does God. If you want to be a part of God’s family then learn the rules and obey. Disrespect me and I will show you the door, same goes for God.

  2. BrianInDioSpfd says:

    Mac-Iyalla, who in June 2003 was the principal of St. John’s Anglican Secondary School, was ousted the next month for being gay, he said. emphasis added

    The Nigerian church tells a different story. It says he does not belong to any of Nigeria’s 10,000 or so parishes.

    “He claims he was sacked and victimized for his homosexuality and uses that guise to further defraud unsuspecting foreigners,” said Rev. Akin Tunde Popoola, the Nigerian church’s director of communications on the national church’s Web site. “Anyone relating to Davis [David] Mac-Iyalla does so at his or her own risk.”

    Such warnings have not stopped Americans from wanting to hear what Mac-Iyalla has to say. He has been invited to 55 churches in 20 cities, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and New York. After addressing the national church’s Executive Council, he will travel to the United Kingdom for another tour in July.

    Where is truth? Was he ever the “principal of St. John’s Anglican Secondary School”. Or is he using the issue to extract fund from folk who have more desire for a negative witness against ++Peter that for the truth?

    It’s like the cartoon with the kid at the blackboard writing “7×7=77” and saying, “I don’t care what you say. That’s how I feel.”

  3. Peter dH says:

    The church is supposed to be a house of joy, a house of peace. It has become a place of fire.

    From the least to the greatest,
    all are greedy for gain;
    prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.

    They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
    ‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace.

    Mac-Iyalla forgets that, in a very real sense, we’ve all been born in a war zone – and for most of us, some of that war is found in our very own selves. I do not envy him the particular battle he needs to fight, nor will I take the place of the one Judge. But peace? This “peace and love” theology is incredibly superficial and facile. We find a sword as well as peace in Christ.

  4. APB says:

    2. “7×7=77” is perfectly fine in Outcome Based Education. Perhaps we now have Outcome Based Religion.

  5. john scholasticus says:

    #2 certainly raises a crucial question. Somebody’s lying here, that’s for sure. ‘Changing Attitudes’ (sorry, can’t do the URL) has a fairly detailed defence of our man.

  6. Harry Edmon says:

    God created me a gay man …

    Wrong. God did not create him a gay man, that is a result of the fall.

  7. Bob from Boone says:

    Mac-Iyalla is giving American Episcopalians the opportunity to learn first hand what it is like to openly express one’s homosexual orientation in today’s Nigeria. He is able to contribute to the “listening project” recommended by the Lambeth Conference 1998 (1.10) here, while his own Primate refuses to endorse this part of 1.10 in his own country and Church. The selective use of 1.10 is by now a well-established pattern in this conflict.
    Questioning someone’s credentials is a old method of seeking to dismiss his credibility. M-I went to Tanzania, and hung out with the presss. I think he even got ++Akinola to shake his hand.
    In the Pew Forum interview posted several days ago on this blog, Philip Jenkins pointed out that homosexual relations (though they were not called that) have a long history in Africa, in warrior cultures, and in extended family and clan relations. Same-sex activity is very common among male workers living in dormitories far from home (e.g., in the South African mines). Ironically, it was British missionaries that brought the anti-gay legal tradition to Africa.

  8. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “The selective use of 1.10 is by now a well-established pattern in this conflict.”

    No it is not.

    There has been plenty of listening on all sides.

  9. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Sarah, you know it’s only listening when all people accept without reservation the homosexualist position. Otherwise, it’s homophobia and oppression and disestablishment and (on and on and on).

  10. Harvey says:

    #6, Harry How true how true! Scripture says God did create man in His image in the Garden of Eden but we fell into our sinful nature and it seems we have been going downhill every since. And the only way we can get off that slope is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Redeemer.