Africa

‘Bible believing Christians can transform Africa

Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Gavin Drake/ACNS
Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Gavin Drake/ACNS

African Anglicans were urged to take a more ‘important and central position’ on the world stage, as Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion addressed the 12th regional meeting of African Anglicans (Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa).

More than half of the world’s Anglicans live in Africa, and the Archbishops of 12 African ‘provinces’ met in Kigali Rwanda in early August, representing 25 African countries.

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said: “Through our work, we are the source of the gospel, of education, of democracy, of civil society and political parties; and of the reduction of maternal and child mortality on our continent,” he said. “These were not imports from outside. These resulted from the work of our African grandfathers and grandmothers in the faith.

“They were the village evangelists, and catechists, and schoolteachers, and nurses and farmers and labourers and parents who brought to our continent the living Word of God, Jesus, through the written word of God, the Bible in the power of the Spirit.

“It was Bible-believing Christians who have transformed the face of Africa in the last 150 years and we can transform it again.”

He criticised the views expressed by some commentators in the West which sees the Church in Africa as being “fifty years behind the rest of the world.”

“They really believe that it will only be a matter of time before we fall in line with their view of the world, of culture, of marriage, of community; either through conviction or, if not, then through convenience,” he said.

“Our African Churches can never be social progressives in the sense beloved of the West. We will never allow our churches to be taken over by views and programmes which suggest that the Bible is wrong. We will not crumble or bow the knee to a godless secular culture that despises the Bible and what it teaches.

“Actually, our African churches are already progressives. We are seeking to live our lives in accordance with the will of God in the kingdom of God which is the real future for humanity that measures all human progress. And that kingdom is marked here on earth by the priority it gives to the poor in the ministry of the gospel and the concerns of the people of God.

“We will never allow ourselves, or our identity, or our churches, to be defined by the pride of those who see us as lagging behind them in our economies, our politics, our communities, our families, and our theology,” he declared.

Dr Idowu-Fearon said that he was “deeply disturbed” by seeing how Christians determined to maintain Anglican orthodoxy are being “swept aside by a campaign to change the churches’ teaching on marriage and so-called rights of equality.”

Read the full communiqué here:  http://www.anglicannews.org/media/1587034/2016-08_capa_communique.pdf