Bishop of Ilesha Diocese of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Rt Rev Dapo Asaju has said it is time to reset the Anglican Church so it could break free from the whims and caprices of the State of England.
Asaju made the submission in an interview on the ACNN News monitored by Church Times Nigeria.
He spoke just after the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Kigali, Rwanda on April 21.
GAFCON had released a communique after its conference dismissing the four “Instruments of Unity” of the Anglican Communion, saying they have “failed to maintain true communion based on the Word of God and shared faith in Christ”.
The communique reads, “We have no confidence that the Archbishop of Canterbury nor the other Instruments of Communion led by him (the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates’ Meetings) are able to provide a godly way forward that will be acceptable to those who are committed to the truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency, and authority of scripture.”
GAFCON had specifically pointed out that the dividing issue is homosexuality, about which it complains of “repeated departures from the authority of God’s Word”.
The latest of such departures according to the communique is the majority vote by the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2023 to welcome proposals by the bishops to enable same-sex couples to receive God’s blessing.
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“It grieves the Holy Spirit and us that the leadership of the Church of England is determined to bless sin. Since the Lord does not bless same-sex unions, it is pastorally deceptive and blasphemous to craft prayers that invoke blessing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” GAFCON said in the communique.
In his interview with two journalists at the conference, Asaju said the time had come for the Anglican Church to undergo a restructuring.
“We have to rest the Anglican Communion. We must come together to reset it. We must question the colonial structures that empower the state of England to choose for us a spiritual leader in the Archbishop of Canterbury. And when he, as an instrument of unity begins to compromise, then we have to reset the communion in a manner to rescue our theology.”
Asaju who is a Bishop theologian, a professor, and a former lecturer at the Lagos State University said it was time to allow those who have abandoned the faith to go insisting that the communion must be reset in such a way that the Archbishop of Canterbury will no longer determine who is an Anglican
While noting that the Anglican Church has a tradition of courage, he said, “GAFCON is a global instrument designed to rescue the church. It is a universal movement of people across the continent who are faithful to the gospel and who are called to save souls. There is life after death and there will be judgment, our duty as a church is not to just follow culture but to preach the gospel. GAFCON must stop error and sanitise the church.”
The Anglican Church according to him is just one of the thousands of Christian denominations across the world.
He said, ‘We are at the same time in history when Martin Luther rose against the Roman Catholic Church and kicked against the heresies of those days. Anglican Church is virtually collapsing. We need to depart from those who are not following the scriptures. The reformation is fundamental. We have to reset the Anglican Communion.”