Nigeria draws a line

Hat tip to Simon for pointing me toward these two documents from the Church of Nigeria.

The latter contains this passage:

“We stand by our earlier endorsement of the recommendations of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) document: “The Road to Lambeth” and maintain the posture that we cannot claim to share fellowship with member-Provinces that denigrate the authority of Scripture on the life of the Church. Our participation in this worldwide fellowship is contingent on genuine repentance by those who have chosen to walk away, for two cannot walk together except they are in agreement. Christian unity must be anchored on Biblical truth.

The Bishops are delighted that the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) – an outreach initiative of the Church of Nigeria is taking giant strides. Worthy of special mention also is the success story of the Church of Nigeria Missionary Society outreaches to other parts of world. (emphasis mine) We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the Great Commission, which is the primary reason for the election of 19 new Bishops for newly created missionary dioceses in different parts of the country.”

I find this interesting because the number of “member-Provinces” covered by this ultimatum is not specified. It is entirely open ended, also because the creation of a missionary society to work outside of Nigeria clearly indicates that Church no longer intends to honor provincial boundaries.

I think the Nigerians are persuaded that the best way to spread the Gospel as they understand it is to operate outside the strictures of the Anglican Communion. In this I can’t fault them, as I think the Episcopal Church might be best served by doing the same thing. But if the argument is about which members of the Communion have committed the greater offenses against the “bonds of affection,” well, I think that argument is over.

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