The men God chooses to pastor the precious flock whom his Son Jesus Christ redeemed by his blood are very different from the people the secular world would choose, a fact about to confront the Archbishop of Canterbury at his planned summit of international Anglican leaders in January.
Under normal circumstances, Archbishop Welby would be getting ready for the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference of international Anglican Communion bishops in 2018. But these are not normal circumstances. Around 300 bishops from countries ranging from Nigeria to Uganda to Kenya to Chile and Argentina to Australia boycotted the 2008 Lambeth Conference held by Archbishop Welby’s predecessor Rowan Williams.
They met in Jerusalem instead because of Archbishop Williams’s decision to invite the American bishops who took part in the consecration in 2003 of the then Bishop of New Hampshire, the practising homosexual Gene Robinson.
Because of the fissure, a Lambeth Conference in 2018 is a practical impossibility, hence Archbishop Welby’s plan for a meeting of international Anglican Archbishops to try to negotiate a way forward for the fractured Communion. Her Majesty the Queen in her address to the Church of England’s General Synod in November referred to this meeting: ‘I am sure that members of the Synod will pray earnestly that the gathering in January of the Primates of the Anglican Communion will be a time when, together, they may know what is God’s will.’
At that meeting, Dr Welby is due to face the hero of Lambeth 2008, an Anglican leader whose churches serve two of the poorest, most beleaguered nations on God’s earth, Sudan and South Sudan. He is the Sudanese Archbishop, Dr Daniel Deng Bul.
In an unscheduled address to the media that electrified the micro-managed ecclesiastical gathering in 2008, the mild mannered Dr Deng Bul called for the resignation of Gene Robinson and urged those American bishops involved in his consecration to confess their sin.
He accused Anglican liberals of making out that God was wrong to create two different sexes. ‘God is not making a mistake in creating Adam and Eve,’ he declared.
The Sudanese Anglican Province Dr Deng Bul leads has just severed links with dioceses in the Episcopal Church of the United States because from this Advent it is allowing ‘gender-neutral’ marriage services.
Thank the good Lord Sudan’s Daniel is due to attend the January meeting with Archbishop Welby because this quietly spoken servant of Jesus Christ speaks for millions of orthodox Anglicans from many nations who want to see their churches listening to God’s Word rather than to the politically correct Western world.