Archbishop of Sudan Press Briefing - Tuesday July 22
Excerps from a briefing with the Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Reverend Dr. Daniel Deng Bul. Comments widely reported on the web.This is somewhat disturbing at multiple levels, despite the Archbishop's obvious concern for his people , the Anglican Communion and of course the Scritptures and Gospel message! Perhaps it seeems so as a result of my living in a free, pluralistic society where, despite disagreement, respect for other's viewpoints and litsening to others is valued.
“Gene Robinson should resign for the sake of the Church and the entire Anglican Communion…”
“We do not want to throw any people away, either. But we are here to determine how to remain united. That begins with forgiving one another for errors made. Gene Robinson is an error. The American church has not admitted they are wrong and we cannot forgive them until they do…”
“300 bishops are not here because of Gene Robinson. Can he not resign to allow them to come? Why has he not done that?
"...I am not saying the Americans should all be excluded, but keep Gene Robinson away and we will find a way to help them..."
“This issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has a very serious effect in my country. We are called ‘infidels’ by the Moslems....I am begging the Communion on this issue so no more of my people will be killed…”
“The culture does not change the Bible; the Bible changes the culture. Cultures that do not approve of the Bible are left out of the Church’s life; people who do not believe in the Bible are left out of our churches…”
“…The American church is saying that God made a mistake. He made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam….”
“We will not talk to Gene Robinson or listen to him or his testimony. He has to confess, receive forgiveness and leave. Then we will talk. You cannot bring the listening to gay people to our Communion. People who do not believe in the Bible are left out of our churches, not invited in to tell us why they don’t believe…”
“The Authority of the Bible is always the same. You cannot pull a line out or add a line to it. That brings you a curse….”
When asked if he knows any gay people in the Sudan he replied, “They have not come to the surface. We do not have them.” The press from TEC that were in the room did not laugh out loud at this statement, but nearly.
I fail to see how these words will in any way be convincing to Christians of progressive tendencies, whether they sympatize with the plight of the Sudanese or not. They reflect a world view , a view of Scriptures, the Gospel message and the baptismal covenant that does not resonate with the experiences and values of many in western, largely post modern societies.
One would also have to wonder as to the prudence of this statement given that many in TEC, including gay clergy, actively fund and suppport projects that have benefit the people and churches in Sudan.