Features

Endings and beginnings

"Endings and beginnings" Continued...

Issue: "Fighting poverty," March 13, 2010

What I have taken is not a personal view on homosexuality. It is not a personal matter, it is about our attitude to Scripture and our view of it and whether we can be faithful.

Reflect for a moment on the formation of CANA during your tenure. What does it mean for the worldwide church?

CANA is just the beginning. It signifies that the Episcopal church will decline thoroughly while CANA will continue to grow faster than anyone has predicted. CANA is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ while they are proclaiming a culture that is abhorrent to Scripture. They want culture first, not Scripture, they want to have a façade of religion. Only Scripture has power to grow the church, and the Episcopal church wants culture over Scripture.

What about your own country, and particularly about the ongoing violence there between Muslims and Christians?

We are in great danger because of the great impact of Islam. We must do more. We need church leaders so that the church is not consigned to oblivion.

Jos [the Nigerian city where an estimated 300 died in January from clashes following an attack on a Catholic church by Muslim youths] is only a symbol of how evil man can be. That's why it is important to train and teach our youths. We have 70 million Christians in our country, over half, but it is the written agenda of the Islamic militants to wipe out the Christians in these communities.

We must contain our own youths by preaching peace, but when there is war what do you do? Time and again [the Islamic militants] attack our people unprovoked. It is a volatile, precarious situation.

And what is next for you? What will your retirement look like?

I will be playing golf officially [laughs], but in actuality I have greater and important things to do both with church and society. My first love is missions, and planting churches in rural communities. With the Peter Akinola Foundation we will focus on basic evangelism and work to find ways to employ young people. I will continue as a bishop to support the work of GAFCON, and to encourage our leaders [in Nigeria] to take a more active role in the church. I plan to continue to encourage the leaders of African churches not to be financially dependent on the West.

The key is for people to more and more embrace Jesus Christ.

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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