Broadcast Sunday 30 August
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Thank you for agreeing to come to this our gathering, which we hold to discuss the condition of the worldwide Anglican Church for our radio listeners here on Christianity Now Radio. Do have a bread role and a drink of wine, as we talk, if we can all have these together.
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Archbishop of Anglicanism: With me for our discussion is Reverend Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss, a spokesperson for Archbishop Akinola, who will I'm sure soon retire, and also I welcome Bishop Michael Ali-England...
Bishop Michael Ali-England: I'm not sure why I welcome you.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: Me or him?
Archbishop of Anglicanism: ...who is indeed retiring very shortly indeed. I thought we could have your perspective, as people retiring. Not you, Bishop Kathy, welcome, and not you, Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss, and perhaps I might ask you why you are here representing Archbishop Akil Nolo in that he is not actually here himself. I hope he is well and active as usual, keeping in correspondence with his American and British friends.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: I am his spokesman person and he is ever so humble. He has ascended the loftier heights about which few cannot compare, taking our Church with his mastery of leaderships, the leaderships that comes from beginning as an 'umble carpenter and becoming a carpenter craftsman, even more than Our Lord himself I believe, though everyone is entitled to their opinion. Why are you a woman, laughing?
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: Women are capable of laughter.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: And just on a personal note, you were saying Reverend Gob that your tongue is not its best and you need to swallow plenty of liquids.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: My tongue will grow strength with its particular task in my new role with the Archbishop but yes for the moment I need to swallow and not spit. I spit and gets dries but I need smooth like milk and honey.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: I suppose the chief event of recent weeks was perhaps my own considered reflection upon the decision of the triennial General Convention of The Episcopal Church, which I attended and offered some thoughts and supposed such an outcome possible. Whilst I am of course very pleased that the Church is making such a contribution to our excellent gathering of 2008, I am unfortunately nevertheless forced to consider how in a two track communion we can maintain the fullest contact with the second track and the possibility of dioceses relating to track 1 when their province is in track 2 or possibly vice versa in a potential radical rearrangement of the worldwide Anglican Church as it forms itself over the coming years under the influence of the Covenant once part four is revised shortly.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: We did welcome you.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: I am lost. Could you explains what you meaning? By the way, can I have some cool liquid? This wine is rustic.
Bishop Michael Ali-England: No, no, don't explain all that to him or we'll be here all day, and I am a busy man now. I am retiring, you know, to spend more time with Christianity. What he means Gob - or is it Ennus? - is he wants them still to pay the bills later on. I tell you, you said one good thing: that people in gay relationships cannot represent Anglican Christianity at any level of ministry. And that allowed my frustrated colleague to come in and echo that loud and clear so that I didn't need to.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: I have been wondering this way or that whether I could not have said it with yet more unclarity. I thought I had been somewhat indecisively careful in how it was said, but presumably not.
Bishop Michael Ali-England: You are too obscure when you try to explain something. In this case, you were absolutely stark. But, look, let us not be under any illusion here, ministers who are gay are now actively representing portions of the Anglican Church ejaculating to modern culture. They may as well be in another religion. In making the resolutions that they have, they have changed beliefs regarding God, salvation, marriage and human sexuality.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: I reject this, absolutely. What I find 'cultural' is this religion of individualism. I think this is a heresy, if there are any heresies. We can look objectively at the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and within it is the commandment to be interdependent, except when it comes to being too interdependent within the Anglican Communion, if it is to become a Church.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: You can perhaps expand on this, then, Bishop Michael.
Bishop Michael Ali-England: Well it is very simple you see. It is sociologically the case that we normally have a religion of a high hurdle of belief, so distinctive that strikes us out from the culture. But if resolutions are being passed, actually and virtually, that mean God is no more than a generalised aspiration of depth, in a Tillichian sense, that salvation is from something like going down the road of Eastern-like dharma, that men will soon marry transgendered people and not know if she is a wife or a husband, and human sexuality can no longer be described in purely biblical terms, then clearly these people are moving towards something like Unitarianism or some sort of multi-faith mixture that we need defending from: they are a capitulation to the culture.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: No. We are making distinctive decisions about a gospel for the people. It is like this. There may be a crisis in the Anglican aeroplane, but what do you do? You keep flying. You figure out your position, and then you can radio for help. And it may just be that you are flying in the right direction anyway. Keep flying the plane because, you know, what the stewards get up to on their nights in hotels is quite a minor matter in comparison with the fact that the airline flies aeroplanes according to flightpaths and not a lonely jet going on any journey.
Bishop Michael Ali-England: My impression is that your aeroplane is on precisely its own route. None of what you have just said amounts to an argument against anything I have just said.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: Our great high leader, Kim il Aki Nolo...
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Who?
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: He changes his name to a much more masculine name. He is now Kim il Aki Nolo. You see, there is no homosexuality in Nigeria, or indeed in any part of incontinent Africa. We do not see it in the great national parks where the tourists come, except among the tourists, and so the tourists ought to stay out of our major cities corrupting our youth. We are very concerned about our youth, who under Aki Nolo's inspiring leadership seen that they too can rise with church work from a lowly trade to major diplomatic status on the world stooges, and we are grateful to God that he sent down such a man to this earth that he acquired divinely status. And it is his express command that people who, let me say, play cricket for the other side, should actually spend a lot of time in prison until they lose this sin of the flesh, and indeed not only those who play for the other side but those who sit in the crowd watching such cricket can also go to prison. Because cricket-sin is evasive, corrosive, expandsive, explosive and deposive, and we are not having these deposives among our young people when we have to also fight corruptions and political violences with the Muslims too.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Whilst we cannot reduce the gay issue to human rights, and the Church must operate according to its own language, which puzzles the public as to why we are so slow in meeting the equality of civic society, nevertheless we must uphold the rights of gay and lesbian people in civic society and there is no place in the Anglican Church for asking such people to go to prison, at least not for very long and with particular discomfort. I do hope to see Kim il Aki Nolo - yes? - and hope to have a quiet word about this.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: We could try the Anglican Consultative Council as an arena for a quiet word. Or not. Perhaps an airport?
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: Our great leader does not have quiet words. If you Archbishop have quiet word with him, he does not need you, and he can do you through the Primates' Council.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Well I'd better turn to you, Michael. Do you not have hope for the Anglican Church and its Catholicity, which we are trying to build, including the UFO, as we try to make that distinction between the Church and its ways of proceeding and the society and its ways of proceeding?
Bishop Michael Ali-England: I don't know about this one track two track, but if we have two track as clearly two track we might even relate to it more positively and creatively, but not if two track is trying to impersonate one track. Mind, then we have Unidentified Faith and Order, instead of what we want which is Uniform Faith and Order. But look: we should promote the culture of the British because it is our roots across the Empire. The culture tells us who we are. Thanks to the Celts, thanks to Augustine the missionary - and we read our Bede - this land from Kent to Northumberland, from Ireland to East Anglia, was and should be historically Christian. I have always said that without this culture we will be rootless, increasingly homosexual and unable to replenish our population. And who is replenishing the population? It's in those areas where people like me are unwelcome, the vast housing estates where we now find Muslims among all the white working class that has so long enhanced and upheld our Christian roots. There you will find the babies being born and sent to these new academies, like that Archbishop Sentamu School I nearly visited the other day up north when they wouldn't let me in. So, yes, we must not let the Church descend to just reflecting the culture and we should with the British culture indeed with its traditions and royal family. And of course in your country too, your Ennus, with all the fighting and the need to defend the south.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: His magesterium has told us all, "The Muslims do not have a monopoly of violence." We have our youth, who he inspires; and we can send the youth clubs to go with clubs and sticks to fight the Muslim youth clubs. These are our human rights Archbishop, our Anglican Church (Anglican Communion) reaching its heights of missionary activity - thanks to the British originally and yet now we are having to go back to the British with intolerances and getting out that man - now in your country - when we are worried when our girls will become wives ever again.
Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: The question is who is dying and who is hungry? Who needs at least an in flight dinner? Who is excluded from the agapé meal? We in our hierarchical, collective, Church decided to fly the aeroplane into Los Angeles airport and pick up people there with pride. The airport security was going to be a problem, but our relationship with the Anglican Communion is still on orange alert, not red alert. Is anyone listening to me? Not here, maybe the public do. They don't care about salvation formulas, like as if we're making baby milk. Breast is best. It is quite sinful for me to talk just as an individual. Is it one bottle or two breasts? Think about it, gentlemen. Look, we turn the collective hexadecimal-world aeroplane towards Jerusalem, where we talk together - no, not that meeting with its so-called Declaration, but the mixture of faith journeys in that great cosmopolitan city, where difference talks to difference, and God chooses whom he saves. Such is like the Anglican Communion - not a Church. This is our mission, where the stewards of the faith can stop serving the minimum of meals on trays and start cooking wholesome meals for many, especially dived-for seafood, with many ethnic and sexuality elements, perhaps visiting pigpens for choice cuts while holding their noses and maybe even choosing the vegetarian option and visiting Pagans not pigpens. I'm always pleased when people listen to my sermons.
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Yes, we are running out of time. Thank you for that, all of you. It seems that we have come to the end of our time. Well, what to conclude? I think it is reasonably fair to suggest, at least tentatively, not that the worldwide Anglican Church has been in weaker hands, but indeed in better hands, the Primates, and, though I'd give myself only three out of ten and could certainly do better, is nevertheless marching in a much clearer direction now, and since I made my Reflection and we all seem to agree, which gives me hope for our Catholicity, and I am sure the UFO will fly; and I would just like to thank you for coming and reflecting yourselves, wishing you a happy retirement Bishop Michael in being busier for Christianity, and hoping Reverend Gob that your tongue gets better and that you pass on my good wishes to the Archbishop of one of our leading local Churches.
Gob Tunga Onya Ennuss: The leading and serious Churches, the Church of the Anglican Communion; I will give him as licks for you.
Bishop Michael Ali-England: Well I'm no longer interested so you can stay in your job if you want.
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Bishop Kathy Jefferson Starship: I enjoyed that. Doesn't anyone want to eat their bread with me?
Archbishop of Anglicanism: Now I hand you lay listeners over to the Christian Zionist programme, 'The Messianics', where we hear about, it says here, Israel's expansive development in preparing a way for the return of Christ very soon. I might listen to this myself - on limited ecumenical grounds.
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