Anglican Covenant ‘Whitewashes’ Denomination’s Immorality: Retired Archbishop

Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 Posted: 11:39:36PM HKT

A screen shot from a documentary ‘For the Bible Tells Me So’ showing the consecration by then U.S. Anglican Church Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold (middle right) in 2003 of openly gay bishop V Gene Robinson (middle left) as bishop of New Hampshire, a move which began an internal split among archbishops worldwide lasting till today.

As the worldwide Anglican Communion moves fullspeed toward a full implementation of a covenant held out as a means of restoring unity, an influential evangelical retired archbishop is not overly enthusiastic.

On the contrary, he has advised fellow Anglican leaders not to waste their time on church structures which the Bible describes as dung and instead to concentrate on the supreme tasks of evangelism and discipleship, which he has succeeded in doing in America.

“To me, at best, it (the Anglican Communion Covenant) is whitewashing so the Church remains one and is not split; a lot of crack underneath is not shown,” said The Right Reverend Moses Tay, the immediate past Singapore Anglican bishop and retired first archbishop of the Anglican churches in Southeast Asia and Nepal.

Speaking today in an exclusive interview with The Christian Post, the retired archbishop said the covenant will not solve the essential problem of the Anglican Communion, which he identified as a crisis of biblical orthodoxy where the historic Anglican counterpart in America has embraced immorality and refuses to repent of it

The Anglican Covenant, which calls upon archbishops and presiding bishops leading the 38 Anglican provinces worldwide to promote unity within the denomination, “will not help convert the sinful,” he said.

Ultimately, it is the Anglican leaders themselves, not a committee, who have to be responsible for the spiritual life of their churches.

“It’s (the success of the Anglican Covenant) dependent on their willingness to repent, but they (the leaders of the American Anglican Church) have no fear of God,” he said, comparing them to Eli, a priest in the Bible whose sons died because he failed to discipline them.

“None of the resolutions have worked. None of the committees have worked,” said Archbishop Tay. He described the Anglican Consultative Council, a ‘major decider’ in the Anglican Communion, as ‘U.S.-controlled.’

The retired archbishop depicted the covenant as an attempt to “draw a bigger circle to include both the gays and the non-gays.”

Some sincere evangelicals support the idea, he said, on the premise that Christians have a responsibility to facilitate the conversion of the liberals, something that cannot be done if they are to cut the latter off from the denomination.

They justify their view by highlighting that Jesus Christ Himself made friends with sinners and so should Christians.

“But Jesus accepting them (sinners) as friends is different from condoning their sins,” said Archbishop Tay, adding that in spite of the attractiveness of human reasoning the Bible is consistent in its warning that no mortal sinner, apostate, homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God.

Even without church membership liberals have “plenty of chance to study [the Word of God] on their own,” he said.

Filling with passion, the retired archbishop said: “The Anglican Covenant cannot be of God because if you try to keep the light and darkness together, righteous and immoral together, to say we are a church, it’s disparaging the meaning of covenant… the covenant is a very sacred thing… [It is] God saying, ‘You will be Mine.’ … If you are using the sacred word to include dirt; that use of the word is an abomination.

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