PE priests condemn invitation of lesbian US Episcopal priest to lecture in SA

collegerowTwo Port Elizabeth Anglican priests have written a letter to the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, protesting an invitation to an openly lesbian seminary professor from the US Episcopal Church to preach and minister at the College of Transfiguration in Grahamstown, a provincial training centre for Anglican clergy.

In the letter which is published on the ‘Othodox Anglicanism’ website, Virtueonline (VOL), Rev Dave Doveton and the Very Rev Dudley Greenshields say that the invitation of Rev Prof Ruthanna Hooke, Homiletics Professor at Virginia Theological Seminary, based in Alexandria, Virginia, to preach and celebrate the Eucharist at the college’s annual diocesan convocation on August 8, 2014, amounts to permitting blasphemy in the sanctuary of the college and violates the discipline of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

“It is our understanding that according to our canons and constitution, no clergy person in an active same-sex relationship would be permitted to perform sacramental duties. Why is this particular person given exemption from our discipline ? Why is she given the exalted status of guest teacher and celebrant at such an important occasion at the flagship Provincial institution of learning ? Surely this carries with it official approval by the Bishops of our church, validating the integrity and soundness of this particular ‘teacher’. What message is being conveyed to our leaders-in-training at the college?” say the priests.

Doveton, who is Rector, Parishes of St Barnabas and St Philip  and Greenshields, who is Dean of St Saviours, say that they, together with ‘many of our parishes’, are signatories of the Jerusalem Declaration which includes a solemn commitment to reject the authority of churches and leaders “who have denied the orthodox faith in word and deed”. They say the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are among churches which have denied core Christian doctrine – for example the uniqueness of Christ, Christ as the only way of salvation, denial of the clear teaching of scripture that marriage is the only place for sexual intimacy, and denial that those who disobey scriptural injunctions (eg Ephesians 5:5) will not be saved.

Will no longer support  college
They say that “as long as persons from jurisdictions such as The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are allowed to speak and exercise teaching ministries at our provincial college we will no longer extend any support to the college, especially financial. We will in addition advocate for the Diocese of Port Elizabeth to withhold that part of our provincial assessment that is apportioned to the college”.

VOL also quotes an unnamed former priest as saying he is shocked that the Rector of the College of Transfiguration Rev Canon N Barney Pityana invited Hooke to speak there.

“This invitation goes against the canons and constitution of this province and violates the clear teaching of Scripture that God created male and female and then closed the sexual matrix,” the priest told VOL.

“Now the only college in the province invites this woman to give ‘master classes’ in preaching and to preach and CELEBRATE the Eucharist at the annual shindig for the feast of Transfiguration. Here is a ‘Global South’ province prepared to allow her to teach while “standing firm with the South on matters of doctrine.

“I am appalled that the Rev Pityana can get away with this. Neither her bishop nor the archbishop of the Province Thabo Makgoba have tried to stop this.” The Primate [Makgoba]is on record as saying that while he is sensitive both to the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian couples at the same time he affirmed the stance of the wider Anglican Communion, by “not charging ahead and doing our own thing but rather committing ourselves to a process of listening and dialogue on how to move forward.”

15 Comments

  1. It’s an abomination to even think that the Lord Jesus would allow such fornicators into the Kingdom of Heaven parading as evangelists in His name. I support Rev Greenshields and Doveton in their stance and feel their visas should be revoked. It clearly states in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and therefore as a Christian country we should protect its values from blasphemous intruders that can corrupt our youth.

  2. I absolutely agree and support Rev. Greenshields. God will bless him for standing up for Truth. Homosexuality is an abomination and anyone who reads and understands the Bible, the Word, should not go against this.

  3. Love one another is imperative but to compromise the Word is unacceptable.I oppose the invitation totally

  4. Who are YOU to judge!? They are normal people like us all!

    • You cannot go against what is written in Gods Word. There are over 30 scriptures in the Holy Bible that denounce homosexuality and deviant acts of lesbianism. From Leviticus and Romans 1:26-28 to Mark 10:6-9 to Timothy 1:10 and Revelation 21:8 – ‘But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death’. There is no room for compromise when it comes to the Word of God even though in the 21st century. This world of ours nowadays (which God created for mankind to enjoy)is so debauched and corrupt with fornicators and sexually immoral persons in influential positions that poison the minds of our children. Allowing such persons to preach and minister at the College of Transfiguration is totally contradictory to what God teaches us. These two immoral personalities and other “gay” individuals claiming to be followers of Jesus should be exposed for what they are – Followers of Satan.

    • Read the 1st letter to the Corinthians. We (Christians) are called to judge one another and even have brothers put out of the church not least on an issue this grave. So who is HE to judge? Well I would think he is a brother in Christ. I only pray that if ever I get into any sort of church destroying, doctrinally confusing teaching or behaviour that my brothers judge me & turn me over to Satan that I might be saved on THE day of judgement.

    • There is a big difference between judging and standing up for the truth according to the word of God.

  5. Gods word is forever settled in heaven. It is He who is the true and just judge. As a parent protects her child and a shepherd;who is able to see what a sheep is unable to, protects his flock so to does God with his Word. Its all we have and its final.

  6. Through my years in the Ministry, i have seen more True christians in gay people, than in most straight people, some of them even being in Ministry.

    People must start questioning what the TRUE SCRIPTURE says… And what the true meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words are, that was used.

    God is Love! What are you?

    • Peter- I am terribly sorry to say that you cannot be a true Christian if you are gay. The ‘Gay Christian’ notion is the work of Satan trying to deceive the not so knowledgeable true Christian into believing in lies. There is no reference in the Holy scripture that condones homosexuality and on the Day of Judgement and in the Millennial Kingdom(which I pray comes soon) you will see the truth.

  7. Assie Van der Westhuizen

    Peter, there is one important aspect to bear in mind: God loves all sinners, but He despises sin. I am not a member of the church under discussion in the above article and comments, but I certainly endorse the response from the 2 Port Elizabeth Anglican priests. If you found something in the original Hebrew and Greek texts that contradicts the very clear teaching of the Apostle Paul about the homosexual acts of both male and female perverts, I will be very surprised. Let’s not judge but love the people, but we cannot compromise the Word of God.

  8. Peter it’s very disappointing to me hearing that you’ve been in ministry for years, it seems as if the WORD doesn’t help you! as it encourages us, followers of Christ, to be the imitators of God, to take it further HATE what God hates and LOVE what God loves, Does that sounds COMPLICATED? “Oh Lord DELIVER those especially claims to be called by Your Name to hear Your Voice as a Good Sheppard, that’s my prayer!”

  9. Rev Ian Karshagen

    To those of you who label as ‘judges’ those who oppose this immoral situation, just remember, it’s the Word that judges, not Christians. The Word says that their is no place in God’s Kingdom for people such as these. I will pray for those who think it’s ok to allow unrepentant sinners such as this priest to peddle a message that they themselves oppose and contradict by their actions and lifestyle.

  10. I wrote a letter to the Archbishop and our Diocesan Bishop, Bethlehem, giving my full support to Dave Doveton and Dudley’s letter. I also copied them.

  11. This is one of the reasons why I am no longer an Anglican