CT managing editor and AMIA minister Mark Galli on his denomination’s current troubles:
Some facts in the current crisis remain in dispute, and it will take months or years to sort them out. We need to understand what, in fact, was the relationship between Chuck Murphy and the Rwanda Province over the last few years. We need to see a detailed audit of finances. But for the sake of argument, let’s imagine the worst case scenario. Let’s say that Chuck Murphy refused any accountability from Rwanda, that he lied to us about that accountability, that he misused funds. To be clear, I’m not saying any of this is true; it’s a hypothetical example. But even if it were all true, none of that, in itself, would require us to repudiate his leadership. Bishops sin. What else is new? But a bishop’s sin is not sufficient reason to abandon one’s bishop, although it may be sufficient cause to call him to repentance. In any event, when it comes to speculating about the details of the “Rwanda affair,” I think we are wise to be patient and let the investigations, journalistic and financial, keep moving forward.
But unfortunately, there is another issue that has been made public; it is now part of the historical record: Chuck Murphy and eight AMIA bishops have removed themselves from Rwandan oversight, having done so for no particular theological or biblical reason. The issues are both personal and ecstatic. By personal, I mean personality conflicts. By ecstatic, I mean that the only spiritual reason given for the departure was Chuck Murphy’s sense that the Lord had told him personally that he was like Moses leading people out of Egypt: “I must now say … that I believe that the Lord’s present word to me (and to us) now directs me to look beyond Genesis chapters 39-45, and on into the Book of Exodus…. that Africa (Egypt) could no longer be viewed as [AMIA’s] lasting home…. Things have now been made very clear to me” [letter of Dec. 5, 2011 to Archbishop Rwaje].
I think it critical in such times that we say what a thing is–only the truth will set us free. And this thing that happened has a name: schism.
The whole article may be found here, on Mark Galli’s blog.
- Trouble in the Rwanda Garden in the U.S. (A.M.i.A) ? (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- Further News on the A.M.i.A Dispute in North America (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- AMiA Cuts Ties with Anglican Church of Rwanda (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- Out of Africa: What AMiA’s Exodus from Rwanda Portends for Global Christianity (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
- A.M.i.A – Rwandan Church in North America – News (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
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I don’t think Mark’s an AMiA minister. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister, and is very active in a couple of the AMiA churches in the western suburbs, but I don’t think is an AMiA pastor.
He is, however, spot on, as usual.
Hubris – the sin by which angels fell. And bishops.