LLDM history

I first heard of La Luz del Mundo (LLDM) in 2018 when someone told me about a group trying to buy land in Flowery Branch, Georgia, which was creating controversy. Knowing nothing about them, I started doing some research. One great source of information I found was Native Evangelism In Central Mexico by Hugo and Jean Nutini. The basic history of the sect is as follows.

The Spanish La Luz del Mundo means “the Light of the World” in English.[1] The sect was founded in 1926 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The founder was a man named Eusebio Joaquín González.

Eusebio Joaquín González, aka Aarón

González was baptized by two Pentecostal prophets going by the names of Saulo and Silas, who had themselves converted to a sect founded by Carmen Valenzuela who became a Pentecostal while in Los Angeles. When González was baptized he was named Abraham, however, on April 6, 1926, “he heard God tell him, “Here is a man whose name will be Aarón.” The clamor made him tremble, and, being very disturbed by this, he awakened his wife, who said she had heard nothing. Eusebio Joaquín went back to sleep, and a thundering celestial vision told him, “Your name will be Aarón.” He saw a hand with the index finger pointing at him. With a great splash of brilliance, the celestial vision told him again, “Your name will be Aarón, and your blessed name will be known and famous throughout the world.”[2]

González/Abraham/Aarón moved to Guadalajara, Jalisco where he tried out the Baptist and Congregational churches but eventually moved on to start his own church. As the church grew, “…Eusebio Joaquín realized that he had not been properly baptized by Saulo and Silas, who had done so in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but not in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. On July 18, 1927, he baptized himself by total immersion and took the name of Aarón, as henceforth he was referred to by his followers.”[3]

Mary Puckett describes what happened next: “In 1954, Apostle Aarón, founder and first Apostle of the Luz del Mundo (LDM), was granted a tract of land from the government of Guadalajara to establish a colony reserved for LDM members. Securing this grant was made possible thanks to Aarón’s indigenous Mexican background and the church’s origins in Mexico. The LDM was posited as an authentically Mexican church in contrast to the Catholic Church, accused of participating in the widespread government corruption which had inspired the Mexican Revolution. In return for the grant, the LDM agreed to contribute to the development of Mexico’s infrastructure…”[4]

Aarón died in 1964, and his son Samuel Joaquín succeeded him as the next apostle.

References

1.The full name is the Church of the Living God, Foundation, and Support of the Truth (La Iglesia del Dios Vivo Columna y Apoyo de la Verdad), abbreviated to La Luz del Mundo.
2.Amatulli Valente 1989:7–8 cited in Nutini, Hugo G.. Native Evangelism in Central Mexico (pp. 74-75).
3.Nutini p. 75.
4.Puckett, p. 10.

Catholic corruption

The latest ongoing news out of the Roman Catholic Church about systemic sexual abuse have shattered any remaining good-will I had for that institution. On the theological front nothing has changed from the days of the Reformation and the critiques of the Reformers with regard to idolatry, superstition and justification. Sexual immorality amongst the clergy is not a new phenomenon, as Richard Sipe pointed out:

The first recorded church legislation about sex and sexual violations took place in 309 CE at a council of the Spanish churches in Elvira. (Laeuchli, 1972) It produced 81 canons; 38 had to do with sexual behavior. Priests and clerics, even if they were married, had to abstain from sex with their wives. A list of sexual sins of bishops, priests and clerics were enumerated—including sex with minor boys—and severe penalties were imposed.

Beginning with this document and continuing through every century up to our time, there is a continuous and uninterrupted pattern of legislation aimed at containing the scandal of sexual activity of priests—including sex with minors. (Doyle, et al. 2005)

Some of the documents that record the prevalence and scope of celibate violations are worth noting. The Book of Gomorrah by St. Peter Damian, (1051 CE) reported the sexual immorality of the clergy directly to the Pope. Peter strongly condemned the frequency of homosexual activity even with boys. In 1568 Pope Pius V wrote Horrendum in which he updated the legislation against clerical crimes where clerics solicit sex with men, women and young boys. Sacramentum Poenitentiae was an instruction that Pope Benedict XIV wrote in 1741 that addressed the problem of priests soliciting sex from people—including children—who came to them in confession. Between 1723 and 1820 CE, The Roman Tribunal recorded 3775 cases of clerical solicitation. Most prominent are the cases of seduction of young people in the confessional and in seminaries. (Haliczer, 1996)

Secret instructions have been sent regularly from the Vatican to Bishops around the world directing them in the correct procedures to process investigations and disciplinary actions against priests who sexually abuse. (1890, 1922, 1962, etc.) Church officials know and have known for centuries that some (a large proportion) of priests and bishops are sexually active, and some sexually abuse minors.

The historical record is obvious on this issue for those with eyes to see. The current situation makes sense of documents such as the Lollard’s Twelve Conclusions, the third of which says:

The Third Conclusion, sorrowful to hear, is: That the law of continence annexed to priesthood, that in prejudice of women was first ordained, induces sodomy in Holy Church; but we excuse us by the Bible, for the suspect decree that says we should not name it. Reason and experience prove this conclusion. For delicious meats and drinks of men of Holy Church will have needful purgation or worse. Experience for the privy assay of such men is that they like not women.

Many intelligent Protestants despair of the condition that they find in their local church and so they read of a splendid Roman institution, a dream-like place full of intellectuals, long history and beauty. I know because I have been down that road myself. Conjuring this fantasy church in their minds, they fly to Rome and make their peace with all kinds of theological errors. What they will find in Rome includes pitiful homilies, a lack of connection with local parishioners, and yes, the fear of sexual abuse for their children.

And yet I feel no sense of triumphalism in the Protestant world. I do not think we have the same size of institutional issues because we are smaller, more divided and do not possess the historical baggage of ingrained networks of perverts. However, there are examples too numerous to mention of predatory clergy, affairs, and abuse. 

In the case of Anglicanism, the continued silence in the face of complicity with wicked regimes in Africa is a grave evil. I see no movement on these issues from our leaders, if they are even aware of the problem. This will be shown to be a moral compromise as history unfolds, even though the church thinks it is fine now.

The effect of moral failures on the part of our institutions is to further isolate and atomize us. If I don’t trust the church, I stay home. Politics is a cesspool so why participate? Corporate environments are often full of cliques, injustice and foolishness, so we tolerate them at best. This leads to us withdrawing into a bubble of home, curated internet feeds and whatever else passes our time. I don’t have an answer for any of this, because it is so endemic, and I am sure nothing new either. In one sense we can thank the internet for shining more light than ever before on corruption in all walks of life, but it also hurts to be aware of it all!

The old “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” discussed our “circle of influence” and while it may seem hokey, I think it is true. All we can do is influence those around us by living an honest life ourselves, following the precepts of a wise life, and attempting to pass that on to the next generation. 

For Protestants who care about the loving God with our minds (which should be all of us) there are deep wells of intellectual material that are mostly untapped. I think most Protestants who convert to Rome are unaware of the historical intellectual resources available to them from the past four centuries. Places like the Davenant Institute and the Calvinist International provide books and articles about historic Protestant theology. Biblical resources abound in our day. Unfortunately, it is on you to do the work and not give up and erect a fantasy church in your mind.

A prayer for one in boot camp

UPDATE: If you want a PDF of this prayer and a prayer for those who go to sea, click here.

Our son just left for boot camp this week, and so we have been ransacking prayer books to find prayers for him. Although there are collects and prayers for the Armed Forces, branches of the same, wars, and remembrance days, we have not found much for someone in boot camp, which is arguably the hardest time for any new recruit.

I did find a good prayer on this website by Priscilla Carroll, but it wasn’t quite Anglican enough for us, so I have modified it a bit to bring it more in line with the Prayer Book tradition. I hope this helps others:

O Gracious Father, We bring to you name who you gave to us. How quickly the time has passed. He has grown up to be an adult. We thank you for choosing us as his parents and giving us the privilege of raising him under your watchful care.  Many prayers have been said for him  by us and others and we thank you, that you have heard them all and answered them according to your own wisdom and the direction that you have always had for him.

O Lord, our heavenly  Father, we come to you again in prayer, as name undergoes training in the Armed Forces of our country. You have guided him in pursuit of this goal and we pray that the good work you have begun in name will be overseen with your supervision and love of him as he completes this training.

We beseech  you to help him in every expectation the military has of him. We ask you to make all things possible for name as he faces the standards and goals that the military has for him.  If anything seems impossible to him, we beseech you to strengthen him with your power in order for him to achieve whatever is expected.

We pray you to  put name in the company of Godly influences who show him Your ways of excellence.  We ask that you will use these people to impress upon him the importance of following and obeying your blessed will to be successful as a member of the Armed Forces and as your child.

We ask you to place name into your protective custody so that he may finish all that is required without any delays. We pray that Your angels would be assigned to keep him in all the ways you have planned for him  to follow.

We turn name completely over to you for all of your good works in him to be secured.  We trust that our prayer  will be answered to your glory as we await name’s  graduation and his official recognition as a member of the Armed Forces in service to you and his country;  through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all glory and honor, world without end. Amen.

Mbanda interview

On November 1, 2015 Bishop Laurent Mbanda spoke to the Dean’s Class of the Cathedral Church of the Advent Birmingham Alabama. He provides some background on how he became a bishop (according to him):

(In) 2010 the church called me up and said, “can we put your name up for a possible candidate as bishop.” And we said, “Nobody know us, and uh, if God can close a door he will still have room to close the door, so, we let them take the name after prayer and getting God’s peace, and was traveling in the country of Ghana and while there I got a call to say, “yes you have been elected bishop of Shyria” and we were consecrated in 2010, March.”

Bishop Mbanda goes on to praise Rwandan dictator, Paul Kagame. Curiously, he does not use his name but refers to him simply as the President:

The country of Rwanda was reduced to ashes in 1994…and no one gave it a chance…but I believe because of good leadership, I believe because of a President who was then a Major in the army, actually he was the head of the army, who stopped the genocide. I think he made two choices that were crucial; one, he made a choice to, not to revenge. He could have led his army to revenge for the number of people who had been killed, over a million people. But he said “we won’t revenge we will instead forgive.” Number two, he was willing to be inclusive in bringing people who were actually fighting him into his government, and so a government of unity. And number three, the churches in Rwanda started talking about evangelism…

Bishop Mbanda does not appeal for help against a dictatorship that disappears people in the night, instead he peddles the false narrative of reconciliation:

And I think those initial decisions then started bringing people together. The reconciliation has taken place, the President, I believe in the leadership that he has, are people who are trying to fight corruption and umm, there are people also who have the country and the people at heart.

Christians in the West should be careful about who they are embracing when they do not realize the historical facts.

The Toronto Blessing and ACNA

ACNA’s Report of the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders (link) was made public in June, 2016. I haven’t seen much discussion of the report since it appeared, but I haven’t paid much attention either, so maybe I missed something. Different authors contributed to this report, reflecting the “three streams” makeup of the ACNA. That being the case, it is more of a descriptive document, outlining how each “stream” sees history and theology. Statements in the report should not be construed as endorsed by ACNA necessarily, but, they do show where different groups are coming from.

One stream of ACNA is the charismatic stream. (I am using the stream terminology under protest!) I grew up in a charismatic environment, but soured on the whole thing around 1997 given the crazy goings on of the Toronto Blessing and the Brownsville Revival. You can read a great summary of this time here. For example:

While he is happy to “marinate” Christians in the Holy Spirit, he complained when God began bringing “animal sounds” and “strange prophecy” to the party. When the Almighty allegedly asked, “Would you like Me to take it away?” Arnott quickly acquiesced.

Arnott’s assumption that God was more interested in evangelism than experiences led to another unexpected revelation as well. As he preached salvation messages, he began to sense a “quenching of the Spirit.” He went to the Lord in prayer and asked, “Well, why, why is this hard, like I would have thought you would have liked it if I’d have preached on that.” To his astonishment, the Lord replied, “It’s because you’re pushing Me.” And then God said, “Is it all right with you if I just love up on My church for a while?”

Better than reading about it, watch this:

I was therefore a bit surprised (but just a bit) to see the charismatic section of the ACNA report praising the Toronto Blessing (page 177):

The Toronto Airport Vineyard Church gave rise to a revival know as the Toronto Blessing in early 1994, which has been one of the most controversial movements in the Charismatic renewal. The press and associated media helped promote the impression that it was primarily characterized by such manifestations as laughing, falling, shaking and crying, earning it criticism that the movement was merely strange or even demonic. Such manifestations and the controversies they caused led to the fellowship and its leader, John Arnott, being released by the parent organization, the Vineyard under John Wimber. It is now known as the Toronto Airport Church Fellowship (TACF). Not all were critical though, citing similar manifestations mentioned in the Bible, credible sources like the journals of Jonathan Edwards and records of other revival movements. If a tree is judged by its fruit, one must consider over 9,000 new converts, marriages healed, bodies restored and lives transformed by the preaching and teaching of God’s word. There was also good measurable fruit in the area of mission, manifested in the ministries of those who participated like Heidi and Roland Baker, whose work with orphans in Mozambique is legendary. Recipients of the “Toronto Blessing” have planted over 10,000 churches, seen over a million conversions, and have expanded their work to include ten African countries. Over time, an estimated 55,000 churches have been affected by the “Blessing” as people visited Toronto and then returned to their home churches, many of which were Anglican or Episcopal, where similar renewal ensued.

The ACNA report should be analyzed by all interested parties in ACNA for a better understanding of where we are all coming from.

The Silence of Rwandan Religious Leaders

David Himbara served under Paul Kagame from 2006 to 2010 as the head of strategy and policy in the Office of the President and from 2000 to 2002 as the principal private secretary to the president. He since fled the country to preserve his life, as so many others have.

Himbara wrote a post this week, asking the same questions I have frequently asked. He says:

Rwanda is very religious nation in which 56.9% of population are said to be Roman Catholic; 26% is Protestant; 11.1% is Seventh-day Adventist; 4.6% is Muslim; 1.7% with no religious affiliation; and 0.1% practices traditional indigenous beliefs. These numbers show why the church is a force to reckon with in Rwanda.

So where is Rwanda’s Bishop Tutu? Where are religious activists condemning dictatorship in our homeland? Even outside Rwanda, our church-going brothers and sisters are largely silent.

Rwandan churches have a long history of playing wrong politics. The Catholic Church in particular has almost always played ethnic politics. The church favored the Tutsi during the colonial period, then switching allegiance to the Hutu after 1959. Church leaders were to develop even closer ties with political leaders, especially in the Juvenal Habyarimana dictatorship.

In the Kagame regime from 1994 onwards, the church seems to have become intimidated into silence like the rest of Rwandan society. Like other Rwandans, church leadership is resigned to a fear-driven life in which thoughts, decisions and actions are predominantly motivated by fear of what harm the current dictatorship can do.

I would broaden what he says to PEARUSA, a branch of the Rwandan Anglican Church that operates in the United States and never says a word about the totalitarian government of Rwanda. How can PEARUSA remain silent?

R.I.P. Patricia Crone

Patricia Crone, the co-author of the famous book “Hagarism” about the origins of Islam, passed away. I wrote Professor Crone in 2010 because I read that she had more or less refuted the premise of Hagarism.  She responded, “As regards the central thesis in part I, yes.”

I asked her what were the best modern works that advance her line of thinking from Hagarism and also if there are works that interact with Hagarism in an attempt to refute it? She replied:

I don’t think there is any of either type. The closest you get is Hawting’s book on Idolatry and the Quran.1

I pass this along in her memory.

The Anglican Mission Creates Another Mess

“I must now say, however, that I believe that the Lord’s present word to me…now directs me to look beyond Genesis chapters 39-45, and on into the Book of Exodus…The result, as we saw in the story of Exodus, is that God’s sovereign hand which had led His people into Africa (Egypt) in the earlier Book of Genesis, then took a dramatic turn in the Book of Exodus instructing His people that it was now time for them to leave Africa…God then begins to move within the hearts of the Egyptian leadership to make it more and more clear to the people of Israel that Africa (Egypt) could no longer be viewed as their lasting home. I now see a parallel between the Exodus story and the present situation with Rwanda and the PEAR. Things have now been made very clear to me, and I am thankful for the clarity that I now have.” – Chuck Murphy in December, 2011

CM 2015
AMiA “Consultor” Chuck Murphy

AMiA 2011-12

It did not take long for Chuck Murphy to disobey the “Lord’s present word” to him. In 2012, He tried to rope Anglicans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into supporting him shortly after “the Lord” told him Africa was not his home. For a refresher, see this post. Those efforts fell apart due to GAFCON intervention, and AMiA essentially collapsed.

AMiA 2015

Even in its current state of losing most of its churches and leadership, the AMiA continues to meddle overseas, mostly through Kevin Donlon, a man I have written about before,1 and ‘retired’ Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini. Kolini, who grew up in the Congo (formerly known as Zaire) has served the Rwandan dictatorship in fomenting murderous unrest in that nation and has also fostered relationships there with the help of Donlon and AMiA money. An AMiA press release said:

This spring, The Mission received signed concordats from the Diocese of Kindu and the Diocese of Bukavu, both located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These concordats confirm mutually beneficial partnerships with The Mission under the oversight of Canon Kevin Donlon.

Kolini with Congolese clergy and Carl Buffington

What is “mutually beneficial” about these partnerships? The AMiA gets to brush up it’s credentials with a “we’re really Anglican” fig-leaf of “oversight” as they have from day one. I imagine that Kevin Donlon can attempt to influence more oddball ideas such as the one that Emmanuel Kolini floated in 2010 for “a new Anglican Ecumenical Council, modeled on the Councils of the Early Church with a constitution taken from the ancient apostolic canons (35 & 38) on how a council should function.”2 And the Congolese bishops get money and support from the remaining coffers of the AMiA, which is in fact a sort of double-dipping given that the Congolese bishops are also tied to the Congo Church Association in the UK. Don’t forget the $1.2 million or so that went missing in Rwanda while Kolini was in charge — even in its reduced state, I’m sure AMiA can provide some money to these bishops.

Congolese Archbishop Henri Isingoma put it this way:

This decision indeed taken on their own behalf, for the hope to get financial support to run their dioceses, under the influence of the retired Archbishop of Rwanda, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Mbona Kolini, and the lawyer of ASMAW, Canon Kevin Donlon.

The Dioceses that are involved

The AMiA press release goes on:

As a result of these partnerships, leaders from both Dioceses as well as Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Bishop William Bahemuka of Boga Diocese, Bishop Sospeter Ndenza of Kibondo Diocese and Dr. Ross Lindsay met in Gisenyi, Rwanda, to plan the Anglican Leadership Ministry Institute. This joint project will bring ministry leaders from The Mission to assist lay and clergy from partner dioceses in equipping trainers in leadership development, spiritual formation and parish development. In the coming months, a team of 12 leaders from The Mission plan to work with leaders from Boga, Kindu, Bukavu and Kibondo in both the theory and practice of various areas of ministry.

The map below gives you some idea of where these Dioceses are located. Generally, they are near Rwanda, in the east of the DRC:

provinces_en
Diocese in the Anglican Church of the Congo

This just happens to be the same area where the CNDP and M23 “rebellions” occurred. Kolini helped his government support the wicked M23 movement, as Paul Kagame himself admitted in an interview with the New York Times where: “He acknowledged that some Rwandan churches have been sending money to Congolese rebels, as part of a Tutsi self-protection campaign.”3

map
The border between Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda.

Kolini and the Kivus

In May 2012, Kolini held a meeting to support the Rwandan/Tutsi invasion of the DRC through the M23 movement. At this meeting, Kolini conveyed Paul Kagame’s message to Congolese of Rwandan descent who lived in the Kivu provinces of the DRC:

Another similar M23 meeting with Rwandan authorities took place on 26 May 2012 in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, at Hotel Ishema. According to intelligence sources and to politicians with close ties to Kigali, the RDF organized the meeting for CNDP politicians, which was chaired by Bishops John Rucyahana and Coline {Kolini – editor}, both senior RPF party leaders. The aim of the meeting was to convey the message that the Rwandan Government supports M23 politically and militarily. All Rwandophone politicians and officers were instructed to join M23, or otherwise leave the Kivus.

M23 was active in the Kivus, two provinces of the DRC that Rwanda claims are hers.4 You will notice a great overlap between the Dioceses aligned with AMiA and the activity of illegal Rwandan groups. Kolini’s familiarity with this region presumably helps him both to support illegal Rwandan groups and to cultivate Congolese bishops, connecting them to Kevin Donlon and spreading money  if Archbishop Isingoma is correct.

According to AMiA: “The Diocese of Kindu covers …the territory of Shabunda in the neighboring Province of South Kivu. The Diocese of Bukavu…serves parts of South Kivu and parts of North Kivu.”

North and South Kivu are on the right of this map.

M23

sultani
M23 leader Sultani Makenga (right) a Tutsi of the Bagogwe clan who grew up in Rucuru District.

The group that Kolini and John Rucyahana supported was brought to an end through international intervention, but not before it committed great acts of wickedness such as killing a “4-year-old girl when she asked M23 fighters where they were taking her father”, starving deserters to death, forcing deserters to rape a girl, burying deserters alive, and on and on. If this bothers Kolini, Rucyahana, the AMiA, PEARUSA or ACNA, I haven’t heard of it.

Executed by M23

AMiA’s senseless African connections

By my count, the AMiA now has some sort of relationship with eleven Dioceses in five nations. That’s a whole lot of reverse colonialism to use Chuck Murphy’s phrase! A table of these connections follows:

DioceseNation
Dunkwa- On OffinGhana
BogaDRC
KinduDRC
BukavuDRC
KibondoTanzania
Lake RukwaTanzania
KageraTanzania
TaboraTanzania
Northern MalawiMalawi
Upper ShireMalawi
ToliaraMadagascar

Perhaps in the year 2000 there was some justification for outside oversight, but it is now 2015, and:

  • There is a full-fledged, orthodox Province in North America.
  • You cannot tell me that these five nations are going to “re-evangelize” the USA like you said about Rwanda.5
  • Chuck Murphy said Africans “directing  and shaping what happens in North America is a bad idea.” In fact, it could be “missiologically crazy and practically foolish.” So we know these bishops have no say over AMiA and are simply window-dressing.

Further, it is an embarrassment to Anglicanism in general and the AMiA in particular to have retired Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini, Moses Tay and Yong Ping Chung involved in this micro-denomination that defies ACNA and GAFCON whenever it feels like it, and is highly influenced by a canon lawyer with dubious writings.

As Archbishop Isingoma put it, the most recent actions of AMiA are “…contrary to the constitution of the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo” and serve “…to destabilize a sister-province of the Anglican Communion.”

Timeline of recent events

April 3 – As I wrote here, AMiA announced that two new bishops were on the way.

April 13-17 – GAFCON primates meet in London. “Isingoma shared the situation with his fellow Primates…The Primates then requested its chairman, the Most Reverend Eliud Wabukala, to officially write to Jones to stop him from going ahead with the consecration” (Virtue).

April 19 – Archbishop Isingoma writes a letter Anglican Primates denouncing the AMiA plan.

Sometime in April – AMiA “Primatial Vicar” Jones writes Isingoma attempting to “fix the problem” according to David Virtue.

Sometime in April – Isingoma writes Jones back and again asks him to stop the consecrations.

May 2 – AMiA goes ahead with the consecrations, defying GAFCON and the Anglican Church of Congo.

unnamed-8
“We could care less what GAFCON thinks.”

The Consecration

amia consecration 15
Rules have never stopped AMiA before.

Bishop William of Boga Diocese, Bishop Bahati of Bukavu, Bishop Sospeter of Kibondo and Archbishop Kolini along with Philip Jones and Chuck Murphy consecrated Carl Buffington and Gerry Schnackenberg on May 2nd.6

According to AMiA Bishop Silas Ng7 someone had a heart attack when the service started:

Michelle and I went to Florida two days ago to participate in the consecration of the Very Rev. Carl Buffington and the Very Rev. Gerald Schnackenberg as two new AMiA bishops. It was a glorious celebration yesterday. Today we went to Bishop Carl’s church to participate in an ordination for two deacons as priests.

When the service came to the time of ordination and Bishop Edmund D Ahmoah from the Anglican Church of Ghana was reading the first line of the ordination part, a parishioner had an heart attack with his heart beat stopped. It was a holy moment when everyone was praying, including four bishops, many priests and deacons and the whole church of the New Covenant Church, Winter Springs, Florida. There were three nurses there using CPR and a defibrillator(AED). We heard the loud sound of a voice from the defibrillator to guide people to use that and we were singing, praying in an atmosphere full of peace. The new consecrated Bishop Carl stood next to me and he was praying and singing in a very peaceful mode. Ten minutes later two paramedic came in and in five minutes time the parishioner got his heart beat again and was sent to the hospital for observation. The whole church clapped hands when they saw what happened of how God gave peace to all of us in a crisis during an ordination.

Bishop Ng says he has a prophecy for one of the new bishops, namely that he will resurrect the Mission:

After Bishop Carl and I received communion, I said, “Bishop Carl, I got a prophetic word for you, one word “resurrect”. I feel that God is going to pour down His fresh anointing on you that you are going to raise up more priests for the Mission to resurrect “dead people”. There are so many dead people walking around us.” He said, “Wow! That is quite a prophetic word because the past 30 years since this church was found we have 23 people being ordained as priests.” I asked, “How many years for you as the Rector of this church?” He said, “Twenty-two years.”

amia 15 4
New Congolese bishops!

Another ordination

The irregular consecration of two bishops was not all! Bishop William Mugenyi of Boga in the DRC also ordained Walter Volmuth to the permanent diaconate as a Deacon from Boga Diocese. Does Archbishop Isingoma realize that “Congolese” clergy are now multiplying in AMiA? Of course, if the Archbishop does something about it, AMiA will probably transfer orders to another Diocese. Bishop Murphy knows that once you establish facts on the ground, there is little willingness in Anglican circles to undo them.

unnamed-2
Breaking rules since 2000.

My takeaways

  1. The AMiA will not police itself. It does not care about defying governing authorities when it is clearly in the wrong. It does not care about what Kolini did with M23. It does not care about where 1.2 million dollars went in Rwanda. It does not care about possible plagiarism.
    To be clear, PEARUSA, ACNA and GAFCON also seem unconcerned when their member churches are subservient to wicked governments, but I am focusing on AMiA in this post.
  2. GAFCON and Rwanda made a mistake allowing AMiA to walk away with no consequences. There was some talk of stripping Bishop Murphy and others of their orders back when AMiA imploded. Archbishop Rwaje insisted on real reconciliation, but none of that ever happened, AMiA went its own way, crippled yes, but still breathing. Because GAFCON and Rwanda did nothing in terms of discipline, AMiA, Murphy, Kolini and Kevin Donlon are still out there causing havoc.
  3. The Congo is a mess. Three bishops have a relationship with a sub-Anglican group in America and never tell their Archbishop. He orders them not to ordain Americans, and thy go ahead and do it anyways.
  4. This is a test for Archbishop Isingoma. Can he do anything to his disobedient bishops? Can he do anything to the new AMiA bishops and other clergy?
  5. This is a test for GAFCON. I don’t think GAFCON has any real authority over anybody about anything, but do they stand totally impotent in this case? Does this spur GAFCON to at least think through the crazy quilt world of CANA and PEARUSA?
  6. Could the AMiA spend enough money to oust Archbishop Isingoma? AMiA has already poached a third of the bishops in the DRC, if it could nab a couple more, could it influence the election of the next Archbishop? I don’t know when Isingoma’s term is up, but I wonder if this is even a remote possibility.
  7. Chuck Murphy puts words in God’s mouth. Was God wrong about AMiA and Africa in 2011? I don’t think so. That means that Chuck Murphy was wrong when he said God called AMiA out of Africa, because AMiA is right back in Africa. As the Lord said, “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
    AMiA’s terrible theology allows for this kind of nonsense.
  8. Archbishop Beach and ACNA should make it clear that AMiA remains a renegade group. Unfortunately, the “be nice” philosophy has carried the day recently, with former Archbishop Duncan telling us about a phone conversation he had with Philip Jones on his way out as Archbishop.8
    Jones was also in the procession at the Investiture of Foley Beach and was recently at the C4SO retreat (see below). This thaw of relations is clearly not reciprocated when AMiA disregards another Anglican Primate and the will of GAFCON. These kind of gestures should end.
jones with beach
‘Primatial Vicar’ Philip Jones at the Investiture of Foley Beach.
jones hunter
Jones and ACNA Bishop Todd Hunter at the C4SO Retreat.

Archbishop Rwaje on the East African Revival and the 1994 Genocide

In the course of responding to questions about the East African Revival at GAFCON’s 2013 meeting in Nairobi, the Archbishop of Rwanda, Onesphore Rwaje talked about the relationship of the revival to the 1994 genocide.1 He says:

…and I don’t know whether it is one of the questions you would like to ask me, let me respond to it before asking this question.  You may hear there is a contradiction and there is in fact, a country where revival movement was born, 1930’s—a second revival and the same time the country where has been a genocide against the Tutsis.2 That’s a contradiction, that’s a contradiction, and we are requesting ourselves what’s happened; 1960’s onward mainly within the church, mainly within the revival.

But after analyzing there {were a} few remnants among the revivalists in fact who stood against {the genocide} and we have testimony, some of them were killed and others are testifying for that. So that’s a contradiction and we have to bear that and this is a challenge we have to bear that not only for revival even for the church itself.

Archbishop Rwaje seems to be saying that the Anglican Church in Rwanda is trying to figure out what happened after the 1960’s that caused a nation of 85% Christians to slaughter one another. This is a good question, and you can see that for all the talk of revival and reconciliation before the genocide, it did nothing to stop the killing:

Moreover, by 1990, the Anglican church was deeply involved in internal wrangling and divisions. They were focused on jealousies and bitterness between Adoniya Sebununguri, bishop of Kigali, and John Ndandali, bishop of the second diocese of Butare, created in 1978. The conflict was focused on who would become the first Archbishop of the new Anglican province of Rwanda created in 1992. Although personal factors were paramount in this conflict, it did strangely parallel political divisions between the ‘north,’ where the deeply unpopular president came from, and a ‘south,’ which felt excluded. A series of other conflicts among the leadership of the churches began to disfigure the Anglican church: based on personal and family rivalries, regional differences, political disputes (as a multi-party system was introduced). Hutu-Tutsi divisions were only one of many factors fueling and sustaining these disputes.  Often the rhetoric of the Revival was introduced into the disputes. At high-profile meetings of reconciliation, church leaders confessed and sang Tukutenderza in the old spirit of the Balokole [Balokole means ‘saved’ – editor] fellowship, but these occasions did not seem to have the power to transform the faction-riven nature of the church. The form of Revival had replaced its genuine spirit.3

Bishop Laurent Mbanda tells us that some participants in the revival meetings were active killers in 1994:

Christian survivors of the genocide who participated in these evangelical meetings tell stories of church members and testifying Christians who, having attended the same meetings, were later seen in the uniforms and activities of Interahamwe (militia). During the killings, many were also seen at roadblocks with machetes. It is hard to believe, but reported by trustworthy individuals.

Unfortunately, the pattern of acquiescence with evil has continued as clergy support many evil actions of the Kagame regime. For example, bishops Rucyahana and Kolini supported and raised funds for M23, a group that kidnapped child soldiers, raped and murdered in the DRC. Before we rush to embrace the East African Revival, it is wise to ask what its legacy is in the world outside of church meetings, in the nitty gritty of political life and society.

  1. His remarks begin here
  2. He is using the official government term for the genocide. Deviation from using “against the Tutsi” is a signal inside Rwanda that you question the regime’s narrative of events. 
  3. “Christianity, Revival and the Rwandan Genocide,” Kevin Ward.