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LAMBETH: "Another Gospel?" Asks Sudanese Bishop

LAMBETH: "Another Gospel?" Asks Sudanese Bishop

By Hans Zeiger in Canterbury
July 31, 2008

CANTERBURY-A bishop from the Sudan told VirtueOnline on Thursday that the question confronting Anglicans in his country is whether the West is "bringing another gospel, or the same Gospel it brought before?" Bishop Paul Yugusuk from southern Sudan also said that Sudanese Anglicans must be aware of their vulnerabilities so that they do not "give in to homosexuality."

"We come here with a very clear stand," said Yugusuk, echoing the words of his Archbishop, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul, from last week. "Sin is sin."

Yugusuk said that he came to Canterbury out of love for the Communion. "We are not cutting the relationship. They should change from the way they are thinking to the Biblical way. God loves sinners. We are all sinners. We are all praying together, because the mission is not ours. We have to reach the unreached."

As an advocate for evangelism, Yugusuk suggested that his ministry in the Sudan is the continuation of Western missionary efforts. "This Gospel has been brought to us by the West. We are deep rooted in that. The question is here: Is the West bringing another gospel, or the same Gospel it brought before?"

Since Sudanese Christians have accepted monogamous marriage between a man and a woman as their standard, and have taken a hard stand against polygamy in their country, Yugusuk hopes to encourage his fellow bishops to maintain a Biblical standard.

Yugusuk said that he attended the Global Anglican Future Conference in the Holy Land last month, but he and the other bishops of his province decided to come to Lambeth because of their love for the Communion. They want to genuinely listen, and "perhaps we can be even of help."

The bishop explained, "If you tell your brother that he is wrong, you love him. But if you keep quiet, you don't love him." Yugusuk added his hope that differences in the Communion can be worked out. "We are here to reason together....Being together is an expression of love, no matter how you agree or disagree. Despite our differences, we still hold hands."

Yugusuk advised The Episcopal Church to work out its own challenges and not to burden the entire Anglican Communion with its problems. "We have our own problems. We deal with them there and then, so it's not affecting the whole Communion. What is sin is sin. What is wrong is wrong."

When Sudanese Christians have confronted the problem of polygamy, they have dealt with it in a loving, forgiving way while preaching against sin. "That is in Africa. But it is not an issue for the whole religious set-up. We have dealt with it and it is over."

Likewise, "Americans should deal with their problems there, and it is over."

Yugusuk said that Anglicans in the Sudan will not compromise their principles for the sake of Western-sponsored relief. "In my country, we are not poor," Yugusuk said, saying that God's Word is prospering in the Sudan. Nevertheless, he said that the issue of war in the Sudan ought "to be discussed just like other issues."

Given the current situation in the Sudan, Sudanese Christians should be aware of their own vulnerabilities so that outsiders promising aid do not trick them into compromising their integrity. "Because we know why we are vulnerable, that's why we cannot give in to homosexuality," he said. "If you don't know why you are vulnerable, you can give in to any idea, even money."

And if the Anglican Communion gives in to homosexuality even after gestures of brotherly love, he said, "We part company. We are here so that we don't part company. It is really sad for the Communion to be torn apart because of one thing: human desire."


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