The Archbishop of Ondo, Nigeria, has expressed his shock at the Bishop of Liverpool’s dereliction of duty, after the bishop described homosexual lifestyles as a gift to the church.
The recently appointed Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, made the controversial comments, according to Christian Concern, as he joined a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) inclusive ‘church’ for a cup of tea and rainbow cake at Toxteth’s St Bride’s Church, to celebrate the seventh anniversary of their Open Table service.
Open Table is a service, organised by St Bride’s Church, which ‘warmly welcomes LGBT people’. During the service, Rt Rev. Paul Bayes charged the St Bride’s congregation to ‘bring Jesus into the midst of a broken world’ by manifesting their love and openness ‘as a gift to the wider church which struggles to receive it’. St Bride’s Open Table service has recently received a grant to produce professional marketing materials and a website.
The bishop’s statement prompted a response from the Archbishop of Ondo, the Most Rev. Dr George Lasebikan, who has urged the wider church to continue in the struggle in upholding God’s good pattern for family and relationships.
He said, ‘I was shocked to discover, on my arrival in Britain this week, that the Bishop of Liverpool was describing homosexual lifestyles as a gift to the church. Many English missionaries lost their lives in bringing the gospel to Nigeria.
‘I worked as a missionary in Liverpool in the 1980s. It is disturbing that the current Bishop of Liverpool should treat homosexual lifestyles so lightly. The love of God will compel us to point people away from such behaviour and to the forgiveness found in and through Jesus Christ. Not to do so is a dereliction of a bishop’s duty’.