Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mainline Renewal Leader Warns President Elect Obama: Robinson Offensive to Christians in U.S., Africa, and the Global South

Mainline Renewal Leader Warns President Elect Obama: Robinson Offensive to Christians in U.S., Africa, and the Global South

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- In a strongly worded letter today, Association for Church Renewal President Rev. David Runnion-Bareford warned President-Elect Obama about the destructive impact of his decision to invite Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to lead prayer at the Sunday celebration of his inauguration.

Rev. Runnion-Bareford wrote, "Your decision to invite Bishop Gene Robinson to provide public leadership at the Sunday celebration of your inauguration is offensive and disappointing to many of us in Christian leadership who seek to be supportive of your presidency. In contrast to your other choices for religious leadership during this historic occasion, Robinson is a schismatic figure who has intentionally caused deep hurt and division in the Christian church. To many mainline Christians who share your concerns for peace and justice, Robinson symbolizes the moral deviance of denominational leaders who have embraced the agenda of sexual license to the detriment and decline of their churches. The division caused by Robinson and his supporters have caused great harm to the Christian church.

"Of equal or greater concern, however, is the public message you are sending to our international partners in the global south. Bishop Robinson has become a symbol of western decadence and moral deviance to African Church leaders and to some degree South American and Asian church leaders who represent constituencies far larger than the Christian church in the United States. Putting Robinson forward with the blessing of your presidency communicates that your intention is to embrace the virulent practice of western hedonism. It is abortive to your efforts to provide strong international leadership for unity and peace. African leaders in particular will see this as a direct insult to their efforts to confront the horrendous health issues that face their people and the oppression of Islamics and others who accuse Christianity of reflecting the immorality of western culture."

The Association for Church Renewal is a strategic alliance of over 30 renewal groups and movements bearing witness to the apostolic, ecumenical Christian faith in the mainline denominations of North America. Rev. David Runnion-Bareford can be reached for comment at 603-867-7711 or by email:


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