Category : Church of Nigeria
More than 12,000 delegates at the recent EFAC Nigeria convention were cautioned about the current ‘perilous times’ of ‘incredible’ moral decadence and abandonment of God, the creator.
Speakers at the event encouraged believers in Christ to understand the time, and to hold firm to the unchanging truth of God’s word – the only eternal legacy.
Prayers were made for the Government and the Church, the peace of the world, and most prominently, the election of Primate, Nicholas Okoh’s successor which will take place next month(September).
Delegates said the Convention was a ‘huge blessing’ to God’s people who attended, as hope came through the word of God to the Church of Christ in Nigeria under severe persecution.
The Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion was founded in 1961 with the conviction that a strong biblical witness is essential for the life and health of the Anglican Communion, within the wider context of seeking first God’s kingdom and building up his people.
Few places are as deadly as central Nigeria. For years villages on the front line between Islam in the north and Christianity in the south have been victims of the fighting between Muslim militants and Christians determined to protect their lives and rights. Boko Haram, the extremist group linked to al-Qaeda, has been harassing the population for a decade, but has recently been overshadowed by more murderous attacks by ethnic Fulani cattle herders, who are linked to Islamists too.
Last year the Global Terrorism Index called the Fulani the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world, killing six times more people than Boko Haram. Some 6,000 people died in the first six months of 2018 and two million displaced people were forced to flee.
Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi lives in the middle of the conflict zone, in the city of Jos. A charismatic and influential figure, he has called on Christians to resist what he sees as virtual genocide by extremists trying to drive all non-Muslims out of northern Nigeria. He has paid a heavy price. Three times they have tried to kill him. His house has been burnt down. Many of his congregation have been murdered, raped or forced to flee. His wife, Gloria, was attacked while he was away, beaten and sexually assaulted in their house one night, partially blinded and left to die. She was found semi-conscious and survived.
“Each time it just makes me more determined to live my life to the full for Jesus. Whatever the gunmen do, when the suicide bombers do their worst, God’s message will always be, ‘I love you. I have given my Son for you. Turn to Him and live.’ Until my time is up, I will live each moment for the gospel,” the archbishop declared in a book just published on his turbulent time as a priest and bishop in a war zone…..”
Read it all (subscription).
Great coverage by Michael Binyon in @thetimes for Neither Bomb Nor Bullet, biography of Archbishop @benkwashi head of @gafconference. New book highlights Islamist agenda in #Nigeria. https://t.co/QTB8HuSleq#fulani #bokoharam
— Andrew Boyd (@AndrewRJBoyd) August 12, 2019
Listen to it all (about 26 minutes).
Archbishop Ben Kwashi, Gafcon General Secretary (elect), explains that external persecution is not the only pressure that he feels against his evangelistic ministry. Timidity is more endemic when it comes to sharing the gospel. Read the full interview here:https://t.co/ZgquT1eJ7o pic.twitter.com/g2Cdv0IG9e
— GAFCON (@gafconference) November 16, 2018
The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Niger Delta of the Anglican Communion, The Most Reverend Tunde Adeleye has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.
He said the president had not been able to galvanise good support from the larger majority of Nigerians for his government. He said Buhari’s close aides and appointees had deceived the president to fail.
“If I meet the president today, I will tell him in plain language that he has failed and must resign. This is because his advisers and aides have deceived him. So many things have gone wrong in this country in recent times. There is louder outcry.”
— CHIJAMA OGBU (@jamaogbu) July 9, 2019
The Anglican Bishop of Akure Diocese, Rt. Rev’d Simeon Borokini, has urged South-West governors to discard the controversial plan by the Federal Government to establish RUGA Settlements.
Borokini gave the warning during the first session of the Diocese’s 13th synod at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Akure, yesterday.
According to Borokini, any South-West governor who offers the people’s land for the RUGA project would have himself to blame.
Daily Post recalls that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had announced the indefinite suspension of the RUGA project on the grounds of inconsistency with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
(Vanguard) Anglican Church cries to President Muhammadu Buhari, judiciary, INEC: Save Nigeria from collapse, self-destruction
Speaking through the Bishop, Diocese on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, the Church of Nigeria, said: “The challenges facing Nigeria today, to say the least, are enormous. “And regrettably, soon after the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of 2019 presidential election by INEC, the President reciprocated the gesture by telling Nigerians “to expect tougher times ahead, instead of giving them hope of a better future.”
While the Church asked President Buhari to “call the Fulani herdsmen to order, especially now that their comments and body language depicts that of a people operating above the law and backed by powers,” it alleged that their menace increased since after the President was re-elected for the second tenure.
It warned that the President must act fast to avert a crisis in the country because the atmosphere is charged with complaints from Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo and other non-northern ethnic groups, who are also complaining about the activities of herdsmen and their leaders.
— Afam Bu Ogochukwu (@_emmalez) June 28, 2019
The Bishop of Ijebu North Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Revd. Solomon Kuponu, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to find a lasting solution to arms smuggling which is posing serious threats to Nigeria’s internal security. The cleric made the call at the second session of the Fifth Synod of the diocese held at the St. James’ Anglican Church, Atikori, Ijebu- Igbo, with the theme: “Fight the Good Fight of Faith, Lay Hold on Eternal life.”
In his charge at the event, Kuponu expressed concern over the increasing rate of crime and arms proliferation in the country, noting that the arms being illegally imported into Nigeria were often used by bandits, militias and insurgents to terrorise innocent people. He condemned the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents, urging the Federal Government to confront them, and also asked the Buhari-led administration to dispense with commanders and intelligence chiefs that have failed the country in the fight against terrorism. He said: “Nigeria faces existential wars, terrorism and corruption. Both require sound strategies and continuous adaptation. Buhari should imbibe this in confronting the resurgent Boko Haram.”
Herewith the blurb form the publishers website:
In the warzone that Nigeria has become, Archbishop Ben Kwashi has survived three assassination attempts. A brutal assault on his wife, Gloria, drove him to his knees – to forgive and find the strength to press on. Islamist militants have Nigeria in their sights. These are the terrorists who kidnapped hundreds of Christian schoolgirls – who have vowed to turn Africa’s most populous nation into a hard-line Islamic state. Their plan is to drive the Christian minority from the north by kidnapping, bombing and attacking churches. Plateau State is on the frontline. But holding that line against Boko Haram, and standing firm for the Gospel, is Ben Kwashi, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos. In Jos, churches have been turned into fortresses and Archbishop Ben now conducts more funerals than weddings and baptisms put together. Yet his faith grows ever more vibrant. He has adopted scores of orphans who live in his home, including many who are HIV positive. And the challenge of his message – to live for the Gospel even in the face of terror – has never been so timely.
For yr reading lists–A new biography of the Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi ‘Neither Bomb Nor Bullet Benjamin Kwashi: The Archbishop they just couldn’t kill’ https://t.co/5egaZySDp6 #anglican #nigeria #terrorism #violence #bokoharam (hat tip: @goddardaj) #books #africa pic.twitter.com/qB2NmN3yyd
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 25, 2019
The Nigerian Anglican Diocese of Sokoto releases a statement about the family of the murdered priest Anthony Idris Jata’u
God, in His infinite mercy, brought our brethren back undefiled! Our Mummy conquered in the bush such that even the commandant of the bush would normally order everyone “please keep quiet madam is praying”.
God equally used our Mummy to restore a missing girl from Oyo state. The girl is an orphan; her late mother was married from Umuahia in Abia state. As Mummy Jata’u continued praying, the girl got attracted to her and narrated her ordeals to her.
The girl was living with her grand mother. On the 10th of January, she was going for an examination in Kebbi state. She was told, since she doesn’t know the place, that she should get to Sokoto and board another vehicle to Katsina state. This she did without knowing that Katsina state is the state they had passed as well as Zamfara state before getting to Sokoto.
It was on their way back to Katsina that she was kidnapped. Her grand mother heard the news and died as well. God a reason for everything!
While the Jatau’s were coming out, Mummy pleaded with the terrorists to let her go with the girl and the request was granted; nothing was paid for her release!
The sister of our Daddy was to be raped by the hoodlums at gun point but she vehemently refused and chose to be killed rather than surrendering to the request of the terrible men. She came out undefiled!
They never knew their Dad had been killed though. Mummy also explained that she saw Daddy in dream telling her that he’s no more. Thanks to God for delivering the poor orphan from the captivity through our Mummy!!!!
A recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council had confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby’s own previous statement that all bishops’ spouses would be included.
The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.
But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as ‘incompatible with Scripture’.
The inconsistency is obvious to all. Some in the American Episcopal Church (TEC) are now proposing that their Province’s generous financial support for the London based ‘instruments of communion’ should be reviewed, while a UK Member of Parliament has called for the Lambeth Conference to be taken to court for discrimination and it has been confirmed that at least one of the disinvited partners will come to England regardless.
The story unfolding around Lambeth 2020 shows that so called ‘good disagreement’ produces the bitter fruit of controversy and confusion, but this could have been avoided. The Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he is willing to use his power of invitation to the Lambeth Conference by disinviting the spouses of bishops in same sex unions and he could have used that power to maintain the integrity of the Lambeth Conference as urged in our Jerusalem ‘Letter to the Churches’. Instead, faithful Anglican bishops from North and South America are excluded, while those who tear the fabric of the Communion by word and deed are welcomed.
— Dougy’s Daily Digest (@skinnergj) March 12, 2019
The Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion) has joined several other church organisations to express concern over the forthcoming general elections, praying to God for a peaceful polls and the election of credible leaders.
Addressing journalists ahead of the centenary anniversary celebration of the foremost mission in Nigeria, the diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye revealed his vision to reposition the diocese to continue to impact the society and influence the nation for the good of all citizens.
Much is at stake. It is the testimony of Scripture that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) and that ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Every single human being is so important in the eyes of God, that we will be held accountable for our sins of thought, word and deed on the Day of Judgement and the proper punishment for our sins is the place of destruction, hell itself.
The Gospel is not some children’s game, or some therapy to make us feel better. It is deadly serious. And it needs to be preached faithfully, in its full-orbed truth. It is about the salvation of sinners from hell.
‘The wages of sin is death’, but the rest of this wonderful sentence runs, ‘the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’, These words capture the grace of God (the free gift) given to us when we did not deserve it and were incapable of being good enough to receive it. It reminds us of the glory that is ours in eternal life, as opposed to destruction. And it tells us where eternal life may be found, namely in the Jesus who is the Christ, the fulfilment of all the promises of God, and the one who saves us by being our Lord.
In our times, the tendency is to omit two absolutely vital parts of this: First, the fact that we are faced with the choice between life and death. We fail to preach judgement, because we do not want to offend. Instead we preach a Christ who will fulfil all our desires – for money, for success, for happiness, because we cannot believe in eternal life and eternal death.
Second, we omit the summons to repentance which is integral to the true Gospel.
The choice before us as a global communion is between this revealed wisdom of God and the wisdom claimed by secular ideologies. For a while the reality of this fork in the road can be obscured by an insistence on dialogue in its various guises such as ‘indaba’, ‘good disagreement’ and ‘walking together’, but in the absence of godly discipline, false teaching will continue to spread.
In the Church of England, just before Christmas, this process reached the point where its bishops took the unprecedented step of giving official guidance for what they described as ‘services to help transgender people mark their transition’ and it will be incorporated into ‘Common Worship’ (a range of services authorised by General Synod).
The guidance states that ‘the House of Bishops commends the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith as the central feature of any service to recognize liturgically a person’s gender transition’. A form of service which is intended to mark a renewed commitment to Christ and the new life we receive through him is instead used to celebrate an identity which contradicts our God-given identity as male and female (as affirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4) and is still controversial even in secular society.
Although Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998 did not directly address gender transition, by taking this step, the Church of England is rejecting biblical authority in a similar way to TEC and other revisionist Provinces which have permitted same sex marriage….
Those who opposed him were caught up in their own world. British society of the nineteenth century was overwhelmingly racist, deeply hierarchical. It resisted all sense that God saw things differently. In the India of the time the East India Company, ruling the land, forbade the singing of the Magnificat at evensong, lest phrases about putting down the mighty from their seats and exalting the humble and meek might be understood too well by the populations they ruled. The idea that an African was their equal was literally, unimaginable. Of course they forgot the list of Deacons in Acts 5, including Simeon Niger in Acts 13, or Augustine from North Africa, or the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip baptised. They lived in an age of certainty in their own superiority. In their eyes not only the gospel, but even the Empire would be at risk if they conceded.
The issue was one of power, and it is power and its handling that so often deceives us into wickedness. Whether as politicians or Bishops, in business or in the family, the aim to dominate is sin. Our model is Christ, who washed feet when he could have ruled. Crowther’s consecration reading was do not dominate, and it means just what it says. Each of us must lead by humility.
It is time to tell again the long-neglected story of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, writes Gareth Sturdy.
If you know the name, it probably resounds as that of a hero. Such heroes, unacknowledged in their own time and then ignored by their immediate successors, end up being the Really Important Ones. Their stature is so great that it is missed entirely up-close, gets larger the more distant you are from it, and can only been seen in its true glory from space.
If the name is unknown to you, then you are the victim of a cover-up. How else can you have missed one of the most important Africans of the modern era?
It is an opportune moment to reassess Crowther in the light of new understanding. A light that glares at the cover up and reveals a significance greater than that so far ascribed to him by even his most loyal champions.
Almighty God, who didst rescue Samuel Ajayi Crowther from slavery, sent him to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to his people in Nigeria, and made him the first bishop from the people of West Africa: Grant that those who follow in his steps may reap what he has sown and find abundant help for the harvest; through him who took upon himself the form of a slave that we might be free, the same Jesus Christ; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Samuel Crowther, married to an African woman released from the same slave ship as himself, became the first African to be ordained an Anglican priest. pic.twitter.com/PVTF3oAAm5
— TTU ASO 🌍 (@TTU_ASO) April 27, 2018
The Bishop of Jos, Anglican Communion and in-coming General Secretary , Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON, the most Rev Benjamin Argak Kwashi, has described the Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen militias who have ravaged towns and villages, killing mostly women and children, in the predominantly Christians central region of Nigeria, as “a bigger threat” than Boko Haram Islamic terrorist Jihadi sect.
“Boko Haram operates in the northeast and scantily moves into other areas, but the Fulani herdsmen are widespread. They’re everywhere now. So the Fulani are a bigger threat,” Kwashi said.
— WannabeAnglican (@WannabeAnglican) December 27, 2018
Bishop Clement was abducted from his home by gunmen on Tuesday 18th December at about 7pm (6pm GMT)
The gunmen stormed the Bishop’s Court residence.
Deputy Superintendent Nnamdi Omoni of Rivers State Police said that officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad are leading the search for Bishop Clement.
Please join us in prayer for the safety of Bishop Clement and for the police to find him and bring him back to his home very soon.
Please pray for strength and safety for his wife.
PLEASE PRAY: Bishop Clement Ekpeye (Ahoada, Nigeria) was abducted from his home on Tuesday evening around 7pm (6pm GMT). Please join us in prayer for him to be brought home safely. Read more details here: https://t.co/sIPB5WG2EE pic.twitter.com/QcvZuiO4bx
— GAFCON (@gafconference) December 21, 2018
So we salute the courage of all those Anglicans around the world who sacrifice to proclaim Christ faithfully. Some live in contexts where Christians face attempts to very severely restrict their witness and our Gafcon 2019 Conference in Dubai next February is designed to encourage such brothers and sisters. Others continue to face persecution from within the Church itself, most notoriously in North America, and I commend especially to your prayers the Bishop of Albany, the Rt Revd Bill Love, who was present with us in Jerusalem for Gafcon 2018.
With effect from Advent, TEC (the Episcopal Church of the United States) has mandated that all its dioceses must permit same sex marriage rites, but Bishop Love has issued a pastoral letter in which he makes it clear that this will not be permitted in the Diocese of Albany because the Episcopal Church “is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God’s holy Church, to compromise ‘the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3) and to turn my back on the vows I have made to God and His People.”
It remains to be seen how Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will proceed, but TEC is relentlessly pursuing the faithful Dioceses of South Carolina and Fort Worth through the courts, as it has done with many others in the past.
Finally, let us ask Almighty God to continue his blessing upon us in this time of leadership transition.
"This season of Advent is a time to renew our courage as we look up and look forward." – Archbishop Nicholas Okoh
— ACNA (@The_ACNA) December 7, 2018
(ThisDay) Anglican Archbishop Okoh Urges President Buhari to Tackle the Insecurity felt by Nigerian Citizens
The Primate of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has asked the federal government to do everything in its powers to shield the citizenry from all forms of attacks by criminal elements.
The primate noted that the reality on ground indicated that government still needs to do more to instill confidence on the citizens that it working to protect their interests.
Okoh made the call at the weekend in Abuja during the consecration of three new Bishops and presentation of Archbishops at the Anglican Cathedral Church of St. Bartholomew in Kubwa, Abuja.
What is evangelism like while shepherding the church through intense persecution?
It may surprise you to hear this, but the effects of persecution are both good and bad. Positively, it shakes the institutionalism of the church and proves to us that there is no lasting home in this world. But it also destabilizes individual human beings and raises a lot of questions in the hearts of sufferers.
The first questions we encounter with people is this: “Is it because of our sins that God is punishing us?” That tends to be the most common interpretation of what we’re going through. But the truth is that churches impacting society by exposing sin are going to make those powers that are being exposed unhappy. When the church is a light in the world’s darkness, it will suffer from the darkness.
The other question we encounter is from people who cannot make meaning out of their difficulties. A young girl came back from boarding school and arrived to find her father, mother, and sisters, everybody at home, dead. And she wanted to know “why?” We don’t have answers to that except to continue to encourage such a person to trust God. Even though we don’t know why now, we will know it in eternity.
Yet persecution has increased the love, the sharing, and the caring of people for each other. We don’t love the persecution itself. But it has caused in our churches a practical demonstration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Strong churches move in to help people and take them in.
For example, my wife, Gloria, has a habit of taking in orphans. When I was in Jerusalem this past June for GAFCON, the mother of a seven-month-old baby was shot back in Nigeria. The killers thought they had killed both of them, but later on in the day, people went searching for the corpse of this woman, and they found the baby sitting there crying with his dead mother. They immediately knew to bring him to Mama Gloria, to our house.
Showing the love of God by caring for orphans and widows is a top priority, and it is a great witness to our neighbors who are not Christians. It is a great testimony of the gospel.
Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Jos, Nigeria, on the Gospel’s Endurance Through Intense Persecution and Casual Indifference https://t.co/v2Nifls8RV https://t.co/QoxSH5MdRB #blacktwitter pic.twitter.com/VPyCoVLmJB
— Is It Just Us (@isitjustus2) November 17, 2018
The Anglican Archbishop of Lokoja, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu, on Friday in Abuja, warned newly-consecrated Bishops of the church to guard against “repackaging the gospel”, for selfish and pecuniary interests.
Egbunu gave the charge in his sermon during the consecration service of Bishops Chukwuma Oparah of Owerri Diocese, Godfrey Ekpenisi of Ika Diocese and Jezerel Vandeh of Zaki-Biam Diocese.
The cleric told the newest members of the 164-strong House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Nigeria that the “position of a Bishop is prone to arrogance and dangerous assumptions”.
“We must be careful because God’s standards cannot be adjusted for anybody…no Christian, whether bishop, clergy or laity, has the licence to alter the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the clergyman said.
He added that those that were ordained into the ministry must guard against compromising the gospel as proclaimed by Jesus Christ.
The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) unanimously agree to the following statement regarding Lambeth 2020.
The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria reaffirm the Statement of GAFCON 2018 that the Archbishop of Canterbury should invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 the Bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil, and that he should not invite those Provinces that have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices that are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.
In the event that this does not occur the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) unanimously resolved that they will decline any invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of the Communion.
At present, the future for all Christians in Nigeria looks grim:
- Nine of the country’s thirty-six states impose full-blown Sharia. This forces Christians in those states to navigate a minefield. In this minefield, Islamic rage could be detonated by anything as seemingly innocuous as a gesture, a word, or even an act of God. In one such incident, Muslims blamed Christians for a lunar eclipse and went on a killing spree.
- Then there is the murderous violence of Boko Haram. For years the U.S. State Department seemed determined to see Boko Haram as “disenfranchised, impoverished youth.” (Forget the fact that they were driving around the northern and middle belt states in fully-loaded SUVs, accompanied by their own chef.) Elites complained that they were just “in need of job counseling and midnight basketball.” But determined activists, of which I was one, finally broke through the false narrative. State designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.
- In more recent years, nomadic Fulani “herdsmen” have evolved into Fulani Jihadists. They target Christians, wiping out entire villages and grabbing the land. If Christians attempt to defend themselves, they are accused of “retaliating.” As one Nigerian Christian told a member of Congress, “We are told to ‘turn the other cheek,’ but we have no more cheeks left to turn.” The Fulani are now ranked above Boko Haram as deadliest terrorists. They murdered more people than Boko Haram in 2015, 2016, and 2017. And they are already on their way to beating their own record in 2018.
Faith and Peace
Still, at GAFCON it was obvious to me that the Nigerian archbishops, bishops, clergy, and lay delegates were full of the joy of the Lord. A talented and powerful worship team from Nigeria had led our music all week long. I was happy to see Nigerian church leaders that I already knew. Among those were the Archbishop and Primate, the Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh. And there was Bishop Nathan Inyom, whose Diocese of Makurdi is a refuge for those fleeing from Fulani.
The Church of Nigeria, Diocese of Enugu (Anglican Communion) weekend expressed concerns over the recently signed Executive Order No.6 of 2018 by the Federal Government, saying it should not be used against perceived enemies or opposition.
The executive order empowers the Federal Government to seize suspicious assets connected with corruption and other relevant offences.
The church noted with dismay the hasty nature of the investigations and trial of five Christians over alleged killing of a herdsman by a Yola High Court and their conviction and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the five condemned Christians were not executed….
"The spread of the gospel requires the authenticity of the gospel."
— ACNA (@The_ACNA) July 6, 2018
In this ‘Jerusalem Letter’ we affirmed that ‘we dedicate ourselves afresh to proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations, working together to guard the gospel entrusted to us by our Lord and his apostles’. We also set out how this commitment will be demonstrated. We are reforming by creating new global structures where necessary, such as the Synodical Council, and by commending biblically principled engagement with the old structures. We are also renewing by reaching out to the world with the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed, and to facilitate this we have formed nine global networks.
In making these commitments, Gafcon claims no global jurisdiction. That is not the Anglican way. We are a family of independent Provinces, but we are not independent of the Lordship of Christ and we came together to seek the mind of Christ as we heard the Scriptures taught, as we prayed and as we worshipped. So although the commitments of the Jerusalem Letter do not have juridical force, they do have moral and spiritual authority. We have vowed to proclaim Christ faithfully. That is why we came to Jerusalem and ‘in the presence of all his people’ we have renewed our resolve to act together.
So I want to urge you to see the ‘Jerusalem Letter’ as a joyful yet solemn covenant commitment for the renewal and the reordering of the Anglican Communion. Our critics accuse of us of being schismatic and seeking to leave the Communion. Nothing could be further from the truth. The question is not staying or leaving, but will the leadership of the Anglican Communion be self-serving or gospel-serving? The spread of the gospel requires the authenticity of the gospel. We cannot separate mission from faithfulness. As I noted in my Chairman’s address to the conference, when I ask people around the world to tell me what the gospel is, I do not find different gospels, but the same gospel meeting different challenges in different contexts.
“They do kill some of us, but those who are alive just continue… we will not wait wait for persecution to stop before we preach the gospel – we just keep preaching. If we die, we die preaching. If we live, we continue the job…” –
Watch it carefully and watch it all.