Category : GAFCON

Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s November Letter

Bishop Love is a godly and good man. I am so thankful for his faithful stand regarding the office of a diocesan bishop and for keeping to the teaching and moral ethics of the Bible as he has served in the Episcopal Church here in North America. He is a man who has felt the full weight and responsibility of his calling and has sought to humbly follow the Lord’s direction. He has been standing alone against a rising tide of ridicule for his biblical positions, positions which have always been held by the Church.

Many would like to know the response from Gafcon. We are certainly praying for Bishop Bill Love and the many people who find themselves in provinces and dioceses with compromised and failing leadership. To everyone like him in difficult positions, you are not alone as so many around the world contend with you in prayer for the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are grateful for your faith in the midst of opposition and persecution.

A few years ago, I heard Archbishop Deng from the Province of South Sudan describe the growth of the church in his worn-torn nation. He said (paraphrased) they murder our people and the church grows. They raided our villages and the church grows. To those of us listening, his words were so clear to us: the church preaches the gospel (in season or out of it) and God builds His church. We commend these brothers and sisters who prevailed seeing more baptisms and more new churches in a very difficult spot in world history. Their example is a great reminder to the rest of us of the fruitfulness of faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON, TEC Conflicts

Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s October Letter

Have you noticed that there is a radical difference between Philippians 1 and Galatians 1? In Philippians 1, the Apostle Paul both laments and celebrates the competitive and rivalrous forms of preaching the Gospel to unbelievers. He says, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15-18).

In contrast in Galatians 1, Paul is confronting false teaching about the Gospel by those who say they believe it. He says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”

Paul’s litmus test for the faith wasn’t good disagreement or getting along, but rather truth. Even when that truth was preached out of mixed motives, the truth is what mattered. Speak the truth in love, (Ephesians 4:15). But preaching the truth is preaching it without compromise. A different Gospel is no gospel at all. Again, the Scriptures are very clear: “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 3-4).

The witness we see in the Scriptures and in church history is that truth produces unity and freedom to love. The clarity of truth is powerful. That truth was revealed in the person and teaching of Jesus Christ.

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Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, GAFCON

(Gafcon) Good News from Sudan

The Gafcon Suffering Church Network leaders, Faith McDonnell and Bishop Andudu Adan Elnail, joined Gafcon’s Everyday Global Anglicans for an interview about recent, positive developments in Sudan. A peace agreement was signed which will have significant implications for the church in Sudan. We hope to learn how prayers have been answered and how we can continue to pray for the Church in Sudan.

Keep praying for our Church family in Sudan and for Bishop Andudu as he leads his people in the Nuba Mountains.

Posted in GAFCON, Spirituality/Prayer, Sudan

Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s September Letter

Recently, I was on a call with leaders of Christian mission agencies committed to assisting our Anglican leaders around the world with good deeds and good news, so that we may be equipped to see more people come to know Christ. What an interesting, chaotic, and exciting time we are living in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world went on lockdown, the Gospel did not. It still goes forward. It is as Jesus said when the Pharisees asked him to rebuke his disciples, “I tell you,” he said, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:39-40). The Gospel is unstoppable. Those who have believed it can’t help but share it – to faithfully proclaim Christ to the Nations.

I ask you to continue to pray for the Gafcon archbishops and bishops. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the leadership of Archbishop Ben Kwashi, our General Secretary, these archbishops and bishops are committed to the Gafcon movement seeking to make decisions and planning based upon the Bible and not the latest cultural fads. And all this, whilst serving God’s people and their own nations, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges we face as a result.

God has not given us the New Testament to keep on our shelves as a history book, but to apply its teachings in His mission to the world. While many Anglican leaders seek to discard the plain teaching of the Bible, we seek to apply it under and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON, Missions, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s April 2020 Letter

Beloved in Christ Jesus: Greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Times of crisis such as we are now living through are revealing. They force us to focus on what is really important to us and it has been so encouraging to see Gafcon churches around the world quickly adapting to new ways of being the church and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ using the tools the internet gives us.

Our churches are also making it a priority to care for the most vulnerable. Here in North America, our Matthew 25 Initiative network is serving some of the most poor and under-resourced people in North America from some 100 centers, while globally, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (see https://ardf.org/apply-for-covid19-funds) is seeking to provide on the ground relief. Our General Secretary, Archbishop Ben Kwashi, is serving on Barnabas Fund’s Africa Coronavirus Relief Committee to channel relief to the most vulnerable and enable the Churches to continue their ministries.

Please be aware that the people and churches of Africa are suffering not only from the impact of the coronavirus economic lockdown, but in East Africa also from recurrent and massive locust plagues which are devastating crops. And in addition to the pandemic, Christians in northern Nigeria are suffering intensified and barbaric attacks from Fulani Jihadist tribesmen who are deliberately targeting women and children. All of this is a matter of much prayer, and I call on our intercessors to join us in beseeching our Lord to provide for His people in the midst of their needs.

While for many, lockdown has slowed the pace of life, the paradox of this pandemic is that there is actually a speeding up of social change; for example, the rapid embrace of new communications technology and the turn from globalisation.

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Posted in GAFCON, Globalization, Health & Medicine

Gafcon Moment & Prayer for 30 April 2020–The Anglican Church in Brazil

Archbishop Miguel and his wife, Juliane, report that lockdown has provided opportunities for the gospel. Their church’s online service has had 2.8k views on YouTube, which is a big increase on the normal number. They have also started a daily online devotional and many have appreciated this, and some are coming to faith.

Read it all.

Posted in Brazil, GAFCON, Spirituality/Prayer

Gafcon Call to Prayer and Fast: Sunday 22nd March

We know from Scripture and experience that God acts differently when we pray. We believe that He not only hears our prayers, but that He uses people like our leaders, scientists, and medical professionals to accomplish His will. We pray that God would grant them wisdom, insight and strength in these coming days. We pray that in this time, people will call on Jesus in their pain, suffering and worries and find the rest and hope that only He can provide.
We call on Anglicans around the globe to join together in the Holy Spirit, in prayer and fasting this Sunday, 22 March 2020.

Let us pray and fast for our nations:

  • repenting of our sins and asking God’s forgiveness
  • asking God’s intervention to stop the spread of this virus
  • asking God’s intervention to stop the locusts
  • asking God for healing for those who are sick
  • asking God for miraculous provision for the hungry
  • asking God to use us, his people, as agents of love and compassion
  • asking God to draw people to himself through the saving power of Jesus on the cross.

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Posted in GAFCON, Spirituality/Prayer

The Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s 2019 Advent Letter

It was a great joy to learn that the Venerable David McCLay, a leading member of Gafcon Ireland, has been elected as the next Bishop of Down and Dromore. Please pray for him that he may know great grace and courage in this new stage of life and ministry. Sadly, there was an attempt to block his election by a group of clergy who claimed in a letter to the Irish Times that ‘the policies of Gafcon are antithetical’ to the principles of the Rite of Consecration, which according to them includes the need to recognise ‘sexual diversity’. Surely, it is a sign of the deep-seated spiritual crisis and need for repentance in the Anglican Communion when even the rite of Consecration of a Bishop can be made to mean things that were never intended (just as the English House of Bishops repurposed the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith for those who self-identify as transgender).

In June 2020 hundreds of bishops from around the Anglican Communion will be gathering at the Gafcon Bishops Conference, Kigali 2020, to study the great Biblical truths embedded in the Rite of Consecration and to rededicate themselves to serve as godly, Christ-like shepherds to the people of God. While Lambeth conferences are now increasingly preoccupied with the politics of institutional unity and endorsing Biblical immorality, Kigali 2020 will be outward looking, a time of unprecedented renewal, vision building and equipping, as we press forward to making Christ known faithfully to the nations. Please do pray for organizers with all the financial and logistical challenges this event brings!

Read it all.

Posted in Advent, GAFCON

An Irish Times Article on Archbishop Welby’s recent visit to Ireland

The leader of Anglicans worldwide, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has said he hopes the emergence of conservative Anglican body Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) will not lead to a schism.

“I hope and pray not because we are called to love one another. I value them, I talk to them, I listen to them, I’m not proud enough to think I am right and they’re all wrong,” he said at Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday night.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Ireland, GAFCON

(Church Times) Consecration of GAFCON bishop in new NZ Church is criticised

“Is this the moment . . . when the fracture in the Anglican Communion becomes irreversible?” Bishop Carrell asked the Archbishop of Canterbury in a message posted on Twitter on Saturday. “Australian bishops out of protocol control, two of their synods greeting a breakaway diocese. Archbishops from Rwanda, Australia and ACNA combine to inaugurate a new Anglican Church!”

On Monday, he said that there was a “range of reactions” to the consecration in his diocese. The failure of bishops in the Communion to inform the diocese of their intention to minister there was “bewildering to many here”.

“I fear that the significance of the weekend’s incursion goes beyond the inauguration of a new Church and is a sign that the slowly emerging schism in the Anglican Communion is speeding up,” he said. “When the two largest dioceses in Australia recognise a new Anglican Church in another Anglican jurisdiction, we have a straightforward confusion of the goal of the Anglican Communion that we seek to fulfil the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they may be one.”

In their joint statement on Tuesday, the Archbishops of ACNZP, the Most Revd Philip Richardson and the Most Revd Don Tamihere, wrote: “The disrespect for the normal protocols of the Anglican Communion and the lack of courtesy shown to our Church by these boundary-crossing bishops is disturbing, and we will be making an appropriate protest about their actions.

“We are especially concerned at the boundary crossing of bishops from the Anglican Church of Australia. We value our trans-Tasman relationship with our neighbouring Church and are disappointed to find a lack of respect for the jurisdiction of our Church….”

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Posted in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Marriage & Family, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Jay Behan consecrated a new bishop in Christchurch New Zealand

Jay Behan has been consecrated as the first Bishop of the Diocese of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand this morning in Christchurch.

Bishops from across the Tasman and around the world took part in the service.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council presided, and former Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen preached.

The event was live-streamed, and a recording may be seen via the ConfessingAnglicansNZ Facebook page (a Facebook account is not needed). Audio starts about 12 minutes into the recording, just as the service proper begins.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Australia / NZ, GAFCON

Gafcon General Secretary Ben Kwashi and his Wife Gloria Honoured with Religious Freedom Award

Randel Everett, former executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and former pastor of First Baptist Church of Midland, is the founder and President of 21Wilberforce. Randel Everett says, “their life story is one of courage, faith and boundless love.”

Archbishop Kwashi is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Nigeria and General Secretary of GAFCON. He is well known as an evangelist throughout Nigeria, Africa, England, and the United States. Dr. Gloria Kwashi has been Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild and Girls’ Guild, and is the Provincial Trainer for the Mothers’ Union (Church of Nigeria).

For many years Boko Haram, one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world, has spawned unrest, displacement, and death in northern Nigeria. The Kwashi’s have not escaped the violence. Their vicarage and church were burned to the ground and they have survived several assassination attempts. In response, the Kwashi’s took in 50 orphans who lost their parents due to the violence. Dr. Gloria Kwashi also founded the Zambiri Outreach and Child Care Centre. The primary and secondary school serves 400 pupils – all of whom receive free education, free feeding, uniform, and medical care.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON, Religious Freedom / Persecution, Terrorism, Violence

The GAFCON Vice Chairman’s September 2019 Letter

This month, Archbishop Foley Beach has kindly invited me to write the monthly Chairman’s letter and it is a great joy to have this opportunity to write to you. I am full of thankfulness for God’s goodness and favour to the Gafcon movement as ordinary Anglicans around the world work together to make Christ known and encourage each other in faithful discipleship. As former Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has recently commented, the church should be a colony of heaven. It is our great calling to serve the Kingdom of God, and to strive to ensure that the world does not colonise the Church.

Gafcon is committed to strategic ministry as we proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations. This week, our Church Planting Network is holding its first annual conference in North Carolina with church planters from across the Communion in attendance and early next month there will be another Bishops Training Institute Conference, this time in Brazil and our first in South America.

Here in Rwanda there are also exciting developments. On 6th September, all eleven of our dioceses began a project coordinated by the Gafcon Church Planting network in partnership with mission agencies including CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) and the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). Each diocese has received a new motorcycle and a Jesus Film backpack for evangelism and church planting. This pilot project will enable us to reach more men, women and children all over Rwanda. It will be carefully monitored over the next ten months and I hope it can be developed to reach many more with the gospel around the world.

This is just one way in which Gafcon is reaching Anglicans at the grassroots and equipping for mission. However, we do need to ensure that we have global Anglican Communion structures which are fit for purpose and I am very much looking forward to welcoming bishops and their spouses from around the world to our Kigali 2020 Conference from 9th-14th June. The program is taking shape and I am very excited by all I believe the Lord will do among us as we meet together.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Rwanda, GAFCON

(Church Times) A C of E Priest quits for a GAFCON church plant

A vicar in the diocese of Truro is stepping down after 17 years to plant a new church community under the auspices of GAFCON, it was announced on Sunday.

The Vicar of Fowey, the Revd Philip de Grey-Warter, who is also Priest-in-Charge of Golant, said on Tuesday that he had “wrestled” with the decision since December, when the House of Bishops issued guidance on using the liturgy for the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to mark a person’s gender transition (News, 14 December 2018).

“We have been very clear that we are making this move in conscience and not telling anyone else what they ought to do,” he said. “We hope some people will come and plant with us, and there will be others who continue in the parish church. We want to ensure good relationships are maintained.”

In a letter for the parish newsletter, published last week, he wrote: “The General Synod and the House of Bishops of the Church of England currently seem less concerned to stick with the Bible than they are to appear ‘relevant’ by changing the message to suit our increasingly secular culture. . .

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), GAFCON, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(AI) GAFCON kept in the dark about Jonathan’s Fletcher alleged misconduct

Though Mr. Fletcher was removed from public ministry in 2017, he continued to hold himself out as a priest in his retirement and led an active ministry life. Following the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Andy Lines in Illinois by GAFCON archbishops last summer, a commissioning service was held in September 2018 at Emmanuel Church to inaugurate his English ministry. GAFCON Archbishops Peter Jensen and Ben Kwashi participated in the service.

The GAFCON spokesman explained: “The service was officiated by Robin Weekes [Emmanuel’s minister]. Jonathan Fletcher did a Q and A with Bishop Lines as part of the evening. The GAFCON global folks there did not know Jonathan’s PTO had been removed.”

He added that no one informed them of Fletcher’s status or the allegations of misconduct. Asked when Bishop Lines understood his long standing relationship with Fletcher may have been unhealthy, the spokesman said:

“Bishop Lines didn’t begin to recognize the nature of the abusive relationship until later in 2018 and didn’t fully come to grasp with it until the first quarter of 2019.”

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, GAFCON, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

The Gafcon Chairman Foley Beach’s letter for June 2019

Seeking to be Biblical Christians in a global age, participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference are busy proclaiming Jesus Christ faithfully to the nations by making disciples, evangelizing those who don’t know Jesus, and speaking into corruption, economic injustices, and moral concerns in their local communities. Here are just a few stories from around the world.

Earlier this month, a truly phenomenal gathering took place in Uganda with some two million pilgrims gathering at Namugongo near Kampala where 45 young men, both Anglicans and Roman Catholics, were martyred between 1885-87 for being unwilling to give into the sexually immoral demands of the King and his friends. In recent years, attendance has increased dramatically with many people coming from well beyond Uganda itself. It has become a great festival of worship, teaching, and fellowship demonstrating so wonderfully the vitality of African Christianity.

Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit of Kenya was invited to be the guest preacher at the Anglican Memorial and Archbishop Stanley Ntagali congratulated his fellow Gafcon Primate for his recent announcement that he would not be attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference, saying:

‘The liberals have their money, but we have the true gospel.’

The pilgrims responded with cheering and huge applause because they understood the lesson of the Ugandan martyrs that true discipleship in every generation is sacrificial and marked by the courage to stand firm in the face of ungodly opposition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, GAFCON, Theology, Theology: Evangelism & Mission, Theology: Scripture

A New Diocese & Bishop for the Church of Confessing Anglicans in New Zealand

[On May 17th]… representatives from twelve churches throughout New Zealand gathered and formed the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand. By the grace of God we are a new Anglican Diocese in these Islands, standing firmly in Anglican faith and practice, and structurally distinct from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

This new Diocese is united in the crucified, risen, ascended and glorified Christ, committed to the authority of the Bible, and dedicated to our common mission of proclaiming to all the good news of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. We praise God for his guidance and grace, and the sense of unity and common purpose we shared as we met.

We also prayerfully elected as our first Bishop the Rev. Jay Behan, Vicar of St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Christchurch. Jay is a man of humility and grace, committed to the authority of the Bible and the Lordship of Jesus. He is an excellent preacher and caring pastor, and will serve and lead the Diocese as together we seek to reach these Islands with the transforming power of the gospel.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia / NZ, GAFCON

The Gafcon Chairman’s May 2019 Letter

Firstly, we elected the Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Rwanda as the deputy chairman. Archbishop Mbanda is a tremendous man of God who has a proven track record of leadership in the cause of Jesus Christ. He replaces Archbishop Stanley Ntagali who has served with humility and grace; a powerful example of Christian leadership to us all.

Secondly, we recognised a new extra provincial diocese for faithful Anglicans in New Zealand. I was privileged to meet many of their leaders on a trip there just before the Primates Council meeting, and I thank God for their courage and vision in taking this historic step to secure the future of Anglican witness in New Zealand. Just this past week, these leaders held their first Synod that approved their Constitution and Canons, and elected the Rev. Jay Behan, vicar of St. Stephen’s, Christchurch, as their first bishop. His consecration is scheduled for October. Pray for him as he continues to lead!

Thirdly, we endorsed the formation of a tenth network to help us share the burdens of the Suffering Church, a reality brought home to us recently by the terrible loss of life caused by the Easter Sunday attacks on three churches in Sri Lanka. Coming out of our G19 Gathering in Dubai, this network will help us all serve the Lord with these sisters and brothers living in challenging contexts.

Fourthly, we announced a Global Bishops Conference to run from 8th-14th June 2020. This gathering, to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, has been made necessary by the fact that the 2020 Lambeth Conference is being conducted in violation of its own previous resolutions, especially Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Conference, which reaffirmed the biblical teaching on marriage and human sexuality. We will gather for excellent Bible teaching, worship, training, fellowship and counsel together regarding the challenges facing our sheep.

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Posted in GAFCON, Rwanda

Stephen Noll–GAFCON and the recent Partial ACC Meeting: A Response to Andrew Atherstone

Although Dr. Atherstone devotes most of his report on ACC-17 to matters of church order, he does note that “our deep doctrinal disagreements as Anglicans rumbled along in the background,” because provinces “have changed their doctrine of marriage.” It would appear that he considers “disagreement” on marriage to be among the issues requiring “discipline, differentiation, and even separation.”

His discussion of the 3-year set of restrictions – a.k.a. “consequences” – imposed on the Episcopal Church in 2016 is curious. He notes that these restrictions have now “timed out,” that “the situation is farcical,” and that the “consequences” need more substance, but he refrains from framing the issue in terms of repentance. What makes the situation farcical indeed is that fact that Communion “Instruments” did not require TEC to change its teaching or practice, and now they are talking about moving on to the “healing phase.” Common sense parenting teaches that you do not send a child to a “time-out” without requiring on his return an apology and a promise not to do it again!

Dr. Atherstone apparently considers this failure of discipline a reason for differentiation, personally at least. Hence he declined each day to take Communion with TEC delegates at ACC-17 and suggests that this practice should be offered at Lambeth 2020 because “we are all part of the Anglican Communion but we are not all ‘in communion.’” While one can sympathize with his dilemma, his response is strangely individualistic. Did he commend his position to others at ACC-17? He argues that by allowing separate eucharistic gatherings at official Anglican meetings, “it becomes possible to meet together and discuss our differences and common concern, without pretext…and the pain of our disunity motivates us to renewed efforts toward unity.” As I have argued (see here and here), sitting at table with false teachers at a church council is just as problematic as sitting at the Lord’s Table (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:12). Certainly the early church councils saw it this way (yes, Arius attended Nicaea but was defrocked and exiled from there).

Giving formal recognition to false teachers at a church council, even if it is on the pretext of “listening,” serves to legitimate their position (some call this “open reception”). This is precisely how revisionists advanced their innovations within the Episcopal Church and took them on to the Communion level.

Dr. Atherstone seems strangely naïve about how the game is played. He contrasts the “informal” way the meeting in Hong Kong was conducted with the tightly controlled agenda and autocratic rule by the chair, the table groups gagged by long lectures, and the avoidance of sensitive subjects (“we don’t do doctrine”). But this contrast is not a bug in the program, as they say, but a feature. Welcome to indaba!

His own attempt to bring resolution to the divisions at ACC-17 is revealing. On the key resolution concerning membership in Anglican bodies, he thought his “Oxford” amendment – that LGBTQ advocates should be “welcomed” rather than “included” – would make peace, and he was surprised when the Africans “found their voices and stood one after another to denounce the resolution.” Why should this be a surprise? Meeting after meeting for twenty years, they have strongly defended Lambeth Resolution I.10 and its normative statement that homosexual practice is “incompatible with Scripture” and “cannot be advised.”

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Consultative Council, GAFCON

Phil Ashey–GAFCON Gathers Bishops In June 2020 To Guard And Proclaim The Faith

…there is one development I wish to comment on: the announcement of a GAFCON Bishops Conference June 8-14, 2020 in Kigali Rwanda (prior to the July 2020 Lambeth Conference).

Of the Lambeth 2020 Conference of Bishops, the GAFCON Primates wrote:

“We were reminded of the words of Jeremiah 6:14, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Last year in Jerusalem our delegates urged us not to attend Lambeth 2020 if godly order in the Communion had not been restored. They respectfully called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to effect the necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility.

We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury. We note that, as it currently stands, the conference is to include provinces who continue to violate Lambeth Resolution I.10 thereby putting the conference itself in violation of its own resolution: failing to uphold faithfulness in marriage and legitimising practices incompatible with Scripture. This incoherence further tears the fabric of the Anglican Communion and undermines the foundations for reconciliation.”

Let’s not forget the context. The 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops passed Resolution I.10 upholding faithfulness in marriage between one man and one woman for life, abstinence in all other cases, and rejected as incompatible with the Bible homosexual “practice,” the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions and the ordination to Holy Orders of those in same-gender unions. This Resolution was passed by a vote of the overwhelming majority of bishops of the Anglican Communion (526-70).

Ten years later at the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury decided to suspend the practice of Anglican bishops declaring the official teaching of the Church through resolutions. For the first time, the Lambeth Conference engaged in small group Indaba discussions that resolved nothing. The 2002 institution of rites for the blessing of same sex unions in the Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) and the 2003 consecration of a Bishop in a same gender union in New Hampshire USA (TEC), in defiance of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) were allowed to stand unchallenged by the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Over 300 bishops….[declined to compromise the gospel and declined the invitation to attend] in protest of that advance decision by Canterbury, published the Jerusalem Declaration and formed Gafcon instead.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(David Ould) GAFCON affirms it won’t attend or observe The Partial Lambeth Conference of 2020

The GAFCON Primates consulted on the matter during their meeting this past week in Sydney and have written in response to Welby. While the contents of that letter have not been made public, I understand that they have made it very clear that the presence of those who participate in the consecration as bishops of actively partnered homosexuals, let alone the presence of those specific bishops, is in clear contravention of Resolution 1.10 Lambeth 98 and repeated calls for discipline from the Primates.

Beach also noted that Welby has sought to persuade conservatives to attend Lambeth by claiming that Resolution 1.10 will be reopened for debate and that if they do not attend, they may lose the vote. He went on to observe that continuous attendance at other meetings had simply failed to achieve anything and that “we’ve found that our voice is louder when we don’t attend certain events so we’re not manipulated from within them”.

Speaking to the matter a little later in the meeting, Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney pointed out that it was “incongruous” to not invite the spouses of those gay bishops when the bishops themselves were the issue. On the question of whether they would attend Lambeth he said “we’re going to remain firm”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Australia / NZ, GAFCON, Instruments of Unity, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A Communiqué from the Gafcon Primates Council

We were reminded of the words of Jeremiah 6:14, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Last year in Jerusalem our delegates urged us not to attend Lambeth 2020 if godly order in the Communion had not been restored. They respectfully called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to effect the necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility.

We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury. We note that, as it currently stands, the conference is to include provinces who continue to violate Lambeth Resolution I.10 thereby putting the conference itself in violation of its own resolution: failing to uphold faithfulness in marriage and legitimising practices incompatible with Scripture. This incoherence further tears the fabric of the Anglican Communion and undermines the foundations for reconciliation….

On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020. On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the Communion to be restored. Therefore, we have decided to call together a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Communion in June of 2020. The conference will be primarily designed for those who will not be attending Lambeth, but all bishops of the Anglican Communion who subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth Resolution I.10 are invited to join in this time of teaching, worship, and fellowship. We shall meet June 8-14 in Kigali, Rwanda, and be hosted by Archbishop Laurent Mbanda and the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON

(AI) Statement from GAFCON chairman Archbishop Foley Beach on Canterbury’s invitation to ACNA to observe the partial Lambeth Conference of 2020

The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of GAFCON writes from Sydney:

Yesterday I received a letter from Archbishop Justin just moments before the invitation was reported online. I read the online report first and was disappointed to see that the original “news” source had furthered a partisan, divisive, and false narrative by wrongly asserting that I left the Anglican Communion. I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so.

I did transfer out of a revisionist body that had left the teaching of the Scriptures and the Anglican Communion and I became canonically resident in another province of the Anglican Communion. I have never left. For the Anglican Church in North America to be treated as mere “observers” is an insult to both our bishops, many of whom have made costly stands for the Gospel, and the majority of Anglicans around the world who have long stood with us as a province of the Anglican Communion.

Once I have had a chance to review this with our College of Bishops and the Primates Council of the Global Anglican Future Conference I will respond more fully.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, GAFCON

A Statement from Archbishop Ben Kwashi, following the Easter Sunday atrocities in Sri Lanka

Greetings to you in Peace.

Yesterday suicide bombers unleashed death and destruction as unsuspecting Sri Lankan Christians gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Together with those killed in hotels, the death toll has reached 310, with many more injured, and our hearts go out in prayer for all who have been caught up in these deeply traumatic events.

News of this atrocity came through just before I preached at All Souls Langham Place and let me repeat what I said then, “The resurrection of Jesus is a total defeat of death and of those who would want to use death to scare people off from faith in Jesus. His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.”

At our recent conference in Dubai, Gafcon resolved to stand with the Suffering Church and this will be a leading agenda item for our Primates Council as it meets in Sydney next week. Meanwhile, in this Easter week let us remember that the one who drew alongside two sad and discouraged disciples on the Emmaus road was the Risen Christ who yet still bore the wounds of the cross. By death he has destroyed death and he will be with us until the very end in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Risen Lord be with you!

 

Archbishop Ben Kwashi, Gafcon General Secretary

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Easter, Eschatology, GAFCON, Sri Lanka, Terrorism, Theology

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh–the Gafcon Chairman’s March Letter

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.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON

The Gafcon G19 Conference Statement

7. As faithful Anglicans, the love of God and His gospel is at the heart of who we are and what we do. We give thanks for the opportunity we have had to join with brothers and sisters in shared fellowship. Our week together has confirmed our shared appreciation of, and submission to, God’s revelation of himself through Scripture to which, by the grace of God, we seek to hold, even in the most adverse situations.

8. We shared in the joy and suffering faced by many of our brothers and sisters living in restricted situations as they seek to remain faithful to Christ.

9. We heard of the sense of betrayal they experience when the very gospel for which they are suffering is being undermined and denied in other parts of the Anglican Communion. It grieves us that those who reject the clarity and authority of the Scriptures, the universal teaching of the Church, the classical Anglican formularies and the decisions of the Lambeth Conference undermine the credibility of our witness amongst our fellow citizens of other faiths and of none.

We respectfully continue to urge that all faithful Anglican provinces, including the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Province of Brazil, be invited to future Anglican gatherings.
At the same time, we ask that those provinces, bishops and clergy who, in word or action, openly disregard the teaching of the Church as described, for example, by Resolution I:10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, should not be invited unless they repent of their actions and their consequences.

Read it all.

Posted in GAFCON

(CEN) Second Gafcon Conference meets in the Middle East

A second Gafcon conference [in the past year] was held in the Middle East at the end of February that brought a current witness of ministry among war, suffering and persecution.

The G19 Conference director Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali told the The Church of England Newspaper that “a good number of faithful Anglicans could not attend Gafcon in Jerusalem last year, so a conference was arranged at a place accessible to them.

“More than 100 leaders from 12 nations attended (in all 4 primates, 31 bishops and ‘internal provincial’ archbishops, 44 clergy and 59 lay leaders) from the Middle East, South Asia, and East and West Africa.”

He said that these were fellow Christians that ‘we must not isolate’.

“Some churches who were able to attend Gafcon last year sent leaders to encourage but also to learn from the main participants, who bring the dimension of suffering to Gafcon –correcting any temptation to triumphalism.

“Participants said the conference exceeded their expectations – for fellowship, teaching, and engagement. All delegates were involved in prayer groups, discussion groups, and developing the conference statement which will be available on the Gafcon website.

“This was a gathering of the suffering and restricted church, but they were hungry for bible teaching, and exuberant in worship. Their witness should be central to the life and work of the Anglican Communion.”

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in GAFCON, Middle East

(TLC Covenant) Ephraim Radner–Cleaning Up The Playing Field: Six Resolutions For Lambeth

1. This Conference reaffirms the 1998 Resolution I.10.

There is no need at this conference to revisit the rationales and counter-arguments about this resolution. It has been reaffirmed several times in other Communion contexts, and in the past 20 years there have been no significant new pieces of information — scriptural, dogmatic, sociological, or medical — that have altered the shape of the theological and pastoral realities surrounding this debate. And the debate has raged unabated, so that it requires no renewed engagement. Let the conference decide.

2. Those bishops and churches who contradict or contravene this affirmation (I.10), or who punish others on the basis of this affirmation, stand outside the boundaries of Anglican teaching and witness as this Conference understands it.

This resolution is aimed solely at definition, for the sake of Anglicans and for the sake of others — Christians and non-Christians — who seek clarity about what the conference means with regard to its identity by making its affirmation regarding I.10. No penalties are proposed; no systems of adjudication are offered.

3. We request that other Communion Instruments of Unity pursue their work on the basis of this teaching and witness.

This resolution marks a simple request for Communion coherence on the matters taken up in I.10. The conference cannot impose its corporate views on other functioning councils or leaders of the Communion (though many will have participated in the conference). But by making it clear that the “understanding of this conference” is one ordered to the unity of Anglican teaching and witness, it lays out some of the parameters according to which any future rethinking of the Communion’s deliberative structures can be measured.

4. We recognize the missionary and pastoral integrity of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and its related member churches; and we urge serious deliberation, locally and at the international level, over how these churches can be integrated fully into the life of the Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Ecclesiology, GAFCON, Instruments of Unity, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A February 2019 Message from Gafcon Chariman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

It came to light last month that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s newly appointed envoy to the Vatican had a history of disputing core Christian doctrine, including a widely circulated video in which he calls for people to be ‘set free’ from belief in a physical resurrection. Dr John Shepherd has responded by issuing a statement which apparently affirms belief that Jesus was raised bodily, but has not repudiated his previous statements to the contrary. Such confusion is itself an obstacle to the gospel.

We have also learned with deep concern that the Assistant Bishop of Toronto, Kevin Robertson, entered into a same sex union using the marriage service in St James’ Cathedral, Toronto. This step by the Anglican Church of Canada underlines the urgency of our advice in the Jerusalem 2018 ‘Letter to the Churches’ warning against attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as currently constituted. For the first time assistant bishops and their spouses will be invited, so we can expect that Bishop Robertson and his partner will be attending and received in good standing.

Over two hundred bishops did not come to Lambeth 2008 as a matter of conscience because Archbishop Rowan Williams invited the TEC bishops who had approved the consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson, a man in a same sex partnership, against the clearly stated mind of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, but even Archbishop Williams did not invite Gene Robinson himself on the grounds that he reserved the right not to invite bishops who had caused very serious division or scandal. But now it seems to be considered that a bishop can be married to a same-sex partner in a cathedral, by another bishop, and yet remain in good standing. I strongly commend Professor Stephen Noll’s article ‘Taking Sweet Council Together’ in which he shows how true Christian fellowship is not only a joy, but also a responsibility and must be based on true doctrine. Without that discipline, the Church is prey to the ‘fierce wolves’ St Paul warns the Ephesian elders to beware of, even those who arise from within the Church and speak ‘twisted things’ (Acts 20:29,30).

With great sadness we therefore have to conclude that the Lambeth Conference of 2020 will itself be an obstacle to the gospel by embracing teaching and a pattern of life which are profoundly at odds with the biblical witness and the apostolic Christianity through the ages.

St Paul was prepared to ‘endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ’.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Gafcon’s new General Secretrary Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi Introduces Himself

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Church of Nigeria, GAFCON