GAFCON Chairman's Pastoral Statement

To the Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends
from Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya
and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council

29th January 2014

”˜”¦by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God’ 2 Corinthians 4:2

…We cannot therefore allow our time and energy to be sapped by debating that which God has already clearly revealed in the Scriptures. Earlier this week, the English College of Bishops met to reflect upon the ”˜Pilling Report’, commissioned to reflect on how the Church of England should respond to the question of same sex relationships. Its key recommendations were that informal blessings of such unions should be allowed in parish churches and that a two year process of ”˜facilitated conversation’ should be set up to address strongly held differences within the Church on this issue.

While we should be thankful that the College of Bishops did not adopt the idea of services for blessing that which God calls sin, it did unanimously approve the conversation process and this is deeply troubling. There has been intensive debate within the Anglican Communion on the subject of homosexuality since at least the 1998 Lambeth Conference and it is difficult to believe that the bishop’s indecision at this stage is due to lack of information or biblical reflection. The underlying problem is whether or not there is a willingness to accept the bible for what it really is, the Word of God.

At Lambeth 1998, the bishops of the Anglican Communion, by an overwhelming majority, affirmed in Resolution 1.10 that homosexual relationships were not compatible with Scripture, in line with the Church’s universal teaching through the ages, but the Pilling Report effectively sets this aside. The conversations it proposes are not to commend biblical teaching on marriage and family, but are based on the assumption that we cannot be sure about what the bible says.

I cannot therefore commend the proposal by the College of Bishops that these ”˜facilitated conversations ”˜ should be introduced across the Communion. This is to project the particular problems of the Church of England onto the Communion as a whole. As with ”˜Continuing Indaba’, without a clear understanding of biblical authority and interpretation, such dialogue only spreads confusion and opens the door to a false gospel because the Scriptures no longer function in any meaningful way as a test of what is true and false…

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Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Featured (Sticky), GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

12 comments on “GAFCON Chairman's Pastoral Statement

  1. Katherine says:

    An excellent statement. No provinces should participate in these “facilitated conversations” in any way.

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Thank you Archbishop Eliud. God bless you.

  3. Ross Gill says:

    [blockquote]In the year ahead we must resolve to devote ourselves to the great biblical mandate to make disciples of all nations which was the focus of our gathering in Nairobi. . . We cannot therefore allow our time and energy to be sapped by debating that which God has already clearly revealed in the Scriptures. [/blockquote]

    Precisely!!! The endless debates and facilitated conversations can wear people down as they are designed to do it would seem. They can’t do it, though, if people refuse to participate. Anything that distracts the Church from devoting itself to its primary purpose must be viewed with deep suspicion about where it is actually coming from.

  4. Dan Crawford says:

    Would that bishops everywhere would speak so forthrightly.

  5. Br. Michael says:

    What Ross said!!

  6. Ralph says:

    Where’s it actually coming from? I cannot get this image out of my head:

    Just as God has angels, so the devil has its messengers. It seems to me that ABp Wabukala is making this quite clear. Any brother bishop who would promote a different message is in desparate need of spiritual direction.

  7. farstrider+ says:

    A man born “for such a time as this,” thanks be to God.

  8. SC blu cat lady says:

    I hope as many provinces and dioceses will refuse to participate in these “conversations” realizing that it is not dialogue that is wanted it is acquiesce to the *new thang*. As Archbishop Wabukala said- but in much more polite terms- enough is enough, we are not going along with this nonsense!

  9. Karen B. says:

    Excellent. Very thankful for this clear statement and stand by Abp. Wabukala and the GAFCON Primates.

  10. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “It places our fellowship under the written word of God, which ‘is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading’. Here we have a solid foundation for the responsible reading of the Bible which preserves its transformative power. As John the Evangelist writes ‘these things are written so that you may believe…..and that by believing you may have life’ (John 20:31).” [/blockquote]
    Amen. Debate is not needed when there is no real doubt about what the Bible is saying.

    Scripture can be difficult to understand, sometimes. But most human difficulties with Scripture aren’t because we don’t understand it, but because we understand it only too well … 😉

  11. tired says:

    [10] Yes. It is not that some Anglicans do not understand the biblical teaching. It is that they do not like it.

  12. Fr. Dale says:

    Archbishop Eliud Wabukala sounds more concerned about the WWAC than the myopic ABC who named a baptism as one of his highlights so far but neglected to mention his trip to GAFCON as a highlight.