The Gafcon Chairman’s October Pastoral letter for 2014

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

24th October 2014

”˜The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:2,3

My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

It is my great joy to be writing to you twelve months after GAFCON 2 here in Nairobi! Please join with me in giving thanks to God for the great blessing of that wonderful time of fellowship, teaching and renewal. Despite many challenges, we brought together 1358 delegates, including 331 bishops, from 39 countries ”“ and we paid all the bills! We eagerly look forward to GAFCON 3, but in the meantime there is much work for us to do.

The recent news that Lambeth 2018 has been postponed, perhaps indefinitely, is the latest sign that the old institutions of the Communion no longer command confidence. We must remember that the fundamental reason for this is doctrinal. We are divided because the Faith is threatened by unbiblical teaching.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology

5 comments on “The Gafcon Chairman’s October Pastoral letter for 2014

  1. Katherine says:

    How interesting that the new GAFCON Operations Manager will be based in London.

  2. Marie Blocher says:

    Leadership steps into the vacuum.
    Thanks be to God!

  3. MichaelA says:

    “The recent news that Lambeth 2018 has been postponed, perhaps indefinitely, is the latest sign that the old institutions of the Communion no longer command confidence.”

    It must have seemed like such an easy way out of any unpleasantness to the leaders of CofE – just postpone the Lambeth Conference! After all, when they allow true debate, unforeseen things happen. Like Resolution 1.10 in 1998 – put forward from the floor against the wishes of the hierarchy and then passed overwhelmingly by the bishops present. And when they don’t allow true debate like in 2008, they get criticized for that reason – they just can’t win, poor dears.

    But when they postpone the Lambeth Conference, they just leave the door open for ++Wabukala to say what he has said here.

  4. MichaelA says:

    “We must remember that the fundamental reason for this is doctrinal. We are divided because the Faith is threatened by unbiblical teaching.”


  5. New Reformation Advocate says:

    While I agree with the opinions so far expressed on this thread, I will add my typical cautionary comment about the need for more precise language. While I applaud the boldness and clarity with which ++Wabukala has upheld the cause of defending and promoting the Gospel and biblical, orthodox Christian doctrine within Anglicanism, I can only give him two cheers here, not three. Yes, he’s right about so much, that it may seem nit-picky to object to his phrasing on one key point, but I earnestly believe that that key point is an essential one that we ignore to our peril.

    As I’ve said on related threads, I think it’s quite misleading and confusing to talk as if “the Anglican Communion” is undergoing a major realignment; much less one that is already in effect a [I]fait accompli[/I] and an unstoppable process. What I suspect he meant, or what I suggest he should have said is that global Anglicanism is the entity that has undergone and is continuing to undergo this drastic realignment and renewal. But it’s needlessly confusing and unhelpful to perpetuate the false notion that global Anglicanism is synonymous with “the Anglican Communion.” The two can’t and shouldn’t be treated as equivalent.

    In effect, taken at face value, the GFCA Chairman’s wording suggests that the GAFCON/GFCA movement, together with our allies in the wider Global South Anglican world, is laying claim to the title deeds for “the Anglican Communion.” But that at least begs the answer to the vital question, “Who speaks for ‘the Anglican Communion’ anyway??” Notice that the question is NOT, “Who speaks for the vast majority of the world’s Anglicans?” Nor is it the similar question, “Who speaks for authentic prayerbook religion of the classic Anglican sort?”

    My point is that our contemporary dilemma results precisely from the unprecedented situation that the three questions are no longer variant ways of asking the same thing, because “the Anglican Communion” is no longer even close to being equivalent to the majority of the world’s faithful Anglicans.

    As admirable as they are in so many ways, I don’t think the GFCA leaders are being bold and clear enough. They are right in refusing to let the four discredited Instruments of Unity get away with pretending that they speak for global Anglicanism as a whole when they don’t. But I don’t think that our worthy leaders have yet thought through the problem sufficiently, and faced the grim, harsh reality that “the Anglican Communion” is hopelessly doomed. It has been torn apart by the reckless actions of rogue provinces like TEC and the ACoC, aided and abetted by the reprehensible actions and inactions of ++Rowan Williams, the ACO’s Kenneth Kearon, and other pro-gay, relativistic sympathizers.

    Those old institutional structures for the Communion haven’t just been rendered useless or gravely compromised since orthodox Anglicans around the globe have “lost confidence” in those inherited institutional structures. No, those old wineskins have been torn apart, and are beyond repair. Our Master warned about the folly of trying to patch up old wineskins that have outlasted their usefulness (Mark 2:22, etc.).

    We need to start thinking (and talking) more realistically and honestly. We can’t rescue “the Anglican Communion.” But we can rescue biblical, classical Anglicanism. But the potent new wine that is fermenting and expanding around the world desperately needs new institutional wineskins to hold and shape it at the global, inter-provincial level.

    Or to change analogies, the makeshift, ad-hoc (and highly colonial) structures that have marked global Anglicanism ever since the first Lambeth Conference met in 1868 resemble a large, but very confining flower pot. Global Anglicanism has outgrown the pot it was originally planted in. It has outgrown the confines of the CoE as the Mother Church. It has outgrown the confines of the old British Empire (or today’s Commonwealth) or the Anglo (white-skinned, English-speaking) world. The shoe must not tell the foot how large it can grow. The pot must not tell the flourishing bush how large it can grow either.

    Let’s face facts. “The Anglican Communion” won’t survive the travails of this bitter Anglican Civil War. But that’s OK. The valuable stuff, the new wine, can be saved by pouring it into new institutional wineskins. And the GFCA/Global South coalition, including the ACNA and the fledgling AMiE, represents the first steps in that direction. Prayerbook religion can and must be detached from the four inherited Instruments of Unity that are only fostering disunity in our time. It’s high time to think more radically and to start intentionally creating the new institutional framework or system of polity that will allow biblical, classical Anglicanism to be transplanted, so that it can continue to grow and thrive in the new social context that is thrust upon us in the 21st century.

    But to admit that, and to celebrate it, means facing up to the harsh reality that what we’re talking about isn’t the mere Realignment of Anglicanism in our time. It’s that, of course, but it’s far more than that. This isn’t mere Renewal either. No, this is nothing less than…

    you guessed it….

    the New Reformation.

    The 500th anniversary of the start of the (original) Protestant Reformation is only three years away. But the Second Reformation is already underway, for those with the eyes to see it.

    David Handy+