1/31/2008

GAFCON's SpokesArchbishop Akinola stirs the pot.

The GAFCON pot is boiling and new descriptions of its tasks and vision are being thrown in daily. On January 30th the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, held a press conference on the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). You can read it HERE.

Several choice comments from the Archbishop (emphasis mine):

"...(GAFCON) is called by those members of the Anglican Family who see themselves as orthodox Anglicans, who are upholding the authority of scriptures, and believe that the time has come to come together to fashion the future of our Anglican family. This has to be done within a theological framework. They (the Theology Resource Team) will be producing a book to help all members of the conference to study beforehand. That book will cover the themes for the conference. What are the challenges? Why are some people deviating from the orthodox faith? Why are they allowing modern culture to overwhelm the word of God. They will be highlighting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over his church and over the world. If the Lord is king why are people not following his leadership? Why are people interpreting this word in a way that suits their fancy?"

I think it is time to call the Archbishop's remarks what they are: the remarks of uncontrolled arrogance.

"What led to GAFCON? It is a very long story. In the last five years we have had this endless controversy in the Anglican Communion. To the world this is about homosexuality. To us it is just a symptom of the real problem. Homosexuality is not peculiar to Anglicans but Anglicans have the courage to discuss it openly. The issue is that there are members of our Anglican family who are not paying attention to scripture, but are giving prominence to modern culture. They are bringing new principles to interpret scripture. The word of God has precedence over any culture. Those of us who will abide with the Word of God, come rain come fire, are those who are in GAFCON.

Those who say it does not matter are the ones who are attending Lambeth. There might be a view, for whatever it is worth, that they want to be there to observe what is going on. But Uganda, Rwanda, Sydney, Nigeria: we are not going to Lambeth conference. What is the use of the Lambeth conference for a three weeks’ jamboree which will sweep these issues under the carpet. GAFCON will confer about the future of the church, which will set a road map for the future. We are a movement that will move away from the “maybe - maybe not”.

The issue is that church leaders are endorsing what is wrong. They are not willing to make the gospel that the Lord can bring change available. We want to move forward with commitment to the word of God. The question is asked how many people we are. The question is rather how many people we are representing. Four primates who are in the leadership of GAFCON represent more than 30 million Anglicans."

Here in just a few paragraphs is the essence of the Archbishop's argument for GAFCON, the relation of this conference to Lambeth and just who is doing this.

GAFCON is about Scripture and Modern Culture. Lambeth is not and Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Sydney are not going. The conference is about a road map for the future of the church. The four primates represent 30 million Anglicans.

GAFCON is about forming a new Communion of bible-belt Anglicans.

The fourth point of the Lambeth Quadrilateral speaks of the historic episcopate locally adapted in the methods of its administration. It turns out that "locally adapted in its methods of administration" has come to include ripping out the leg of reason, trimming the leg of tradition, both of which have a large dose of "modern culture" to them, and sitting on the post of scripture. Well, so be it. When the Archbishop dozes off, he will fall over.
When he gets up, the Archbishop will no longer be an Anglican.

There it is.

8 comments:

  1. Viriato da Silva31/1/08 11:33 AM

    "The four primates represent 30 million Anglicans."

    Er, but +Sydney is not ++Australia; no primate is he.

    As for the assumption that all whose primate is a Realigner are themselves Realigners, while the Realigners recognize that many whose primate is a Reasserter are Realigners, well, such non-reciprocal assumptions of uniformity are, of course, simply absurd.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The archbishop already is not an Anglican. We await only recognition of that fact from either Lagos or Canterbury. Given the utter lack of leadership or perception in Canterbury, I am betting on the recognition coming from Lagos.

    I think the phenomena that is being missed here is that the absence of leadership from England is largely about the perception of all places Rome. For some reason (I do NOT get it) the English really want to see some sort of reapprochment with Rome. The Roman perception that we are too open on lesbian / gay clerics and families is I think, a major component in the thinking of ++York and ++Canterbury.

    That, recognition from Benny too many, is what Dr. Williams is willing to sacrifice his friend Fr. Jeffery John, his own theology, and with relative ease, +Gene and the North American churches to get.

    ;;sigh;;

    FWIW
    jimB

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  3. Mark,

    You pulled the right quotes out of the press conference, especially the list of who will not be going to Lambeth, and why. This is eye-opening, and of course, there's nary a peep over at SF.

    Cheers,

    RFSJ

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jim, Canterbury doesn't have the authority to declare a province out of the communion without the agreement of the rest of the provinces. This is one of the things thats been protecting TEC's place in the communion; we'd do well not to challenge it. It also means that it's very hard for Canterbury to declare Nigeria out of communion until after Lagos declares it.

    In a way that also highlights what strikes me as the foundation for how Canterbury is making his decisions. He seems to me to be trying to lead the communion in doing discernment in community, rather than playing political games.

    Jon

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  5. Jon,

    I suppose what we mean by declaring a province out of the Anglican Communion. Canterbury, with York's agreement can act to drop communion with province for the CoE. As has been so lamentably demonstrated in the case of +Gene, they can also make Lambeth unavailable.

    I suppose that technically, the ACC membership would still exist, but who would care? He could act, but he wont. That should probably be appropriately inscribed over his coat of arms, "He could act but wont."

    ;;sigh;;

    FWIW
    jimB

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll suggest my:

    http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/02/global-anglican-communion-blueprint.html

    and

    http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/gafconblueprint.html

    For more detail on all of this specifically. The press conference and lecture lays out plans in some substance. They are, though, on a road to their own sect.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nom de Plume4/2/08 10:57 AM

    So Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Sydney won't go to Lambeth. There is a French saying that "les absents ont toujours tort" ("the absent are always wrong").

    If the shoe fits...

    ReplyDelete
  8. nom de plume....your comments could have been applied to Cranmer.....


    The important question is, why does TEC compromise (eg BO33) to stay in the AC when the AC is clearly trying to keep the GS and not be completely cut off from Rome....

    It is not just the ABC who has sold out VGR, is it?
    How can TEC bishops go to Lambeth when he is not invited?
    Akinola is very clear that if Minns does not go, he and his bishops will not go to Lambeth.....but VGR does not get this support from TEC bishops, does he?

    ReplyDelete

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