9/02/2009

FOCA Meeting in South Africa: Give it up.

The GAFCON site, not noted for much news, has this tidbit to offer:

"THE FELLOWSHIP OF CONFESSING ANGLICANS – SOUTHERN AFRICA

Be Faithful! Conference September 3rd 2009

ST JOHN’S CHURCH Cnr. Church Road & 8th Avenue Walmer Port Elizabeth -

Doors will open at 08.30. (Registration will be available at the door). An exhibition with stands from a number of organizations and societies will be open.

So beginning tomorrow (today actually given the time difference) FOCA is out to start a Southern Africa branch of its efforts.

The notice on this meeting includes this:

"Vinay Samuel, a speaker On Septemer 3 says:

Gafcon is defined by its centre and not by any boundaries. It is a fellowship of people who affirm the centre of orthodox faith as expressed in the Jerusalem Statement. Some who are uncertain whether they are in or out might be finding boundaries which were never intended by those who have taken the initiative to launch this fellowship.”

Some orthodox Anglicans distance themselves from GAFCCON/FCA while affirming that they have much in common with the Jerusalem Statement and with the initiators of FCA. They are as keen to be seen as “inclusive” as they are to be seen as Orthodox. Inclusion is elevated to as important a basis for fellowship as orthodox faith. As an Indian Christian who lives in the west I am no stranger to exclusion, but I do not believe a biblical understanding of inclusion supports such a view.”

It is the intention of FCA Southern Africa to seek to support those in this Region who hold and support this center of orthodox faith. We intend to hold at least one annual meeting for teaching and fellowship, to strengthen the quality of biblical teaching and preaching.

We also hope to become a fellowship where all, who hold the ‘Anglican expression’ of the Christian faith dear, but are now divided for whatever reasons of history may have the opportunity to meet share and perhaps in God’s grace find a path to strengthen unity once more. We also hope that all who hold the plain teachings of scripture dear may also find value in this fellowship."

Here we see several themes for the days ahead. FOCA dismisses the third moratorium, that of incursion into other provinces, by claiming that it works beyond boundaries. FOCA also wants to distance itself from what some have called "indiscriminate inclusiveness," claiming instead that inclusion happens in the context of discrimination.

These themes are being tested now against the day that is coming when FOCA, GAFCON, the Communion Partners, and the Primates who have beein in constant disregard of the Windsor Report's request that they stand down from incursions, are brought to critical judgment. On that day the GAFCON / FOCA groups want to clearly state that they are against inclusiveness that goes beyond what they consider the biblical mandate. On that day they want to be able to maintain that the Gospel knows no boundaries and therefore the ancient admonition that bishops not muck about in others jurisdictions are null and void.

So FOCA Southern Africa is another stepping stone in support of these positions.

The problem is that as far as I know almost no one who is a Christian is involved in indiscriminate inclusion. Event the most inclusive see the invitation to inclusion as a stepping stone to conversion or reanimation of faith. And, as far as I know, no bishop or Primate is interested in others mucking about in their back yard.

No, FOCA is about spreading a false message. It wants to claim that progressives are indiscriminate in their inclusion of those without faith or morals and discriminate in their exclusion of persons of faith who are evangelical, conservative, or biblical materialists.

This stuff is rot. Of course fewer and fewer people give a damn, since the irrelevance of all this is so great that most people of faith throw up their hands and simply go back to Church, always local, and always none the less Universal. FOCA is a throwaway. It is the propaganda front for people fighting issues that are dead issues. In the end FOCA will be seen to be what it is: an irrelevance.

5 comments:

  1. The GAFCON site, not noted for much news . . .

    Well, you know, they figure their news was once delivered. :D

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  2. Mark,

    A belated congratulations on the birth of your grandson.

    I loved your last paragraph, especially the part about “most people of faith throw up their hands and simply go back to Church”. I pray it is so. - C

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  3. FOCA South africa is largely the Church of England in South Africa. A deniomination ( not wuithin the Anglican Communion ) who refused to join the Anglican Province of Southafrica in 1871. Nurtured by Sydney...it is a thriving denomination butv very liberal on divorce and re-marriage.

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  4. FOCA South Africa is largely the outside anglican Communion deniomination callled the Church of England in South Africa. Staunchly evangelical but liberal on divorce.

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  5. And for those of us who don't treasure the plain words of the bible but rather find our delight in the numerous opaque portions, well, I guess we are left outside. LOL

    The parallels between these people and the American conservative/Republican craziness are striking, to say the least.

    Howling about a president urging children to work hard in school, accusing him of forming death panels and being a Nazi, etc. are one and the same with the FOCA folks' rhetoric about heretical liberal terrorists within the church.

    At some point the gentle, loving Christ-like folk of TEC, the CoE, etc. are going to have to come to terms with the fact that a particularly large part of the conservative movement worldwide are observably insane and dangerous.

    Jesus can reach their troubled minds and hearts but we must figure out how to allow him to do his work while preventing the damage they do to so many everywhere they go. It is the moral thing to do. Pray for South Africa.

    Priscilla

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