6/23/2018

GAFCON meeting separates itself from Hell bent Anglican leaders. Good luck with that.


From the very first day the Global Anglican Future Conference Jerusalem 2018, (GAFCON 2018) it was clear: the GAFCON Churches and those not part of GAFCON in the Anglican Communion are nearing total separation. Phil Ashey wrote following the first day,

"It seems to me that ... this is a day to lay our foundations for differentiating ourselves once and for all from any Anglican leaders and structures that are turning people away from the gospel of Jesus Christ to “a different Gospel, which is really no gospel at all.” (Galatians 1:6-7). And the reason it is time for us to differentiate ourselves now is that those Anglican leaders and structures that are proclaiming a different gospel are leading people away from Christ and into hell."

Well, there it is: the GAFCON crowd, through the eyes of the American Anglican Council, well known for having been the western voice behind the voices of GAFCON, along with a smattering of British Evangelicals, has flat out decided that The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of England, the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, and several other Churches in the Communion are proclaiming a different gospel and are "leading people away from Christ and into hell."

Whatever the sense in years past that there was a meeting possible between those churches that belong to GAFCON and those that are not is pretty well dead. We (and it is a sizable "we," are leading people away from Christ and into hell."

Now we have the final declaration of the GAFCON conference, a "Letter to the Churches - GAFCON Assembly 2018." It makes the matter of impending major division immediately clear:

"As the Gafcon movement matures, it has also seen the need for a more conciliar structure of governance. We endorse the formation of Gafcon Branches where necessary and of a Panel of Advisors, comprising bishops, clergy and lay representatives from each Gafcon Province and Branch, to provide counsel and advice to the Primates Council. Together with the Primates, the Panel of Advisors form a Synodical Council to bring recommendations to the Gafcon Assembly. The Synodical Council met for the first time at this Conference.

In light of the recommendations of the Synodical Council, we respectfully urge the Archbishop of Canterbury
to invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil and
not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.

In the event that this does not occur, we urge Gafcon members to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion."


The Letter addresses several other matters, but it is this "urging" that stands to put the most pressure on the Anglican Communion structures and instruments of governance.


It is important to note that GAFCON now considers itself to have a synodical system in place. It is the "Synodical Council" of GAFCON that is making the demands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, et al.


It should also be noted that while the Synodical Council "respectfully urge(s)" that the Archbishop of Canterbury invite ACNA and the so-called "Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil" to the Lambeth Conference and expel or not invite The Episcopal Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican/ Episcopal Church of Brazil, it follows that by a threat issued, again as an urging, that GAFCON Provinces and other Provinces friendly to their cause do not send their own bishops to Lambeth. 


The Church of England is not on the list, but GAFCON has begun a mission in England and Europe to counter all those nasty church leaders in England, and New Zealand is about to be next. But you better believe that if Canterbury does not act as urged, they will be on the scumbag list as well.

So the urging is accompanied by the threat of boycott and the spread of missions from GAFCON in England and Europe. All of this borders on demand and threat of a total break.

With all the politeness of the statement, the reality is that GAFCON now considers the Churches on its list of unrepentant Anglicans to be preaching a false gospel which is no gospel at all, and leading people to hell. As a self-proclaimed synod, it now has met and has issued what certainly looks like a statement of anathema concerning the suspect Churches.

So now the question is, what will the Archbishop of Canterbury do, and in turn what will GAFCON leadership do. There are apparently some bishops in GAFCON provinces that intend to attend Lambeth. If the ABC does not disinvite bishops as urged, there will be strong pressure on them not to go. If GAFCON provinces stay away and encourage other Global South provinces to do so, the Anglican Communion becomes less global than otherwise hoped for or expected.

Interestingly, the Anglican Communion has never had a synodical character (which is why 1998 Lambeth 1.10 is not a binding document). What GAFCON wants to do is finally establish Synod of churches out of the Anglican tradition, replacing national or regional synods with a supposedly worldwide structure. And GAFCON is out to make sure it is based on a one-sided read of Anglican history and theology.


One additional note, GAFCON has a new chairman, namely the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America, which GAFCON recognizes as a Province. See the report HERE.  I might also commend the Living Church's pages on GAFCON for further reading.

So GAFCON is becoming a Synod, entire to itself. Good luck with that. I want no part of a worldwide Anglican Synod. Period. We Anglicans may be, as Archbishop Tutu once suggested, "untidy" but that beats being branded as churches with no gospel at all leading our people to hell. And those who are bent on being tidy are ready to clean house.

In these wondrous times most of us with any sense at all don't have time to follow and walk with Jesus and at the same time put up with this nonsense.

3 comments:

  1. I don't get it/them...are they a powerful inspiration for right and good or only a threatening gang of troublemakers blaming and shaming other Anglicans? For me I feel the hate and I am not the least bit afraid of their verbal assault, threats or their smear campaign (with or without being Gay) Leonard/Len

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  2. It is hard to conceive of Gafcon ‘leaving’ the Communion when they represent about 70% of it.

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  3. Just for haha's I checked in to see what Anne Carlson Kennedy - who I figured would be there with her infamous husband Matt - might have to say. Here's what she wrote at her blog over at Patheos.

    <<"The day before (don’t know one day from another, honestly) we went through the old City of David excavation. Big portions of the hill have been dug away to reveal the wall of that ancient city, and the houses that were built right under David’s palace. Very easy to imagine, standing there, David above, shading his eyes and scanning the descending roofs for any bathing ladies. Every time someone says to me, “We’re making history,” I am now always going to ask, “What kind?”>>

    I love the subtle innuendo. She seems nonplussed by this, of course (In the pictorial dictionary, her picture is right next to that word), which means that this decision was, for the GAFCON-ites, a Really Big Deal.

    I point this out only to say that it underscores for me that, after a little more than a decade of this, they are still plagued by an inflated sense of their own importance which gives rise to the arrogance - emotional and spiritual - that has been so obvious right from jump street.

    As my sainted grandmother used to say, "Dead wood splinters."

    PS: I have checked into Stand Firm in Faith Blog which seems to have met its demise. Titus One Nine seems to be alive and, well, also to have done away with his "elves" but not any of its anti-TEC sentiments. (See also: Dead wood)

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