Virtue’s View on GAFCON’s next move in the U.K.

Pace Quickens as Pansexuality Pushes Anglican Communion on Fast Track to Realignment

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue DD
http://www.virtueonline.org
April 11, 2015

It is becoming increasingly clear that realignment in the Anglican Communion is reaching new levels of intensity and speed as concern for the inroads of pansexual behavior by western pan Anglicanism provinces increases with greater stridency.

Consider the following. In Melbourne, recently, the chairman of GAFCON, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, launched a new chapter of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and ripped the “cultural captivity” of North American Anglican Churches. He went on to say that a crisis is developing in the Church of England, which you can be sure Archbishop Justin Welby does not want to hear.

Things have become so bad that a fundamental realignment of the Anglican Communion became necessary, the evangelical African Primate told several hundred orthodox Australian Anglicans gathered at the launching.

“Now we are seeing the same struggle developing in the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Communion itself, and the most recent sign of this is the crisis developing after a parish church in central London was made available for a Muslim prayer service earlier this month. The vicar not only joined in, but also covered up the cross and other Christian symbols in the church. Here we have a warning that controversies about gender and sexuality reflect a deeper problem. Now we are seeing the core Christian commitment to the uniqueness of Jesus as Lord and Savior is being called into question,” opined the GAFCON leader.

The Kenyan primate noted the initiative to launch the FCA would be seen by future generations as a strategic moment for church and society.

“At the heart of the GAFCON movement is a passion for the biblical gospel. Lost people are precious to the Lord Jesus Christ and cannot be seen as anything less than that by us.”

In Sept. 2014, the Kenyan Archbishop and GAFCON Primates authorized The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society.

“As long as the Great Commission is at risk through the promotion and toleration of false teaching and immorality in the Anglican Communion, we must have ‘Continuing GAFCON,” he added.

This came to full flower in March of 2015 with the formation of an AMIE parish in the Diocese of Salisbury. It was viewed by some as a poke in the eye at the institutional church and its bishop the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam, who said he would seek a clarification about the involvement of the Rt. Rev. John Ellison at a service of commissioning for a new church in the diocese that is affiliated to the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).

Bishop, retired Bishop of Paraguay and chairman of the AMiE Panel of Bishops who took the lead on this said he is still waiting for the other shoe to drop in regards to his future. No matter, he is fulfilling a mandate from GAFCON to plant orthodox Anglican parishes right inside the Mother Church.

VOL Columnist Julian Mann wrote at the time that if the GAFCON Primates were to consecrate two or three English Anglican ministers not currently licensed in any Church of England diocese (or in a position to hand in their licences if they have them), the question of a conflict of interest in confessing Anglican church planting would no longer arise. Perhaps. But you can be sure this is not a welcome intrusion by either the local bishop or by the ABC.

Now contrast what Archbishop Wabukala said with recent actions of the Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, R. William Franklin, who has been invited to travel with 12 Episcopal bishops to reopen international church relations in Cuba.

In the wake of last week’s debate over religious freedom in the U.S., Franklin said he would bring lessons about the church’s stance on welcoming the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender community [to Cuba]. He says it is a fundamental part of the Western New York diocese.

So the freedom of religion debate is mixed up with sexual “freedom,” not the freedom to preach Christ crucified and the gospel drawing people to Christ. No, it all boils down to gay sex. Cuba’s Episcopal Bishop, Griselda Delgado del Carpio invited the group — an indication that for him to get much needed financial assistance he must roll over to TEC’s pansexual agenda. Bishop Franklin will no doubt assist him and walk him through past and passed General Convention resolutions. You can write off Cuba as a place Episcopalians will evangelize, unless you want to go there as a Pentecostal or one of the 5% of Protestant congregations that make up Cuba. (Cuba is 65% Roman Catholic with 5% attendance). Others/African Religions make up 11%, while the non-religious number 24%.

Quoth Franklin, “I can think of nothing better than to spend the week after Easter being inspired by Christian action.” Some action.

There have been other moves afoot nationally and internationally indicating the heat is being turned up to a boiling point.

The CofE/Anglican Communion establishment obviously hoped that with a Ugandan (John Sentamu) as Archbishop of York, he could influence matters. He has turned out to be a company man, first under Rowan Williams, and now under Justin Welby. The Global South does not trust him and he knows it, so he stays well under their radar screen.

The Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga is another black face coopted by both the Church of England and Episcopal Church establishment. He is chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, a former Bishop of Southern Malawi who is presently a visiting professor at Sewanee’s School of Theology in Tennessee. If he were truly orthodox, he would not have gotten a look in there. He has spent the last few months threading the needle of homosexuality to appeal to his Western paymasters. Think what a certain Sewanee professor of theology did to Dr. N.T. Wright when he came a calling and delivered himself of Wright’s vile orthodox stands.

You might have thought that the African Anglican bishop would have learned a lesson at the hands of Western gay imperialists when he was called to be Dean of the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. His name was suddenly withdrawn by the college President because of his perceived past and present views on human sexuality.

Latterly, the coopting of the Nigerian bishop of Kaduna Josiah Idowu-Fearon as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion office in the hope no doubt that the Global South will feel more comfortable with him and them and remain in the Communion. Said one commentator, “The idiots just don’t get it. IT’S ABOUT THE FAITH! The Global South leaders are intelligent and (more importantly) discerning enough to recognize and shun a compromiser or a heretic, even if his skin is the same color as theirs.”

And then there is the more dubious recent appointment of Church of England Bishop Graham Kings as Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion. This is a clear attempt to look for a via media between Western progressivists like Katharine Jefferts Schori and orthodox archbishops like Nicholas Okoh. His attempt to fudge if not blur the lines will simply not work. This “innovative seven year post” as mission theologian has the purpose to research, stimulate, connect and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts. This can only be viewed as demonstrable attempt to “contextualize” and play the culture card in an effort to bring the two sides closer together theologically and ecclesiologically. The Global South will see it as little more than an attempt to water down the faith of African/Asian and Latin bishops and make it more amenable to both them and the growing revisionist west. The Archbishop of Canterbury naturally endorsed it of course but in vain the net is set in sight of the bird. (Prov. 1:17)

Other questions include as to what Bishop King’s relationship is with the Anglican Consultative Council and their theological positions which are at odds with the vast majority of the Global South and how his appointment will be viewed by the GAFCON primates.

The last time the Primates of the Anglican Communion met was in Dublin in 2011; fully one third of the primates were no shows. New Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby dares not take the risk of calling for another one; he knows full well the same third would be no shows. That was four years ago! So four years have come and gone and the Primates have not met annually to weigh the state of the Communion. Does one really think there will be a Lambeth Conference in 2018 if the present issues remain unresolved? For sure no.

For all his vaunted talk of the need for evangelism, Welby remains conflicted over homosexuality; that is his Achilles heel. By prevaricating and refusing to be definitive, he leaves himself open to criticism and hostility from Global South Primates and GAFCON leaders. He is not in a position to repair the net of Anglicanism. Until he takes up the cotton and thread of Scripture there is no reason to think he will any time soon if ever.

The fabric of the Communion like the Temple has been torn from top to bottom. Sadly, there is no theological or ecclesiological sewing machine capable of mending it.

When he was in Melbourne, Wabukala encouraged his listeners to look beyond Australia noting that the Communion faces “great challenges” and the greatest evangelism field is the West, specifically the US and Canada, and the Africans know it.

With CANA and the ACNA now let loose in the US and a “take no prisoners” stance by archbishops like Eliud Wabukala and Nicholas Okoh, there will be no mercy from them, nor, it would seem, at the Day of Judgement when TEC will have to give an account of its lousy stewardship of both souls and money.

END

______________________________________________________________

Should any Anglican around the world doubt the conservative fundamentalist integrity of Mr David Virtue (former New Zealand Baptist), owner of a blog-site he is pleased to label as The leading Orthodox Anglican Web-site; this latest posting of his, commenting on the outcome of the recent GAFCON Meeting in Melbourne, Australia, headed by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Primate of the Anglican Province of Kenya & Chair of GAFCON; will convince them of his dogmatic alignment with this Confessional form of Anglicanism, which seems to have captured some of the African Provinces of the Anglican Communion, based, mainly on the strict observation of the ’39 Articles of religion’ and of a literalist interpretation of the Bible – Oh, and Yes, the outlawing of homosexuals from the A.C..

From the script of this article (having earlier on his web-site dismissed the integrity of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.), it will be clearly perceived that Mr. Virtue is no fan of the C. of E., or the Archbishop of Canterbury, either!

Here is one sentence that stands out in Mr.Virtue’s commentary:

“Things have become so bad that a fundamental realignment of the Anglican Communion became necessary, the evangelical African Primate told several hundred orthodox Australian Anglicans gathered at the launching.

The ‘Launching’ spoken of here is that of an Australasian Chapter of the ‘Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’ (FoCA), founded in the U.K., but which now boasts of branches in other provinces of the Anglican Communion, where there are conservative Anglicans who feel betrayed by the prospect of  the ordination of Gay clergy and bishops, as well as the possible acceptance of any recognition of Same-Sex hallowed relationships, as being a ‘step too far’ in the more progressive provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The fact that this conference was attended by some 40 Anglicans from ACANZP – including at least 1 bishop – gives evidence of some fear existing here in New Zealand of a movement towards the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions, which is likely to be approved of by our Church in the near future.

What is possibly most threatening, and perhaps misleading, about the GAFCON.FoCA movement, is its arrogant tendency to claiming a sectarian ‘Anglican Orthodoxy’ for its membership. Apart from the fact of this self-definition of what is orthodox about their discrimination against homosexual people in the Church (one of their main complaints), there is the matter of attempting to appropriate the ethos of Anglicanism for themselves.

The current meeting now taking place in London of GAFCON Primates and members of the local ‘Anglican Mission in England’ – headed by a schismatic Anglican Bishop who was appointed by the GAFCON Primates to lead their carefully-nurtured surrogate ‘Church’  on the very doorstep of the Church of England – will no doubt chime in with a Meeting called by the conservative ‘FULCRUM’ on Thursday, 17 April; to be addressed by Dr. Ian Paul a noted conservative blogger in the C. of E., who will be discussing the prospective Future of the C. of E.

Whatever ensues in the wake of these ‘happenings’ on the conservative fringes of the Church of England this week; no doubt Mr. David Virtue – self-appointed local critic of the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada – will be launching his very own version of the proceedings. I look forward to reading and assessing his further recriminations against  our more liberal Western Way of being Anglican.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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One Response to Virtue’s View on GAFCON’s next move in the U.K.

  1. kiwianglo says:

    Reading through Mr.Virtue’s oddly combative statement again, the following (final) paragraph caught my eye:

    ” With CANA and the ACNA now let loose in the US and a “take no prisoners” stance by archbishops like Eliud Wabukala and Nicholas Okoh, there will be no mercy from them, nor, it would seem, at the Day of Judgement when TEC will have to give an account of its lousy stewardship of both souls and money.”

    I am reminded of the Scripture: ‘Vengeance is mine, says the Lord’. It would appear that Mr Virtue and the 2 GAFCON bishops mentioned here have taken it upon themselves to be judge & jury!

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