More responses to the primates gathering announcement

The GAFCON Primates Council Chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, has published his September Pastoral Letter. The full text is here.

In it he says:

…Real discipleship will be marked by sacrifice and by love for Jesus Christ, and if we truly love Jesus Christ, we will love another and we will work together love the lost. It is therefore very sad that the Archbishop of Canterbury is calling a meeting of Primates to see if the Communion can be saved by making relationships between its Churches more distant rather than closer.

A statement in response to the Archbishop’s invitation can found on the GAFCON website. Let me simply say here that a global Communion embracing widely different cultures should strengthen its member Churches by mutual wisdom to see where adaptation becomes compromise, each Church being submitted to the revelation of Jesus Christ as we have it in Scripture as our final authority in all times and in all places. Instead, it has become clear over the last twenty years that the Communion is becoming a source of weakness as Churches which have rejected the truth as Anglicans have received it spread false teaching, yet continue to enjoy full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Our GAFCON movement believes in a much richer vision. We seek to unite. We recognise and embrace those who sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, not only those who persevere in the face of violent persecution but also those who persevere despite being marginalised and even forced out of their traditional spiritual homes by the rise of false teaching in the Church. To them we say ‘You are not alone’ as we join together to make Christ known…

Fulcrum has published an article by Andrew Goddard From Communion to…..Federation ? Andrew is clearly opposed to any such move.

Episcopal Café has published Editorial: Anglicanism-the muddle way. Andrew Gerns takes quite a different view.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 September 2015

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Thanks to Simon Sarmiento, of ‘Thinking Anglicans’, for this link to the recent statement made by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, who happens to be the current Chair of GAFCON – whose ‘Jerusalem Statement’ sets out a new and conservative Statement of Faith for its members that goes beyond the agreed text of the historic Lambeth Quadrilateral, that formerly described the basis of Anglican Faith relationship.

I have hight-lighted the text in the opening paragraph quoted above, that presents – at least for this Anglican in the South Pacific Province of ACANZP – a challenging and contradictory statement; for all of us, but perhaps especially for the head of an organisation that has withdrawn already from Eucharistic Fellowship with at least one of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion:

“…Real discipleship will be marked by sacrifice and by love for Jesus Christ, and if we truly love Jesus Christ, we will love another and we will work together love the lost.”

One cannot but wonder where is the ‘Love’ that initiated, and that continues to insist on, Gafcon’s Eucharistic separation from the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of the US (TEC) ?

Flowery statements like this of Archbishop Eliud, can only raise the doubts about his sincerity when, in fact, he heads the major organisation that has actually broken fellowship unilaterally with the rest of us in the Communion who are intent on bringing the fullness of the Gospel to ALL people – regardless of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or sexual orientation – in the belief that all are created equal by God, even ‘the lost’, and no-one can afford to bypass those in the community whose lives are different from our own . After all, are we not ‘All Sinners’, redeemed by Christ, but sinners?

One cannot help but reflect on this pericope that appears in the ABK’s statement, above. Especially in light of the fact that in the GAFCON Provinces, the Church is most often siding with governments that seek to criminalise and persecute LGBTQI persons – even those who are worshipping Christians :

“…Real discipleship will be marked by sacrifice and by love for Jesus Christ, and if we truly love Jesus Christ, we will love another and we will work together love the lost.

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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