GAFCON = ‘Orthodox’ or ‘Paradox’

In these times of catchy headlines for Con/Evo quasi-Anglican Church blogs, one cannot but be amazed at the chutzpah with which some of them present themselves. Here – in the article below – we have a journalistic contribution to a fundamentalist group in the U.K. which calls itself ‘Anglican Mainstreambut which really represents what might be more properly called a version of ‘Anglican Slipstream’ – a divergent conservative evangelical faction in the Church of England.

In an ironical twist, the actual article below is written by the author of another blog by a former New Zealand journalist, David Virtue who, from North America, claims to represent what he is pleased to call VirtueOnline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism. From the title of this blog, one might imagine that it represented the world-wide Anglican Communion Churches, whose bishops have been invited to the next Lambeth Conference in England, to take place in London and Canterbury in July of this year, 2022.

However, what Virtue really represents (in this particular context) is the voice of certain bishops, who are actually still members of the Anglican Communion, but who have now wilfully separated themselves from the traditional (orthodox) Anglican Communion, by virtue (?) of their membership of a group they call GAFCON, which has produced its own basis of faith known as ‘The Jerusalem Statement’ – in which they have specifically disenfranchised certain members of the Anglican Churches. because of their acceptance that homosexuality has now been declared to be a naturally occurring biological condition for a small minority of human beings. (Note; they are not just condemning illicit homosexual activity – as they might also condemn illicit heterosexual activity – but the homosexual state, which has now been declared, scientifically, to be a wholly natural phenomenon in the lives of a minority of human beings!)

What is most interesting to those of us who are actually involved in the Anglican Church who happen to believe that God created ALL people in the divine Image and Likeness – despite their gender/sexual identity or innate attraction to the opposite sex or their own – four of the GAFCON Primates have made the decision to not attend the Lambeth Conference. Why not? Because homosexuality, per se, will not be a major subject for discussion at the Conference!

In explaining their decision to refuse the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend Lambeth, these 4 Primates – from the African Continent – have cited the fact that; instead of the Conference being open to discuss their own continuing condemnation of what they are disposed to call the ‘immorality’ of homosexuality the Bishops at Lambeth will be discussing the troubling situation of global warming and the plight of the victims of war, poverty and persecution!

(There are other Anglican Bishops (e.g. from Sydney and Tasmania) who have also declared their intention not to be at the Lambeth Conference, presumably for the same reason, but not included in this particular article).

It could possibly be the case, of course, that these four Church leaders really do consider the problems of not only the Third World (in which they have their feet) but also of the whole world, which is threatened by Global Warning and the War in the Ukraine and World Poverty, to be of less importance (adiaphora) than the ongoing contentious discussion of a status of human sexual identification.

However, if that is the case, then perhaps the rest of the Anglican Bishops who will be present at Lambeth will be able, more expeditiously, to deal with the subject of human survival and the survival of the planet – which the world’s onlookers will no doubt see as a far better use of the time of those willing and truly ‘orthodox’ (genuine) Anglicans gathered in London and Lambeth.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

______________________________________

FOUR GAFCON PRIMATES TO NIX LAMBETH CONFERENCE OVER HOMOSEXUALITY

FOUR GAFCON PRIMATES TO NIX LAMBETH CONFERENCE OVER HOMOSEXUALITY
Human sexuality is not a moral issue to be wrapped in the garment of human rights which allows for distortion of fundamental biblical truth, they say
Photo: H/T TLC

David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
May 25, 2022

Attempts to coerce reluctant orthodox archbishops and bishops to attend the next Lambeth Conference seem not to be working. Appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

The prevailing issue is, of course, the passage of Lambeth Resolution 1:10 which recognized that sex between a man and woman in their marriage is the only valid expression of their ‘sexuality,’ denying all other options as consistent with the Christian faith.

Four African Primates have said they will not be attending Lambeth in July and blasted Justin Welby and Lambeth, believing he has married the spirit of the age over sexuality. They are: ++Henry Ndukuba Primate, Church of Nigeria; ++Laurent Mbanda Primate, Church of Rwanda, ++Jackson ++Jackson Ole Sapit, Primate of Kenya and ++Stephen Kaziimba Primate, Church of Uganda. There will be other African bishops who will not attend, but whose primate will. Together these three primates represent 30 million of the 70 million Anglicans in the Communion. No small change.

A communique issued by visiting primates to England recently, lamented the absence of the three primates who chose to stay away, but those same primates noted that the Communique failed to state with any remorse and repentance the issues that necessitated their absence at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Welby is doing his best to sidetrack the primates away from any talk about sexuality knowing full well how divisive it is. But he cannot ignore the elephant in the room, namely Lambeth Resolution 1:10 which absolutely forbade homosexual behavior.

VOL has learned that a resolution is to be tabled that recognizes that issues of sexuality are a matter for continued ongoing discussion in the Anglican Communion. The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) an instrument of Anglican Communion in Africa, established in 1979 in Chilema, Malawi, has asked to see this before the conference so they can debate it ahead of time. If this is passed, it makes issues of sexuality de facto a matter almost of adiaphora, (disputable) puts Lambeth 1.10 on hold, and would make any process of visible differentiation such as a third province more difficult since the official line would be that these matters are still under discussion, so why is there need for differentiation.

This is a devious plan we have seen before under the guise of listening, a technique much favored by former American Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. What it entails is a listening campaign to the whine of homosexuals and the hurt they feel. Then go the next step accusing orthodox folk of hate and then push and push till the church accepts them and their behavior. It worked brilliantly. Sodomy, homosexual marriage is now enshrined in canon law, and if you don’t go along, then you get the Bill Love (former Episcopal Bishop of Albany) treatment and shown the door.

The other more devious plan at Lambeth is to have the official photograph of the bishops at the start of the conference. This would put some of the orthodox from the Global South (who have not fully embraced GAFCON) who are attending in a difficult position, because what if the conference comes out with resolutions/decisions that they cannot live with? They would then be compromised, not least because those attending who are in same-sex relations would also be in the same photo!

But an organization (which must remain unnamed) is apparently on to this, and will warn them so they can decide that they cannot in conscience be a part of the official photo.

Of course, no one is mentioning that an unofficial queer Eucharist orchestrated by homosexual and lesbian Episcopal and Canadian bishops will take place before the official conference begins. That event will grab the headlines, embarrassing Welby and throwing doubts in the minds of orthodox bishops as to whether they should be attending in the first place!

As three of the four primates noted, the grounds upon which faithful GAFCON Provinces boycotted the 2008 Lambeth are still valid, as nothing has really changed about the issues in contention, which broke the fabric of the Communion in the first instance. Rather, they note, things are getting worse as the culprits are becoming more daring and persistent in their errors and rebellion. The spirituality contained in the GAFCON ‘Jerusalem Statement’ remains the hope for salvaging Anglican orthodoxy and preserving the future of the Communion.

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, The Most Rev. Dr Steven Kazimba Mugalu called it “spiritual warfare,” declaring the Anglican Church in the West is in rebellion. It has rejected fundamental beliefs in the authority of the Holy Bible, sound Biblical ethics, uniqueness, and Lordship of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This is a form of apostasy, which Jesus Christ warned against in Matthew 16:11.

Such strong language could not be clearer.

Human sexuality is not a moral issue to be wrapped in the garment of human rights which allows for distortion of fundamental biblical truth, they declare. Welby should take note.

For faithful Anglicans, Anglicanism is a way of life of total commitment to Biblical Truth that has no room for any revisionist agenda. The Church is unequivocally called to be holy in polity, preaching, and practice. There is no amount of blackmail that will change our perspective of the sufficiency of the Scripture for the salvation of mankind. No revisionist agenda could cause a detour in our absolute faith in the Son of God who loved and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2: 20).

END

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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