ACNA/GAFCON Spokesperson v. the ABC

In his inimitably vitriolic language, Mr David Virtue (Former NZ-er now resident in the U.S. as GAFCON’s local propagandist); treats us all (in the article below the line, here) to his version of what he perceives as the future of the world-wide Anglican Communion. The fact that he is deeply entrenched in the sexist and homophobic culture of the GAFCON Primates – as a local member of the dissident ACNA clan – lends to his diatribe the whiff of sulphur and brimstone, redolent of the 17th-century Salem Witch Trials, which the puritan conservatives of the Deep South used to purge their delicate consciences.

IN FACT, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, just recently – on their way home from a Mission of Peace to South Sudan, whose Anglican Bishops still agree to their government’s criminalisation of homosexuals – in a joint press meeting, onboard their returning aircraft, have agreed to the opinion that such treatment of homosexuals is not only harsh but actually a sin against the integrity of such people who, like everyone, are entitled to the mutual respect of both the Church and Society.

Virtue’s continuing diatribes against the Anglican Communion Churches that have largely dispensed with the sins of homophobia and sexism, are offensive to those of us in the Communion who believe that ‘The Great Love of God as Revealed in The Son’ is most clearly indicated in these words of Jesus Christ, himself: “THEY WILL KNOW YOU’RE MY DISCIPLES BY YOUR LOVE” – certainly, not by your hatred and vilification of those you consider your inferiors in moral probity.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand




By David Virtue, DD
February 6, 2023

BY CAVING into the culture and the shrill cry of allegedly aggrieved Anglican pansexualists, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has lost the Anglican Communion and the respect of a significant number of its archbishops, bishops, and the respect of millions of ordinary Anglicans.

His acquiescence to the sexual zeitgeist means he can no longer claim to be the titular head of a body of Christians, the third largest in the world. The majority of Anglican Christians believe Welby has adopted an unbiblical worldview on human sexuality, undoing and undermining more than 2000 years of church teaching and scriptural prohibition with a behavior that neither God nor the Church has ever endorsed.

While he has disingenuously said he would not participate in blessing same sex marriages because he wanted to be a symbol of unity, his carefully calibrated response was met with global ridicule and icicle disbelief. We all know where his heart really lies.

‘Who do you think you’re fooling’, but said far more elegantly by a polite theologically trained elite, the message was nonetheless clear. ‘You have crossed the river of theological orthodoxy, and now find yourself floundering in the swamp of sexual heresy, from which there is no escape except by a full-throated repentance that must ring true for 75 million Anglicans.’

It is unlikely ever to be heard. Archbishop Welby has gone over the cliff, Gadarene style, and taken 30 percent of the Anglican Communion who agree with him.

Even more ironic indeed contradictory is that British Muslims have expressed “deep concern” that their convictions that marriage can only be between men and women (they do allow four marriages) and ‘identity politics’ in CofE schools were not sought by Church of England bishops ahead of next week’s General Synod crunch debate on ‘gay blessings’ in the ‘Established church.’

The leader of the oldest representative group of British Muslims wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing frustration that the proposals have not been discussed with leaders of the other main faiths in Britain — despite many joint meetings of faith leaders on other topics at Lambeth Palace these past six years — when the church has been considering changes to marriage and sexual ethics via the Living in Love & Faith (LLF) project.

Archbishops from South Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, the Seychelles, the GSFA, ACNA, GAFCON Europe publicly declaimed against the ABC in ringing tones of disapproval and disappointment. They say he has betrayed the communion and the faith he swore to uphold.

Welby has said he will likely not give these blessings himself so as not to alienate global regions that are part of the Anglican Church. He has even been quoted this week saying he’d rather let the Church of England lose its status as the established church in the country than deviate from this theological line.

Those bishops and clergy favoring homosexual marriage angered South Sudan Archbishop Justin Badi Arama. He accused Welby of “failing to defend biblical truth.”

“What the English bishops are recommending constitutes unfaithfulness to God who has spoken through His written word,” Badi said.

It is profoundly ironic that Welbys liberal branch of the Anglican Communion, nearly all of it in the west, is rapidly dying, while the Global South is bursting with new converts who do not accept the homosexual world Welby has bought into.

Welby might hope for some political capital from his Sudanese visit with efforts to divert attention from his sexually permissive church, perhaps even to placate Archbishop Badi, but he is sadly mistaken. He has read the wrong cue cards.

Apart from The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the rest of Anglican Africa is united against Welby and the Church of England’s progressive drive to change or mute the Bible’s clear stance on marriage solely between a man and a woman.

Africa’s growing Christian population might be a key motivation for the trip, but it won’t change hearts and minds. European and North American membership in the Anglican Church is notably dwindling, but it is growing by leaps and bounds in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, the Catholic Church is growing fastest in Africa.

You’d think that Welby, who still claims to be an evangelical with strong charismatic leanings via his experience with Holy Trinity Brompton might see the obvious, which is, that provinces that maintain and push God ordained marriage and are strictest on rebuking homosexuality are growing, while his new found brand of progressivism on sexuality is withering on the vine, a biblical image that Jesus himself used to define spiritual life and death.

Perhaps the most damning testimony to Welby’s theological shift comes from Wolfhard Pannenburg, one of the most respected Protestant theologians of the twentieth century. “Here lies the boundary of a Christian church that knows itself to be bound by the authority of Scripture. Those who urge the church to change the norm of its teaching on this matter must know that they are promoting schism. If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”

Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, Welby has sold out the communion and ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints.’ Judas committed literal suicide; Welby is committing spiritual suicide.

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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3 Responses to ACNA/GAFCON Spokesperson v. the ABC

  1. Grant edgcumbe says:

    Oh dear oh dear
    How does one deal with this fundamental and deliberate misunderstanding of scripture?

  2. Kieran Crichton says:

    Dreadful man.

    The Salem Witch Trials were in the seventeenth century…

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