[Contains a clear reiteration of biblical doctrine on the mission of the Church in the world and sexual ethics, and strong warnings to the Church of England and other Western expressions of Anglicanism. New Steering Committee elected which contains Primates from both ‘Global South’ and ‘GAFCON’ groupings, demonstrating convergence of both movements, speaking with one voice and committed to working together to shape orthodox global Anglicanism now and for the future. ]
There is only one Church of Jesus Christ, his Body and his Bride. In the upper room before his death he prayed that the Father would glorify him (John 17:1-5), that the Father would sanctify his Apostles in the Truth (John 17:6-19) and that his Church may be one, so that the world may believe (John 17:20-26).
All three requests were answered through his death, his resurrection, his ascension and in the gift of the Holy Spirit. The prayer sees the foundation of a church one, holy, catholic and apostolic. In particular it is one.
That is why the Apostle Paul can say in these glorious words, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
As I write, GAFCON is about to launch a project which I believe will be very significant for the future of the Anglican Communion. Under the leadership of Director Dr Samson Mwaluda, the recently retired Bishop of Taita Taveta in Kenya, the GAFCON Bishops Training Institute begins its first conference in Nairobi on 29th September for some twenty recently consecrated bishops drawn from GAFCON affiliated provinces....Ungodly bishops have caused grievous tears in the fabric of the Communion, but godly bishops are being raised up to enable a reformed and renewed Anglican future with Bible at its heart. The GAFCON Bishops Training Institute serves this vision by equipping newly consecrated bishops to be courageous and discerning guardians of the faith.
"The world is our parish", Hull curate says, as AMiE agenda is set out. [Article from Church Times].
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales met in Lampeter 14th -15th September, 2016. Following the press coverage of the Archbishop's address [See ‘Wales Online’ report on Archbishop Morgan’s address to Governing Body here] the executive committee of EFCW responds as follows:
We want to wish the Archbishop well in his retirement. We note the Archbishop's final presidential address at Governing Body, and still struggle to understand how his approach to scripture is not just licence to disregard its authority. We believe that the inclusivity of Jesus, to which the Archbishop referred, was one not only of loving everyone, but also of calling everyone to a degree of repentance which would result in following him exclusively as Lord. We note Jesus gave an invitation to everyone, but warned repeatedly and frequently of consequences for those who rejected him. We are therefore delighted that one of the closing discussions at Governing Body got people talking about the need to engage in mission and evangelism. We hope and pray that these are the issues that occupy the time and energy of the Church in Wales in the years to come.
[EFAC commends this blog post by theologian Rollin Grams: Issues Facing Missions Today: 59 Exercises in Simple Logic: A Response to the Archbishop of Wales’ Defense of Same-Sex Relationships ]
16th Sept 2016
GAFCON UK is puzzled as to why the Church of England needs a 'Bishops' Reflection Group' on homosexuality. Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is clear, and the Bible is universally clear. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are same-sex attracted, and faithfully living according to God's revealed plan for human flourishing. As pastors, teachers, friends, and neighbours we can have no other response. The Church of England needs to have the courage of its foundational convictions, return to them, and move on to its mission of calling the nation to turn to Christ as the only Saviour and Lord.
18 September 2016
[See original Statement from the Church of England following the September meeting of the College of Bishops, here].
We note that the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a statement offering condolences on the death of David Jenkins, former Bishop of Durham. The Archbishop’s tribute makes no mention of the issue for which Dr Jenkins was best known, namely his public denial of miracles in the New Testament, including the Virgin Birth and the Physical Resurrection of Christ in the mid 1980’s.
In one sense, God used this churchman’s revisionist theology for good. The national media correctly identified the anomaly of a senior Bishop publicly questioning core doctrines of the church. This created a debate in the nation about the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and enabled many Christians to use the issue as a way of discussing the Gospel with friends and neighbours. The controversy also ensured that other Bishops who may have held similar views have largely kept quiet on this issue since.
But on the other hand, it is deplorable when church leaders use their position to teach, as the Ordinal puts it, “erroneous and strange doctrines”, and promote a version of Christian faith which denies the clear witness of Scripture. This creates serious division, and fatally undermines the mission of the Church. Tragically, some Bishops today are guilty of the same error as Dr Jenkins, for example in publicly questioning or denying biblical teaching on sex and marriage.
While we would want to offer our condolences to Dr Jenkins’ family and wish them well as they remember the Bishop’s good qualities, we would prefer to offer tributes to two other Anglican leaders who have recently died. J. Alec Motyer was a theologian and educator who influenced many with his faithful expositions of Scripture; Bishop John Ball was motivated by love for Jesus in his work as a missionary in East Africa and in his leadership of Crosslinks. We give thanks for their adherence to God's word, and their fruitful ministries.
A collection of reports and responses.
My dear people of God,
I have just returned from a very encouraging visit to the United States where I met with my brother Archbishop Foley Beach and I rejoice to see how the Anglican Church in North America is growing strong and standing firm.
A group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching.
Members of the General Synod have written an open letter to the College and House of Bishops, urging them ‘not to consider any proposals that fly in the face of the historic understanding of the church’ on human sexuality.