Wednesday in Jerusalem has seen an increased awareness of questions surrounding how people contend for the gospel and even what gospel they’re contending for. These questions are being answered both inside the convention centre but also far away. Here’s a great summary from GAFCON of the day’s events.
The morning’s exposition by Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile was a source of great encouragement to many as he spoke about the Resurrection hope that we share. But there was also confusion as he was heard to say “we are staying” (i.e. staying in the old structural Anglican Communion no matter what). The uncertainty resulted in a dramatic intervention by the Primates Council, members of which appeared on stage with him before lunch as he gave a clarification. Tito told the 2,000 delegates that his diocese was firmly opposed to revision in the Anglican Communion and a wholehearted supporter of GAFCON.
Rather than coming across as being something that he was coerced into saying, it was more than obvious that Tito’s words were quite willingly given out of a genuine desire to bring clarity. His remarks were more than warmly received by the conference.
It’s just one small example of the more than obvious sense here that big choices need to be made. We’re hearing both from the platform and from delegates all around us that there is a desire to make bold choices to contend for the Gospel.
Others are also seeking to contend for their own position. The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) has published a number of pieces which are seeking to undermine the obvious momentum building here in Jerusalem. GAFCON have responded to some of the claims made, including the allegation that ACNS were denied press credentials
The Church Times is also reporting on what is happening here in a piece that is a very fair representation of events. It appears that their reporter is following the livestream closely as her piece is made up largely of quotes from interviews broadcast across the internet.
Tomorrow promises to bring more interest as we get to see a draft of the final statement. We’ll break into region groups to provide feedback in advance of a published statement tomorrow. davidould.net is expecting some very robust language that crystallises GAFCON’s self-understanding as the only genuine Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion that can prosper the gospel and consequently calling for an unequivocal refusal to partner with those who have denied Scriptural truth.