GAFCON Day 5 is well over but it’s abundantly clear that the GAFCON movement is anything but done. The statement, a “Letter to the Churches” read to the conference in the first morning session, is another substantial contribution to the life of the Anglican Communion and one which sets a clear agenda of Global mission supported by the formation of a number of networks.
Of course it also holds some strong language about the ongoing crisis in the Communion. It reflects upon “futile meetings” in response to TEC and other’s apostasy.
The Primates’ Meeting repeatedly called upon these provinces to repent and return to the faith. Yet their efforts were undermined by other Instruments of Communion, culminating in the failure of the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out the clear consensus of the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007.
During the past twenty years, the Instruments of Communion have not only failed to uphold godly discipline but their representatives have refused to recognise our concerns and have chosen instead to demean Gafcon as a one-issue pressure group and accuse it of promoting schism, where in fact the schismatics are those who have departed from the teaching of the Bible and the historic doctrine of the Church. Slogans such as “walking together” and “good disagreement” are dangerously deceptive in seeking to persuade people to accommodate false teaching in the Communion.
So what of Lambeth 2020?
we respectfully urge the Archbishop of Canterbury
- to invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil and
- not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.
In the event that this does not occur, we urge Gafcon members to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion.
All of this is presented not such much as a rejection of the Anglican Communion but a movement desirous of “Reforming God’s Church”.
Gafcon has claimed from the beginning: “We are not leaving the Anglican Communion; we are the majority of the Anglican Communion seeking to remain faithful to our Anglican heritage.” As Archbishop Nicholas Okoh stated in the inaugural Synodical Council: “We are merely doing what the Communion leadership should have done to uphold its own resolution in 1998.”
The conference met the statement with loud applause and then joyous song. Here’s a sample of the immediate responses we recorded on the livestream…
The hastily-arranged GAFCON of 2008 is now obviously a far more robust organisation. Their own claim is that this is the moment when the movement “comes of age“.
Given what we’ve seen over the past 5 days; a gathering of very diverse but profoundly united Christians that is here to stay and obviously now organised to implement it’s agenda, it’s hard to argue that this is now anything other than that mature body that many hoped the original GAFCON would grow into.
Here’s the full video of the final day: