Comments: Another GAFCON condemnation of Church of England

What troubles me is that this seems so childish. I'm sorry to say Archbishop Eliud always gives the impression that he has the firm guiding hand of Robert Duncan of the ACNA on his shoulder when he speaks.

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Thursday, 4 July 2013 at 10:51pm BST

I'm most struck by the tired sound of this, and the apparent inability of the GAFCON leadership to develop a message that is about what they are for more than what they are against. Relying on the significance of a 1930s revival for having given people in one part of the Communion permission to jump and holler a bit in Church isn't very gripping. Granted the real significance in size and energy of some of the groups involved, this gives the impression of a movement running out of steam - and deeply dependent on what is ultimately a homophobic strand to unite it. Doubtless they will get a boost from the October meeting, but then?

Posted by Andrew McGowan at Thursday, 4 July 2013 at 11:19pm BST

Slightly provincial headline here.
The GAFCON statement attacks 3 provinces of the Communion.

Posted by Observer at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 4:34am BST

Yeah, just like we (TEC) preach the "false gospel" of racial equality, debt relief for the poor, and protection of human rights for women, children, and LGBT persons in all places.

The African clergy have MUCH more important matters to attend to at home, including their horrific support of human right violations.

What an uninspiring and yes, childish, outburst.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 5:57am BST

It's rather patronising (and even a little bit racist), don't you think, to assume that evangelical Africans can't be homophobic on their own behalf, but need some shady American (or Australian) eminence grise to be manipulating them behind the scenes. Accusing Africans of being 'childish' is the kind of rhetoric we should have left in the past.

Posted by rjb at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 7:50am BST

The problem, rjb, is that your point is entirely true but entirely undermining of the CofE's position with regard to homophobic African church leaders. You are exactly correct to state that the assumption that these churches are only homophobic either because they're being led astray by Americans or they are insufficiently advanced to see the problems with their cultural assumptions is the racism of low expectations. But that, at least, provides succour to CofE leaders who aren't willing to condemn it: they can imply that the condemnation is itself racist. It's nonsense, of course, and "they can't help being homophobic, it's because they're black" is staggeringly unpleasant, but at the moment it seems to hold the high ground in Justin Welby's thoughts.

But once past that particular briar patch, if you assess the contribution of African churches on the entirely proper basis that their morals, theology and intelligence are on as firm a footing as ours, then you're left with the simple conclusion that their position is vile and violent homophobia, and no decent people should associate with them. Given the CofE is has a long legacy of the soft racism of low expectations, with Africa constantly painted as the suffering victim deserving of charity and understanding, it's going to be hard for it to stand up and say, straightforwardly, that GAFCON has vile ideas and should be shunned.

No one in the anti-Apartheid movement made excuses for apartheid, perhaps arguing that white South Africa was a product of its history, culture and time. Racism was racism, and excuses should not be made for it. Why, then, are black Africans given a pass on homophobia on essentially the same grounds.

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 8:52am BST

I have said it before; those breakaway parties will never give up their agenda so I don’t understand why Canterbury and York are not listening to their own people who want Marriage Equality for all. It’s now clear to me that the fear of Gafcon was the reason why the Bishops of the Church of England never approved the celebration of civil partnership in church. Canterbury and York, I think the Holy Spirit is telling you to look more inward than outward, put the interest of the British people first.

Posted by Davis Mac-Iyalla at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 8:53am BST

The Primate of Kenya hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.

(For which The Lord is to be thanked...)

Posted by Alastair Newman at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 9:54am BST

I congratulate the Church of England on its latest GAFCON condemnations. Quite possibly the C of E is doing the Lord's work after all. If it weren't, GAFCON wouldn't be condemning it.

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 5 July 2013 at 7:40pm BST

Shorter Interested Observer: shall we attribute to GAFCON either ignorance or evil?

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 2:10am BST

I wonder why the latest GAFCON pronouncement fills me with indifference?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 8:24am BST

The East African Revival did begin in the 1930s. That is historically correct. Andrew McGowan, it is more than past jumping and shouting. Have you been to East Africa and studied the Revival? The East African Revival is continuing even unto this day. The Holy Spirit is moving in a powerful way in East Africa. Why do you think the western church is in decline and the African church is growing so much? Please do not discount what God is doing through the people in Africa who are faithful, pray sincerely, and are orthodox in their beliefs. The Bible is the Word of God and Africans know it.

Posted by Rev. Akiiki at Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 12:59pm BST

Akiiki a 'Revival' without justice and morality is not much of a 'Revival' now is it ?

The repression or murder of lgbti is immoral.

Where does that leave the spirtuality of the actors and condoners ?

Posted by Laurence at Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 6:00pm BST

Laurence nailed it, Father Akiiki. Basic Human Rights is the secular version of Jesus' commandment to "love your neighbour as yourself." Jesus spent his time with the outcasts, who would be the LGBT person, poor, and women.

The church's support of criminalizing gays is a gross perversion of the teachings of Jesus Christ, who said "don't judge." Very similar to the perversions of the Bible that were used to support slavery and the burning of witches.

Crimes are actions that hurt people. God made a diverse world, and our call as Christians is to love our neighbor. Or at least, as Martin Luther King said, pass laws to keep my neighbor from killing me.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 6 July 2013 at 6:39pm BST

I know this is a late thought, but I wonder if anyone in GAFCON has read the Amnesty International report about homophobic human rights violations in Africa?

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 8 July 2013 at 4:47pm BST

I've said it before and I'll say it again: What is a "confessing Anglican"? I thought we'd decided some 450 years ago that describing ourselves as a "confessing church" doesn't suit the mind of the English church, and, subsequently, of Anglican Christianity. I'm proud to be an Anglican precisely because I believe that declining a "confessing church's" posture is a testimony to the Good News and the Ministry of Reconciliation that many ache for.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 9:20pm BST
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