Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON explained

From last week’s Church Times:

Why hold a conservative Anglican conference?

The gathering is vital to ensure that Churches are not overwhelmed by Western culture, argues Chris Sugden:

Archbishops and bishops from both the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of the Church, who lead 30 million of the world’s 55 million active Anglicans, will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in June 2008 for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON: News, 4 January). They are travelling to the places of Christ’s ministry, where the gift of the Holy Spirit was first poured out, in order to strengthen them for what they believe will be difficult days ahead…

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Pluralist
13 years ago

This seems muddled to me:

“We seek to affirm both biblical orthodoxy and Catholic order, but a Catholic order that will serve the Catholic faith, not the other way around. Were Catholic faith to serve Catholic order, there would never have been a Reformation”

He must have written this very quickly.

The point about meeting in a different place with a select group of people is to come up with a different select result, probably one pre-arranged, just as the website was pre-arranged before the Nairobi meeting that a few select enjoyed.

Leonel Abaroa-Boloña
Leonel Abaroa-Boloña
13 years ago

Why would the CT publish this rubbish, is beyond me.

kennedy
kennedy
13 years ago

‘Bishops and their wives, and clergy and laity, including the next generation of young leaders, will attend GAFCON. It will bring together Anglican leaders from around the globe, who are committed to the accepted teaching of the Bible, of the Church throughout the ages, and of the Anglican Communion.’

So any bishops who happen to single or female are by definition not invited and by implication are not committed to the accepted teaching of the bible, of the church, or of the Anglican Communion.

Very convenient.

Kennedy

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

What Pluralist said — I found the entire article confusing — I have always seen the “Broad Church” tradition as the one holding the “High” & “Low” together — GAFCON seems to be exalting the extremes without a middle — it is all most perplexing!

Simon Sarmiento
13 years ago

Leonel, think of it as being in the same category as this earlier item from July 2003:

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=20653

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

Does anyone else find it very revealing of the “orthodox” mindset that this meeting was planned without consulting the local bishop and is going ahead over his strong objections?

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

As Simon is I think saying, there are times when we simply need to give them enough rope….

Ann
Ann
13 years ago

The reports seem to indicate that GAFCON was planned by Minns et al overriding the local bishop? Hope they don’t drink Coke at the meeting.

Justin Lewis-Anthony
13 years ago

I am glad that the Church Times publishes such things. It allows the neo-Puritans the space and time to articulate their ideas clearly, so that when it is pointed out how deficient in “Catholic Order” and “gospel values” their project truly is, they can’t turn around and say: “I was misquoted/taken out of context/misconstrued”. Publish and be damned, I think someone once said.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

JPM, is the local bishop considered “orthodox”? If not, then I’m sure they feel quite justified in ignoring him. If not, then they probably feel his “orthodoxy” would mean unquestioning support. See how easy everything is when God is on your side?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“the central and unchanging historic Anglican faith.” Unchanging? On what planet is Anglicanism “unchanging”? “Those who wish to retain biblical standards, especially in the area of sexual ethics” The “especially’ is interesting, and telling. Other kinds of ethics are secondary to sexual ethics, at least in so far as concern for such things unites the GAFCONers. “We want to ensure that our relationships in the Anglican Communion reflect gospel values.” The time is long past for them to start reflecting Gospel values. They have had all their lives to reflect Gospel values. They might once have done so, but they… Read more »

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

Prior Aelred: exactly. I can’t imagine the two extremes will have a long and happy marriage together.

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

The rhetoric is beginning to sound like young children trying to explain bad behavior, e.g., “I didn’t want to do that but you made me,” and “I didn’t steal that because it was never really yours.” I wish the group would either give an honest explanation or quit trying to justify their actions.

Curtis
Curtis
13 years ago

“GAFCON will… build a network of co-operation…”

That means they’re going to huddle themselves into a separatist sect. Those who cooperate get to stay in the loop. That’s simple schismatic abandoning communion with the non-networked. What else can it mean?

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

I loved the cartoon. You know, if you keep turning right, you end up going in circles, or at least squares. Kennedy Your observation is valid. There are some that purport that women can not and should not be teachers or ministers, let alone bishops or primates. They are the same souls that say that the world looks this way because of something Eve did so many millenia ago. Rubbish. God can use women to do a Job or a Jonah as easily as God can use a man. In fact, God being what God is, if God is annoyed… Read more »

--sheila--
--sheila--
13 years ago

“This is one of God’s ways of ensuring that Churches in the West are not overwhelmed by the power of their surrounding culture, because they are in fellowship with and accountable to Christians in other cultures and contexts.”

Since the Province of the Southern Cone has made such an effort to enter fellowship with Christians who were actually born and raised there and promote them to leadership positions…

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Deacon Charlie Perrin
13 years ago

“Gospel values” hmph! Sounds more like Torah Values (without the benefit of the Talmud) to me.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Biblical Orthodoxy…when Gafcon participants can’t agree on the meaning of baptissm, the eucharist, salvation, heterosexual marriage and divorce et al.

That Captian Jensen has a lay presidency time bomb in the hold, should preclude any genuine Anglo-catholic bishop who upholds the Catholic view of Holy Order, getting on board.

Self deception par excellence….and the bar of orhodoxy is reduced to homosexuality.

Lets hide our divisions and bash up the gays.

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“Why hold a conservative Anglican conference? The gathering is vital to ensure that Churches are not overwhelmed by Western culture, argues Chris Sugden”

Phooey. “Conservative Anglicanism” [sic] is MORE Western than any other form of Anglicanism, past or present! [The FACADE of “Global” or “Global South” tacked onto a creation by white, male, Western REACTIONARIES (Also heterosexists . . . but not necessarily, ala +Horsham, heterosexual! ;-/)]

Richard Warren
Richard Warren
13 years ago

Birds of a feather….. It would be refreshing if they would just say what’s really on their minds. The world is changing in many places, patriarchy is losing some of its’ appeal, women are gaining a more equal footing in the church with men, and many people simply don’t give a damn about what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Their focus on sex is a sickness, if Jesus thought it so important why didn’t he speak to it and put it in its’ proper place. Hating gays isn’t any difference than hating Jews or blacks… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Thanks loads Mike, I, too, was beginning to hear the voices of children excusing their own pecadillos by loudly focusing on other peoples’ alleged shortcomings. If you and I are not being viciously named as the problem because this or that or the other hot button litmus test doesn’t pass us through to Akinola’s feast, then that bugaboo called modernity or the modern age or the fashion of modern society will do nicely. Yeah, right, bishop. The best thing about this realignment campaign so far is how much of it has been boldly and mischievously carried on, right in public… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“”We want to ensure that our relationships in the Anglican Communion reflect gospel values.”

Except, of course, for that part of the gospel that talks about specific kinds of people being blessed….

And, for that matter, can anyone point me to a condemnation of homosexuality in the gospels? I remain unaware of one. What they really want to ensure is Paulist values.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

When the GAFCON Primates talk about their Anglican ‘Orthodoxy’, what precisely are they exoecting us to understand by that appellation? Surely, ‘orthodoxy’ means right belief and action in a given contaxt – in this case the historical tradition of Anglicanism. The Global South Primates’ action in overseeing the ‘ordination’ of bishops and clergy for infiltration into another provincial area is surely not ‘othodox’? As one of the promoters of the GAFCON meeting, the Archibishop of Sydney cannot surely consider himself to be ‘orthodox’ – while at the same time promoting the introduction of ‘lay-presidency’ at the Eucharist. It seems to… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

Amongst all the gay bashing reports, visitors to Anglican Mainstream will note the efforts to show TEC, Canada and England as deviating from the narrow “gospel”. I see that Anglican Mainstream calls this report: http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=7500 Another straw in the wind: The installation of the bishop of Nevada. It might be lost amongst all the homophobia around it. I rather prefer the reports I’ve highlighted, of a blessing of the bishop and of the same school and students in Nevada http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/we-are-praying-with-you.html that I have contrasted with the small minded people at Padiham in little England http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/were-not-praying-with-you.html which includes a couple of… Read more »

GoSane+
GoSane+
13 years ago

To Ford: In case you didn’t read it on Thursday’s thread re Bishop Don Wimberly, I referred to you in my post as “Fred.” I apologize for misnaming you.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

When the GAFCON Primates talk about their Anglican ‘Orthodoxy’, what precisely are they exoecting us to understand by that appellation? Surely, ‘orthodoxy’ means right belief and action in a given contaxt – in this case the historical tradition of Anglicanism. The Global South Primates’ action in overseeing the ‘ordination’ of bishops and clergy for infiltration into another provincial area is surely not ‘othodox’? As one of the promoters of the GAFCON meeting, the Archibishop of Sydney cannot surely consider himself to be ‘orthodox’ – while at the same time promoting the introduction of ‘lay-presidency’ at the Eucharist. It seems to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

They are defending Cultural Taboos (the last one on Marriage was the “equal” birth, incl. skin colour, of the bride – which determined the status and ability to inherit of the children, remember) and false translations.

As such Taboos, being cultural constructs, never have a demonstrable base in Law or Gospel, they are angry and upset. Who wouldn’t be?

Charlie
Charlie
13 years ago

For me the most interesting aspect of comment here has been on the possibly new alliance between high and low. e.g. “I have always seen the “Broad Church” tradition as the one holding the “High” & “Low” together — GAFCON seems to be exalting the extremes without a middle — it is all most perplexing!” (Prior Aelred) While I share Fr Mark’s question about whether the marriage will be long and happy I’d also be interested to hear why people think it so obvious that the Broad Church/ liberal wing is the middle between the two. To me, all three… Read more »

Peter of Westminster
Peter of Westminster
13 years ago

…Venables, said: “…Our pastoral responsibility to the people that we lead is now to provide the opportunity to come together around the central and unchanging tenets of the central and unchanging historic Anglican faith. Rather than being subject to the continued chaos and compromise that have dramatically impeded Anglican mission, GAFCON will seek to clarify God’s call… …Jensen, has written: “…Those who wish to retain biblical standards, especially in the area of sexual ethics, want to move on together with the gospel of Christ’s lordship, a gospel which challenges us and changes lives.” The “orthodox” try to stop the world… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

There is such a thing as biblical orthodoxy, and as Christian orthodoxy. If there were not, then the terms ‘biblical’ and ‘Christian’ would have no meaning. Anyone who believes that these two words have meaning (ie all of us) also, by definition, believes therefore that there are certain things which they include within their semantic range and certain things which they (wickedly?) exclude from that semantic range. It is often clear what the biblical (or at least the New Testament) united position on a given topic is. Even where it is not, it is always clear that certain possible positions… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I can’t imagine the two extremes will have a long and happy marriage together.” Oh, but divorce is OK:-) “Gospel values” hmph! Sounds more like Torah Values (without the benefit of the Talmud) to me.” I agree. No disrespect to my Jewish brethren and sisters. I have often made reference to the old hymn “Free From the Law, Oh Happy Condition”. It used to be a popular Evangelical type hymn around these parts. Is this concept of freedom from Law forgotten because Evangelicals have abandoned their musical heritage (enjoyment of which is something of a guilty pleasure for this Anglo-catholic.… Read more »

Dr. J.A. Works
Dr. J.A. Works
13 years ago

Now I get it! They have made a Gaffe and now wish to Con the rest of the Church.

Pluralist
13 years ago

Orthodoxy keeps changing. Nineteenth century churchpeople would not see the present range of expressions as orthodox, and eighteenth century folk would be even more baffled. One reason the Unitarians never got off the ground in the Netherlands was because their ‘mainline’ Churches were quite liberal to start with. Here they argued for positions now readily accepted as orthodox. Today biblical interpretation and understanding of the tradition, never unified, is wide open. Orthodox is even losing its meaning, and being turned into something else by a sectarian party that can only get what it wants by separating. It’s just a dead… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“There is such a thing as biblical orthodoxy, and as Christian orthodoxy. If there were not, then the terms ‘biblical’ and ‘Christian’ would have no meaning. Anyone who believes that these two words have meaning (ie all of us) also, by definition, believes therefore that there are certain things which they include within their semantic range and certain things which they (wickedly?) exclude from that semantic range.” As far as I am concerned, true Christian orthodoxy is summed up in the two great commandments. Everything else is, at best, commentary, and, at least, irrelevant. “It is often clear what the… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Ah yes chum Christopher S but we still have wide Anglican differences in how closed we think our distinctions and discernments are, whether as thought or feeling or action or ethics or theology or canon law or polity or …? One of our key underlying Anglican differences involves the huge continuums, from open to closed. Another might easily be seen to be: Our huge continuums from empirical-hypothesis-testing minded to empirical-hypothesis-testing disdainful. Yet another? Maybe, our Anglican hermeneutics. Do we not hugely vary in hermeneutics? To the point that some Anglicans do not even acknowledge that they have hermeneutics? Replacing an… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

There is such a thing as Christian orthodoxy. Those involved in GaffeConJob are impacably opposed to it, preferring their own petty hatemongering.

Two things struck me about Sugden’s Screed.

First, he completely ignores the fact that the Bishop with Jurisdiction (who, yes, is deemed orthodox by these pushy buggers) has told them they aren’t welcome.

Second, I don’t think I’ve read such badly written crap since the death of Enver Hoxha.

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

“”Gospel values” hmph! Sounds more like Torah Values (without the benefit of the Talmud) to me.” I found this sentence bemusing. One of my intriguing insights in the last few years is that how some evangelicals portray Judaism and what Judaism is actually bears very little correlation for most parties. Even more amusing has been watching the antics of the priests who cover themselves in violence purporting to be saved by Jesus’ grace and thus blessed and unable to make the same errors as their older Jewish cousins. Rubbish. They’ve made a bigger botch of it than the Jews did.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Congratulations on your Albanian, Malcolm+!

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Will Sydney explode the lay presidency time bomb in the hold of the ” goodship” Gafcon…?

If so , please advise Bishops Iker, Schofield and other Anglo-catholics to take a life raft with them.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Bishop Iker claims Joining the Southern Cone will help Fort Worth preserve its “Anglo-Catholic heritage.”

How ironic when one considers it was the anti-Catholic South American Miisionary Society which was the proime mover in setting up Southern Cone.

Futhermore Southern Cone was the first Anglican province to debate and nearly approve lay presidency.

Furthermore presiding Bishop Venables has never prayed for a dead soul in his life, let alone claimed to offer Mass for one.

Yet they are all off to GAFCON!!

Charlie
Charlie
12 years ago

With thanks to Robert Ian Williams for making a clear contrast again. Sorry to repeat a question but I’d love people’s thoughts on it. I can see the potential for comedy in ‘anti-catholics’ and ‘anglo-catholics’ meeting together. But if we’re labelling people that starkly can someone explain why that’s intrinsically more ludicrous than e.g. Anglo-Catholics and the sort of liberal who might be happy with the label anti-tradition? or evangelicals and anti-Paul liberals (several friends here come across as anti-Paul at least some of the time.) I’m not sure this new (if it is new) grouping/alliance is any more surprising… Read more »

Pluralist
12 years ago

Critical tradition not anti-tradition. Sometimes anti-Paul but usually anti the Paul that turns out not to be Paul but someone else who thought Paul would think this or that.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

But Sydney is resolutely Protestant and on his web site Doctor Peter Jensen boasts how he refused to attend a Roman Catholic Mass. That is why the GAFCON criteria is amazing…..will he allow Iker to swing the incense at the opening Holy Communion Service of GAFCON?

John Henry
John Henry
12 years ago

For +Jack Jeo Iker the gay issue trumps all other issues–except women’s ordination.

JPM
JPM
12 years ago

>>>will he allow Iker to swing the incense at the opening Holy Communion Service of GAFCON?

It will not be a Holy Communion service, Robert, but a Memorial Meal consisting of Ritz Crackers and Welch’s grape juice, served from a folding card table and distributed by a layman (not laywoman!!!!!) dressed in shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and flipflops.

I don’t think that incense is allowed at this sort of thing, so Pope Jack Leo I of Fort Worth and All Else That He Surveyeth will have to content himself with spritzing some Febreze around.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

The sad thing is that JPM is spot on!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

You know, JCM, aside from the grape juice and Ritz, and the unorthodox theology (am I supposed to start calling them apostate and faithless and heathen for their beliefs concerning the Eucharist?) that sounds like a lovely Mass.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

JPM. Not JCM. Sorry.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
12 years ago

“aside from the grape juice and Ritz, and the unorthodox theology (am I supposed to start calling them apostate and faithless and heathen for their beliefs concerning the Eucharist?)”

What is it about the grape juice that gets people so upset? Is it SO wrong to use “fruit of the vine” in order to include our alcoholic brothers and sisters?

“Sorry, Jesus wants us to use alcohol only, so you can’t be part of this great feast”….doesn’t sound Christian at all.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“What is it about the grape juice that gets people so upset? Is it SO wrong to use “fruit of the vine” in order to include our alcoholic brothers and sisters?” A lot of it is political baggage, I grant you: fervent Evangelicals getting all condemnatory of those have even the slightest whiff of alcohol. That’s my sin. Thus, the using of grape juice in worship seems to be as often about it NOT being alcohol as it is about any concern for alcoholics. Second, Jesus used wine. There is powerful symbolism in the use of wine, for that reason,… Read more »

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