Fulcrum has published an article that also appears in this week’s Church of England Newspaper by Graham Kings entitled Substance and Shadow: Lambeth Conference and GAFCON. An extract:
…What is being planned to happen at GAFCON? No mention is made of the background documents of the Lambeth Conference: The Windsor Report, the Covenant Process and the Advent Letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the Ontario conference mentioned above, Chris Sugden described a group of Anglicans (and implied he was included in the definition) who are made up of:
those who disagree with The Episcopal Church in its teaching on doctrines and ethics, and no longer trust the Archbishop of Canterbury to deal adequately with the problem.
This ‘no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches his earlier article, ‘Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh:
In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.
Some of the planners of GAFCON have a tendency to be militant. They are intent on the setting up a ‘shadow Communion’ not centred on Canterbury. This ‘non-Canterbury Communion’ is openly being discussed on conservative American web sites. The insistence that there are now ‘two branches’ of the Anglican Communion is a crucial part of the deposited legal defence of the churches of the Anglican District of Virginia, part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) led by Martyn Minns, against The Episcopal Church…
Vinay Samuel has written a letter to the Church of England Newspaper see Dr Vinay Samuel responds to Bishop Tom Wright.
Archbishop Peter Akinola held a press conference in Lagos about GAFCON, see Press Conference – 30th January 2007:
The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, gave a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria on January 30 announcing the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in the Holy Land. The occasion was a gathering of the GAFCON Theology Resource Team.
Archbishop Akinola said:
“We are planning a conference in the Holy Land in the month of June: GAFCON – Global Anglican Future Conference. That conference is called by those members of the Anglican Family who see themselves as orthodox Anglicans, who are upholding the authority of scriptures, and believe that the time has come to come together to fashion the future of our Anglican family. This has to be done within a theological framework. They will be producing a book to help all members of the conference to study beforehand. That book will cover the themes for the conference. What are the challenges? Why are some people deviating from the orthodox faith? Why are they allowing modern culture to overwhelm the word of God. They will be highlighting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over his church and over the world. If the Lord is king why are people not following his leadership? Why are people interpreting this word in a way that suits their fancy?
We must also look at the Church of God in our time and the whole area of its mission : what is God doing in our time, responding to the needs of our time – e.g. Aids, poverty, corruption, good and bad governance. We are going to use that conference to address all these issues.
By early May the book will be available. These are very exciting times. On behalf of the Church of Nigeria and GAFCON I want to thank you for spending sleepless nights brainstorming for us to give us the road map that will guide us in our generation.”
What led to the creation of GAFCON? There is the Lambeth Conference and the ACC. There are three bodies. Is the church of USA represented in GAFCON?
Primate: Let me answer the last question first: America as a church is not part of GAFCON. But there are many individual members of the church, bishops, each in his own right that will be part of GAFCON. Officially TEC is not part of GAFCON.
What led to GAFCON? It is a very long story. In the last five years we have had this endless controversy in the Anglican Communion. To the world this is about homosexuality. To us it is just a symptom of the real problem. Homosexuality is not peculiar to Anglicans but Anglicans have the courage to discuss it openly. The issue is that there are members of our Anglican family who are not paying attention to scripture, but are giving prominence to modern culture. They are bringing new principles to interpret scripture. The word of God has precedence over any culture. Those of us who will abide with the Word of God, come rain come fire, are those who are in GAFCON.
Those who say it does not matter are the ones who are attending Lambeth. There might be a view, for whatever it is worth, that they want to be there to observe what is going on. But Uganda, Rwanda, Sydney, Nigeria: we are not going to Lambeth conference. What is the use of the Lambeth conference for a three weeks’ jamboree which will sweep these issues under the carpet. GAFCON will confer about the future of the church, which will set a road map for the future. We are a movement that will move away from the “maybe – maybe not”.
The issue is that church leaders are endorsing what is wrong. They are not willing to make the gospel that the Lord can bring change available. We want to move forward with commitment to the word of God. The question is asked how many people we are. The question is rather how many people we are representing. Four primates who are in the leadership of GAFCON represent more than 30 million Anglicans…
The press conference also refers to the paper Global Anglican Orthodoxy: A Blueprint by Stephen Noll which is available on the GAFCON site.