Dave Walker continues to round up the links about GAFCON at the Church Times blog.
Andrew Brown wrote about it, at Comment is free in The Anglican culture wars.
Jonathan Wynne-Jones wrote at the Telegraph that The conservative Church’s desperation to stop the liberal tide could be damaging.
Martin Beckford wrote there also, from Jerusalem, Gafcon: Hardline Anglicans to split church over homosexual clergy.
Iain Baxter’s latest report is below the fold.
Ruth Gledhill has written about him here, in a post with an improbable title.
Who is the “original Greek”? Alexander the Great, Stavros of Easyjet, perhaps the Duke of Edinburgh? by Iain Baxter.
The GAFCON conference is meeting to reaffirm “traditional Anglican teaching”. “We want unity… but not at the cost of re-writing the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend,” reads a passage from the conference introductory booklet – The Way, the Truth and the Life.
The booklet continues:
2.1 While some say that the meaning of Scripture is so complex, and so contested, that it cannot be fixed, we argue that the heart of Scripture is plain, even though some parts are not simple. It is plain enough to call forth our faith and obedience, which together lead us to further understanding of the Bible’s meaning. It is plain enough to be the basis on which we make a stand.
2.2 Another element in this struggle is the distinction that is sometimes made between the main teachings of the Bible and the lesser ones, those that are referred to as adiaphora, meaning ‘things that are indifferent’. According to this view, some doctrinal and moral issues may be put aside because they do not really matter, while others must be affirmed by all. This distinction is seen as essential for the unity of the church, and yet the Bible itself never applies it in this way. And in Anglican tradition adiaphora are primarily matters to do with ceremonies and robes, and not issues concerning doctrine or morality.
This is how any interpretation of the bible that allows for same-sex marriage, divorce, etc, can be rejected because “the heart of Scripture is plain”. Many of the conference participants believe that the bible clearly forbids women teaching, speaking, or being in authority in the Church. Not one woman is addressing the conference as a whole, and only two women are involved in leading a workshop – that on Family and Marriage. The Bishops’ wives have separate meetings. Separate, but certainly not equal.
Earlier today I spoke to one of the GAFCON participants – a young American woman who is about to be ordained. “Clearly, you do not believe that women should remain silent,” I said. “Oh no,” she replied, “You see it’s not nearly so clear if you read it in the original Greek.”