Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON: Sunday lunchtime

Updated to include four Church Times blog entries

The final statement (as approved rather than leaked) is now available on the GAFCON website.
Statement on the Global Anglican Future.
For the convenience of our readers we have copied the statement below the fold.

Here are some initial press reports.

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Anglican Church offshoot founded by traditionalists in Jerusalem

Ruth Gledhill in the Sunday Times Anglicans form ‘new church’ in gay clergy row

Nick Mackenzie in Religious Intelligence Gafcon plans a future distant from the Archbishop of Canterbury

BBC Anglican conservatives form group

George Conger in Religious Intelligence Conservatives to split — but only from Episcopal Church

Timothy C Morgan at Christianity Today Anglicans Birth Global Confessing Movement

Rachel Zoll at Associated Press Anglican conservatives launch liberal challenge

Four items from Jerusalem by Paul Handley of the Church Times
A first look at the GAFCON statement
Is it a split?
Delegates endorse GAFCON final statement
Jerusalem declaration thoughts

STATEMENT ON THE GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE

Praise the LORD!
It is good to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. (Psalm 147:1-2)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ: We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, send you greetings from Jerusalem!

Introduction

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which was held in Jerusalem from 22-29 June 2008, is a spiritual movement to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we nglicans have received it. The movement is global: it has mobilised Anglicans from around the world. We are Anglican: 1148 lay and clergy participants, including 291 bishops representing millions of faithful Anglican Christians. We cherish our Anglican heritage and the Anglican Communion and have no intention of departing from it. And we believe that, in God’s providence, Anglicanism has a bright future in obedience to our Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations and to build up the church on the foundation of biblical truth (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 2:20).

GAFCON is not just a moment in time, but a movement in the Spirit, and we hereby:

launch the GAFCON movement as a fellowship of confessing Anglicans
publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of the fellowship
encourage GAFCON Primates to form a Council.

The Global Anglican Context

The future of the Anglican Communion is but a piece of the wider scenario of opportunities and challenges for the gospel in 21st century global culture. We rejoice in the way God has opened doors for gospel mission among many peoples, but we grieve for the spiritual decline in the most economically developed nations, where the forces of militant secularism and pluralism are eating away the fabric of society and churches are compromised and enfeebled in their witness. The vacuum left by them is readily filled by other faiths and deceptive cults. To meet these challenges will require Christians to work together to understand and oppose these forces and to liberate those under their sway. It will entail the planting of new churches among unreached peoples and also committed action to restore authentic Christianity to compromised churches.

The Anglican Communion, present in six continents, is well positioned to address this challenge, but currently it is divided and distracted. The Global Anglican Future Conference emerged in response to a crisis within the Anglican Communion, a crisis involving three undeniable facts concerning world Anglicanism.

The first fact is the acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different ‘gospel’ (cf. Galatians 1:6-8) which is contrary to the apostolic gospel. This false gospel undermines the authority of God’s Word written and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the author of salvation from sin, death and judgement. Many of its proponents claim that all religions offer equal access to God and that Jesus is only a way, not the way, the truth and the life. It promotes a variety of sexual preferences and immoral behaviour as a universal human right. It claims God’s blessing for same-sex unions over against the biblical teaching on holy matrimony. In 2003 this false gospel led to the consecration of a bishop living in a homosexual relationship.

The second fact is the declaration by provincial bodies in the Global South that they are out of communion with bishops and churches that promote this false gospel. These declarations have resulted in a realignment whereby faithful Anglican Christians have left existing territorial parishes, dioceses and provinces in certain Western churches and become members of other dioceses and provinces, all within the Anglican Communion. These actions have also led to the appointment of new Anglican bishops set over geographic areas already occupied by other Anglican bishops. A major realignment has occurred and will continue to unfold.

The third fact is the manifest failure of the Communion Instruments to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy. The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, in proclaiming this false gospel, have consistently defied the 1998 Lambeth statement of biblical moral principle (Resolution 1.10). Despite numerous meetings and reports to and from the ‘Instruments of Unity,’ no effective action has been taken, and the bishops of these unrepentant churches are welcomed to Lambeth 2008. To make matters worse, there has been a failure to honour promises of discipline, the authority of the Primates’ Meeting has been undermined and the Lambeth Conference has been structured so as to avoid any hard decisions. We can only come to the devastating conclusion that ‘we are a global Communion with a colonial structure’.

Sadly, this crisis has torn the fabric of the Communion in such a way that it cannot simply be patched back together. At the same time, it has brought together many Anglicans across the globe into personal and pastoral relationships in a fellowship which is faithful to biblical teaching, more representative of the demographic distribution of global Anglicanism today and stronger as an instrument of effective mission, ministry and social involvement.

A Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, are a fellowship of confessing Anglicans for the benefit of the Church and the furtherance of its mission. We are a fellowship of people united in the communion (koinonia) of the one Spirit and committed to work and pray together in the common mission of Christ. It is a confessing fellowship in that its members confess the faith of Christ crucified, stand firm for the gospel in the global and Anglican context, and affirm a contemporary rule, the Jerusalem Declaration, to guide the movement for the future. We are a fellowship of Anglicans, including provinces, dioceses, churches, missionary jurisdictions, para-church organisations and individual Anglican Christians whose goal is to reform, heal and revitalise the Anglican Communion and expand its mission to the world.

Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Building on the above doctrinal foundation of Anglican identity, we hereby publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of our fellowship.

The Jerusalem Declaration

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.

5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

The Road Ahead

We believe the Holy Spirit has led us during this week in Jerusalem to begin a new work. There are many important decisions for the development of this fellowship which will take more time, prayer and deliberation. Among other matters, we shall seek to expand participation in this fellowship beyond those who have come to Jerusalem, including cooperation with the Global South and the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa. We can, however, discern certain milestones on the road ahead.

Primates’ Council

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, do hereby acknowledge the participating Primates of GAFCON who have called us together, and encourage them to form the initial Council of the GAFCON movement. We look forward to the enlargement of the Council and entreat the Primates to organise and expand the fellowship of confessing Anglicans.

We urge the Primates’ Council to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.

We recognise the desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, except in those areas where churches and leaders are denying the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread, and in a few areas for which overlapping jurisdictions are beneficial for historical or cultural reasons.

We thank God for the courageous actions of those Primates and provinces who have offered orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership, especially in North and South America. The actions of these Primates have been a positive response to pastoral necessities and mission opportunities. We believe that such actions will continue to be necessary and we support them in offering help around the world.

We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council.

Conclusion: Message from Jerusalem

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, were summoned by the Primates’ leadership team to Jerusalem in June 2008 to deliberate on the crisis that has divided the Anglican Communion for the past decade and to seek direction for the future. We have visited holy sites, prayed together, listened to God’s Word preached and expounded, learned from various speakers and teachers, and shared our thoughts and hopes with each other.

The meeting in Jerusalem this week was called in a sense of urgency that a false gospel has so paralysed the Anglican Communion that this crisis must be addressed. The chief threat of this dispute involves the compromising of the integrity of the church’s worldwide mission. The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ.

It is our hope that this Statement on the Global Anglican Future will be received with comfort and joy by many Anglicans around the world who have been distressed about the direction of the Communion. We believe the Anglican Communion should and will be reformed around the biblical gospel and mandate to go into all the world and present Christ to the nations.

Jerusalem
Feast of St Peter and St Paul
29 June 2008

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
26 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
David MurrayErika BakerRev. Gerry ReillyIan ArchRobert Ian Williams Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

“Confessing Anglicans” ????
Is this not an oxymoron? Anglicanism has never been confessional.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

If Nazir-Ali and Benn have set their hands to this dog’s breakfast of a statement, I hope they will be courageous and honest enough to follow it up by resigning their sees. I am not holding my breath.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

This fellowship of confessionally conformed Anglicans will more or less attempt to write large, globally, what, say, Sydney, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, Pittsurgh – and a motley crew of departed others have made of themselves on the Anglican rights. That is, gathered utterly unto themselves with noticeable police and punishment powers unto themselves, especially to sustain weaponized doctrines and conformity. Whether they can do this – given undercover divisions like the place of women in church life, the other cultural differences, the virulent trash talk and demeaning of queer folks as incompetent humans, the ranges of state and church sponsored… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Re: their declaration, those points not mention are things I have more than quibbles with: 1. Don’t we all? 2. The idea of “all things necessary to salvation” is an Anglican delusion, as is the idea that such things are all contained in Scripture. 3. There were 7 Ecumenical Councils. Which ones are they denying? Are we monophysites? 4. Gives a position to the 39 they were never intended to have. If Americans signed on to this, they are innovators. 5. “death that we deserve”? 6. 1669 was a stage of liturgical reform and renewal, and we have moved beyond… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
Guest
Ian Montgomery

I for one am thrilled by the GAFCON Statement. I look forward to the developments as GAFCON further takes its stand for orthodox Christianity in the Anglican world. I like the declaration that we are a confessing Church movement. This was also the beginning of the Network. We will continue to differentiate ourselves from the “new religion” that is pervading much of the Church in the guise of Christianity. I look forward to a new version of the 1662 BCP, a re-commitment to the 39 Articles and an ordinal that will once again call on the clergy to protect the… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

A JNaughton cross-post from Cafe via Father Jakes: A quick take from the Cafe: Step back from the details of this particular document for a moment, and consider the nature of GAFCON. It has brought together bishops from some of the poorest countries on Earth to deliver the residents of some of the richest suburbs in America from living in a Church to which they cannot dictate terms. Zimbabwe is on fire. Darfur is bleeding. Ethnic strife and pandemic disease rage across the African continent while these bishops devote themselves to rescuing the Episcopalians of Orange County, California and Fairfax… Read more »

MRG
Guest
MRG

The Federation Of Confessing Anglicans. How delightful. Ladies and gentlemen, Meet the FOCAs.

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

this is the most ridiculous load of claptrap. for a start, just refresh your minds about newman on the 39 articles in tract 90 http://www.newmanreader.org/works/viamedia/volume2/tract90/. the rest of the pretentiously named ‘jerusalem declaration’ is equally shot through with holes. remember the wiser words of geoffrey fisher: ‘The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ’s Church from the beginning.’ the fact that nazir ali should choose to associate… Read more »

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

‘I look forward to a new version of the 1662 BCP’

Posted by: Ian Montgomery on Sunday, 29 June 2008 at 5:07pm BST

‘A new version of the 1662 BCP’ will not be the 1662 BCP –will it ?

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

By this standard, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (as it was then known), having explicitly rejected the Eucharistic Prayer of the 1662 BCP, omitted one of the creeds, reworded another, and modified the 39 Articles to suit local conditions (I note in passing that one of those modifications–the omission of Article XXI, with its assertion of lay supremacy [“the will and commandment of princes”] even over General Councils–should be popular with GAFCON, given its emphasis on Primates) would never have been eligible for this Communion-within-a-Communion in the first place. Of course (as many have pointed… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

It is simply a way of delaying the inevitable split. There is no logical reason why both groups should share the same space. Indeed, the setting up of this grouping acknowledges that reality.

Canon G
Guest
Canon G

The world seems divided into two camps. In one camp are many Christians and many Muslims who do not believe in a democratized religion, full grace for women, the revelations of science, and inclusion of all of God’s people. And this despite the fact that historically they have themselves benefited enormously from most of same. In the other camp is the rest of us.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“… we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.” Well then, who does determine it? The “confessing” Gafcon churches? The Archbishop of Nigeria? Doesn’t this make them like all the other break- away-in-a-huff “Anglican” entities listed on the Anglicans Online page of churches not in communion w/the ABC? I had to laugh too at the press coverage that characterized these Proud Prelates as “representing” millions of Anglicans. Since most of them were “elected” by their fellow bishops and not by the full church, they “represent” nobody but themselves and their toadies.… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Canon G hits the nail on the head. There are those that have a need for so much control that they construct faiths that are based on watching, judging, and dictating other’s lives based on an unattainable standard (did I say “confessional”?) and the rest of us who try the best we can.

Just stop paying attention to them and maybe they’ll go away.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

“I had to laugh too at the press coverage that characterized these Proud Prelates as ‘representing’ millions of Anglicans. Since most of them were ‘elected’ by their fellow bishops and not by the full church, they ‘represent’ nobody but themselves and their toadies. There’s a word for this – I think it’s oligarchy, but then, I could be wrong. How sad.” Cynthia said it best. How can any of us follow a hate-monger and homophobe, who denies that there are any hate-crimes against gays/lesbians in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, and who decides (as pompous, self-serving purple shirt) who… Read more »

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

“… we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

As a matter of FACT — hello ? — an anglican is a christian whose bishop is in communion with –wait for it –The See of Canterbury.

that’s it ! PERIOD .

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

Yes, FOCAs does seem apposite !

And if they’re all born again —I don’t think it worked !

FOCA itself will prove to ahve been still-born

Phylmom
Guest
Phylmom

What the GAFCON people represent is fundamentalism. And unless the rest of us also embrace fundamentalism, we will not be allowed in communion with them.

The thing is, I joined the Episcopal Church for the same reason many others did. To get away from fundamentalists. So why on earth should I want to do what they expect I should, to “repent” and interpret the Bible the same way they do?

Are they nuts??? Yes. I can’t run fast enough to get away from these people. And I think most Episcopalians feel the same way.

karen macqueen+
Guest
karen macqueen+

So, what about the bottom line? How long will the rest of the bishops and the synods in the Anglican Communion put up with this arrogant policy of taking over the jurisdiction of parishes and dioceses in other provinces and other countries? How is it possible for the ABC to maintain communion with a “council of primates” who assume such an authority? Perhaps we will have to wait until the FOCA’s take over some major parishes in the C of E. And they have the nerve to accuse TEC of letting loose chaos in the Anglican Communion! This is just… Read more »

deaconmark
Guest
deaconmark

I do like FoCa’s but i had thougth perhaps also Gaffe-cons. So easy to deride them and the document has holes in it wide enough to drive a Hummer through. Wait until they have to decide about women’s ordination and the nature of the Eucharist. They will eat their own. I do think Canon G’s got it right. I once asked a professor from Iran to tell me why? Why the hatred and violence? I always remember what he told me, “Fear of modernity.” I think this applies here as well. I see terrible fear at work.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Ian Montgomery is very optimistic…does he realy think Biship Iker and other Anglo-Catholics are now returning home to dismantle their tabernacles and stop worshipping what they believe is God in the the consecrated Communion elements, and implementing the thirty nine articles in their Reformation sense!

What about the balach hole of female ordiantion..never mentioned to keep ” orthodox ” bishops like Orombi and Nazir Ali on board.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Just stop paying attention to them and maybe they’ll go away.”

Even if they don’t, you can still stop paying attention to them.

Ian Arch
Guest
Ian Arch

“12. … We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.”

and so we are NOT going to Lambeth?!

Rev. Gerry Reilly
Guest
Rev. Gerry Reilly

I am filled with sadness at the judgmentalism and negativity of the GAFCON ststement. The only warmth is the fire of zealotry; compassion, inclusiveness, and love are conspicuous by their absence, and the face of Jesus presented to us is stern and unforgiving. Where is the option for the poor and excluded in our world, the longing for true peace and the acceptance and glorying in the diversity of God’s world? As to the comment on Muslims, they will not be converted by a pale initation of their own strict and unchanging moral code, but by the love of Christ,… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Gerry Reilly
are you the same Gerry I met at Ex Spir some years ago? If so, how nice to meet you on TA!

David Murray
Guest
David Murray

Like the home grown ‘born again’ of North America – still not right, and strange in addition to being weird. This is the kind of religours movement that leands only to a dead end of no purpose or value. As for myself – I stay within the historic understanding of the Anglican faith and practice with a connection to the see of Canterbury. And certainly not with this group.