Thinking Anglicans

GAFCON's mistake about the Covenant

The briefing paper formerly on the GAFCON website has been removed.

Andrew Goddard explains why this may have happened in this article at Covenant

GAFCON & The Anglican Covenant:

The first and irrefutable conclusion that must be drawn from these two documents is the shocking inadequacy of GAFCON’s theological resource group and wider leadership. To have produced a briefing paper claiming to summarise the changes between the Nassau and St Andrew’s draft covenants but actually comparing the St Andrew’s draft to a quite different document unrelated to the covenant (and which many of the GAFCON team were involved in writing) is an astonishing error. That nobody in the group (or among the GAFCON leadership which released it) realised that the claimed removals from the Nassau draft were therefore all fraudulent suggests an inexcusable level of ignorance about the covenant process on the part of all those involved in writing and then disseminating this briefing paper to the wider Communion. The authorship is unclear but either we have a very small number of people writing what claims to be a representative document commended by seven Primates or we have a large group which failed to spot this basic and serious flaw. I am not sure which of these options is I would prefer to be reality. Unfortunately this all gives the strong impression that the conclusion – “the new document is severely flawed and should be repudiated” – was already decided upon on other grounds.

The second conclusion is that the other response of the same team is therefore seriously discredited, especially if it was put together on the basis of the briefing paper or by people who had seen the briefing paper and not realised its basic error.

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3MinuteTheologian (Justin Lewis-Anthony)
13 years ago

Barrel? Fish? May I introduce you to Mr Shotgun?

It is really embarrassing looking at these levels of incompetence from GAFFE-CON. If it isn’t releasing documents stuffed with incriminating meta-data, it’s writing an essay that doesn’t answer the question!

Gamma minus. See me afterwards.

Gill
Gill
13 years ago

In reading the press release of Stonewall yesterday it strikes me there is a lack of understanding of the evangelical church’s position. My Anglican church is a Bible-believing church. Homosexuals and lesbians are welcome in our church but they will hear the Bible preached, which makes clear that gay practice is not what God intends and should be repented of. The Bible tells us that no-one is righteous and without sin. In the eucharistic prayer we confess that we sin through ‘weakness, negligence and our own deliberate fault’. Taking up our cross to follow Christ is difficult for all of… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

Their views of the St Andrew’s Covenant remain: what’s gone is the comparison with a document that was not the Nassau Draft.

http://www.gafcon.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=85&Itemid=31

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

This will not have been the first document removed from a Global South web-site. I remember the incident of an article by Fr. Michael Poon being removed from the G.S. web-site, when he criticised the direction of the G.S. On that occasion he was apparently subjected to a severe dressing down by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Australian ‘front-man’ for the organisation. It seems that the double-entendre embarrassment is going to be one of the hall-marks of the re-asserters in the Global South Community. Thank God the Lambeth Conference is showing a little more care in it’s own communications delivery.… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

The Global South and Gafcon in particular would clearly benefit from some Indaba groups.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“My Anglican church is a Bible-believing church. Homosexuals and lesbians are welcome in our church but they will hear the Bible preached, which makes clear that gay practice is not what God intends and should be repented of.” Why would a loving God give a human being an innate attraction to others of his/her own sex and then not expect them to act upon it? Why would He expect them to repent of something He created them to do? Or do you reject all the science that says same-sex attraction is, if not completely inherent at birth, at least developed… Read more »

Aaron Orear
13 years ago

I agree with Gill about one thing…it’s what God wants that matters. Where I have trouble is when people trot about claiming to know precisely what it is that God wants and start excommunicating those who disagree. Strikes me as weeding before the tares are evident.

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

Well, that is a big ‘WHOOPS’. Perhaps they should stick to a plain reading of scripture. An attempt at interpretation might cause the earth to tremble beneath their feet.

badman
badman
13 years ago

The GAFCON Theological Resources Group, in whose name the offending document went out, consisted of the following 25 people: Chairman: Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Bishop of Asaba and Archbishop of Bendel, Nigeria; Convenor: Canon Dr Vinay Samuel, South India; Archbishop Okoro, Archbishop of Orlu, Nigeria; Bishop Onuoha, Bishop of Okigwe, Nigeria; Bishop Simeon Adebola, Bishop of Yewa, Nigeria; Bishop John Akao, Bishop of Sabongidda-Ora, Nigeria; Professor Dapo Asaju, Department of Religious Studies, Lagos State University, Nigeria; Canon Festus Yeboah-Asuamah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana; Revd Roger Beckwith, England; Bishop Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, England; Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti,… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
13 years ago

What a list – So many men, so few women.

Gill – and the choice for gay men and women is between celibacy and what, precisely? Quite. In your book there isn’t one.

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

Gill, does your church also expect celibacy of the divorced? Or does “Bible-believing” not extend to believing that part of the Bible?

An Irrate Curate
An Irrate Curate
13 years ago

Dear Gill, My Anglican church is a Bible-believing church. Homosexuals and lesbians are welcome in our church and they will hear the Bible preached, which makes clear that Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to die for us – ALL OF US – not just those specified by the evangelical wing of the church based on un-challenged readings of a very few number of texts. So my question is: are we reading the same Bible? Can you specifically point to the bit where Jesus said ‘it’s wrong to be Gay, but heck we’ll make ’em that way… Read more »

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

So were there no fact checkers, or did they really think no one would notice?

I suppose you could argue that “facts” have never been their long suit …

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
13 years ago

First it’s Gregory getting boned by Peter, now it seems that the FOCAs are auto-boning. This could be very entertaining as *reality* television — Glorious GAFCON, uncensored and uncut in exciting new age Technicolor. Just like being there.

Gill — I think you and your minister had better try celibacy for a few years before you start recommending it to the rest of the world. Something tells me you’ll reveal that you have (if it comes to it), but perhaps you should try it on the basis that it’s the best you’ll ever do.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“My Anglican church is a Bible-believing church.” As opposed to the rest of us who believe what? The Necronomicon? This idea that you Evangelicals are the only ones who believe the Bible and the rest of us are faithless heathens who believe nothing is wrong, insulting, and constitutes reviling, which, if you’ll check, is also listed as “not what God intends and should be repented of”. It is also what the BCP calls a “fond fable and dangerous deceit”. Perhaps you should look to your own sins instead of judging others for what you believe their sins are. And I’m… Read more »

Nat
Nat
13 years ago

Why is it, Gill, that so many evangelicals of a certain stamp do not believe that God can bring forth a new thing? Or that God cannot work through a democratic process by leading Bible-believing persons into a new understanding? Why is it that so many evangelicals of a certain stamp cannot see that seemingly endless shutting of doors and refusing to speak to other Christians – or hear them – is turning thousands away from ANY interest in Christianity? One wonders: if Europeans and Americans are becoming less churched, could some of the reason possibly be the fault of… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

“Choosing celibacy for homosexuals and lesbiand must be incredibly difficult, especially in youth.”

Is is supposed to be easy for straights?

And I thought that celibacy is a spiritual gift which one may pray for, but which may or may not be granted. This is one of the reasons that requiring it has caused such difficulties for the RC Church.

Treebeard
Treebeard
13 years ago

What an impressive list! How could this 25 have gone so wrong ? Surely not hubris and arrogance ?

I’mm sure the Anglican
Communion office and the the Anglican Consultative Council would provide theological and other forms of consultancy — if asked.

And perhaps some indaba ?

Malcolm+
13 years ago

The GAFCON Theological Resources Group includes 25 names.

I am moved to wonder how many of those 25, if any, ever saw the document issued in their name.

The number may be greater than zero.

I strongly suspect it was nowehere near 25.

John
John
13 years ago

Ford, As newcomer to this blog, I am interested in observing who’s who: (1) I’m glad you identify yourself as gay. (2) I’m glad you’re a committed Anglican. (3) I’m glad you’re in a church that welcomes you and does not try to ‘convert’ you (to heterosexuality or celibacy). (4) Church discipline is a good thing. (5) But sometimes breaking it can be a good thing too. 4 and 5 encapsulate the ambiguity of Anglicanism itself. (6) There is lots of good Anglican theology justifying monogamous gay relationships. (7) Though I hope it won’t eventually come to a decisive battle,… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
13 years ago

Hmm, more a GAFCON Lack of Theological Resources Group I think.

Treebeard
Treebeard
13 years ago

‘In reading the press release of Stonewall yesterday it strikes me there is a lack of understanding of the evangelical church’s position.’

No, no. we’re just not interested in your position’. You adopt any position for it that you want –leave the rest of us out of it.

You don’t tkae the Bible seriously at all–that much is crystal clear.

The Evangelical movments are recent innovations.And don’t bear close exxamination –look at gaffprone Gafcon for instance….

Words like brewery and erm drinks party come readily to mind ….

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

Someone on this thread said (of the GAFCON and G.S. afficonados) “Perhaps they should stick to a plan of reading Scripture”. The reality is that most of these Bible-Believers have no actual plan of reading Scripture. The ones I know of here in N.Z. (not many, thank God) avoid using the Anglican Lectionary for their worship services – often against the advice of their local bishop. Some do not even advertise the Service of Holy Communion – which might enable the congregation to hear the Scriptures in a clearly-defined and ordered process throughout the Church’s Year. The sacrament of the… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“It seems that prefered texts (and we can all imagine what these may be) are a constant source of ‘inspiration’ for the preacher, in a series of hell-fire sermons…”

…predicting said hell-fire for any/all who are not as “Bible-believing” as themselves, Fr. Ron? ;-/

Lord have mercy!

Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
13 years ago

Gafcon’s power behind the throne on Radio Four. I heard Chris Sugden discuss GAFCON on Beyond Belief on Radio Four. Madeleine McCord Adams spoke, but she let him take the higher ground. I would have conducted his cross examination like this: Rob: Chris you believe that the Bible is fully authoritative and GAFCON is restoring Biblical truth in the Anglican Communion…so why were you unable to decide what the bible says about female ordinationa and headship. Was that to keep Rwanda, Uganda an, kenya and your only Church of England diocesan bishop on board? You couldn’t agree so you left… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
13 years ago

Hi Robert Ian Williams-

You cannot help but agree with the principle that the Bible (like every other book -or library- in the world) is bound to be more clear (or to speak with a more unified voice) on some issues than on others.

You cannot seriously entertain the belief ‘If the bible is clear/unclear on a given issue, it will be equally clear/unclear on every other issue.’. Yet that is what your post implies.

By the way I thoroughly agree with what you have been saying on the divorce issue.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Christopher Shell wrote: “You cannot help but agree with the principle that the Bible (like every other book -or library- in the world) is bound to be more clear (or to speak with a more unified voice) on some issues than on others.”

Most Modern to late modern translations, however, are “clearer” than the Sacred Texts themselves, to the point of rasing different questions/concepts altogether.

What do we do with that?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Allegedly heterosexual liberals (such as my bad self) will never let you guys and guyesses down.” John, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the support, and I know that many have suffered ostracism in their parishes, but it really isn’t all that big a deal to me personally. I felt far more rejected by the Church in my conservative younger days over OOW than I have ever felt for being gay. I haven’t made a big deal out of it in my parish, because it really has very little to do with why I go to Mass and how… Read more »

John
John
13 years ago

Ford,

Thanks. Just in case: I wasn’t trying to patronise you.

Best.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Dear Christopher Shell, I am a Roman Catholic and I believe the Church is the final arbiter on what Scripture means

GAFCON Anglican and non Anglican Gafconites claim the perspicuity of Scripture, and yet cannot agree on womens ordinations and divorce…they come to different views as to what Scripture means. So Gafcon deliberately side steps the issue!

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