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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thank you for responding to our call to pray for the recent meeting of the Primates’ Council. We received many messages of support, and were aware of the Lord blessing us as a result of your intercessions. The Primates’ Council remains committed to move forward in the work of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and our hopes for a renewed Anglican Communion.
We are immensely aware of being involved in a spiritual struggle. Our Global Anglican movement has made its stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ as expounded in the Jerusalem Declaration. This has united us. It has also divided us from those who promote a different ‘gospel’. Our twofold aim is to promote the preaching and defence of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ and to recognise and have fellowship with Anglican Christians whose spiritual lives are threatened by false teaching.
We are longing for the spiritual reform of the Anglican Communion so that in a united partnership we can commend the Lord Jesus as the one and only Saviour of the world. We have had reports from many parts of the Communion about the deliberate incursion of false teaching accompanied by offers of financial aid. We are aware of the conflict, which continues for so many as they struggle to maintain the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Sometimes this involves legal attacks. We offer our support and encouragement to those who make it clear that they will continue to teach God’s word whatever the opinion of a church which has allied itself to the world.
We praise God for the opening of our London office and the presence of Bishop Martyn Minns as our first full time worker. We continue to plan for a leadership conference in April 2012 and for GAFCON 2 in May 2013. We received encouraging reports of the Anglican Mission in England, a missionary society supported by us though which missionaries can be ordained and encouraged.
We also spent time considering our understanding of Church and Communion in the light of the new realities, which have come upon us. We agree with the recent words of the eleven Primates who visited China with Archbishop John Chew, ‘We are wholeheartedly committed to the unity of the Anglican Communion and recognize the importance of the historic See of Canterbury. Sadly, however, the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Unity have become dysfunctional and no longer have the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together.’ Something better must emerge.
At a reception in London for local supporters I made two points. First that the unity of several key provinces and hence their capacity to serve God and their nations was preserved by the provision of GAFCON in 2008. Secondly that the East African revival, with its commitment to scripture and emphasis on repentance was a model for how the Communion as a whole could be blessed by God.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, the Anglican Communion has been and can be an immense force for good in this world. But it needs to be renewed and reformed by the Word of God. The Global FCA exists to help towards that goal. We are blessed by your support. Thank you.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).
In Christ’s love and service,
--(The Most Rev.) Eliud Wabukala is Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primate's Council
We are immensely aware of being involved in a spiritual struggle. Our Global Anglican movement has made its stand on the gospel of Jesus Christ as expounded in the Jerusalem Declaration. This has united us. It has also divided us from those who promote a different ‘gospel'.
Our twofold aim is to promote the preaching and defence of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ and to recognise and have fellowship with Anglican Christians whose spiritual lives are threatened by false teaching. We are longing for the spiritual reform of the Anglican Communion so that in a united partnership we can commend the Lord Jesus as the one and only Saviour of the world.
We have had reports from many parts of the Communion about the deliberate incursion of false teaching accompanied by offers of financial aid. We are aware of the conflict, which continues for so many as they struggle to maintain the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Sometimes this involves legal attacks. We offer our support and encouragement to those who make it clear that they will continue to teach God's word whatever the opinion of a church which has allied itself to the world.
Read it all.
The structures of the Anglican Communion have continued to deteriorate since the 2008 Lambeth Conference. That same year, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) took place in Jerusalem, which gave birth to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, a global movement committed to the renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion around a common confession (The Jerusalem Declaration). GAFCON was not just a moment; it is a movement. The purpose of the 2012 leadership conference will be to gather existing and emerging FCA leaders – laity, clergy, theologians, youth, bishops, women and men – to promote the ongoing renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion. These leaders will truly represent this global movement of Anglicans all over the world. We hope and pray this will set the stage for a larger “GAFCON II” meeting to be held in 2013.
The American Anglican Council will be helping the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans develop this conference. We are committed to supporting this global movement of biblical Anglicans and to the renewal and reformation of the Anglican Communion around a common confession. Be sure to monitor our website and emails for more news on these exciting events.
Last night, there was a reception for supporters and those interested in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairmen of the FCA, Eliud Wabukala, was present, along with the Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, Peter Jensen, the retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, as well as the former Bishop of Rochester, England, Michael Nazir-Ali.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Church of Nigeria
The launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (UK and Ireland) on 6 July was an answer to my prayers. I had feared that orthodox Anglicans, who share a common commitment to the essentials of our faith and a concern about departures from it within the Church of England and wider Anglican Communion, would spend more energy disagreeing over their different strategies for the defence and proclamation of the gospel than in supporting one another and working together for Christ in our church and nation. GAFCON gave me a glimpse of another possibility: a wide spectrum of believers including Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals of all shades, joining together in one united movement for the cause of Christ in the Anglican Communion in the light of great opportunities for mission and serious departures from the apostolic gospel. The existence of a national FCA provides us, I believe, with a God given opportunity. It is urgently needed for the following reasons:
1. To support the beleaguered orthodox overseas
FCA is committed to supporting Anglicans around the world who are suffering because of their commitment to the orthodox faith in dioceses and provinces that have departed from it. TEC is currently spending very large sums of money on deposing clergy and dispossessing churches. Both those who have formed the ACNA and others who have remained in TEC need to know that they are not alone and can rely on our prayers and partnership, as do the orthodox in a number of other countries who face great difficulties. Their situations are urgent now and can not wait for the outcome of the proposed Anglican Covenant process, which is anyway likely only to address questions of order rather than the issue of defending orthodox belief.
2. To resist a drift from orthodoxy in the Church of England
Although the situation in TEC is especially bad, there is certainly no room for complacency closer to home, especially in Scotland and Wales.
Read it carefully and read it all.
My concerns in regard to FCAUK are as follows:
(1) FCAUK is likely to encourage precipitate action on a variety of different issues that need to be responded to separately if they are to be handled with integrity
(2) FCAUK will encourage cynicism amongst evangelicals about the existing structures within the Church of England at just a time when these structures need encouragement and support
(3) The formation of FCAUK will encourage an unhelpful standoff with more liberal groupings and work to increase rather than resolve polarisation on the issue of homosexuality
(4) Because of all of these things, FCAUK will work to hinder the mission of both the Church of England and the evangelical churches and groupings within it.
Read it all.
According to informants quoted in The Catholic Herald, the Queen has "grown increasingly sympathetic" to the Catholic Church over the years while being "appalled", along with the Prince of Wales, at developments in the Church of England.
The usually well-informed newspaper adds that the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the C of E, is "also said to have an affinity with the Holy Father, who is of her generation".
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Church/State Matters Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI
It is good news that those Anglican parishes that are strongly opposed to homosexuality are forming a new movement. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) was launched last year as a pressure group within the international Anglican communion, but only now is it trying to exert grassroots influence, raising awareness for its cause on the parish level. If it is successful, then it will be easy to identify the sexual politics of your local parish church. It will be impossible to deny that there is a church within the church, that division has become schism.
This is good news because honesty is better than dishonesty. The fact is that conservative evangelicals profess a different version of Christianity from other Anglicans. There are admittedly other divisions within Anglicanism, but this is the really big one. If opposition to homosexuality is a basic component of your idea of Christian truth, then you ought to be clear about this, and not cohabit with those who fudge the issue, or openly express disdain for your position.
Over the past 20 years or so we have seen huge amounts of dishonesty and evasion on this. The church's leadership has been trying to build a home on the fence. The liberals and the conservatives must both be accommodated, it has said: as long as both sides are still part of the same communion, then there is hope of reconciliation. A pious sentiment, surely? Well, the piety is laced with self-serving evasion and hypocrisy.
The fault lies with the liberals....
Read it all.
A traditionalist Anglican group has insisted at its launch conference that it is not poised to break away from the Church of England.
The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans of UK and Ireland will campaign against active homosexuality in the Church.
Its leaders told the conference in London that liberal moves had brought "heartache" and "real problems".
Bishop of Lewes the Rt Rev Wallace Benn said he wanted "to pull people back" rather than breaking away.
Read it all.
Speaking at the group's launch event in London, attended by an estimated 1,600 people from 300 parishes across the UK and Ireland, Bishop Benn said: "Parts of the Church of England don't believe it, they are moving away from the historic Biblical Christianity.
"It's very important to understand that when novelty is introduced into the church, as the New Testament says, there are divisions.
"We're trying to move back to the core of our Christian faith. Sadly some in the British isles are moving away and where bishops do that, there is particular unhappiness in some dioceses and it causes real problems and real heartaches for people and for churches.
Read it all.
Conservative Anglicans, who oppose the Church of England's stand on issues such as gay clergy, on Monday ruled out formally breaking away from the mainstream as a group has done in the United States.
Members of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), also unhappy at plans to allow the ordination of woman bishops, said they wanted to create an umbrella movement to promote conservative views within the Church.
Read it all.
Jim Packer is one of the giants of the real world-Anglicanism. Amongst the wise of this world he is disdained, but his praises are sung in all the churches. Astonishingly, in the eyes of his institutional church he is no longer one of us. He has chosen to separate himself from what he has called the sanctification of sin.
Is he still an Anglican?
When we can seriously ask that question, something is deeply wrong. We are at a watershed, at a parting of the ways. Decisions have to be made.
In this country, the Christian foundations have been shaken. In this and the next generation there will be fought what may amount to the last battle for the soul of the nation. It will be an ideological war, a war of ideas. But great issues will hang upon the outcome: the fate of a culture and the eternal fate of souls. Many look to you for guidance and resource and inspiration. Can we do so any longer?
How can we test your resolve to evangelize your people? Unless you develop a deep confidence in the gospel of the saving work of God through Jesus Christ, a willingness to work together for Christ, and a determination to submit to the teaching of scripture, it will not be done. The culture will swallow you alive.
Read it all.
However, today the Bishop said: “The Be Faithful Press Release says that I would be calling on churches and Christians to repent of capitulating to cultures around them and to refocus on the faith of the Church from down the ages and an authentic mission to the nations. This is what I said to the reporter from the Telegraph. I said that we all needed to repent for straying from God’s purpose for us.
“On being pressed as to whether this included homosexuals, I said something to the effect that yes, we all need to repent when we fall short of God’s will and be transformed. I went on to say a little about how Christians should understand marriage and family and the proper expression of our sexual nature.
Read it all.
To some extent, the proof will be in the pudding. The first thing to do is to learn from the mistakes made by conservatives in the United States.
Over recent decades there was a growth of evangelical and Catholic groupings formed to wage cultural warfare within the American Church. The alarming trajectory of The Episcopal Church towards heterodoxy was not always obvious to insiders and protests against divisive, controversial leaders like the über-liberal Bishop Spong were disorganised and fragmented.
Personality differences and impatience led to fragmentation. Many churches and leaders left The Episcopal Church altogether leaving the conservatives and orthodox weakened. It came to a point at which valiant attempts to regroup at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, and the 2000 Denver General Convention, though largely successful, were already doomed to failure.
The resulting formation of a new province in North America became almost inevitable in the light of the fact that conservatives were so divided and fragmented in the early days that their rearguard actions were ultimately ineffective. Although my own sympathy is with those who don’t give up and continue trying to reform The Episcopal Church, I recognise that will not always be possible.
So why should anyone support FCA and why should it be launched now? Firstly, it’s a way of supporting Anglicans in North America who are struggling to remain Anglican in very difficult circumstances.
Secondly, it’s a direct link to the Global South provinces....
Read it all.
The sad impression of the last year is that those most committed to GAFCON and FCA are determined to press ahead with their vision and, convinced by their own rhetoric and rightness, to ignore or dismiss those who are unwilling to follow their lead. NEAC5 demonstrated widespread unease about aspects of GAFCON and FCA but no serious attempt has been made to address these by those who have now proceeded to launch FCA in the UK. The majority of evangelical bishops remain at best cautious or sceptical about this development but there appears to have been no attempt to consult with them or take on board their concerns.
At NEAC5 it was clear that there were those already convinced about GAFCON and FCA – many of them having been in Jerusalem or close to those who were – but that the majority was not as yet persuaded. The presentations on the day from GAFCON supporters preached to and roused the converted but left many others at best unconvinced and at worst further alienated and concerned. Rather than learning from their failure to win a majority on that day, FCA appears to have continued with the same conviction that passionate selling of its diagnosis and itself as the remedy will be sufficient to win people over. It does not appear to recognise that this rallying of the core troops in fact often has the opposite effect on those looking in from outside or the margins. It appears unable or unwilling to understand why some of us who have so much in common with its commitments feel unable to throw ourselves whole-heartedly into its plans yet long to find a way of engaging constructively with them rather than simply opposing them.
It may be that FCA’s calling is to launch now as a small tight-knit fellowship of the whole-heartedly committed who feel most alienated by developments in the Church of England and Anglican Communion over recent years (including women’s leadership) and who want to form a body of the like-minded on how to pursue their concerns politically. In that case it is clearly not the place for me and the only question is whether it can relate to people like me in a constructive rather than destructive manner.
Read it all.
Read it all.
Even asking that question says Archbishop Jensen, shows how badly things have gone wrong.
He is speaking live now and you can watch it here on Anglican TV.
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