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Some have concluded that making our voice heard in the public square about sex and family life, or about anything controversial, is counter-productive to mission. But the opposite is the case. I worked in South Africa for more than 12 years, mostly in poor communities. I saw how some evangelical and charismatic Christians happily did church in their affluent homogenous groups, and refused to address publicly the iniquities of apartheid. Other churches were bravely confronting injustice and involved in compassionate social action, but were unable to promote loudly the life-saving message of sexual self control in the context of the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, often because their pastors were compromised in that area. In both cases fear of unpopularity prevented prophetic Gospel-driven action to save lives.
Anglican Mainstream remains committed to the local church’s vital role in pastoral care, evangelism and mission in our own nation and worldwide in contexts of genuine poverty and oppression. These will be main themes at GAFCON 2 in Nairobi in late October. But listening to the revolution in our culture will also involve discerning what is wrong as well as affirming what is good. The gospel of the Kingdom is good news, but inclusion depends on repentance, and faith in the one who has not changed.
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