Anglican Church League President: Statement on GAFCON
ACL President, Rev. Dr. Mark Thompson, has released this Statement about GAFCON:
“Nobody present last week in Jerusalem wanted to split the Anglican Communion. No one wanted to leave the Anglican Communion. All wanted to see a robust and authentic Anglicanism which could courageously play a part in God’s great mission of reaching out to lost men and women with the gospel of redemption in Christ.”
Full text —
I have just returned from the GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem. It was a time of rich fellowship, clear thinking and firm resolve. It was also a time of very deliberate dependence upon God. Authentic Anglican doctrine, grounded in the Scripture, reflected in the Thirty-nine Articles and joyfully embraced by the majority of the world’s practicing Anglicans, was once again on centre stage. The Lordship of Christ, who is the only Saviour of men and women, the supreme authority of the teaching of the Bible for Christian faith and life, and the urgency of mission in a world lost in rebellion against the living God, were all unambiguously proclaimed in fresh ways which encouraged God’s people and nourished faith. The Conference statement offered hope and order where time and again official Anglican pronouncements have only given further cause for disillusionment, confusion and disarray.
GAFCON has provided us with a way forward that is sober, serious and faces the realities of global Anglicanism in the twenty-first century. It has addressed directly the crisis brought about by various departures from biblical teaching and faithful Christian living in parts of the Communion and exascerbated by ineffective leadership. It has issued a call to biblical faithfulness and effective mission in the face of overwhelming need.
One further thing is beyond doubt. Nobody present last week in Jerusalem wanted to split the Anglican Communion. No one wanted to leave the Anglican Communion. All wanted to see a robust and authentic Anglicanism which could courageously play a part in God’s great mission of reaching out to lost men and women with the gospel of redemption in Christ. In the words of the Primates from almost six years ago now, the Communion has been ‘torn at the deepest level’ and we are now seeking God’s wisdom for how we are to live in the light of this new reality which is not of our making.
Gospel minded men and women all over the world will rejoice when they read this conference statement, just as the assembled crowed burst into spontaneous applause and rejoicing when it was first read to them last Sunday. Here at last is the leadership we have been praying for. The Primates who called this conference are passionate and biblically faithful. They are humble and bold at the same time. And they will not flinch when faced with the hostility of the revisionists, who continue to prosecute, depose and defame men and women who will not accept their false gospel.
We have much to thank God for as we reflect on the GAFCON and its outcome. Of course there will be opposition and it is likely to be intense. You cannot challenge such entrenched self-interest and it be otherwise. Yet there is every cause to hope and pray that many, many others will join with us in getting on with the most important job of all: testifying to God’s saving mercy in Jesus Christ and living transformed lives in the light of that good news. To that end I trust the GAFCON documents will be very useful indeed.
1st July 2008.