GAFCON Statement on C of E General Synod’s rejection of Report

From GAFCON:

“Canterbury can no longer be the defining centre, but through the Gafcon movement a growing number of faithful Anglicans are now recovering their true identity in the gospel itself…”

Read the full statement:

“The Church of England is in turmoil following the General Synod’s rejection of a report by the House of Bishops recommending that there should be no change in the Church‘s traditional teaching on marriage and sexuality. 

Even though the report held out the possibility of change and signalled a permissive approach in practice, it was abruptly rejected by an almost unprecedented vote against a motion to ‘take note’ of the report, usually just an uncontroversial preliminary to further debate.

After the vote, the Archbishop of Canterbury repeated his call for ‘a radical new Christian inclusion’ and it seems likely that this is a watershed moment with the Church of England now set on the same path as the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) and other Provinces that have taken it upon themselves to reinvent fundamental Christian doctrine.

Gafcon UK have already commented that ‘The confusion created by the General Synod vote on 15th February makes it abundantly clear that a new vision is now needed of what Anglican Christianity in England can and should be.’

It is also increasingly clear that a new vision is needed for the Anglican Communion as a whole. Despite its enduring historical symbolism, Canterbury can no longer be the defining centre, but through the Gafcon movement a growing number of faithful Anglicans are now recovering their true identity in the gospel itself as the Bible is restored to its rightful place at the heart of the Communion.”

– Source, GAFCON.

The radical call to ‘go the wrong way’ — Archbishop Welby’s charge to General Synod

“At the end of the recent General Synod, when an alliance of orthodox Christians and pro-gay progressives defeated the Bishops’ report on Marriage and Sexuality, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued a rallying cry to a perturbed and divided Synod and whatever part of the wider Church was listening in.

It had three elements:

1. “We need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church.

2. “It must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.

3. “The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

The problem these words present, is that they involve a distortion of Christianity. …”

Gavin Ashenden evaluates Archbishop Justin Welby’s call to the Church of England General Synod.

Background:

This is what the concerns are about – Archbishop Welby’s statement – Wednesday 15th February 2017.

Statement from Archbishop Justin Welby following the General Synod’s vote “not to take note” of a Report by the House of Bishops on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships.

“No person is a problem, or an issue. People are made in the image of God. All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no ‘problems’, there are simply people. 

How we deal with the real and profound disagreement – put so passionately and so clearly by many at the Church of England’s General Synod debate on marriage and same-sex relationships today – is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ.

To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual. 

We need to work together – not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone – to move forward with confidence.

The vote today is not the end of the story, nor was it intended to be. As bishops we will think again and go on thinking, and we will seek to do better. We could hardly fail to do so in the light of what was said this afternoon. 

The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.”

GAFCON UK responds to the Synod vote, and offers a new vision

“The confusion created by the General Synod vote on 15th February makes abundantly clear that a new vision is now needed of what Anglican Christianity in England can and should be. …

After the very expensive ‘holding operation’ of the Shared Conversations and the production of GS2055, the inevitable crisis in the C of E is now upon us; one that cannot be covered up by more platitudes about reconciliation and unity.

There is a better way. …

– Read the full important statement from GAFCON UK.

Sam Allberry explains how the message of Jesus on marriage is life-giving

Video from the Church of England General Synod debate on same sex marriage, 15th February 2017.

A very encouraging and sobering 3 minute speech.

‘Church of England’s report on marriage and sexuality suffers setback at Synod’

“A report from the House of Bishops about marriage and same sex relationships has received a significant setback in a vote at the General Synod in London. It is an embarrassing symbolic rejection of the Bishops’ report which had stated that there should be no change in the church’s teaching while calling for a “fresh tone” on the issues. Speaking before the vote, the Archbishop of Canterbury said he believed passionately that the report that had been worked on and struggled with was a roadmap and he promised the church would find a new “inclusion.”

However many speakers in the debate said the report was not clear enough or did not go far enough. 

some evangelical members of Synod also expressed concern, fearing that the Bishops’ report was a softening of the guidelines on sexual morality.”

– This report from The Anglican Communion News Service. Photo credit: Lam Pal. ACNS.

See also: Church of England Bishops’ Report: More Questions than Answers – Canon Phil Ashey, American Anglican Council, 04 February 2017.

‘Welby risks a fatal Anglican split over homosexuality’

“Personally, I believe the most worrying element of the [Bishop’s Report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships] is the way the bishops have reinterpreted the law of the C of E about where our doctrine can be found. They appear to sideline Scripture and the traditional formularies of the Church, in favour of finding the boundaries of freedom in Canon Law.”

from an interview with Reform’s Susie Leafe, speaking about the Church of England’s General Synod, meeting tonight (Australian time).

Link via Anglican Mainstream.

Manipulative, domineering revisionists must be opposed, not appeased

“I can already hear the shocked gasps from some as they read this title. ‘Oh, can’t we have a nicer tone in this debate?’, some are thinking, as they cover their ears, desperately thinking happy thoughts and hoping the whole nasty issue will go away. …”

– As the Church of England’s General Synod debates ‘same sex marriage’ this week, Anglican Mainstream’s the Rev. Andrew Symes calls on Christians believers to stand for the apostolic truth.

(He mentions a segment on BBC TV from Monday 13th February. The link at Anglican Mainstream is viewable only in the UK. Here is another source. And another one, though in one minute segments.)

GAFCON UK’s response to the lobby group OneBodyOneFaith

“GAFCON UK welcomes the publication of the OneBodyOneFaith statement “A time to build”.

The statement is admirably clear in its wholesale abandonment of any pretence that OneBodyOneFaith has any respect for Biblical authority or any interest in the wellbeing of global Anglicanism. …”

GAFCON UK responds with clarity to yet another call to ditch the authority of God’s word.

Canterbury Cathedral to host Service for Freemasons

“Canterbury Cathedral is hosting a service to “celebrate” 300 years of Freemasonry after receiving a donation from the Masons of £300,000. The Duke of Kent, who is the Grand Master of the Freemasons, will be among those attending the special service of thanksgiving on 18 February. …”

Could be a wonderful opportunity. (Photo: Canterbury Cathedral.)

GAFGON Chairman’s February 2017 letter

“It seems … that the Church of England bishops have recommended the right thing for the wrong reason. They have retained the Church’s traditional teaching, but because they think that holding opposite views together will eventually produce a consensus, not because it represents an apostolic boundary.”

– from Archbishop Okoh’s February 2017 letter to GAFCON supporters.

C of E college apologises for students’ attempt to ‘queer evening prayer’

“A leading theological college that trains priests for the Church of England has apologised after it hosted a service to mark LGBT history month that referred to God as ‘the Duchess’.

Student priests at Westcott House in Cambridge organised the evensong service on Tuesday in the college chapel. …”

– Story from The Guardian. Photo (not of the event described above) from Westcott House.

Related:

Westcott House History:

“Westcott House began its life in 1881 as the Cambridge Clergy Training School whose first president was the then Regius Professor of Divinity, Brooke Foss WestcottA pioneering and respected New Testament scholar himself, the school was the product of Westcott’s own passionate concern to raise the standard of clergy education and so took the name of its founder after his death. …

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