EFAC Press Release – 02 May 2019

THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
PRESS RELEASE BY THE TRUSTEES

The Trustees of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) have read reports of the address by Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, to the Anglican Consultative Council currently meeting in Hong Kong in which he attributed the crisis in the Anglican Communion to “largely autocratic Primates and bishops in the Global South who do not behave as Anglicans” and asked the questions, “’How should we respond to GAFCON?” – the Global Anglican Fellowship of conservative Provinces that has been acting increasingly independently in recent years, after a split over sexuality. ‘How do we handle this to prevent schism in our Communion?’”

The Trustees have written to Archbishop Josiah stating that we will want to unpack with him in due course his criticism of GAFCON in circumstances where it is not disputed that the crisis within the Anglican Communion was started by the Episcopal Church acting independently over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson and has been driven ever since by the independent actions of the Episcopal Church and other liberal provinces, acting against the advice of the Instruments of Communion.

In his address, Archbishop Josiah also suggested that, for a solution to the present crisis, one should look to the example of EFAC “which, in the 1960s, had deliberated breaking away to form an independent Evangelical Church, but had been dissuaded by the late Revd Dr John Stott”. In our communication with Archbishop Josiah, the Trustees of EFAC have stated that this is an inapt and unhelpful analogy, even if it were correct in fact (which it is not). The current crisis in the Anglican Communion is caused by a different issue, same-sex marriage and partnerships, an issue on which the views of the Revd Dr John Stott were clear:

“If you want me to stick my neck out, I think I would say that if the Church were officially to approve homosexual partnerships as a legitimate alternative to heterosexual marriage, this so far diverges from biblical sexual ethics that I would find it exceedingly difficult to stay. I might want to stay on and fight a few more years, but if they persisted, I would have to leave.” (John Stott, Balanced Christianity, p. 63)

This is also an issue on which EFAC is clear. EFAC’s constitution provides expressly, inter alia, as follows:

“We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.”

There is no division between EFAC and GAFCON on issues of human sexuality and any attempt to create division will be resisted prayerfully and strenuously.

We have asked Archbishop Josiah publicly to correct the false analogy (in the same way as he has corrected his perceived critique of the Roman Catholic Church).

Bishop Keith Sinclair (Chairman)
Stephen Hofmeyr QC
Revd Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Carl Hughes.

Received by e-mail. Text extracted from this PDF file.

File image: Anglican Communion crest.

Foley Beach on Canterbury’s invitation to ACNA to observe Lambeth 2020

“Yesterday I received a letter from Archbishop Justin just moments before the invitation was reported online. I read the online report first and was disappointed to see that the original ‘news’ source had furthered a partisan, divisive, and false narrative by wrongly asserting that I left the Anglican Communion. I have never left the Anglican Communion, and have no intention of doing so. …”

– Via Anglican Ink, Archbishop Foley Beach (who is currently in Sydney, and will succeed Archbishop Nicholas Okoh as Chairman of GAFCON on Tuesday) responds to an invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Related:

Welby: British law prevents ACC from debating his decision to exclude same-sex spouses from LambethEpiscopal News Service.

Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion (20 February 2019).

Lambeth Hypocrisy: Disinviting the Spouses – Dr. Stephen Noll (17 February 2019).

A Statement from Archbishop Ben Kwashi, following the Easter Sunday atrocities in Sri Lanka

Greetings to you in Peace.

Yesterday suicide bombers unleashed death and destruction as unsuspecting Sri Lankan Christians gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Together with those killed in hotels, the death toll has reached 310, with many more injured, and our hearts go out in prayer for all who have been caught up in these deeply traumatic events.

News of this atrocity came through just before I preached at All Souls Langham Place and let me repeat what I said then,

‘The resurrection of Jesus is a total defeat of death and of those who would want to use death to scare people off from faith in Jesus. His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.’

At our recent conference in Dubai, Gafcon resolved to stand with the Suffering Church and this will be a leading agenda item for our Primates Council as it meets in Sydney next week.

Meanwhile, in this Easter week let us remember that the one who drew alongside two sad and discouraged disciples on the Emmaus road was the Risen Christ who yet still bore the wounds of the cross. By death he has destroyed death and he will be with us until the very end in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Risen Lord be with you!

Archbishop Ben Kwashi,
Gafcon General Secretary.”

– from GAFCON, 22 April 2019.

Archbishop Foley Beach, Easter 2019

The Anglican Church in North America has published this Easter Conversation with Archbishop Foley Beach, incoming Chairman of GAFCON.

(Hear Archbishops Foley Beach and Ben Kwashi in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth in early May 2019 – details here.)

An Easter message from Archbishop Ben Kwashi

Archbishop Ben Kwashi gives an update from GAFCON this Easter, and asks for your support.

Final Letter from Archbishop Okoh as GAFCON Chairman

“My dear people of God,

This month is the last time I write to you as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council before I hand over later this month to my beloved brother in Christ and fellow Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach.

As I look back over nearly three years in which I have been privileged to serve the cause of the gospel in this way, I am full of gratitude to Almighty God for his continued favour. By His grace, we have gone far, but it is because the Lord has helped us. Just as Samuel raised his Ebenezer, the stone of remembrance, I also humbly ask that we remember and do not forget how God has blessed this movement far beyond what we deserve and far beyond what our own efforts could have achieved. …”

Read Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s full letter.

Standing with the Suffering

“At the end of February, Gafcon held a conference hosted by Bishop Michael Nazir Ali and Bishop Azad Marshall of Pakistan which, though much smaller than last year’s Jerusalem Conference, will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on all those who attended and the wider Anglican Communion.

From 25th February to 1st March, 138 delegates, including four Primates and 31 bishops and archbishops, gathered in Dubai for ‘G19’. The conference was designed for those who had been unable to attend Gafcon 2018 in Jerusalem for political reasons and many came from contexts where there are severe restrictions on Christian witness.

In his opening address, Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Okoh of Nigeria set the tone of the conference…”

– GAFCON’s Membership Development Secretary, Canon Charles Raven, wrote this article for Evangelicals Now.

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand calls for Nominations for their first Bishop

“The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand is a new Diocese in New Zealand.

Because of the rejection of the authority of Scripture by the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia at the 2018 General Synod, a number of parishes and individuals have chosen to disaffiliate from ACANZP and gather together in 12 parishes to form a new expression of Anglicanism.

As a Christ-centred church in the historic Anglican faith and order, we are calling for nominations for our first Bishop. We are seeking a person who has a desire to serve as our Bishop…”

– News from The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Gafcon Networks mobilise after Cyclone hits Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe

“Following the massive destruction brought to Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe by Cyclone Idai, Rev Dennis Tongoi who leads the Gafcon Sustainable Development Network put Gafcon leaders in touch with one another and contact was made with Mozambican Bishop Vicente Msosa, who was present at Gafcon 2018 in Jerusalem.

Mozambique is one of the areas hardest hit and Bishop Vicente shared with us the traumatic impact of this disaster on his Diocese of Niassa. …”

– GAFCON’s Membership Development Secretary, Canon Charles Raven, shares about the disaster unfolding in Africa.

See also:

Anglican Aid in Sydney has set up an emergency appeal. (Donation link at the bottom of that page. Photo via Anglican Aid.)

“Anglican Aid is providing much-needed assistance to Zimbabwe through FOCUS Zimbabwe and Honeyworld and to affected parts of Mozambique through local bishops known to us through GAFCON.”

Islands and inland seas as Southern Africa hit by flooding – SydneyAnglicans.net

“An entire community was submerged when people woke up on Saturday morning. Many have been left homeless and numerous others have either been confirmed dead or are still missing” said the urgent call to Anglican Aid from Tawanda Masango, newly returned to Zimbabwe from Sydney.

GAFCON Chairman’s March 2019 Letter

In his March 2019 Pastoral Letter, GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh highlights the confusion surrounding the 2020 Lambeth Conference:

“A recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, had confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby’s own previous statement that all bishops’ spouses would be included.

The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.

But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as ‘incompatible with Scripture’.

The inconsistency is obvious to all. …”

– Read it all at the GAFCON website.

Ben Kwashi: Pray for the work of Gafcon each day during Lent

Archbishop Ben Kwashi writes:

Will you pray with me for the work of Gafcon each day during Lent?  

While I was in Dubai for the G19 conference last week, I was moved by the resilience of brothers and sisters who face severe suffering for the sake of Christ. These are praying people and their example reminds us that we are called to be a spiritual movement, determined not only to put the Bible but also unceasing prayer at the forefront of all we do.

During our conference, I was so pleased to witness the tremendous progress the Gafcon Prayer Network has made since it launched in Jerusalem last June.

One of the network’s projects has been to develop a Lent prayer diary which can be accessed via the website, received through daily social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or through the recently launched page on the PrayerMate App.

It will provide subscribers with a topic each day… through to Easter Day and beyond to fuel our prayers as we stand together in gospel partnership.”

– Even if Lent is not necessarily ‘your thing’, it is good to heed this call for unceasing prayer. (Screenshot: the GAFCON feed on PrayerMate.)

G19 Conference Statement

The GAFCON G19 Conference in Dubai released their Conference Statement: Streams in the Desert: A Letter from Churches in Restricted Situations.

Read it at the GAFCON website.

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