“We are the Anglican Communion; we represent 85% of all church-going Anglicans” — Bishop Glenn Davies

“We have a de facto re-ordered Communion now. We are not leaving the Anglican Communion, but reforming it along Cranmerian lines, where the Scripture is supreme and obedience to Scripture is essential; we represent 85% of Anglicans worldwide and are moving forward. …”

– David Virtue at VirtueOnline has published an interview with Bishop Glenn Davies.

Photo: Bishop Davies speaks at GAFCON IV in Kigali.

GAFCON IV and the revolution in world Anglicanism

“Lambeth Palace needs to ‘wake up and smell the coffee.’ As an English Anglican, my experience at GAFCON was deeply sobering. The churches to which the vast majority of Anglicans belong feel completely betrayed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and by the Church of England as their mother church. …”

– Martin Davie writes at Christian Today.


GAFCON 101 – everything you need to know

From David Ould:

“I wrote this brief article last week for my church newsletter. It’s a basic primer on what GAFCON is, how it came about, what happened at Kigali and why it was necessary.…”

Read here.

Photo: Bishop Glenn Davies at GAFCON IV in Kigali.

A 3 minute report on GAFCON IV to play in your church

From The Pastor’s Heart.

Download link just above the video on that page.

What now after Canterbury’s leadership implosion – with Sydney Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Just released from The Pastor’s Heart – while visiting Bunda Bible College in Tanzania, Dominic Steele speaks with Archbishop Kanishka Raffel.

“Sydney’s Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has responded to Gafcon’s Kigali Commitment which says the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s continued leadership of the Anglican Communion is entirely indefensible.

Leaders representing 85% of the Anglican Communion say they have no confidence in the Archbishop of Canterbury or the other instruments of the Anglican Communion.

In his first interview, since the release of Gafcon’s Kigali Communique, Archbishop Raffel sits down with Dominic Steele while on a tour of Anglican Aid projects in rural Tanzania.”

Also much encouraging news on the impact of Anglican Aid.

The FAQs: Anglican Group Calls on Church of England’s Leader to Repent

“…their example is showing Christians around the globe what it looks like to remain faithful to Christ in an age of compromise.”

– At The Gospel Coalition, Joe Carter addresses one of his ‘explainer’ articles to outline what GAFCON is doing and why.

Photo: GAFCON IV in Kigali, cotters GAFCON.

The Kigali Commitment — the statement from GAFCON 4

“After a horrible few months in the Church of England, in which we feel that we have been punched in the stomach and kicked in the teeth by our own bishops, it’s really great to be here in Rwanda, where we experience the warm embrace of brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. …

As Kanishka Raffel told us, ‘the GAFCON Primates and GAFCON branches have been attacked and ridiculed and criticized but they have stood up and stood alongside those who were defamed and isolated for the sake of holding to the truth of God’s word.’ But it is clear that we stand together in unity here. How good and pleasant that is! (Psalm 133)…”

– Read all of Lee Gatiss’ report from GAFCON IV at the Church Society website.

Statement from Lambeth Palace, 21 April 2023

“Responding to ‘The Kigali Commitment’ issued by GAFCON IV today, a spokesperson for Lambeth Palace said:

‘We note that The Kigali Commitment issued by GAFCON IV today makes many of the same points that have previously been made about the structures of the Anglican Communion. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has previously said, those structures are always able to change with the times – and have done so in the past. The Archbishop said at the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Ghana (ACC-18) that no changes to the formal structures of the Anglican Communion can be made unless they are agreed upon by the Instruments of Communion.’ …” (emphasis added)

Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

And from the GAFCON IV Kigali Commitment, representing perhaps 85% of global Anglicans:

Public statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other leaders of the Church of England in support of same-sex blessings are a betrayal of their ordination and consecration vows to banish error and to uphold and defend the truth taught in Scripture. …

We have no confidence that the Archbishop of Canterbury nor the other Instruments of Communion led by him (the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meetings) are able to provide a godly way forward that will be acceptable to those who are committed to the truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency and authority of Scripture. The Instruments of Communion have failed to maintain true communion based on the Word of God and shared faith in Christ.

All four Instruments propose that the way ahead for the Anglican Communion is to learn to walk together in ‘good disagreement’. However we reject the claim that two contradictory positions can both be valid in matters affecting salvation. We cannot ‘walk together’ in good disagreement with those who have deliberately chosen to walk away from the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3). The people of God ’walk in his ways’, ‘walk in the truth’, and ‘walk in the light’, all of which require that we do not walk in Christian fellowship with those in darkness (Deuteronomy 8:6; 2 John 4; 1 John 1:7).

Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have failed to guard the faith by inviting bishops to Lambeth who have embraced or promoted practices contrary to Scripture. This failure of church discipline has been compounded by the current Archbishop of Canterbury who has himself welcomed the provision of liturgical resources to bless these practices contrary to Scripture. This renders his leadership role in the Anglican Communion entirely indefensible. …” (emphasis added)

Great Encouragement — yet much Grief that this is needed

Dominic Steele and the team in Kigali have posted a number reactions to the Kigali Commitment.

Do watch them here to understand something of the sadness and pain in this moment, as well as the encouragement to stand firm in Christ.

Interviewees include (not in order) –

* Michael Stead, Statement Committee Chair
* Richard Coekin, Co-Mission Network, London
* Jay Behan, New Zealand Bishop
* Lee Gatiss, UK Church Society Director
* Andy Lines, Bishop for Anglican Network in Europe
* Julian Dodds, USA Bishop
* Vaughan Roberts, Minister of St Ebbes Oxford
* William Taylor, Minister of St Helens London
* Matt and Anne Kennedy, Binghamton New York
* Pete Smith & Jennifer Hercott, Gafcon Australia
* Bill Atwood, Regional Secretary for the Americas
* Rico Tice, Christianity Explored
* Jonathan Pryke, Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne
* Trevor Johnson, Tim Anderson, Ireland

Photo: William Taylor and Vaughan Roberts speak of their great encouragement at the release of the Kigali Commitment – as well as their sadness and grief that this is needed.

An Historic Moment for the Anglican Communion: Key Takeaways from the GAFCON IV Kigali Commitment

“The final version of the Gafcon IV Kigali Commitment (2023) will go down in history as among the historic turning points of the Anglican Communion.  It was virtually everything the delegates had hoped for, and as Rev Canon Alison Barfoot and I observed in our podcast yesterday, it is substantively the same as the first draft even after the Statement Team reviewed 550+ comments submitted!

Here are some of the key takeaways. I encourage you to read and reflect upon the GAFCON Kigali Commitment (2023) for yourself. …

But let me offer the following eight take-aways and commentary on the GAFCON Kigali Commitment. …”

– Canon Phil Ashey from the American Anglican Council has posted these very helpful observations on The GAFCON IV Kigali Commitment released last night.

He also outlines the new leadership of GAFCON –

“Archbishop Foley Beach and the Gafcon primates have passed the baton to the next leaders of the movement. Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Rwanda) is the new Chair. Archbishops Kanishka Raffel (Sydney) and Miguel Uchoa (Brazil) are the vice-Chairs. Archbishop Kwashi (Nigeria) will continue as General Secretary. In other words, the face of the top leadership of Gafcon is a global Anglican Communion face, representing (with Global South) the 85% majority of Anglicans in Africa, Austral-Asia, and the Americas. It is the same face we find in the top leadership of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans.”

Resetting the Communion ‘urgent’ says GAFCON IV

“After a five-day meeting in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the 1300 clergy and lay delegates to the fourth Global Anglican Future Conference have agreed on a statement calling for an ‘urgent resetting’ of the Anglican communion.

The largest gathering of Anglicans since GAFCON III in Jerusalem five years ago had to grapple with the fallout from the Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex couples. …”

– Russell Powell has this report on the Kigali Commitment and its implications.

The Kigali Commitment — GAFCON IV Conference Statement — resetting the Anglican Communion on its biblical foundations.

The Kigali Commitment –

Released on the final day of GAFCON IV, 21 April 2023

PDF version here. Or full text below:

(Also available in Swahili, French, Spanish and Portuguese.)

Read more

GAFCON Day 4: Remarkable Repentance

The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey continues his encouraging reports from Kigali.

Here, he discusses Thursday’s events. The final day of GAFCON IV begins this evening, Australian time.

“The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16-17) and, therefore, it is worth paying whatever cost to stand up for and share this power-of-God Gospel with the world. Along the way, we need to ask ourselves about this cost. What lessons can we learn from the Church of Uganda, and others, about breaking Communion with Anglican Churches that will not uphold the Gospel? What is the cost of breaking Communion with the Mother Church of England? How can we reset the Communion on a Gospel basis? What can GAFCON and Global South do in this new reset to address the needs of African Anglicans in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ faithfully to all nations? These are among the questions the Rev. Canon Dr. Alison Barfoot (Church of Uganda) and I discussed in our Anglican Perspective Podcast yesterday evening. [See below]

We need the power of the Gospel more than ever in the cultures we are evangelizing where identity politics and divisions are deepening. This morning, we heard the power of the Gospel in the exposition of Colossians 3:1-17 by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel (Sydney) who contrasted the identity politics and divisions of the world with the identity of the Church and the unity we experience as followers of Jesus Christ. The identity of the Church finds its source in Jesus Christ and his saving work alone (Col. 3:1-4). “Therefore,” said Archbishop Raffel, “let Jesus be the counselor whose advice and approval is our sole focus.” The identity of the Church is shaped by the character of Christ (Col. 3:5-14) whose death on the cross calls us to “put to death whatever belongs to our earthly (sinful) nature” and “clothe ourselves” with the new nature Christ has given us, his very life, especially his forgiveness and love. Finally, the identity of the Church is formed by Christ-centered habits of the heart (Col. 3:15-17) especially the practice of peace as we gather around God’s word with thankfulness for all Christ has done for us. “Therefore,” he said, “there is no room for grumbling or pride or self-congratulation when we gather together.”

Archbishop Raffel also focused on two things at the heart of identity politics and divisions in our cultures: sex and speech. “Put to death therefore…sexual immorality,” and “rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language…” (Col. 3:5, 8-9). Because of these two things, the wrath of God is coming (Col. 3:6). Why? Because God cares about relationships, and sexual immorality and destructive speech are at the heart of unraveled relationships in our secular cultures.

He then turned the spotlight on the Church and said we, too, must repent of the same things. He noted that our championing of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) often only focuses on one aspect of sexual immorality, whereas the Resolution also includes the following expressions of sexual immorality:

“Promiscuity, prostitution, incest, pornography, paedophilia, predatory sexual behaviour, and sadomasochism (all of which may be heterosexual and homosexual), adultery, violence against wives, and female circumcision. From a Christian perspective these forms of sexual expression remain sinful in any context.” (Called to Full Humanity, Section 1 Report, subsection 3)

Noting the voices of the victims of these forms of sexual immorality especially victims of predatory sexual behavior, prostitution, and violence in marriage, and our failure to address these dimensions in our focus on homosexuality, Archbishop Raffel concluded that “there is a self-serving blind spot for which we must repent lest the wrath of God fall upon us.” He was followed immediately by Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney, ret.) who invited all GAFCON members to first repent of our sins and to turn away from our own impurity before we call others to repent.

A remarkable moment of repentance followed—a time of quiet self-examination for repentance of our own sins and prayers for forgiveness. I was reminded of the challenges we are facing in ACNA in responding to accusations of clergy misconduct by victims of predatory sexual behavior and other abuses of position and power. To what degree are we experiencing the cutting edge of God’s wrath for our failures? What can we do to repent?

Our time of prayer was followed immediately by an unexpected presentation by GAFCON leaders regarding the financial challenges facing GAFCON. It was very surprising and sobering. The leadership challenged those present to respond with extraordinary giving to raise a multi-million dollar endowment to fund the ongoing operations of GAFCON. This “ask” raises questions about the operations of GAFCON. But in the spirit of Archbishop Raffel’s challenge from Colossians 3, is this financial crisis one of the ways God is trying to speak to and shape GAFCON in its operations, vision, and mission? Is there a blind spot in the way GAFCON has functioned for which there needs to be some repentance?

At the heart of true repentance lies the heart of God and the heart of sinful people like you and me. This was the subject of the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null’s plenary presentation on “The power to love: the heart of historic Anglicanism.” Dr. Null reminded us that the human heart requires repentance because it is at the center of human sin. It is also at the center of humanity’s restoration. Our insecurities lead us to act in sinful ways driven by the disordered desires of our hearts. The only way out of sin is to discover a burning love for God that turns us outward away from self.

Medieval Catholic repentance was a combination of fear and hope, but the English Reformers like Thomas Cranmer thought the love of God, rather than the fear of God, leads to true change. The Reformers realized that the sins we struggle with draw us away from the love of God and act as replacements for it. They recognized that the devil’s principal strategy is to make us doubt that God really loves us, to turn away from God’s love, and to feel good about ourselves through “the devices and desires of our own heart.” By ourselves, we do not have the capacity to love God rather than sin.

In returning to the power of the Gospel, the Reformers rediscovered the truth of I John 4:19: We love God because he first loved us. So, Cranmer makes this the central theme of our liturgies and prayers in the Book of Common Prayer! God’s love comes first and always, not our own works and efforts. Through these prayers, we are reminded constantly of the love of God for us whose voice in our hearts can never be extinguished.  Only God’s love for sinners can inspire sinners like you and me to love God more than sin!

This is the heart of remarkable repentance and the heart of true discipleship. This is what GAFCON stands for and what also must be at the heart of a reset Anglican Communion. We need GAFCON not only to remind us of this remarkable repentance but also to lead by example.”

– Received via e-mail.

Top photo: GAFCON.

On the Threshold of the Great Anglican Communion Reset

The American Anglican Council‘s Canon Phil Ashey writes from Kigali –

“The first official draft of the GAFCON statement was read today to GAFCON Kigali delegates. The hard work to create an in-depth, thorough, and sweeping evaluation of the issues facing the Anglican Church, the proposed solutions, and the future for biblically faithful Anglicanism were positively received. We are grateful for their hard work and transparency. Tonight, these primates and church leaders will gather again to gather feedback from delegates who met after the reading of the statement in regional gatherings to discuss the draft and make suggested changes. We eagerly await the reading of the final statement on Friday morning!

This morning, Archbishop James Wong (Indian Ocean) taught from Colossians 1:28-2:23 on being “Rooted and Grounded in Christ.” Ultimately, this is what I believe the GAFCON Conference Statement is calling us to be. As Archbishop Wong noted, St. Paul actually uses a mixed metaphor, both a garden and a building, “rooted and built up” (Col. 2:7). We are to bear fruit and grow up to be a place together where God himself may dwell. That is the future of the great Anglican Communion reset.

What Paul described in Colossians is similar to the struggle we now face in the Anglican Communion. The church in Colossae was divided between those who had a simple faith in the supremacy of Jesus Christ and those who believed in “fine sounding arguments,” “hollow and deceptive philosophies,” and the “human traditions and elemental spiritual forces” of the world (Col. 2:4,8). What a perfect description of the context in which the Anglican Communion finds itself today, divided between those who believe in the supremacy of Jesus Christ and the clarity, authority, and superiority of his Word—and those who have produced “find sounding arguments” that have seduced people away from the love of Christ and his teaching, including his teaching on marriage. What St. Paul said is what GAFCON says today: “Do not be deceived.” In the context of our divided Communion, Archbishop Wong concluded, “Look up to Jesus and see that no one takes you captive to anything that takes you away from Jesus!”

In Colossians 2:2, St. Paul describes his mission to the Colossians and others who have not yet met him in these words: “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love.” Just as he encouraged the Colossians to put love and unity together said Archbishop Wong, so GAFCON and the Global South are calling all orthodox Anglicans to stand firm by coming together “in love and unity to overcome the spiritual forces that draw us away from Jesus Christ.” The unity of the 85% of global Anglicans represented by GAFCON and the Global South must, therefore, be rooted in love of Jesus and love for one another.

That’s what I heard in the GAFCON Statement today. It is a call to evangelism, discipleship, and mission. But it is also a call, in the words of Archbishop Wong, “to good order, to be like an army in lines unbroken, in discipline, following the great tradition and rule the Colossians had already received, ‘So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Col.2:6-7).

May this be the word and the spirit of the great Anglican Communion reset!”

– Received via e-mail.

Two highlights from Day 2 of GAFCON IV

There is much to see – but here are two highlights –

Bishop Glenn Davies’ background on what led up to GAFCON I, 2008 and what came after.

It’s a very sobering accounting of recent history. Do watch and share:

He mentions the Kuala Lumpur Statement, 1997.

See also: The Anglican Debacle: Roots and Patterns – by Dr. Mark Thompson, March 2008.

And Bishop Keith Sinclair’s address:

“What we have seen over the past years is the unfolding of a tragedy.”

Bishop Sinclair refers to Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10,

and Peter Jensen’s editorial in the current issue of The Global Anglican.

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