ACL President’s statement on ACC-14

Rev Dr Mark ThompsonStatement on the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica, from the President of the Anglican Church League, Dr. Mark Thompson, 9th May 2009:

“We have once again been shown how firmly apostasy and deception is embedded in the international structures of Anglicanism. There is no hope for the future there.”

The reports from the 14th Anglican Consultative Council meeting being held in Jamaica make for depressing reading. ‘Assume incompetence rather than malevolence’, the old saying goes. That is becoming harder and harder to do, even for the optimists amongst us.

The intervention of the Archbishop of Canterbury at crucial points to serve the interests of TEC and its presiding bishop and to thwart the attempts to bring real accountability to bear on those who have abandoned the teaching of Scripture and are pursuing the property of faithful Anglicans through the courts, undermines any suggestion that he is providing genuine leadership at this crucial time. The activities of other officials from the Anglican Communion Office were even more openly serving the revisionist agenda.

We have once again been shown how firmly apostasy and deception is embedded in the international structures of Anglicanism. There is no hope for the future there. Generous-hearted faithful Anglicans have been willing to keep trying for a resolution through those structures and once again they have been betrayed at the highest level. The goodwill of faithful men and women has been presumed upon and taken as a sign of weakness or a lack of resolve. We need to pray for those who have been so seriously disillusioned this week.

The future of the gospel mission does not ultimately depend upon the structures of Anglicanism, of course. God’s determination to save men and women will be realised. All over the world men and women are being brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ and confident Christian discipleship in the light of all that he has done. The 14th Anglican Consultative Council meeting is ultimately irrelevant. The prayerful proclamation of Christ and his gospel continues despite the political machinations in Jamaica.

Gospel-minded men and women are banding together in the midst of this Anglican chaos. It is not easy and there are certainly significant hurdles that will need to be negotiated in the future. However, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans that emerged out of GAFCON is all the more important in the light of recent events. The international chaos has touched the lives of local congregations in other parts of the world. If we do not stand together at this crucial time, that struggle will become the personal experience of more and more faithful Anglicans.

I encourage all members of the ACL to pray for wisdom for the GAFCON primates and for the leaders of our own diocese. Real leadership often means isolation. We need to pray that these faithful men will continue to be prayerful, humble and courageous, dependent upon God’s Spirit and submitting all their thoughts and decisions to the scrutiny of God’s word. The ancient enemy of the gospel will be hard at work to turn us against each other. We should pray that God himself would preserve our unity and give us that proper sense of proportion to know what matters and what does not.

Yet let us learn the lesson from this most recent meeting of the ACC. We cannot afford to pin our hopes on ecclesiastical structures or even on individual leaders. The hope for a vibrant, robust, faithful Anglican witness to the gospel of Christ in this century rests in God and his work to bring about genuine repentance and faith in the lives of men and women.

Mark D Thompson
ACL President
Sydney, 9th May 2009