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Source: AAC International Update
The following letter by the Rev. Canon Phil Ashey first appeared in the May 1, 2013 edition of the AAC's International Update. Sign up for this free email here.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Last week I had the honor to address the leaders of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) at their meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. These leaders have discerned that the time was right for a second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday, October 21-Saturday, October 26, at All Saints Cathedral. Why? While the Conference details including the schedule and objectives are not yet public, and while I DO NOT speak on behalf of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, it seems to me that there are some obvious reasons why there ought to be a second GAFCON and that it be held in Nairobi.
For over a decade, the Anglican Communion has existed in a state of dysfunction. Despite countless efforts to address unbiblical teaching, no meaningful actions have been taken to restore faith and order in the Communion. In fact, the very structures of the Communion have lost the credibility and moral high ground it takes to address these issues. The paralysis of the official governing structures of the Anglican Communion in the face of false teaching is so deep and systemic that even a skilled and godly Archbishop of Canterbury may well be unable to repair the damage. Even the former Archbishop of Canterbury, ++Rowan Williams, on whose watch so much damage has been done, conceded the limitations of his office near the end of his tenure.
It seems to me that the leaders of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans are done with the endless conversations and indaba groups. They know what they believe and have chosen who they will serve. These leaders from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, Sudan, The Southern Cone, Sydney and North America, and the Anglicans they serve, are in fact the majority of the world's Anglicans. They believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of all. They believe the authority of Scriptures over every area of our lives. They believe that the number one priority for Anglicans in the world today is the fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20, to make disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations. That is why they gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 for the first Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and produced the Jerusalem Declaration . In that Jerusalem Declaration--over and against a determined, vocal minority of leaders in North America and elsewhere in the “Global North,”-- the leaders of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans reaffirmed their commitment to the faith once delivered to the Apostles, the creeds and councils of the Church catholic, and the 39 Articles. And since then, new provinces have joined with them.
|All Saint's Cathedral, Nairobi, Kenya|
1. It is time for Anglicans to “get on” with passionately pursuing Christ’s Great Commission. GAFCON II will be a missions conference. Worship and Bible study will be highlights of the conference. Global networking among orthodox believers from many nations could shape Anglican partnerships and international mission for decades to come.
2. It is time for Anglicans to come together to support each other in the face of false gospels and persecution. As Dr. Ashley Null observed at the April, 2012 gathering of GFCA leaders in London: “Since the church as a human institution can err, adapting the proclamation of the gospel to a specific culture can all too often lead to the culture adapting and changing the gospel to its own human idolatries. Therefore, a global fellowship is necessary to help individual national churches to discern whether a specific gospel proclamation is adapting to the culture or capitulating to it.” GAFCON II has the potential to provide apologetic resources that address the church’s capitulation to human idolatries. Through the activation of global networks it could provide fellowship and support for Anglicans who are facing false gospels—even from within the Anglican Communion itself—and more especially to provide real support for persecuted Anglicans in places like Nigeria and the Sudan.
|Canon Ashey with Archbishop Wabukala of the Anglican Church of
Kenya, chairmen of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans'
3. It is time for Anglicans to come together and model a biblical way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to each other. The official structures of the Anglican Communion, “The Instruments of Unity,” have failed dramatically, in my opinion. They are utterly paralyzed in the face of false gospels. Now is the time for a Global Fellowship of Anglicans to come together and model a biblical way for Anglicans to be the church and to carry out Christ’s Great Commission together. GAFCON II can provide opportunities for church leaders to meet together to address different forms of missional leadership, to affirm Anglicans everywhere who affirm the Jerusalem Declaration and to affirm the missionary efforts of evangelism and church planting that are the logical consequence of such affirmation.
To those who would ask "Why hold GAFCON II in Nairobi, Kenya?,” the reality is that most of the world's Anglicans live in Africa. The fastest growing provinces are in Africa. If it weren't for the evangelistic zeal of our brothers and sisters in Africa, the third largest branch of Christianity would be a denomination in precipitous decline and danger of irrelevancy.
So please join me in praying for all those who will be planning, funding, pulling together all the loose ends and serving at GAFCON II. The American Anglican Council will be there to help in any way we can. God willing, this gathering will be another great moment that will keep this global Anglican movement in step with the Holy Spirit!
Yours in Christ,