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African Anglicans are the future of the Anglican Communion

African Anglicans are the future of the Anglican Communion
Progressive Western Anglicanism grows more irrelevant with the acceptance of homosexual marriage
GAFCON is the future, the Lambeth Conference is rapidly becoming the past

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
August 27, 2019

From New Zealand to Nigeria, from Tanzania to Chile, from South Africa to Rwanda, from Kenya to North America, the steady drumbeat of orthodox Anglicanism corralled in GAFCON is taking root even as fissures in the Lambeth Conference widen and pansexuality separates the sheep from the goats.

If Archbishop Justin Welby thinks he can blow off GAFCON by calling it a "ginger group", he is gravely mistaken. If he thinks that his ecclesiastical consiglieres -- bishops Thabo Makgoba, Josiah Idowu-Fearon and Graham Kings who whisper in his ear that all is well and all manner of things will be well, then he should take a course in remedial listening.

Welby is either acting like he doesn't know what is really going on, or he knows what is going on and believes he can win over evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics. It is in the category of shout loud, argument weak. But the die has been cast and he cannot stop the flow of history which is away from Canterbury and Lambeth Palace and better located in say, Abuja or even Jerusalem.

The GAFCON network now says it represents 50 million of the 70 million active Anglicans around the world. What about that does Welby not understand? He claims to have more than 500 bishops and their wives/partners attending the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury next year. But despite the array of purple shirts who will strut their stuff on the hallowed grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, they represent less than 30% of the whole communion.

The truth is the entire communion is now up for grabs. On the home front Welby is beginning to see individual parishes and their vicars pull away from his beloved Church of England. The drip is small, but it is there, and in time it will be a stream then a river. One has only to look at the trajectory of the Episcopal Church vs The Anglican Church in North America. Nobody could have predicted that a decade ago a 100,000 plus former Episcopalians would leave TEC over the consecration of an avowed homosexual to the episcopacy. But it happened and out of that heretical act, the ACNA was formed with some 30 dioceses, hundreds of priests and over a thousand parishes stretching from Canada to Mexico.

The insanity of progressive Anglicanism is that the more they cave into worldly conformity, specifically pansexual behavior by ordaining more and more homosexuals and lesbians to the highest pinnacles of the church, the more their churches fail and die. There is the vain belief held by progressives that by some miracle, their churches will flourish and grow. That is the great lie. It's like looking over the abyss into Hell and before jumping, convincing oneself that Hell does not exist. The more these churches embrace a post-Christian worldview, the faster they are emptying and then closing. One has only to view statistics of closing churches in the Dioceses of Huron and Quebec in the Anglican Church of Canada. It's like viewing a church on suicide watch; the moment you ordain a flaming queer and turn your back, the For Sale sign goes up.

Followers of Welby and his branch of the Communion will, one day, realize that his leadership was bankrupt. Just as the glory departed from Israel, so the glory of the Lord has departed from his understanding of the Anglican Communion and has moved to another.

Let's look at the facts.

Five African primates have now said they will not be attending Lambeth 2020. They are the largest provinces in the Anglican Communion and include Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. If that isn't a body blow to Welby, I don't know what is.

In addition, six Sydney bishops have declined invitations to Lambeth, standing in solidarity with the five African provinces.

GAFCON will anoint a new bishop and diocese in New Zealand in October. The Rev. Jay Behan will have hands laid on him by Archbishop Foley Beach. This follows the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia passing a resolution allowing same-sex relationships. As a result, 12 churches left and with the support from GAFCON Australia, a new extra-provincial diocese has been set up.

GAFCON now has a beachhead in Europe with the consecration of Andy Lines as a Missionary Bishop for Europe under the Anglican Church in North America. GAFCON Ireland was launched in 2018, in Belfast, with 320 attendees from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

To truly stick it to Welby, GAFCON primates announced their own Bishops' 2020 conference to be held in Kilgali, Rwanda a month before Lambeth 2020. All those who signed the Jerusalem Declaration can attend.

Other non-attendees to Lambeth include the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Anglican Church in Brazil and the Reformed Evangelical Church of South Africa (REACH SA). All three have declined invitations to attend.

Some orthodox bishops (evangelical and Anglo-Catholic) might feel the need to respond and attend Lambeth 2020, but should they?

The Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, International Diocese of the ACNA and GAFCON Ambassador, keenly observes that there are some orthodox Bishops and Archbishops who feel a responsibility to go to the Lambeth Bishops Conference to defend the faith. Certainly, high-level Anglican Communion officials are urging them to attend so 'their voice can be heard when Lambeth 1.10 is discussed.' The problem is that history shows that is a set-up. If they go, whatever is said, whatever is discussed, whatever is decided, the institutional machine of the 'Canterbury Communion' will decide and do whatever they want the day after the Lambeth Conference ends, and that will be to protect and preserve the involvement of TEC and other innovating Provinces. Even worse, the attendance of orthodox Bishops will allow them to say, 'All positions were welcomed. Everyone was heard, but the consensus is that Lambeth resolution 1.10 no longer reflects the values of the Communion.' In any case, TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia, Scotland, Brazil, and others will continue with their march away from Biblical authority, and sadly, away from Christ. Those conservatives who attend will unwittingly be complicit in allowing the liberal juggernaut to claim consensus.

"It is only by staying away from this conference can the point be made that the decisions and trajectory of the current Canterbury Communion structures are unacceptable. The only way to do that is by not attending the upcoming Lambeth conference," says Atwood.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. Welby has blinders on based on the false narrative that he still owns the Communion. He doesn't. He may have a majority of Anglican bishops showing up in Canterbury next year because they have their tickets paid for through the generosity of TEC and other liberal donors, but in truth he only owns 30% of the communion and that is a hardly a press release he wants to hand out in Canterbury.

END

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