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CHRISTCHURCH: GAFCON Consecrates New Evangelical Diocesan Bishop

CHRISTCHURCH: GAFCON Consecrates New Evangelical Diocesan Bishop
Former Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen said the Christian gospel proclaims Jesus as Lord, the spirituality movement does not have to be true or false but only what people make it.

By David W. Virtue in Christchurch, NZ
October 19, 2019

An orthodox Anglican diocese was born in Christchurch, New Zealand today. This is the first such diocese, following the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia's communion impairing decision to bless same sex marriage. (It would require a change of the canons to fully embrace same sex marriage.)

With more than 650 Anglicans looking on, the Rev. James Douglas Behan was consecrated and installed as the first bishop of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa, New Zealand (CCAANZ). He will oversee 12 parishes whilst continuing to pastor St Stephen's Church.

The consecration was held at Centennial Chapel, St. Andrew's College, Christchurch and included the Archbishop of the newly named Anglican Church of Rwanda, Laurent Mbanda; the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, and chief consecrator, The Most Rev. Foley Beach, GAFCON chairman and ACNA archbishop. Some 19 international Anglican leaders were present from Australia, including 9 bishops, 8 from North America, two from Europe and one from Africa and the former Anglican Bishop of Nelson, Derek Eaton.

The Rev. Michael Hewat, Vicar General of the new diocese described the occasion as "historic."

In his sermon, former Sydney Archbishop the Rt. Rev. Peter Jensen
outlined four priorities:
1. To help understand what and why we are doing what we are doing.
2. When you see Jesus that you see a great missionary.
3. When you see He's a great missionary to be faithful to the gospel stick to his Word, neither add nor subtract from it.
4. Remember this not as a moment but a movement.

Describing it as a "momentous day," the outspoken Sydney archbishop said the Church should not be diverted and should focus on the resurrected and mighty Lord.

"Jesus was a threatening person he called for repentance. He called himself the son of man and told us he was the center of the vision.
What we are seeing is a warfare of a demonic kingdom and the coming the kingdom of God. His kingdom will not be destroyed. Jesus is the one great missionary. His kingdom remains dynamic."

"Follow Jesus and be his disciple. We are ordered to keep his Word we do not change it. We are called to make fresh disciples. The 12 churches here on this momentous day maybe small, and some would say trivial. But you are not starting a new church, you are called to be faithful to what you have always believed. You have been stirred by the Holy Spirit to begin a movement of discipleship of the mighty Lord himself. Jesus was raised to be with us always to the end of the age."

"What we are doing is only right if it is in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to make disciples of all nations. This service is about Jesus and the gospel. We are not to become defensive and polemical but set to a grand task of preaching an authentic gospel to be preached throughout this land."

Jensen said the ministry of GAFCON is to say to you in NZ thank you for standing for the authentic gospel, and the price you have paid, it will resound in years to come. This is of immense spiritual importance. There is no movement without cost and testimony.

"The Christian gospel that Jesus Christ is Lord claims to be true. The Spirituality movement does not have to be true or false, it asks does it give me contentment; eat, pray and love. But the gospel is not about spirituality but godliness which is either true or false. We may not change or meddle with it. Jesus calls us to come and die. Sin is sin. Repentance is part of the gospel. We are not called to sanctify our sins."

Jesus said It is fatally possible to use the name of Jesus but to preach another gospel. A bishop is not a dressed-up bureaucrat, Jensen said.

Archbishop Beach brought greetings from brother archbishops of GAFCON including the newly installed Archbishop of the Seychelles and also the Archbishop of South Sudan. He said Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh described the consecration as "one big step forward.

The Primate of Chili, Tito Zavala said "do not be afraid." Bishop Miguel Uchoa, of Recife, brazil called on the new bishop to work against the false gospel of today, "stand firm." Ugandan Archbishop Stanley Ntagali said, "We recognize as you as authentically Anglican." This province's leadership will not be in the same room with TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry over the fallout on same sex issues.

Bishops Richard Ellena, president of NZCMS said his movement remained committed to orthodox faith and gospel and stood with the new GAFCON bishop.

The Rev. Dr. Richard Waugh QSM, national superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of NZ and chairman of the national Church Leaders Aotearoa NZ meeting, praised the new Confessing Church and its new denominational leader.

The Missionary Bishop of Europe Andy Lines, said, "We at GAFCON UK met and with unanimous consent sent a message of support. We as GAFCON UK give thanks for faithful Anglicans like you."

Rwanada Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, whose province recently dropped the word "Episcopal" from its name, now said his province was now the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

GAFCON's Lawyers Taskforce supported the development of the constitution and canons for the new diocese, and the Church Planting network has helped with the development of a strategic plan for gospel growth in the years to come.

FOOTNOTE: It would require a change of the canons of the New Zealand province to fully embrace same sex marriage. But, based on past experience in other progressive provinces, it would not take anyone with a functioning prefrontal cortex to know where this is going.

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