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GAFCON Chairman says no middle ground between faithfulness and false teaching in Anglican Communion

GAFCON Chairman says no middle ground between faithfulness and false teaching in Anglican Communion
False tolerance of religious leaders who have 'no regard for the Lord' brings disaster, says Nigerian Primate

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 10, 2019

In his final letter to GAFCON'S global Anglican followers, Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh took aim at the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council and said there can be no middle ground between faithfulness and false teaching. "The crisis of the Anglican Communion is spiritual and it is essentially the same as that of God's people in the time of Samuel."

False tolerance of religious leaders who have 'no regard for the Lord' (1 Samuel 2:12) brings disaster and we must continue to stand firm for the faith as we have received it, he wrote.

The evangelical Primate of some 25 million Nigerian Anglicans has repeatedly railed against the Archbishop of Canterbury over his refusal to condemn homosexuality and for failing to discipline errant provinces that have embraced same-sex marriage.

"Remembrance of God's mercy in the past strengthens faith to face the challenges of the future. As the increasing confusion about Lambeth 2020 demonstrates, there is no middle ground between faithfulness and false teaching."

Okoh said the crisis of the Anglican Communion is "spiritual" and praised incoming chairman and successor, ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach as a man "tested" and "one who has paid the price for standing firm."

God is blessing us with a godly and wise leader who loves the Lord Jesus Christ and has the heart of an evangelist, he said.

Okoh praised the expansion of GAFCON and said it had grown into much more than a conference. "It is a growing presence now established in 22 Provinces and its Primates' Council represents the majority of the world's practicing Anglicans. "In 2017, the Gafcon Primates' Council authorized the consecration of a missionary bishop for the UK and Europe, recognizing the spiritual crisis of the established Anglican churches in that region, and in 2018, following the precedent of the Anglican Church in North America ten years previously, the new Anglican Church of Brazil was recognized as Province of the Anglican Communion.

"Those of us who were present at Gafcon 2018 in Jerusalem, the largest Anglican global gathering in 50 years, representing 50 countries with nearly 2,000 delegates, including more than 300 bishops, as well as some 750,000 of you who shared the experience online, will remember the joy and freedom of that great event as we saw before our own eyes what the Anglican Communion can become.

"It truly gave us hope and a foretaste of our heavenly home, of every tribe and nation gathered in worship of the Triune God, and we came away inspired that Anglicans around the globe are recovering their vocation of proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations."

Okoh praised the launching of nine global networks at GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem "as a way of putting into practice our solemn commitment to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations." This was met, at the time, with strong rebuttal from the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who said that his office alone should have a monopoly on all ministry networks in the Anglican Communion. He went on to criticize GAFCON's efforts as un-Anglican and inaccurately suggesting that they harbor "potential for schism."

The Nigerian primate praised Church Planting Network leaders meeting in Chile who are helping to develop a strategic church planting initiative in South America. Additionally, the leaders are helping the Sustainable Development Network, which coordinated a very generous response to the Cyclone Idai disaster focusing on relief in Mozambique and the rebuilding of lives and livelihoods to follow.

Archbishop Beach, who will take over as GAFCON chairman next month, is expected to continue the same strategy and trajectory as his predecessor in faithfulness to Scripture, church planting and social justice initiatives.


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