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GAFCON Gains Globally as Progressives Fret and Rage Over its Growing Influence

GAFCON Gains Globally as Progressives Fret and Rage Over its Growing Influence
Irish Dean accuses GAFCON of being schismatic and homophobic, splintering supremacism, scapegoating and demeanment.

NEWS ANALYSIS

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
November 19, 2019

GAFCON, the Global Anglican Future Conference of orthodox Anglican bishops and leaders formed to address the growing divisions in the Anglican Communion especially in opposition to homosexuality out of which the Jerusalem Declaration was issued, is coming under fire from progressives in countries as disparate as New Zealand and Ireland.

There is heightened anxiety and anger by Anglican leftists and pansexualists who are losing market share in their own provinces, dioceses and parishes as they continue to conform their theology and morality to the spirit of the age.

In New Zealand recently where a new GAFCON diocese was formed in Christchurch, and an evangelical bishop was ordained, the pushback was predictable and nasty.

The archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand decried the GAFCON consecration, accusing GAFCON leaders of boundary crossing, calling it "irregular", arguing they are not part of nor in relationship with the New Zealand Anglican Church. Boundary crossing for the sake of truth is necessary if leaders willfully disobey God's Word, in this case, blessing homosexual marriage.

In an earlier debate, the increasingly liberal Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby came up against staunchly evangelical Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh when the Rev. Andy Lines was made GAFCON bishop for Europe.

Historically, there has been resistance to cross-border interventions and ordinations from the earliest years of the universal Church's existence, wrote Archbishop Welby and cited canons 15 and 16 of the first Council of Nicaea in AD 325, which he said are uncompromising in this regard.

The Nigerian Primate of the largest Anglican province in the Anglican Communion fired back, saying that what happened in Scotland was similar to the clash between the heretic Arius and Athanasius in the fourth century, which nearly overwhelmed the church by the Arians, but was rescued by Athanasius. "If the Church had continued to follow Arius, the Christian faith would have been lost," he said.

In Ireland this week, the same outrage erupted when thirty-six senior Church of Ireland clergy put their names to an open letter objecting to the appointment of the newly elected Bishop of Down and Dromore due to his involvement with GAFCON.

In a letter to the church's House of Bishops, the signatories say they are concerned Archdeacon David McClay may not be an appropriate choice due to his membership of the GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) Ireland movement.

They believe the group's policies are "antithetical" to the principles a Church of Ireland bishop must commit to in the rite of consecration. These include "fostering unity, care for the oppressed, and building up the people of God in all their spiritual and sexual diversity".

The Very Rev Maria Jansson is Church of Ireland dean of Waterford went even further saying this his election as bishop is "deeply troubling," adding an uncorroborated statement that many people from all over the island have written to the bishops to express their grave concern.

She went on to say that that policy and doctrine of the Church of Ireland are decided by the General Synod and not "interest groups outside this forum, not in GAFCON or anywhere else."

While admitting that GAFCON was founded in reaction to the US election of an openly homosexual in the person of Gene Robinson, she blasted GAFCON, accusing it of being "schismatic" in policy. "GAFCON is resolutely intent upon infiltrating extant Anglican communities nationally and globally," she said.

"There is a fundamental conflict of interest between being a member of GAFCON and upholding the unity of the Anglican Communion by the Church of Ireland."

She tore into GAFCON saying it was founded upon, sustained and energized by its homophobic agenda dictated by a toxic combination of selective use of biblical texts and cultural prejudice. GAFCON proclaims a policy of male headship. Women may serve as useful ordained foot soldiers but not as bishops. Allegiance to an ideology of male dominance is simply not acceptable, and antithetical to the dignity and calling given to us by Christ."

She said the future of her church meant embracing diversity, "it does not and can never lie with splintering supremacism, scapegoating and demeanment."

She ended her rant by saying that by electing the new evangelical Bishop of Down and Dromore the church will have condoned the scapegoating of gay people in our ranks and pews and they will have failed women. They will have failed Christ."

Significantly the same charges were brought against the Anglican Church in North America when its leaders broke free from the Episcopal Church over the same besetting sin of legitimizing homosexuality by ordaining a non-celibate homosexual to the episcopacy and later affirming homosexual marriage. Today ACNA is thriving and growing even as The Episcopal Church is withering and dying with decreasing ASA year over year.

God will not permit the public recognition and acclamation of sin in His Church to go unpunished. Western pan-Anglicanism is rapidly dying. Most of these provinces will cease to exist in less than two decades, while African, Asian and South American Anglican Churches are thriving and will continue to do so even in the face of persecution because truth is more important than pansexual acceptance.

END

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