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New Zealand Anglican Leaders Decry GAFCON Consecration

New Zealand Anglican Leaders Decry GAFCON Consecration

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
October 30, 2019

Predictably, progressive Anglican leaders from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand pushed back on the GAFCON consecration in Christchurch this past week. They decried the actions of Anglican bishops who supported the ordination of the Rt. Rev. Jay Behan, accusing them of boundary crossing calling it "irregular", saying they are not part of nor in relationship with the New Zealand Anglican Church.

Think Athanasius and Arius. Archbishop Justin Welby came up against Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh when 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. Such weighty authority as canons 15 and 16 of the first Council of Nicaea in AD 325 are uncompromising in this regard and refers to the 'great disturbance and discords that occur' when bishops and their clergy seek to minister in this way," wrote Welby.

The Nigerian Primate 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."

Boundary crossing for the sake of truth is necessary if leaders willfully disobey God's Word, in this case, blessing homosexual marriages.

God will not permit the public 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 sodomy.

This is not a new story. 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.

The New Zealand diocese has established its own identity as Anglicans, recognized by Anglicans in the communion but not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"It is disappointing that this group has chosen to be so disrespectful to our Church, and to denigrate us in their public statements while also seeking to co-opt our name and history as their own," Archbishop Don Tamihere said.

He said it was more disappointing "that they claim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the basis for their exclusion and denigration of our takatāpui whānau". (Takatāpui is a traditional term meaning 'intimate companion of the same sex.' ... Many takatāpui enjoy the love and support of their whānau (family), regardless of their gender identity or sexuality. Some whānau struggle.)

"We want to reiterate to our takatāpui whānau, including the LGBTQI community that we are committed to being a Church where all people are loved and valued."

No one has ever said homosexuals were not welcome in orthodox Anglican churches, what they have said is that come as you are, but you will not stay as you are."

It's the behavior, stupid. "The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body," writes St. Paul in 1 Cor. 6:12.

"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9--10)

The message of metanoia is one of repentance and change. It is deeply ironic that in the list of sins St. Paul tells the Corinthian Christians to repent of, he includes homosexuality, but we present day Christians are now supposed to give homosexuals a pass because they say so, while the rest of us are supposed to repent of all the other sins that we commit!

Why should one group of sinners be celebrated, as indeed they are, while the rest of us must confess that we have sinned in 'thought, word and deed.' It is sheer hypocrisy to isolate one group of sinners and give them a pass because they demand it.

Archbishop Philip Richardson said he believed in working for a church and a society in which all human beings could flourish and where none were judged "unworthy of the love of God or inclusion in this Anglican Church" because of their culture, their language, their race, their gender or their sexual orientation.

No orthodox Anglican ever has ever said homosexuals were "unworthy of the love of God," what they have said is that homosexual behavior has no place in the Church, and God calls us to marriage (between a man and a woman) or celibacy. Countless Christians down through the ages have affirmed that starting with Jesus, with some disciples marrying and some not. The apostle Paul was, by all accounts single and celibate during his ministry.

The NZ Anglican leaders said, in adopting a way forward, (that) enormous care has been taken to honor and protect the integrity of people who held irreconcilable views.

The Law of Non-contradiction makes that impossible. Would these same Anglican bishops adopt the same view on stealing and honor "irreconcilable views", charging those who disagreed with them with kleptophobia? Of course not. Or those who fornicate with heterophobia!

Is it any wonder that Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies invited those who disagree with the biblical vision for sexual behavior that they should leave the church and form their own?

Such a demonstrably obvious statement garnered more than 145,000 hits on VOL's Facebook page. The question is why did it take so long for an evangelical archbishop to stand up and state the obvious. Clearly tens of thousands of Anglicans around the world agree with him. You can read my story here: https://virtueonline.org/sydney-anglican-archbishop-tells-same-sex-marriage-supporters-leave-anglican-church

What he is saying is, stop stealing our orthodox churches and twisting them to suit your own sexual proclivities and form your own. Of course, they can't because no one would turn up. When Gene Robinson was ordained an episcopal bishop in New Hampshire, over 100,000 Episcopalians walked away to start their own Church, the ACNA. The Episcopal Church has been hemorrhaging people ever since with declining Average Sunday Attendance year over year.

The Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand is also declining year over year.

Around 900,000 people identified themselves as Anglican in 1976, 800,000 in 1981 and 580,000 in 2001. In the 2013 census, 12% of the population, or 460,000 people, identified themselves as Anglicans. So, no gospel of repentance and faith but lots of talk of inclusion, and they wonder why a dozen churches broke away to form a new Anglican diocese!

Those Anglican leaders are reaping what they have sown. God is not mocked. His presence filled a chapel last week and everyone present knew it. Those twelve parishes will swell in time and grow.

As former Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen said in his sermon, "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." Amen to that.

To read the New Zealand Anglican statement click here:
https://www.anglicantaonga.org.nz/news/common_life/boundaries

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