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Christian Concern welcomes GAFCON’s Letter to the Churches - upholding the true gospel

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Delegates at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem (attended by 1,950 representatives) have agreed to a letter which courageously calls on the Anglican Communion, particularly the Archbishop of Canterbury as its leader, to reaffirm the clear teaching of the Bible in line with historical Anglican orthodoxy.

Commenting on the letter, Christian Concern’s chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams said:

“This is a stunning declaration of the gospel. I believe it to be an historic moment; a defining moment in the life of the Anglican Communion worldwide for the 21st century.

“The letter presents as loving and firm challenge to the official structures of the Church of England to return to the true gospel and to discipline church leaders who refuse to teach or live in the light of that gospel.

“If the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are unable to assent to the statement and take appropriate action, the consequences before God will be severe.

“Had the Church of England joyfully believed and promoted the inherently-good, life-giving teaching of the Bible, we wouldn’t today be seeing its declining relevance and impact on society.

“The true Anglican Communion is here in Jerusalem, joyfully celebrating the good news of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world who came to save sinners and give eternal life.”

 

The need to repent

The letter points out the uniqueness of Christ and the need for repentance from sin:

“The uniqueness of Jesus Christ lies at the heart of the gospel: “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The gospel confronts us in the midst of our confusion and sin but it does not leave us there.”

The letter continues to point out the attacks on the gospel from other religions and secularism particularly on “what it means to be made human”:

“External attacks include superstitious practices of sacrifices and libations that deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. Some religions deny the unique person and work of Christ on the cross, and others are innately syncretistic. Secularism seeks to exclude God from all public discourse and to dismantle the Christian heritage of many nations. This has been most obvious in the redefinition of what it means to be human, especially in the areas of gender, sexuality and marriage. The devaluing of the human person through the advocacy of abortion and euthanasia is also an assault upon human life uniquely created in the image of God. Militant forms of religion and secularism are hostile to the preaching of Christ and persecute his people.”

But the letter focuses on threats to the gospel within the Anglican Communion. It points out the Episcopal Church USA’s rejection of the settled teaching of the Church on sexuality (Lambeth I.10) and the failure of senior Anglicans to exercise necessary discipline.

“During the past twenty years, the Instruments of Communion have not only failed to uphold godly discipline but their representatives have refused to recognise our concerns and have chosen instead to demean Gafcon as a one-issue pressure group and accuse it of promoting schism, where in fact the schismatics are those who have departed from the teaching of the Bible and the historic doctrine of the Church. Slogans such as “walking together” and “good disagreement” are dangerously deceptive in seeking to persuade people to accommodate false teaching in the Communion.”

The letter goes on to urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite bishops from biblically faithful Anglican groups around the world to Lambeth 2020 and to exclude:

“bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.”

If this does not happen, the letter urges GAFCON members “to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion”.
 

The full text of the letter can be found at:
https://www.gafcon.org/news/letter-to-the-churches-gafcon-assembly-2018

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