GAFCON continues to use the church season as the occasion to issue letters critical of The Episcopal Church and of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s program of reconciliation across the Anglican Communion.
From the Lent Pastoral from the Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council:
A Church that is no longer able to say ‘it is written’ has placed itself in great spiritual danger, but that is where the Anglican Communion could be led according to a review just released of ‘Living Reconciliation’, a book written to promote the ‘Continuing Indaba’ project.
The review by Dr Martin Davie, a respected Church of England theologian who was until recently Theological Consultant to its House of Bishops, shows that ‘Living Reconciliation’ is not faithful to the Bible’s teaching that reconciliation has evangelism at its heart. What the writers are really concerned about is institutional unity and they simply assume that the deeply divisive promotion of same sex relationships by such Churches as the Episcopal Church of the United States is not a barrier to full and continued fellowship.
According to Dr Davie ‘The New Testament’s emphasis is not on people learning to live with what divides then (sic), but learning to live out what unites them’. The New Testament teaches that reconciliation with each other flows from reconciliation with God through repentance and faith in the gospel message. It does not make sense to call for reconciliation in the Church while at the same time accepting behaviour that the Bible says excludes people from the Kingdom of God unless they repent.
In his review, originally at the Church of England Evangelical Council website and now at The Latimer Trust website, Davie writes,
For the Archbishop of Canterbury reconciliation is at the heart of the Gospel and he therefore hopes that it will become the hallmark of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Justin makes this clear in his foreword to Living Reconciliation.
A clear doctrinal framework, such as that provided by GAFCON’s Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, or the first part of the Anglican Communion Covenant, plus an agreed way of handling disputes and exercising discipline when required, would provide a better model for the Communion to follow.
Living Reconciliation is promoted at the ACNS website here.
posted by John Chilton