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GAFCON: It’s Lent, the ABC is wrong about reconciliation

GAFCON: It’s Lent, the ABC is wrong about reconciliation

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.

Davie concludes,

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


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Lionel Deimel

Your link the the Davie review no longer works. The Davie review can be found here.

Jim Siverson

The problem with a church saying “it is written” is that what is “written” and then translated, discussed, debated and interpreted is often man’s understanding and not God’s. Sometimes we take the written word, even that of the Holy Scriptures, and give it precedence over The Word. For the true Word of God is not the Bible, but Jesus Christ himself. Too many people use the Bible as a literal rule book and forget to listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and that takes true faith out of the equation and turns the Scriptures into an idol. Our Christian faith, even our Anglican/Episcopal faith, has changed many times in our history. Our Biblical understanding of the treatment of women, and the ethnic and socioeconomic barriers that have divided us over the centuries have modified as science has helped us understand that many if not all of these barriers are cosmetic, created by man in his ignorance. So many “sins” and “abominations” of the Bible are dismissed by the modern Church, so why are we so vitriolic about the “sin” of homosexuality? Since science has given us new understanding of the nature and root of homosexuality, that it has physiological and organic roots and is therefore NOT a choice, shouldn’t we consider that maybe we’re wrong about this one, too?

Leonardo Ricardo

A Lenten message: Just what I needed to hear from the Archbishop of Kenya this morning. +Eluid seems to be an expert on ¨proper¨ excluding techniques at Church! I wish him well on his much needed journey back from the land of GAFCON´s wilderness= confinement. Gods reality just takes some getting used to…reconciliation=ressurection throughout the Anglican Communion…just in time for Easter. The answers will come if WE don’t block them.

Eric Bonetti

GAFCON loves to issue these sweeping “declarations,” conveniently referencing Jerusalem or some other location fraught with meaning. But given their history of coveting TEC assets, and the false claim that they are Anglicans, the GAFCON crowd ought use this Lent to examine their own consciences.

It’s interesting, too–when the GAFCON crowd feels it’s being ignored, it loves to ramp up the whole temper tantrum routine. Hardly conducive to successfully promoting one’s views.

Walter Adams

Gafcon consists of provinces that are Anglican. I mentioned several of them.

ACNA was not the author of the essay of this thread.

Whit Johnstone

Let’s be fair. I don’t like GAFCON any more than you do, but saying that they make a “false claim that they are Anglicans” is simply not true. Most of the churches involved, really all of them with the exception of ACNA, are the legitimate members of the Anglican communion from their areas.

Walter Adams

How odd.

Anglican Church of Uganda. Anglican Church of Nigeria (largest province in the Anglican communion). Rwanda, etc.

Dispute their theological convictions and mission. Fair point.

But to say they are not Anglican is sticking one’s head in the sand.

JC Fisher

It’s a conundrum, IMO.

Certainly, the GAFCON *heritage* is Anglican (e.g. they were evangelized as such). They’re still on the ABC’s membership rolls.

…but at the same time, many of them won’t receive communion FROM the ABC! (Especially if the ABC’s celebrating holy communion in the presence of “those apostate-heretical Episcopalians”). Absenting themselves from Lambeth ’08 (despite +Gene Robinson being absented BY then ABC Williams) certainly raised the question (if the previous GAFCON conference hadn’t already) of whether they still considered *themselves* “Anglican”.

It’s in my nature to be ecumenical. Heck, I consider the Bishop of ROME to have (temporarily!) “absented himself” (and his bishops) from communion w/ us Anglicans. But how many times can the ABC (now Welby) have the door slammed in his (or his representatives) face, before saying, “for the time being, we’ll consider you separated, as YOU wish us to”?

Lord, grant us Your Reconciliation, in Your Time…

Eric Bonetti


Episcopal Cafe primarily is about The Episcopal Church, which is based in the United States. None of the CANA/GAFCON crowd here is Anglican, although almost all claim to be.

Eric Bonetti

Walter Adams

Sanity reminder. Thank you.

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