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GAFCON is the only game in town for faithful Anglicans, declares South American Primate

GAFCON is the only game in town for faithful Anglicans, declares South American Primate
Either a gospel of affirmation, or the gospel of Jesus, says Archbishop Gregory Venables

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
April 23, 2018

BELFAST, IRELAND: In what can only be described as a major blast at the leadership of the Anglican Communion and the direction it is being taken by Archbishop Justin Welby, the Archbishop of South America, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables told some 400 hearers at the launch of GAFCON Ireland, that either we have a gospel of affirmation, or the gospel of Jesus. "I am here because this is about life and death. If we are not saved by the blood of Jesus then we are lost eternally."

"You know why GAFCON is toxic to so many people? Because they don't like people saying no. They say, It's rude. Yes, it is rude -- it's intolerant. Do you believe the gospel is tolerant? God loves everyone, but the gospel is intolerant -- there is only one way, Jesus Christ. You won't get there any other way. It is by Christ alone!

"At this launch we are saying we take God and his Word seriously... are you prepared to stand firm? Will you pay the price? I will take God seriously and take myself less seriously. It would not be right to say I am 90% faithful to my wife?"... I've been called to be 100% faithful to her, and she won't accept anything else. And if I'm going to be 100% faithful to God, I've got only one thing to say to this present-day situation -- 'No'!".

Venables said people may not like the word 'GAFCON' but it's the only game in town for faithful Anglicans. "Believe me there is no other place to go if you are interested in the gospel. If you care about people's eternal destiny, you have to make a church. There is only one way to be faithful - to have courage. That is what GAFCON is, he said."

"There is only one way to be faithful, that is to have courage. I'm not talking about resignation and stoicism, I'm talking about courage. I'm talking about standing firm and saying 'No!'. And that is what GAFCON is prepared to do."

Dr. Peter Jensen, GAFCON General Secretary asked hearers, "What will our children, or theirs, believe?
Faithful Christians are now the 'away team'. Anglicanism isn't the Church of God, the church of God are those who are born again. You can be born Anglican...and go to hell. You must be born again to be a Christian!"

Jensen said faithfulness to God is what matters. "I am an Anglican - that is what connects us together. The title deeds of Anglicanism connect us to the scriptures. People say that GAFCON is looking to split the communion - GAFCON is the communion!"

Jensen said the ones who are dividing are those who have abandoned the title deeds of Anglicanism - the 39 articles, BCP etc. Truth is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. GAFCON is not divisive. It is a response to those who have divided the church.

"We need men and women of the cross, who will say no to self and yes to Jesus."

Jensen asked, "How are we to go forward? We must out live, out love and out think the other side. We cannot win secularism by joining the "home team" and joining in. Secularism wants us to become part of the establishment. If our church becomes the tame joker, in coming years, our children will not be in our church, no one will be in our church. In 100 years there will be no congregations, no buildings."

Jensen said he had a vision for the next 50 years, to reclaim the island for the gospel. "We need [Holy] Spirit filled evangelism and church planting. I have a vision for study of the Word of God by families and churches where the Word of God is preached.

Jensen said the Church needs theological education. There are tests we should apply. We need to ask who does it? Who teaches it? We need to ask what is being taught, are they being taught the Scriptures? If seminaries are not producing preacher-teachers they should be closed down.

"We need men and women of the cross who will say no to self, and yes to Jesus, and be prepared to suffer for Christ. Ireland will not be won again without men and women who will carry the cross of Christ.

"Our children will only believe the true gospel if we pass it onto them, that is what's at stake."

The Church of God will never be defeated because Jesus Christ is Lord, he said.

Guest preacher, (the Rev.) Vaughan Edward Roberts, rector of St Ebbe's Church, Oxford, said the crisis in the Anglican Communion is because of a divorce between the gospel and Godliness. "Gospel godliness must be lived out by the church. Godliness is seen in action. We live distinct lives in a world that watches!"

Roberts outlined three foundations for faithful churches:
1.) The apostolic gospel
2.) Godly leaders
3.) Effective discipline.

"We cannot 'agree to disagree' on core convictions of the apostolic gospel, sexual sin is one of those.
How can I go back to sin when he (Jesus) died to set me free from it! The cross does not make sense if humans are not deeply sinful and under the wrath of God. Jesus came to our world as RESCUER, not to add frills to our basically good lives.

"[St.] Paul's vision is that we are to live distinct lives right in the midst of the world."

Nigerian Archbishop Lamido Buba said, "It doesn't matter what you or I think, it only matters what God says. The Church of Nigeria is praying for you and trusting that you'll continue in the faith."

In an interview Venables said, "We need (as a church) to go out and TELL... there are people out there who need a Savior. Anglicanism is based on the Word of God, the Bible is our authority."

"Let's have a vision for Ireland where it's reclaimed for the gospel," said Jensen. "You are standing with those who have been abandoned, and saying, as an African bishop said to me: "now at last we know we know we are not alone."

"Help us stand firm in your truth so that others might come to salvation," said Venables.

"The Bible says come as you are, but it never says stay as you are," concluded Roberts.

END

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