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WHEATON, IL: "Come as you are, but leave transformed by the love of Jesus Christ"

WHEATON, IL: "Come as you are, but leave transformed by the love of Jesus Christ"
"Come and see, watch and listen" says ACNA/GAFCON bishop, to ACNA Assembly

By Bishop Bill Atwood
June 30, 2107

NOTE: Bishop Atwood gave this brief but powerful message to some 1,400 delegates at the ACNA Assembly this week which saw more than 30 global Anglican leaders including 50 bishops in attendance.

You will see a message here at this ACNA Assembly which should be ubiquitous throughout our Communion, but sadly is not. Here there is this Gospel message that says, 'Welcome! Come as you are, and let the love of Jesus Christ transform you to become the one you were created to be--whom you long to be but may have thought it was impossible. Come join this happy band who are discovering Gospel and Kingdom life that is so fulfilling, it must be shared."

But there is a competing message echoing in too many institutional halls that says, "Come as you are, stay as you are, and celebrate whatever you have been and done." This tragic message leaves people bound in the tangles of their sin with no hope that they might find the better way for which they long.

And so we observe the stark difference between light and dark, life and death. Sadly, many in the culturally compromised institution are so deeply committed to preserving structural unity, they are not only deaf to the Gospel message, they are hostile to it and those who declare it.

Listen to what institutional leaders across the globe are saying. You will hear two starkly different messages. There is a great common Gospel theme among those here in the ACNA--GAFCON and international voices gathered here. There is encouragement--even commissioning--to take the Gospel into the world. It is why we need GAFCON in this hour. It is the only body in the Anglican Communion in which there is full agreement about Biblical faith. But, then, listen closely to others who speak from institutional structures, how their message differs and exalts its structures rather than the Gospel. Listen well, and choose the direction you will go. It is not a theoretical, philosophical decision. It is one of eternal consequence.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Atwood is Dean of the ACNA for International Affairs and Bishop of The International Diocese, ACNA. He is also a GAFCON/GFCA Ambassador

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