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JERUSALEM: Orthodox Anglicans come from Four Corners of the Earth to Celebrate Gospel of God

JERUSALEM: Orthodox Anglicans come from Four Corners of the Earth to Celebrate Gospel of God
GAFCON is not an alternative Anglican Communion because we are the true Anglican Church, said Archbishop Venables

By David W. Virtue in Jerusalem
www.virtueonline.org
June 19, 2018

Nearly 2,000 Anglicans including 993 clergy, 38 archbishops, 10 active Primates, six inactive primates and 333 bishops are meeting here in Jerusalem where the Good News was first proclaimed, to re-establish the primacy of the Gospel of God in the face of a deeply theologically and morally compromised Anglican Communion.

Nigerian Primate and GAFCON chairman, Nicholas Okoh, set the tone for this, the largest international gathering of Anglicans in 50 years, by saying that the West is now among the most secular nations on the planet, which sadly includes the Church of England, to which the Anglican Communion owes its origins and for which, he said, we still have a deep affection.

The essence of the Gospel has virtually been lost in the nations of the West, and if it is to recover its spiritual identity, it must once again embrace that same Gospel or face irrelevancy, decline and finally obliteration.

The mostly western churches have compromised on sexuality issues and that is viewed here, by these evangelical Anglicans, as a road down which they will not go for fear they jeopardize both the true nature of marriage that is exclusively between a man and a woman, and worse, damaging to their very souls.

Okoh cited St. Paul in Romans and elsewhere, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and that we need to turn to him in repentance and faith. St. Paul's simple, clear, unadulterated message, is now being undermined by western pansexualist bishops intent on down-playing the uniqueness of Christ and his teachings in order to curry favor with those who favor "another gospel" which St. Paul declared "anathema."

It is not without its significance that of the 11 active Primates here, five are from Africa, two are from the Argentine and Brazil, one is from Australia and Southeast Asia (Myanmar) with just one from the U.S. That the U.S. role which was for years so prominent, and now so reduced, indicates the shift in global Anglicanism from the Global North to the Global South.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has referred to these GAFCON representatives as little more than a "ginger group", a demeaning term as theologian Stephen Noll noted, in order to woo conflicted bishops from the Global South to another indaba-fest in England in 2020.

But these Bible-based Anglicans who profess the orthodox apostolic faith and work together in Gospel Mission will not be moved, they are unimpressed with whatever they are called and the more so with Welby, who claims to be an evangelical even though his views on sexuality are sub-biblical at best and unbiblical at worst.

There is tremendous rejoicing here. Worship and prayer is intermingled with lectures on the history and heritage of the church. The oneness is palpable. Hymns ancient and modern, many in African tongues bless all who listen.

In truth, GAFCON owns the Anglican Communion. GAFCON represents more than 80% of the communion and, regardless of how many archbishops and bishops Welby musters at the next Lambeth in 2020, he will not speak for the Anglican Communion as a whole; that day is over.

Noticeably absent here is any delegation of Anglo-Catholics. This was not by design, it simply happened that way. Quizzed about this at a press conference, Primate Okoh said that a certain "crystallization' was taking place within the communion and time would simply sort out the difference among orthodox Anglicans.

It was Archbishop Greg Venables from South America who brought the crowd to their feet when he said that GAFCON was not an alternative Anglican Communion because we are the true Anglican Church.

"The true Anglican Church is made up of born again Christians who like Anglicanism. Some have left us. They talk about loving disagreements but having a loving disagreement does not mean having to live with someone who wants to change the fundamental things of life.

"If I have been faithful to Sylvia, my wife, 99% of the time have I been faithful? We are called to be 100% faithful. You cannot mix pure water with poison. We are not going to drink it. We are going to stand firm and stand together.

"A false gospel has arisen and when such a thing as a false gospel comes to light you cannot keep quiet. You cannot say nothing. We speak out so people can hear the truth about the Word of God says.

"A false gospel thinks its modern. This is the foolishness of human beings. Somehow a thing being modern makes it right? A new heresy says you believe it sincerely but you can be sincerely wrong. It does not recognize what you want to hear about Christianity because it is what you think. It is what God thinks about what he had said.

"We must pay attention to what we have heard. The Gospel is not about rationalism but it is about rationality.

"It is what God has revealed, it is not about relativism and even if you hold things sincerely you might still be disagreeing with God."

Venables said that the Apostle Paul found pluralism in Athens and he preached Jesus. Hearing what God says is vital, you can't say it doesn't matter what you believe. "Let us be firm and let us stand firmly and loving and share truth to those blinded by the god of this world."

Whatever happens in the greater providence of God, the nature of the Anglican Church and Communion has been forever changed and anything less than that recognition is simply living in denial.

“Archbishop Gregory Venables Tuesday Morning”
LINK: https://vimeo.com/275839125

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“GAFCON 2018 Monday Day One (Full feed)”
LINK: https://vimeo.com/275652925

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