Since the face of the Church of England has gone all-in with the cult of wokeness, it might be easy to assume the same is true of the whole movement. But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
There was a question of what the rest of the church would do in response to decisions made in the UK earlier this year. Much of the Anglican communion reacted in horror after the Synod in the UK not long ago split the difference on the controversial same-sex marriage issue by offering to bless unions, but not solemnizing marriages.
There was a global meeting in Kigali, Rwanda by the global Anglican communion. The fourth Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met from 17-21 April 2023, bringing together 1,302 delegates from 52 countries, including 315 bishops, 456 other clergy and 531 laity.
It was a big event, attended by those who generally hold to traditional views of Scripture and culture, including some in countries where people are still being martyred for their faith.
The official statement by GAFCON is carefully worded. But it pulls no punches about the failure of the Archbishop to fulfill his role as a leader in the church, including remaining faithful in obedience to the Word of God.
Below is part of the official statement published after the conference in which they repudiate the failures of the Archbishop, and count the Archbishop as having abdicated his role as leader in the church.
The Current Crisis in the Anglican Communion
Despite 25 years of persistent warnings by most Anglican Primates, repeated departures from the authority of God’s Word have torn the fabric of the Communion. These warnings were blatantly and deliberately disregarded and now without repentance this tear cannot be mended.
The latest of these departures is the majority vote by the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2023 to welcome proposals by the bishops to enable same-sex couples to receive God’s blessing. It grieves the Holy Spirit and us that the leadership of the Church of England is determined to bless sin.
Since the Lord does not bless same-sex unions, it is pastorally deceptive and blasphemous to craft prayers that invoke blessing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Any refusal to follow the biblical teaching that the only appropriate context for sexual activity is the exclusive lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage violates the created order (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6) and endangers salvation (1 Corinthians 6:9).
Public statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other leaders of the Church of England in support of same-sex blessings are a betrayal of their ordination and consecration vows to banish error and to uphold and defend the truth taught in Scripture.
These statements are also a repudiation of Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which declared that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture,’ and advised against the ‘legitimising or blessing of same sex unions’. This occurred despite the Archbishop of Canterbury having affirmed that ‘the validity of the resolution passed at the Lambeth Conference 1998, I.10 is not in doubt and that whole resolution is still in existence’.
The 2022 Lambeth Conference demonstrated the deep divisions in the Anglican Communion as many bishops chose not to attend and some of those who did withdrew from sharing at the Lord’s table.
The Failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Other Instruments of Communion
We have no confidence that the Archbishop of Canterbury nor the other Instruments of Communion led by him (the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meetings) are able to provide a godly way forward that will be acceptable to those who are committed to the truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency and authority of Scripture. The Instruments of Communion have failed to maintain true communion based on the Word of God and shared faith in Christ.
All four Instruments propose that the way ahead for the Anglican Communion is to learn to walk together in ‘good disagreement’. However we reject the claim that two contradictory positions can both be valid in matters affecting salvation. We cannot ‘walk together’ in good disagreement with those who have deliberately chosen to walk away from the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3). The people of God ’walk in his ways’, ‘walk in the truth’, and ‘walk in the light’, all of which require that we do not walk in Christian fellowship with those in darkness (Deuteronomy 8:6; 2 John 4; 1 John 1:7).
Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have failed to guard the faith by inviting bishops to Lambeth who have embraced or promoted practices contrary to Scripture. This failure of church discipline has been compounded by the current Archbishop of Canterbury who has himself welcomed the provision of liturgical resources to bless these practices contrary to Scripture. This renders his leadership role in the Anglican Communion entirely indefensible.
Call for Repentance
Repentance defines and shapes the Christian life and the life of the church. Each day at the Conference, in response to God’s Word in Colossians, we were led in a time of repentance.
Recognising our own sins, and in humility as forgiven sinners, we pray that those who have denied the orthodox Christian faith in word or deed would repent and return to the Lord (Jerusalem Declaration #13).
Since those who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1), we call upon those provinces, dioceses and leaders who have departed from biblical orthodoxy to repent of their failure to uphold the Bible’s teaching. This includes matters such as human sexuality and marriage, the uniqueness and divinity of Christ, his bodily resurrection, his promised return, the summons to faith and repentance and the final judgment.
We long for this repentance but until they repent, our communion with them remains broken.
We consider that those who refuse to repent have abdicated their right to leadership within the Anglican Communion, and we commit ourselves to working with orthodox Primates and other leaders to reset the Communion on its biblical foundations.
A public repudiation like this one of the UK’s acceptance of the secular left’s shifting moral goalposts is a little something to think about the next time the left tries to dismiss Christian belief as ‘white supremacist’ and colonialist.
If anything, this is the so-called developing world’s rejection of woke western COLONIALIST sensibilities as represented by a certain rainbow flag.
(PS — many of these other cultures feel exactly the same way about the secular left’s rabid Pro-abortion agenda.)
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