Friday, April 25, 2014

Declaring GAFCON an “Instrument of Unity” is a critique of the failure of the existing Instruments of Unity” to hold the Communion together in the face of unilateral revisions of faith and practice by Anglican churches in the west (by this I mean the failure in the last ten years of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, and Primates gatherings and the Anglican Consultative Council). This is not news. Even Archbishop Justin Welby acknowledged from the pulpit at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the day before GAFCON 2013 began, that the Instruments of unity had failed.

But the declaration that GAFCON is now an Instrument of Unity also stands for a very positive affirmation and recovery of something lost to Anglicanism. It is the assertion that Anglicans need not wallow in the “deficit of authority” that has paralayzed the current Anglican leadership in the face of un-Biblical teaching and moral practices. It is the assertion– and the beginning of the manifestation– of a recovery of genuine conciliar governance that we find as far back as Acts 15 and the earliest ecumenical councils of the undivided church.

What do I mean by “conciliar governance”? Quite simply, it is the way of governing the church that we find in Acts 15, where leaders from every quarter and every order of the church met to worship, pray, address serious theological and missiological issues (must gentiles be circumcised in order to become followers of Jesus Christ), and reach a consensus on the basis of Scripture, apostolic witness and the Holy Spirit.

Read it all.

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