Friday, April 17, 2015


"When the Gospel is at stake there can never be a middle way." Thus declared the primates of GAFCON (Global Anglican Futures Conference) in their London Communique of today, April 17, 2015 ( "As followers of Jesus we know that it is the narrow way that leads to life." This statement makes it official to the whole world that GAFCON has repudiated the historic Anglicanism of the Via Media or Middle Way that has fundamentally characterized the Church of England and her descendants around the world bonded by Anglican sensibilities and liturgical traditions. Indeed, the Church of England was declared independent of Rome in the sixteenth century in order to be the broad middle ground of tolerant and non-dogmatic Christianity for the entire realm. That character has been its peculiar genius for nearly six centuries. Now the leaders of the majority of worldwide Anglicans have overthrown that bedrock Anglican principle. They have declared for the distinctly non-Anglican "narrow way." This is a historic turning point in the history of Anglicanism and of the Anglican Communion.

Today's Communique was issued by six official primates of the Anglican Communion (Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, and South America) plus Foley Beach, the archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America. GAFCON recognizes only ACNA as the legitimate branch of Anglicanism in North America. "Advisors" of this group include Michael Nazir-Ali, recently appointed the visiting bishop of the independent diocese in South Carolina. GAFCON is largely an equatorial African association bound by traditional social customs, particularly male dominance and persecution of homosexuals. This is cloaked in the guise of what they claim as the authentically traditional ("orthodox") biblical Christianity. Their hardline defense of old social customs of middle Africa has put them at odds with the mainstream of Anglicanism and especially the First World provinces of England, the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Ironically, while the GAFCON leaders are breaking up the old Anglican Communion and creating a pared-down and separate majority of socially conservative Anglicans, they insist they are doing just the opposite. "We are not leaving the Anglican Communion. The members of our churches stand at the heart of the Communion, which is why we are committed to its renewal." Renewal. That is code term for "orthodox," or vertical replacement of progressive, or horizontal Anglicanism that is found in the developed countries of the world. And, to drive this point home, the leaders announced a world gathering of GAFCON next in 2018, the year the Lambeth Conference was to meet. Apparently Lambeth will not convene in 2018 because the Archbishop of Canterbury was unable to get together enough Anglican primates to support it. So, GAFCON will meet instead. No one can miss the point that GAFCON is in the process of demolishing the old Anglican Communion.

GAFCON also intends to replace the old Anglican Communion provinces in the United States, Canada, and now apparently in Australia and, most brazenly in the very heart of the Anglican world, England itself. If this does not give the Archbishop of Canterbury cause for concern, nothing will. The Communique pointed out that GAFCON had conducted an organizing conference in Australia in March of 2015. As for England, the Communique boldly declared "FCA UK & Ireland, formed on our initiative." on our initiative. "We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from Biblical faith." ("Biblical faith" is code term for socially conservative orthodoxy in vertical religion.) "We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England's commitment to Biblical truth." And this is just the start: "We have planned for the expansion of our movement..."

GAFCON was created in July of 2008 in Jerusalem on the eve of the Lambeth meeting of that year. It was formed to promote social conservatism in the Anglican world, particularly to oppose equal rights for homosexual persons and women in the Church. Many bishops who attended GAFCON refused to go to Lambeth. Bishop Lawrence attended the original meeting and has warmly supported the movement ever since. Interesting enough, however, he has steadfastly refused to join the American branch of GAFCON, the Anglican Church in North America. He has kept his "diocese" entirely separate of any larger group for reasons unapparent.

Today's Communique should make it entirely clear to everyone that GAFCON is splitting up the old Anglican Communion. It actually has the majority of Anglican communicants in the world. What it is creating is a Third World-centric organization devoted to traditional, conservative social systems and narrow theology. It has linked up with the social reactionary minorities in the First World countries to form a worldwide network. This is redefining Anglicanism and actually remodeling the old religion into something new and different than its historic roots intended. GAFCON's philosophy of Anglicanism is a far cry from Elizabeth I's and an even farther cry from American Episcopalianism.

See also the informative report in The Telegraph of April 17:

And "Conservative Anglicans Poised for 'Leap Forward,' Deny Schism, Christian Today, April 17, 2015,