Sunday, June 29, 2008

My other Gafcon

The media says it's a colloquy of Christian fundamentalists. But that misses its vitally personal religious purpose
Sunday June 29, 2008
Anne Atkins

In short, Gafcon is about the Lordship of Christ, the sinfulness of man, the reliability of the scriptures, and what all this means for all our lives. That's what all the talks, seminars, workshops, songs and prayers in Jerusalem this week have been focused on.

I find this utterly thrilling stuff, which is why I was there. It has changed my life, shaped my choices, gloriously enriched my relationships, and most important of all, will get me through the biggest challenge I will ever face: my death and what lies beyond.

But I've never really expected it to go down a bomb in the secular media, to be perfectly frank with you. So I'm not expecting this to be how Gafcon is reported.

Be honest, if you were a hard-pressed, overworked reporter sitting in on a Christian conference all week, would you file back to your editor the essence of the Gospel? Of course you wouldn't.

You'd say, these Christian fundamentalist fanatics believe in converting Muslims. Or you'd say they are opposed to gay rights. Or you might even, if writing for intelligent readers who pick up the Guardian, say they are discussing the political structures of the future of the Church of England.

But please, don't think that's what Gafcon was about.
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