Monday, February 06, 2017

GAFCON Statement on TEC Voting in Lusaka...more Anglican news

GAFCON Statement on TEC Voting in Lusaka
6th February 2017
Peter Jensen

The agreement from the January Primates meeting in 2016 was broken when The Episcopal Church (TEC) took part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity and doctrine in Lusaka.  Equally damaging, was an attempt by the Anglican Communion Office to deny the fact by claiming that, technically, the process included no formal votes.  This is sophistry.

The Primates agreement in January was never limited to the narrow issue of the method of voting.  It said that “[The Episcopal Church] will not to take part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity or doctrine.”  [Primates 2016 Communique]

Whether a meeting uses a consensus model, or a voice vote, or paper ballots, or electronic ballots is of no relevance.  The Episcopal Church was not to take part in decision making on issues pertaining to polity or doctrine.  They did.

As the GAFCON Primates Council has said: “The future of the Anglican Communion does not lie with manipulations, compromises, legal loopholes, or the presentation of half-truths; the future of our Communion lies in humble obedience to the truth of the Word of God written.” [Gafcon Primates Communique, April 2016]

Archbishop Peter Jensen
General Secretary

Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children at some CoE schools  
New figures have revealed Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools. 
According to the latest available statistics, one Church of England primary school has a '100 per cent Muslim population'.
It has prompted leading education experts to urge some church schools to become secular institutions because it is 'confusing for children'...

Here I straddle: I can do no other
...Those in REFORM and ReNew and indeed GAFCON, have been seeking change within the Church of England to bring it in belief and practice more in line with Scripture as its supreme authority. There are three options open to those in the denomination as things stand.
1.    Slow death. This is what is occurring in the Church of England at large and by all the social indicators.  This characterises those (including some evangelicals) who want ‘peace with pay (or a prelacy) and so will not rock the boat. These will be favoured by the establishment over any perceived trouble makers (like Luther!).
2.    Quick Exit. Leave the denomination. If things continue along the trajectory as laid down by the Bishop’s report there will be more evangelicals taking this option (as well as less evangelicals coming into the denomination at a leadership level).
3.    Deep Change. This is a term developed by the writer Robert E Quinn to describe how long term and significant change is effected in an organisation with a resulting revitalisation. There are three features which characterise ‘deep changers’: [Robert E Quinn, Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within ((Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series), 1996)]
A. They must be willing to break the rules which hinder growth.
B. They must risk their jobs- willing to court the opprobrium of the establishment.
C. They must be willing to “walk naked into the land of uncertainty” or build bridges while still crossing them. This means going ahead, not recklessly, but moving forward without knowing beforehand what the outcome might be.
Of course option 3 is the way of Luther and marks the theology of the cross- weak, costly, foolish in the eyes of the world and the Babylonian Church, but in the economy of God the genuine manifestation of grace. In practice this will take many forms. It will involve those within the establishment breaking canon law for the sake of the gospel and people’s eternal salvation as the local context requires it. It will mean more church planting outside the compromised denomination through bodies such as AMiE or the Free Church of England or with the support of other provinces. In short, it will mean ‘messy church’...


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