Sunday, June 29, 2008

GAFCON - My Take

Well, it seems that, despite the prewritten and preconceived notions of the progressives and the mainstream press, the GAFCON conference did not split from Canterbury. The statement from GAFCON was very straight forward and correctly diagnosed the issue – not as one of lax or differing morality, but as one of authority: “
This false gospel undermines the authority of God’s Word written and the
uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the author of salvation from sin, death and
This problem of authority in doctrine and the teaching of doctrine contrary to the source of authority has led to a problem of authority in the political organization of the Church. This is seen with the congregations and dioceses that have left TEC and asked for Episcopal oversight from Africa, Asia, or South America.

Those of you who know me know that I am what is termed a “communion conservative.” I believe that the best solution to this crisis of authority is for the Anglican Communion as a whole to exercise its authority to discipline those provinces and bishops who are acting against the expressed teachings of the Communion. But, it seems that there is no agreed on way for this to occur. I was deeply disappointed when Archbishop Williams invited the American bishops who have defied the Communion by ordaining +Robinson or by allowing same sex blessings in their dioceses. I have less hope for Lambeth, but there is some hope there. I was saddened when Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda refused to go to Lambeth. I am heartened that +Jensen, +Venables, and others are going to Lambeth and will stand for the Faith that has been entrusted to us by the Church triumphant and by the Triune God.

If the Common Cause Partners are acknowledged as a legitimate province of the Anglican Communion (and I pray that they will be), that would be an excellent solution to the problem. How TECUSA will deal with that reality is a different issue (and another blog post).

I believe that GAFCON offers us a way forward – perhaps the best way forward.

In my next post, I plan to propose a new organization for the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).

Please pray for the Anglican Communion and for its leadership. Pray for +Williams, +Schori, and all the Bishops who meet at Lambeth. Pray that the Holy Spirit will break stone hearts and free minds trapped by their own ideas and our secular society.

Phil Snyder


Anonymous said...

And I'm praying for Bishop Stanton that he'll get dig deep and find some reservoir of boldness and zeal within or go ahead and announce his retirement. I am finding it harder and harder to stay in a parish and diocese that is in any way, shape, or form affiliated with "TEO." I think some of us might be better off casting our lot with Bishop Iker and Ft. Worth.

plsdeacon said...

I pray that Bishop Stanton will stay around for a while longer. I hesitate to guess what will happen when the next Ordinary is elected. I praying that Bishop Stanton will stay until a few of our younger clergy get more seasoning and can be elected.

Phil Snyder