Thursday, July 03, 2008

Anglicans Defend Orthodoxy


That's what a group of Anglicans, meeting in Jerusalem, are declaring to the wider Anglican Communion.

For some time the Anglican Church has been engaged in an enormous struggle over two issues. The first concerns the Gospel. Is Jesus Christ the only way of salvation? Are there other paths to God? The second involves the nature of sexuality-marriage. Is homosexual behavior blessed by God? Is same-gender marriage acceptable? While I've watched the Anglican debate from a distance, I'm intimately familiar with the issues, as one involved in the Protestant mainline church.

After negotiating these issues for several years, 1,148 lay and clergy people, including 291 bishops, are saying, "enough." They're weary of the delay, inaction, and continued talk.

Meeting June 22-29 in Jerusalem, yes the spiritual center of the Christian world, The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) gathered, "to preserve and promote the truth and power of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as we Anglicans have received it."

They don't mince words in describing the problem facing their Communion:
The meeting in Jerusalem this week was called in a sense of urgency that a false gospel has so paralyzed the Anglican Communion that this crisis must be addressed. The chief threat of this dispute involves the compromising of the integrity of the church’s worldwide mission. The primary reason we have come to Jerusalem and issued this declaration is to free our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ.
They point out three problems:
The first fact is the acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different ‘gospel’ (cf. Galatians 1:6-8) which is contrary to the apostolic gospel. 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 judgment. Many of its proponents claim that all religions offer equal access to God and that Jesus is only a way, not the way, the truth and the life. It promotes a variety of sexual preferences and immoral behavior as a universal human right. It claims God’s blessing for same-sex unions over against the biblical teaching on holy matrimony. In 2003 this false gospel led to the consecration of a bishop living in a homosexual relationship.

The second fact is the declaration by provincial bodies in the Global South that they are out of communion with bishops and churches that promote this false gospel. These declarations have resulted in a realignment whereby faithful Anglican Christians have left existing territorial parishes, dioceses and provinces in certain Western churches and become members of other dioceses and provinces, all within the Anglican Communion...

The third fact is the manifest failure of the Communion Instruments to exercise discipline in the face of overt heterodoxy. The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, in proclaiming this false gospel, have consistently defied the 1998 Lambeth statement of biblical moral principle (Resolution 1.10)... We can only come to the devastating conclusion that ‘we are a global Communion with a colonial structure’.

In response to these problems, the delegates issued the 14 point Jerusalem Declaration, which affirms the historic Christian faith. Their final statement also makes clear that the status quo of the Anglican Church will no longer be tolerated.


How refreshing.

1 comment:

Carl said...

The news you present is refreshing and good to know. I am a member of the United Methodist denomination and each time they have their conference the topic of homosexuality in the clergy keeps rearing its ugly head and some, very liberal, individuals actually attempt to promote it. It gets brought to a vote after debate and discussion (why debate and discuss something clearly unBiblical is beyond me but they are the leaders in the UMC) and thus far it has been consistently voted down. Frankly, I am worried that the homosexuality proponents will somehow get enough votes to pass it and if that day does come, I sincerely hope there will be those who split from those in favor of the homosexual clergy or else I'm joining a good Baptist church. Just my 2 cents.