Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

The Anglican future is Gafcon, Archbishop Jensen declares

Gafcon is the future of the Anglican Communion, Dr. Peter Jensen, the General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans told the opening session of the 2nd Global Anglican Future Conference on 21 October 2013.

Whether Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, Charismatic, High or Low Church all those gathered at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi were confessing Anglicans.

“We believe the apostolic faith and we do not believe the faith of those who contradict the Bible and who deny the uniqueness and supremacy of Christ,” he said “We therefore live under the cross of Christ.”

Dr. Jensen, the former Archbishop of Sydney, outlined the week long conference schedule stating the meeting would end with a communiqué setting out the fellowship’s goals for the future.

But the heart of the archbishop’s talk focused on what all the delegates from 40 countries and 27 provinces shared.

The Biblical mandate to go out and make disciples and preach the Gospel lay at the heart of the fellowship, he said. “We are here to learn how to be disciples of Jesus and to learn how to make disciples of Jesus.”

But the Anglican churches had not been faithful to Christ’s call. “We have failed to make disciples through teaching the commands of Jesus found in the Bible at depth. That is why so much of the church in the west has simply collapsed, capitulated and compromised before a virulent, antagonistic secularism.”

Disdain and ignorance of the Scriptures was not solely a Western disease. “We too are in danger of not teaching our people in Africa and Asia and South America and elsewhere. They too face immense challenges from religion and ideologies opposed to the gospel.”

The “ideologies” that had “emasculated the West” were spreading round the world like a “destructive tsunami. We must teach our people so that they will be ready for it,” he said.

The delegates to Gafcon were the foot soldiers in the fight against apostasy. “We are here to partner with each other in this great work of going into all the world,” teaching, preaching and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

“We are here to support one another,” he said, “When Anglicans are made to feel old fashioned and out of touch for believing the Bible, we want to say ‘We stand with you: You are not alone’. ‘

In a rebuke to Archbishop Justin Welby’s suggestion of moral equivalence between the Gafcon churches and the Episcopal Church in the US, Dr. Jensen said: “We will not equate boundary crossing with the teaching that sin is good and that God’s word can be disobeyed. We love good order; but we will even break order, to obey the orders of the Jesus.”

The “crisis” which “provoked” the first Gafcon conference had “awakened Anglicans everywhere” to the failure of the old ways of being church.

“The structures of the Old Communion let us down badly. They could not contain the powerful new wine of today’s confessional Anglicanism,” he said.

In 2008 Gafcon “began a new way of being Anglican; a way which insists on standards of belief and behavior; a way which does not need to go through Canterbury to be Anglican; a way in which we do not have to ask anyone’s permission to defend or preach the gospel; a way which seeks to model fellowship for the 21st century Communion; a way in which we do not sit around waiting for thing to happen.”

The “future” of Anglicanism had “arrived” and it was Gafcon, Dr. Jensen said.

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