Mere Anglicanism

GAFCON III opens with a call to stand fast for Jesus

There is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Bishop of Lango, Uganda proclaimed in the opening session of GAFCON III meeting 

There is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Bishop of Lango, Uganda, the Rt. Rev. Alfred Olwa proclaimed in the opening session of GAFCON III meeting in Jerusalem on 18 June 2018.

Preaching from Jesus’ trial narrative from the Gospel of Luke to almost 2000 archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and lay men and women from 50 countries, Dr. Olwa set forth a non-negotiable principle of the Christian faith — the exclusive claims of Christian revelation — denouncing a tendency recorded throughout church history of church leaders seeking to accommodate the faith to the dictates of culture.

Dr. Olwa, a self-confessed “baby-bishop” with less than a year’s seniority spoke of the depredations suffered by the people of Northern Uganda at the hands of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Hundreds of thousands had been displaced by fighting and many thousands killed or maimed by the war, he noted. At the height of the war, he said the bishops of Kitgum and Northern Uganda made a pilgrimage to a spring in Acholiland, whose waters the LRA claimed was the source of its mystical powers. The two bishops prayed at the spring, and shortly thereafter the spring dried up. The LRA responded by placing a price on the heads of the two bishops — but the two were spared death.

In his own life, Dr. Olwa said he had witnessed the transforming power of God in Jesus Christ. Raised in a traditional African religion, his grandmother was a “diviner, a witch doctor.” At the age of 18, he had come to believe his life was worthless and he was oppressed by demonic destructive spirits. Three itinerant Christian evangelists came to his village and “found a man broken in sin, totally helpless.”

They told me that Jesus said, “come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will refresh you”, said Dr. Olwa. He accepted Christ as his savior and was saved.

Listening to those within the Anglican Communion who say that the church’s teaching about the power of the Scriptures must be changed to conform with the spirit of the age, was utter nonsense to a man who had been transformed by faith through grace by God’s word.

Expounding upon the trial of Jesus, Dr. Olwa concluded that not to take a stand on Jesus, not to take a stand on the sufficiency of Scripture, was to act like Pontius Pilate. In seeking the acclaim of the crown, Pilate rejected the truth to gain respectability. He declared that in the Anglican Communion today “some people reject Jesus because they won’t make a stand and avoid taking a stand for Jesus. The line is drawn by Jesus, you are either in or you are out, there is no sitting on the fence. We must proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.”

He then recounted the work of Athanasius, who stood alone against the leaders of the Church in affirming the faith as set forth in the Nicene Creed. He called upon the bishops of the Anglican Communion to be faithful to the revealed truth of God in Christ as Athanasius had been and to “stand fast” against all calls for accommodation and change in truth. The question was simply one of salvation. He called upon the lay men and women of GAFCON to be as faithful to the faith once received as had been the Ugandan Martyrs, who refused to accommodate their king’s demands,  and accepted martyrdom rather than apostasy.

Christ and the Gospels were not conditioned by time, place or culture. They were universal truths that held fast across the ages. There is “no Jesus for the Americans, no Jesus for the British, no Jesus for the Africans or for the Ozzies.  There is only one Jesus for all men,” Dr. Olwa said. Be faithful and standfast to the Gospel, he concluded, for your salvation depended upon it.

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