The Chairman of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) has sent a video message to hundreds of would-be delegates of this month’s Lambeth Conference, setting out four priorities for ‘Orthodox delegates’ attending the 10-yearly global gathering.
Archbishop Justin Badi, who is also Primate of the Episcopal Church of South, rallied his fellow Orthodox brothers and sisters in the Provinces of the GSFA, who represent over 75% of all Anglicans worldwide. He said the four objectives of the conference (July 26-Aug 7) are to:-
● Foster the Unity of the Orthodox, whilst being a faithful witness, and defender of ‘the faith once delivered’
● Sound a ‘Clarion Call’ to Biblical Faithfulness, including seeking the ‘re-affirmation of Lambeth 1.10’* as the ‘official teaching’ of the Anglican Church on marriage and sexuality
● Stand by GSFA’s principle of not being a ‘breakaway group’ from the Anglican Communion. (GSFA sees itself, and seeks to be part of, the ‘holy remnant’ that God has preserved in the Anglican Communion), and to
● Spur on the faithful in the Communion to get the Gospel out into the world, earnestly defending the purity of the faith in order that it might be propagated to a lost and needy world
Encouraging all who attend to “speak with one voice, and be united in the gospel truth”, the archbishop also said GSFA delegates will unite to “call on all Provinces across the Anglican Communion to align their Faith & Order accordingly”. If agreed, this will directly challenge the Episcopal Church of America, and delegates from Canada, New Zealand, the Church of Scotland and the Church in Wales, all of whom have broken away from the Church’s teaching, some allowing same sex marriage for clergy, whilst all have authorised the ‘blessing’ of same-sex marriages.
Further, the Archbishop says that the ‘clarion call’ “should be accompanied by limits to fellowship, indicating the non-negotiability of things essential to the faith, entrusted to us by Almighty God.”
The invitation from Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to all serving bishops in the Anglican Communion to attend the conference has caused great pain amongst orthodox leaders, for Bishops in same sex relationships, and those seeking to persuade their own province/diocese, and others, to accept ‘gay marriage’ have also been invited. Orthodox Bishops who hold firm to the Bible’s teaching on marriage, and sexuality have had to solemnly decide, in keeping also with their respective Provincial processes, whether or not to attend the gathering.
The GSFA leadership respects the decision of those Primates, such as those of Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya who have chosen not to attend. Those Primates from GSFA who have opted to attend are equally committed to biblical foundations and seek to be a faithful witness at the assembly itself.
The GSFA leadership, and the GSFA-EFAC Lambeth Resource Group**will not be making any further comment in relation to these four objectives ahead of the conference. Instead, they urge all Christians across the Communion to pray for all who shall be attending. The GSFA will hold a press conference at the start of the Lambeth Conference, at which details of how they shall seek to fulfil these four objectives shall be explained.