GAFCON stalwart appointed Archbishop of Canterbury’s assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs


Editor’s note: The Provost of All Saints Cathedral, the Very Rev. Sammy Wainaina, will be the archbishop of Canterbury’s point man in dealing with the Global South provinces. Provost Wainaina has been a vocal supporter of the GAFCON movement and has condemned the innovations of doctrine and discipline taken by the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada. Will this appointment see GAFCON ensconced in Lambeth Palace — or will another African acolyte of Welbyism be deployed to keep the Global South in line?

A 31 May 2021 podcast with Provost Wainaina with GAFCON and the attached article from 2018 offer the former dean’s PW (pre-Welby) views.

Greetings from Jerusalem! Before the Gafcon Conference begins on Sunday 17th June in Jerusalem, I am privileged to be with the Kenyan delegation on a tour of the Holy Land and today we have been in Galilee where Jesus gave the teaching we now call the Sermon the Mount. Jesus warned his disciples that the road to life is narrow, but the road that leads to destruction is broad (Matthew 7:13,14). He also immediately warned about false prophets, the ferocious wolves who come in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). These verses are very relevant to the conference about to begin and help us to understand why the Gafcon movement is necessary.

GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) began with the first Conference in Jerusalem ten years ago because leaders representing the majority of the world’s practicing Anglicans recognized that the Communion was faced with a choice between the narrow way and the broad way, between life and death.

Some Provinces of the Communion had rejected the teaching of the bible for the ‘broad way’ of compromise with secularism. The Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada had both authorized services of blessing for people in homosexual relationships and ordained people in such relationships, in defiance of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of bishops which strongly reaffirmed the Communion’s historic and biblical understanding of marriage.

At stake here was not just the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics, but the authority of the Bible itself, yet successive Archbishops of Canterbury have insisted that the rest of the Communion must nonetheless ‘walk together’ with those who have rejected God’s Word and become wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Gafocn is therefore necessary for two reasons:

Firstly, it is needed to guard the gospel. Gafcon insists that authentic Anglicanism is first and foremost confessional about what we believe, rather than institutional and just a matter of recognition by the Canterbury. This is what the choice between the narrow and broad way looks like in the Communion today.

Secondly, Gafcon is needed because the gospel must be proclaimed. The first Gafcon Conference of 2008 set forth the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which concluded by saying that the primary reason for gathering in Jerusalem was ‘to free’ our churches to give clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ. This statement was reaffirmed in the Nairobi conference in 2013. Once we begin to pick and chose those bits of the Bible that suit us, we are just giving people an opinion. We are no longer witnesses.

Now in 2018 it is clear that Gafcon is needed more than ever. Since 2013, TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil have all altered their canons to allow same sex ‘marriage’ and by being part of Gafcon we make it clear that we are not in fellowship with these churches and call on them to repent.

By being part of Gafcon we also affirm that we are in fellowship with those who have stood firm for the gospel and as a result have been forced to leave Churches that have strayed. Gafcon therefore recognizes the Anglican Church of North America and the recently formed Anglican Church in Brazil as authentic provinces of the Anglican Communion even though they are not counted as such by the Canterbury.

Sometimes it is claimed that Gafcon is a breakaway movement from the Anglican Communion, but this is a complete misunderstanding. The real breakaways are those who have loved the broad way and gone beyond the boundaries of apostolic Christianity. But through Gafcon, God is renewing and reforming the Anglican Communion to make it fit for his wonderful purposes.

The Anglican Church in Africa cannot stand alone in this fight. We need other provinces of the world who have taken a clear decision on the orthodox faith. GAFCON gives us that platform to join hands with others who want to be faithful to the bible. However, the Anglican Church in African church must take a biblical stand on all doctrinal matters and have its agenda in GAFCON. Otherwise, we risk running with people’s agenda.