Churches tempted to ‘change Christian faith’ for culture

GAFCON feature article

Jeff Walton, GAFCON media team

Archbishops at the opening news conference, October 21st 2013

Leaders of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) refuted characterizations in the western press of the gathering as a breakaway movement, with recently retired Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney responding that “nothing could be further from the truth.”

Instead, the FCA General Secretary portrayed the movement as seeking to model how the worldwide Anglican Communion can function “particularly when the Communion insists on strong theological standards” centering on the bible.

“There is a temptation to change Christian faith to comply with surrounding culture,” Dr Jensen observed at the press conference on the opening day, October 21st, 2013. “We think this has occurred far too often in the world.”

The global family of churches descended from the missionary activities of the Church of England were no longer in crisis, however, according to Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council Eliud Wabukala.

“We [the Global South churches] have moved on,” The Kenyan Archbishop assessed. “The crisis is behind us, although the factors that produced it are still there.”

Wabukala defended the importance of orthodox concerns about human sexuality, noting that in addition to African churches, St. Paul and the Book of Genesis portray human sexual relations as part of God’s plan for creation.

“Churches need to uphold God’s ordering of creation,” Wabukala expressed.

Asked to respond to comments by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in a sermon yesterday at Nairobi’s All Saints Cathedral, the Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, said he hadn’t heard the comments, but asserted that there was no moral equivalence of homosexual marriages in some liberal provinces and Anglican cross-jurisdictional border crossings by conservatives into those jurisdictions.

Orthodox Anglican churches, Okoh explained, “did not cross borders for fun,” but did so because actions recommended by worldwide Anglican leaders to address innovations by the U.S.-based Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada were not heeded.

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