The GAFCON obsession
GAFCON (Global Anglican futures conference) has stated its intention to establish a non-geographical diocese in Australia to serve Anglicans who can neither accept people of homosexual orientation in positions of leadership in the Church, nor countenance the blessing of same sex couples who have been married in a civil union.
They assert their position is premised on submission to biblical authority.
Let me also assert that I am committed to the authority of scripture and that my commitment to God in Christ, who has embraced humanity that humanity might embrace God, is absolute.
Truth is enhanced through exploration and engagement; truth is diminished through claims of certitude, refined as infallible dogma. Defining dogma based on self-appointed criteria places disciples of this dogma in a parasitical position in relation to the broader more generous Church which graces us all with the capacity to engage one another in Christ’s name. It is extraordinary that leaders of GAFCON who seek division in the Church are at the same time holding leadership positions as bishops within the Church.
It was a privilege to meet Morris West in the latter years of his life. In his final book ‘A view from the Ridge’ he writes: “when I was a young Jesuit postulant I was certain of many things, now I am old I am certain of only this one thing: ‘Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so’ ”. Now that I too am ancient, I echo these words and pray that GAFCON members might also grow in faith beyond self-appointed criteria of certainty and its self-righteous cocooning.
On face value I could be a member of GAFCON because I consider myself an orthodox Anglican. But I will never seek to be a member of GAFCON
There are many other issues of far greater significance and seriousness which are an existential threat to the fullness of life that Jesus promised.
Members of GAFCON, the standard you have set for judging submission to scripture and devotion to Christ is seriously flawed. Progress as you intend, and you deny us who remain the richness and diversity of your company, while condemning yourselves to a severely diminished expression of the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom of God.