GAFCON PROFILE: Inside Anglican Faction Determined To Defend Biblical Truth On Marriage

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A major conservative group of Anglican bishops and leaders under the Global  Anglican  Future  Conference (GAFCON), may boycott an upcoming global bishops conference over the presence of bishops whose regional territories support gay unions.

Most African bishops have indicated that they will not attend next year’s Lambeth Summit over the same issue. Today, we bring you details of GAFCON.

READ: African Bishops Boycott Global Anglican Summit Over Inclusion Of Gay Priests

BELOW IS A PROFILE ADAPTED FROM THE GROUP’S WEBSITE

The Gafcon movement is a global family of authentic Anglicans standing together to retain and restore the Bible to the heart of the Anglican Communion.

According to the group’s website, “Our mission is to guard the unchanging, transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ and to proclaim Him to the world. We are founded on the Bible, bound together by the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008, and led by a Primates Council, which represents the majority of the world’s Anglicans.”

Gafcon works to guard and proclaim the unchanging, transforming Gospel through biblically faithful preaching and teaching which frees our churches to make disciples by clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ in all the world.

 

The Gafcon journey began in 2008 when moral compromise, doctrinal error and the collapse of biblical witness in parts of the Anglican communion had reached such a level that the leaders of the majority of the world’s Anglicans felt it was necessary to take a united stand for truth. A crowd of more than one thousand witnesses, including Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, clergy and lay leaders gathered in Jerusalem for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).

READ: FULL STATEMENT: GAFCON Anglican Bishops’ 2020 Summit To Be Held In Rwanda

The second conference, GAFCON 2013, was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, at which over 1,300 delegates from 38 nations and 27 Provinces of the Anglican Communion were present. The gathering gave the Primates a mandate, through the Nairobi Communiqué and Commitment, to take forward the work of the Gafcon movement. We look for the prayer and financial support of Anglicans around the world who long for a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ as Lord.

 

The third GAFCON was held in Jerusalem, Israel in 2018. Gafcon 2018 was one of the largest global Anglican gatherings and brought together 1,950 representatives from 50 countries, including 316 bishops, 669 other clergy and 965 laity. The theme of the conference was “Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations”.  GAFCON 2018 showed that Gafcon had matured and the launch of nine global strategic networks were launched to continue in proclaiming Christ faithfully.

A further conference was held in 2019 for those who for political reasons couldn’t attend Jerusalem 2018. The delegates gathered in Dubai for ‘G19’, a conference for faithful Christians in ‘restricted situations’.

The final statement spoke powerfully of the sense of betrayal they have experienced when the very gospel for which they are suffering is being undermined and denied in other parts of the Anglican Communion.

A tenth network for the ‘Suffering Church’ was requested and later approved by the Primates at the Sydney meeting in April 2019.

Gafcon is led by a Council of Primates, set up in 2008 by the first Global Anglican Future Conference at its meeting in Jerusalem.  It is now supported by the Gafcon Guarantors who ensure continuity of vision, strategy and resources and the Gafcon Trustees who monitor legal and operational compliance.

The Primates Council is served by a Secretariat led by the General Secretary, Archbishop Ben Kwashi and includes the Operations Manager, Membership Development Secretary, the Communications Manager and the Director of the Gafcon Bishops Training Institute.  Global co-ordination is achieved through Liaison Officers in GAFCON affiliated Provinces and elsewhere through a growing network of regional branches.

READ ALSO: GAFCON Anglican Bishops’ Group To Boycott Lambeth Summit Over Gay Marriage

The History of GAFCON at a glance

1998

Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference upholds the Bible’s teaching on marriage between a man and a woman, and abstinence before marriage, while urging pastoral care of those of same-sex attraction.

2002

Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) authorised liturgy to bless same-sex unions. Eight parishes seek alternative episcopal oversight.

2003

An Anglican clergyman in America who is in a same-sex relationship having divorced his wife is consecrated as a bishop.

2008

GAFCON is created to guard and proclaim biblical truth globally and provide fellowship for orthodox Anglicans.

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