Archive for October, 2010

FCA Southern Africa conference ends on a high note.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

FCA South Africa Conference Ends with Statement of purpose and commitment to the Orthodox faith clearly stated at GAFCON

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in South Africa has been concluded its second annual conference in Port Elizabeth from October 27-29.  This was a time of felowship for members of FCA – SA from six of the costal dioceses in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA), as well the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) and international visitors from four continents.

The Diocesan Bishop of Port Elizabeth, Bethlehem Nopece welcomed participants from the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay, Durban, Natal, and George, along with Bishop P.J.Lawrence, Bishop of Nandyal in the Church of South India, Bishop Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney, Australia, Bishop Desmond Inglesby, Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa, and bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, officiating for the first time in Southern Africa – Bishop John Guernsey of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit and Bishop Bill Murdoch of the Anglican Diocese of New England.

We were truly blessed by the teaching and preaching of Bishops John Guernsey and Bill Murdoch from ACNA.  They had a timely word for the Church in this region which is widely believed to be the beachhead for the risionism of TEC and the Canadian provinces on the African Continet.

A panel discussion in including Bishop Nopece, Bishops Guernsey and Murdoch (ACNA), Bishop Glen Davis (Sydney) and canons Samuel and Sugden clearly charted the Crisis in the Communion and helped the meeting form a clear


Dr Chris Sugden and Dr Vinay Samuel during one of the discussion times.

understanding of what Orthodox Anglicanism is called to do in the coming years to defend and SPREAD the faith “once handed down”

Perhaps the one message that needs to be heard by all who hold our faith dear in this region are these words that stick in my mind from one of our discussions:

Fear not little flock; it is the father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. We are faithful. But be open, network, create these products. Anglicans speak beyond themselves. Say yes we will make a difference. Often the emporer has no clothes. We have a lot of the clothes that the righteous Lord gives us.”

The final sessions of the conference included the commitment to following resolution crafted by the entire gathering to declare our position in these changing times and our commitment to make an effective contribution to the Church in this region.
They produced the following resolution:

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Southern Africa, meeting for the second annual conference in Port Elizabeth resolved:

1. To constitute a Steering Committee representing parishes and regions.

2. To request Bishop Bethlehem Nopece to be Episcopal Adviser to FCA (SA).

3. To request members of the Committee to meet with the leadership of ACSA and CESA and to update them about the FCA (SA).

4. To affirm our commitment to our Churches and the renewal of the Anglican Communion.

5. To charge parish representatives to share with those around them:

  • The Jerusalem Declaration – as the central shared truths of Anglicanism we can use as the minimum expression of the truth.
  • Being Faithful – as a good instrument for beginning the education of ordinary Anglicans to know what they believe.
  • To encourage individuals and parish councils to sign up to the Statement and join FCA (SA).

6. Respectfully request the GAFCON Primates to commission further contemporary teaching materials based on the Jerusalem Statement for teaching the essentials of the orthodox faith to the faithful – accessible especially for young people.

7. To express gratitude and appreciation to the CAPA conference in Entebbe for the clear and definite leadership in the midst of the global Anglican crisis given in the following areas:

  • The welcome and affirmation of the Anglican Church of North America.
  • The courageous stand against the liberalizing influence of TEC in the Global South.

8. To express our gratitude to Bishops Guernsey and Murdoch of ACNA for their supportive presence at our conference.
-ends-

ACNA Bishops officiate in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


Chris Sugden reports:

October 27th, 2010

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (Southern Africa) opened its second annual conference at St Saviour’s Church in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday October 27th. The Diocesan Bishop, Bethlehem Nopece welcomed participants from the Dioceses of Cape Town, False Bay, Durban, Natal, and George, along with Bishop P.J.Lawrence, Bishop of Nandyal in the Church of South India, Bishop Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney, Australia, Bishop Desmond Inglesby, the newly elected Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa, and Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, officiating for the first time in Southern Africa – Bishop John Guernsey of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit and Bishop Bill Murdoch of the Anglican Diocese of New England. Greetings were received from Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa from Tanzania who was prevented from attending by ill-health.

Standing with Diocesan Bishop Bethlehem Nopece (Centre) are (left to right) Bishops Glenn Davies (North Sydney), P.J.Lawrence (Nandyal, Church of South India), Bill Murdoch (ACNA) and John Guernsey (ACNA)

Bishop John Guernsey preached and began by noting that at the urging of the GAFCON movement the new province of the Anglican Church in North America was formed in North America. “We have seen a great deal of persecution. Churches have lost their property, clergy have lost their positions, given up medical insurance and pension benefits and been sued by their own bishops,” he said.

He noted that it took persecution to get the apostles out as the Lord had commanded them. “There is no evidence they went beyond Jerusalem until they were forced to do so by the persecution that broke out at Jesus’ death.”, he said. He then traced 6 passages in the book of Acts where Luke offers statements about the growth of the church, the crises that preceded the particular instance of growth, and the practice of prayer that went along with it.

These passages were

1, Acts 5 12ff . The dishonesty and corruption of Ananias and Sapphira threatened to undermine order in the church. They dropped dead and people were afraid. There was growth in numbers and greater release of supernatural power for healing and deliverance.

2. Acts 6.7 The word of God spread. The disciples in Jerusalem increased and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. This follows the crisis of the distribution of food to the Greek and Hebrew speaking widows.

3. Acts 9.31 Then the church throughout Jerusalem, Galilee and Judea grew in numbers. This follows the crisis over Saul who had been trying to kill the church.

4. Acts 11. 19 Those who had been scattered – some of them went to Antioch and went to speak to Greeks also. The Lord’s hand was with them and a great number of people believed. This followed the crisis following preaching to Cornelius and other Gentiles in Caesarea. The proclamation was directly linked to the experience of suffering that the church knew through the martyrdom of Stephen

5. Acts 12.24. The Word of God continued to increase and spread following Herod’s persecution.

6. Acts 16: 4-5. Delivered the decision reached in Jerusalem for the people to obey. Follows the crisis over the status of Gentiles believers

Bishop John urged that the Lord desires to use hardship to bring forth the fruit of character in us – to forge in us true holiness, a godly humility, a merciful and forgiving spirit and unquenchable joy. We cannot develop endurance without suffering. We cannot develop a virtue without circumstances to provide. We cannot become patient without having to wait.

Faith is purified and shown to be genuine so we bring forth praise and glory and honour when Jesus is revealed.

“The crisis in the Anglican Communion is not the last challenge we are going to face. In the USA we are facing an increasingly hostile culture. The current situation is a training camp to prepare us for greater battles.” he noted.

Prayer is central to the work of the kingdom and the accomplishment of God’s purposes in suffering. Prayer figures in these passages in a significant way.

The Lord uses crisis in someone else’s life to be uplifting. But my crises are not nearly as inspiring. Allow the Lord to use this adversity to drive me to renewed passion for prayer and obedient faith. Use the pressure we are under to propel us out with a new zeal for mission. To build confident faith as we face more challenges.

Bishop Guernsey closed by quoting from 1 Peter 4.12 Do not be surprised at the pajnful trial you are suffering. Rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ. The Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

CAPE TOWN: Homosexuality Addressed at Global Evangelical Congress

Monday, October 25th, 2010


By David W. Virtue in Cape Town
www.virtueonline.org

International evangelical ex-gay leaders at a global congress seeking to reach the world for Jesus Christ say that 155 million homosexuals around the world need to hear the love and grace of God, not condemnation or rejection by Christians.

They believe that the church should lovingly accept homosexuals, let them know that God loves them and that He wants to pour “living waters” of His love into them to cleanse and change them with His love.

“Grace drew me home and truth set me free,” cried one speaker. “Stifling behavior is not our goal; our goal in the church is to speak first to the soul as we reach into the gay community. Our goal is not to silence or stop homosexuals but to reach into the gay community with God’s love, grace and forgiveness.

“It is not just about behavior, you can cut off my hands and gauge out my eyes but the internal struggle would continue. This is not just about the gay culture. What we face is not rocket science, it is reaching lost persons and letting Christ do his redemptive work in their hearts.

“Homosexuals are not lost or missing, they are hurting. Most people who come into our ministries come from churches,” they said.

One speaker, EXODUS International president Alan Chambers told more than a 1,000 participants that Christ died for all of us or he died for none of us. “We need to care about gays and lesbians who deserve our love and acceptance. We are not being called to accept sin but to accept people. Christ died for us when were yet sinners. The church is the best place to hear about God’s redemption and His sacrifice for lost sinners.

“Look at the gay community. God wants those people in our churches. God has message for all of us. Whatever sin you are tempted with, the message is you are accepted. God says I want a relationship with you and I have the grace, ability and power to redeem you. Bring your struggles to me and together we will struggle towards wholeness and sanctification and we will struggle towards the cross together.

“What one of us does not do wrong? We all do wrong. There are people who need to be reached. We should not be in the business of politically defeating them but reaching them with the heart of Christ and let them know that there is only One who can redeem them and love them more than anyone else.

“We are the most uneducated about compassion and reaching out. We are people in the world who have the real answer. I lived in a gay community and found it to be one of the best counterfeits I have ever been in. When a church finally reached out to me I saw a greater love. The real tragedy is when the church doesn’t reach out with the greatest love in the universe.”

Read More..

ESCAPE TO INDIA

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010


Charles Raven writes:

The website of travel company ‘Escape to India’ (in which this column has no financial or other interest!) boasts ‘Visit India and we can offer you the reassurance that you CAN turn your Indian dream into reality.’ It may be that the beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury is wishing he had sought their advice.

He might reasonably have hoped that his extended visit to India would be an opportunity to restore some credibility to his much diminished office. However, the illusory quality of the image Dr Williams is trying to project has been painfully exposed by high profile exits to the Ordinariate in England and statements by leading Global South Primates at the third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in South Africa to the effect that it is ‘game over’ for the Lambeth leadership.

Like many dreams, Dr Williams’ owes much more to wish fulfilment than fact. Just as the Rt Revd John Broadhurst was announcing his resignation to join the Ordinariate because of the Church of England’s ‘fascist’ and ‘vicious’ treatment of those opposed in conscience to the consecration of women as bishops, and as St Peter’s Folkstone, a church in the diocese of Canterbury itself, hit the headlines by seeking to make the same move as a whole congregation, Rowan Williams appealed again to the discredited ‘listening process’.

In his sermon at All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur for the 40th Anniversary Celebration Service of the Church of North India he claimed that ‘As we stop listening to one another, we stop listening to Christ. And whether this happens in the name of nationality or tradition or pride of achievement or purity of teaching, the effect is the same tragedy’. The reasoning behind this starts well enough. Returning to the listening’ theme of his address to the CAPA bishops assembled together at Entebbe in August he says ‘In St John’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a very simple account of what unity means for his followers. There is one flock because the sheep all recognise one voice – the voice of the Good Shepherd. So if there is not one flock, we must assume that the sheep are not listening to the same voice – that they are in part listening, as Jesus says earlier in the same passage, to the voices of strangers’.

However, it does not necessarily then follow that ‘When the Church of God begins to come together, it is a sign that we have stopped listening to strangers and have begun to turn to the one we most deeply recognise as the one who alone can bring us in to the presence of the true God’. Perhaps, but it may also be a sign that a particular visible and institutional Church is coming together around a deceptive voice and those who feel compelled to break fellowship hear within its leadership the voices of strangers.

The reason that such a possibility doesn’t seem to register with Dr Williams lies with the way in which in his thinking the voice of the Good Shepherd is bound up much more with the fluidity of what emerges from the Christian community than with the propositions of Scripture. That voice, he says, is ‘defined and controlled by the Word expressed in Scripture and the Creeds’, but that is a carefully constructed phrase; historic Anglicanism has never seen the Word as simply ‘expressed in Scripture’ – in other words, as something which lies behind it and needs to be extracted. Rather, Scripture is itself, in the words of Article XX, ‘God’s Word written’.

Moreover, by ‘defined and controlled’ Rowan Williams does not mean a confessional discipline built on biblical propositions, but a process of conversation and questioning which he calls the ‘grammar of obedience’. As I have sought to show in my recent book ‘Shadow Gospel’, this approach deploys basic Christian concepts, like the Trinity and is tethered, albeit loosely, to the central historical facts of the incarnation, yet its boundaries are so elastic that the voice of the Good Shepherd becomes lost in a cacophony of other voices conditioned by the ambient culture of the secular West.

Although cultural captivity is something the Archbishop recognises in principle, his understanding of Scripture means that it can go unrecognised, or at least unresolved, in practice. No doubt this explains the oddity that in this sermon he recognises the courage of the Confessing Church in Germany in the 1930’s which managed to resist the voice of ‘strangers’ in the ideology of radical exclusion expressed in Nazi racism, yet he entertains on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion two representatives of TEC, Bishop Ian Douglas and Canon Janet Trisk, whose ideology of radical inclusion establishes the voice of a ‘stranger’ at the heart of the Communion’s formal system of governance.

For the Global South Primates, the failure to exercise anything but the most token sanctions against TEC and its friends has brought them to exactly the opposite of Dr Williams’ conviction. For them, this is a situation in which the danger is not so much that ‘as we stop listening to one another, we stop listening to Christ’ as, to paraphrase, ‘ we now have to stop the ‘Lambeth listening’ in order to listen to Christ’. In a searching interview with David Virtue at the Lausanne Congress, Archbishop Henry Orombi could not have been more plain. In his view the Archbishop of Canterbury has ‘constantly played hide and seek’ and he affirmed ‘We will no longer play that game. It is over.’ In practical terms he said this means that ‘No orthodox primate will go to Ireland. Unless Rowan Williams uninvites the US and Canadian Primates, you can count us out.’

And logically it follows that an alternative should be provided, as he had observed earlier ‘We are providing collective leadership for orthodox believers. Such a move is seen as difficult, but a shift has taken place. In due time delivery of a baby takes prolonged labour pains but a baby will be born healthy and well. The Archbishop of Canterbury comes and goes every several years. The Church of Christ stays.”

Undeterred, the Anglican Communion’s official news service yesterday published a press release yesterday entitled ‘Archbishop Rowan Williams: “Despite challenges, Anglican Communion life is strong.”’ So the dream, at least, survives, but before writing off this improbable claim as simply a public relations exercise, it is worth noting that in an interview for the Hindu from which this quote was taken, the Archbishop explains that while ‘the institutions of the Communion struggle’ there is closer collaboration on development issues including ‘the emergence of an Anglican health network across the globe’.

Here we see a new tactic first evident at Lambeth 2008. The conference abandoned any attempt to tackle the specific moral and doctrinal difficulties facing the Communion, but the assembled bishops were prevailed upon to march through central London to the Houses of Parliament in support of the Millennium Development Goals. So we can expect to see increasing energy going into an attempt to develop a Lambeth based Anglican development agency as a covert fifth instrument of unity which serves to justify the continued existence of the other instruments while sidestepping ‘troublesome’ doctrinal issues and of course providing a financial incentive to bolster traditional ‘bonds of affection’.

This not fanciful. In his sermon at All Saints Cathedral Nagpur, Dr Williams equates the needs of the poor with the voice of the Good Shepherd when he says ‘If there are things that we can best do together, what a nonsensical response it would be to say, ‘No, we must wait until we are agreed about all our practices and our doctrines. When we respond together to the needs of the poor and excluded, we find ourselves drawn closer to each other; we have recognised the one voice of the true Shepherd’.

But this is an invitation to care for the poor as a displacement activity rather than grapple with the real issues of our identity which have shredded the fabric of the Anglican Communion. Until that fact is acknowledged, both the Anglican Covenant and now Anglican development work, vital as it is, become a game if in the wrong hands. Having declared one game over, the Global South are hardly likely to play this new one. They know that it is only the gospel which can bring truly holistic transformation to societies and we should be thankful for their courage and determination not to be distracted from that task by strangers.

Charles Raven

21st October 2010

Liturgy and Music commission hears call for openness, equality for same-gender couples

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

[Episcopal News Service, Concord, New Hampshire] Ministering in the “middle of this cauldron of multicultural activity” that is Harvard Square, the Rev. Joseph Robinson, rector of Christ Church Cambridge in the Diocese of Massachusetts says he wants to be able to welcome everyone, including same-gender couples who want their relationships blessed.

“And what they’re asking of me is that it’s the same for everyone, that it’s done with intention, truthfulness and that it begins with the words ‘dearly beloved,'” Robinson told the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music Oct. 19 during a hearing here. “It needs to sound like something that’s recognizable.”

“Whatever we do, whatever we offer our people, let it be eloquent, let it be truthful, let it be prayer and let it be common because those are the things which are the strengths of our church,” Robinson added.

Robinson comments came as SCLM met for five hours with representatives of Province I to hear about their experience with same-gender blessings.

In all, the commission devoted a day and a half of its Oct. 18-20 meeting to work on General Convention Resolution C056 which authorized it to work in conjunction with the House of Bishops to collect and develop theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships. The commission is to report to the 77th General Convention in 2012 in Indianapolis.

“It will be up to the General Convention [to decide] what to do with those resources,” the Rev. Ruth Meyers, SCLM chair and Hodges-Haynes professor of liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, told the commission Oct. 19 before the hearing began.

C056 said that bishops, “particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.” The SCLM hearing was meant to hear how a group of Episcopalians, most of whom live in civil jurisdictions that recognize same-gender unions in some way, provide that pastoral response.

Same-gender couples can marry in Connecticut (Province I), Iowa (Province VI), Massachusetts (Province I), New Hampshire (Province I), Vermont (Province I) and Washington, D.C. (Province II). Meyers told ENS that the commission wanted to hear from Province I Episcopalians because they have been leaders in the church’s pastoral response to the needs of same-gender couples. Included in that response is a collection of pastoral resources the province published in October 2008.

An increasing number of other Episcopal Church dioceses, both where the civil jurisdiction gives same-gender unions some level of legal recognition and where they do not, allow clergy to bless those unions.

During the hearing, many of the more than 30 Episcopalians — some of whom have been involved in blessing same-gender unions, sometimes for decades — told the SCLM that they want to see the church treat such unions equally and with the same openness that it treats heterosexual marriage.

“I want to bring this out of the shadows so that we don’t continue some kind of ecclesiastical version of don’t ask, don’t tell,” Diocese of Maine Bishop Stephen Lane said, telling the commission that his acceptance of same-gender blessings comes from his understanding of the Baptismal Covenant.

“I think it is heretical and immoral to have different standards for different groups of baptized people,” he said, adding that he fears the church will “lose its nerve” and settle for something that is “separate but equal.”

The Rev. Rob Hirschfeld, rector of Grace Church Amherst, Massachusetts, told the commission about blessing the union of two military women who were teaching at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Diocese of Western Massachusetts Bishop Gordon Scruton does not allow priests to bless such unions and so, Hirschfeld said, “it was don’t ask, don’t tell for them and it was don’t ask, don’t tell for me.”

The 30-minute diocesan presentations involved lay people, deacons, priests, bishops, and same-gender couples who have had their unions blessed by the church. The delegations were encouraged to bring service leaflets from the blessing of same-gender unions and other materials that clergy have used to work with couples and congregations to prepare for such blessings.

As Vince Edwards of the Diocese of Connecticut told the commission about the experience of having his relationship with Rodney Ayers blessed, he said he wanted to remind the members about what he saw as the bottom line of the decisions they faced.

“All the words we write, all the things we print, all the meetings we have, it is actually all about love,” he said.

Stories of waiting for the Episcopal Church to act figured prominently in the testimony.

The Rev. Meredyth Ward, priest-in-charge of Church of the Epiphany in Wilbraham in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, told the commission that in 2004 she was part of the diocese’s first official study of same-gender blessings. After nearly two years, she said, none of the group’s position papers or proposed rites were able to be published.

“I love my bishop dearly; he is a good man, but he is waiting for the wider church to act before he will and he will not give us permission to do anything that you all and General Convention does not authorize,” she said of Scruton. “We’re here to plead with you to act because we are waiting and we are, quite frankly, tired of asking permission for something that we know to be morally right.”

The last witness, Chris Rivers, a professor of French at Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts, told a common story of having his same-gender relationship sanctioned in three different civil jurisdictions to preserve his and his partner’s legal rights.

“We’ve been married three times now. I’m waiting for the fourth because the one that I really want is the Episcopal Church,” he said. “I want the Book of Common Prayer … I want those words and I want it in this church and I want it now.”

SCLM has a year to go before it has to decide on the substance of its report that will be included in the so-called Blue Book collection of reports to 2012 General Convention. Meyers said that the commission currently envisions that the material that it will present to convention will include one or more essays “that provide theological foundations for this work,” one or more rites, pastoral resources to assist clergy and others who prepare couples for blessings, teaching resources for congregations wanting to discern whether they will offer blessings and “some sort of guidance” for bishops and clergy for addressing the legal issues in the various civil contexts in which the church operates.

“We may also be looking at proposed canon changes, given the various civil contexts,” she added, explaining that the current canons say (in Title I.18.1) that the clergy will follow the laws of the church and the laws of the state when officiating at a marriage. Thus, those two sets of laws “are now in conflict” in places that allow civil marriage of same-gender couples, she noted. Meyers said that the SCLM is consulting with the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons about possible canon changes that might be proposed.

Between now and the October 2011 meeting when SCLM finalizes its Blue Book report, the commission plans what it is calling a “church-wide consultation” in Atlanta March 18-19 that will include one lay and one clergy deputy from each diocese. Meyers said the commission will present its work to date and ask for feedback from the participants.

The commission will continue to report on its progress to the House of Bishops and consult with the bishops, Meyers said. She and others associated with the SCLM’s work on C056 met with the bishops in Phoenix on Sept. 18.

To assist in it its work, SCLM has established three task groups to focus on, respectively, liturgical resources, pastoral counseling and teaching resources, and theological resources. The commission also has established a blog and e-mail inbox (sclm@episcopalchurch.org) for comments and reflections. Also, the pastoral counseling and teaching resources task force is inviting Episcopalians to share their approaches, models, resources and any other reflection via a survey here.

C056 also called on the commission and the House of Bishops to invite theological reflection from throughout the Anglican Communion. The commission is discussing a meeting in an Episcopal Church diocese outside of the United States at which Anglicans from elsewhere in the communion would be invited to learn about its work. Some members of the SCLM also will report on its work during the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation Aug. 1-6, 2011 in Canterbury, England.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is a national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and editor of Episcopal News Monthly and Episcopal News Quarterly.

CAPE TOWN: Christian Faith in Forefront of Global Battle for Souls

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

US Episcopal Bishops more evil than Borgia Popes, says Evangelical sociologist

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org

When the church universal is dealing with things that threaten its future it is time to talk, say leaders of a global consultation on world evangelization.

Some 5,500 evangelicals from 197 nations, (4,200) participants meeting here, see the world at a turning point facing global issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, a loss of nerve by many Christians, and a resurgent Islam. At the same time, they must acknowledge that the world is more religiously explosive and torn, despite the belief by secular academics that religion will wither and die in the face of modernity and technological advances.

The greatest growth of the Christian faith in the world today is in the Global South that includes Asia and Latin America.

“We want to celebrate with our brothers and sisters in Africa who are experiencing the most spectacular growth in their histories. The Christian Faith is exploding in Africa and it is infecting the whole world with the freshness of the gospel,” said Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi, chair of the hosting committee in Africa, at a press conference.

The composition of this evangelical gathering revealed that 70% are from Africa, Latin America, and Asia with only 30% from the West and Global North.

“It is why we are in Cape Town,” said Doug Birdsall, Executive chair of the Lausanne Congress, adding that the congress was using the most bandwidth ever in the history of Cape Town, “more so than the World Cup.” Connections are more than double any other conference, which organizers described as “unprecedented”

“We are here because we want to see eternal truths translated into their [cultural] context,” continued Birdsall. “2010 has come with a new impetus for new leadership. The number of younger people here gives me hope. The message they receive will go for another 40 years with the way things are changing,” said Archbishop Orombi.

Lars Dahle, principal of a School of Journalism in Norway, said the Christian Faith is good news in a digitalized and global world. “We need to address media awareness. How can we be present in this new world as Christians and as media professionals? New technologies are turning every Christian ministry organization into a media outlet. The Gospel of Christ is good news in a globalized world.”

Conveners noted the difference between the first congress in 1974 in Lausanne and the third congress today is that then 70% of the participants were from the West. Now that has completely reversed.

Questioned on the difference between a gathering of Christians in Edinburgh in June, 2010, verses Lausanne 2010, Birdsall said that here the consensus is in the use of words like “evangelical proclamation” and the “work of the Holy Spirit”. He also noted that this conference has more scholars with some 1,200 present.

Dr. Os Guinness, a leading Anglican evangelical sociologist, layman and a major speaker among Washington’s public policy think tanks, said it is important to acknowledge the reality of globalization, but warns that much talk of globalization is too simplistic.

“The notion of the world as a global village is far too cozy and naïve. Globalization has rocked the educated classes in its impact on identity and prosperity,” he remarked.

“Religion has not disappeared it is furiously alive and as well as ever. The three major issues are; will Islam modernize peacefully, which Faith will fill the vacuum in China and will the West sever or recover its roots in the Judeo/Christian faith and how can we live with deep, irreducible and ultimate differences?

“In the next forty years all these issues of politics, the environment, the scarcity of resources and religious difference will converge.”

Guinness explained that no one knows the whole of knowledge or reality; when one knows one part, it has changed. This should engender humility, but not relativism.

When asked to comment on the report that the Archbishop of Canterbury said, “no one can know the whole truth”, he responded that our claim to a faith based on truth is not that we know everything. We are not all-wise. But the truth has been disclosed and revealed to us. Guinness argued that while faith is beyond reason, it is a warranted faith: “we think in believing and we believe in thinking.”

Guinness said the Christian faith is the first global religion and the most alive. “It is the fastest growing in the world with the Bible the most translatable book in human history.

“My own passion about what is going on and one of the greatest issues is how we can establish global governance without a world government. I am a passionate believer to a civil public square. Now we have a global public square with Internet.”

Guinness added that while we must not stop protesting the fight for human rights, Christians must be in the forefront about solutions for human kind as a whole in the future.

During a question and answer period, Guinness stated that one of the sadnesses of Christian leaders is that they are clear about the political scene, but not clear about the Christian faith.

“The clarity and courage of the African and Asian Christian leaders does not characterize Christian leaders in the west. The Christian Church in the West has never seen such a level of apostasy and heresy as seen in the United States.

“The Episcopal Church is the greatest disgrace in Christian history and it is being led down the path by so called Christian leadership.”

One way in which western church leaders have addressed Christian claims to truth is to characterize them as exclusive and argue for inclusivity, commented Church of England blogger Canon Chris Sugden.

Guinness replied that inclusivity is indifference to truth which is profoundly dangerous. He referred to a conversation with a Roman Catholic cardinal who noted that while the Borgia popes, one of whom fathered children with his own daughter, never denied a single issue of the creed. Leaders in The Episcopal Church deny much of the creed and remain in post.

Guinness argued that the Church has always made distinctions because truth matters. Inclusivity is indifferent to truth. There is respectful tolerance (based on freedom of conscience) and sloppy tolerance, which is muddle headed, ethical folly and a slipway to real evil. “There are some profoundly dangerous ideas around and they should be challenged.” Or, in teen speak, “whatever” leads to “anything goes”.

“Western Protestant liberals have lost their collective theological nerve. Our life is to live out the truth. His word is truth, we can live out the truth,” concluded Guinness.

FCA Southern Africa Annual Conference

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010


Port Elizabeth 27th – 29th October 2010 at St Saviour’s Church, Walmer

More than ever this will be a vital meeting for orthodox Anglicans.
Check costs below



Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa, Archbishop of Tanzania
and a member of the GAFCON Primates council. It is most encouraging that the opening sermon on “The Faith of the Fathers” will be given by Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa, Archbishop of Tanzania. Archbishop Mokiwa is a member of the GAFCON Primates’ Council and President of the All African Conference of Churches and is travelling specially from Tanzania

Rt. Rev. Dr.Joseph Lawrence Bishop of Nandyal Diocese and a member of the Theological Resource Group of GAFCON.

Bishop Lawrence is a mission activist. He has a great story to share about the way he has seen evangelism, church planting and transformational development take off in his diocese which is the only entirely SPG/Anglican diocese in the Church of South India and resisted joining it from 1947 to 1972.It has high Anglo Catholic liturgy,Charismatic and theologically Evangelical. He and Dr Vinay Samuel will be starting an Anglican Mission Society in India soon to mobilize orthodox Anglican development.

Rev Dr Vinay Sanuel Founder and past Executive Director of Oxford Centre of Mission Studies. Rev. Samuel is recognized internationally as a missiologist and theologian. Dr. Samuel’s commitment to equipping leadership in the field of development has grown into the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS), a training center for mission practitioners form the Global South.

At the launch of the FCA South Africa, Canon Dr Vinay Samuel of India told participants:

“Can you bring the biblical resources of faith to shape the heart of South Africa’s agenda. Will its agenda be shaped by simply an ideology of rights and use the iconic status of leaders such as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela to silence any other view? That is not a great gift to the world from South Africa. You will draw on the best of South Africa’s journey of social transformation. But you are called to the prophetic stance of the obedient disciple, rather than the stance of political people who have become messianic with the new universal of human rights which is now being imposed, claiming that these rights are self-evident –and if the Bible teaches anything different it is to be rejected. They own the Bible, and claim the Holy Spirit, for the service of this ideology. That is based on power, not on obedience.

Rev Dr Chris – Sugden Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream

The Jerusalem declaration and statement restates what the Anglican church has always affirmed. Its importance for Anglicans is summed up by the many who said that Gafcon Jerusalem 2008 was one of the most significant weeks of their lives, the most fulfilling Anglican Conference they had attended, and where they discovered the reality of the global Anglican fellowship, united in seeking to live in obedience to the Bible.

Conference fees: R150 per person if paid before 20/10/2010. R175 per person thereafter. R250 for marrieds attending. In case of need – contact the registration team as reductions may be possible.

To register online for the Conference go here:

http://www.anglican-mainstream.org.za/registration-2010-port-elizabeth/

Inquiries about Registration

Email: Neville Lobb

Registrar

lobbsa@lantic.net