A small group of primates are pressing a false gospel, said Venables
Is it time for GAFCON to establish an Ordinariate for Evangelicals?

By David W. Virtue

The former Primate of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables says the Anglican Communion is under the judgment and wrath of God with a significant group of Primates suppressing the truth.

Venables, who is now the Bishop of Argentina and Northern Argentina since stepping down as archbishop, stated the vast majority of Anglican leaders want to get on with preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ with a message of hope, love and forgiveness.

Addressing the crisis in the Anglican Communion on Anglican-TV, the English-born and educated bishop opined that the Anglican Communion has hit a problem because there is a significant group dominating the public life of the church and suppressing the truth St. Paul talks about in Roman’s Ch. 1. “The reason we feel its urgency is because it is clearer than ever that we are under the wrath of God.”

Venables cited the late Archbishop Michael Ramsey who said that there was one place we could all engage with God on the world situation, which is under His judgment. “It was a shocking thing to say at that time. In the West, we have turned our back on God and it is now where we see His judgment.”

“We are under the wrath of God and and we need to preach the gospel into that situation. People have chosen to go down the path of human wisdom where they seek self satisfaction. They delight in wickedness, in things that God has forbidden. We have become darkened in our thinking…this is the whole situation in the Anglican Communion. It is what we have been grappling with over the past 15 years and many primates have become darkened and confused. We found ourselves talking from completely different perspectives.”

Venables commented that the Anglican Communion is under God’s judgment. “We have suppressed the truth and we are all guilty but the gospel has to be preached. We [the Anglican Communion] cannot go on as though nothing has happened.”

Addressing the recent Dublin meeting where a third of the worlds’ Primates were absent, Venables stated that the orthodox primates didn’t want to go because of a lack of trust and because the communion is not going anywhere.

“A small group of primates are pressing a false gospel. The sad thing is that for years we have been trying to get it right. In Dublin the crisis was put to one side, the urgency had gone. The primates just sat and talked. But when the house is on fire you do something about it.”

Addressing the issue of the Primates’ authority, Venables said there is no shared authority, just a little committee of primates. “If that is a little centralized authority of a few then we have moved from Anglicanism, we are no longer the first among equals. This is not the Word of God. It is always the body that discerns and discovers the truth together not a committee. Now suddenly there is no shared authority.”

Asked about the role of Canterbury, Venables thinks the Global South is moving away from a Canterbury led communion. “The truth is we never had to go through Canterbury to get to Jesus. Canterbury is a wonderful part of our history. I have a tremendous respect for the role of the ABC but we cannot allow one person and one small group to assume authority over the Anglican Communion. It is not Anglican and it is not in Scripture.”

Questioned on whether a whether a church council might resolve the crisis in the communion, Venables replied, “If somehow as a whole body we called together a council of the church to come to a resolution it would be a good thing to do. It would have to be a joint decision by the whole Anglican Communion being represented. At the moment it is very clear that [the Anglican Communion] has slipped into western colonialist leadership.”

Asked if the Global South would call their own Primates meeting, Venables said God will provide them with what they should do. “We do not want to move and form another church or communion. The Anglican Communion has got a lot of life because it is something God has created.”

Venables said the orthodox primates would not come through by constantly sitting in meetings where participants consistently and deliberately refuse to engage in conversation about the crisis going on. He indicated that Global South leaders and GAFCON are having “important meetings” and “looking at what needs to be done.”

“We will not engage in secondary matters. We are not ashamed of the gospel, so [whatever we do] we will proclaim it.”

VOL believes it is time for the GAFCON primates to call for an ordinariate for evangelicals suffering in the Church of England in much the same way the Pope has offered an ordinariate for Anglo-Catholics.

The Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of UK Anglican Evangelical network Reform, wrote in his latest newsletter to some 1600-strong including 500 clergy, that a new Society announced at the Oct. 2010 conference would not only address episcopal oversight for those who cannot accept women bishops, but also deal with a range of issues with its own panel of bishops.

To see the full interview with Bishop Venables on Anglican-TV click here:


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