GAFCON: What it does and why it matters

Sep 3, 2017 by

by Caitlin Hurley, Australian Church Record:

GAFCON began as a moment. A moment when Anglicans stood up for authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Christ.  As we saw in our first article, this stand was expressed as a conference held in Jerusalem in 2008. Five years after GAFCON 2008 a second conference was held in Nairobi. Again, Anglicans from all around the Communion gathered again to demonstrate a faithful witness to Christ and his saving Word.

You are not alone

At GAFCON 2013, Dr Peter Jensen (the General Secretary of GAFCON) moderated a session entitled We are not alone.  In this session Dr Jensen introduced and encouraged members of the Anglican Communion to share their experiences as Anglicans standing up for and promoting the authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Christ. A constant refrain from those who presented was that the GAFCON movement had shown them that amidst severe persecution from governments or litigation by their own diocese they were not alone.  In the GAFCON movement they had brothers and sisters from around the world standing with them as they stood for Christ.  This session demonstrated that in its essence GAFCON is a movement standing for biblical truth.

Standing together

This stand for biblical truth is led by the Primates Council which oversees the work of GAFCON.  The Council is currently comprised of faithful bishops from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Sudan, South America, North America, Rwanda and the Congo.  Through their words and actions these men stand up for the authority of Scripture and promote the Lordship of Christ.  Sometimes this orthodoxy is expressed through their non-attendance of Anglican Communion meetings and gatherings.  Sometimes through the creation of new organisations and support structures.

In standing for biblical truth the GAFCON movement has encouraged the creation of a new province and mission organisations.  GAFCON encouraged the orthodox Anglican churches of North America to unite.  This resulted in the creation of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA).  The ACNA has provided a home for over 110 000 Canadian and American Anglicans.  GAFCON has also established the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).  AMiE has already planted several new Anglican churches in England.

National branches of GAFCON have been created throughout the world.  In 2017 GAFCON branches can be found in the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. These branches exist to teach the gospel and make disciples in their own countries but also are ready to offer fellowship to Anglicans who may be forced to leave their diocese or church over matters of orthodoxy.  GAFCON branches echo the sentiment that you are not alone in your stand for biblical truth.

GAFCON not only unites Anglicans but also seeks to strengthen the promotion of biblical truth within the Communion.  This strengthening will be achieved through the creation of a bishops training program and the creation of networks of Anglicans, in areas such as theological education, so that we can assist each other as we seek to stand for Christ.

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