Wednesday, June 25, 2008

GAFCON: A Strong New Orthodox Anglican Fellowship is NOT in the Bag.

Matt+ Kennedy, who is attending GAFCON has posted “A GAFCON Parable” over at Stand Firm today. Reading it and Matt’s further comments tells me a good strong outcome of GAFCON is not in the bag, that there is a risk of this becoming not much more than just another meeting . . . which at this point would likely be a disaster.

Matt explains his parable:

I am implying that if this meeting turns out to be another meeting wherein we are told to wait and that no structural differentiation whatsoever is made; that if we leave here with a nagging message that the ABC must “Do something” and that in the meantime we will “obey scripture” and “plant churches”; that if we leave here having taught the ABC that we will NEVER do anything more than meet and whine and make “important statements” then GAFCON will have been a dramatic failure. The ABC and his successors will know precisely how to deal with us.

There are many things that might be done to provide structural differentiation short of a complete break with Canterbury. Those things, I think, must be done.

He later is asked if the negative outcome he warns of is a risk. His one word reply?


Matt+ is a calm sort, not excitable (as I am at times). So his concern tells me a good GAFCON outcome is not in the bag at all, that there may be forces (or simply inertia) hindering the conference from taking real action and from setting up a much needed new worldwide orthodox Anglican structure.

To state the obvious, we need to pray and pray hard.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps rather than splitting, the GS/GAFCON orthodox will actually BE the communion.

Christopher Johnson said...

For all practical purposes, there is a split. The Global South knows that Dr. Williams will never do anything serious about the Americans. So I assume they will continue to do what they have been doing, picking off parishes here and there and consecrating American bishops regardless of what Lambeth Palace or the Americans think about it.

Since they know it won't ever cost them, they're going to act as though both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Episcopal Church aren't there. Things will get messy over here once the Pittsburgh and Fort Worth lawsuits start. For the foreseeable future, the Anglican world will come to resemble a modern version of the Holy Roman Empire. It's various entities will be at each other's throats and it will be a legal, constitutional and religious mess.