GAFCON has now concluded and I share their joyous excitement over their final statement, including the Jerusalem Declaration.
I will be surely discussing aspects of this beginning of the fellowship of confessing Anglicans in the months to come. For now, two things about the statement stand out to me and will send me to Morning Prayer and Holy Communion with a glad heart:
First, although I know things need to be worked out, it’s practically in black and white that my dream in becoming part of a global orthodox Anglican communion is coming true. (And, yes, I get a bit emotional as type that.) I blinked and had to reread the following in my rector’s backyard last night. From the Jerusalem Declaration:
11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
That’s includes my REC! And later on the statement:
We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council.
YESSSS! (And take that, dithering Canterbury!) That also includes my REC! I’m so excited about this, I can hardly articulate it as you can tell.
Second, I am beyond pleased to see a worldwide Anglican body finally have the guts to proclaim . . .
13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
This is how apostate leaders should be dealt with. How long has it been since a mainline church has so done? I’ve long felt that apostates forfeit their authority in Christ’s church. Finally, a worldwide fellowship of churches has the backbone to come out and so say and so act. The sorry history of putting up with Spongs and Bennisons and Schoris and Inghams and Chanes and ad nauseam is utterly repudiated!
St. Athanasius, who gives us godly precedent for treating heretic bishops as no bishops at all, must be smiling down upon us now.
Athanasius must also be pleased at the affirmation of his creed. (Yes, I know he probably did not write it himself.)
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
Like I said, I feel like I’m living a dream. I practically have to pinch myself to be sure it’s true.
By the way, I’m I the only one who is reminded of “the fellowship” in the Lord of the Rings? Men of courage bind themselves together to combat the forces of evil. Yeah, I know. Maybe it’s a stretch. I’m a bit excitable and excited this morning.
I’ll have more to say in due time. But for now, let the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans begin!