- Gafcon GBE: new website being developed
- Gafcon GBE President Bishop Michael Nazir Ali: news about his ministry
- Church planting initiatives must be based on faithfulness to Scripture
- Anglican Network in Europe news
- Methodist Church changes its understanding of marriage: useful resource available
- Understanding false ideologies in our culture: review of Carl Trueman’s book
- Is it possible for evangelicals to remain in a liberal denomination? Pastor’s Heart interview…
GB and Europe regional news
Gafcon Ireland and GBE branches
The island of Ireland (which has one Anglican church, across the two nations) has its own Gafcon branch, with whom we work closely. So Gafcon UK has changed its name to Gafcon Great Britain and Europe, to more accurately describe the focus of our ministry in England, Scotland, Wales and mainland Europe. We are updating the website, gafcongbe.org, where readers will soon find more detail on Gafcon GBE, as well as news and resources taken from these newsletters and other sources.
Gafcon GBE President (and member of Gafcon Guarantors group)
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, continues his work around the world, especially in supporting Anglicans in contexts of persecution, and teaching students of theology and mission. He is involved in high level discussions with leaders of other major denominations on how churches and Christians in the West can remain faithful to the Scriptures and historic church teaching. He remains active in his base in England, chairing committees, writing articles and giving interviews. Recent examples can be found here in The Spectator and here with the Coalition for Marriage. Please pray for Bishop Michael and his ministry with OXTRAD.
New initiative for growing and multiplying churches
As mentioned in the editorial, a new initiative for growing and multiplying churches, called ‘Myriad' has been established, in the form of a partnership between the Gregory Centre and the Church of England. (The main spokesman is Canon John McGinley who also serves on Gafcon GBE’s Council of Reference). More details can be found here. Gafcon GBE wants to encourage and support creative mission such as this, within established church structures and through new Anglican initiatives such as Anglican Network in Europe. Our contribution would be to maintain that faithfulness to Scripture and historic church teaching, and being part of a global church movement are essential ingredients to evangelism and planting of new congregations.
Bishop of the Gafcon-authorised Anglican Network in Europe (ANiE)
Andy Lines was called up in March for a 11 week period of jury service, in a complicated and serious criminal case. Since the conclusion of this essential work outside the church, he has taken advantage of easing of CoVid restrictions over the past couple of months, to visit churches, conduct confirmations, and ordain new deacons and presbyters in ACE and AMiE congregations. Please pray for this work, small and “under the radar” so far, that these churches might reach more people with the gospel, and be a model for biblically faithful and globally-connected Anglicanism.
Methodist Church in Britain
The governing body voted overwhelmingly to change their definition of marriage at their conference at the end of June. Many of the arguments used are familiar to those who have seen similar moves in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and who are members of liberal-leaning Synods in the Church in Wales and the Church of England. A faithful minister in the ‘Free Methodist Church’ has written a helpful analysis and guide which has useful parallels for Anglicans facing the same debates. The Runaway Train: a message to Methodists, by David Hull, Methodist Evangelicals (substantial piece, downloadable as PDF booklet)
Gafcon Global update
In his July newsletter to the Gafcon fellowship, Archbishop Foley Beach reminds readers of huge problems facing the world: ongoing suffering due to CoVid, violence and poverty, and points to the need for an initial response that is spiritual in nature, rather than for example political or financial. Christians need to firstly ensure that their own relationship with Christ is healthy and secure; then to prioritise intercession for the needs of others. Good strategies for change can then follow.
Dealing with false ideologies
Theologian Carl Trueman’s book “The rise and triumph of the modern self” (2020) continues to inspire clearer understanding about the nature of the false ideologies behind secularism and particularly false doctrines of sexuality and marriage. Tim Dieppe has recently written a helpful summary of Trueman’s book here. Dave Doveton, an Anglican minister living in Port Elizabeth, shows in this article which references Trueman, how the changes in understanding of what it means to be human, now being enshrined in law in his own country of South Africa, derive from an “ancient heresy”. As Christians we have a much better story!
North America: a story from the Episcopal Church
Rev Andrew Pearson, Rector of Advent Cathedral in Alabama, for many years believed along with his leadership that their congregation was strong enough to continue in their evangelical tradition, and resist the liberalism of the TEC denomination. However the pressure from the new Bishop is such that even members of the council have capitulated. In this interview on The Pastor’s Heart podcast, Andrew speaks about how he reluctantly came to realise there was no future for him in TEC, and that he needed to leave. He has now joined ACNA and is planning a new church plant in Birmingham Alabama.