- Gafcon Sunday was celebrated on 27 June
- Rise of secularism coincides with growing intolerance of orthodox Christian views, especially on sexual ethics. A number of examples for information and prayer.
- Church of England evangelicals: retired Bishop starts work as National Director of CEEC.
- News from Anglican Network in Europe
Celebrate Gafcon Sunday on 27 June!
It is 13 years since the first GAFCON, the publication of the historic Jerusalem Declaration and Statement 2008, and the emergence of this inspiring Anglican movement which prioritises faithfulness to biblical truth and witness to Christ whatever the cost. Gafcon Sunday is an opportunity for YOUR CHURCH to celebrate and pray for this work of God, to align ourselves to the Gafcon vision, and perhaps to make a donation to Gafcon central costs. Keep an eye on the Gafcon website for further details.
Rise of secularism coincides with growing intolerance of orthodox Christian views, especially on sexual ethics:
* A Christian politician in Finland will face a court process for speaking openly about her views on homosexuality and the Bible. “The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets”, says Päivi Räsänen.
- Former Archdeacon and General Synod leader speaks out in Bernard Randall case. In a letter to Church Times, Ven Norman Russell argues that malign spiritual powers, together with ideologies associated with ‘critical theory’, are behind the school chaplain’s sacking and the Church of England leadership’s failure to offer him support.https://anglicanmainstream.org/letter-in-church-times-may-21-about-dr-bernard-randall-from-the-ven-norman-russell/
71 year old pastor arrested for preaching in the street
Blogger Stephen Kneale says: “You might wonder whether [street preaching] is the most helpful and missiologically sensitive approach to evangelism in our current cultural context…But if you aren’t prepared to defend their right to say what they want, you can’t be surprised if you are next.”
Government plans to introduce ban on’ conversion therapy’; will consult (in September) on whether this should include prayer and bible-based teaching. This direct assault on the church’s independence and freedom to teach and practice the faith has potentially chilling implications. For more details, briefing here and here
Meanwhile, other groups, apparently privileged by equality legislation, are able to publicly and aggressively proclaim their views and suppress those they don’t agree with, as here and here.
While there is legitimate diversity of views among faithful Christians on how to respond to the narrowing of space for Christian expression, what we cannot do is remain ignorant of the trajectory of secularism. It would be wrong to claim that it is not something we should be concerned about, or worse, embrace the false and harmful ideologies behind the sex and gender revolution. Wisdom, love, courage, faith is required, as we seek to engage positively with our communities for the sake of the Gospel, while developing strategies of resistance to the agendas of “the world”, in partnership with the faithful church worldwide.
Church of England evangelicals: retired Bishop starts work as National Director of CEEC.
Keith Sinclair’s “heart’s desire is for the Church of England to be strengthened through the clear teaching of mainstream Christian doctrine, as found in Scripture, and thus be equipped for the re-evangelisation of England”, according to Bishop Julian Henderson. Bishop Keith is undertaking a series of in depth conversations with members of the Council and other leading evangelicals, as part of his groundwork for the role.
Pray for Bishop Keith in his leadership role, as CEEC seeks to assist Church of England evangelicals in engaging with truth and grace with the Living in Love and Faith process (read a recent example here, from CEEC’s theological consultant)
, electing good candidates onto General Synod in September, and developing creative initiatives in evangelism.
Anglican Network in Europe
Please pray for Anglican Mission in England
, one of the Convocations in ANiE, as they prepare for their first Synod this month undertake chairmanship of Bishop Andy Lines, and as two Deacons are ordained over the next month. AMiE has a vision of planting 25 churches by 2025, and 250 by 2050.
St Silas Glasgow, a founding congregation of Anglican Convocation Europe, experienced a traumatic event as one of its faithful lay members was murdered by an intruder. But this has provided an opportunity for witness. Read the report in Glasgow Times here