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EFAC Australia

Anglican Communion

This is an edited version of an address at the FCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) UK launch by Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney and President of EFAC Australia, 7 July 2009.

Ominous and foreboding words are being said about the FCA by those who wish it ill – they say it is schismatic, it will divide the church, it is a power play.

These changes are at best misunderstandings or at worst political posturing.

Let me say this as clearly as possible.

The FCA exists to keep Anglicanism united, to enable those whose spiritual existence as Anglicans is threatened to remain Anglicans with integrity.
It exists to keep orthodox, biblical Anglicanism inside the fold at the highest level possible; to gather up the fragments, to unite them. It exists so that evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics and mere Anglicans can continue to be Anglicans without compromising Biblical truth.

With persuasive power, the culture of the West has adopted and promulgated anti-Christian belief and practice. It confronts every Christian with the choice of submission or harassment. It pretends to be the true heir of the Christian faith, that it now possesses all that was worthwhile of Christianity, and that the entire structure of Christian thought can disappear into the receding past.

 

On June 22, 2008 over 1200 Anglicans gathered in the city of Jerusalem for a week of prayer, Bible study, consultation, discernment and planning for their future. The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) had begun. The number of people who made their pilgrimage to the land of Jesus' birth was impressive, but when measured against the number of Anglicans represented by the 300 bishops present, the significance of this conference is brought into sharp relief. While statistics of Anglicans in England are often quoted as being 25 million, it is well known that only about 1 million people are regular church-attending members of the Church of England. By contrast Nigeria has 20 million church-attending Anglicans and Uganda has 10 million. These latter figures far outweigh the number of the active Anglican membership in the West. With the worldwide number of church-attending Anglicans being estimated at 55 million, 75% of these were represented by the bishops and archbishops attending GAFCON.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
  1. We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus' birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
  2. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

What is GAFCON?

The Global Anglican Future Conference was an 8 day conference in Jerusalem, with 1148 lay and clergy participants, including 291 bishops from across the globe! The estimate is that 70% of the world's Anglicans were represented.1

There was a sense that this was an historic time in God's plan for his church. There was the recognition that there was a steadfast need to reclaim and re-proclaim the authority and truth of the scriptures, as the true ground for Anglican formularies and practice. There was a sadness that GAFCON was necessary.

The EFAC Commitment
July 2008
EFAC International Conference, Trinity College Bristol

The Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) is a fellowship of evangelical Christians in Anglican Churches around the world, who are passionate for biblical faith and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and who support one another's concerns and ministries. EFAC is active in different regions of the world, and currently holds an international conference every five years, before each Lambeth Conference, and at the halfway point between.

We are thankful to God for the Gospel, which is eternally unchanging and yet ever new, and for all those with whom we share the work of proclaiming Christ. We are encouraged by the work of mission and evangelism wherever it is taking place around the world, particularly for developments in missional theological education, for extensive church planting, and for great openness to the Gospel. We give thanks for our brothers and sisters in the Churches of the Global South, for their leadership, sacrifice and example in the work of the Gospel, and for their work on the Anglican Covenant. We are especially grateful for growing relationships among all Anglicans of orthodox persuasion.

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