Five Primates respond to English Evangelical Bishops’ letter

Source

To Bishop David James and colleagues

Brethren

We have received your letter encouraging us to attend the Lambeth Conference with you. We trust that we are united in faithful obedience to the Scriptures and also to the Anglican Formularies.  We understand your desire to continue to support the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As GAFCON Bishops and primates, we share with you a commitment to the communion and its future. We ask you to understand that we have reached a different conclusion and request you to understand our decision.

We think it is important to let you know our reasons for not acceding to your request, and also to make them public since your letter is public. We have a number of concerns.

First, the Lambeth Conference is not a two hour seminar discussing a contentious issue.  It is three weeks in which we bishops and our wives are called to share together our lives, our prayer, our bible study, our meals, our worship and the Lord’s Supper, to be a family together.

You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, - a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented.  The consecrators of Gene Robinson have all been invited to Lambeth, contrary to the statement of the Windsor Report (para 134) that members of the Episcopal Church should “consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion”.

You will know that some of those who objected to this consecration in the United States and have made arrangements for orthodox oversight from other provinces including ours have been charged with abandonment of communion. Their congregations have either forfeited or are being sued for their properties by the very bishops with whom you wish us to share Christian family fellowship for three weeks.

To do this is an assault on our consciences and our hearts. Further, how can we explain to our church members, that while we and they are formally out of communion with TEC, and provide oversight to these orthodox colleagues, we at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference as though nothing had happened? This would be hypocrisy.

We are also concerned that the invitation list reflects a great imbalance. It fails to address fundamental departures from historic faith that have triggered this crisis and yet excludes bishops of our own provinces, of Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda who teach and practice Biblical faith. As constituted, the invitations suggest that institutional structures are superior to the content of the faith itself.

We are also mindful of the press interest in the Conference, and in the presence in some form or other of Gene Robinson and his male partner, and of 30 gay activists. We would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion.  In these circumstances we could not feel at home.

All of us have attended Lambeth before. As far as we are aware, only a few of you have been to a Lambeth Conference.  In 1998, we had great difficulty in making our case heard in the face of the process of the conference. At that conference we were blessed with the leadership of Archbishop George Carey who has always been a champion of orthodox biblical teaching on sexuality. We have come to the conclusion, from the failure of the instruments of the Communion to take action either to discipline the Episcopal Church or to protect those who have asked the Communion for protection, that there is no serious space for those of an orthodox persuasion in the councils of the Communion to be themselves or to be taken seriously.

We are therefore not persuaded by your arguments to attend.  We have looked at all the facts for some time. To find a solution we have proposed the postponement of the conference, the calling of a Primates’ meeting and work towards the conclusion and endorsement of the Anglican Covenant by individual provinces. Our request has not been heeded.  We must attend to the care of our bishops, clergy and people.

We must address the issue of the Anglican Communion Covenant, particularly as a revised version has just been published.  Many of you are concerned about the need to attend Lambeth to contribute to and influence the debate on the Anglican Communion Covenant to help the working of our Communion for future reference.  Currently the prospects do not seem good for what is proposed in any way to engage with our current difficulties or relate to the facts on the ground. The state of our broken Communion is not mended by the Covenant. The Lambeth Conference will only be a place to offer reflections on it.  That is why some of us recommended that Lambeth be postponed in order to give space for the reconciling process to take place, a Covenant to be agreed, and Lambeth to be held for those who signed up to the Covenant. This proposal was rejected.

Even if you have decided to go to the Lambeth Conference, we hope that you will respond positively to our invitation to attend GAFCON. You will bring your rich experience of mission and we believe that you will also be enriched by the experience of Anglican bishops and Christians from around the world who are keen to share what God is doing in their midst and what He is teaching them.

We emphasise that this action is not intended to signal that we are walking out of the Communion. We are responding to a need of people committed to and continuing in the apostolic faith to meet and consider how they will walk together in mission and mutual support, and to meet in the one place which is spiritually significant for all of us.

Yours in Christ,

Archbishop Peter Akinola (Nigeria)

Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda)

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya)

Archbishop Henry Orombi (Uganda)

Archbishop Gregory Venables (Southern Cone)

14 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    May our great God be praised for HE has raised up for HIS people, not one Joshua, but FIVE!  Hallelujah!

  2. GARY MORROW Says:

    “we at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference as though nothing had happened? This would be hypocrisy.”

    With that said, I would take it a step further in that at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference who have engaged in blasphemy as though nothing had happened?

    Bless  
    –verb (used with object), blessed or blest, blessings.
    To consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy.
    To request of God the bestowal of divine favor on
    To extol as holy; glorify.

    There are Bishops, Clergy, and Priest that engage in blasphemy by blessing same-sex sodomy, or same-sex marriage. These Bishops, Clergy, Priest are saying that sodomy is holy; requesting of God the bestowal of divine favor of sodomy; glorifying sodomy; and consecrating and sanctifying sodomy by a religious rite. 

    God call such acts of sodomy abominations and vile affections.

    These Bishops, Clergy, and Priest should be remove immediately from their positions, and removed from the Church.

    Any Bishop, Clergy, or Priest that shows up at Lambeth with such individuals are condoning such behavior in that at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference.

    Either you stand with Archbishop Peter Akinola (Nigeria), Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda), Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya), Archbishop Henry Orombi (Uganda), Archbishop Gregory Venables (Southern Cone), or you stand with hypocricy and blasphemy.

    It is prayed that +Chew & +Gomez and others who believe God’s Laws, Commandments, and Word will step forward and place their name on this list.
    A-men

  3. DJ Says:

    Word to all bishops….. there’s a term in business called “outsourcing.”  We do it when we can get better services with less hassles from someone outside our business.  Well, our “business” (the church) is changing directon and if you continue to sit on the fence and don’t get on board, your job just may well be “outsourced,” to either CANA or the Southern Cone.

    The second reformation is beginning and you can either lead, follow or get out of the way.

  4. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    God’s promises are sure. Many of those promises concern the preservation, purification and eventual consummation of the Church. May we discern how God in Christ is fulfilling those promises.

    The line has been drawn. Choose this day who will be your master!

  5. Bishop Ijaz Inayat Says:

    “To do this is an assault on our consciences and our hearts.” Para 6

    A very wisely written response to the Evangelical Bishop’s letter. It further reflects the cry of broken hearts and tears at the state of the institutional church, which does not have any regard for the Word of God and valuable lives being lost in the ocean of chaos created by the absorption of anti-Biblical stand of the AC.

    What really disturbs is the attitude of the “bystanders” from all over the world who do not agree with AC on these issues and would not speak out, some, for their jobs, others for the stolen glory of their offices.

    Hats off to the “Heroes of Faith,” and a good example for others to follow.

  6. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Bishop, you make Joshua number SIX!

  7. Gerry OBrien Says:

    The very wise Church Leaders from Africa, South America, Sydney AU, are the frontrunners and their names are the ones in the “limelight” so to speak, Praise God!
    ....But let us please remember (and I know that we do)the lesser ranked Bishops, Priests and Laity who are also standing Firm on God’s Word and stepping out in the face of adversity and persecution from the liberal and revisionist Bishops and ArchBishops who have not “seen the light” and who are going against the Scriptures.

    Thank God for those who are now facing the loss of their beloved Church Buildings and are accepting the fractured friendships that are happening because of their stand.

    I, living in a “safe” Country cannot possibly ever comprehend the danger and persecution that our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in places like Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, African Countries and others like India, Viet Nam and China have faced in the past and are facing now.  These people are the real Saints of this Century and time.  May they continue to Stand Firm.

  8. teddymak Says:

    The carnage and violence against Anglican Christians in Africa may be laid directly at the feet of the revisionists who have siezed control of the Church in England and North America. Their bizarre allegiance to perverse sexual practices has fed the rage of the islamofascists as they attack our brothers and sisters. I pray GAFCON shows them, and the world, that Anglicanism is a system of Christian belief, not a geographic entity centered in Southern England. I pray for the conversion of the foolish old white men (and women)who have brought the twin disasters of sin and schism on the Communion, and that they repent before the wrath of God descends upon them for what they have done.

  9. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    True repentance can only begin with oneself. This Lent, let us examine and discipline our own wayward hearts so that we may be renewed. The time for placing blame is over. It is clear who walks the narrow road and who does not. There is spiritual danger in constant accusations because we are distracted from dealing with our own sins.

  10. Bishop Ijaz Inayat Says:

    CONTRITE BELIEVERS AND THEIR DUTY OF WITNESS”

    For the contrite believers the lent never ends throughout their lives, they must live in this spirit until death. After repentance the believers are required to live in the fellowship of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit along with other believers, daily examining their lives and hearts in the light of the Scriptures (sanctification). The Word of God requires the believers to change their attitude toward sin, (they sin no more) which means to start agreeing with God, or to look at things as the Lord looks at them. [And] If any one does sin we have a [(helper) word originally used for Holy Spirit) enabler] defense-Jesus Christ (who has the authority to forgive) the Righteous One. 1 Jn. 2: 1. This is normal Christian life.
    We in this debate are not trying to accuse the “revisionists” as to “accuse” is the job of Satan, neither we are trying to “judge” them and say they are sinners while we are the holy lot. All believers are sinners washed in the blood of Jesus and enfolded in it. What we are trying to do is this:-

    1. It is the duty of believers to testify as to how he or she is saved and who saved them for what. After that, to become an instrument and disciple of Jesus and enhance the work of His Kingdom in their lives and all around them. Now the entire work of the Kingdom and salvation is based on the Scriptures, which is the base (rock) of Christian life. If this base is gone everything is gone. Meaning no life and the sacrifice of the Lord is of no legal value in the spiritual realm. Ps. 11:3. If the foundations are being destroyed what can (should) the righteous do. If the revisionists are allowed to destroy the foundations of Christian life, faith and hope and insist to call what “they believe” as “Christian” and legal then the entire fabric of “evangelism” and everlasting life becomes baseless and meaningless.

    That is why I call it a religious club where anybody can become member and enjoy the facilities irrespective of Christian obligations of living a holy live and living a saints life.

    2. Every saved person is expected to (a) be a witness of the Lord (b) lead others to the Lord (c) be a Spiritual warrior of the Lord (d) beware of Satan’s methodologies so that he is not outwitted) 2 Cor. 2:11.

    In this case of AC the problem is that the revisionists want approval of all the believers for their extra-Biblical working whereas the orthodox want the Church to accept the Word of God as the code of “job description” for running of the affairs of the Church and lives.

    3. There is a whole wide world where you choose the area of your choice to work. Nobody can check the liberty that the Lord has given to every individual to choose a path of his/her liking, though He has defined the path, which He likes His people to follow, hence the Day of Judgment. [And] He warned the believers be aware of hidden rocks and prophets in disguise.

    WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO SAY IS THAT THE FORCES OF DARKNESS ARE TAKING OVER OFFICES OF THE CHURCH FOR THE BENEFIT OF SATAN.

    The believers are expected to keep the Church as the household of the Lord so that nobody is deceived in the name of convenience, revisionist theologies, modules, allowances, doubts, jobs, worldly glory attached with offices, which are in contradiction to the Word of God.

    We are trying to define what is the “Biblical meaning of the Church and Christian life so that nobody inside and outside the Church misunderstands it?”

    THEREFORE LET MORE AND MORE “SPEAK OUT” WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS TO THE BELIEVERS.

  11. GARY MORROW Says:

    Bishop Ijaz Inayat, please don’t forget—God Commands us to Judge:

    NEW TESTAMENT GUIDELINES FOR ADDRESSING
    FALSE TEACHING AND DOCTRINE

    The Holy Scriptures of the New Testament address the matter of false teaching, a different gospel and false prophets. We provide the following Biblical passages (from the New American Standard Version unless noted otherwise) to assist in your personal prayers and decision as to how to respond to the false teaching and practice in ECUSA today.

    I. Our Responsibility

    “Judge with Righteous Judgment” (John 7:24)

    It is appropriate to observe the Biblical distinction between judging as condemning a person’s soul—which is clearly God’s role—from the Biblical mandate for Christians to judge as in distinguishing between right and wrong, between good and evil. “The Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10: 30). The matter of eternal judgment of a person to his or her eternal fate is rightfully reserved to God alone. Nevertheless, He desires of His people to know the difference between that which is right and that which is wrong and to live that which is moral and good by forsaking that which is immoral and evil.

    So often one encounters someone citing the Biblical passage: “Judge not, lest you be judged” as if the Christian is to have nothing to do with any kind of judging or judgment process. This is unfortunate since Holy Scripture is quite clear that it is the responsibility of every Christian to “discern between good and evil” as Solomon prayed to the Lord (I Kings 3:9).

    From the New Testament, we are admonished by our Lord to “[t]ake heed that no one leads you astray” (Matthew 24:4). In order to do so, Jesus implored his followers: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). In fact at Luke 12:57, Jesus asks: “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right ?” He approves of one of Simon Peter’s judgments by affirming him and saying: “You have judged rightly” (Luke 7:43). See also, Luke 13:57; I Cor. 5:9-13.

    “The spiritual man is to judge all things” declares the Apostle Paul at I Corinthians 2:15. Otherwise we would all be “children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles” (Ephesians 4:1).

    Clearly when Paul spoke of judging those “inside” the church he qualified that judgment in many ways. Judgment should be implemented (1) in a spirit of gentleness and an awareness that one’s own self is vulnerable to temptation (Galatians 6:1); (2) in a mournful manner (1 Corinthians 5:2) and with regard for the offender as a brother and not an enemy (2 Thessalonians 3:15); (3) out of a desire to reclaim the offender for God’s kingdom rather than punitively condemn the offender to hell; (4) with a zeal to restore him quickly and enthusiastically to the community following repentance (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 7:8-13); and (5) in proportion to the recalcitrance of the offender and the severity of the offense (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2). Yet, equally as clearly, Paul insisted that the church do its job of judging those within the community of faith who have deviated from Biblical norms. Anything less would be unloving.


    II. As to proclamation of another or different Gospel

    Galatians 1:6-10: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached, let him be accursed [fn: Gk:anathema] ... For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men ? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

    I John 1:1-7, especially verses 5-7: “ And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth, but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

    II Corinthians 11:3-4: “But I am afraid that ... your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we have preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” [NIV]

    II John 7-11, especially verse 10-11: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [of Christ], do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting, for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”

    See I Timothy 4:1-3 and Romans 1: 21-32, especially verse 32: “though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but approve those who practice them.” [RSV]

    III. As to false doctrine, teachers and prophets

    Christians are warned by Jesus in Matthew 7:15-16 to “beware of the false prophets.”

    I John 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God: and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist of which you have heard that is coming, and now it is already in the world.”

    II Peter 2:1-4, 9-10: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment ... then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.”
    In Galatians 2:4, Paul issues a warning concerning those who would go beyond the word of God in placing rules upon the faithful that “it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even one hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.”

    I Timothy 1:1-5 finds Paul urging Timothy to remain in Ephesus “in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” See also, I Timothy 6:3-6.

    See also II Corinthians 4:1-2, I Corinthians 15:33-34 and Titus 1:12-16.

    I Corinthians 6:18: “Flee immorality.” In this regard, I Thessalonians 4:2-8 reads: “For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenue in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”

    IV. The Christian’s Calling

    II Corinthians 6:17-7:1: “‘Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises separating ourselves from darkness, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

    Posted by Tim Smith on 07/24 at 06:28 AM

  12. GARY MORROW Says:

    A spokesman for a pro-family group in Washington calls it “very refreshing” that a prominent homosexual activist has admitted that homosexual behavior is largely responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=67559

    When Bishops, Clergy, Priest Bless perverted same-sex sodomy, they are also blessing, and contributing to the spread of diseases.

  13. Bishop Ijaz Inayat Says:

    Thank you brother Gary Morrow and God bless you for your zeal.

  14. Bishop Ijaz Inayat Says:

    Comment # 3

    “The second reformation is beginning…”

    I say loud and clear, “The second reformation has taken off with the announcement of GAFCON.”

    Everybody sitting on the fence, “get on board” to join the “Church of Jesus Christ and Scriptures.”