Friday, June 20, 2008

The GAFCON Spin Cycle Has Begun

Is it
(as per the GAFCON website spash page)
or is it
(as per the London Telegraph.)
My money is on the Telegraph. Here's a snippet:
The Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON as it is appropriately abbreviated, has so far been a shambles. Over 100 bishops, principally from the theologically conservative reaches of Africa and the United States, who believe that they understand the mind of God with sufficient intimacy to dictate terms to the rest of the Communion, were meant to gather in Jordan to do their business before transferring this weekend for a week’s pilgrimage in Jerusalem.

As it turns out, the team’s cheerleader, the belligerent Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, was denied entry to Jordan and the conference is having to transfer precipitately to Jerusalem, with its spokespeople stammering about hotel bookings becoming unexpectedly available there. The Anglican Church in Jerusalem, headed by Bishop Suheil Dawani, is a reluctant host to these schismatics, which is why their preliminary meeting was in Jordan in the first place.

It appears that the whole exercise was undertaken remotely and with arrogance, taking little or no regard for local middle-eastern sensibilities over how the presence of a bunch of Evangelical Christian hard-liners would play with painstakingly constructed relationships with local Muslim authorities. The GAFCON caravan will, nevertheless, issue demands and statements.


Muthah+ said...

Couldn't happen to nicer folks!

Padre Mickey said...

GAFCON: The Musical!

uffda51 said...

I thought one of the comments on the Telegraph piece was interesting.

Bishop Robinson is criticized as being influenced by “the secular spirit” because he favors marriage equality. But Mel Gibson, for example, who made his millions in some of the most violent and profane films of our time, which help finance “The Passion of the Christ,” was not influenced by the secular spirit?

Another comment states “There is a liberal lobby in the Anglican communion which is continually introducing innovations taken from whatever is trendy and contrary to church teaching. These are often calculated specifically to give maximum offence.”

Would anyone spend so much time and endure so much blowback from their fellow Christians just for the sake of being trendy? The LGBT faithful and their supporters deserve simple respect for acting on their deepest held convictions. If anyone is being trendy it is mega church pastors with their basketball arenas, video screens, pop music, food courts, no crosses, no vestments, no stained glass, no steeples, just the Gospel of Prosperity. Simply think good thoughts and get rich, much like attending an Amway convention at the local Hilton.

“Church teaching” has changed radically over the centuries, sometimes by 180 degrees. I remember Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount but I don’t remember His “Sermon on the Gays.” Yet James Dobson and others have made marriage equality Issue Number One. One can understand the demonization of “the other” – those deemed to be both different and frightening - in ancient times, but now we simply know better. This is not being “trendy” or “modern” or “post-modern.”

As for “maximum offense,” the LGBT faithful are willing to remain in communion with those who disagree with them in TEC and the AC. It is the orthodox folks who can’t get out the door fast enough. Whose actions are more offensive, and less Christian?

BTW, I read the GAFCON tract, The Way, The Truth and the Life. Interesting reading.

Speaking of the Scriptures, it states, “They never need to be corrected in the light of new advances in knowledge.” Even the Catholics gave up on that issue after battling Galileo for a few centuries, finally throwing in the towel in 1992. Any kind of a “meeting of the minds” is pretty tough under those circumstances.