It’s been exciting for me to follow GAFCON II from afar this week, and I’ve enjoyed this brief blogging spurt.
Having read the Final Nairobi Communique and Commitment today, I’m thankful for how God has answered our prayers. This is a clear, bold statement.
I particularly appreciated these parts: (emphasis mine)
There is much we can learn from the East African Revival about having a change of heart. Beginning in the last century, the Revival has touched millions of lives across many countries as the Holy Spirit has moved lay men and women, as well as clergy, to share the gospel with others. Two significant features of great relevance to our situation are —
- Real repentance for sin demonstrated both in confession of guilt and a desire to make amends
- A confidence that the gospel has the power both to save the lost in all the world and to transform the church, rather than seeing the church conformed to the world.
We urge those who have promoted the false gospel to repent of their unfaithfulness and have a renewed confidence in the gospel. We repent of indifference, prayerlessness and inactivity in the face of false teaching. We remind them – as we remind ourselves – that the sins from which we must repent are not simply those which the world also believes are wrong; they are those that God himself abhors and which are made clear in his Word.
The gospel alone has the power to transform lives. As the gospel is heard, the Holy Spirit challenges and convicts of sin, and points to the love of God expressed in his Son, Jesus Christ. The sheer grace of God in setting us free from sin through the cross of Christ leads us into the enjoyment of our forgiveness and the desire to lead a holy life. This enables the relationship with God that Jesus makes possible to flourish. Moreover, just as individual lives can be transformed, so can the life of churches. We therefore commit ourselves and call on our brothers and sisters throughout the Communion to join in rediscovering the power of the gospel and seeking boldness from the Holy Spirit to proclaim it with renewed vigour.
Our Lord’s command is ‘to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19–20). We believe therefore that our first priority must be to make disciples. This means that our movement must be committed to –
- Evangelising areas of our world where clear gospel witness has become obscured or lost and bringing the gospel to unreached peoples. Much of our energy must be devoted to bringing the gospel to children and young people and developing the leaders of the future. We also recognise the need to pray for, love and witness to Muslims with the gospel of Jesus. We call upon churches to train their members in such outreach.
We are conscious of many pressures on faithful gospel witness within the church, but equally conscious of the great need the world has to hear the gospel. The need for the GFCA is greater now than when we first met in Jerusalem in 2008. We believe the Holy Spirit is challenging us and the rest of the Anglican Communion to remain faithful to our biblical heritage; to support those who suffer as a result of obedience to Christ; to deepen the spiritual life of our churches; and to respond to anti-Christian pressures with a renewed determination to spread the gospel. The seriousness with which we take our mission and our fellowship will be reflected in the way individual churches make the GAFCON vision their own, and in how we resource the work the GFCA seeks to initiate. We invite all faithful Anglicans to join the GFCA.*
*Note: GFCA = Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – the body which sponsors the GAFCON conferences.
(I’m SO glad the call to LOVE Muslims is there. So many evangelicals fear them… and in fear push them away.)
It’s those final two lines of the conclusion I want to focus on for prayer going forward:
- I long and pray that GAFCON II will turn out to have been more than just a wonderful conference, but a turning point and rallying cry for orthodox Anglicans around the world.
- I pray that the leaders of the GAFCON / GFCA movement going forward will have wisdom in how to translate the words and the commitments of the Nairobi Communique into sustained ACTION, i.e. that they would be able to develop practical resources, and create effective structures for ongoing networking, teaching and encouragement.
- I pray that it will become clear how individuals and churches can truly JOIN the GFCA, and that it will mean something concrete in terms of providing support and strength through the example of faithful brothers and sisters around the world who are taking a bold stand for Christ. May the GFCA become a dynamic movement that spurs on the completion of the Great Commission in our generation!
These are big prayer requests, but we have a BIG and FAITHFUL God. GAFCON II has given me fresh joy and vision about what it means to be truly a GLOBAL church. May God continue to reveal His wisdom and glory through His Church as we submit ourselves to Him in repentance and obedience.
[God’s plan is] …that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
(Ephesians 3:10-12, ESV)
AMEN & AMEN!