Since the middle of the last century, as Western society has become increasingly secular, Christian values have been shunned with a substantial portion of the church forsaking the clear teaching of the Bible and conforming to the prevailing culture. This became particularly evident with sexual ethics, and so at the Lambeth Conference in 1998, the worldwide assembly of bishops reaffirmed the Bible’s teaching on sex. They reaffirmed that:
- Sex is between a man and a woman, in marriage.
- Abstinence should be honoured outside marriage.
In spite of this confirmation of the Bible’s teaching on sex, in 2003 a clergyman in a same-sex relationship was consecrated as a bishop in The Episcopal Church (TEC), the anglican church in the USA. Within a year TEC clergy were blessing same-sex unions and were soon followed by the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC). For years orthodox Anglicans called on TEC and ACoC to repent but to no avail. So in 2008, when bishops from these two anglican Provinces were invited to the next Lambeth Conference, a group of 291 bishops and 1,148 lay and clergy leaders met in Jerusalem to consider how to take a stand against the collapse of biblical witness in parts of the Anglican Communion. In that moment the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) was born and the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration was created. Since then, the movement has grown steadily as the Anglican Communion has continued to compromise the truth of the gospel. Today, GAFCON represents the majority of anglicans worldwide. But as liberalism continues to spread across the globe, beginning with TEC in 2015, the Anglican Church of Canada and then the Scottish Episcopal Church, three Provinces have now formally agreed to recognise and conduct same-sex marriage. TEC is also formally committed to spreading its false teaching in the Global South.
The History of GAFCON at a glance
Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference upholds the Bible’s teaching on marriage between a man and a woman, and abstinence before marriage, while urging pastoral care of those of same-sex attraction.
Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) authorised liturgy to bless same-sex unions. Eight parishes seek alternative episcopal oversight.
An Anglican clergyman in America who is in a same-sex relationship having divorced his wife is consecrated as a bishop.
GAFCON is created to guard and proclaim biblical truth globally and provide fellowship for orthodox Anglicans.