A gospel that makes you (want to) punch the air!
Today the Gafcon chairman, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, challenged us from Romans 1v1-6 to stand firm for the authentic apostolic gospel, “It is either God’s gospel or no gospel.” “If we walk together with those who deny the orthodox faith, in word or deed, we have agreed that orthodoxy is optional.”
Later, we heard from those who have indeed refused to, “…walk together with those who deny the orthodox faith” and who paid the practical, physical, spiritual, emotional, pastoral, relational and financial cost of doing so. It was inspirational as we heard the stories of churches from USA, Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, and Scotland, each seeking faithfully to proclaim Christ, suffering for it and finding a home in Gafcon. It was also exceptionally moving, as each nation completed their tale, when the whole conference affirmed them as true Anglicans for their confessional stance and courageous witness. It is why Gafcon is so needed and valued around the globe, bringing together Anglicans in Biblical truth rather than organisational, or institutional but compromised, structures.
Again and again, we are reminded of the wonder of the gospel that unites all types and sorts of people under the lordship of Christ so that he becomes the universe’s VIP (Ephesians 1v10). There truly is no-one like Jesus. Here, in Jerusalem, are faithful believers, ministers from around the globe, seeking to live for Jesus and speak for Jesus distinctively and attractively where the Lord has placed them. It immediately feels like ‘home’, perhaps because it is a little glimpse of what home will really be like in the new creation. The commitment is the same and the commission shared.
The conference liturgy includes the acclamation “We will proclaim - Response: Christ faithfully to the nations.” Many punched the air as we said it…something English reserve does not allow (yet).
About our blogger - Revd Philip de Grey-Warter, is the Vicar of Fowey Parish Church, which is in the Diocese of Truro, Church of England.