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Principles, not personalities says British Bishop

Bishop Wallace Benn says the GAFCON discussions about the future of the Anglican Church will be about biblical principles, not personalities.

Bishop Benn of Lewes, England gave a GAFCON media briefing an update on the work being done by the Gospel and Leadership workshop and also explained why he turned down the invitation to attend the Lambeth conference. He said that skipping the decennial meeting is much less about personalities than principles.

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“Servant leadership is not about status or elevation. It is following the steps of Jesus, being gospel-focussed and remaining faithful to apostolic teaching” he told international media.

“I do not think I can pretend to be in fellowship with those who have persecuted my friend Dr. Packer in the Diocese New Westminster, Canada. I cannot be in fellowship with those who have denied the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. But I also respect those faithful brethren who are going to Lambeth; I respect their decision and will not condemn it.”

Asked whether there were any other challenges the Anglican Communion was grappling with, other than the ordination of an openly gay bishop and blessings of same sex unions, Bishop Benn named the questioning in some quarters of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the contention in some others that, “the church wrote the Bible and therefore the church can re-write the Bible according to 21st Century fashion”.

The departure from accepted Christian doctrine by The Episcopal Church in USA is a big test case for faith in the 21st Century, author and academic, Os Guinness contends.

Addressing journalists about his talk on the Gospel and Secularism, Dr Guinness, in emphasising the veracity of orthodox Christianity, also noted that, “people who come to faith from atheist or sceptic background come to the authentic faith, and not to the revisionist forms.”

Also at the briefing, Mrs Oluranti Ademowo, wife of the Bishop of Lagos, outlined the prominence of women ministry in health and youth programmes in Nigeria.

“While it is true that we have poverty in Africa, people are not sleeping, or failing to do anything about it. There is more to the truth than what people see on TV. Women run HIV/AIDS campaigns, old people programmes like visitations, and outreaches to the needy and youth. We are helping the youth to know Christ by bringing them together, showing by example how they can lead useful lives.”

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Gafcon Secretariat, Christ Church Central, The DQ Centre, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield  S1 4JR  United Kingdom

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