Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bishop James Jones: Liverpool’s Muddy Waters flow towards Africa

[...] what is particularly arresting about the Bishop of Liverpool’s address is its scope. It presents a vision which does not stop at the boundaries of his own diocese. His plea is ‘that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion must allow a variety of ethical views on the subject as in this Diocese we do’ and he adds ‘This is I believe the next chapter to be written in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. It is the chapter that is already being written in our Partnership in Mission with the Diocese of Virginia and with the Diocese of Akure in Nigeria.’

A partnership with this aim constitutes a serious challenge to the Church of Nigeria in particular and the GAFCON Primates as a whole who have as a matter of principle withdrawn from sharing ‘the same cup of salvation’ at Primate’s Meetings with those Primates who are sponsoring sexual immorality. It illustrates the subtle reality of the way that false teaching spreads; an evangelical bishop who has learned to accommodate himself to the secular pressures of England nonetheless retains a certain credibility with fellow evangelicals in Africa and then seeks to present partnership as collusion with his compromise.

In this light we see the wisdom of clause 13 of the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration which affirmed the need to break communion with those who deny the orthodox faith in word or deed. The commentary on this clause (Being Faithful, p64) calls for action which is precisely the opposite of James Jones’ strategy for the Communion when it states ’there is a moral obligation to reject any teaching that denies or undermines the authority of God as revealed in the Scriptures, to expose its falsity and to break fellowship with those who promote it (Ephesians 5:11, Titus 3:10).’ Read more
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