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Anglican “liberals” and “conservatives”

26 October 2008

Anglicanism gets stranger and stranger.

I read some Anglican blogs, and Anglicans talk about “liberals” and “conservatives”, but one is never sure which are which. We have been told that GAFCON (the Global Anglican Future Conference) represents the knights in shining armour defending the faith against “revisionists”, who, it appears, are wicked liberals who are out to destroy the “traditional” and “orthodox” Christian faith, but this report from Sydney diocese, which supports Gafcon, seems as revisionist and untraditional as they come.

Synod —

(a) accepts the report concerning legal barriers to lay and diaconal administration of the Lord’s Supper which was submitted to the 3rd session of the 47th Synod, and

(b) affirms again its conviction that lay and diaconal administration of the Lord’s Supper is consistent with the teaching of Scripture, and

(c) affirms that the Lord’s Supper in this diocese may be administered by persons other than presbyters, and requests the Diocesan Secretary to send a copy of The Lord’s Supper in Human Hands to all bishops who attended the GAFCON.

SYDNEY SYNOD has “overwhelmingly” endorsed the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration, the diocesan website reports, writes Muriel Porter. A motion endorsed the declaration “as exempli­fy­ing the tenets of orthodoxy which underpins our Anglican identity”.

In a separate motion, the synod congratulated the Archbishop of Sydney and the Sydney regional bishops for attending GAFCON and for their moves “to continue our development as a truly Bible-based Anglican Church”. The synod had earlier made provision of “appropriate financial support to enable Archbishop Jensen to adequately discharge his responsibilities as Honorary Secretary to the GAFCON Primates’ Council”.

Such thoroughgoing revisionism must surely place the Sydney Anglicans in the “liberal” camp (which is marked by “revisionism” — yet GAFCON was supposed to be resisting revisionism.

Perhaps they should just become Quakers and be done with it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 October 2008 7:24 am

    I suspect conservatism is often revisionism. Certainly is that way in US politics, and US fundamentalism. Conservatism – at least the most venomous type – conserves an illusion of history, rather than history itself.

  2. 7 October 2016 6:56 am

    As a lay person not educated in theology, I’ve been withholding my reservations about GAFCON. Their bible belt language alone leaves me uneasy

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