The Nairobi Communique repays study. As a contribution I offer the following questions to which I see answers in the Communique.
Who is Anglican?
"we adopted The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which commits us to biblical faithfulness, and has since provided the framework for renewed Anglican orthodoxy to which we, in all our different traditions – Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics and Charismatics – are committed. ... Where, in taking a stand for biblical faithfulness, Anglicans have been marginalised or excluded from provincial or diocesan structures, the Primates’ Council has recognised and authenticated them as faithful Anglicans."
What step is required to heal divisions within global Anglicanism?
"Our willingness to submit to the written Word of God and our unwillingness to be in Christian fellowship with those who will not, is clearly expressed in The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. This means that the divisions in the Anglican Communion will not be healed without a change of heart from those promoting the false gospel, and to that end we pray."
Is an alternative Anglican Communion like structure being set up? Yes, but it is not clear whether this will turn out to be a separate or overlapping structure.
"First, we have resolved to be more than a network. We are an effective expression of faithful Anglicanism and therefore, recognising our responsibilities, we must organise ourselves in a way that demonstrates the seriousness of our objectives. These are threefold.
Second, pursuing these objectives will require GFCA to operate on a more systematic basis and to that end we shall organise around a Primates’ Council, a Board of Trustees, an Executive Committee and regional liaison officers, who will be involved in fostering communication among FCAs."
Has GAFCON resolved a step which could undermine the existing Communion? Yes, because the following statement urges reconsideration of financial support for the Communion.
"Third, we recognise that moving the GFCA on to a new footing will involve making substantial new resources available. We must, therefore, invite provinces, dioceses, mission agencies, local congregations and individuals formally to become contributing members of the GFCA. In particular, we ask provinces to reconsider their support for those Anglican structures that are used to undermine biblical faithfulness and contribute instead, or additionally, to the financing of the GFCA’s on-going needs."
Will cross-jurisdictional episcopal activity cease now that ACNA has been firmly established? No.
"4. We commit ourselves to defend essential truths of the biblical faith even when this defence threatens existing structures of human authority (Acts 5:29). For this reason, the bishops at GAFCON 2013 resolved ‘to affirm and endorse the position of the Primates’ Council in providing oversight in cases where provinces and dioceses compromise biblical faith, including the affirmation of a duly discerned call to ministry. This may involve ordination and consecration if the situation requires.’
5. We commit ourselves to the support and defence of those who in standing for apostolic truth are marginalized or excluded from formal communion with other Anglicans in their dioceses. We have therefore recognized the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as an expression of authentic Anglicanism both for those within and outside the Church of England, and welcomed their intention to appoint a General Secretary of AMiE."
There are no gaffes here. Everything is carefully worked out. Alarm bells should be going off in Lambeth Palace about the decisive reshaping of the Communion going on via GAFCON. Wait, they went off and ++Welby hopped on a plane to Nairobi.
But should alarm bells be going off in the Church of England as there is a specific commitment to supporting the development of Anglican churches which are not Church of England churches? On reflection, I think not. The C of E has weathered the development of Anglican churches within England (Free Church of England etc). I wouldn't be worrying if I was part of the Australian Anglican church: their situation (e.g. with independent Bible churches aligned with Sydney) is what it is, irrespective of whether GAFCON came into existence or not. It is difficult to see any specific new development in North American Anglican/Episcopal life emerging from GAFCON II.
What about my own church? I do not see that GAFCON II makes our situation any more anxious than what it already is about how we go about our business, especially in respect of possible changes re human sexuality.
In general terms I think GAFCON is making considerable noise about the iniquities of aspects of Anglican life in Western countries which flows from a superficial, shallow analysis of the relationship between culture and gospel. In a subsequent post I will attempt to demonstrate why GAFCON's communique is simultaneously right and wrong about Anglican churches in the West. That is, GAFCON has made a significant gaffe, but it lies between the lines of the communique. GAFCON itself should be alarmed about the future of Anglican Christianity in the West.
PS No one from Kiwiland has arisen to my challenge at the end of a previous post re GAFCON!