For clarity. This is not being offered on the basis that all readers here at ADU will agree with it, or should agree with it. It is being offered on the basis that it improves the JD and on some assumptions about the likely make up of conferees in Nairobi that it might be agreeable to GAFCON 2.
It is worth noting at this time that, on the matter of the Anglican Covenant, the Church of Southern Africa these past few days has managed both to 'conservatively' affirm the adoption of the Covenant and to 'liberally' urge its bishops to provide guidelines for the blessing of same sex civil unions. The future of global Anglicanism lies in the holding together of conservative theology and liberal pastoral practice!
Towards The Nairobi Declaration (2013)
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Kenya. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
- We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
- We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, interpreted, preached, taught and obeyed respectful of the rule of faith expressed in the four Ecumenical Councils, the three historic creeds and the Thirty-nine Articles.
- We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils (Nicea, 325; Constantinople, 381; Ephesus, 431; Chalecedon, 451) and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith (and orthodox faith) of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
- We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as expressing clarification of the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic church for Anglicans.
- We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
- We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer. All expressions of Anglican worship should be theologically consistent with the theology of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and coherent with the sacramental and liturgical heritage represented in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
- We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders for Anglican churches.
- We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
- We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
- We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
- We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships among churches holding the orthodox faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic church.
- We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice in accordance with this declaration, and we encourage them to join us in formal agreement with this declaration.
- We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
- We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
- We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives."