Anglicans Call for a New Leadership Body

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Conservative leaders of the Anglican Church are calling for a new leadership body to represent them.

But it stops short of calling for an official split with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Watch for more from missionary Bishop Martyn Minns on the call for change, following this report.

Conservatives want a new council to oversee the more conservative U.S. congregations that have left the Episcopal Church.

They say it's necessary since many Episcopal churches endorse homosexuality and preaching what they call a "false gospel."

With one accord, more than 1,200 Anglicans meeting in Jerusalem approved a statement Sunday affirming biblical values and standing apart from the secular and liberal drift of churches in England and North America.

The gathering was called GAFCON -- the Global Anglican Futures Conference -- and it brought together people from 25 countries.

The week of the conference was a time of fellowship and prayer. But it was also a time to make a crucial statement of faith about the future of the denomination.

In their Jerusalem declaration, the GAFCON leaders refuted the belief in some Anglican quarters that there is more than one path to salvation.

"We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity's only Savior from sin, judgment and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve," Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi.

The conference did not spotlight the most bitter issue among Anglicans: homosexual marriage and the ordination of the homosexual American Bishop Gene Robinson.

But the final declaration acknowledged "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." It called for "lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married."

The major presence of African pilgrims and bishops reflects the growing population of Anglicans there.

"It's kind of like the early Church, you know, where neither Jew nor Greek, Black nor White, African nor American, we're all kind of coming together. Our love for the Gospel kind of transcends all those differences," said Martin Mynns, Missionary Bishop, USA.

The conference statement marks a shift away from a kind of Colonial structure in the church dominated by England and the United States.

Conference host David Peleggi says in a sense the children of the church have grown up and are sending a message to their spiritual parents.

"We don't really think that you know what's best for us. You taught us scripture, you taught us Bible, you taught us the Word of God and you have departed from that. And since you have, we are now going to change the relationship. And that's what's happening at the moment," said David Peleggi, Rector of Christ Church in Jerusalem.

GAFCON finished just weeks before the Archbishop of Canterbury hosts the Lambeth Conference in England, held once every ten years. The GAFCON statement is certain to draw notice there, even if behind closed doors.

"There is going to be a change in direction. There is going to be some sort of realignment. There's not going to be a break, there's not going to be a schism. We have not departed from Anglican tradition-the liberals have," Peleggi said.

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CBN News
John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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