Today, a declaration was made at Gafcon IV in Kigali that reflects the reality that all Christians have a place to stand: upon the Word of God. It reflects the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord, yesterday, today, and forever, and the Gafcon response to the false teachings infiltrating the Western Church is the only one worthy of being called Christian. The theme for this day is, in fact, faithfully declaring the Gospel to the world, but before we declare it to the world, we have to declare it to ourselves. That is what Gafcon is trying to do.
The auditorium was expectant, happy, and hopeful this morning. The number of people represented 85% of the Global Anglican Communion, and faces of every color filled the chairs around the room. There were 1300 delegates who patiently waited to hear the declaration of the stand they all had the opportunity to take.
At the beginning of this GAFCON, Archbishop Ben Kwashi stated he longed for this gathering to be another Pentecost, where people are filled, encouraged, and empowered to proclaim Christ to the nations. At the first Pentecost, there were likewise faces from different nations gathered around church leaders who had this message for them: “Therefore, let all Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36). This is the message we hope the Church of England will hear, along with all the other provinces who have strayed away from the Gospel. Whenever they lead their sheep into immorality and self-destruction, it is Christ who is crucified all over again (Hebrews 6:6). This is the message we hope the world will hear, that there is hope, salvation, and transformation in Jesus. This is the message we hope each person at Gafcon heard and takes to heart. And from here, in the heart of Africa, as it was in Jerusalem, hundreds will return to their own lands, equipped with a declaration that will set the church’s course on a narrow, straighter path than what was known before (Matthew 7:14).
In the same spirit of Pentecost, the Gafcon Kigali delegation sat this week as another movement born out of the faithful preaching of many who sacrificed their lives to bring about the conviction of the Holy Spirit by the Gospel. Like the first renewal, Anglican brothers and sisters will return refreshed by the sure hope of a steadfast direction for the Church and a renewed confidence in the glory of Jesus Christ. We stand now in God’s Holy Church, singing songs of praise to the one who saved us and called us from every corner of the earth to remember the truth: that the promise of God declared to mankind is for us and for our children. We are inheritors of that promise, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and committed to carrying it forward to every generation that comes after us in every nation of the world.