The global Anglican family numbers roughly 80 million believers, gathered into churches found in most of the countries of the world. Their shared heritage is rooted in English Christianity that is traceable back to the second century AD.
Today, Anglicanism is “one of the Christian traditions that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.” Bound together by the Bible as understood through the lens of the three ecumenical creeds and the Thirty Nine Articles ,it expresses this faith in common themes of doctrine, worship, and mission. It is catholic in its preservation of the ancient order of bishops, priests and deacons, reformed in its cherishing of the central doctrines of the 16th Century Reformation, and evangelical in its commitment to mission and sharing the Good News. Put simply, Anglicanism aims to be “merely Christian” by focusing on the essential core of believing and living.
Global South Anglican
The Global South Anglican movement emerged in the mid 1990’s to give voice to the most growing and populous parts of the Anglican Communion. A series of “South to South Encounter” conferences were held in Kenya (’94), Malaysia (’97), Egypt (’05), Singapore (’10), and Bangkok (’12). Each produced communiqués setting out important issues where Anglicans who are intentionally rooted in the Scriptures and the catholic faith differ from other Anglicans -- those largely represented by spokespeople in the developed West. Headed by Arcibishop Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East), the Steering Committee consists of the Primates of Nigeria, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Congo, South America, Kenya, Sudan, and others. Anglican Leadership Institute seeks to build on the significant work of these global leaders, and support their vision for a renewed, reformed, and revitalized Anglicanism in the 21st Century.
The Global Anglican Future Conference was the result of a widespread belief that compromise, doctrinal error and the collapse of biblical witness had occurred in parts of the Anglican communion to such a level that the leaders of the majority of the world's Anglicans felt it was necessary to take a united stand for truth. A crowd of more than one thousand witnesses, including Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, clergy and lay leaders gathered in Jerusalem in 2008 for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).
The Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
Stemming from the 2008 GAFCON Conference, and a follow up conference in Nairobi, participants decided to form a Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, uniting provinces, dioceses, churches, organizations and individuals committed to help, heal and revitalize the Anglican Communion and expand its mission to the world. It invites all to assent to the Jerusalem Declaration, 2008.
The Jerusalem Declaration
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. 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 that 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.
1. 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.
2. 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, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5. 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. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
6. 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, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.
7. We recognize 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 baptize, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
10. 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.
11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognize the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us that 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.