Tuesday, December 22, 2015

GAFCON Chairman's Christmas Pastoral Letter

What is notable about Archbishop Wabukala's latest pastoral letter is that it contains no mention of the Anglican Church in North America. While we should not read too much into this omission, it is a refreshing change from the Archbishop's typical adulation of the ACNA in his pastoral letters. Since the ACNA in its doctrine and its practices is far from a sterling example of Biblical Anglicanism, the Archbishop's excessive praise of the ACNA is at best mystifying. Indeed, due to its lack of adherence to the principles of doctrine and worship laid out in the historic Anglican formularies and to the tenets of orthodoxy identified in the Jerusalem Declaration, the ACNA should be a source of embarrassment to the Chairman of the GAFCON Primate's Council.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Receive Christian greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Saviour and Lord.

As our Christmas celebrations begin, I pray that familiar words, hymns and customs will by God’s grace kindle in our hearts a new sense of wonder and thankfulness for the gift of Emmanuel, God with us.

At Christmas we think of Jesus as the helpless baby lying on a bed of straw. Yet ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:17) and the Jesus we worship now is not the baby of Bethlehem but the risen Christ glimpsed in the vision of John in the first chapter of Revelation whose face is like the sun in its full brilliance (Revelation 1:16). This is the glorified Jesus who will be revealed to all as Lord, Saviour and Judge at the end of human history.

So if we think of Jesus as Saviour, we must also therefore confess him as Christ the Lord. Here in the Anglican Church of Kenya it is common for preachers to introduce themselves by saying that they have accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour. That is so important. Jesus is indeed a wonderful Saviour, but we must not limit his work just to our personal experience. He is the central figure in all human life and history, whether he is recognised or not, and what marks out the Christian is a life that witnesses now, in word and deed, that Jesus is Christ the Lord. If that is lacking, a personal testimony from the past is empty words. Read More

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