The second day of GAFCON continued with some very good speakers and presentations. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali started us off by discussing the three major things that GAFCON seeks to address. They are:
He noted that Aggressive Secularism likes to uphold certain values, such as human dignity, equality, and freedom, but that it doesn’t know why. These, of course, are all Christian values, instilled into Western Culture by Christianity. However, because the West now tries to ignore and suppress Christianity, these values have changed. When the West says that it like wants to uphold the value of human dignity, it now upholds radical autonomy. Likewise, equality is no longer the equality of all individuals but is rather the equality of all lifestyles.
This suppression of the core of Western Civilization has created a vacuum. Bishop Nazir-Ali noted that nature abhors a vacuum. He left us with the question of what would fill the vacuum.
Fr. Mike Ovie, the principal of Oak Hill Theological College in London spoke next, giving an address entitled, “The Grace of God or the World of the West?” Briefly, this address drew lines between the secularised world which the West is trying to create out of the old Christian West and life lived in Christ. He drew parallels between the Jerusalem Declaration and the Barmen Declaration.
I will post the text of his address if possible.
Bishop Nazir-Ali commented next that, “Anthropology without Theology will always go wrong.”
The director of the Barnabas fund spoke, commenting about Christian Persecution throughout the Middle East and Africa. He told us of events which were happening even as the conference met, of Syrian men being killed and Syrian women being raped and killed for not converting to Islam when they tried to escape the civil war. Hauntingly, he told us that the bishops of the Syrian Church believe that the ancient Syrian Church is finished. He estimates that within a year, this very ancient church will no longer exist.
Our next speaker was the Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of South Sudan. He spoke of the war Sudanese Christians have been fighting for 55 years. He gave thanks to Jesus for giving the Sudanese Christians their country. What he said next was heartbreaking. The Archbishop said that they had not fought the war just for themselves, but to keep a barrier between the Islamic Middle East and East Africa, because, as he noted, the eventual goal of Islam was to extend all the way to Cape Town, at the southern end of Africa.
More addresses were given throughout the afternoon, speaking of the advancement of Islam and Secularism in England, North America, and here in Kenya.
We closed our day with dinner and a special guest, the governor of Nairobi County.