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GAFCON Primates: who’s betraying whom?

06 February 2015


From Mr Don Archer
Sir, - You report that the GAFCON Primates have censured the Primate of Burundi for "betraying African Christians" (News, 30 January). His offence was to attend a "Transformation through Friendship" gathering led by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States; and to commit himself to exploring opportunities for partnership in areas including religious freedom, theological education, and human trafficking. Heinous sins, indeed!

One is immediately reminded of the accusation of the Pharisees that Jesus was associating with "publicans and sinners", and his response. If you disapprove of the convictions and behaviour of others, you can either dissociate yourself from them so that your own purity remains unsullied; or you can break bread with them, engage in dialogue, and demonstrate God's compassion for all his creatures.

GAFCON prides itself on its "Bible-based Christianity". Perhaps it should reflect on which of these two the Gospels report Jesus as doing.

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