GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) Australasia recently announced the formation of the new diocese of The Southern Cross. While many in the mainstream media have viewed this as being divisive, it is a move that has been warmly welcomed by reformed evangelical denominations and especially the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
In particular, the Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, the Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, recently wrote to the newly appointed bishop of the Southern Cross Diocese, the Rev. Dr. Glenn Davies, to express his “delight”. Dr Barnes went on to write:
This is a strong stand for biblical truth, and we trust the Lord preserves and keeps you, and uses you greatly.
We are most appreciative of the kindness shown to us, especially concerning theological education in NSW in the 1970s, and also the use of Anglican church buildings for worship and would be more than happy if we could help out in any way by facilitating the use of our properties and making them available to you and your flock.
In the meantime, be assured of our prayerful good will and eager interest in what the Lord is doing through you.
Significantly, the statement by Dr. Barnes was also “endorsed heartily” by the incoming Moderator-General Designate, Rev. David Burke, as well as all of the previous Presbyterian Moderator Generals as well: Rev. Dr John Wilson, Rev. David Cook, Rev. David Jones, Rev. Professor Allan Harman, Rev. Bruce Christians, Rev. Robert Benn and Rev. Bob Thomas.
This is a wonderful, Christ-centered initiative that I hope other denominations will also follow. The Scriptures clearly teach that we are yoked to be unequally yoked to unbelievers and that there is a time in which are to come out from them and be separate (i.e. 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
The Anglican Church of Australia’s inability to unambiguously defend and proclaim that marriage should only be between a man and a woman proves that, that time is now. Indeed, having witnessed their theological trajectory over the past thirty years, many would argue that this initiative should have happened sooner!
The fact that one of Australia’s oldest denominations though, is willing to support a new evangelical initiative in whatever way they can is to be highly commanded. For it expresses a unity in the Gospel that transcends ecclesiastical traditions.
May the LORD God Almighty; Father, Son and Holy Spirit add His blessing to this new Christian work.
The Minister at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Hobart