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The Anglican Realignment

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The conflict between revisionist and orthodox doctrine within Anglicanism has come to a head in recent years, manifesting itself particularly with regard to ethical stances on human sexuality. This is an international crisis, since Anglicanism is a global Christian tradition with institutions that relate to one another through various official channels. The original way Anglicans related to one another internationally was in being members of the Anglican Communion. The Primates (highest ranking bishops) of various Provinces (large geographical jurisdictions) meet together, with the Archbishop of Canterbury serving as a “first among equals.” Another important “instrument of unity” for the Anglican Communion is the Lambeth Conference, where many bishops meet together to collaborate and consult among themselves on matters of importance. These institutions and practices continue on to this very day.

However, as western Anglicans have adopted revisionist theology and ethics in the 20th century, more traditional Anglicans—particularly those in the Global South—have taken exception, meeting together at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which is led by its own council of primates. The GAFCON movement espouses traditional Christian doctrine and ethics. Some of its members are also members of the Anglican Communion and try to reform that institution. Others have split or are otherwise independent of the Anglican Communion and are working to spread and establish the Gospel without any institutional ties to Lambeth. All of these conflicts and activities are referred to as the Anglican Realignment.


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