18 March 2017
Herein after referred to as "The Windhoek Agreement"
Of the consultation between the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa and the Namibia Evangelical Anglican Council.
Held on 16th- 17th March 2017 at Multi-Purpose Youth Resource Centre,
Katutura Windhoek NAMIBIA
- We, members of the Executive Committee of Namibia Evangelical Anglican Council (NEAC), representing members of the Council as inspired by the heritage of the Evangelical and reformed faith of the global Anglican Church as received in England by the time of the great reformation;
- We met in consultation with Presiding Bishop of Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa the Rt. Rev. Glenn Lyons and the Rt. Rev. Njabulo Mazibuko of Kwazulu Natal Area in the same Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church, in Windhoek between 16th-17th March 2017 to consult on theological, ecclesiastical, Biblical and pastoral questions;
- The consultation was brought about by some members of the Anglican Church who identify themselves as Evangelicals and therefore promoting biblical orthodoxy in the church, and are unable to do so in their current jurisdiction citing biblical and theological reasons. As a result, the councils felt unable to exercise their gifts of Christian ministry and therefore, decided to come up with the said council.
- As a result of much study into Anglicanism in the light of the Holy Scriptures and much prayer the Council initiated a high-level consultation between it and fellow like-minded Anglicans. To such effect the Consultation took place as mentioned above under God, we both Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) and The Namibian Evangelical Anglican Council (NEAC) considered the following as believed by other Anglicans;
- We believe that Anglicanism is not limited to parishes, Dioceses, and Provinces. Anglicanism in England has been pluriform taking note of many voluntary associations and independent Anglican Churches.
- We believe that Anglican Communion as an umbrella with offices in London or Canterbury is not the base of Anglicanism. Many mission organization that went out to do missionary work were not commissioned in Canterbury or Lambeth Palace.
- We do not believe that the proper Anglicanism starts from the above namely Archbishops, Bishops and other Clergy. But authentic Anglicanism begins from below.
- We do not believe that all Anglicans must submit to the Archbishop Canterbury as legitimate leader of Anglican Faith. The Archbishop of Canterbury is to be honored only when he believes and henceforth proclaim true biblical faith as expounded in historic Anglican formularies. In the current set up it is not the local people who needs Canterbury as much as Canterbury needs them.
- We do not believe the notion that there cannot be more than one Anglican jurisdiction in one place, on the contrary we believe that there can be more than one Anglican structure and jurisdiction in one place. There are historical facts as evidence on this.We believe Salvation is not limited only to Anglicans and therefore continuation of Anglicanism is only necessary as much as it leads people into the way of salvation.
- Therefore, we are of one mind in adopting the following as our goals in carrying out the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 28:19:
- We believe and therefore are going to teach, preach and implement the Gospel in our churches as we proclaim the Gospel to the world in darkness. This we shall do constantly, appropriately, patiently and with careful instruction. (1 Tim 3: 14-16;
- We are going to even in difficult time continue to do evangelism, growing mature churches, do creative gospel, ministry, persevering in ministry and enduring persecution. (2 Tim 4:5)
- We are going to defend, and guard the clarity and sufficiency of Gospel for Salvation (2 Tim 3: 16-17)
- We are going to create a team of effective and godly Gospel ministers both expatriates and indigenous. 2 Timothy 4: 9-21
- We are going to promote an effective theological training for Gospel ministry; prepare and rise up the next generation of Gospel workers. 2 Timothy 2:2
- We are going to be a part of dynamic gospel team who are trained and equipped by the Bible to do our ministry and, with a passion for the Gospel and the world. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
- We are going to preach the gospel without shame, and ready to suffer for Jesus Christ sakes. 2 Tim 2:3
- We are going to be aware of our sinfulness and sin which is a stumbling block to effectiveness of our ministry; hence we ourselves do need to know God our savior and the power of his transforming Gospel. Titus 2:12-14
- We are going to rebuke and correct any error occurring in the theology and practice and henceforth in the life of the Church. 2 Tim 2: 14-19
- We will pray for the church and the world, so that the Gospel may be proclaimed to the world. 1 Timothy 2: 1-6
- We shall be willing to be persecuted and suffer for the Gospel 2 Timothy 1:8
- We are going to recognize, and identify God gifts to be used in building the Church of Christ. 2 Corinthians 12
- Furthermore we believe that we are of one mind in the following Distinctive as Anglican Evangelicals and Reformed:
The Great Commission
We, seek to implement the Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ to go out into the world and make people of all Nations disciples of Jesus Christ as reflected hereunder;
Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said) «All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always) to the very end of the age.
- We are a Word Centred Church.
As expressed in our motto 'Your word above all things', the Bible occupies a central place in our common life. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense.
Article 6 “Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture”.
- We are a Missional Church
We are evangelistic and missionary in outlook. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptize, teach and bring new believers to maturity. It is our aim 'to take the gospel to every man's front door' and to bring all people under the instruction and Lordship of Jesus Christ.
- We are an Evangelical Church
In the words of Bishop J.C.Ryle we are evangelical because of 'the absolute supremacy we assign to Holy Scripture, the depth and prominence we assign to the doctrine of human sinfulness and corruption, the paramount importance we attach to the work and office of our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He has wrought for mankind, the high place which we assign to the inward work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man and the importance we place on the outward and visible work of the Holy Spirit manifested in the life, conduct and behavior of the believer in overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil'.
- We are a Protestant Church.
Traditional Protestantism stands for the following: Scripture Alone, Justification by Faith and Grace Alone. We further proclaim God alone who is Father Son and Holy Spirit. We further believe in the Universal Priesthood of all Believers
The universal priesthood of all believers implies the right and duty of the Christian laity not only to read the Bible in their own mother tongue, but also to take part in the government and all the public affairs of the Church. It is opposed to the hierarchical system which puts the essence and authority of the Church in an exclusive priesthood, and makes ordained priests the necessary mediators between God and the people.
We therefore upholds the priesthood of all believers. We believes we can only be effective in evangelism and mission if we trains and empowers our laity for gospel ministry.
- We are a Reformed Church
We hold on to the five points of doctrine which lie at the heart of the Reformation - grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, scripture alone and to the glory of God alone.
Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of King Henry VIII, was able to bring Martin Luther's rediscovery of these great truths into the heart of the Church of England, the mother church all Anglican Churches.
We therefore embrace and articulate these great biblical insights taught by many great reformers.
- We are a Creedal (Confessional) Church
We use confessions of faith to express the teaching of the Bible. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith.
Article 8: The three creeds, namely the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and what is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, should be received and believed without reservation, because they may be proved from Holy Scripture.
We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God's Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
- We are a Covenantal Church
We can be covenantal fellowship of Christians, the body of Christ "the Church" because we emphasizes God's one single covenant with his people promised to Abraham, which is a covenant not simply with individuals but with families, The promises of God included Abraham's children, We believe that God causes his covenant to run in the line of continued generations, i.e. with believers and their children. It follows that the children of believers should receive baptism, the sign and seal of God's covenant.
- We are an Episcopal Church
We are an Episcopal church. We values Bishops as an ancient and well-tried form of ministry, agreeable to Scripture (though not actually required by Scripture). Bishops are viewed primarily as pastors and teachers.
We recognize that God has called and gifted bishops, presbyters and deacons to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders, and henceforth we maintain the three orders of ministry namely Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons
- We are a Liturgical Church
We are a liturgical church in that we value and use the set forms for our public services. In particular we are committed to the theology, principles and form expressed in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture. In practice that means that each service must be congregational and include these seven elements:
1. Confession of sin
2. Praise and Thanksgiving
3. Prayers (Petitions and intercessions)
4. Reading of Holy Scripture drawn from both Old and New Testaments
5. Exposition of Holy Scripture
6. The celebration of the Holy Communion
7. Benediction, dismissal and fellowship
- We are an Anglican Church
The modern form of the Anglican Church first emerged during the religious Reformation of the 16th century, when the Church in England broke its ties with the Pope and the Church of Rome. From 1662 till today, the Book of Common Prayer, the 39 Articles and the Ordinal stand as the one touchstone of genuine Anglicanism.
- Furthermore, we both Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church and the Namibian Evangelical Council subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).
- Given that we are of one mind in all the above, we henceforth concluded that in the Name of Christian unity and witness, the Namibia Evangelical Anglican Council and the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church work together in partnership to constitute one and united, Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of Namibia with immediate effect. Furthermore as a measure of Episcopal Discipline, the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa shall provide for the Episcopal Oversight in the mean time for as long as it is necessary. To that effect a Memorandum of Understanding is signed between two parties on 18th March 2017 at the Service of Celebration.
This document to be referred to as "Windhoek Agreement" was adopted by the Executive Committee Members of the Namibian Evangelical Anglican Council and the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of SA representing both South Africa and Namibia, and ratified by the Council Members on 16th and 17th March 2017 respectively.
IN THE NAME OF GOD FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT, Amen!
Windhoek, March, 18th 2017