GAFCON UK Statement on the announcement of the Gafcon /ACNA Missionary Bishop to Europe
GAFCON UK is delighted at the announcement that its chairman Canon Andy Lines is to be consecrated by the Anglican Church in North America as a missionary bishop to Europe under the auspices of GAFCON. We believe this will play an important part in the renewal of orthodox Anglican Christianity in Britain and further afield.
First of all, this is an immediate and courageous response to the most recent developments in the Scottish Episcopal Church’s decision to change its Canons on marriage. However, the necessity for alternative Episcopal oversight in Scotland also applies to all corners of Britain, because the issues which underlie the SEC’s move are common to Anglicanism throughout the country.
At the heart of this crisis is a refusal to accept that the God of the Bible speaks clearly to his people through his written Word and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Whether this takes the form of outright denial of core biblical doctrines, or a more subtle advocacy of the mutual flourishing of plural and even contradictory viewpoints, it amounts to a rejection of the self-disclosed nature of the Christian God himself.
Humanity is created in God’s own image. Nothing is more serious for humanity than to reject God’s revelation of himself and substitute for it a version of God fashioned in our own image. And yet that is what is happening in the Anglican churches of Britain where apostolic biblical truth is not affirmed and actively upheld.
In preferring to conform to the passing, contemporary culture around them rather than faithfulness to God’s Word, and in ignoring the clearly stated consequences of their actions (for example after Canterbury 2016), the SEC has followed The Episcopal Church (of the USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada in dividing the Communion. The joint Communique of Gafcon and Global South (representing the large majority of Anglicans worldwide) after meeting in Cairo in October 2016 was clear about the actions which would result in churches “severing themselves from their own spiritual roots…”.The leadership of SEC has tragically done just this, and so severed itself from Christian orthodoxy and from fellowship with most Anglicans worldwide.
However all is not lost. Gafcon has always said that it stands ready to assist those faithful Anglicans in Scotland who cannot go along with the decision of their governing body. In the absence of effective response by the official Instruments of Communion, the Gafcon Primates have made good on their promise by authorizing the consecration of Andy Lines, who will provide authentic faithful oversight to faithful Anglicans in Scotland, and churches in the Anglican Mission in England, as well as linking orthodox Anglicans in England, Scotland and Wales with the global fellowship of Gafcon.