Response from Bishop Andy Lines to the Primates’ Communiqué
The Primates’ Communiqué appears to continue promoting the narrative of Anglicans ‘walking together’ despite the absence of four Provinces representing millions of Anglicans, and despite profound disagreement expressed within the meeting on understandings of what it means to be Christian, and how we know what is right and wrong.
The Bishop Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church played a leading role in the Primates’ Conference. Although there was talk of ‘consequences’ for SEC’s action, he was unrepentant, and showed no concern for those under his care who cannot accept the decision to redefine marriage. They now feel betrayed and de-churched. Meanwhile millions of Anglicans will be concerned that the Communiqué does not appear to express any view on the actions of SEC or the thinking behind it.
The document does not address false teaching, but focuses on ‘border crossing’ as if it is more harmful. I take the long-established view of orthodox Anglicans across the world, that we cannot make an equivalence between Provinces who choose to abandon key aspects of biblical theology and ethics, tearing the fabric of the Communion and putting souls in danger, and those who respond to calls for help from faithful Anglicans within those Provinces. My role as Gafcon missionary Bishop is clearly needed more than ever: to provide ministry to and encourage emerging congregations of faithful Anglicans in Britain outside the official structures.
They, along with many within those structures want to be part of a global movement based on the unchanging truths of God’s word, and obedience to that word which includes ministry mentioned in the Communiqué: evangelism and discipleship, and also compassionate response to those suffering in contexts of violence and poverty; ministry of which Gafcon-aligned provinces are at the cutting edge.