The “mother” church of Anglicanism abandons the household | WORLD
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The “mother” church of Anglicanism abandons the household

The Church of England has departed from Christian orthodoxy

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby walks in London on Sept. 14, 2022. Richard Heathcote/Pool Photo via Associated Press

The “mother” church of Anglicanism abandons the household
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The Church of England seems to be having somewhat of an identity crisis. General Synod—the governing body of the CofE—voted, after a lengthy process, to allow the blessing of same-sex relationships. This has caused tidal waves in the wider Anglican Communion, the vast majority of which still maintains the traditional Christian view that marriage is between one man and one woman and that sex outside of marriage is sinful, therefore, unable to be blessed by God.

The wider Anglican Communion has now renounced the Church of England as having broken communion with orthodox provinces by teaching a false gospel, thus becoming apostate.

The question now arises, what is Anglicanism without the Church of England?

Anglicanism, as the name would suggest, is an English expression of the Christian faith. When the English spread Christianity around the world, we shared the Anglican tradition post-Reformation. Part of the one holy, catholic, and apostolic faith, Anglicans are both catholic and Reformed. After Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox, it is the third largest communion in the world.

A group of Anglican church leaders—known as primates—met in 2008 at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) over concerns of what they called a rising “false gospel.” They were concerned that the Episcopal Church in the United States—and now the Church of England—are departing from biblical teaching.

Today, GAFCON represents over 35 million active Anglicans in the worldwide communion. For perspective, there are only 13 million Anglicans in the United Kingdom. GAFCON represents the majority, at around 80 percent of Anglicans worldwide.

Why is any of this important? Well, provinces of the Anglican Communion in what is known as the Global South, including Africa, South America, most of Asia and Oceania, attend GAFCON. They represent around 75 percent of the Anglican Communion, and they are both orthodox in doctrine and quite concerned about changes in the CofE.

It is not the Global South leaving the Church of England, but the Church of England leaving the Anglican Communion.

In a statement released immediately after the announcement regarding same-sex blessings in the CofE, the Global South said it would be attending GAFCON this year and that the “Church of England has now joined those Provinces with which communion is impaired.”

They made the point that “Whatever the legal advice that the CofE’s Doctrine of Marriage has not changed, we hold the well-established view that Anglican liturgy expresses its doctrine.” As a result, they “will be taking decisive steps towards re-setting the Anglican Communion.”

Further still, an announcement on Feb. 20 following deliberations among the Global South primates, they have stated that the Church of England has “disqualified herself from leading the Communion as the historic ‘Mother’ Church” because of these same-sex blessings, which they politely call “innovations.”

The Global South insists the CofE has “chosen to break communion with those provinces who remain faithful to the historic biblical faith,” meaning it is not the Global South leaving the CofE, but the CofE leaving the Anglican Communion.

Not only has the CofE been renounced, but, stunningly, the judgment is extended to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, leader of the Anglican Communion: “The GSFA is no longer able to recognize the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon & Most Revd Justin Welby, as the ‘first among equals’ Leader of the global Communion.”

The Global South and the rest of GAFCON meet in April to further discuss the future of the Anglican Communion. These revelations will be seen as an opportunity to “re-set Communion is marked by reform and renewal,” and will be used to strengthen the orthodoxy of Anglicanism worldwide: “What has happened in the Church of England has only served to strengthen our resolve to work together to re-set the Communion.”

Praise God, the Holy Spirit is working throughout the communion, and the orthodox primates have cast aside the growing heresy of false gospels of the West. The statement continues: “And with a renewed and reset Communion, we will be able to join hands in mission and ministry across the nations to be a bright, collective light in the midst of the major challenges of our time.”

Here's to hoping that lessons are learned, and Anglican leaders in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States repent and return to “the historic faith passed down from the Apostles.” We must pray that the Church of England will once again be faithful to “the historic biblical faith expressed in the Anglican formularies” (the 39 Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Book of Homilies). Otherwise, it will follow other liberal churches into the dustbin of history.

Calvin Robinson

The Rev. Calvin Robinson is a British broadcaster, political adviser, and commentator.

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