A letter of congratulations to the new appointee to the See of Canterbury from a leading Evangelical (1860)

“I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Reverend John Henry Newman on his appointment to the See of Canterbury. Although we may differ over what some might consider trifles … I am sure that the Reverend Newman loves the Lord Jesus, and more crucially, loves the Church of England.

– Melvin Tinker has written this satirical letter from ‘Bishop John Charle Ryle’.

And a good reminder to pray for the Church of England.

‘New Bishop of London … refuses to say where she stands’

“The controversial new Bishop of London refused yesterday to say where she stands on the the Church of England’s most damaging division.

The Right Reverend Sarah Mullally left tens of thousands of worshippers in her new diocese guessing about her views on gay rights after giving a high-profile broadcast interview. …

Bishop Mullally said the CofE has ‘a real diversity’ and is entering ‘a period of reflection’.

Bishop Mullally withheld her own thinking in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in which she was repeatedly pressed for her opinion. …

– Story from Mail Online. Photo: Diocese of London.

Related:

Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide – Albert Mohler.

“There will be no place to hide. The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution.”

When ‘Discernment’ Leads to Disaster – Albert Mohler.

Bishop-elect’s radio interview struggle reveals Church’s unresolved dilemmas – Andrew Symes.

“She would have known that it would come. She would have prepared for it, rehearsing her lines, perhaps with coaches, wanting to appear wise, generous, compassionate, authoritative. It came, finally, at the end of the interview; the dreaded ’Tim Farron question’ – ‘do you think homosexual relationships are sinful?’

Like an England batsman in the nets in Australia she had practiced for this moment … I felt for her as she attempted to answer the inevitable question, and she flannelled and waffled, a combination of the cringeworthy and the hilarious (see transcript below).”

Listen from 1 hour 52 minutes into the audio.

Next Bishop of London announced

“The next Bishop of London will be the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally DBE, currently Bishop of Crediton, 10 Downing Street has announced today.

Bishop Sarah will succeed the Rt Revd and Right Hon Richard Chartres KCVO, who retired as Bishop of London earlier this year. …”

– Announcement from the Diocese of London.

And a message from the Bishop-designate.

From St. Helen’s Bishopsgate:

“We offer Bishop Sarah our congratulations and assure her of our prayers as she takes up the significant role as Bishop of London. The Church of England is committed to ‘mutual flourishing’. We look forward to Bishop Sarah working for this within the diocese of London.”

St. Helen’s Bishopsgate relationships with other deanery churches ‘temporarily impaired’

From St. Helen’s Bishopsgate (via their Twitter account):

“After William Taylor’s sermon last Sunday on Romans 16 (), he met with the Area Dean on Monday, and this is his subsequent letter.”

From the letter:

“Our temporarily impaired relationship means that we shall no longer take part in some activities within the deanery that imply partnership in the Gospel. This will impact a number of areas including the clergy chapter, prayers in deanery synod, and deanery services.

In other respects we shall remain full and active members of the deanery and diocesan structures.”

Click here to read the full letter. (And do watch or listen to the sermon linked above.)

‘Rival church set up in gay marriage row’

“Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, faces a new threat to the unity of the Church of England as a rival Anglican church announced it will hold its first ordination service for nine ministers.

Andy Lines, missionary bishop for the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), will ordain nine ministers in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Thursday. …”

– Story from The Times. (Subscription.)

Related:

1.) The story mentions plans by AMiE to plant churches, as seen in this encouraging video published in September 2016.

2.) Here’s a statement from Revd Lee McMunn, Mission Director, Anglican Mission in England.

Excerpt:

“We are convinced that England needs many new Anglican churches that are sharing the great news about Jesus our Saviour and Lord, and forming communities of his loving disciples, who base their lives and worldview on Scripture, and are empowered by his Spirit.

We want to play our part in the spreading of the gospel in England. We treasure the crucified and risen Jesus and we want to tell as many as possible that he can transform their lives. Indeed, that he can change where they will spend eternity. We know that many faithful Anglicans remain within the structures of the Church of England.

However, some are finding their entry to ordination blocked by liberal clergy who do not believe orthodox Anglican teachings, like Jesus being the only way to be saved.

Moreover, an increasing number of those exploring ordination now have no interest in joining what they see as a fundamentally compromised denomination. They are distressed by the number of senior clergy who are keen to bless what the Bible calls sin. Many are now talking to about a different way of being an Anglican in England. They are discovering the joy of belonging to a network where church leaders actually believe the historic Reformed faith in the 39 Articles, and where clergy are fully convinced that people need to be saved from the judgement to come.

They are also experiencing the delight of being led by bishops, who all believe that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation; who uphold the supreme authority of the Bible in all matters of belief and behaviour; and who are personally involved in the lives of the clergy.”

(Formatting added.)

3.) Commentary from Julian Mann:

“The Anglican Mission in England, launched by the Archbishops of the Global Anglican Future Conference in 2011 to support biblically orthodox Anglican ministry outside the Church of England, is now coming of age.

With the upcoming ordination of nine men on Thursday (December 7th) in East London by Andy Lines, consecrated in June by the Anglican Church in North America as missionary bishop to Europe, AMIE can no longer be accused of being an angry adolescent jumping up and down on the side-lines. …”

Church Society Podcast with Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone

In the latest Church Society podcast, Ros Clarke chats with Rod Thomas, Bishop of Maidstone, about his job, the situation in the Church of England today, and the unexpected joy of confirmations.

Listen here.

Anglican Unscripted interviews Lorna Ashworth

In the latest edition of Anglican Unscripted, Kevin Kallsen interviews Lorna Ashworth.

“Unless the gospel is being taught in a church – it is not a church.”

If you assumed the gospel didn’t need to be preached afresh in the Church of England, watch this.

Related:

Andrew Symes, of Anglican Mainstream, writes:

“With unfortunate timing on its part, the C of E launched its new gender fluid policy just after the resignation of Lorna Ashworth from General Synod and Archbishops’ Council.

The well-respected conservative evangelical had warned of the policy of ‘good disagreement’ being a front for a slide into heresy. This was brushed off on Friday as a complete exaggeration by Bishops, and also by many evangelical clergy on social media. She does not need to say anything more. The headlines on Monday morning about ‘Valuing all God’s Children’ have proved her point.”

Let little boys wear tiaras: Church of England issues new advice

“Boys as young as five should be able to wear tiaras at school without criticism, teachers in Church of England schools are to be told.

Male pupils should also be free to dress up in a tutu or high heels without attracting any comment or observation, according to anti-bullying rules sent out by the Church yesterday.

The instructions for the CofE’s 4,700 schools said they should not require children to wear uniforms that ‘create difficulty for trans pupils’. …”

– Report from Mail Online.

Also see the report Valuing All God’s Children (PDF), as reported on the Church of England website.

“Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, Nigel Genders, said: ‘Providing an education to our 1 million children that will enable them to live life in all its fullness is a big responsibility.’…”

Lorna Ashworth resigns from C of E General Synod over ‘revisionism’

“A conservative Evangelical, Lorna Ashworth, resigned from the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod on Thursday in a letter that condemned ‘an agenda of revisionism . . . masked in the language of so-called “good disagreement”’.

Mrs Ashworth, a member of Reform and the GAFCON UK Task Force, called in July for an alternative Anglican structure in Britain, similar to the Anglican Church in North America.”

— story from Church Times.

Update:

Read Mrs Ashworth’s full statement below, courtesy of Anglican Mainstream.

“For the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of being elected to serve on the General Synod of the Church of England.  This role offered further opportunities to serve on other bodies, most recently the Archbishops’ Council and the Business Committee.

During this time I have observed within Synod, an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 3).  Instead, an agenda of revisionism is masked in the language of so-called ‘good disagreement.’  In fact, ‘good disagreement’ and ‘unity’ have trumped the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.

In my last speech given at the General Synod in York, July 2017, I expressed this frustration by saying that,

‘as a corporate body we have become unable to articulate the saving message of Jesus Christ which fully encompasses the reality of sin, repentance and forgiveness – without this message we do not teach a true gospel and people do not get saved.’

I have been humbled to serve alongside men and women, lay and ordained who long to see the mission of the church remain true to it’s calling: to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This means following the unadulterated teaching of Christ even when it contradicts the spirit of the age.

It is these people who have recognised that the gospel of Christ Jesus is a matter of eternal life or death – it matters what we believe, what we say, and how we live.  This message is very good news.

In light of this revisionist agenda and the heretical teaching that comes with it, I am no longer willing to sit around the table, pretending that we, as a governing body of the Church of England, are having legitimate conversations about mission.  I refuse to be mistaken as one participating in the fanciful notion of ‘good disagreement.’  As such, I am standing down from the Archbishops’ Council with immediate effect and all subsequent bodies, including the General Synod.

There are many like myself, who long for clear and courageous biblical leadership from the bishops of the Church of England and we will pray to this end. Some will choose to remain as part of the Synod and they have my full support, but others will not. Whatever is decided, be rest assured that God will not be without witness in this nation and He will build His church – the question is will that include the Church of England?”

Bishop Andy Lines has issued a statement, on behalf of GAFCON UK:

“She saw that her presence as a conservative on Archbishop’s Council was no longer a moderating influence, but being used to legitimize the revisionist agenda on which she believes the Church of England has embarked. …

Gafcon UK applauds Lorna Ashworth, who has been a member of the Gafcon UK Task Group, for her courageous stand for the truth, and will look to continue working with her in her future ministries.”

Southwark Declaration

“It is with great sadness that I posted the Southwark Declaration in Canterbury Cathedral.

This building that stands sentinel over the Church of England has been a symbol of Anglican leadership with, perhaps, the greatest global reach for centuries.

Now it has become synonymous with abdication and dereliction of duty; it stands accused as a distracted and negligent parent that has abandoned its children. …”

– Kent Vicar, the Rev. Stephen Rae, has issued a press release (PDF) to explain why he posted the Southwark Declaration on the doors of Canterbury Cathedral on Reformation Day.

Anglican Mainstream has links to a number of relevant articles.

‘I should have thought that one through’

“Asked … if gay sex was sinful, [Archbishop of Canterbury Justin] Welby said: ‘You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.’…”

– Story from The Guardian.

Related: a warning from Albert Mohler:

“This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide.

The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution.

That revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there. But marriage is the most urgent issue of the day, and the moment of decision has arrived.”

– from Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide, June 10, 2015.

Statement on the Consecration of Gavin Ashenden by the CEC

“Bishop Gavin Ashenden is a winsome and courageous defender of the Christian faith who has been prominent in supporting the same gospel values for which Gafcon stands, but his consecration was not an initiative taken by Gafcon. The Christian Episcopal Church, of which he is a bishop, is not part of the Anglican Communion and is not a constituent Church of the Gafcon movement.

Gafcon is committed to reforming our Communion from within and it was in accordance with this great vision that Bishop Andy Lines was consecrated as a missionary bishop for the United Kingdom and Europe by Primates representing the majority of the world wide communion in Chicago earlier this year.

We recognize that there is a spiritual vacuum caused by the silence and even compromise of much traditional leadership in the West and it is not surprising that new leadership should emerge. Our preference is that it will emerge from the highest level of cooperation and collaboration between these initiatives, so that those who uphold ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ (Jude 4) work together as far as the integrity of their church polity allows. Nonetheless, we pray that the ministry of Bishop Ashenden, and all Christian leaders who love the truth, will bear much fruit for the gospel.

Dr Peter Jensen
GAFCON General Secretary.”

A statement from GAFCON on 28 September 2017.

For background, Kevin Kallsen speaks with Gavin Ashenden (YouTube) about the Anglo-Catholic Christian Episcopal Church.

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