Loose Canons? Andy Lines and the Canons of Nicaea

“On Friday 30th June, Andy Lines will be consecrated at a meeting of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), as a ‘missionary bishop’ for Europe. This is in response to the recent decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) to modify its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, placing it at variance with scripture and with the majority of the Anglican Communion.

In a letter to the Primates of the Communion, Archbishop Justin Welby expressed profound concern over the upcoming consecration of Canon Lines. For Welby, the Church’s continued commitment to ‘those with differing views’ (exemplified by the role of the Bishop of Maidstone in providing oversight for those who oppose the ordination of women), made the appointment of a missionary bishop unnecessary. Such an argument rests, of course, on a theological parity being drawn between disagreements over ordained ministry, and over sexual ethics – a parity that is by no means self-evident, as Lee Gatiss argued last week.

What was most intriguing, however, was what the Archbishop went on to say next: …”

– At Church Society’s blog, Mark Smith takes a look at the Canons of the Council of Nicaea, to which the Archbishop of Canterbury appeals. What do they really say?

GAFCON Chairman’s June 2017 letter

“As I write, we are preparing for Trinity Sunday. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is vital. Without it, we cannot speak truly of God in a way that is faithful to the bible. However, in the fourth century the Church was nearly overwhelmed by the Arians. They were the followers of Arius, who claimed that the Son was a created being, not really God.

If the Church had continued to follow Arius, the Christian faith would have been lost. To deny the full divinity of Jesus strikes at the heart of the Christian message that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.  St Athanasius is still remembered as the man who was willing to make a costly stand against this heresy.

I am reminded of Athanasius because we are facing a similar struggle for the integrity of the gospel in our time. …”

– Read the June 2017 letter from GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh.

Justin Welby and ‘Agreeing to Disagree’

“Last week, the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to alter that church’s Canon on Marriage, to remove the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman. …

In the light of this long-anticipated rejection of Jesus’s word, the Bible, as the supreme authority over the church, GAFCON have announced that they will be consecrating Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop for Europe, including Scotland. Andy is a man of unimpeachable integrity, godliness, and clarity of teaching whose episcopal leadership will be welcomed by all those Scots who have been marginalised by their leaders, and by those outside the Church of England who wish still to remain Anglican in their doctrine and polity. …

In response to this, Archbishop Justin Welby wrote to the Primates of the Anglican Communion …

In his letter, Archbishop Welby sadly seems far more concerned about “cross-border interventions” than with the schismatic and heretical teaching which has infiltrated the Episcopal Church in Scotland (and elsewhere) and emptied churches in the process…”

– Read the full article by Church Society Director, Dr. Lee Gatiss.

Be sure to also read the linked article from Crossway, “Can we agree to disagree?”, by Dr Martin Davie (PDF file) –

“There has been much talk lately of ‘agreeing to disagree’ on the issues of human sexuality in the church. In this article, I shall introduce three categories into which we can place matters on which there is disagreement within the church:

  • matters which are adiaphora
  • matters which are not adiaphora and on which the church cannot simply live with disagreement, and
  • matters which are not adiaphora and on which the church can live with disagreement.

Having introduced these categories, I shall conclude by asking which category the issue of human sexuality fits into.”

Photo: Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

Canon Andy Lines interviewed on Premier Radio UK

Canon Andy Lines has been interviewed in Edinburgh for Premier Radio UK about his upcoming role as a Missionary Bishop.

Archbishop Foley Beach and The Rev. David McCarthy were also interviewed.

Audio files near the bottom of the page. (Photo: Premier.)

The GAFCON Missionary Bishop for Scotland and Europe

“Canon Andy Lines’ consecration will not be irregular or invalid.

His Holy Orders in the Province of South America have been duly and lawfully transferred to, and likewise received by, the ACNA. He will be consecrated by acting primates, archbishops and bishops of the Anglican Communion. His consecration will fall within the historical tradition of faithful Bishops who have created order in the Church during times of crisis.

These are times when faith and doctrine have been threatened by others’ failure to guard against false teaching – or worse, have actively promoted such false teaching. One can trace this all the way back to Athanasius and the crisis of Arianism in the early Church. …”

– Canon Phil Ashey, President of the American Anglican Council, provides historical background for the decision to consecrate Andy Lines as a Missionary Bishop.

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.  Read more

Canon Andy Lines to be ACNA Missionary Bishop

In the wake of today’s vote by the Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, purporting to redefine marriage, Archbishop Foley Beach spoke in Edinburgh on behalf of the GAFCON Primates Council to announce Canon Andy Lines (pictured) as the new Missionary Bishop:

Bishop Foley announced,

“The Gafcon Primates have asked our Province, the Anglican Church in North America, to take on the task of providing a missionary bishop for Scotland.

Our Province was formed at the direction of Gafcon 2008 after many of the Provinces of Gafcon had provided the same kind of oversight for clergy and congregations in North America. They have asked us to consecrate Canon Andy Lines. …

The Consecration will take place on the morning of 30 June in Wheaton, Illinois and the service will include Primates, Archbishops, and bishops from all over the world. Although the Anglican Church in North America is the consecrating Province, this is an initiative of the wider Anglican Communion.”

Read the text of the announcements from the press conference.

See also the Press Kit released by GAFCON:

1: Press Statement by Archbishop Foley Beach – 8th June 2017.

2: Press Statement by Scottish Anglican Network (SAN) – 8th June 2017.

3: Biographical Information on GAFCON Press Conference speakers.

4: ACNA FAQs on Missionary Bishop.

5: About Samuel Seabury.


Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow ‘equal marriage’ – Anglican Communion News Service – 8th June 2017.

Scottish Anglican Network Responds  – 8th June 2017,

“We are thankful for support we have received from many in the Anglican Communion and particularly from the Archbishops who lead the GAFCON movement. We are grateful for their support in prayer, their counsel and their practical support, not least in their decision to consecrate a missionary bishop for Europe. We now look forward to building stronger relationships with the leaders and churches of the global Anglican Communion who remain faithful to Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible.

Sermon By Canon Andy Lines At The Consecration Of The Revd Ferran Glenfield as Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh. At St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh – 31 May 2013,

“Paul was able to say to the Ephesian elders that he had not shrunk from declaring to them the whole purpose of God – he preached the whole gospel from the whole Bible to them. Not all of it was palatable or easy but the ministry of God’s gospel requires complete integrity and honesty – there will be many temptations to leave the word of God, to, as I have sometimes heard, ‘move on’ from a simple biblical faith to see what is black and white actually as rather more complicated and nuanced…”

The Business of GAFCON

“I remember being part of a meeting about fifteen years ago. One of the people in the room said something simple but effective.

He pointed out that the two sides of the debate about sexuality had different strategies. If you wanted change, the strategy was long term and incremental. What you needed was courage to keep talking about the issue and constantly, though slightly, breaking the boundary. You then needed patience to wait for the institution to concede, inch by inch. It would take twenty years, he said (!), but victory would be yours.

But what if you wanted to maintain the position which all Christians had believed was the truth based on the word of God? For you, this was much more difficult.”

– GAFCON General Secretary Peter Jensen explains the need for, and the business of, GAFCON in his latest post. Essential reading.

GAFCON Missionary Bishop for Scotland

Via Anglican Mainstream:

“On 8 June 2017, the Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) is scheduled to vote to finalise a change to their canons that would attempt to redefine marriage.  If this action is taken by the SEC it will further marginalise faithful Anglicans in Scotland who seek to uphold Jesus’ teaching on marriage.

This change comes in the context of a global reformation that is happening in the Anglican Communion.  While Anglican provinces such as The Episcopal Church (USA), Anglican Church of Canada, and Scottish Episcopal Church are rejecting the authority of the Bible, faithful Anglicans are uniting through Gafcon to proclaim and defend the unchanging truth in a changing world.

Recognising the pastoral need that arose following the initial SEC vote (in June 2016), in April of this year the Gafcon Primates authorised the consecration of a Missionary Bishop to care for those who seek to remain faithful to the scriptures and Jesus’ teaching on marriage.

On 8 June 2017 Gafcon will hold a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland at 5pm. 

At this press conference the Missionary Bishop will be announced and introduced. He will be joined by a Gafcon Primate and representatives of those whose fellowship with the SEC will be broken by the Synod decision.”

Related: Remnant in Scotland find hope through Gafcon.

How God sustained two faithful churches through tough times


“This article looks back 10 years and examines two churches in the USA which faced ruin because they took a courageous stand for biblical truth. We consider the severe trials they faced, how they responded, how God acted and where they stand today.

The first story concerns the Anglican Church of The Good Shepherd, Binghamton, New York.…”

Two stories of encouragement from the USA.

From our archives: Earlier posts mentioning The Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton. (Not all of the older links are still active.)

Jerusalem 2018

GAFCON has announced that the next GAFCON Conference will held in Jerusalem from Sunday 17 to Friday 22nd June 2018.

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