19 January 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,
Grace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ during this Epiphany Season!!
I write to you with a heavy heart as we are hearing of the continued Crisis of Leadership and Faith coming out of the Church of England. Once again, our Western Anglican Provinces continue to ‘go their own way’ on matters of faith and practice without consultation or concern for the majority of Anglicans around the Global Communion. Their actions not only deny holy practice, but reject the authority of Scripture, the teaching of the historic church, and the consensus of the Body of Christ from every tribe, tongue, people and nation alive today.
The release of the recent statement “Bishops propose prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and for God’s blessing of same-sex couples” (Find It Here) is a clear rejection of Lambeth 1998, I:10, and cannot help but ask the question: “What is next?” We continue to find ourselves disillusioned with the incredible audacity of major unilateral decisions (e.g. changing the nature of what it means to be ‘male and female’ in his image (Genesis 1:27) that run counter to ‘the faith once delivered’ (Jude 3).
What makes this current (and continued) Crisis of Leadership and Faith in the Church of England especially troubling is the clear and willful decision by the bishops to blatantly ignore the global Anglican consensus (as well as many more other Christian traditions) and ‘bless’ in the Name of Christ and the Church what God clearly calls sin. God does not bless sin regardless of the stamp of endorsement by church leaders, clergy, and bishops.
Most of our Provinces have their origins in the Church of England because of the incredible and sacrificial missionary ministry of faithful British followers of Jesus. What are the faithful in England and around the world to do now that the mother Church has departed from biblical faith and morality? We cannot follow the Church of England down this path which leads to spiritual and moral bankruptcy. Lord, have mercy upon us all.
Gafcon has a better story to tell: the story of our Lord Jesus who has and is rescuing us from brokenness (and often ourselves) and His unmistakably gracious offer of salvation which calls us ‘into the light’ where repentance and trust mark a new, right relationship to God through Christ. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus can be saved (Romans 10:13). And in this great salvation story through Jesus, the Apostle Paul remarks about our former way of living, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” [see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11]. He says further that “If anyone is in Christ, s/he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus adds that his followers are called to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:15-21). We in Gafcon, call on the leaders in the Church of England to repent and return to the teaching and practice of Holy Scripture and the historical one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Brothers and Sisters, let us pray earnestly for the faithful followers of Jesus in the Church of England as they struggle to fight and repel this false teaching which has been thrust upon them. Let us also pray for their bishops and leaders that God would turn their hearts to return to His ways.
The Lord richly bless you!
Your Brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Chair, Gafcon Primates Council and Primate of North America
P.S. We look forward to GAFCON IV this April (GAFCON IV) in Kigali, Rwanda where we will worship, learn, connect, and fellowship in the great consensus of our Anglican family, and be renewed that we are to boldly go and proclaim the redeeming word of Christ to all nations. Come and see, come and participate, and come behold the Lamb of God.Response-to-CofE-Bishops-Statement