Statement from Bishop Andy Lines following the Church of England's guidance on liturgies to celebrate gender transition
Yesterday, I met with leaders of AMiE (Anglican Mission in England) and Gafcon UK to discuss plans for future growth and global partnership. We gave thanks to God for the joy that is found in the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ in our unstable times.
Our meeting was timely in the light of the “Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition,” issued by the House of Bishops of the Church of England. The sacrament of baptism is designed to signify the new identity that is given to us in union with Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection, so we were dismayed that this guidance commends using the same service to “recognise liturgically a person’s gender transition.”
In doing this, the House of Bishops has denied the teaching of Jesus Christ, not least by rejecting his words, “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” (Matt 19: 4) in favour of celebrating a self-created identity. The baptismal liturgy should never be used in a way which invites confusion between the glorious salvation found in Jesus Christ and humanly devised rites of passage. It is because our hearts go out to all those who struggle with their gender identity that we cannot commend this false gospel or walk with those who promote it.
Further Comment from AMiE and Gafcon UK:
“It is a great joy to watch the maturing of AMiE as an Anglican mission society. Without taking our eyes off the priority of church planting, we are eager to develop more robust Anglican structures that will help serve the gospel ministry of our congregations. We know this will also reassure those faithful Anglicans in the Church of England who continue to be aghast by the guidance being issued by the House of Bishops, and who will be seeking an alternative home if this appalling trajectory isn’t stopped.”
Revd Lee McMunn - Mission Director of the AMiE Executive Team
“In the face of false teaching, it is a joy to be able to support AMiE and other developing networks, as they take positive, creative, Anglican action for the glory of God and the honour of Jesus Christ in our nation. We can feel powerless when we see the Church that we love succumb to the spirit of the age but Gafcon UK exists to offer hope and a home to all Anglicans who wish to uphold orthodox faith and practice. No one need feel alone.”
Mrs Susie Leafe – Director of Operations for Gafcon UK