Phil Ashey on the Latest Developments at the 2022 Partial Lambeth Gathering–Two Faces, Two Communions

Archbishop Badi clearly stated: “The Communion is not well, and it needs surgery.” Their request to present their own resolution, along with the refusal to take Communion with unrepentant and false teachers, is the beginning of surgery, finally necessary for such a time as this. It is a last attempt to call the Church to repentance from teachings and practices contrary to the Bible, its clarity, and its authority. The Global South bishops share an understanding that the most important issue today is the need to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a whole Gospel for a whole person. This whole Gospel mission rests on the clarity and authority of the Bible for all Anglicans everywhere. The significance of reaffirming Lambeth 1.10 (1998) is nothing less than the reaffirmation of the authority of Scripture as the basis for everything in the Communion: faith, order, and mission.

The Lambeth Calls confusion, the elephant in the room of missing bishops, the broken Communion: these are the symptoms of a house divided, of two faces of Anglicanism, two Communions. In one Communion is loyalty to the idea of a messy family complete with infighting and divisions that must be expected, tolerated, and even welcomed. In the other is a vision for a family that strives to “be of one mind,” while doing the hard work of truly disagreeing, discussing, and above all praying for repentance and transformation. This family is a communion of churches held together on the basis of faithfulness to the one Father in Heaven, His Word, and all that He reveals about creation, humanity, and the freedom found in Jesus Christ alone.

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