Phil Ashey on the 2022 partial Lambeth Gathering–a Hope and a Future

All of the archbishops agreed that the number one problem leaving LC2022 is the unresolved divisions between Anglicans who follow what the Bible says plainly about human identity, human dignity, creation, marriage, and sexuality— and those Anglican who do not. They are disappointed by the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury who tolerates sin (“he will not call sin, sin”) and will not discipline it. They are frustrated that the Communion structures failed to provide any mechanism for addressing disobedience to Anglian teaching, and specifically Lambeth 1.10 (1998) in what is certainly an “ecclesial deficit”. Even though these Global South Anglicans represent the overwhelming majority of Anglicans, they feel themselves a minority, “a faithful remnant” because of the power imbalance that western and largely white Global North Anglicans exercise over them through the structures and processes hedging this Lambeth…[gathering] of Bishops. After the failure to even vote on the authority of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998), for which they came to make a stand, they feel the rest of the program of bible study, fellowship, and “sharing of points of view” is meaningless. They affirm that they may be gathered together, “but we are not walking together,” no matter how many times the Archbishop of Canterbury proclaims otherwise.

The Bible is not the ultimate authority in this Anglican Communion gathering. Western Anglican leaders here have interpreted the Bible by reading it through their own culture (eisegesis) rather than reading it in its plain and grammatical sense, understanding its words in the context of the whole of scripture and then applying it to the culture in which one lives (exegesis). As one archbishop says, “We cannot mix culture with Christianity; we must separate culture from Christianity and then let the Bible speak to the culture.” In the words of para 1.5 of the Cairo Covenant (2019): “The authority of the Scripture is its Spirit-bestowed capacity to quicken the Church to truthful speech and righteous action. We reject therefore the hermeneutical scepticism that commits the Church to a near-infinite deferral of decisions on matters of faith and morals.”

Read it all.


Posted in - Anglican: Analysis