Not fit for Office

A response to the statement of the House of Bishops of the Church of England

11th October 2023

"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!"
Jeremiah 23:1

We grieve with millions of faithful Anglicans around the world at the disastrous decision by the House of Bishops in the Church of England to agree in principle to commend Prayers of Love and Faith for same-sex couples. This action is offensive to the God of love. It replaces his wonderful gospel of grace with a distorted message, blessing what God calls sin. This is heart-breaking, wicked and outrageously arrogant. 

Together the House of Bishops have embraced heresy by departing from the clear teaching of Scripture on matters of sexual conduct. As a result, they have betrayed their office. At their consecration service, each bishop was instructed to “be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, not a wolf; feed them, devour them not.” However, by introducing, and not banishing “erroneous and strange doctrine”, they have become wolves. Together they have demonstrated they are not fit for office. They stand under judgement as did the shepherds of Israel in Jeremiah’s day.

Their shame is further compounded by a seriously misleading and distorted appeal to reconciliation. In the House of Bishops’ statement, the Bishop of London asserts “the heart of the gospel is reconciliation.” However that reconciliation is first and foremost with our heavenly Father through the atoning death of Christ upon the cross, and only then, on that basis, to one another as forgiven sinners who serve Jesus as their Lord. To appeal to the cross as the grounds to "remain together as one Church in our uncertainty”, and, as a reason for embracing sin and failing to call for repentance, is an astonishing and blasphemous corruption of the grace of Christ and an entirely different gospel.

We call on the House of Bishops to repent.

We urge orthodox bishops, who have courageously fought for the truth, now to publicly dissent and distance themselves from their episcopal colleagues who are promoting these dangerous prayers.

We continue to pray for our faithful brothers and sisters in the Church of England as they weep, resist this apostasy and trust our Sovereign Lord.

With God’s help, we remain committed to the unchanging Biblical gospel which brings light, life and love to all who repent and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit compel us to preach Christ faithfully to the nations. 

Rt. Rev. Andy Lines (Presiding Bishop of ANiE)
Rt. Rev. Stuart Bell (Assistant Bishop of ACE)
Rt. Rev. Tim Davies (Assistant Bishop of AMiE)
Rt. Rev. Ian Ferguson (Assistant Bishop of ACE)
Rt. Rev. Lee McMunn (Assistant Bishop of AMiE)