The Church of England Evangelical Council Statement on The Episcopal Church’s Response to the Primates and the Lambeth Conference
“The Church of England Evangelical Council has met and considered the responses of The Episcopal Church (TEC) to the questions asked of it from the Primates′ Meeting in Tanzania. We wish to report back to the Anglican Evangelical churches we represent the results of our consultation.
We are committed to the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
We believe TEC′s response does not meet the requests of the Primates from Dar es Salaam, not merely for clarification but for repentance and turning back from their clear intention to affirm same-sex blessings and the consecration of practising homosexuals to the episcopate. They have continued to widen a gap of their own making. As a result the fabric of the Communion is torn almost beyond repair.
We support attempts to draw the Communion back together around a covenant, but in the light of TEC′s response this covenant may not hold. TEC has shown by its pronouncements and its practice to have placed itself outside the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the Catholic Creeds.
We support the intentions of the Common Cause Council and those bishops invited to give pastoral care for congregations in the United States.
We support those Bishops who have said that under the present arrangements they cannot attend the Lambeth Conference. We invite those English dioceses who are twinned with dioceses and provinces overseas to consult with their companion dioceses about whether to attend the Lambeth Conference. We prayerfully counsel Church of England bishops to consider whether in the light of TEC′s response they may wish to absent themselves.
Jesus Christ unites people from different races, cultures, economic groups, genders and sexual inclinations into a true inclusivity based on repentance, faith and the gift of the Spirit. This is the true diversity of the transforming gospel. In effect TEC′s approach to inclusiveness excludes the majority of Anglicans from other provinces who are faithful to Biblical teaching. We affirm as the will of God the biblical teaching that we are called either to heterosexual marriage or celibacy.
We wish to uphold the Primates in our prayers as they receive TEC′s response and as they work for the health of the Anglican Communion.”
CEEC is the representative body for evangelicals in the Church of England. It brings together representatives of Anglican Evangelical churches, Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships, Networks, General Synod members, theological colleges and mission societies.
Further information concerning the Primates Questions, see: http://www.aco.org/primates/downloads/index.cfm
Further information concerning the Common Cause Council, see: http://www.acn-us.org/archive/2007/09/common-cause-council-of-bishops-opens.html