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By Julian Mann
December 3, 2017

The Anglican Mission in England, launched by the Archbishops of the Global Anglican Future Conference in 2011 to support biblically orthodox Anglican ministry outside the Church of England, is now coming of age.

With the upcoming ordination of nine men on Thursday (December 7th) in East London by Andy Lines, consecrated in June by the Anglican Church in North America as missionary bishop to Europe, AMIE can no longer be accused of being an angry adolescent jumping up and down on the side-lines.

What was striking was the statemanslike nature of the statement by AMIE's mission director Lee McNunn announcing the ordinations. This belied the juvenile headline by the allegedly evangelical but actually liberal-leaning website, Christian Today: 'Rival Anglican church ordains new clergy in challenge to Justin Welby' (current Archbishop of Canterbury).

Mr McNunn did not minimise the corrosive false teaching in the Church of England but made clear that AMiE is wanting to position itself positively for biblical truth rather than acting as a protest movement fired by what it does not believe in:

'We know that many faithful Anglicans remain within the structures of the Church of England. However, some are finding their entry to ordination blocked by liberal clergy who do not believe orthodox Anglican teachings, like Jesus being the only way to be saved. Moreover, an increasing number of those exploring ordination now have no interest in joining what they see as a fundamentally compromised denomination. They are distressed by the number of senior clergy who are keen to bless what the Bible calls sin. Many are now talking to AMiE about a different way of being an Anglican in England.'

He added: 'They are discovering the joy of belonging to a network where church leaders actually believe the historic Reformed faith in the 39 Articles, and where clergy are fully convinced that people need to be saved from the judgement to come. They are also experiencing the delight of being led by bishops, who all believe that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation; who uphold the supreme authority of the Bible in all matters of belief and behaviour; and who are personally involved in the lives of the clergy.'

Inevitably with our fallen human nature being what it is, there will be some immature elements in AMiE who set out to compete with biblically faithful Anglican churches and ministers in the Church of England and seek gratuitously to provoke the CofE hierarchy. But the Lord willing these elements will lose influence as AMiE continues to grow up.

The growing maturity of the movement was also expressed by Andy Lines who said of the men being ordained to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in existing AMiE churches and in new congregations: 'There has been a lot of work by a number of people involved in bringing these men to the point of being ordained. It is good to be part of the process of recognising their giftedness and godly character but they will need our prayers in the days and months ahead because like us they are weak and the work is hard, but our God is gracious and powerful.'

By God's grace, the consecration of this former British Army tank commander is proving to be a great blessing to orthodox Anglicanism. But for AMiE to be an effective force for the gospel in the future it needs to continue to give the lie to that Christian Today headline with the humility and realism exemplified by him and Lee McNunn.

Julian Mann is vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire, UK - www.oughtibridgechurch.org.uk

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