As you heard here last month, a male priest in the Church of England married another male priest in London. The incident was met with no disciplinary response in England. But outside of England, Anglican bishops from Africa met in Jerusalem to decide their response to the rise of liberalism in England and America. There are millions more Anglican communicants in Africa (heck, just in Nigeria) than in the US and England combined. NPR reports that this fact is not lost on the Africans. Their resolution: to fight for control.
The propect should invoke some excitement for Reformed onlookers. The Anglican church is the largest Protestant communion in the world and one with many things to admire: A rich history, many great saints as congregants (Thomas Cramner, John Wesley, George Whitefield, John Donne, William Law, William Wilberforce, John Newton, William Cowper, Charles Simeon, C.S. Lewis, J.I. Packer, and Alister McGrath to name a few that have aided me spiritually), perhaps the greatest liturgical book in English and also it has, in theory, one of the most Reformed confessions in a church that is not explicitly Reformed.
The situation is also of note in light of the history of American schism. Conservatives in America have tended to take their ball and start their own denomination, leaving the mainlines in the hands of liberals. Yet, if we love Christ, we should love the church and fight for her. I pray that the African bishops can help the Anglican Church hold fast to the “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”