There is one aspect of the Andy Lines consecration that has not been given much attention – that it should greatly benefit the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Allow me to back up a bit. The consecration is scheduled for June 30th, the last day of ACNA’s Provincial Assembly. It’s safe to assume this will occur during the concluding service of the Assembly.
So let’s say the Provincial Assembly has its difficulties. I’m not predicting it will. But the divisions over Women’s Ordination will not magically disappear for the Assembly. Nor is it likely that those (few I hope) in ACNA prone to cross lines into divisive political activism will suddenly exercise restraint and humble wisdom for the Assembly. And some parts of ACNA in seem to be The Church of What’s Happenin’ Now, and aspects of the Assembly program seem to reflect that. Meanwhile others (like myself) prefer the Church of What Happened 500 or More Years Ago, Thank You Very Much. That, too, will likely also be the case at the Assembly as well.
But at the conclusion of the Assembly, with several Anglican Primates of GAFCON gathered around, ACNA will be a leader in the reevangelization of Britain and consecrate Andy Lines as a bishop for Scotland. However trying the Assembly up to then may be, it will be a momentous finish that will make the overwhelming majority of the Assembly and of ACNA proud and glad to be in ACNA. Heck, as concerned as I am about the direction of ACNA, I am among those thankful and proud that my church is stepping out for orthodoxy and the orthodox and leading in this way.
ACNA could use a unifying moment. It will get it on June 30th.
Now that was surely not the reason Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA are taking this step. And they are to be commended for taking this step. But bold obedience to God usually does have additional benefits, does it not?