Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fort Worth Departs

For those of you that follow these things, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth voted to leave the Episcopal Church last Saturday. This Saturday, Bishop Jack Iker was inhibited. For one analysis of the situation, go to Katie Sherrod. Here is a link to Iker’s convention address. I also came across his list of issues. I would argue that Iker glosses over the nuanced perspectives, those he opposes, hold.

I will save you the link.

From the Diocese of Fort Worth: “We are contending for the Faith”

I am told that there are still some people in the pews who wonder what this is all about – what are the real issues that separate us from TEC? Allow me to provide a brief summary of just a few of them:

• Our Diocese believes in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. TEC believes there are many ways to salvation and that all religions lead to God.

• Our Diocese believes in the authority of Holy Scripture in all matters of faith and morals. TEC believes the Bible needs to be revised and adapted to meet the changing culture and that it may mean different things in different social contexts.

• Our Diocese believes that the essentials of the Christian Faith have been revealed once and for all in the teachings of Jesus Christ and are not subject to change. TEC believes in a revisionist approach that says only the votes of successive General Conventions can determine doctrinal and faith issues for Episcopalians as times change.

• Our Diocese believes that all ordained clergy are under the obligation to model in their own lives the received teaching of the Church that all its members are to abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony. TEC believes that active homosexuals and bisexuals ?should be ordained to the sacred ministry of bishops, priests and deacons.

• Our Diocese believes that marriage is the exclusive physical and spiritual union of one man and one woman for life. TEC believes same sex relationships are good and holy and should be blessed and celebrated.

• Our Diocese believes in the sacredness of human life from conception. TEC affirms abortion on demand.

• Our Diocese has endorsed from the very beginning the position of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) on sexuality, the recommendations of the Windsor Report (2004) on how to keep us together as a Communion, and the need for an Anglican Covenant that will define the limits of diversity. TEC has repudiated the Lambeth resolution on human sexuality, acted in defiance of the Windsor Report, and will only accept a future Covenant if there are no consequences for breaking it!

• Our Diocese believes that the theological issue of the ordination of women as priests and bishops is a matter of conscience and must not be forced on anyone. TEC believes this matter has been decided for Episcopalians and that acceptance of it is mandatory in every diocese.

• Our Diocese has constitutional and canonical provisions that place all church property in the name of the Corporation of this Diocese, to be held in trust for the use of each local congregation. TEC claims that all church property belongs to them, a claim first made by General Convention in 1979.

• Our Diocese believes that heretical teaching by the church causes separation and division, that unity and truth must go together. TEC believes we should tolerate heresies and false teaching for the sake of remaining together.

• Our Diocese maintains that just as we voted to come into union with the General Convention in 1982, so we have the right to dissolve that union in 2008. TEC believes our affiliation with General Convention is irrevocable.

• Our Diocese stands with the vast majority of Anglicans around the world. TEC is a declining body and very much out of the mainstream of orthodox Christianity, both here and abroad.

The list could go on and on, but I think these few examples should suffice. The choice before us is clear. Will we contend for the faith as we have received it? Or we will accept the ongoing innovations and revisions of General Convention religion?

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
October 2008


Country Parson said...

I would be stunned at the distortions and inaccuracies if I had not heard them so often. Of course, one might ask me to specify what those distortions and inaccuracies are, and I'm sure there are many who, for the thousandth time, would be glad to do so. In the end I liken this to Rush Limbaugh giving an "impartial" assessment of Obama.

The Anglican Scotist said...

One must wonder: if Bishop Iker has such a careless disregard for the truth in characterizing the Episcopal Church, and if he has such a dearth of gratitude toward the church that ordained him, what makes him a reliable authority in conveying the truth of the Gospel?

It seems to me a strong case can be made for thinking the habit of mendacity cannot be neatly confined to one subject matter without deleteriously affecting the entire fabric of the witness in question.

It is an exceedingly dangerous game the good Bishop plays.

Chris+ said...

No surprise, CP, I agree. Dangerous indeed, Anglican Scotist.

Thx for the comments.