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There Will Your Heart Be [Jack Iker lays it on the line]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 11/19/2006 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 11/19/2006 3:51:25 PM PST by sionnsar

Jack Iker lays it on the line:

Should someone ask what this diocese is going to do or where we are going to go, let us reply that we will continue doing what the church has always done and going where the church has always gone. For ours is a missionary diocese, committed to taking the whole Gospel to the whole world. We will equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ. We will confess what the church throughout the world confesses – nothing more and nothing less. We will not depart from the historic interpretations and teachings of Holy Scripture as our supreme authority in all matters of faith and morals. And we will not stand by in silence while others belittle and betray the faith once delivered to the saints. We will preserve the truth of the catholic faith inviolate, unadulterated and uncompromised.

Let us remember today the words of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, who once said: “We have no faith of our own, but only the Catholic Faith of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds.” There is no such thing as the faith of the Episcopal Church or the creeds of the Episcopal Church. The Holy Scriptures are not ours to alter as we wish by majority votes of national conventions. Nor do the threefold orders of ministry, of bishops, priests and deacons, belong to us, that we may alter them as we desire. Scripture, creeds, sacraments, and orders are all part of the Apostolic Tradition, the Apostolic Succession that we have received, and we must hand them on to others as we in faith have received them. The highest authority in this church is not the General Convention, my friends, but Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the divinely inspired and revealed Word of God, containing all things necessary to salvation.

Our highest loyalty is not to a denomination, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. However much we might love our church, we must not love it more than God. It becomes idolatry when we place anything else before Him. I say this because some would make an idol out of The Episcopal Church, it appears, and claim for it an infallibility that they deny the Holy Scriptures. If we deny biblical infallibility and papal infallibility, surely we must deny General Convention infallibility. Councils of the church can and have erred. It is troublesome to me when some talk more about why they are an Episcopalian than why they are a Christian. Evangelism is not bringing more people into the Episcopal Church, but bringing more people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We are first Christians, who follow the Anglican way of being evangelical catholics, and we must be careful that denominational loyalty does not lead us away from biblical truth and order. I love The Episcopal Church most when it talks least about itself and more about Jesus Christ. I love The Episcopal Church most when it is true to our heritage as a biblical church, standing under the authority of the Word of God, not as an American denomination, but as an integral part of the historic church of the ages that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

As your bishop, it is my first duty to guard and defend the faith, unity and discipline of the historic church, as we have received it, and when the time comes, to hand it on intact to my worthy successor. But no bishop contends for the faith on his own, and I am deeply grateful for the support and faithfulness of the clergy of this diocese. I am also blessed and encouraged by you, the faithful lay leaders of our diocese, who stand with me in making our witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Convention is an invitation for us a diocese to say once again that we will continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, that we will accept the challenges presented to us by difficult times, and that we commit ourselves once again to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives.

We have been strengthened and encouraged in this resolve over the past three years by our active participation in The Anglican Communion Network of Dioceses and Parishes. As you know, we were founding members of the Network, which was formed as an alliance of orthodox Anglicans in the United States. We are very pleased to have with us as a special guest of this Convention, the Rev. Canon Daryl Fenton, the operations officer of the Network, who was our preacher last night and who will be giving a report later on this morning. I thank God for the Anglican Communion Network for giving us a place to stand and for standing with us. It is through our membership in the Network that we continue in an unclouded relationship with the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Those 22 or so Anglican Provinces that have declared impaired or broken communion with The Episcopal Church are careful to point out that they remain in full communion with those who are part of the Network. A recent statement from the Global South Primates called the Kigali Communique´ said: “We are greatly encouraged by the continued faithfulness of the Network Dioceses… We value their courage and consistent witness.” As you know, one of the resolutions proposed to this convention has to do with how a congregation in this diocese might be able to withdraw from membership in the Network, since the diocese itself is a Network diocese. The only question I would propose is, “why in the world would anyone want to withdraw from the Network?” It is a biblical, missionary, uniting movement that protects and insures our full communion relationship with the rest of the Anglican world. What’s not to like? Over 70 percent of the world’s Anglicans are in the Global South, which honors and commends the Network. Why would any parish wish to stand in opposition to that witness?

I will not rehearse the various events of the past few years that have brought divisions and broken fellowship to the worldwide Anglican Communion. I trust that all of you are well informed about these things. But I will repeat the central point that I made at each of our pre-convention deanery meetings last month. We are seeking differentiation. We seek to disassociate ourselves from the direction being taken by The Episcopal Church. We are faithful Episcopalians who stand in opposition to actions taken by the General Convention of this Church that have divided and alienated us from one another as never before. We as a diocese will remain a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, fully committed to the recommendations of the Windsor Report, even though other dioceses seem intent on walking apart from us. Two resolutions are presented to this Convention to seek the differentiation we require, and I urge you to support them both.

First, let us endorse and affirm the appeal we have made for Alternative Primatial Oversight and pastoral care. As an orthodox diocese committed to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, we require a Primate who is biblically orthodox and fully compliant with the Windsor Report to act and speak for us as Chief Pastor and Primate. Second, let us endorse and ratify the decision to withdraw our consent to be included in Province VII. The Constitution of The Episcopal Church recognizes our right to take this action, and again it differentiates this diocese from those in the Province who have taken actions contrary to the biblical faith and witness. The fact is that for the past three years the Anglican Communion Network has served as our Province for purposes of joint mission and program, and it is an association based not on geographical proximity, but on theological affinity. Both Resolutions 1 and 2 seek to unite us with the wider community of faith, and both actions declare that we will maintain and propagate the historic faith and order of the church, just as we always have.

Read the whole thing.

Anyone who still thinks that the Episcopal Church can be or should be salvaged in its present condition is worse than a fool.  As many of us have been trying in various ways to point out over the last three years, there are two religions in the Episcopal Church and the sooner that both recognize that fact and go their seperate ways, the happier both will be.

Of course, I don't think TEC has it in them to take that high a road and they have already indicated that they won't.  They've got nothing else so money and real estate are all they have left to fight for.  So Jack Iker knows that his next "cathedral" may currently be a high school gym or a movie theater.

But the reason that I have not yet left the Anglican tradition behind is that I don't think that matters to him very much.  Jack Iker knows that TEC cares only about treasures on earth.  Bishop Iker is far more interested in treasures in heaven, "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also(Matthew 6:20-21)."

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglican; ecusa; tec

1 posted on 11/19/2006 3:51:28 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 11/19/2006 3:51:53 PM PST by sionnsar (?|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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