Bishop Jack Iker: 10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Realign

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our 26th annual convention is approaching, and a momentous decision is before us as a diocese. At last year’s convention, your clergy and elected delegates voted by majorities of around 80 percent each to remove language in our Constitution that affiliates us with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC). This year, clergy and delegates will be asked to ratify that decision to separate.

“Why now?” someone might ask. “Why is this the time for our diocese to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and realign with another Province of the Anglican Communion?”

Here are a few of the thoughts that come to mind:

1. This is God’s time – our kairos moment – and it has been coming for a long time. We believe that God the Holy Spirit has guided and directed us to this particular time and moment of decision. Some might well ask, “Why has it taken us so long to take definitive action, given the past 30 years of the shenanigans of The Episcopal Church?” We have explored every avenue and exhausted every possibility. Now is the time to decide to separate from the moral, spiritual, and numerical decline of TEC.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

8 Comments
Posted September 30, 2008 at 5:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. boularderie wrote:

Sad

September 30, 6:56 am | [comment link]
2. Eugene wrote:

The good news is that Bishop Iker does not mention the ordination of women as priests as being a reason to leave.  Maybe Bishop Duncan has convinced him otherwise on that topic!

If so there may be a chance for the new American Province.  If not, the arguments will continue and so will the splits!  May it not be so.

September 30, 7:38 am | [comment link]
3. fatherlee wrote:

Eugene,

We have never believed that the ordination of women to the priesthood was a reason to leave TEC.  If we did, it would have happened long ago.  Although we may hold that WO has contributed to the decline of TEC, what you posit is simply not the case.

Bishop Iker and most of the clergy of this diocese remain theologically opposed to WO - that has not changed.

September 30, 9:05 am | [comment link]
4. Vincent Lerins wrote:

This is an excellent summary of reasons for realignment.

Unfortunately, I think it is too late. Even orthodox conservatives were not fully listening to God and heeding the “warning signs.” The split should have at the latest occurred immediately following GC2003.  Groups that left TEC years ago like AMIA and others will be better off in the near term than those who are still in the planning stages of cutting ties with TEC.

With increase economic and financial instability, it will be harder for congregations and the average citizen to obtain loans. If churches cannot leave with their buildings, they will not be able to build new buildings. In a nut shell, the country is going into an economic depression worse than the Great Depression. We will have increasing food shortages in this country. God forbid that we should have another terrorist attack or attack another country like Iran or Russia. Very hard times are ahead for everyone.

If we look at America’s situation with spiritual eyes, perhaps all of this is a “good” thing. Since God’s people have become attached to materials things like money, church buildings, unbiblical church organization, lawsuits, etc, maybe God is simply removing obstacles/stumbling blocks that have bound his church?

Vincent

September 30, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
5. COLUMCIL wrote:

I think you’re right, Vincent.  And you as well, fatherlee.

September 30, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
6. stabill wrote:

Point by point:

1. “Now is God’s time”: Isn’t this speculation?  Leaving is certainly contrary to Jesus’ high priestly prayer (John 17).

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

2. Out of communion with 20 provinces?  Really!?!  Which 20 provinces?  Name them!

3. “Heresies and heterodoxy” of Pike and Spong echoed by KJS?
Isn’t this just about the Time interview where she desisted from leaving the impression that Jews go to hell?  She has backing for what she said in the encylical Nostra Aetate issued by Paul VI.

4. Fort Worth may indeed have the momentum now.  However,
the characterization of TEC as a “revisionist sect” is reminiscent of language used by Pravda during the height of the cold war.

5. “By the time I retire (in the next 7 to 13 years), this diocese will be unable to elect an orthodox bishop to succeed me.”  If Bishop Iker retires now (so as not to break his oath), a younger, though conservative bishop who can subscribe to the oath, will likely gain consent.

6. & 7.  The diocese is a creature of General Convention.  All pre-existing dioceses accepted that provision in joining the union.

8. Every diocesan has a profound effect by selection on the views of the clergy entering into and being ordained in his diocese.  What else is new?  Moreover, a diocesan who is so inclined can usually manage to “pack” his convention with enough new ordinations over, say, a decade.

9. There may be some international support.  But not from any of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Primate of Scotland, the Primate of Wales, the Primate of Canada, and the Primate of Australia.  On balance the message from outside has been that TEC’s controversies should be settled in TEC.

10. “We believe in God’s full self-revelation in Jesus Christ, not in the speculation of humanist unitarians who have been elected to high offices in our church.”  This is a textbook example of innuendo.
There is no significant presence of “humanist unitarians” in TEC.

September 30, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
7. Henry wrote:

I am so thankful for +Iker’s leadership and his straightforward statements!  Also, Fr. Lee—don’t forget that most of the laity also remain opposed to W.O.

September 30, 6:59 pm | [comment link]
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