10/01/2008

Bishop Iker's Reasoning

Bishop Iker’s 10 Reasons to “Realign” have been published. The Pluralist has spoken on Bishop Iker's comments HERE. (The Pluralist produced this picture to the left.)

Here are Bishop Iker's Comments, abbreviated, with commentary.


1. This is God’s time – our kairos moment – and it has been coming for a long time…

Glad to see that Bishop Iker has a handle on God’s time. But wait…how do we know? The Bishop may be (and I think is) wrong. Great identification with God's time and "our" time. Just a tad arrogant, don't you think?

2. Actions of the General Convention have brought crisis and division to the whole Anglican Communion, not just TEC. … We need to dissociate ourselves from the bishops and dioceses that are violating the teaching of Scripture...

Dissociation is not the same as leaving. Still, it can be. If one feels that way, one might leave. Point taken.

3. The heresies and heterodoxy once proclaimed by just a few renegade bishops – like James Pike and John Spong – are now echoed by the Presiding Bishop… The greatest problem we face with Katharine Jefferts Schori is not that she is a woman, but that she is not an orthodox bishop.

Well, Bishop Iker, you protest too much. The greatest problem for you, given your years of witness, is that she is a woman.

As to the Presiding Bishop being orthodox, explain to me how your position, having been ordained in this church under the so called new prayer book and with the Constitution and Canons in place, is not as heterodox as you claim she is, or alternately that she is not as orthodox as you are. The Pluralist speaks to this.

4. If we do not act now, we will lose our momentum and lose our God-given opportunity. …We will never be stronger than we are right now! We will never have another chance to act with such a strong majority. …

Right. Act now, because matters are slipping out of your hands. This tactic is very much like starting a war now on the grounds that you will never again have as much support as you do now. Reminds me of, well, never mind….

5. TEC is not turning back and matters will only get worse. … 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.

This is really, really, really, a bad reason. Do it now or else you won’t be able to elect an orthodox bishop, meaning one that will not ordain women. What a mess of pottage.

6. TEC is coming after us…

So we better run?

7. At this time there is nothing in the Constitution or Canons of TEC that prevents a Diocese from leaving. … So we have this window of opportunity to do what we need to do, for you can be sure that the next General Convention will close off this option by adopting amendments that will make it even more difficult to separate in the future.

There is nothing that prevents people from leaving. The organization of a diocese (no the people, but the church entity) is a matter for the Church to deal with. If you leave you can go where you are received, be a diocese through them, do what you want. But you can’t be the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. What you want to do, and the only reason for leaving quickly, is to get out with the property before anyone can figure out how to make it the property of whatever the Episcopal Church entity is.

And BTW, the Constitution and Canons seem to point to the possibility of a mutual separation, and makes no provision otherwise. Have you ever asked General Convention for a joint decision to leave? I thought not.

8. The vast majority of our younger clergy, those ordained in the last 10 years or so, are in favor of the decision to separate and realign…

And who ordained them? I remember. You.

9. We have international support for making the move at this time. …We will then aggressively pursue the formation of an orthodox Province in North America in conjunction with the Common Cause Partnership.

Ah…now it comes: The reason to realign is that there is a place to go and things to do. With realignment comes the possibility of being part of the “true” Anglican Church in North America. Good point. Go where you want to go, be what you want to be. But the gamble is real and the stakes are high. If you are wrong you will be another splinter group claiming to be the true church. Go.

10. Most importantly, this decision is about the truth of the Gospel and upholding the authority of the Holy Scriptures. 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. Many leaders of TEC are teaching a false Gospel and leading people astray. Now is the time for us to take a bold, public stand for the biblical faith and practice of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

I couldn’t help leaving this one complete. It is audacious, libelous and just plain arrogant.

Bishop Iker has ten reasons for realignment. But really he has one reason to leave the Episcopal Church and he wants everyone else to buy in: He hates the Episcopal Church.

Fine. Go. And those who are convinced that he is right, go with him. Leave the keys. There are others who still love this Church.

On his way out I bet he will not think to ask if being ordained bishop in this speculative humanist Unitarian false Gospel means he himself is so tainted that he is not actually a bishop at all. But if so he would be a false shepherd.

I think the Episcopal Church did something wrong. It affirmed and ordained as bishop someone whose hatred for the Church knows no bounds.

Bishop Iker has left, only his shadow remains. Time to turn on the lights.

41 comments:

  1. Bob of Fremont1/10/08 7:23 AM

    The increasingly strident tones of the TEC left shows that things are spinning out of control.

    Prophetic timing is not just a factor of the orthodox. I remember those at GC 2003 saying that the Holy Spirit was doing a "new thing" and that God's time was now for the consecration for a bishop living in a sexual relationship outside the bonds of marriage.

    So let's not complain about one side or the other using the term "God's time."

    Your side could be wrong, and our side could be wrong. But maybe both believe they are hearing the moving of the Holy Spirit.

    Praise God for godly men like Bp. Iker. Godspeed.

    Bob of Fremont

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  2. On his way out I bet he will not think to ask if being ordained bishop in this speculative humanist Unitarian false Gospel means he himself is so tainted that he is not actually a bishop at all. But if so he would be a false shepherd.
    Very well said and noted! I don't wish ill upon him, but I believe Iker's pride will be his undoing. As Tammy Wynette sang, "Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today".

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  3. Mark,
    The surprising thing is that I think Iker and Schofield have the same writer. I am doing a comparison of Iker's speech to the one that Schofield delivered and DSJ convention and while not complete, it appears to be written by the same folks.

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  4. You criticize Bp Iker for his belief that it is God’s time. "Great identification with God's time and "our" time. Just a tad arrogant, don't you think?"

    Why is his assessment of "God's time" not equally as valid as that of those who proclaim that God is doing a new thing in this time and place with respect to blessing of same sex union? Or that the election and consecration of Bp. Robinson was the work of the HS?

    Isn't that what all Christians do? Try to understand Cod's call on their lives and on their attitudes and then apply that understanding to a given situation? The only difference is that Bp. Iker turns primarily to God's revelation in Scripture for guidance and TEC simply makes it up as it goes along.

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  5. just wondering1/10/08 10:16 AM

    +Iker is very welcome in most of the CofE and most of the AC....

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  6. Good point, Fr. Mark. Bishop Iker has been a bishop for about 15 years, having been consecrated in 1993 - weren't we well on the primrose path to perdition, in the eyes of the 'orthodox', by then?

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  7. Dan wrote, Isn't that what all Christians do? Try to understand Cod's call on their lives...

    Heresy! All right thinkers know the Supreme One is a Pollock. Repent, ye followers of Cod! ;->

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  8. Bp Iker is welcome in every parish and diocese and in the House of Bishops of TEC. I can do nothing about his wish not to mix with any but those whom he believes to be pure. Perhaps he believes that our impurity makes him unwelcome, or that our not following exactly the path he has chosen makes us unwelcoming. However, our hearts are not unwelcoming.

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  9. "8. The vast majority of our younger clergy, those ordained in the last 10 years or so, are in favor of the decision to separate and realign…

    And who ordained them? I remember. You.
    "

    Why of course. He had to! By late 2003, full parishes all over the diocese were without clergy, most left with only a Priest-in-Charge. It was as if most of the moderate and progressive clergy in the diocese had been "Spirited Away" to other dioceses. Less charitable folk might even say they had been driven off or urged to retire. That's the situation we found when David, my partner, and I returned from Orange county, CA, and sought out a parish close to our new home.

    This secession of Bp. Iker's has been in the works for quite some time. I imagine they feel the need to act before next year's GC.

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  10. "Leave the keys." The cynic in me says that's what this is all about - that you could have boiled your whole post down to this: "Do what you want as long as I get the money."

    If your post - if the Episcopal Church - didn't boil down to this, Iker and a whole boatload more would have done exactly as you counsel, and left, long ago.

    Why don't you let the property go? Not only would it increase the sum total of comity - something I would think we might want as fellow believers - it would put to the test, by eliminating switching costs for all Episcopalians, the belief that it's just a few cranks causing all the problems. But I suspect we all know there would be more than a few streaming out the door.

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  11. You know, just wondering, the phrase "most of the CofE" isn't really meaningful. If the position or deposition of a bishop is a provincial/national matter (and it is), either he's welcome throughout the CofE or he's not, and his welcome in some congregations doesn't mean any more than his welcome in some congregations within the Episcopal Church. He's welcome in the Province of the Southern Cone; and his views are welcome in most of the AC because they are dominant in most of the AC. How many provinces other than Southern Cone would welcome this breeder of dissension, however welcome his views, is still a matter of question.

    Fact is, he and his views - his understanding of the Gospel and interpretation of Scripture - were (and are) acceptable within the Episcopal Church as long as he was willing to live in a minority, while advocating to the majority to change. This is less about his views, and more about his unwillingness to live and work where he and his views are not dominant.

    I do recognize the comments about understanding kairos, and the risk of any of us to be arrogant in the process. Doesn't that, then, suggest we're better off with a larger community and larger conversation, than with smaller communities that don't converse?

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  12. I think your point well taken. If he thinks we are so completely 'apostate' how can he claim his orders are valid? After all, he did not get them from some holy person like ++Nigeria.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  13. I've done told you before and I'll say it again-so long as there are divorced/gay ex-catholics and upscale ex-evangelicals, your church will never die.
    Rest easy.

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  14. And, Phil, if Bsp Iker (et al.) had the slightest integrity and strength of conviction, he would, this moment, take the keys off his key ring, put them on the desk that belongs to the EPISCOPAL diocese in which he resides, and walk out the door. It would be end of story - no law suits, no rankle, no nuthin' but wishing him heartfelt godspeed. It's really that simple. That he doesn't do this would rather seem to point to Iker's love of the sound and fury of his own voice and the strength of the conviction that he is monarchial in his possession of what belongs to another.

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  15. I don’t think so, Marc. First, there’s the matter of disagreement as to who owns (and who should own) the keys. Second, the costs of ECUSA and Iker, respectively, walking away from the property are wildly asymmetric, in favor of ECUSA. ECUSA could, indeed, let the property go, with little to no impact on its operations (Episcopalians loyal to the current direction might even say the impact would be positive), while mainstream Anglicans who walk away end up on the street having to start from scratch. Like all good monopolists (in this case, on the Anglican franchise), I assume this is exactly what ECUSA wants. Let’s just recognize it as the pecuniary motive it is, and not pretend it’s high principle.

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  16. How soon then before PB moves for Bp Iker's deposition - now it's easy. All she has to do is call a quick meeting of the HoB - maybe it would be sufficient for only 5 to turn up at short notice, move a motion presenting this letter from Bp Iker as evidence of his abandonment of the TEC (now she doesn't even have to worry about having him inhibited first, or getting agreement from the 3 most senior bishops in the church). If at least 3 out of the 5 vote in favour, then she can proceed to formally depose him. This is not a joke - this is the precedent established in the deposition of Bp Duncan.

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  17. Bishop Iker, God Bless Him, is being called to be a witness and a prophet. I agree with most of the left that he ought to just leave TEC and the entire Anglican Communion and find somewhere else to be. The Anglican experiment is failed, and ought to be left behind. I care not a whit for property, or even for cemeteries. We were wrong, and I was personally wrong for 40 plus years to even buy into the Anglican lie, so Bishop Iker, it doesn't have to be this hard, there's a fair land waiting for you on the other side of the river.

    Joel

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  18. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but all I hear is a lot of Reasserter bitching and whining.

    If the depositions had been by a Reasserter-dominated HoB, for the express reason of punishing the Bishops for their beliefs, there would be no complaints from the Reasserters here.

    Casting aspersions (TEC is greedy! TEC is vengeful! TEC is blah, blah, blah) is childish and, frankly, boring.

    Go away, if you want, but, until you walk away from the property willingly yourselves, stop this hypocritical, self-indulgent and utterly self-serving complaining about how greedy we are! How dare you sit there in one breath making fairy-tales about your martyrdom while in the next making the same snap judgments about our motivations? What is wrong with you?!

    I think you are perfectly right to believe what you do -- for you. I think you are perfectly free to do as you do -- for you. Stop acting like a selfish adult child who wants to live with Mommy and Daddy while contributing nothing and upsetting the whole household. You're certainly willing to sully your own hands with greed for "your" property.

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  19. just wondering2/10/08 2:33 AM

    Hello Marshall - sorry, but I don't think staying in a community which is not united and wants to contain contradictory views is sustainable or healthy for anyone in the long term.... I don't really understand why TEC bends over backwards (eg BO33) to stay in the AC (with Akinola and Venables!!!) when all that is achieved is that TEC is both divisive and divided. Better to be honest about differences and split amicably - better for all of us.

    Also, reading 1 Cor 5:9-13 and Romans 6:1-2, I think +Iker and others are right to challenge certain revisions made in TEC in the last few years - they can do no other.

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  20. I continue to be amazed at the petty, self indulgent bickering that goes on in these posts. The exchanges have all the intellectual integrity of television rock throwing between Olberman and O'Reilly, and they seldom appear to have anything to do with Christian faith in the Anglican tradition of the Episcopal Church. What I want to know is this; leaving homosexuality aside, how does Bp. Iker define orthodoxy? What exactly is it that the PB teaches that is not orthodox? Does anyone really care what Pike and Spong have said?
    CP

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  21. leaving homosexuality aside, how does Bp. Iker define orthodoxy?

    Steven, homosexuality is how these people define orthodoxy.

    It's the only issue that unites this strange collection of cryptopapists, Sprinkling Baptists, Pentecostals, and Calvinists.

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  22. Ok, Bishop Iker and others are leaving. We know. Oh, boy do we know. So, what does it really mean?

    To read these posts one would think that TEC is being haunted by about a dozen rogue bishops who are leading ignoramouses around by the nose.

    That's my point. The utter gall of TEC's apologists seems to be that the clergy and laity of these dioceses are just pointless in these observations.

    Subtract Iker, Duncan, and about 50 more "agitators". You won't see the problems disappear. When you have one person you have an idea. When you have 1,000 you have a movement. When you have the potential of appx. 50,000 +/- people observing the same ideas and advocating for change you have an ideology to deal with.

    Will anybody next dare to have an expose' called "TEC'S DUMB SHEEP"?

    It's time to recognize the movement and stop railing against the point people. It degrades everyone as being blind and gullible. And that, my friends, shows utter contempt and elitist arrogance. IMHO: the very reason that we are in this mess to start with.

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  23. JW,

    I could just as easily find reasons in the Scriptures to stone my child, or gouge my eyes out for looking at the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated. If we're going to go that route, let's reinstate slavery! Or better yet, how 'bout a good ole fashioned witch burning during these cold upcoming winter months. Honestly...

    I'm sick of this argument. If you wanna go, then go, good riddance, God Speed, Aufitezein, etc. Just leave the silverware and the fine china, would you? There's a good lad.

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  24. Phil--Just saying. I'm not inclined to hand over a safe haven to anyone whose orthodoxy includes discrimination. I believe we have had the conversation before.

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  25. country parson noted:

    "Does anyone really care what Pike and Spong have said"?

    I'm sorry good Reverend sir, but the fact that many sat idle and gave room for these fallacies is why we are where we are. If you and others DON'T care that Bishop Spong denied or revised key doctrine, then you were part of the problem. To call the resurrection (basically) a fantasy and a lie is heresy of the worst kind. But, this is TEC...anything goes, right? Via media has been captured and shook down to mean that it's OK to blend almost anything. At least it was in these two fine bishops' lives...and in the lives of those who let them rant their views without consequence. The free passes on self-indulgent theology and practive have led us to the disgraceful mess that we are mired in.

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  26. The free passes on self-indulgent theology and practive have led us to the disgraceful mess that we are mired in.

    Exactly!

    We have Iker, Duncan, Schofield, Ackerman because we allowed them. Hopefully, after this mess is cleared up, we will have learned our lesson.

    It's time to recognize the movement and stop railing against the point people.

    Precisely!

    Stop the arrogance and gall of saying that it's a few "elitists" or "gay agitators" trying to change TEC for the better and holier!

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  27. To call the resurrection (basically) a fantasy and a lie is heresy of the worst kind.

    Book and page number please. I have and have read all of his books. He has never said that.

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  28. For Dah -veeeeeed
    "Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history." This from one of Jack Spong's 12 Feces.

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  29. David (dah-veed):

    http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/jsspong/reform.html

    I should not have to explain past the point of his plain English these theses by Bishop Spong:

    "6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
    7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history".

    Shall we even have to go into Bishop Pike? Somehow, I expect an excuse which gives a free pass to this.

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  30. David: Number 7 of Spong’s “12 Theses” is this: “Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.” [emphasis mine]

    (For good measure, number 5 is: “The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.”)

    Maybe you need to re-read those books?

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  31. Learning experience de jour:

    Not only cannot Dan or Allen read the Bible, they cannot read Bp. Spong. WOW!

    FWIW
    jimB

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  32. Guys there are plenty devout Christians who do not accept penal substitution as an explanation or interpretation of the Atonement.

    Many Christians do not take the stories in the Gospels as literal history, including the miracle stories.

    To understand Spong's concept of the raising of Jesus you would actually need to read his work, apart from the snippets represented in the theses. And the Apostle Paul's writings as well.

    And none of this can be covered in little sound bites in a blog.

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  33. You do realize Bishop Pike was censured, yes?

    Is attacking a dead man part of orthodoxy, now?

    That leaves you two options: either address the issues you have with Spong with Spong or just leave!

    I'm not a romantic like so many others here; I have no hope of a reconciliation. We, simply stated, believe what you are doing is harmful, self-and-other-destructive, and morally wrong. You believe the same of us. There is not a middle ground, in this instance. The difference seems to lay in the fact that most of us have no problem with your going off to make your own church or join another, if you feel you don't have the chops to start your own - we believe we are right but with the good sense/humility to realize we may be wrong, while you will not be able to tolerate our mere existence as a "liberal" church, as you assume an absolute rightness that is self-evident. (It's not, by the way).

    It is telling to me that you have one of your number complaining that it is "unloving" to tell someone they are manipulated because they have a different view . . .

    . . but that is exactly what you are doing.

    It is telling about your own motivations and lack of self-insight.

    How can you possibly expect us to take you seriously?!

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  34. The generous liberal tendency in this blog to "just leave" begs the question of how kind liberals make "room" for liberality.

    Bishops Pike and Spong were given too much room, and were wagged at. That's all. Since (dah-veed) and others believe me ill-suited to interpret Spong, how about a liberal archbishop who admired Spong?

    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13880.htm

    The questions of why a massive movement of rejection of liberalism and a new Anglicanism in North America is a "done deal" are still dodged. Pike and Spong's mild wags left room for:

    Andrus of California: endorsing a gay "pride" parade which was more than marching in pride. His cathedral has worship centers for world religions that deny the claims of Christianity.

    Chane of D.C.: didn't hesitate a moment to blend Muslim Koran and Christian biblical readings during services at the Nat Cat.

    ...and Bruno of California: presided/was present at SSB and then told the world that he knew of none in his diocese.

    The door was opened by Pike and Spong. The HOB valued blending in liberality above teaching the faith, and now a new Anglican province is formed in America.

    So...it's not just about Bishop Iker's reasoning.

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  35. To clarify

    I said it was unloving to say that someone was being manipulated when the person was not being manipulated.

    BTW I am not part of anyone’s number.

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  36. Pike was a serious head case.
    How can you attack someone who is dead? That's as stupid as praying for them. You can't help or harm the dead.
    Wandering off into the desert with no map, trying to contact his son with a Ouji board-nuts.

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  37. To clarify, I don't doubt you don't believe you are being manipulated as a part of someone's number. I believe you are, and your response of "Nuh-uh!" is not convincing. It's loving to tell you that before you go too far.

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  38. Allen,

    This has been explained ad nauseam, and the fact that you refuse to listen shows positively that the only reason you stay is to make others suffer - certainly not love, whether of God or your neighbor.

    You don't have to leave. I certainly wish you would, but I only speak for myself. You're simply boring and selfish.

    Again, why should we be expected to take you seriously?

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  39. So can someone please tell me why no so-called "orthodox" bishops or clergy ever brought +Spong up on a heresy charge--as they certainly had the power (and I would say the DUTY) to do?

    If you are supposed to be a defender of "the faith once delivered to the saints," I'd love to know why you didn't defend the faith when you had the chance. Years and years of chances, to be precise.

    Could it be because +Spong made too good of a whipping boy where he was? I can't think of any other reasonable explanation--but then I'm a cynic.

    (And please don't even insult my intelligence by trying to argue that no one believed a heresy trial would lead to +Spong's deposition. You either believe in the importance of countering heresy, or you don't---or you find heresy a...useful...tool. Which makes you an opportunist, and hardly a model of Christian anything.)

    Doxy

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  40. marshall you said, and i quote (This is less about his views, and more about his unwillingness to live and work where he and his views are not dominant). This is not a true statement! The truth is we should all be unwilling to turn from the teachings our faith is based on. So please do not condemn the rock for being solid, blame it on the mud that will go where you put it.

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