Bishop Iker of Ft. Worth addressed his diocese at their 24th Convention:

“At the heart of the Christian faith we proclaim, there is continuity and connectedness. St. Vincent of Lerins in the 5th century defined the catholic faith as “that faith which has been believed everywhere, always and by all.” What we believe and do as a church, dear friends, must meet the rule of universality, antiquity, and consent of all. If it fails to meet this test, it is a departure from the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, the very thing we are committed to maintaining and propagating. Compare decisions of recent General Conventions to this Vincentian Canon (as it is called) – everywhere, always and by all – and you will see why we are in the conflicted situation we are in as a church body.

“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…”

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