jQuery Slider

You are here

Faith vs. Polity - Bishop Fitz Allison responds to Rev. Zabriskie

April 6, 2004

Dear Marek,

I am most grateful for your letter for I have not seen our situation
expressed so succinctly and so clearly.

You write "...Episcopalians are welcomed and entitled to differ
regarding important theological and ethical matters" but that "The biggest
risk I fear at this time is the destruction of our polity, which along with
Common Prayer and respect for the episcopate essentially holds us together."

Thus, we are "entitled" to differ regarding important theological
and ethical matters" such as denying catholic Christology and the doctrine
of the Trinity (Pike), theism and saving action of Christ (Spong), and
Christianity itself (Carter Heyward) but we must respect bishops who
currently admit they, as a House, are "dysfunctional."

You see the denial of the Christian faith as an entitlement but the
biggest risk is the "destruction of our polity." Jack Allin, of blessed
memory, confessed in his parting address to General Convention in 1985: "I
must repent. I loved the Church more than the Lord of the Church." He
said if for me and perhaps for you.

I am thankful that our Anglican forebears did not do the idolatrous
thing in elevating polity over "important theological and ethical matters"
in the Reformation that gave us our Common Prayer.

I am thankful that Irenaeus did not take our contemporary priorities
that you so well describe in his fight with Gnostics.

I am thankful that Athanasius violated the polity of the Church for
the sake of the divinity of Christ against the Arians whose teachings would
justify Spong's dismissal of the Atonement as "child abuse."

Perhaps you can help reduce the current hypocrisy and perjury in the
Episcopal Church by substituting "We believe in our polity, Common Prayer,
and the episcopate" for the Nicene Creed

I thank you for your candor and clarity and will share it with some
who find it difficult to believe what has become the faith of many



cc: The Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold
Archbishop Rowan Williams
Secretary General John Peterson

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top