Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Matter of Oaths

The Anglican doctrinal standard has always been Scripture, understood both in it’s original sense and as a canonical whole, then as interpreted by the Fathers, all employing the tool of right reason.

The Episcopal Church is a federation of particular Anglican churches, (dioceses) adhering to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as received from the Church of England and the Episcopal Church of Scotland, with adherence to the doctrinal basis of the former, whose essential principles I have outlined above. This is made clear in all the foundational documents of the Episcopal Church, and it was upon this basis that I took and have, on more than one occasion, reaffirmed my ordination oath.

I have every reason to trust these doctrinal principles, as Abp. Ramsey said I could, in solving all of the serious difficulties in my Christian life.  They have proven sure in solving all of my Christian moral and doctrinal difficulties, especially those most difficult, including questions of sexuality — which for me as a gay man have proven the most vexing.

There is, as Fr. Langmead-Casserly pointed out, no theological reason why one should have a General Convention, let alone why there should be any doctrinal authority given to such. It exists at most as a matter of administrative convenience for the common coordination of the churches in their mission. There is certainly no basis for General Convention to change or even adjudicate matters of doctrine. The fundamental doctrine of Christ is irreformable and unchangable as being a matter of Revelation, and the adjudication of matters of doctrine belongs to the bishops as heads of particular churches, according the the Scriptural and ancient order of the Church of Christ, and for me to grant General Convention such things would be a violation of my ordination oath.

---The Rev. Michael LaRue

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