Episcopacy and the Church

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by The Hackney Hub, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What you are saying goes completely against our history. What were the bishop's wars about? [1639/40.]They were not in fact ,'our,' business, but they were supported by the Church in England and it was an effort to strengthen the cause of episcopacy in Scotland, amongst other things. You cannot have a ,'Church,' without bishops if they are available. This was the attitude of the Anglican Church all through the English Reformation, 'No Bishops No Church!'
     
  2. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What we have seen though is the Body of Christ use the afore mentioned Episcopalian system for some two thousand years!
     
  3. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Where is the question of Episcopacy repugnant to scriptures?
    Just for once in your career, though I might suggest life, answer the question put to you and support your argument!
     
  4. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That is because without Episcopal support within the apostolic framework, one is not within the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In fact one is in a sect!
     
  5. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I've given you titles over the last months that cover the subject. When Hooker was offered the Mastership of the Temple , the Puritans and other calvinists opposed him and asked for a different candidate. This man, a presbyterian, was refused because he was not in Anglican Orders, but Presbyterian ones. Cartwright the Calvinist leader, tried for a leading position at Cambridge but was correctly turned down for the lack of Episcopal Orders. It was the same all through Eliza's reign and the reign of the Stewarts, a contininual whine that the Church in England wouldn't accept protestant orders.

    From 1640, the protestants and the cuckoos in the nest, the puritans took over ,piecemeal, the Churh in England, evicting our priests and their families and intruding presbyterian ministers, in 1660, when the Church was restored by the people of England, the Calvinists and their friends were evicted and very rightly so and where possible the livings were restored to the rightful incumbents. In the mean time, our bishops had been impisoned, one for 20 years,[Wren] others including Cosin, had been exiled, living of the french pension of Queen Mary, whilst the King and Bl, William Laud had been virtually,' fitted up,' and murdered by our protestant opponents.


    Are we here doing honor to Anglicanism, or to the Puritans who sought to destroy Anglicanism?

    It is obvious that the traditional Church is collapsing in on itself.
     
  6. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    +Cosin

    Letter to Mr Cordel at Blois, Feb 7, 1650

    "......though I reckon it to be a great presumption and fault for any particular Church to recede, and may truly say that fieri non oportuit, (when the college of mere Presbyters shall ordain and make a Priest,) yet I cannot so peremptorily say that factum non valet, and pronounce the ordination to be utterly void. For as in the case of Baptism we take just exceptions against a layman......we make not their act and administration of Baptism void, nor presume we to iterate that Sacrament after them, - so may it well be in the case of Ordination, and the ministers of the reformed congregations in France: who are liable to give an account, both to God and His Church in general, for taking upon them to exercise that power, which by the perpetual laws of His Church they were never permitted to exercise, and may justly be faulted for it, both by the verdict of all others who are members of the Catholic Church, (as we are that adhere to the laws of it more strictly and peaceably than they do).....And yet, all this while, the act which they do , though it be disorderly done, and the ordinations which they make, though they make them unlawfully, shall not be altogether null and invalid, no more than the act of baptizing before mentioned......Therefore, if at any time a minister so ordained in these French Churches came to incorporate himself in ours, and to receive a public charge or cure of souls among us in the CofE, (as I have known some of them to have done of late, and can instance in many other before my time,) our Bishops did not re-ordain him before they admitted him to his charge, as they would have done if his former ordination here in France had been void. Nor did our laws require more of him than to declare his public consent to the religion received amongst us, and to subscribe to the articles established. And I love not to be herein more wise, or harder, than our own Church is; which because it hath never publicly condemned and pronounced the ordinations of the other reformed Churches to be void......I dare not take upon me to condemn, or determine a nullity of their own ordinations......though in the interim, I take it to be utterly a fault among them, and a great presumption, deserving a great censure to be inflicted on them by such a power of the Church as may, by the grace of God, be at any time duly gathered together hereafter against them them, as well for the amendment of many other disorders and defects in their Church, as for this particular inorderly ordination and defect of Episcopacy amongst them."
     
  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Interesting quote from Cosin.

    Here's an alternate quote from Irenaeus, ~A.D. 180, on why episcopacy is an essential sign and symbol of orthodoxy:

    Against Heresies Book 3, Chapter 3

    It is within the power of all, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what the gnostics rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to “the perfect” apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.

    Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops.

    The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church [of Rome], committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. [...] To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telesphorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth."

    Pray tell, presbyterians & latitudinarians, where "the succession of presbyters" or the "succession of faithful congregations" are indicated, before A.D. 1540?
     
  8. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    And when will you stop falsely reporting what I have said?

    BTW, I always support my positions, with scripture and historical fact, and that's what drives you crazy.
     
  9. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Of course there is one slight problem with the theory of Irenaeus: "The "bishops" that the apostles ordained were simply pastors because the NT knows of only two orders of ministry -- pastor and deacon, the terms bishop/elder/overseer/pastor being synonymous for one and the same office.
     
  10. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Do you believe our exegesis & understanding (1900 years removed) is somehow better than Irenaeus, less than 100 years removed? Why do you assume that the terms totally changed meaning within only a few decades of the Apostles? Again, why think that the Fathers meant something other than they said? This is very frustrating.
     
  11. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I am not assuming anything. What I post is historical, scriptural, and scholarly fact. If it wasn't, I would not post it. I have said that the monarchical bishopric was a historical development which was the general rule everywhere by the late second century, in the time of Irenaeus. The classical Anglican position recognizes this historical development which is why it considers the historic episcopate for the benefit, not the essence of, the church.

    What is frustrating is that people will not accept historical fact, nor scripture. It is an absolute, undeniable, irrefutable, and scholarly-established fact that in the NT there were only two orders of ministry -- pastor and deacon, the terms bishop/elder/overseer/pastor being synonymous for one and the same office. That is a scriptural fact that cannot be changed -- not by a church father writing 20 years, 50 years, 100 years later, or by any tradition, council, denomination, hierarchy, or even angel of God.

    I do not deny the monarchical bishopric as a historical development, but it is just that, and it gradually came about as the churches grew, expanded, and sought to combat heresy. But that doesn't change the fact that the monarchical bishopric as a third order of ministry has no foundation in scripture. What I have stated about the terms bishop/pastor/elder/overseer being synonymous in the NT for one and the same office is absolute fact.
     
  12. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Oh Presbyterians - that would be me I guess :D

    Thanks for posting this up. I read through very carefully this passage and there's a few things I notice:

    ) The context is arguing against gnosticsm, and the argument is a good one. If you're going to argue against a group that claims it possesses secret knowledge passed from the apostles, it makes sense pointing out this apostolic succession among the church leaders, who know nothing of this

    Ireneaus argues that this succession has led r he faith being passed on from one generation to another. Now just looking at church history. Can we really say apostolic succession has kept this? The apostolic faith has not been carried through every generation through apostolic succession. When Martin Luther rediscovered certain apostolic truths, it wasn't from any bishop, it was from his study of the Bible (and the illumination of the Holy Spirit). And the apostolic faith. Was it passed on to the bishops only? It's beyond refutation that the faith was passed on to the entire assembly each generation

    The writer holds that the episcopate is of apostolic origin and tradition. There's no doubt of a historic continuity but it's also been shown, as Celtic has pointed out, that monarchical episcopacy was not seen at the very beginning, but rather a council of elders ruled together, Now if all presbyters were ordained by the apostles and their sucessors, then why would only what later evolved into bishops have true apostolic sucession? Theologically why can presbyters not produce a real line?

    Also I notice Iraneaus' argument is entirely historical. There is nothing of an "indelible mark" or of any supernatural power passed through this lineage.



    3)
     
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  13. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    For this discussion we'll need to discuss what ordination is and does. It's a root matter in this discussion I think
     
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  14. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I would just like to add as a reminder before someone charges me with maligning Anglicanism and the threefold ministry, as has been done several times, that I have been ordained into the historic episcopate. If I thought that was an invalid form of ministry, I would not and could not have accepted ordination/consecration into same. But I accepted it with the traditional Anglican understanding -- that the monarchical episcopate was a historical development and for the benefit of, not the essence of, the church. And therefore, even though the NT supports and affirms only two orders of ministry, I do not consider the office of bishop in the traditional Anglican understanding of that office to be repugnant to scripture.

    I thought I had better get that out there before any more false charges could be made against me.
     
  15. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Cousin,

    It would be hard going to find a need to make false charges against you! But I'm glad about this! But again, I have to remind you that being an Anglican, as distinct from the modern neo variety, is a matter of belief in Revelation, scripture and tradition. However, let me repeat, your comments,' I do not consider the office of bishop in the traditional Anglican understanding of that office to be repugnant to scripture.' give me hope!
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Jewel in his apology says on the church:

    "We Believe that there is one Church of God, and that not as formerly amongst the Jews, limited to some one Corner or Kingdom; but that it is Catholic and Universal, and spread over the face of the whole Earth; that there is now no nation which can justly complain that it is excluded, and cannot belong to the Church and People of God: That that Church is the Kingdom, the Body, the Spouse of Christ: That Christ is the only Prince of that Kingdom, the only Head of that Body, the only Bridegroom of that Spouse. That there are several Orders of Ministers in the Church; some Deacons, some Priests, some Bishops; to whom the instruction of the people, and the care and the administration of religious affairs is committed; nevertheless that no one Man is, nor can be, the Supreme Head of All: For Christ himself is always present with his Church, and has no need of any substitute to whom his full authority should be delegated: and that there can be no Man that can even comprehend the Universal Church, (that is, all the parts of the whole Earth) much less can put it in order, and rightly and conveniently govern it."
    -Apology
     
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  17. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Note: he does not say "several Orders of Ministers in the Church of England", but simply "The Church" universal.

    Thanks Stalwart.
     
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  18. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    It's important to note that when the English Reformers retained episcopacy, they had in mind the early custom of assigning oversight to one man (in contrast to presbyterianism, which assigns oversight to the presbytery or congregationalism, which assigns it to the congregation). The English Reformers outright rejected tactile succession, we have an historical line of bishops but this was largely retained for convenience, if we didn't have this historical line, nothing would change. Apostolic succession in Anglicanism refers to the passing on of apostolic doctrine. It is also important to note that the Reformers saw bishops as ministers of the Crown more than "apostolic overseers". The notion of bishops as "apostolic" really only caught on in America in the 19th century, to avoid association with the English Monarchy.
     
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  19. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I am always glad to be able to give anyone hope. :)
     
  20. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    To get back on topic:

    I have found these words in the Ordinal of 1549 and 1552 which seems to show, unequivocally, that Cranmer supported the threefold order of ministry, in the Preface which he himself authored:

    IT is evident unto all men, diligently readinge holye scripture, and auncient aucthours, that from the Apostles tyme, there hathe bene these orders of Ministers in Christes church, Bisshoppes, Priestes, and Deacons.

    Produced in 1550, here. Retained in 1559. Retained in 1662, here.
     
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