Dienstag, 4. Oktober 2005

The International Free Protestant Episcopal Church®

Welcome - Welcome - Bienvenue
TIFPEC NEWSLETTER 2005
Bienvenue à tous et merci de nous rendre visite.
WE NEED MESSENGERS OF PEACE AND GOODWILL

Today's Scripture
Venerable Brothers,

Dear Sons and Daughters of the Church


Know Your Enemy

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Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

1 Peter 5:8 KJV

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The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Revelation 12:9 NIV

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No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:14,15 NASB

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Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 RSV

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Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.

Today's Scripture
Redeemed! Set free... Ransomed...Bought back

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In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Ephesians 1:7,8 NIV

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Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:12,14 KJV

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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.

This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:23-26 NASB

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‡ Horst-Karl, BP Xth,TIFPEC


We have learned of the assassination of
† Brother Roger and send you a fictive letter from our late Brother...


My Dearest Friends,

I suppose it's fair to assume that by the time you're reading this, I'm no longer here with you.
I hope that you haven't cried and worried yourself to much upon my account, because it's a far, far better place I am in then where you are now. After 90 years, it was my time to go, and haven written this letter so far into the past, I, myself don't even know how I passed on, but I assure you that it was the way it had to be.

Bearing in mind, I might have been gone a long time before you've gotten a chance to read this letter, I pray this; I hope you remember me. The way I used to be, so long ago. Before I became heartless and evil, as many of you believed me to be. Remember me, in the best moment. Remember my laughter, my eyes, my voice, and remember each moment we spent together in which you knew I truly cared for you. I may not have shown how I felt to many of you, but I cared about you. My friends kept me sane and kept me alive through a lot of things. You all meant so much to me and sadly you'll never really know how much I may have loved you.

In life, I learned so many things from so many of you. Even when you thought I wasn't listening or didn't really pay attention, I remembered every word you said.

+Rt. Rev. Spyridon Chaskos,DD has been elevated to Metropolitan Archbishop TIFPEC - Japan.
Reverend James Crowson has been elected Titular Bishop for THE INTERNATIONAL FREE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH® USA
+Rt.Rev. Dr. P. Bradley Carey has been elevated to Metropolitan Archbishop of THE INTERNATIONAL FREE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH - USA
I send my Apostolic Benediction to All of you. GOD BLESS, Amen

TIFPEC has always argued that the duty of evangelizing the culture is the job of the laity. Since I came to TIFPEC over forty years ago, I’ve sounded that theme over and over again. Not only have I written about it and encouraged others to do it, but I’ve participated in the battle on the ground. What the laity is called to do cannot be accomplished from an armchair, even if it happens to be surrounded by the greatest books ever written. Informed Christians must take the field, and indeed they have.

If I have learned anything over the past decade it is that information is power, and if it is widely and effectively disseminated, faithful people will be jarred to action. This is what I’ve hoped to accomplish for the world and our Church. I pray that it is.
I wish the active participation of the whole Church (bishops, clergy, and laity) in every aspect of the Church's life.“[Man] must be liberated from fixation upon his own subjective needs and compulsions, and recognize that he cannot fully become himself until he knows his need for the world and his duty in serving it. In bare outline, man’s service to the world consists not in brandishing weapons to destroy other men and hostile societies, but in creating an order based on God’s plan for his creation, beginning with a minimum standard for a truly human existence for all men. Living space, law and order, nourishment for all, are basic needs without which there can be no peace and no stability on earth.”
"There is no place for apathy in a world which sees 30,000 children die each day because of poverty related conditions. The bible teaches that whatever we do to the poorest we do also for Jesus. We believe God judges nations by what they do to the poorest."

We are Universal, Ecclesiastical, Episcopal, Evangelical, Missionary.
The Protestant faith corrects the errors of Rome and Orthodoxy on this point, and after nearly 500 years the tradition of the Protestant faith has as much weight as any of these other traditions. We share a common heritage as catholic churches of the Reformation. Despite our previous geographic, linguistic and cultural differences, in recent years we have discovered in one another a shared faith and spirituality. This discovery has called us into a search for more visible unity in mission and ministry.

We recommended "that where between two Churches not of the same denominational or confessional family, there is unrestricted communio in sacris, including mutual recognition and acceptance of ministries, the appropriate term to use is 'full communion,' and that where varying degrees of relation other than 'full communion' are established by agreement between two such churches, the appropriate term is 'intercommunion.'
"Think globally, act locally" is an adage that applies not only to humanitarian and justice work, but also to the quest for Christian unity.
The International Free Protestant Episcopal Church is an autonomous province of the world wide Anglican Communion. It believes in the traditional teachings of the Christian faith as laid out in the historic creeds and holds to the tenets of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888, which is an instrument of Anglican unity throughout the world.
Holy Spirit, you want to give us hearts that are quite simple, to the point that the complicated things of life do not bring us to a standstill. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev.2:3)
The Church "found" me!" Were this not the case, and were it not for the splendid education and guidance of the late Archbishop Dr E.S. Yekorogha, Liberia and the late Bishop Primus Dr Charles Dennis Boltwood, I would not be in this position of furthering an ancient and eternal work. The daily experience living among the people of other faiths and our faith in Christ gave us light to start the work based on the spiritual and social growth of The International Free Protestant Episcopal Church.
Anglican hostility and Orthodox indifference

Anglican hostility and Orthodox indifference, together with a lack of resources, meant that the Church was barely able to begin the missionary endeavour for which it had originally been established:

Archbishop Checkemian although endeavouring to advance the work of the Church and to unite various groups which sought Orthodox alternatives to Anglicanism or Roman Catholicism, was essentially a visionary and a scholar, rather than a practical administrator or evangelist. He had a somewhat naive trust in those who approached him, and often left himself open to exploitation by men seeking the appearance, rather than the reality, of Orthodoxy. It was almost as if he believed that the truth of Orthodoxy was so self-evident and profound that anyone being exposed to it would not only accept it and be converted, but undergo an inner conversion of life as well. The simple-hearted charity with which he received potential converts often led to the pain of betrayal.


What can we find in this formal theological discourse, far removed in time and place from everyday concerns of the troubled spirit? Powerful words of hope in an age that is dealing with the loss of hope and the destruction of innocence, a uniting of the quest for an individual identity with the affirmation of common humanity. An ecumenical vision of Christianity in a world of religious diversity without recourse to a paralyzing relativism or surrender of authentic Christian heritage in faith. A history of reconciliation rather than a history of retaliation calling for retribution. An informed and intellectually challenging account of the Christian faith as a rich and continuing endeavor, positioned to incorporate closer dialogue and fellowship among Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, historic Protestant, and Evangelical Christians. A presentation of Christianity that is able to look to the future, sharing the excitement and challenge of science and history as the arena of God's creative and reconciling love while preserving the treasures of two millennia of the life of the Church must be our aim.
Today as the world struggles to find new political and social orders while holding tightly to religious and ethnic identities in the midst of open hostility, terrifying chaos and chilling indifference, I like to lead you to an informed discussion of the past linked to a fulfilling notion of the future which makes use of the difficulties of the past and present to ground our appreciation for God's future for us and our brothers and sisters in the world.
We stand against oppression, injustice, violence and war in several parts of the world.
Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in your prayers throughout the year.
TIFPEC supports advocacy against sexual abuse and violence among children and youth.
A monk by the name of Martin Luther has begun a Christian revolution 500 years ago with the Protestantism. Protestants cannot be silent from church-diplomatic consideration to all.

"Compromise must not be made with those responsible for killing innocent peoples".
In Liberia, whose economy--like so many others--has been destroyed by the war, schools and churches either have been knocked down in the fighting or fallen down after the years of emptiness when the war kept people away. Because so many children were forcibly conscripted into the military, there are serious aftereffects and emotional trauma that must be addressed through special ministries with these children. The church must rebuild and find a way to bring care to these people.
Rape as a weapon of war is being used in many countries worldwide to target defenseless people, usually women and children. The underlying message in war is that if a state is so weak as to allow this to happen, how can it possibly have the political and moral strength to govern a population? But there are other reasons beyond the weakness of a state. Those who rape women and children do it because it is easier to attack a defenseless person than it is to attack one who has the means to defend him- or herself. If we tolerate rape, we have no rights to call us Christians and to be a civilized nation.
Child soldiers, abducted, abused, repudiated, abandoned. The unimaginable fates of child soldiers in the north of Uganda, etc. are shocking.
Please make a donation to help us.
We appreciate your support. We can't do...without you.
Why do I believe that the Churches in Germany (and in other countries) are losing members?
The reason for this thesis goes back into the 19th century. With the enlightenment, the theologians began to think of the Bible more as the word of human beings than of the word of God. They developed extremely sophisticated systems to find out what the original intention of the author was, and therefore came closer to the meaning of many, otherwise strange appearing, sections of the Bible. Many statements which were based on the cultural and historical background were left behind or re-interpreted.
However, this re-interpretation did not take place in front of the congregation. It was hidden behind the walls of the colleges. As soon as a pastor was produced, he had to translate his knowledge into a statement which did not reveal the fact that the Bible is the word of human beings. In fact, he had to continue to call it the word of God. This went on until about 30 years ago, when in the 60s and 70s some pastors made statements which were rather shocking to the congregation, like that they do not believe in the Bible as the word of God. However, this statement was based on good reasons, yet never fully explained to the congregation. The congregation got to know the facts from people who began to see a strong market for this knowledge. These people were often also criticizing the churches in a way that many people felt strengthened in their desire to cancel their membership. While they got to know that what the church continued to tell them was not true, they felt betrayed and misused.
The drive of cancelling membership is very much based on logical reasoning. The biggest mistake of the church is probably that it tries to remind the people of the emotional factors of being a church member, instead of enlightening them about the facts, and then searching a new approach to the facts of Christian Faith.

WE need "Christian Freedom instead of Sacred Lordship."

A Word to the Church:

Episcopal News Service:
It is a difficult but
very truthful time in which our understanding of one another's contexts and the burdens each one of us must bear were made abundantly
clear. I have ever greater respect and affection for these brothers of mine and for the ministry they carry out, often in the most difficult and seemingly hopeless circumstances.
The unity of the Christian faith and the promotion of fellowship between Christians of all names and all ages are considerations which should make us careful with pen or spoken word lest we condemn, without properly taking into consideration that interior devotion to Christ and His kingdom - which seems to be quite compatible with divergencies in doctrinal statement or ceremonial habit.
Bishops must respect the autonomy and territorial integrity of dioceses and provinces other than their own, we call on the provinces concerned to made adequate provision for episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Bishop Primus on behalf of the Church.
I appreciate with a sense of gratitude for all of the members of our church, regardless of our various points of view. I am grateful even for our struggles in which we so openly and honestly engage.

This brief word to the church comes with my love and my blessings.
We confirm ones more :
This Church is wholly under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop Primus and Canonical obedience is required. It has been a custom since our Church was founded in 1897 for all Bishops to inform the Bishop Primus of all their diocesan activities on at least a monthly basis. This is required by our Ecclesiastical Constitution and Canons. "However obstinate disobedience may be, it does not become schism so long as it involves no revolt against the function of the Bishop Primus or the Church.
"I believe my work in mission and evangelism has prepared me well for the challenges facing the church in this new century. I hope and pray that my love for and understanding of the different traditions of the Church of England will enable me to be a focus for unity in the Reading Episcopal area. I'm honoured that the Church has put such trust in me, to ask me to be their Bishop Primus for TIFPEC. "
It's certainly not a bad idea to strive for the perfect world, as long as you keep in mind that, while your objective most likely won't be obtained, you will be able to make things better.

My esteemed Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood, Dear Brothers and Sisters!
I extend my cordial greetings to you all. .
Apostolic Succession

The first Christians had no doubts about how to determine which was the true Church and which doctrines the true teachings of Christ. The test was simple: Just trace the apostolic succession of the claimants.
Apostolic succession is the line of bishops stretching back to the apostles. All over the world, all bishops can have their lineage of predecessors traced back to the time of the apostles, something that is impossible in some Protestant denominations (most of which do not even claim to have bishops).
In its strict sense, apostolic succession refers to the doctrine by which the validity and authority of the Christian ministry is derived from the Apostles. Churches of the Catholic tradition hold that bishops form the necessary link in an unbroken chain of successors to the office of the apostles. The outward sign by which this connection is both symbolized and effected is the laying on of hands by the Bishop at ordination.
In its broader sense, apostolic succession refers to the relationship between the Christian church today and the apostolic church of New Testament times. Thus, apostolic succession refers to the whole church insofar as it is faithful to the word, the witness, and the service of the apostolic communities. Understood in this way, the church is not simply a collectivity of individual churches; instead, it is a communion of churches whose validity is derived from the apostolic message that it professes and from the apostolic witness that it lives.
The weakness of the argument of The Apostolic Ministry was its failure to explain the absence of the idea in the first two centuries of the Christian era. I affirm that the apostles left behind them three things: their writings; the churches which they founded, instructed, and regulated; and the various orders of ministers for the ordering of these churches. There could be no more apostles in the original sense of that word. The real successor to the apostolate is the NT itself, since it continues their ministry within the church of God. Their office was incommunicable. Three kinds of succession are possible: ecclesiastical, a church which has continued from the beginning; doctrinal, the same teaching has continued throughout; episcopal, a line of bishops can be traced unbroken from early times. This does not necessarily mean that the episcopal office is the same as the apostolic.
Most Churches Worldwide mention our first Archbishop Checkemian and the eight Archbishop Boltwood in their apostolic succession, but they have no religious or diplomatic courtesies to extend some cordial greetings to the Xth Bishop Primus of THE INTERNATIONAL FREE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

"Behind every good Bishop Primus is a supportive churchfamily.
"United we stand...Divided we fall".

Only when a man has suffered for his convictions does he attain in them a certain force, a certain quality of the undeniable, and, at the same time, the right to be heard and to be respected.

‡Horst-Karl, BP Xth,TIFPEC


OFFICE OF THE BISHOP PRIMUS: CHURCH - INFORMATION 2005

The 1870 Constitution and Canons of the Church of Ireland were adopted in 1897 for use in the new Free Protestant Episcopal Church.
We have Church branches and missionaries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. There are ongoing plans to establish further ministries and branches in other nations. Consequently, we welcome pastors and churches that wish to establish or become a branch of The International Free Protestant Episcopal Church and University 1897 , regardless from which country you are.
If you are interested in the work of TIFPEC, please contact: Dr. Horst Block

To all the Faithful, Beloved in Christ, Health, Peace, and Apostolic Benediction. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


FOR YOUR REFLECTION

The split between the faith, which many profess, and their daily lives, deserve to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.

The Christian who neglects his temporal duties, neglects his duties toward his neighbour and even God, and jeopardises his eternal salvation.

Laymen should also know that it is generally the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city; from priests they may look for spiritual light and nourishment.

Let the layman not imagine that his pastors are always such experts, that to every problem which arises, however complicated, they can readily give him a concrete solution, or even that such is their mission. Rather, enlightened by Christian wisdom and giving close attention to the teaching authority of the Church, let the layman take on his own distinctive role.

Now the Church by her presence alone and by all the gifts which she contains, is an unspent fountain of those virtues which the modern world needs the most.

In the present age, too, it does not escape the Church how great a distance lies between the message she offers and the human failings of those to whom the Gospel is entrusted. Whatever be the judgement of history on these defects, we ought to be conscious of them, and struggle against them energetically, lest they inflict harm on spread of the Gospel.

The Church herself knows how richly she has profited by the history and development of humanity.

Her purpose has been to adapt the Gospel to the grasp of all as well as to the needs of the learned, insofar as such was appropriate. Indeed this accommodated preaching of the revealed word ought to remain the law of all evangelizations.

The Church requires the special help of those who live in the world, are versed in different institutions and specialties, and grasp their innermost significance in the eyes of both believers and unbelievers.

Since the Church has a visible and social structure as a sign of her unity in Christ, she can and ought to be enriched by the development of human social life.

Whoever promotes the human community at the family level, culturally, in its economic, social and political dimensions, both nationally and internationally, such a one, according to God’s design, is contributing greatly to the Church.

The Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her.

"We are at risk of becoming, subjects in the kingdom of nothingness. Subjects of a post-Christian, post-Enlightenment world where there is no inspiration, no higher endeavour, little compassion and no belief beyond narrow self-interest. Like members of a gated community we pretend, in our comfortable urban solace, that all is well including all around us.

To keep the best notions of Europe bubbling within itself, to keep us from that gated refuge of nothingness, the more we remain members of the great project of humanity the better off we will be, and the happier we will be. The more we resist arbitrary and parochial distinctions between peoples, the more our security in this great part of the world will be guaranteed and the more our participation in it will be rewarded.

Ours is an age of distraction. The background to our lives is the white noise of inconsequential television programs, pompous pundits, shrill talkback callers, ten-second news grabs, and the cult of celebrity. In this environment, the need for contemplation and some introspection becomes compelling; a time to stop and think; to make our way, guided by a moral compass, a bearing that divines our best instincts.

The church in Africa in particular is cautious in its deliberations on social and economic issues. It is cautious on its position on transparency and accountability of elected leadership. It is cautious in its approach and stance on the issues pertaining to women, in particular, violence against women. The Church is anxious about the emergence of fundamentalist Churches that entice the young and energetic in Christian communities. It is a Church that must be anxious about its indigenous clergy and its future. The year 2005 gives the Church the chance to change its norms from a missionary Church to an autochthonous church, independent in spirit and its pastoral work, a Church that is Universal.

There are three key issues:

First is the voice of the Church. The Conference of Bishops must become pro-active. The voice of the Church must be heard on issues of corruption, social and economic injustice.

Secondly, women and the Church. The Church must stand with women, speak out against violence, support women’s health and education, and help women maintain our dignity both in secular and spiritual life. Assist women to become partners in building the Church and in development. The Church must be cautious in its adoption of culture. Culture can disenfranchise women. The Church stands for liberation of those afraid and disenfranchised.

Thirdly, our indigenous clergy need greater support and love. The indigenisation of the Church in the 21st century means our clergy taking a greater responsibility in pastoral and intellectual work and in the management of the Church. We in Europe need to ask some tough questions otherwise all our work is in vain, and my forty years in service of this church was a waste of time!

Authority
All of this can be summed up in a word which, though often misunderstood, denotes an elusive sixth element which might hold the key: authority. The Independent Anglican Communion does not have a Pope, nor any system which corresponds to the authority structure and canonical organisation of the Roman Catholic Church. The Independent Anglican Communion has always declared that its supreme authority is scripture. Later in the report we examine what this claim might actually mean, not least the way in which living under scriptural authority is principally the grounding for the church's mission. In that context, scriptural authority demands, and we believe that in our Communion structures it has begun to receive, appropriately sensitive and fine-tuned systems of decision-making which allow both for the full participation of all members and for an eventual way of making difficult decisions which can enhance, rather than endanger, the unity and communion of our richly diverse family. It is because we have not always fully articulated how authority works within Anglicanism, and because recent decisions have not taken into account, and/or worked through and explained, such authority as we all in theory acknowledge, that we have reached the point where urgent fresh thought and action have become necessary.

May God bless you in our faith and life together.

‡ Horst-Karl, BP Xth, TIFPEC

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