Dissimilitude in High Places
THe Declaration of Principles Defended
On the official Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) website, there is a little article entitled:
The Reformed Episcopal Church
Declaration of Principles
Their Historical Context
If one reads this article, (http://rechurch.org/recus/?MIval=/recweb/foundations.html&display=dop) one can easily see it is essentially a denial of Declaration of Principles, a Declaration Denial. When this blatant dissimilitude is compared to the historic Declaration of Principles, (http://www.trecus.net/downloads/declare.pdf) one wonders what the state of mind of the unnamed author was at the time it was written. Certainly it lacks intellectual, historical, and theological honesty.
The Declaration of Principles of the Reformed Episcopal Church is that short statement outlining the raison d’ętre adopted on the REC’s very founding date. It is composed of four sections. The First and Fourth Sections outline bedrock beliefs as indicated by the terms “declares its belief” and “condemns and rejects the following erroneous and strange doctrines as contrary to God’s Word”. The Second and Third Sections outline preferences of the REC, not dogma, with terms such as “not as of Divine right” and “Retaining a liturgy which shall not be imperative”.
This article is not centered on the middle sections of the Declaration of Principles. The comments in the Declaration Denial regarding the Second and Third Sections are just as intellectually shallow and transparent as are the comments on the First and Fourth Sections. More can be said at another time. This post is designed to deal with the egregious revisionism aimed at First and Fourth Sections.
The irony of the Neo-REC is that the two imperative sections are taken as optional, while the two sections expressing preference (episcopacy and liturgy) are taken as requirements. To this point, note what the “official” RE position on the First Section as stated in the Declaration Denial is:
First, the opening principle clearly recognizes Scripture as a primary authoritative document, but not exclusively so. (emphasis added)
How can such a twisting of meaning be construed from the clear text of the Declaration of Principles in Section I, which says:
The Reformed Episcopal Church, holding “the faith once delivered unto the saints,”declares its belief in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God, and the sole Rule of Faith and Practice;” ?
One wonders what meaning the revisionist author uses for the phrase “sole Rule of Faith and Practice” to be able to state “but not exclusively so”? Did he miss the word “sole”? Every one in the Evangelical world knows what that phrase means, but not the author of the Declaration Denial. This statement alone puts him (and those who think like him) outside the Evangelical world! He goes on to say in the Declaration Denial:
. . .and thus,