More About What We Believe

The Charismatic Episcopal Church is a relatively new movement among historic Christianity that seeks a convergence of the ancient streams of catholicity with the equally ancient evangelical and charismatic streams. In other words, we believe in the Bible as the Word of God, sacramental worship with a full and diverse liturgy, the charismatic gifting of the Body of Christ including speaking in tongues and prophecy, and evangelical teaching and preaching.

The CEC provides a home for all Christians seeking the fullness of the Christian faith.

The CEC is distinct from the denomination called The Episcopal Church in the USA (Anglican). Our governing is through Bishops (the meaning of the word "Episcopal") and includes Priests (Elders) and Deacons (Servants).

Three strands of a rope

Just as a single rope may be made of different threads or strands, the Charismatic Episcopal Church has three distinct and yet connected parts. Often characterized as a "convergence" movement, and not a new denomination, it is best described by explaining the three different steams as follows:

Liturgical

The word liturgy comes from a Greek root word meaning "work of the people." It is what Christians do when they come together to worship their Creator. Some people think music and singing, others think reading and prayers, and others think in more "ecclesiastical" or formal ways-like incense, robe, or candles. They're all right-since each of those things are part of "the work of the people."

The Liturgy, however, is more. It is worshipping God for Who He is and what he has done. It is partaking of the communion or great Thanksgiving feast where we receive the "bread of Life." We sit at God's feet and receive His gifts, supremely offered by Jesus when He died for our sins. We join with other believers in a fellowship meal-from that we partake of the real presence of Christ himself.

This is not entertainment. This encompasses life and the entire Christian community dating back to the apostles. Our heritage is rich and powerful. We embrace the signs and symbols used in the past to convey spiritual meaning. We are a sacramental church.

Evangelical

We believe in the creeds of the Church. We believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe in a personal and very real relationship with Him. We believe Jesus is real, alive, and well. In fact, we believe He sits on the throne.

We also believe in the Bible as the Word of God, the ultimate authority in matters of faith and life. We believe in sharing the gospel-the "glorious good news" that God loves us, God is not mad at us, and God wills that we have life-both here and forever.

Charismatic

Praise God we have the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. We believe in a very real Baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit, expressed in spiritual gifts including prophesy, speaking in tongues, healings, and words of wisdom and knowledge.

We expect God to work through the Holy Spirit-whether it is in worship, at home or play, or sitting with our family. God acts directly and powerfully, answering prayers, petitions, and desires of our hearts.


Apostolic Succession

  1. The ICCEC stands squarely on the historic, undisputed teachings of orthodox Christianity as taught by Jesus, spread by the Apostles, defended by the Patriarchs of the Early Church, expressed in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, and exemplified by the undivided Catholic Church during the first millennium of its existence. We believe that these things taken together, with Jesus first, contain the substantial deposit of Christian Faith and Order delivered to the Church.

  2. Theologically we stand in union with all churches who profess the necessary tenets of Faith as outlined in our San Clemente Declaration of 1999*. Additionally, we maintain the validity of God's grace imparted through the seven traditional sacraments of the Church (i.e., Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Confession & Reconciliation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Healing/Unction).

  3. Since God has called the ICCEC to stand as a bridge between the protestant and catholic formulations of faith, our basic beliefs stand square on the essentials of orthodoxy (i.e., "that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all") as embodied in the great houses of Christian faith: Eastern Orthodoxy, Western Catholicism, and the Reformed traditions. For this reason we cannot walk in fellowship with any ecclesiastical body which would deny these essentials of faith; with those who would "move an ancient boundary stone" (Proverbs 22:28).

  4. Among those beliefs we hold inviolable the following:

    1. The doctrine of saving grace through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ;

    2. A high view of Holy Scripture in affirming the critical importance of preaching, public reading of the Word, and personal Bible study;

    3. A high view of the Sacraments in imparting the grace of God, particularly through baptism and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist;

    4. A high view of the Church in affirming Cyprian's claim that, "he who has not the Church for his mother, has not God for his Father;"

    5. The real and present work of the Holy Spirit through gifts and signs imparted to believers for service and witness as experienced in the Early Church and rediscovered this past century by the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements.

  5. In this sense the ICCEC is wholly orthodox, wholly evangelical, wholly sacramental, and wholly charismatic

Catholic: "that organized form of Christianity which was founded by Christ and His apostles, and has maintained a continuous, unbroken existence from the times of the apostles to the present, without any essential alteration in its faith, its sacraments, or its ministry."

Ways and Teachings of the Church, Leffard Haughwout.


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