Thursday, July 25, 2013
The synod of the USA has voted in favor of the following directives concerning the use of liturgical calendars, seasons (ie: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and so forth) and the celebration of Christmas and Easter in churches.
With a majority of parishes, clergy, and bishops deciding:
In keeping with our continual reformation around scriptures we the Puritan Church in America (Congregational Episcopal Church) do ordain the following.
The use of liturgical calendars needlessly divides the year into repetitive celebrations each year that have no basis in scriptures. Each minister, pastor, deacon, and bishop has the needed knowledge of scriptures to perform their duties as preachers without the unneeded crutch of calendars, seasons, and so forth.
Seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Whitsunday, and so forth have no scriptural basis and are an outdated tool of a time when the faithful had neither education nor personal used Bibles. These seasons are simply contrary to what reformers of our Puritan faith taught and preached to reform the church as a living body. Repetition of readings make for a lazy and uninventive church. Ministers of the Gospels need no such seasons to conduct their services, and the faithful need no such seasons to lift their hearts to God. These seasons are repugnant to faith.
As Christmas and Easter have been overly celebrated with a secular lean, which has found its was into Christian churches, these holidays are no longer recognized as "holy days" or as feasts in the church. Pastors are advised to treat these festivals as any other Sunday. There is no need to mark special services for such pagan festivals in the church when those called as saints need no special days for celebration being saved by the Lord Jesus other than the Sabbath.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
The Congregational Episcopal Church. Puritan in roots, faith, and traditions.
As a church body of united Christians we hold to our Puritan traditions although we are formed from former Episcopalian, Anglican, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, and Church of Christ communities. We hold to the need to first purify the church and thus purify our lives.
We are Christian people who have grown discontent with mainstream Christian churches and work towards religious, moral and societal reforms. Christianity has become a product of political struggles and man-made doctrines. Women are not to be ordained ministers, homosexuals re to be denied marital status and ordination to ministry, transgender is a man made blasphemy of creation, and the family is to be protected and preserved as one man and one woman with authority over their children.
We believe that the Bible is God's true law, and that it provides the only plan for salvation and for living. The established churches of today describe access to God possible only within the confines of "church authority". We strip away the traditional trappings and formalities of Christianity which have been slowly building throughout the previous 2000 years.
We are not a small group of people. In England many of our persuasion sit in Parliament. In the USA we have members in Congress and on the Supreme Court. We have congregations in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, South Africa, Kenya, and Latin America. We have plans for missions in Asia, specifically China, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Our common unity strengthens the community. Our spiritual bond make us sympathetic to each other's needs. Each church congregation is individually responsible to God, as is each person. Our elders, "bishops", merely offer support and guidance. The New Testament is our model and our devotion is to give praise to Christ and Christ alone. While we are tolerant of other faiths and denominations we shall always hold that Christ is the only way to salvation.
True holiness is to be found in Christ alone. No person is holy until resurrected in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our salvation comes only as grace from God and is not earned or purchased. God saves those He wishes and saves not those He wishes. Hard work is an honor to God, but not a sign of salvation. Good works honor God, but hold no persuasion of salvation. Salvation is found only in the acceptance of Christ as savior, worship of Christ alone, and true repentance of sins.
We hold that marriage is between one man and one woman for life. Divorce is permissible only in cases of adultery and even then rare. It is the responsibility of a man to provide for his family and especially his children. Society holds no responsibility for supporting families, that falls solely upon the family. The more government is kept out of churches and families the better it is for church, family, and government.
Religious freedom implies freedom from religion. Religion is best preserved and fostered in churches, in the home, and in private. As government does so let it be done. As Christ does it is done on earth as in Heaven. The highest power falls to Christ and His church which no power can impede.
In all questions the Gospels and the scriptures are the final answer.