Purpose of this is .............
From time to time those interested in the ICCEC have posed questions. Many
of these questions are basically the same at the core. We desire, by this
page, to answer these basic questions. If there are other questions or if
these answers lead to other questions, please feel free to contact Cn. Mac
Culver Canon Missioner for Washington and Alaska.
2. Does the CEC hold the Bible to be the authoritative,
inspired, infallible Word of God?
Yes. We also believe the teachings as Paul taught
in II Thess 2:15; as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:20; and recognize
the reality of what John taught in John 21:24-25. There were many
teachings of the Lord and of the Apostles who have the authority
of Jesus (Matt 16; Matt 28). These teachings were and are alive
in the Church. Paul taught that in II Timothy 2:1-2. The teachings
were to be entrusted to faithful men who were to teach others.
The New Testament came as the Holy Spirit led the Church to affirm
the validity of those teachings forming the Canon of the New Testament.
The Church gave birth to the New Testament recognizing that the
Holy Spirit had led the writers in their efforts.
The Canon of the Old Testament (II Timothy 3:16) which was accepted
by the ancient Church is the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation
of the Old Testament. In that, the early Church Fathers saw the
plan of God fulfilled in Jesus.
3. What is the ICCEC Position on Praying to the
We do not pray to the saints. Some may ask those
in the presence of God to intercede for them to the Father, but
that is the same as asking you to pray for me. Paul speaks in Hebrews
11 and 12 of the Great Cloud of Witnesses that are alive in the
presence of God that are cheering us on in our race. Somehow (it
is actually a mystery), they are aware of what is happening to
us who are bound by this mortality (see Luke 16:19-31). And since
death is shown in Scriptures to be separation from God, those who
are with the Lord certainly are not separated from God nor are
they dead. The mortal has put on immortality (I Cor 15:53 and is
now in the presence of God as all His children will be one day.
Remember, this teaching of Scripture is not a salvation issue,
but is desert. The saints are a constant reminder that with Jesus
there is victory. They have done it, so can we. Paul reminded the
early church to follow him as he follows Jesus. So those who are
with the Lord urge us to follow them as they follow Him.
4. Does the ICCEC hold to the truth that Jesus is the only way
"I am the way, and the truth, and the
life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John
14:6) To be a Christian is to follow Christ. There is
no other option. Nor are there many ways that lead to
one way – Jesus!
5. What does the ICCEC believe about salvation?
Do you believe "once saved always saved"?
What constitutes salvation is probably the most confusing
subject in the church world today. This has not always been so,
especially prior to the Reformation and the advent of private interpretation
of Scripture. Among today's some 40,000 different Protestant and
Evangelical groups there are many views on salvation. That has
not been so historically and the ICCEC stands with the historic
Jesus is salvation. In Him we are saved. He stated in John 3:3
that "unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of
God". When one reads the words of Jesus in context and
does not play theological games with the verse, one sees
that what He
This being "born anew" or "born from above" involves
being born of water and the Spirit. It involves God and His grace
plus man and his response to that grace. That new birth involves
a relationship with Christ and His Body, the Church. One cannot
be part of Him without being part of His Body just as your arm
can not be part of your head without being part of the body. So,
having a "personal relationship" with Jesus is as essential
as is being "part of His Body" the Church.
Some have said that "salvation is a sovereign act of God" and
that certainly is correct. Salvation is offered to man and
man has to receive that salvation. Man has a choice as the history
of salvation in Holy Scripture clearly shows.
The last part of the question is almost as interesting. If after
one is saved there is no possibility of falling from grace,
then the writers of the New Testament were not aware of that
position. Look at Hebrews 10:26-31 for example. "For if we sin willfully
after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer
remains a sacrifice for sins...." Jesus taught the same
thing recorded in Luke 12:45-47 and in Matthew 24:48-51.
So what is the position. As the Bible says, I am already saved
(Romans 8:24, Ephesians 2:5-8), I'm being saved (I Cor 1:8, 2 Cor
2:15, Phil 2:12, and I will be saved (Rom 5:9-10, I Cor 3:12-15).
Like St. Paul, one works out his salvation in fear and trembling
(Phil 2:12) with confidence in the promises of Jesus (Rom 5:2,
2 Tim 2:11-13).
6. What is the importance of Apostolic Succession
and where does the line in the ICCEC come from?
Apostolic succession is the fulfillment of the
gift Jesus gave recorded in St. John 20:12-23. "Again Jesus said, "Peace
be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And
with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive
the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are
if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
The Apostles committed these gifts to the Bishops with the laying
on of hands, (2 Tim 2:2) And since we are commanded to obey Apostolic
Tradition (2 Thess 2:15), we, like the Apostolic Fathers, state
that where the Bishop is there is the church. In the Bishop rest
the fullness of the Apostolic Gifts.
The Church has always held that without a valid line of Apostolic
Succession, there can be no absolution, no valid Eucharist,
essentially no valid Sacraments. Without Apostolic Succession
there is not
a "fullness of the faith once delivered".
The ICCEC line comes from St. Peter through the same
line of Apostolic Succession held by the Roman Catholic Church.
It comes through the Consecration of our Bishops in Petrine succession.
There are other lines through other Apostles enjoyed by the clergy
of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, but this one is the clearest
line to trace back.
7. What is the difference between Communion at
a Protestant church and the ICCEC Church?
The basic difference is twofold. First, we believe
that Jesus meant what He said in John 6 (read this passage
for yourself to see what he says). That is, we believe that in
some "mystical" way
that the bread is His body and the wine is His blood. This makes
the Scripture consistent where including the institution of the
Lord's Supper at the Last Supper where He stood and said "This
is my body... this is my blood." (Matthew 26:20-30). He
did NOT say "this symbolizes", He said "this IS".
Secondly, since the Priests are ordained in Apostolic
Succession, they have the authority to serve "in loco Christi" or
as some hold "persona Christi". The consecration
of bread and wine are done by the authority of Christ Himself.
8. Does the ICCEC believe in infant baptism? Why?
We believe that salvation is for all, including
infants. If "baptism now saves" (I Pet 3:21), then
how could one violate the command of Jesus to "allow the
little children to come to Him for of such is the Kingdom of
In fact, the Scripture talks of "households" being
baptized into Him in Acts. There is no mention of excluding
children in these references.
Further, the Scripture talks of baptism being like circumcision.
According to Jewish law that was done to children and was done
to adults who were adult converts to the faith.
Baptism is a Sacrament infusing the grace of God into the life
of a person. Why would we forbid a child that blessing?
9. Does the CEC use the "Church Calendar" and
celebrate special days like Ash Wednesday, Christmas, etc.
The Church does indeed use the historic Church
Calendar. This serves as an annual "walk with the Lord" and
is very practical in allowing us to continually experience the
reality of Christ in our world. It serves as a "reminder
device", remembering those things God has done and anticipating
those things He will do in the future.
There is consistent Biblical and historical president
for this type of action. The Old Testament is filled with those "remembrances" that
Israel was command to recall and even prior to the call of
Israel, God established remembrances. The rainbow is one example.
Jesus, in fact, observed those "times and seasons" in
honor of the Father as recorded in the Gospels. The record of
the book of Acts and the "extra-biblical" history
of the church records the continuation of this practice.
In fact, the Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans
14:5-8. In this passage, there is discussion about considering
one day more
sacred than another and another considering them all alike.
He states "...one does so to the Lord." The condition
is that it is "done unto the Lord."
Some well meaning Christians prohibit such observances, but
that is clearly not what the Scripture shows, history affirms
and the Apostles direct and does violence to Scripture.
Finally, since such observance is the "tradition or teaching
of the apostles" and their successors, the bishops, and
we are commanded to "follow the traditions or teachings" (2
Thess 2:15); we must be careful to do exactly that.
10. Does the ICCEC have Icons? If so, do you worship
them? If you do not worship Icons, what is the purpose of them?
Probably most of our churches have Icons. Icons
are simply "windows into heaven" that show us the
reality of that which is not seen. This is consistent with
Ecumenical Council and the ancient church, in fact all of history.
It's like "The heavens declare the glory of God" but
the heavens are not God. Icons show the glory of the unseen
but are not the unseen.
Do we worship them? No, we may honor them or venerate them,
but we worship only the Holy Trinity.
The purpose is as we have stated. It's like carrying a picture
of your spouse in your wallet or purse. Or better yet, having
a picture of your grandchild on your desk!
11. How is the ICCEC governed?
Under Christ, the Bishops are the successors of
the Apostles. Our Patriarch is the Chief Shepherd and with him
serve a host of Archbishops and Bishops. Priests are an extension
of the bishop and deacons are ordained to serve the church under
the authority of the bishop. All work in consensus with one another
with the Bishop acting personaChristi.
The Patriarch is the leader of the ICCEC worldwide. An Archbishop
is the shepherd of a province which is a nation or a group of
dioceses. A Bishop is the shepherd of a diocese which is made
up of a number of local churches or parishes. Each parish is served
by a Priest or Bishop.
They all work together, honoring one another, just as the physical
body works together each part honoring the other. And, there are
councils on each level including the parish. These councils are
advisory to the Priest who is the shepherd.
Oh yes, and shepherds lead sheep. Sheep don't lead shepherds.
That is how sheep die!
12. Is not the ICCEC just a spin off of ECUSA?
The question concerns whether the ICCEC is a schism
from the Protestant Episcopal Church USA. The answer is no. We
are not a break-off of anything.
In fact, we are just the opposite. We are a "gathering together" of
clergy and churches that have come into the historic Church from
many expressions - Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Anglican,
and Orthodox. Our background could be described as "from
many into one".
Most are from an evangelical background. Many are "independent
charismatic". Others are from Foursquare Church, the Assemblies
of God and the United Pentecostal Church. Some are from "mainline" churches
like Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian. Some from Anglican
and Episcopal churches. Some are from Roman Catholic or Eastern
background. Some came as a group, some came one by one.
13. What is the ICCEC view on the Blessed Virgin
Both the Holy Scripture and the Tradition of
the ancient Church reveals much about Mary. The angel Gabriel
her "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is
with you." (Lk 1:28) The Scripture continues to record
the conversation with some revealing statements by the angel:
"Mary, you have found favor with God." Lk
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of
the Most High will overshadow you." Lk 1:35
The entire encounter is filled with Gabriel revealing to her
the special place God has for her.
In Luke 1, the record of Mary in the presence of Elizabeth
and Mary's response tells us about how even the unborn John
responded to the voice of Mary.
Elizabeth calls her "the mother of my Lord".
The ICCEC believes, like Elizabeth, that Mary
is the Mother of the Lord, God Incarnate. That she is highly
favored by God
to be the "Ark" of the New Covenant, for the
Lord lived within her.
From the cross, Jesus told St. John, "Here is your mother." Lk
19:27. The other Gospel accounts have encounters with
Mary as she tells others to do as Jesus says.
Mary is favored by God, chosen by Him to be the Mother of His
Son. She is blessed of all women. She is our example in every
area of life, especially in her obedience to God and her devotion
to Jesus. She is the second Eve for through her the fullness
of God's blessings has come. She is grace personified.
Christians have historically held Mary in very high esteem
and rightly so. She is the Mother of our Lord. She is not Jesus,
but she is His Mother. We must not ignore her nor must we elevate
her above Her Son. Various devotions and honors have been afforded
to Mary. One must allow the Holy Spirit to lead in this area.
14. I was ordained in the Protestant church,
so why can I not be received in the ICCEC?
First, there is no question as to the sincerity or even
the validity of ones ministry in the name of Jesus. One
serve Jesus and never be ordained (set apart) for special
The key to ordination in the historic church
what authority". Only Bishops in Apostolic Succession
can lay hands to impart the fullness of the apostolic mission.
Since Protestant churches removed themselves from that
authority (they have no bishops ordained in Apostolic Succession),
a minister in from a Protestant church would have to be
in Apostolic Succession.
It's like a police officer from Baltimore moving
to Los Angeles and trying to use his Baltimore authority in Los
Angeles. It won't work. In fact, he could be arrested for "impersonating
a police officer" in Los Angeles. But if he is commissioned
in Los Angeles, then he has authority to work in that city.
15. Is the ICCEC trying to be Roman?
No. We are not trying to be Roman. We have
much in common with the Roman Church, in fact we share the
same Apostolic Succession, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry.
We have the same Creeds and same basic structure. This is
because of our common historicity.
We are who God has called us to be. We understand the Pope
to be the Bishop of Rome and in full authority over the Roman
Church. We pray for him and honor him. We also honor the
Eastern Orthodox Churches and their Patriarchs as valid successors
of the Apostles.
God has, in His sovereign plan, called the ICCEC
into existence and "engrafted" us into the Historic
Church to be who we are. No more, no less.
16. Is the ICCEC part of the Roman Church and
how does the Pope fit in the ICCEC?
We are not "part" of the Roman Church but we are
part of the Church. The Roman Church is the Latin Church
with full Apostolic Authority.
We are part of the Roman Church in that we along with other
valid Apostolic Communions make up the whole of the Body
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the Chief
Shepherd of the Roman Church. He is the "First among equals",
as the Orthodox Churches properly term him. He is a great
man of God who is called to be the "Servant of the Servants
of God". He is not the Patriarch of the ICCEC but
we certainly give his Apostolic honor.