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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Apostolic Succession & Me

Several months ago I led a Bible study of 1 Peter 1.  It starts out "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ."  1 Peter is an encyclical. circulating through the churches of Asia Minor.  No doubt, those churches had established leaders -- episkopoi (bishops), presbuteroi (priests) and/or diakonoi (deacons) -- but certainly no apostolos (apostles).  Getting a letter from an apostle would have been a big deal for those churches.

This led to a good discussion about apostolic succession -- the theory and practice of the consecration of bishops and ordination of priests and deacons done by the laying on of hands by bishops who trace an unbroken lineage through like bishops back to "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ."

It's a good theory but we all know how that turned out.  There were times of a papacy divided between France and Rome, and further times when there were apostate bishops.However, in theory I appreciate the concept.  Really I do.

Imagine the early church founded on Jesus Christ, who sends out his apostles to make disciples and where disciples are made churches are formed.  Those apostles full of the Holy Spirit, pray and fast, and then lay hands on other leaders. In theory, the church is protected from heresy.

Yet somehow I was ordained. Twice. So much for heresy being protected. :)

I did find my apostolic succession lineage below.  Bishop Doc Loomis laid hands on me. He was had hands laid on him by Archbishops Yong and Kolini along with Bishop Chuck Murphy.  The chart linked below traces Archbishop Yong Ping Chung's apostolic succession.

This was a great find.  It's a like a spiritual genealogy.  Now I feel like I'm related to St. Anselm. Thomas Cramner, St. Nicholas and a host of others. Now I will begin working on connecting my apostolic succession with my actually genealogy and look for an intersection.

The Apostolic Succession of The Anglican Mission in America

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