Corletta J. Vaughn (sort of) defends practice of “full body covering”

After sharp controversy over a rather strange consecration practice performed by Detroit Bishop Wayne T. Jackson became public, another Detroit bishop is sort of coming to his defense. See our story here.  Calling the consecration of bishops “pageantry”, Bishop Corletta J. Vaughn, who admittedly refused to allow it (full body covering) performed on her, is now defending the practice. From a public notice posted on her Facebook page:

“I will attempt to help some of you understand this procedure. Because the Episcopacy has been so cheapened and people are BUYING the bishopric, true pageantry has been lost and most of you who are watching and talking have NEVER attended a REAL “Consecration” service. Bishop Wayne T. Jackson is a MAN OF GOD! You don’t have to understand this type of “investiture” for the new bishops, but you have NO RIGHT to make it ungodly, or unholy; or give reason to make Bishop Jackson unclean or give rise to rumors or suspicion.

In the INVESTITURE Service of the Bishop, there is a “transference of spirit” from the leader to the bishop-ordinates and this is done in many different ways, depending on the reformation. Some reformations POUR a bottle of oil on you, others LAY HANDS, while in Bishop Jackson’s Reformation, he has decided to lay on his protegees (which was done to him during his consecration service) and wrap in the holy garment. This only symbolizes the death of the new bishop to his/her ways, ambitions, and appetites in order to take on the NEW ADMINISTRATION of become the Bishop in the Lord’s Church.

This is the beginning of the INVESTITURE portion of the Consecration Service, then the NEW GARMENTS are placed on you, and you are given your new orders from the Chief Prelate.

This is an ‘old’ liturgy, and although not ALL bishops are elevated through this particular liturgy, the Chief Prelate gets to make the call, and depending on how they were elevated into the BISHOPRIC, is usually what they duplicate.

I don’t know if Bishop Jackson’s Consecration service is available, but if you were to see how he was ordained you would understand what is happening on this video. PLEASE do not disrespect the procedure or this Man of God; nor the men who received this new level of leadership. Pageantry is honorable!”

In response to later questions, Vaughn admitted the practice was controversial.

“When I was consecrated as a Bishop (this is controversial too) My Chief Presider did NOT lay on me! I was asked if that’s the format I wanted and I said NO. Obviously these men agreed and said yes. Its their experience and their elevation. I have NOTHING to say about it being right or wrong.” (caps, hers)

Vaughn called full body covering an “ancient rite” but could not provide any evidence of its origins, practitioners (outside of Jackson’s “reformation”) or if such an “ancient rite” was sanctioned by scripture.

Problems with the practice of full body covering:
1. There is no biblical justification for full body covering.
2. If the consecration of Christian bishops is merely pageantry then all of the symbolism (including “transference of spirits”) is meaningless and thus completely unnecessary.
3. If the practice cannot be universally applied to male and female candidates for bishops, it should have no relevance to either if male and female bishops are seen as equals. Vaughn’s rejection of the practice for herself indicates the lack of holiness ascribed to it.
4. The only sanctioned ordinance signifying death and burial with Christ is baptism, not consecration.
5. Because the service is labeled as sacred and holy, its holiness and sacredness must be derived from the scripture and not the subjectivity of man, thus rendering it unholy.
6. A connecting issue of spiritual untouchable status.  Questioning unproven and unsanctioned practices that have been threaded into traditional church ceremonies is healthy and should remain a vital part of keeping the body free of unbiblical practices.
7. Vaughn argues that the episcopacy has been so cheapened, “true pageantry” has been lost. But its actually the opposite. It is the fluffy pomp and circumstance that has cheapened the bishopric. The glamorization contests have significantly reduced the ceremonies to cheap displays of man’s fragile ego, not the true nature of a servant of Christ.

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