Almost Anglican

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Anglo-cracker, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Hi, IDK22, welcome. I was raised Roman Catholic, then in my late 20s the Lord led me into the Assemblies of God. After some time there, then Word of Faith, then back to A/G, then about 9 months ago the Holy Spirit very clearly led me to a particular ACNA Anglican church near me.

    I think you'll find that the Anglican Church is very sound theologically. The hymns both edify the people and give glory to God. The liturgy reinforces one's faith every Sunday in a consistent fashion by reminding one of the basic tenets of our faith. A good portion of Scripture is heard every Sunday (my parish has an OT reading, a Psalm reading, a NT letter portion, and a Gospel portion every Sunday, followed by the rector expounding on these scriptures). And communion occurs every Sunday.

    My time in the A/G began in 1985. My thoughts about my previous church, in contrast: the music had become mind-numbingly bland 'pop Christian' songs with lyrics that neither edified the people nor glorified the Lord. "Praise and worship" had become more like a stage performance, with the congregants barely engaging. I was hearing far less Scripture in the congregational-type church compared to 34 years ago. Emphasis on glossolalia has gone from regular messages to zero mention, as A/G migrates toward 'mainstream'... not that I place a high importance on this aspect any more. And communion was only being practiced about 3 times per year (it was once per month in '85)! I feel very much at home in the Anglican church I attend and I look forward to every Sunday, whereas going to the A/G church (even though I miss many of the people) had become a real chore.

    As for the RCC, I do not feel that I would ever go back to that. I do not feel that they are theologically sound. Whereas the Anglican Church relies upon Scripture (the 66 books) for its beliefs (early church writings "inform" the understanding of the Bible but cannot contradict or replace it), the RCC relies upon the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition (of which the Bible is only a portion) for its doctrines. Thus, for example, the Anglicans teach that salvation comes by grace through faith only and not by works, but in contrast the RCC doctrine includes this:
    [T]o those who work well unto the end and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as
    a grace
    mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by
    God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits. (Council of Trent, Session 6, Ch. 16)​
    This probably arose out of an historic conflation of justification with sanctification. The RCC teaches an 'initial' justification (not at the moment of believing but at baptism) followed by a 'subsequent' justification which is received through good works, acts of penance, and receipt of sacraments. I hope you'll agree that the Anglican view is the much more Biblically sound one. ;)

    I do think, though, that God allows a large variety of worship styles to exist because there is such a large variety of people in the world, and different people need different things at various stages in their lives. I hope you'll attend a few Anglican services, then pray about it, and be led. Remember always that no church is absolutely perfect, because all churches are comprised of imperfect humans! :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Just want to clarify this. Yes the Anglican and the Roman positions are very different, but it's not a matter of saying that one accepts faith while the other accepts works. This dichotomy emerged in the 19th century Evangelical Movement born out of the Methodism and the 2nd Revival. The polemics of the time strongly colored and altered our view of the underlying historic doctrines.

    Anglicans believe that justification is by faith through grace, but works are a necessary outcome of faith. A person who claims to have faith (and the resulting justification) but does not exhibit any resulting holiness is ipso facto not justified. Thus salvation, the state we receive upon death, will have both faith and works in it. We are justified by faith, and then work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We have nothing to do in acquiring God's righteousness, but then a lot to do in living a life of holiness.

    If this sounds like a Roman position, it's not. They have changed their original teaching (and so much of everything else), to sound more Anglican. The authentic Roman position, taught by Trent (in the quote above and others), is that you may be justified by works. You do not need to have faith in order to be justified at all. Works alone may suffice for salvation. And you are judged for salvation at two different times: upon your death, and after your time in purgatory. Even the work you do in purgatory is connected with 'working hard' to get more justified with God.


    So if we lay out the three alternatives that exist in Christendom, they are:
    1. Evangelicalism: faith not only justifies, but saves, and works are irrelevant to God. Salvation takes place in your life, the moment you have faith. Martin Luther already condemned this as antinomianism in his time, and Anglicans condemned the puritan antinomianism in their time.

    2. Anglicanism: faith justifies, works sanctify; salvation takes place after your death, in judgment of God's imputed righteousness and your resulting holy works.

    3. Romanism: faith may justify, but so may works. You can be justified by God based on your works. You are judged for salvation twice: after your death, and after your extra work in purgatory.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  3. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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