Considering Anglicanism

Discussion in 'New Members' started by C. Smith, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. C. Smith

    C. Smith New Member

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    Hi all,

    After being brought up a catholic and being agnostic for many years I’ve begun reading into Christianity again. I am considering rejoining a church, however a number of things about the Catholic Church, mostly as an organisation rather than a doctrine, have been dissuading me.

    Having read into Anglicanism I understand there is a huge variation in doctrine from low church to High church and I was wondering how ‘Catholic’ some of the high churches are. I was also wondering whether it was easy to identify any church as low vs high. I live in the North East if that helps.

    Thanks very much for your help and please excuse my ignorance,

    C. Smith
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    Generally speaking High Church Anglican churches can seem very Roman Catholic to some Protestants. The Church of England is not 'Protestant' it is Catholic and Reformed. So not actually Roman Catholic, but having preserved all the best, Biblical, liturgical and traditional aspects of the holy catholic Church.

    The church I attend is soundly Biblically based but we also have vestments, candles, crucifixes, altar frontals, seasonal colours, incense at every communion service, processions, pews, sanctus bells, sermons, acolytes, servers, sanctuary, chancel, nave and font by the main door. So it is not difficult to see, hear and smell that we are Anglo Catholic if you have just walked in off the street. The church building was dedicated in 1109.

    Evangelical Anglican churches on the other hand may have many of those things missing. They will probably have either empty crosses denoting the risen Christ rather than reminding us of the central act of salvation of mankind. They may have a Christ Triumphant style of crucifix with a fully clothed Christ on the cross with open arms and no crown of thorns, (we have one too though), but if VERY Evangelical (low church), not even that.

    The thing about Anglo-catholic is that there are a multitude of reminders about Christ and salvation all around you, if you are curious and look for them and understand the symbolism. You are expected to either know what the symbolism means or ask someone to explain it all. (Bells and Smells).

    The thing about Low Church Anglicanism is there is nothing to distract you if you don't understand symbolism, and there is a lot more preaching and teaching going on in services about the fundamentals of the faith. (Wordy and Nurdy)
    .
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Hi C.Smith, welcome! :tiphat:

    I was brought up Roman Catholic too. I find the Anglican churches to be more doctrinally sound (and of course they lack the hierarchical baggage too), and they feel very familiar to me.

    I'm so glad you're migrating toward faith in Christ our Redeemer! Draw near to God in faith and He will come the rest of the way to meet you.
     
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  4. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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    [ The Church of England is not 'Protestant' it is Catholic and Reformed. So not actually Roman Catholic, but having preserved all the best, Biblical, liturgical and traditional aspects of the holy catholic Church.

    Interesting. I would have considered the Reformed tradition to be Protestant. Just for sake of conversaton: What is the differance between Reformed and Protestant ? Many of the non-denomiational church's have "Reformed" theology and are definatly not "Catholic"
     
  5. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Church of England is not Reformed, nor is it Papalist (as many puritans claimed). The traditional label is "reformed Catholic" namely the Catholic Church that has existed in England since the time of the apostles, with her doctrine cleaned up at the Reformation after an accretion of medieval abuses. Every classical Anglican doctrine is either directly traced, or sometimes directly copied, from the institutions of the Church Fathers.

    It was considered a kind of classical Protestant, when most Protestants were anxious to live more in accord with the apostolic precepts; however that category has essentially disappeared today, which is why many Lutherans and some Anglicans don't like the word 'Protestant' anymore. Whether we like it or not, the word has became a byword for fat pentecostal wealthy preachers who spread heresy and do not receive discipline from Christ's ministers. But the word Catholic has also become polluted by Romanist abuses, which is an even bigger problem than the fat protestant preachers. For example so many people think that it is 'Catholic' to believe in 7 sacraments or the 7 ecumenical councils, which would've been a shock to Charlemagne, or someone living in England in the 8th century; speaking nothing of St Augustine and St. Cyril.


    Therefore there are no safe categories for the pure apostolic Church, as it once existed, and continues to exist again in the Anglican tradition. Classical Protestant, Catholic, reformed Catholic, are all valid for the time being. Historic Lutheranism has been our close equivalent, although it has not fared well in recent centuries, for a variety of reasons.

    For me personally I can't wait for the Roman Catholic Church to collapse, so that we can use the name more freely once again without any reference to their doctrines.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I would say that Anglicanism and the Orthodox have the most in common and should work to unification of some sort.
     
  7. A Garden Gnome

    A Garden Gnome Member

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    Perhaps changing the subject slightly, but what do you mean by "collapse"? Obviously it's under immense strain, as is the Anglican communion, but I wouldn't imagine anything analogous to a collapse to occur.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Actually the Roman church is a lot closer to a collapse than the Anglican communion (which may be hard to believe if you live in England, which is going through an existential crisis). It's like I mentioned in my July 26th reply to a post of yours,
    What would it take for the Roman church to collapse? A single heresy, formally promulgated. That way they could have 1 billion members, and all of them overnight be uniformly plunged into abyss. The definition by the Roman church, of what 'The Church' is, a body which is incapable of formal error, as defined by Leo XIII and Pius X. It precludes any heterodoxy formally promulgated. If they do that even once, they stop being the church by their own definition.

    And by heterodoxy I don't necessarily mean what you and I would consider heterodoxy, which they've done long ago, such as their works righteousness, or making Mary be the Mediatrix and the Co-redemptrix. But rather, things that themselves go against Roman doctrine. Such as communion for divorced and remarried. Such as the abolition of the death penalty, and the formal revision of the Catechism. Such as the Abu Dhabi statement from a few days ago, which formally makes all religions equal, plunging many trads into utter chaos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkg0EIFpICU

    "Bishop Schneider says Vatican is betraying ‘Jesus Christ as the only Savior of mankind’ "
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/b...ng-jesus-christ-as-the-only-savior-of-mankind

    I speak nothing of the coming abolition of priestly celibacy in October, at the Amazon Synod, and the possible adoption of women deacons. But those aren't even necessary, because Rome as an idea already fell with Amoris Laetitia in 2016, and its adoption into the official Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official acts of the Apostolic See which Rome considers to be formally infallible. Another thing that's formally infallible? Canonizations. Which are impossible to give to people who'd be considered heretical by Rome's own standards. And that's what Rome has done in canonizing John Paul II who kissed the Koran, and Paul VI who abolished the Latin Roman Rite.

    So no matter how many people you've got in the Roman church, a single action like the passage of Amoris Laetitia invalidates the whole communion.

    On the other hand take the Anglican Communion. Let's think of what would it take to invalidate the whole thing, all the people, everywhere, at once?

    Can you think of anything. Because I can't. There's literally nothing they can do. Because our Church is not tied to a single man, or to formal infallibility, there is literally no way to defeat Anglicanism. The Africans don't have the gospel? The Europeans evangelize them. The Europeans lose the gospel? The Africans evangelize them. It's a glorious beautiful system which is literally indefeatable.
     
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  9. A Garden Gnome

    A Garden Gnome Member

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    Very good explanation Stalwart. Time will tell, I suppose. I do sincerely hope the Church of England gets back on track, although I have not the slightest idea of how that would happen. But yes, you make a convincing point about how the Anglican Communion is actually in a better state than Rome, however much I find it hard to believe.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    Stalwart, technically all the weird pronouncements of the popes are not considered "infallible" by the RCC; there is some specific requirement that a promulgation must meet for it to be pronounced "infallible," and I think I've read that only one such has been issued in the last two centuries.

    Practically speaking, the pope is no longer anything but a figurehead. The RC members only pay attention to what he says if it is something they agree with; otherwise they seem to disregard and discard it.

    What I don't understand is how the RC members reconcile that view of their pontiff with the RCC's claim that the person on the Chair of Peter (and by extension his delegates, I suppose) holds the keys of binding and loosing. It would seem to me that the latter view should require a much, much higher regard for whatever a pope states; i.e., it should be as 'gospel' to them. :dunno: What good does it do to pay lip service to the idea, and then only obey the parts one personally likes?

    But then, a great many Roman Catholics are Roman Catholics simply because their parents were RC. It's traditional, like a club one's family belongs to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2019
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  11. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Active Member

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    Moderators, please remove my previous post [Mod: done.]. I am in a lot of spiritual confusion and pain, and need time away to recover. I probably will not be returning as often if I do at all. I don't want something that nasty to remain on the internet. I apologize greatly, but I do struggle with bitterness and hate and the bible says it's something we need to overcome or else we aren't saved or will become reprobate. I sometimes fear I already am, and am tormented by it everyday since as long as I could remember. I often feel God brings all these horrible things on me no matter how hard I try to follow him because he's already done with me and hates me.
     
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  12. Brigid

    Brigid Active Member

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    I will be praying for your spiritual peace and the end to that pain!
     
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  13. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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    Historic Lutheranism has been our close equivalent, although it has not fared well in recent centuries, for a variety of reasons.

    I have to agree with this statement. Historic Lutheranism does have a lot in common with Anglicanism, from what I understand , there were a lot of conversations between Lutherans and Anglican early on and supposedly Lutheranism had some influence. This, plus some of the cultural ties between the UK and Northern Europe may answer the question I have seen someplace else on this forum regarding Anglicanisms interest in Lutheranism. There are many similarities in liturgy. And like the American Episcopal Church, Lutherans , specifically the ELCA at least in North America, have diverged from their historic faith, mainly outlined in the Book of Concord, and become much more liberal, and spreading the "social gospel" as opposed to the Gospel of Christ. Having been brought up in a High Church Lutheran Congregation, I've been saddened by what I have seen, comfy contemporary worship, female clergy (which I am opposed to as they do not meet the Biblical standard, women definatly can do things men can't)
     
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  14. Anglo-cracker

    Anglo-cracker Member Anglican

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    Hear me. If God had given up on you, you would not care, perhaps not even notice. The fact that you are tormented by fear of His abandonment is proof that He has not.
     
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  15. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    Yes, it is.

    Low Church: Vestments may be no more than a surplice and scarf or a stole. May or may not have candles on altar and if they do no more than two. I used to live near a low church which would not have candles or flowers. Very little ritual or ceremonial and definitely no incense or bells. The church may not focus on the Eucharist so its main Sunday service could be Mattins, Morning Worship or Family Service. You may find lay people are allowed to preach. I had a colleague and she regularly preached at her low church.

    High Church: Will use full vestments as you will have seen in the Roman Catholic Church. At least two, and probably more, candles on the altar. Lots of ritual and ceremonial with use of incense and bells. Liturgy will probably be more formal. Whilst there will be services like Mattins and Evensong the Eucharist, which will be called the Mass, will be the focus and a Mass will be the main Sunday service. You are unlikely to find anybody preaching unless they are clergy or possibly a licensed reader.

    As for the sex of clergy that is harder to use a a distinguishing feature. With Low Church you have to get as low as Evangelicals for women clergy not to be accepted. I really am not sure of the best term to describe those High Church Anglicans who do not accept the ordination of women. I would call them Anglo-Catholic but there are Anglo-Catholic parishes with women clergy. So, I think you would have to come across a conservative, traditional Anglo-Catholic parish to find women clergy unacceptable to the parish.
     
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  16. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    Were there such wild differences between churches from the Elizabethan era till the early 20th Century? I'd like to find a 'traditional middle-of-the-road' CofE church if such a thing exists. I thought attending one which held a BCP 1662 service would be OK, but now I realise that it's Anglo-Catholic. Presumably one is best suited to a church which aligns more closely with one's beliefs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  17. Juliana

    Juliana Member Anglican

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    There is a movement called Forward in Faith, and there are 'flying bishops' who oversee those churches where they do not want women priests or bishops. https://www.forwardinfaith.com/
     
  18. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I am fully aware of Forward in Faith. My parish is a Forward in Faith parish. The bishops who provide alternative episcopal oversight are from The Society [under the patronage of St. Wilfrid and St. Hilda].
     
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  19. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    No, the CofE was more uniform in the past and in the past such conformity was rigidly enforced. Anglo-Catholicism dates back to the 19th century.

    They do exist and I think you're more likely to find in these priests in full vestments and being addressed as Fr. than you would have in the past. Of course, they don't have bells and smells or devotions to Our Lady Mary, etc.

    No, churches that use the BCP aren't necessarily Anglo-Catholic. In the parish where I live before the bishop shut down the Anglo-Catholic church we only had two services per week from the BCP: Choral Evensong on Sundays and a Low Mass on Thursday mornings. Where my wife and I worship now (also an Anglo-Catholic parish) the BCP is never used.

    Yes, that is obviously true.
     
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  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    To add to @PDL's answer, both the Anglo-Catholic movement and the Evangelical movement are new/foreign to Anglicanism, and both date from around the mid-1800s. In my view they split the Church of England apart, because they promoted for the first time the idea that there could be multiple "Anglicanisms".

    That being said, your instinct of abiding by the 1662 BCP is exactly on point. Even if that parish is Anglo-Catholic (and all these labels have no stable meaning), if it follows the 1662 the you are in very good hands, unless there's something else going on there. The traditional Prayer Book has a profound spiritual impact. If they stick more or less strictly to the 1662, then you can disregard what label they wear.

    An "Anglo-Catholic" parish which cleaves unto the 1662, and an "Evangelical" parish which cleaves unto the 1662, can be considered as pretty much the same thing. That was and is the genius of the Anglican liturgy.
     
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