Curiosity Question

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by thatoneguy, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. thatoneguy

    thatoneguy New Member

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    Good day all. I've been lurking in some of the forums for both active and non/ex members of my current religion (LDS/Mormon), and came across multiple posts regarding "severe anxiety".

    My quesion is this; do Anglicans broadly experience the apparently severe, debilitating anxiety that Mormons both young and old seem to have?
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I have seen a few posts on this site of people complaining about anxiety..

    in general though, it seems a lot less than the works-based religions such as Mormonism, Romanism, or Puritanism, which historically had much higher rates of anxiety, becayse salvation to them depends on perfect actions and when they inevitably fail, they become distant from God as a whole
     
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  3. Devin Lawson

    Devin Lawson Member

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    I think there is a difference between Anxiety and Scrupulosity. Sometimes a healthy dose of Anxiety may be the Spirit leading you to repentance by conviction of sin. Scrupulosity is different, is is that incessant, depressing sort of anxiety that is saying you are just a lost cause. Could you explain a bit more about anxiety here? Do you mean spiritual or psychological?
     
  4. thatoneguy

    thatoneguy New Member

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    Based solely off the tenor of the posts I read, most of my fellow Mormons appear to have severe psychological anxiety. This is probably (anecdotally) due to feeling a constant need to display spiritual perfection, or as close to it as possible. In the state of Utah, this is referred to as "toxic perfectionism". However, the array of apparent sufferers is not limited to Utah.

    I will grant that I do not spend much time on ex-Mormon forums, and even less on forums for active members of the Church. As I am in the process of learning how to divorce myself from the LDS church, I try to avoid either group as much as possible. But today, I just saw so many posts about anxiety, or about being anxious, and at least two posts about getting as much extra medication as possible, that I was amazed. It makes me glad I feel pulled to Anglicanism.
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Hi, you could find a couple of threads on this forum wherein the posters were experiencing unusual levels of anxiety, but I'd have to say those were exceptions, one-offs. I doubt that Anglicans feel such a driving need to display spiritual perfection. But Anglicans are human beings and can experience anxiety for a variety of reasons, just like people of any stripe.

    Personally, I live with a deep sense of peace, joy, happiness, and fulfillment, but I feel the normal, fleeting frustrations of everyday life from time to time... especially when I make mistakes (I get angry at myself) or bump my head!
     
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  6. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I admit to finding your question rather vague. It could have, it seems to me, two possible meanings.

    The first is do Anglicans suffer from anxiety. Like everybody some Anglicans will suffer from anxiety and others will not.

    The second possible meanings is do Anglicans get anxiety over their belief. I personally would say while it is not impossible I am sure the numbers who do are few. If we exclude those who have a natural tendency to anxiety no matter what I do not believe Anglicans will get anxiety over their beliefs.

    I have personally found with Roman Catholics that they seem to have a guilt complex. That may be the way Roman Catholicism works. I do not know because I am not one. In Anglicanism it seems to me there is not the great stress placed on sin. Plus in Anglicanism confessing one's sins personally to a priest is not mandatory.

    I also suspect the lack of anxiety is because we are not a faith that feels the need to keep ourselves to ourselves. I know that I see this from the perspective of someone who lives in England where the Church of England is the state church. Although it probably does not happen now I believe in the past Catholics would have kept more within their own circles.

    I do not think I am expressing my thoughts well here. I suspect most will agree with me. The crux of my point is I think a lot of the anxiety about which you talk comes from belonging to both an insular group and one that sets high demands on its members.

    I am not sure how much Mormons try only to associate with other Mormons, especially in social circumstances, in school and work that will be more difficult, in the same way I knwo the Jehovah's Witnesses do. Plus, I view Mormonism as mor cult-like, also like the Jehovah's Witnesses, and that can create anxiety as one is separated from wider society.
     
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  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In my experience Anglicans not being unduly pressured by their church authorities routinely to conform to rites, rules and regulations, tend to be so less anxious about spiritual and religious matters, that they can be easily led astray by the apparently more fervent, overt and enthusiastically 'religious' JWs, LDS, RCs and more whacky 'Fundygelicals'.

    It's not all one direction movement though. I have met two ex-denominationists who came over to the Anglican church and found a deeper sense of peace with God, (that passes understanding), and a more robust faith in Christ. One was brought up Baptist and the other was advised by his doctor to leave his 'Community Fundygelical' church, to be able to worship in a calmer more structured worshipful style, for the sake of his mental health. Both relaxed into being valued members of our congregation, and probably better disciples of Christ.
    .
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What’s interesting though, is that despite that, they have as many holy works as the works-based religions. Put another way, the works-based religions don’t produce any more works. You simply don’t have Roman Catholics extraordinarily climbing mountains, crossing rivers, risking lives. If anything it’s the faith-based versions of Christianity that seem to have more energy and output in the world. They’re writing books, starting projects, evangelizing nations, translating Bibles, catechizing.

    Mormons are an exception in the works-based world in that they do have missions, but that’s because they have a good institutional missionary culture. But if they didn’t have that social pressure to go on mission, they won’t go any more than the others. And in places like Utah where there’s no more mission to do, they have no extraordinary holiness, despite being so much works-based and creating such anxiety in their members.
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "Fundygelicals"? Never heard that one before. Sounds like they put fun colored gels in their hair, or something. :p

    I tend to not poke fun at the fundamentalists/evangelicals. They have a different take on some things, but they usually are sincerely excited and thankful about God's redemption and that's not a bad thing.
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't intending to be rude about Evangelicals or Fundamentalists, 'all God's chillun got rythm'. I just meant I see Anglican-ism is a middle of the road kind of Christianity. We don't go in for extremes of anything but love, moderation and grace. :laugh:
    .
     
  11. thatoneguy

    thatoneguy New Member

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    I agree that all of us will be anxious or feel anxiety at certain points in our lives. My question was due more to the fact that Mormons and ex-Mormons seem to suffer from anxiety in an almost debilitating manner. And you are correct; the anxiety comes from insular group-ism and the self-imposed toxic perfectionism.
    The crux of my question is do Anglicans in general have similar external and internal stimuli which would cause increased anxiety levels?
     
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Generally I think not. The more extreme Evangelical and the more extreme Anglocatholic they drift towards, perhaps the higher the levels of purity code anxiety kicking in, in the form of rules adherence, religious aceticism and ritualistic scruples but even on those extremes I wouldn't say Anglicanism engenders or encourages religious anxiety overly much.
    .
     
  13. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I know plenty of fellow Christians who experience anxiety, including clinical. But seldom (if ever?) does it seem to be linked to their spirituality or beliefs.
     
  14. PDL

    PDL Active Member Anglican

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    I do not think Anglicans would have this kind of anxiety. There is a twofold reason for me saying this. the first one is that I do not think Anglicanism has generally imposed on its adherents the same kind of pressures that some faiths do. I always view Anglicanism as a nice cup of tea and biscuits religion than a hair shirt one. That does not mean it has been hitherto an anything goes faith. However, this brings me to my second reason and this is what I see about the modern Anglican Church in the West at least. It seems to me that nowadays Anglicanism says that whatever makes you happy is good enough for God. That is is you want an open marriage, to live together without being married, to live together in a homosexual reltionship, etc. that's fine and dandy. Where can the anxiety come from when you are allowed to set your own moral standards, if any?
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Most Anglicans can read, and are capable of discerning the moral standards that Jesus taught, as related in the scriptures. What need is there for church officers to monitor and police the conduct of members of its congregations on matters that do not materially or spiritually affect other members of its congregations or the effectiveness of its mission to the world on Christ's behalf?

    Unlike the JWs or LDS the C of E has no one checking to see if members of its congragations sniff glue, drink coffee or alcohol, watch TV or vote in elections when they are not supposed to, let alone demand on seeing their marriage license before they are allowed sex by the church or pry into what goes on in their private bedrooms, night or day. :laugh: This may explain better why there is somewhat less anxiety in Anglican churches about matters which are mostly the business of God and the individuals concerned.

    We don't encourage snooping informers who would snitch on anyone who breaks 'the rules'. :torch:Generally we don't like such snichers in the church and would even prefer 'living together homosexuals in open marriages', (providing they're discreet), in our congregations, rather than biggoted, snooping, eavesdropping, busybody purity code, judas informers. :spider:
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    What?? You mean to say that your rector doesn't peek into your window to make sure you're living a holy life? :jawdrop: Egads! :biglaugh:
     
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