Episcopacy and the Church

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by The Hackney Hub, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    He might have supported it, but he couldn't do so from scripture.

    People can support all kinds of things when they don't base that support on scripture, as is evident in the doctrines and practices of the RCC.
     
  2. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that he does not refer to three orders of ministry, only these. It is known that Cranmer did not believe in three orders, instead he followed Jerome in believing in two orders. Referring to one quote is hardly "unequivocal" either.
     
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  3. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why yes it's a great article. Did you read it? All it talks about is Cranmer's support for the Three Orders. Some quotes:

    "The two offices of bishop and priest were originally not differentiated, and consequently the reason for retaining bishops was a matter of mere expediency on account of historical practice, and possibly by analogy with the threefold synagogue pattern of deacon, elder and president. However, it will be essential to contrast this relatively early outlook with Cranmer’s later writing on the same subject in his Preface to the Ordinal of 1552."

    [i.e. in the Preface already quoted, about the "three orders in the Church".]
    The article continues:

    "... while the retention of bishops was originally a mere issue of Adiaphora, now it is evident that the Archbishop considered it to be much more central. If bishops had been instituted during the apostolic era, then the Church could have no right to remove them from its structure of authority. Furthermore the three orders of ordained ministry, being thus cast in stone in the Preface to the Ordinal, had by this stage become distinctive in Cranmer’s mind"

    or at the end:

    "... in the face of mounting pressure from a nascent non-conformist movement, and in view of the highpoint of his own idealised Erastianism under Edward, he enshrined, within the pages of the Ordinal, the ordained episcopate as a biblical injunction."



    So Hackney, I didn't really want to have anything other than a cordial conversation about Anglican threefold Ministry, but in light of your hostility, we've posted citations direct from Cranmer and Jewel, and the article you sent to rebuff us ended up enshrining the views we contended for.
     
  5. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    What we say falls on deaf ears, unfortunately.
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There is no deaf ear. You guys can quote a Cranmer document from 1540, but that's even before the accession of Edward VI. Don't you think it's fruitless to hang your hat on something which has no doctrinal importance? Isn't it better to hang your hat on the Anglican formularies which contain his later, more mature views?
     
  7. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    One thing that is evident is that Cranmer was confused and conflicted and remained so all his life. To say that his later views reflected a maturity is thus not accurate.

    I really think Anglicanism is confused and conflicted, but I don't mind that, and I don't think it's necessarily bad. It's just a reflection of what Paul said, that we all see through a glass, darkly. I am more suspicious and uncomfortable with people and churches that think they have it all 100% correct; I even actually prefer some ambiguity, uncertainty, and variety of belief to the former.

    One tragedy of Christendom which resulted in needless and Godless persecution and murder was the union of church and state, which Cranmer was also a victim of in the end.
     
  8. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting point. England did not have a single theologian to whom appeal can be made to pronounce final sentence in cases of dispute. The Germans could appeal to Luther and the Presbyterians to Calvin.
     
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  9. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I see the episcopacy as a profound benefit to the church, but not essential. Besides, what used to be a tool for knitting our individual communities together has become a huge wall of seperation obstructing the unity of God's Church. I think that being an Apostolic church means being faithful to the bible which was read and written by the Apostles under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Apostles and faithful Bishops and other ministers following guarded and spread that biblical message throughout the world. Now, so often, bishops can be the most dangerous kinds of heretics.
     
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  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That isn't evident to me at all. He transitioned in his views over the course of his life. At the first encounter with the Reformation he wanted to do away with strong clergy, because the Roman clergy was oppressing the Gospel elsewhere in Europe. But as he matured he observed that Anabaptists and the local nascent English non-conformists diluting the Gospel even more, lacking strong clergy to protect it, so in more mature reasoning, he viewed strong clergy as a bulwark and a defense of the gospel.

    His later views were also not just 'his' views, but the view of the church having been enshrined in our Ordinals.


    According to the Anglican Ordinal, upon which every single clergyman has been ordained for the last 500 years, episcopacy has been established at least as far back as the Apostles themselves.
     
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  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I am not a clergyman. Is the Anglican ordinal inerrant? I thought only the bible had that claim.
     
  12. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It doesn't have to be inerrant to be above our quibbling. "He who claims God as his Father has the Church as his Mother."
     
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  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    But is the church an ministerial institution of the British government or the mystical body of christ? If you think the former, I can see why you would reverence the ordinals as you do. But the latter places more emphasis on the historic Word of God and the Holy Spirit working within the hearts of the believers than it does on documents drawn up by bureaucrats of the crown in the 16th century.
     
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  14. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Church is the mystical body of Christ. If the Church has made a pronouncement on something, be it the Nicene Creed or the 1550 Ordinal, then a Christian is not free to disparage it and consider himself a member of the church. Of course unlike Rome, all this must be conformable to Scripture.
     
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  15. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Do tell that the Henry, Cranmer, et al. I think they would be surprized to hear that.
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why would they be surprised? It was Cranmer himself who said that the Church was the mystical body, and that the Three Orders were established by the Apostles themselves (long before the English government :) ).
     
  17. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    And the scriptures totally refute that.

    BTW, thanks for making my point about Cranmer. He was confused and conflicted throughout his life.

    And you really want to claim that everyone obtains maturity simply as a by-product of the aging process? Really?

    And further, the only one I've ever met who is 100% certain about what Anglicanism is, is you. It teaches exactly what you believe, nothing more and nothing less. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    And he said the exact opposite elsewhere.
     
  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Our Doctrines don't say the exact opposite anywhere. Therein lies your problem.
     
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  20. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    All right, I can accept that. Maybe it's the way you come across that's off-putting.