How do Anglican's approach prayers of intercessions to saints?

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Incorrect. The Athanasian Creed is printed on p. 864 of the '79 American book.

    The Articles of Religion are a fascinating subject. There were the little known 12 Articles of 1538, possibly mostly ignored by modern scholars because they were published in Latin. The Act of the Six Articles of 1539 was probably acceptable to most Roman Catholics of that time (the 1st is questionable but was probably acceptable in the pre-Tridentine period). Then we get 42 in 1553 and now the church has imbibed deeply of Continental Protestantism. Then the 39 in 1571, which many scholars have intimated were primarily a political solution. Too many have assumed that the development from 42 to 39 just represented a deletion of 3 problematic articles but this is not the case. That is lazy scholarship. There exist more differences than just dropping a few articles. A careful reading will unveil a struggle between the Lutheran and Reformed parties over who will dominate English Protestantism.

    Then we have the RECs 'Declaration of Principles' in the 1870s, which has been all but suppressed in the current era, except around E. Pennsylvania. The Continuum gave the Anglican world the 'Affirmation of St. Louis', which took a controversial position recognizing 7 councils and 7 sacraments. And GAFCON has given us the Jerusalem Declaration. Some of these later documents either effectively supplanted or became interpretive keys to some of the intentional vagueness of the 39 Articles of Religion.

    But what has generally been recognized, except among a certain faction of the Evangelical party, is that the Articles of Religion were not a confession of faith after the same manner as the Augsburg Confession, Belgic Confession, or Westminster Confession. Rather, they represented parameters of acceptable public teaching. We have three Confesssions of faith (2 in many pockets) in the form of the 3 creeds.
     
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I didn’t mean to sidetrack this thread, so I’ll just say a few things here and let someone else more capable elaborate further.

    We have to humble ourselves by the fact that it formed Christians for thousands of years, and is above any person’s individual hesitancy or quibbles. Ours is not an individualistic faith. I know that cuts against the grain of postmodern 21st America, but 21st century America is not a healthy culture.

    To me that’s a distinction without a difference. For centuries the clergy had to swear on the Prayer Book, on the Articles, etc. It was always understood as an accurate representation of ancient, pre-Roman, catholic church. And so it is. While, yes, it wasn’t meant to be exhaustive in the way that the confessions you listed were, nevertheless it was meant to be factually true.
     
  3. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Do the Articles not say the councils can err? Does that not mean that the articles can err? If the articles themselves state that they can err than you can affirm the articles knowing that they may be wrong and you can push how to correct the wrong in interpretation or intent.
     
  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Of course anything man-made can be wrong, and that applies not only to the Articles but to the Council of Nicea, the Apostles Creed and anything else. However with Church documents, an individual doesn't have the capacity to falsify Church documents. For example when Luther put up a challenge to the Roman teachings, his challenge alone was insufficient to make his claims have merit. Only the Church can correct the Church, which is precisely what happened with the Church of England that had affirmed the Reformation and rolled back the Roman errors near-unanimously (something like 98-99% of the Convocation).

    The way it played out has given to the future a literally ideal alternative the two current (untenable) paradigms: each person deciding his doctrine for his own, and the Church calling its decrees infallible while overturning them every so often.
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I was reading a devotional text today, "The Fates of the Twelve Apostles," by the Anglo-Saxon poet Cynewulf. Near the end of the work is this interesting passage:
    And now I pray that man, whosoever hath joy in the course of this lay, that he entreat that holy band for me in my affliction, for help and peace and succour. How great a need have I of gentle friends upon my way, when I seek out alone my long home, that unknown dwelling-place, and leave behind the body, this bit of earth, to be a spoil and solace unto worms.
    "That holy band" is an allusion to the twelve apostles. This piece thus demonstrates that prayer to and intercession of the saints was an accepted part of English piety in the 9th century. How Cynewulf understood this practice is unclear. What that has to do with the present day, you decide. It is an interesting historical note.
     
  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    It does seem to be a long established practice even in the earliest centuries. The Articles only talk about Romanish practices so I see nothing wrong with asking Saints to pray for us, understand how it can quickly get out of hand, and understand the need to be careful with it.