Discussion in 'Church Strands (Anglo-catholics & Evangelicals)' started by Cooper, Dec 14, 2020.
How is it one of the most TEC like dioceses?
Assumption of "Anglican comprehensiveness" rather than being clearly specific in doctrine (albeit centered on evangelical orthodoxy rather than liberal orthodoxy), committment to the ordination of women as a positive Gospel issue, preference for contemporary liturgies ('Renewed Ancient Text' rather than 'Anglican Standard' in the 2019), lackadaisical approach to vestments (neither High or Low), over 50% 'Three Streams' charismatics -- those sorts of things.
I think the worst is behind us. Your TEC-like diocese was already there in 2010-12, when Todd Hunter and the invasion of Three Streams theology made itself felt. Back in 2010-12 there must’ve been a legitimate apprehension that heterodox ideologies could plant themselves before ACNA culture could solidify. Even you say that you dabbled in Three Streams back then; it was probably just something in the water. Nowadays I know of no one who started from a traditional standpoint and then departed from that. The only movement is in the other direction.
A big credit must go to the bishops who held the line, and continue to hold the line on preventing the Three Streams from getting settled on the highest level. The BCP 2019 while with its flaws is a big step forward. That we even have a common Prayer Book despite those early underwater tensions is due to the bishops. Plus the ACNA provincial assemblies: the music, the liturgy, the vestments, the gospel; not even a whiff of heterodoxy there.
On the highest levels, the bishops have managed to hold the line and present the image of ACNA that it needs to present. And that was during the height of Three Streams growth, which by now has lost steam. So to my mind, unless there happens to be an injection of some new (heretofore unseen) engine for heterodoxy, ACNA is going to continue its steady trend toward tradition.
I missed the three streams thing. What is three streams? What was it and why were the flaws of the 2019?
I was unfamiliar with it too, and curious, so I searched online and found a couple of articles. The first gives some good definitions:
The second article probably reflects better thoughts on the issue than the first one:
Anglicanism varies quite a lot regionally within the US. But it's earliest roots were in the Coastal portions of several Southern colonies (VA, SC, GA). Yet the first few American bishops were consecrated from CT and NY. This differentiation has continued to the present. For instance, in Virginia the old culture of 'Virginia Low' (which is badly overestimated and more mythical than representative) still has a certain mystique about it.
The 'three streams' concept was a charismatic infiltration of the traditional churches in a way that was in keeping with the Pentecostal movement rather than the historical mysticism of figures such as Teresa of Avila or the figure known as Julian of Norwich, or even such as St. Bede or Caedmon. It coincided with the modest rise of scholarship within the broader Pentecostal movement. For approximately the first 50 years of Pentecostalism, the movement was anti-intellectual and produced little literature that was notable to the academic theological community. In many places, Pentecostals were viewed as illiterates if not outright heretics and the membership of the churches was caricatured as poor white folks and ignorant blacks. The early days of the movement were also characterized by the rise of many highly influential 'prophets' who employed the revivalist methods popularized by Charles Finney.
True Pentecostalism features several unique theological elements which are dubious or heretical. The Charismatic movement borrowed something of the Pentecostal worship style, and an infatuation with sign gifts, without truly embracing any of the theologies of the Pentecostal pioneers. The 'seeker-sensitive' model of church growth theory ran with this stylistically focused approach and largely dispensed with catechesis in any particular school of doctrine.
I think it is fair to say that the charismatic movement caught on first among mainstream Catholics, and then about a decade later among mainline Protestants. Out of this sprang the liturgical reform that gave us Novus Ordo and the various Prayer and Service Books packed full of alternative rites. Then we got the contemporary praise music.
1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
I'll comment from the standpoint of what I heard during my time in a Pentecostal (Assemblies of God) church. They felt that most Christians were not being taught anything about the gifts of the Spirit, and they felt that it was irresponsible of the mainline denoms to fail to teach on this subject. Thus the Pentecostals regarded themselves as a "full Gospel" group, and they felt a duty not only to emphasize and teach heavily upon the gifts but also to carry the knowledge to the mainline Christians (who were left more or less 'in the dark' by their denoms about the giftings).
1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
They felt strongly that the spiritual giftings (gift of extraordinary faith, gift of healing, gift of miracles, gift of prophecy, gift of discerning of spirits, gift of tongues, and gift of interpreting tongues, as listed in verses 8-10) are meant for the benefit of all people ("to profit withal"), and that each disciple of our Lord will be given ("to every man") an enablement by the Holy Spirit to operate in one (or more) of these gifts. To clarify, they taught that these gifts aren't just to bless the believers but they also show the power of God within the church for the purpose of drawing nonbelievers into the faith; to their way of thinking, the reason mainline denoms were shrinking was largely due to the lack of these giftings. They were fond of pointing out a perceived connection between the numerous signs and wonders which took place in the First Century church and the explosive growth of the church in those days.
This message was, obviously, carried into the big denoms. That's why we saw the "Charismatic movement" and all that. Those who were Pentecostals or Charismatics tended to be more overtly excited about both this aspect of the Gospel and their relationship with God. I think the excitement aspect and the emotionalism eventually overtook the truth behind the message of 1 Cor. 12, though. People mistakenly replaced the true spirit of worship and of love for God with the man-made trappings that bring the emotional 'high'... the fast beat, the loudness, the jumping up and down, the fast-and-hard preaching delivery, and so on. To my view of things, this happened gradually enough that folks didn't recognize it was happening (some of them still haven't recognized it, I think).
The A/G churches seem to have moved away from teaching on the spiritual gifts nowadays, as far as I can tell, and many of them may still be running on the 'fumes' of emotionalism. It goes to show how vital it is to have a balanced teaching and perspective.
I too was brought up in the Assemblies of God. Reading over this conversation has been helpful. Although I moved away from that tradition years ago, I still value the advice given me by an A/G pastor when I was a teenager. When I asked him, somewhat naively, whether I should take certain passages of Scripture figuratively or literally, he replied simply, “Take them seriously.”
There is something about that simple answer that, for me at least, expresses the ethos of the “one stream” of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
Father; I have a question that is a bit off topic here. May I send you a message?