Should the Church of England close because of its history?

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Andrewofthetribe, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Hi everyone I'm new to this forum and I would like to share my views on the history of our church. Yes I'm harsh in my views but I'm sure you will see why I feel this way after reading my post. Im not unswayable in my opinion and I feel many people won't like the look of my post, but at the very least I'd appreciate some feed back to my views. Please don't label me just yet as some kind of heretic I'm new to my faith and genuinely looking for the path of truth. Even though I mention the Church of England closing, I feel it could be rebuilt on firmer rocks than it originally was. In fact it's a dream of mine to see the Church of England step up to the plate and take on the challenges of Morden Christians of England.

    As I live near a battle site that Oliver Cromwell fought at and he is written in to English history of that battle as a hero, I've had more than a passing interest in his life. But it is only now at the age of 48yrs old that I'm beginning to become aware of the atrocious killings of many Irish catholic men and women. I've always wondered what caused the heartless slaying of our own kind back in the civil war, why their was so much persecution of the common man, and why myself as a white English Protestant feel ashamed at times at some of our history. What I never learned at school is that during these medieval and right up into the 19th century times, a second book was chained to the alter. In fact this second book was often called the common mans bible and considered uncouth for the highly educated. It was the second most read book in the land. This book was written by a man named John Foxe and was commonly referred to as “ The book of martyrs” its contents were spread throughout the land and as I said it was preached to the ears of the commonfolk of England. The message in this book was of martyrdom and dying for Jesus Christ. The common folk of England believed that this martyrdom was Devine and gave the sacrifice of their lives. They genuinely believed that if they did not kill Catholics, they would be murdered. Just to be clear here the English people honestly believed they were fighting evil. In the times that they lived death for heresy and religious extremism was rife, people were butchered for being catholic and the common folk who were afraid or didn't want to be killed joined the Church of England. In the Church of England the people of the land were fed the book of Martyrs. So why did people start murdering each other and hating each other? Because someone allowed the words of men into a church and decreed it Devine in a very underhand way. I lay the bloodshed and guilt of the last four centuries right back where it belongs, with the head of the church and I genuinely believe that the monarchy that is still alive and well prospering from their murderous history should hold their hands up and apologise to the people of Ireland and Catholics worldwide.Also apologise to the very people that committed these crimes against life, thinking that they would be saved!The people of England that have supported the monarchs church for over 500 years. I'd like to see if the great Church of England would hold up its hands and admit it was preaching the views and stories of men for centuries and causing them to give up their lives for a book that didn't even come from God! It had a very political agenda. Can a church continue with this history behind it? Why should the common man of England carry this cross for a false message? How many of our Irish brothers and sisters were murdered to please our monarchy?
    The Church of England is around 600 years old, from its early inception right up and into the 19th century it preached hatred of Catholics, so 400 years of hate preaching out of its 600 of existing? Surely this church must be disbanded? How can a man be unioned with his wife in such a place of bloodshed and death? How should we uphold our values of Christ if our churches history was a lie?
     
  2. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    I find it extremely sad that thousands upon thousands of men died thinking they were serving Jesus Christ, when in fact they were deceived by the doctrine of men and the agenda of a king. They also found no salvation only a brutal and bloody past that haunts englishmen like myself of guilt even today.Let the monarchy step down from the church and it's sins of the past and let Christ lead the Church of England. Let the common folk know that when they raise up for the Lord it is for Gods sake and not for the greed of kings and politicians.Let it be known they are only members of our church and shall not devalue the Devine with human sins. Let the old church born of sin die and let the new church rise in Christ. Shall the common man of England ever be released of the burden of guilt? How long shall we bear this sin upon our shoulders? The good Christian souls of England are weary of carrying the sins of a kings past, let the bodies who committed these sins come forward " monarchy and Church of England " Repent your sins and you will receive forgiveness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here is where you probably take most of your errors. Whether Cromwell was a good man or not depends on whose history you read. And in fact he was not a good man, and a heretic against the truth faith himself. Under his tyranny the Church of England was oppressed and suppressed so I am truly mystified at how you happened to find any relationship between the two. Under cromwell the presbyterians used to hunt down Anglican priests and hang them while despoiling Anglican churches, destroying the altar rails and throwing out the crosses. You are angry at the Presbyterians and Independents and the heretics who ran England under Cromwell's watch. You are angry at Cromwell himself. You shouldn't be angry at the Church of England.

    I don't know what you are talking about. The Church of England never preached for the the murder of Irishmen and women. It's simply not true.

    You are messed up. You're an Englishman so confused and bombarded by guilt-ridden and guilt-evoking messages that you begin to hate your own patrimony. To get you to hate your own patrimony was indeed the objective of those who infused the guilt-evoking messages into your mind. You have been made to hate your country, your people, and your Church.
     
  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Welcome among us.

    Foxes book of Martyrs' was first published in 1563. That means it was published 1 year after the 39 Articles of Religion and but 5 years after the Death of Queen Mary and the last Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury Reginald Pole. Quite a number of faithful people had been executed and otherwise done in in the time of Mary, and there was a strong public reaction/revulsion to that time of terror.

    It is important to recall that England of that time was not as gentile as it might be perceived. This is 78 years after the Battle of Bosworth Field which was the last time the crown was claimed a right of conquest, as Richard III perished in battle (not that I think he was any great saint, though he had said his prayers before battle that day). My point is that when we make assessments of history, we should do so mindful of the historic and social context in which they took place.

    I am not fond of assessments that see the Church of England beginning under Henry or Elizabeth. The Church of England goes way back, and under Augustine had a level of Independence, which no doubt wobbled a bit until the conquest and the deposition of Stigand. The Collect for Purity (Alimighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known ... ) - which almost marks English liturgy, goes back to pre-conquest vesting prayers.

    Established Churches with connection to the state have been a feature of history, often called the curse of Constantine - though in reality it was some time after that the connection set in. In most parts of the world the Anglican Church is not the established Church, and in England their is no sense today that being Church of England is required or desirable for any office, save that of the regent (and I am not even sure of that any more).

    There are quite a number of people in history with whom I would probably not wish to spend any great time with. Richard III, Mary Tudor and Oliver Cromwell would be amongst them. All institutions have history that is 'curates egg' and our job is not to start again, but rather to build on the good, repair what we can, and learn from the bad.

    Anyway, welcome among us, (and by way of a hint - shorter paragraphs make for easier reading on screen)
     
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  5. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Hi still not sure where I'm taking most of my errors from. I'm not angry at Cromwell, yes he was an evil vicious man but he is not responsible for bringing a book of hatred into the Church of England and preaching that message as if it was scriptures for almost four hundred years. It was not Cromwells decision to have the book of martyrs chained next to the bible in every cathedral? Where do you get your assumption that the Church of England never preached a message of hate against Catholics, Irish Catholics? I definatley don't hate my country, in fact I spend many weekends walking through the countryside of our little island and it never ceases to inspire and refresh me. As for my people, I love the people of England they are my people and I shall never judge them unfairly. If I'm so mixed up about this can you please show me the proof that the Church of England did not preach the book of martyrs to the common folk of England for over four hundred years. I would be grateful if you could as I want to get to the truth.
     
  6. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Hi and thank you for your feed back it is much appreciated. Please excuse my long paragraphs, although English is my native tongue, my schooling was a little suspect lol.
    Surely the place to start with rebuilding is with an acceptance of the sins or deeds that caused these problems in the first place.
    It appears to my not so well educated mind that what I have learned is that the Church of England brought a book of hatred( the book of martyrs) into the cathedrals and the churches of the land and read from this book as if it was scripture? Is this correct? It appears to be the general consensus of historians who speak of the book of martyrs ? Not only did they preach from this book, they continued to do so for over 400 hundred years! I'm sorry if I sound dumb or full of errors as the post above yours tells me but I can only believe what I have read. If this is true then the Church of England are guilty of preaching hatred and death?
     
  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    1) What do you have against Foxe's book? You never even specified the basic problems you were having.

    2) According to the Anglican liturgy no books may be used in worship other than the Scriptures and the Prayer Book (and hymnals for the music). Foxe's book could by no means have ever been "preached" from in any Church of England pulpit, setting, or context.

    As an Englishman who claims he loves his country, you would've been be going to church every Sunday and will have known the specifics of the Anglican liturgy, such as that Foxe's book could never have functioned in an Anglican ecclesiastical setting.
     
  8. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I have only reasonable recently become aware of the book, and I have not studied it. I am in no way aware that it has ever been part of formal religious activity, and certainly as @anglican74 says it should not have been part of worship as such. The 39 Articles suggest that the Books of Homilies were the source of preaching for those not licensed to preach the Gospel in their own right. There is in English History some blurred lines between popular culture and the Church, partly because historically the Church was such an important part of the social fabric.

    I don't know the historic sources you are referencing but I have had a look at the Wikipedia article and it seems it did have some level of approval within the Church.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs

    Anyway to repeat my earlier statement: All institutions have history that is 'curates egg' and our job is not to start again, but rather to build on the good, repair what we can, and learn from the bad.

    I don;t think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
     
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  9. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Wikipedia seems to disagree ?
    Following a 1571 Convocation order, Foxe's Acts and Monuments was chained beside the Great Bible in cathedrals, select churches, and even several bishops' and guild halls. Selected readings from the text were proclaimed from the pulpit as was (and as if it were) Scripture. It was read and cited by both ecclesiastical and common folk, disputed by prominent Catholics, and defended by prominent Anglicans. Acts and Monuments sailed with England’s gentleman pirates, encouraged the soldiers in Oliver Cromwell’s army, and decorated the halls at Oxford and Cambridge.[63]
     
  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Wikipedia, you mean the website anyone can edit?....

    I'll even go so far as to say that if there ever were readings from Foxe's book they constituted canonical and liturgical abuse and thus were liable to punishment from the canons of the Church of England. The Church that is the mother to the English people made it an emphasis never to spread a word within her walls that wasn't specifically and exclusively God's word.
     
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  11. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Lol since when was the Church of England our mother. Is there anyone here who truly knows the Church of England ?
     
  12. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I am a member of the Church of England.

    Dreadful atrocities have been committed in the name of religion by Protestants and Roman Catholics and the Church of England. There was persecution of Dissenters in the reign of Roman Catholic Mary Tudor - known as Bloody Mary. During her 5 years on the throne I believe around 280 dissenters were burned at the stake. John Foxe was exiled during her reign and, as you say, later wrote about Protestant Martyrs, which may well have contributed to distrust, suspicion and even hatred of Roman Catholics for many years to come.

    The history of Roman Catholic Church will show its own atrocities - the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitons for example. You say can the Church of England continue with its history behind it - well, if the RC Church can continue with its history behind it, then I imagine that yes, the C of E can continue with its history behind it.
     
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  13. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    How did you become a member of the Church of England ? The first time I heard of my religion my mother told me I was Church of England . I was CofE from that day on and always knew which box to tick when filling out forms. Shall we introduce ourselves? I'm Andrew I'm a carpenter from Banbury. And I believe the Church of England is in desperate need of a reformation. What do you think?
     
  14. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Here is where I think I disagree with your views Christina (my daughters name) "dreadful atrocities have been committed in the name of " the Church of England". I have no other proof than only for the Church of England. Please don't think I'm blaming all religions my message is one of truth.
     
  15. DivineOfficeNerd

    DivineOfficeNerd Active Member Anglican

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    My friend,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhineland_massacres
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Wars

    Every religion, denomination, and sect in the world has a past that sometimes isn't conducive. There have been massacres committed in the name of God, by Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, all types of Muslims, Hindus, you name it. Saying that you only have proof for the Church of England is folly.
     
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  16. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes we are church because of our history and sometimes we are church in spite of our history. Our challenge is to make it better. What makes it better is a challenge. If you look at the 39 Articles, written in a time of great stress and sectarian pressure, you see the work of those who were trying (and in my humble opinion succeeding in good measure) to make it better.

    I can't fix history, but I can have in impact in the present on the future. That is our great challenge. I think we should be very grateful to @Andrewofthetribe tribe for bringing the matter to our conscientiousness level.

    Lord, change the world, beginning with me. Amen
     
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  17. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Im not saying other churches do not have histories peppered with untruths, I'm saying I have proof that the Church of England taught hatred for 400 hundred years. I would like to see it put its hands up and admit this? How can a church survive with the bloodshed of thousands of men and women on its hands? Surely a reformation is needed?
     
  18. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    Thank you for your kind understanding of my beliefs, it's nice not to be condemned for speaking our minds isn't it. Imagine a time when even your children would sing nursery rhymes like parables to show the true spirit in the face of suffering. Shall we not learn from mistakes of the past. If the Church of England was to stand up and be counted for these acts, then the common man would see how evil hatred really is.Lett the Church show our true history and the suffering it has caused, let the young people of this land know what the results of hatred are. How much longer shall we preach of Christ? It's time we taught of christs message and the struggles that the common man has suffered through the preaching of hatred down the generations .We are currently in times of division and there are many messages of hate all around us, shall we fight fire with fire or shall we give people hope? Was christs message one of hope? I personally think so. The churches are empty of the faithful, numbers are at their lowest ever. Why? The common folk of the land are sick of being preached at, their souls are weary of war and hatred, why sit in a church on Sundays and be preached a message of sacrifice. I'd rather spend some time around people that love me (family friends etc) shall I be considered unclean or sinful for not attending? is that not also a message of hate? Who dares to speak for Christ and knows his mind. Not I ! How can we trust the church? I don't think we can until it has been reformed. Let the Church show its true history and let us build upon that. Let the church be our corner stone , it would be a church rebuilt on truth, it would give the common folk their history back and it would build bridges back to the Church of England. Let us build a new Christian nation that gives out hope to the common folk and everyone who meets us.
     
  19. Christina

    Christina Active Member

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    I don't understand your response at all I am afraid. There are definitely atrocities that have been committed in the name of the Roman Catholic Church, Protestant denominations and other religions. Your concerns about the history of the C of E obviously bothers you a lot, but personally I am more concerned about what happens in the Church today.
     
  20. Andrewofthetribe

    Andrewofthetribe New Member

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    I wish I could tell you what happens in our church today, there is a church in a village near me. It looks absolutely delightful, it's from real medieval times and even has symbols carved in the rafters of times before the church even knew Christ. I have never seen inside it but I would love to and I would love to know more about it. It's always been locked the couple of times I have tried the door and I'm not totally sure if I'm allowed in there. I would love to go inside and meet the congregation but I'm afraid I wouldn't feel welcome at all. It's the people that makes a church and gives out a warm welcome, I'm not feeling it at all with the Church of England. They have lost their way.
     

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