The Holiness of Saints

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by BibleHoarder, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Can anyone explain to me from an Anglican perspective why we should believe that saints of the RCC and EO are not as holy or perfect as people make them out to be, and why we should question how those churches would produce 'holier' or better people than others? I've had RCCs and EO say that Protestants have nothing to worry about regarding excessive saint venerations because EO/RCCs produce holier people despite those people practicing this, and that Protestants are the ones who should be concerned because their anti-works doctrine produces mediocre Christians.
     
  2. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am not sure there is any reason why we would't see an Orthodox or Roman saint as a Godly person, and I don't believe those churches produce holier people. The RC's and Orthodox have the tradition of canonizing saints (though the Orthodox use a different term), while we don't. The cult of saints was excessive by the middle ages, and the reformers dispensed with saint's days as such, greatly reducing the number of holy days in the BCP.

    Personally, I am glad of that, though I see nothing wrong with commemorating saints (particularly British Saints) who lived prior to the Reformation. What I find problematic is how many Anglo-Catholics have added post-Reformation RC saints to their calendars. I was taken aback a few years ago when I saw Bernadette of Lourdes on one Anglo-Catholic calendar, and Maximilian Kolbe on an Anglo-Catholic website. I don't question the holiness of either, but we are Anglicans, not RC's, and it makes us look silly to be aping the RC's in so many areas, such as birettas, missals, commemorating their saints, etc. I have a great love for St. Francis de Salles, and I respect Mother Teresa among others, but the holy days in the BCP are quite adequate, at least for me.
     
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  3. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    Peteprint, we run in similar circles. Have you heard some of your colleagues calling for a canonization process to be reinstated or revived? There is a fellow priest in my jurisdiction who is adamant that it will be needful for the Continuing churches to do so. His reasoning is that it is a mark of authenticity for our churches to be producing individuals who are widely recognized as Saints.
     
  4. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I haven't heard of that, Shane, but it sounds like a good idea if the continuing bodies are going to maintain the commemoration of saints on the calendar. They can't (I suppose they can) keep borrowing from the RC's.
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    If sheer numbers are the criteria upon which RCSs and EOs are basing their 'list of honours', the Protestants and Reformed would actually outnumber their 'lists', because WE count every faithful believing person owning obediently Jesus Christ as their Lord and their Saviour, as a saint. 1 Cor.1:2.
     
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  6. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    They'll just use that as ammunition to say Anglicans are wannabe Catholics because they don't produce any real saints. I've heard RCCs say that about Anglicans.
     
  7. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I can understand why some say that. Some (not all) Anglo-Catholics seem to be more like Old Catholics than Anglicans, and seem indistinguishable from RC's of the 19th century.
     
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  8. Shane R

    Shane R Active Member

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    There is an essay making the rounds at the moment, I think it was published last month, where the author identified three types of Anglicanism: Canterbury (liberal and dying), GAFCON (evangelical and charismatic), and Scranton (Anglo-Catholic with an emphasis on the Catholic, the true progeny of the Oxford movement). That he chose to call Anglo-Catholicism 'Scranton' Anglicanism is telling, because that is nothing less than equating the position with that of the Old Catholics (at least those who have rejected women's ordination).
     
  9. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes, I have read that essay and you are correct; it places the Anglo-Catholics with the Polish National Catholic Church, among others. Anglican distinctives have somehow been lost along the way. BCP, anyone?
     
  10. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I looked more closely at the Union of Scranton and, other than not recognizing the Pope as universal head of the Church (and infallible when speaking ex-cathedra), I don't see any real difference between its signatories and Roman Catholics. They state that one doesn't have to accept the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, yet they have no problem if one does. Just Old Catholics.
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    Article 20 & Article 6: Laudable Anglican tolerance of personal beliefs or just the thin end of the wedge of Imposed Non-biblical Roman Catholic Dogmatics?

    If the issue goes like women's ordination and the 'shibboleth shaking out' that initiated, it will be 'thin end of the wedge' for the sect that splits off, in the opinion of those still sticking to the 39. There won't even be any acceptable evidence to support either of those two pious pontifical, humanly devised and non-scriptural concepts.
    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018 at 3:37 AM
  12. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    My experiences with RCs who not only believe in what they teach, but try to 'evangelize' you to be part of it, since they believe non-Catholics are frauds, has been nothing short of nightmarish and painful. Even before you speak to them, they are usually bearing a very smartass kind of grin, or a false, thespian-like 'somber' appearance to seem solemn, but is very stagey. Let's not even forget to mention the creepy vacant stare in their eyes and tone of voice, their lack of showing compassion and humility when reaching out to people who distrust them because of past hurts by members claiming to be RC, and all I can say is that there is nothing short of a truly Satanic attitude behind whatever is driving them. For instance, if I tell them I do not want to talk to them or am having trouble trusting RCs because of conflicts with them during attempted dialogues in my past, rather than try and say they are sorry on their behalf and then show some kind of care and sympathy, they immediately say it is all your fault and they could never have done anything wrong. They took advantage of my vulnerability at these times and deepened my hurt, saying I was lying, talking in sarcastic tones.... The kind of rude, cold and wicked demeanor I've seen from them rivals the kind I've gotten from atheists. That's not good! I have been misunderstood and hurt MANY times in the Protestant churches I've been to, and yet there has always been a good deal of people who have redeemed whatever damage the hypocrisy of the others could've done. Not the case with RCs. The only times I've seen it extended to me by them is when the RC in question was more liberal and did not practice the more divisive doctrines of the church that we Protestants usually object to, meaning they were not truly RC. And yet they talk about their pantheon of saints! I've had encounters with them in Protestant religious communities like the Salvation Army where the evangelical staff and others were showing genuine outreach and care to their clients, and the catholics would be going off about how spiritually mediocre the Protestants generally were, while doing absolutely nothing themselves to counter or usurp in example what the employees were doing in their time. I pointed it out to them and a few things were brought up. One was about evangelism between 'Christian' groups. They said we are just getting a taste from RCs what evangelicals feel when cults like Mormons or JWs try to evangelize them into what they believe is a true church. I said that is probably not true because I've never been hurt or offended as much by them as I had by Catholics. Then they said it's because Satan does not attack Satan, and the anger is only towards the RC because it's the true church. And I said that would be maybe somewhat believable if most of the time they weren't sitting there boasting about how much better they are while the evangelical workers are doing most of the good, then maybe they could be eligible make the first strike, provided whatever charity they are doing is even better at all than the Protestants. They mentioned how I wasn't being so 'nice' and I mentioned (quite unnecessary, they were saying rude things from the start) that maybe that was true, because I wasn't entirely mature in any kind of sanctification of sorts, or that I had doubts about religion as a whole, even going so far as to saying maybe people should reject any kind of faith, Protestant and RC included, and that the former members were better off leaving the churches. But I said my experience was better with Protestants and in spite of RC claims to the contrary (that Prots claim you only have to believe and never do good to be a Christian) I felt the Protestants were doing something right. They mocked me, made smartass remarks, tried to find superficial reasons in the workers there to make them seem like they were not good or worse than they were (same could be said about catholic charity workers). I got so frustrated and was so hurt that I began assaulting them and telling them to go away, broke down in tears, being reminded of the confusion and religious abuse I had suffered growing up, etc. It was very painful. They tried to get sympathy from the employees but they weren't watching and hadn't seen it, and anyways, the workers were largely ex-Catholics and didn't agree with someone coming to an evangelical community and trying to convert them to the RC. That's rather appropriate. I believe it was wrong for me to attack them, but I was suffering spiritually at that time (in my teens), and did not know really what to believe, I was still figuring out God and hadn't indulged in the bible, and had mental problems that required medication which is still something I'm troubled with now.

    RC stuff makes me VERY uneasy. There are already so many good people in other denominatons that aren't practicing the questionable things that turn me away from the RC, that it doesn't matter most of the time if there are a few good folks here and there in that church. This is only a very small example of my ongoing problems with the RCs I've gone through. Even seeing them or hearing about them makes me extremely uncomfortable. There are catholic books that I have in my collection that sometimes irk me so much, I want to burn them. When I hear Anglicans talk glaringly about the RCC, it makes me extremely uncomfortable because my conscience is not OK with it. Certainly, some RCs will be saved, but for now, I want to be distant from them whenever possible.
     
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  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    glaringly? Did you intend to write 'glowingly', in that some Anglo-catholics seem almost more 'RC' than even most RCs are after Vat.II and all that?

    I agree that there will always be those for whom the Oxford movement could never have gone far enough, but for some strange reason they don't want to 'jump ship' completely and go RCC, 'Historical 18/19th c. RC is what they really want', but they can't any longer find an RC church to their liking anymore. They seem therefore intent upon making the Church of England, or Anglican Communion, more Old Catholic, and if that does not work they 'hive off' and start or join an 'off shoot' which adheres more to their hearts desire and which they therefore will claim is more, Truly Anglican.

    That sort can be very discomforting, a real vexation. You have my sympathies.
    .
     
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  14. BibleHoarder

    BibleHoarder Active Member

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    Sure. I've been told, even by some struggling Catholics, that, "You will hear more about saints in the Catholic church than you will actually find them." Protestants have many godly people whose lives and writings have inspired millions, it's just that they don't have a 'hall of fame' like the Roman or Eastern saints do. Speaking of which, the fact that the RCs are not the only ones who have saints, also says something about their church. For St. Francis, you have the Orthodox's St. Seraphim of Sarov, and for Mother Teresa you have Mother Gavrilia. There is just as much pomp, pretention, and superstition in the accounts of Eastern saints as there is in the Roman ones, and maybe a spat of genuine humility and holiness here and there when they were actually acting as God told them to.
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    Indeed, indeed. My own evolving faith was much influenced by the life and teachings of St Francis of Assisi and also by Sadhu Sundar Singh. Both of them exceptional human beings, but no more 'saved' than anyone else, just more enthusiastic, therefore good examples.
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