Various Questions

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Elmo, Dec 4, 2021.

  1. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    Hi all,

    Sorry if these questions cross any lines or break any rules; if they do, please let me know. Thanks.

    I have a bunch of questions for the Anglicans on here, which I assume is most of you, that are quite vague and lengthy, but I talk about this kind of stuff with a Catholic very often and I would highly appreciate your own understandings and answers.

    1. What relationship would you say the Anglican Church has to other Protestant churches? As Anglicanism is famously the 'via media', would you identify strongly as a Protestant, or consider the CofE its own understanding apart from the rest of Protestantism in some way? Conversely, how close would you say it is, or you personally are, to the Roman Catholic Church?
    2. Where does the Anglican Church stand on Tradition? I've read that the CofE is Prima Scriptura, not Sola Scriptura - what would you say about this and how does the Church, and yourself, interpret it?
    3. What is your opinion on High Anglicanism and their dialoguing with the RCC? With the OC?
    4. What does the Anglican Church have to say about prayer to saints, Marian devotion, etc.? What do you think?
    5. What is your opinion on the nature of Communion?
    6. What is the official doctrine regarding atonement? I.e., which theory does the CofE hold to.
    7. What does the modern Anglican Church say about female ordination and what is your opinion?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    Those questions could encompass the contents of several books!
     
    Elmo likes this.
  3. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    They could indeed. I'm not a Christian but I do have a genuine interest in these things and like to go right to the heart. I'm not looking for heaps of writing, but as a former Anglican and discussing these things with a Catholic I'm also prepared to read heaps of writing :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  4. Acolyte

    Acolyte New Member

    Posts:
    14
    Likes Received:
    19
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Anglican (inactive)
    Hi Elmo,

    I'm a newbie here, but since your post seems to call for responses from individuals rather than an official corporate response, I'll throw out my own thoughts. Others will have their own as well as being better at expressing them. So, you can expect more cogent and accurate responses from others in due course:

    1. This depends on who you talk to, as Anglicanism includes a spectrum of believers that runs from more "protestant" at one extreme and more "anglo-catholic" on the other in terms of worship and a variety of other matters. However, all consider themselves to be "catholic" in the sense that term is used in the creeds. For myself, I try to hew to the middle, but this still doesn't keep me from being closer to one side or the other on different matters.

    2. In terms of tradition, the usual three-fold approach of Anglicanism involves looking at issues in the light of Scripture, Tradition and Experience. However, that once again allows for a lot of variation as applied. In terms of the Prima vs. Sola issue, this once again tends to depend on whether the person/group involved is closer to the "protestant/reformed" side of the spectrum or the anglo-catholic side.

    3. OK by me. However, since both the EO and the RCC ultimately (IMO) see themselves as being superior to Anglicanism, there are limits to how far this can go. I.e., they do not IMO deal with Anglicans as an equal in the conversation, so ultimately talking to them tends to end up as a "my way or the highway" type situation. They also look down on each other, but not I think as much as they look down on us.

    4. This was not something I grew up with in the U.S. Episcopal Church, but once again, you can find it at the Anglo-Catholic side of the spectrum. From a personal standpoint, I don't get too much up in arms about that type of thing though it is not part of my own devotional practice.

    5. You'll need to ask me again after I finish the book by William Law on the matter I am currently reading. However, I do believe in the "Real Presence" if that is the answer you are looking for. I just don't feel any need to go any further in defining the means/manner in which this is true.

    6. I'll leave this to someone else. Once again, I'm a simple layman who looks to Jesus as my Lord and Savior and the one who gave his life for my salvation, but don't find that I have to go too much farther in terms of defining the why/wherefore on this (at least not at the moment).

    7. Here the division IMO is between modernists and traditionalists (plus scripturalists?) rather than the protestant vs. anglo-catholic division. I'm personally conflicted on the matter, but that is because I personally like some of the ladies I have met in this role. However, despite this I have a great deal of doubt that this is what God intends.

    So, there's your first set of answers. There are others here who are capable of doing much better, so I will look forward to seeing what they have to say as well.

    Cordially,
    Acolyte
     
    Rexlion and Elmo like this.
  5. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    Thanks for your answers; I appreciate the time you took. I would love to hear more about your views on the Real Presence if you'd be willing to share, now or later :)
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    2,320
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    This idea of via media is one of the misconceptions in the late 19th century, which led the Anglican tradition to the crisis it’s experienced in our lifetimes.

    The Anglican tradition is not a via media, or a middle, or a compromise between some extremes. Anglicanism is its own kind of extreme, in that it claims to be the last/only patristic church left in existence. This was the Anglican view before the ‘via media’ cancer took over. We have some elements of the Protestants, but that’s because many of the Reformers were similarly inspired by the church fathers (for a time). We are deeply saddened that almost all Protestants failed to keep the legacy of the Reformation, which is dear to us. So either most Protestants today have stopped being Protestant, or we were more Reformational than Protestant to begin with. People are working out this question these days.

    We have a similar tension with the Roman church. Some things we overlap on, some we find as grievously mistaken. What we disagree on is the nature of the gospel: they fundamentally believe that they can work up the ladder to God, while we stick to the teaching of the apostles and fathers, on grace. They believe there’s an open-ended ‘sacred tradition’ that can magically justify anything they want which isn’t found in the Scriptures, while we don’t believe that as the church fathers didn’t. What we do agree with the Romans on is what the Church visibly looks like. How it feels, how it functions, that’s how the Fathers did it and we haven’t deviated from it.

    In short, we take Scripture and the fathers as our tent pole. Wherever the Protestants coincided with that, we coincide with them. Where the Romans coincided with them, we coincide with them.

    In short, we seek the extreme objective outlined above.

    These terms have become vague and ambiguous these days, which is part of why they’re very frustrating to use.

    In the original meaning, sola scriptura was uttered in the context of the Roman claim, that revelation is contained in scripture and tradition. We answered: no only in scripture. It was a specific answer to a specific question, namely where can we find God’s revelation.

    But it’s come to mean sources of authority. As authorities, we definitely take several: scripture, the church fathers, natural law, reason, church tradition, etc. but of those, only one is the actual revelation from God himself.

    Anglicanism has always been “high church” in terms of how it understood the role of the church.

    But during the late 19th c. crisis I mentioned above, “high church” had begun to mean a form of Romanism (because they did a good job brainwashing people that their way of doing church was -the- way). You can still find some of those high church Anglicans today. However as the Roman church is going through it own existential crisis, those kinds of “high church” Anglicans are losing the ground from under their feet. We are coming back to the traditional and patristic understanding of being a classical high church.

    Except for the Rome-eyeing group I just mentioned, nothing good.

    Spiritual real presence. Pretty standard stuff found all over the patristics. Real presence, but not physical transubstantiation that merits worship.

    Not sure what this question meant. If you mean the models of atonement, probably Anselm’s.

    Deeply vexing question. The conservatives are against it. The progressives are for it. The conservative churches are growing, while the progressive churches are dying.

    As for me personally, I am ferociously against it. I view feminism as the original ‘gender ideology’ that has now through many forms and shapes consumed the West.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    Othniel, Rexlion and Elmo like this.
  7. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    Thanks for this. This site seems to back this up Via Media: Factual or Fanciful? - Reformation 21

    Very interesting stuff.

    So you would say that only scripture is sufficient for doctrine, as in the XXXIX Articles. This makes sense to me. I would ask where the belief of the Harrowing of Hell comes, from, in this case. It's an Article of Faith and I assume finds its backing in the Apostles' Creed. Can one find this in the scripture or elsewhere?
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    2,320
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    1. Ephesians 4:9. Christ descended into Hell after He offered His life on the cross. “Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” Note here that Hell is described as having “parts” that is the four parts of Hell.
    2. Acts 2:24. “God hath raised up Christ, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that He should be holden by it.”
    3. 1 Peter 3:19. “Christ coming in spirit preached to those spirits that were in prison, which had some time been incredulous.” On this verse, Saint Athanasius says that “Christ’s body was laid in the sepulchre when He went to preach to those spirits who were in bondage, as Peter said.” (Ep. ad Epict.)
    4. Hosea 13:14 puts these words into the mouth of the Messiah: “O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite.”
    5. Zechariah foretells the redemption of those in the Limbo of the Fathers in Zech 9:11: “Thou also by the blood of Thy Testament hast sent forth Thy prisoners out of the pit.” What could this mean except that the Messiah would free people from the underworld?
    6. Colossians 2:15: “Despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath exposed them confidently.”
     
    Acolyte and Rexlion like this.
  9. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    Thank you.
     
  10. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    I also disagree with radical gender ideology and, were I any flavour of mainline Christian, would not support female clergy. I'm curious as to what reasoning the Anglican Church formerly used before it began ordaining women, however, if you know it.
     
  11. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    2,320
    Country:
    America
    Religion:
    Anglican
    If you mean what reasoning was used to enable the first WO ordinations, they would be feminism. First wave-feminism was formulated in the 1850s (and all the radical effects we see today were already present in germ form there). The Church of England held out until 1994.
     
    Elmo likes this.
  12. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    I meant what reasoning did it use for not ordaining them, sorry for confusion! If a sceptic were to ask, Why are women not allowed to be clergy? What would their answer have been? Thanks!
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    The pattern God set forth for us indicates that men are to be the leaders. God the Father, for instance, portrays Himself as the Father and not the mother for a reason. The first created human, Adam, was male. Jesus, the Redeemer and 'second Adam', is male. The priests and levites who served in the OT temples were all males. The Apostles were all males. The leaders in the church all were males, always and everywhere, until the past (IIRC) 75 years, so female leadership is an innovation and doesn't reflect the long-existing understanding of the pattern God set forth. One of Paul's epistles specifies that men (husbands) are to be the heads of households and wives are supposed to yield to the husbands' leadership. Are you starting to see an overall picture? :)

    It isn't that women are less capable or anything like that. It's just that there can only be one boss, don't you agree? Two bosses would hopelessly butt heads. And we don't get to second-guess God or tell Him we know better about anything; we are supposed to follow His lead, not make Him follow ours. The church is called "the bride of Christ" (feminine).
     
    Acolyte and Elmo like this.
  14. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    It seems reflective of standard gender roles. I understand that. It's sensible imo.
     
    Acolyte likes this.
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    625
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Much as I loathe debating this topic these days (mostly because it’s just boring, but also because it appears to actually be a proxy for culture war grievances rather than a legitimately church-dividing issue), I will say that I am a traditionalist churchman in practically every respect except for WO. In the ongoing complementarian/egalitarian controversy that is working its way through Western religious consciousness, I am firmly on the egalitarian side. After years of researching the topic from every conceivable vantage point - and having originally been on the complementarian side - I am quite unaware of any biblical injunction prohibiting women from serving as clergy, nor have I come across any compelling theological anthropology that would necessitate a male-only clergy. Congregations that want male-only clergy should have male-only clergy; congregations that want the ministry open to both sexes should be able to implement such without interference. It is not a question of Doctrine, but of a difference in Church Discipline and organization. There is no cogent reason why congregations of differing convictions on that issue can’t peacefully coexist and cooperate within a diocese. The sacramental understanding of Holy Orders is that it leaves an ‘indelible mark’ on the soul, and souls as such - by definition - do not have gender. The whole thing ought to be a complete non-issue. Unfortunately there are some who have made their own fanaticism out of it, and that is sad.
     
  16. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    Posts:
    35
    Likes Received:
    17
    Country:
    England
    Religion:
    N/A
    Thanks for sharing your views. I agree it's become a bigger issue than it ever should have been, though I'd disagree with your conclusion :)
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    No offense intended, but considering that the question was, "what reasoning did it use for not ordaining them," yet you felt the need to say what reasoning you use for (yes) ordaining them, who is the one engaging in fanaticism? :rolleyes:
     
  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    625
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    That’s ok. The truth of the matter will be made evident in its own good time. I’m not terribly concerned about it. It just saddens me that there are those who would make a church-dividing issue out of it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
    Elmo likes this.
  19. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    625
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    The OP’s original question was:
    My opinion is what I gave in reply. And it’s not just my opinion; it’s the established practice of canonical Anglican jurisdictions across the Anglophone world. (Sorry, that doesn’t include the ACNA, which BTW also ordains women the last time I checked.) Obviously I’m not going to spend time outlining reasons why women shouldn’t be ordained if I think those reasons are bogus.

    It’s not fanaticism to reserve assent to a rule that doesn’t exist. The burden of proof is on the ones asserting the limitation. In my judgment, those of the anti-WO persuasion have simply failed to meet that burden. It is not my or anyone else’s place to question the authenticity of a woman’s conviction that she has been led by the Holy Spirit to service in the Church’s Ministry, just because she is a woman. To do so would be arrogant presumption at best and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit at worst. That’s not something I have much interest in doing.

    Jesus said, “you will know a tree by its fruits”. My experience of female clergy in the Episcopal Church has been a uniformly positive one. All the female clergy I know are fully orthodox, well trained, highly committed, have a genuine pastoral gift, and are exemplary Christians in their own lives. It would be a great loss not to have them as ministers in our churches, hospitals, and schools.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
    Niblo likes this.
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,765
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican Christian
    My bad! Sorry.

    Any Christian who lived prior to the last century would have told you that the rule existed, but it was unspoken because they all knew it and no one had to say it. (Would anyone dispute that grass is green, simply because there's no written rule that grass must be green?) Obviously, you are free to have your opinion and judgment on the question. Perhaps the fact that all the OT priests and levites, all the NT Apostles, Jesus, and Melchizedek were men was merely coincidental. :doh:
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021