What are Anglican official beliefs on morality?

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by worldcitizen, Nov 9, 2022.

  1. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen New Member

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    I’m interested in knowing about your beliefs in morality and vices. Drinking, gambling, homosexuality, marriage/divorce, chastity etc Also do you worship statues or have things like the sacraments? Abortion too and anything else you can think to share. Many thanks.
     
  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Drinking and gambling in small amounts, recreationally, are usually not considered sinful in Anglican circles, but excessive (compulsive) gambling and drunkenness are wrong. A similar example is eating: we all eat, nothing wrong with it, but gluttony is sinful. The Biblical principal has to do with not elevating the drink, the gambling high, or the food to inordinate status in our lives (making them an idol of sorts). For alcohol in particular, the Bible says don't get drunk but rather be filled with the loving Spirit of God (Ephesians 5:18).

    Homosexuality brings up some differing opinions, but the long-standing stance and teaching of the Anglican churches historically has been that homosexual behavior is sinful. It is not a sin to feel temptations to engage in such behavior (for this is a part of our fallen human nature), but it is wrong to dwell on those thoughts, feed them, and act upon them. Similarly, it is not a sin for a person to feel tempted to commit adultery, but feeding that lust or acting upon those thoughts physically are both sinful. Even Jesus was tempted in similar respects as we are, yet He did not sin-- He did not feed the wrong thoughts, nor did He act them out.

    Divorce and remarriage, except in the case of spousal infidelity (particularly if it's unrepentant and ongoing), is taught by the Bible to be wrong. However, the Bible also teaches that a person who has done wrong can be repentant and turn back toward obedience to God. This is plainly a matter between God and the person, for God alone knows the heart and thoughts of a man (we even deceive ourselves), and so generally it's not a matter of church discipline. Our Lord is gracious and forgiving, and we are called to forgive as well.

    Anglicans do not worship statues. Statues and other art work may be found in some Anglican church buildings and may not be in others (some room for Bible interpretation seems to exist insofar as this issue, however for the most part Anglicans are not iconoclastic). If we have them, we don't regard the statues or images as embodiments of God or deceased saints, and we don't pray to the images. (Personally, I lean somewhat closer to the iconoclast position than many of my fellow Anglicans.)

    Anglicans believe that Jesus instituted two sacraments: baptism and holy communion (the Eucharist).

    Abortion is pretty much understood to be wrong. The greatest question has to do with when in the gestational period it becomes wrong. My position is that human life begins at conception, and I have seen statements of embryologists that support this. Others believe that human life begins at viability. A few might say it begins at birth, but I think this is a difficult position to maintain from either a medical or a religious standpoint.

    I hope this is helpful.
     
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  3. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Anglicans place a high value on moderation and restraint. I think @Rexlion has done a good job above describing the overall range of Anglican opinion.
     
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  4. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Active Member

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    Anglican beliefs are well stated in The 39 Articles of Religion. The above plain-text explanations by others is very well thought out and to the point.
     
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  5. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Anglicanism is different from, say, Roman Catholicism; therefore, you will get different answers from different Anglicans. There is no one Anglican answer to your questions.

    I am an Anglo-Catholic and here are my answers. They are not necessarily the correct or wrong answers. They are the ones from my branch of Anglicanism.

    Obviously, we take a high view of good morality and a dim view of vices but I would say all Christians would give you that response. I think this first part of your question is too vague so a precise answer isn't possible.

    Drinking and gambling are fine. However, like anything in excess they are not good because of the numerous problems they lead to for the individual involved, for other individuals and for society.

    Being homosexual per se is not a sin and we should not mistreat homosexuals in anyway. However, sex between two individuals of the same sex is wrong. Sex should only involve one man and one woman and who are married to each other. Therefore, this 'rule' does not discriminate against homosexuals. For example, it forbids heterosexual sex between a man and a woman who are not married.

    We believe that when a man and a woman get married it is for life. Consequently, getting divorced and re-married is wrong. When a couple have problems in their relationship they should try very hard to fix them. Sadly, some marriages do completely breakdown and it may be better for the two spouses, and possibly any children they have, to separate. Organising custody and access to children, supporting spouses and children, division of assets, etc. has to be done according to the local civil law. That would mean, for example under English Law, obtaining a decree absolute of dissolution of marriage (commonly known as divorce). However, that cannot break the sacred bond of marriage and neither party is free to marry another. Only death can end a marriage.

    We highly value chastity, and not just among the unmarried, but even within marriage. Again, I would say it's a general Christian view to highly favour chastity and continence.

    We most definitely do not worship statues or any other inanimate object. We worship God and only God. Statues are images used in Western Christianity to remind us of Our Lord, Our Lady and the angels and saints. In Eastern Christian they use images called icons.

    There are sacraments and we in the Anglo-Catholic tradition believe them to be seven in number: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, holy matrimony, holy orders, penance and anointing. We believe that the sacraments are an outward sign (water, holy oils, laying on of hands, etc.) they are symbols of an inward grace we receive from God.

    Again, especially in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, we believe life starts at conception and that at this point the unborn is given a soul by God and becomes a human being. Consequently, it is our belief that abortion is a form of murder and is wrong.

    I'm going to turn the tables now and ask you a question. In the Baha'i Faith do you believe in a particular god or other supreme being? If you answer is affirmative does that god/supreme being have a name or not?
     
  6. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen New Member

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    Thank you for the time you took to answer my questions. It helps me get to know more about Anglican beliefs.

    As to God, we believe that there is only one God so all our prayers are addressed to God. So for example: “O God, guide me, protect me, illumine the lamp of my heart and make me a brilliant star”. We do not replace the name God with any other name. We believe in Jesus and that the Bible is the Word of God. We read from the Holy Bible each week in all our services and the Christian cross symbol is embedded in the architecture of all our Houses of Worship around the world.
     
  7. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I understood your faith was a separate faith in its own right. I was surprised to read of your incorporation of aspects of Christianity. Do you not have your own holy scriptures as many other faiths do? Do you incorporate aspects of other faiths?
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    As you may have perceived from the responses you have had from various 'wings' of the Anglican denomination of The Church of Jesus Christ, we can be a quite varied lot. I would say, as a life long Anglican of 77 years that the most distictively Christian attribute of Anglicanism is our determination to tolerate the different beliefs of other Anglicans in our communion, and concentate rather upon the business of ensuring we ourselves follow the New Law of our Saviour and Lord, "To LOVE one another, as he has loved us". That can be a difficult task as we move forward, always in the power of the Holy Spirit, following where Our Lord leads us, in a world HE wants to save.
    .
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I encourage my fellow forum members to peruse this website: https://www.bahai.org/beliefs
    Perhaps worldcitizen can confirm whether the statements on that site fairly represent the Baha'i faith and his own understanding of it.

    Based on that "Official Website of the Baha'i Community," it appears that their primary thrust is "work[ing] to improve their own lives and contribute to the advancement of civilization." This goal is humanistic. Jesus is regarded as one of many "manifestations of God," valued in a way which seems (to my eye at least) to denote some sense of relative equivalency; these "manifestations of God" include "Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muḥammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh." If anything, the latter two individuals appear to be at the fore rather than Jesus or any of the others.

    I would like to quote a statement from the "official website" and ask worldcitizen for a comment.

    "Baha’u’llah’s Revelation affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence. Our true identity is our rational soul, whose free will and powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society. Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal journey towards its Maker."
    Christianity and the Bible affirm that the purpose of our lives is to glorify God, and that it does glorify Him when we come to know and love Him. Christianity further teaches that the means He has given us to "attain His presence" is by the unmerited grace (undeserved favor) which He freely imputes to each person who trusts that Jesus' redemptive death and resurrection was undertaken on his (the person's) behalf, and that this redemptive act is the sole possible (and fully sufficient) merit by which God's saving grace can be (and is) imputed to the person. Here is my question: does the Baha'i faith teach this means of "attaining God's presence," or does it teach that one should attain God's presence by means of bettering oneself and one's society?

    You see, I am wondering whether the presence of crosses and the readings of selected Bible passages are indicators of agreement with only those parts of Christianity which harmonize with the full Baha'i philosophy, or whether they truly show that its followers truly regard themselves as disciples (active followers of and advocates for) the only begotten Son of God who stated that "whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God," and, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation; whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Truly, "God our Savior...desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth," but most human beings do not come to this knowledge. In fact, most human beings do not want to know the truth, nor do they necessarily want to be saved. Many think they have no need of God or salvation; or if they do, they prefer to believe (incorrectly) that they can save themselves by their own goodness and efforts.

    God is love, yes. But it doesn't stop there. God also is holy and just. God provided one Way to be reconciled to Him; it's the easiest way for us, yet it is also the hardest. Just trust in Christ? Easy... until the person realizes that he must also stop placing his trust in himself, step down off the pedestal he's put himself on, and look up in reliance only to our Lord.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2022
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    We, as redeemed disciples of Jesus Christ and followers of The Way, ambassadors for Christ, should be careful to notice that to 'Believe in Jesus' one must have heard about his teaching from a Spirit empowered preacher of The Word. Only THEN can someone be said to have 'NOT believed in the Son of Man'. Merely never having actually having made a deliberate choice to reject His teachings and dispense with his 'Saving Grace', is condemnation deserved and appropriated by an individual. God's Grace covers EVERYONE until they themselves knowingly reject it.
    .
     
  12. youngfogey

    youngfogey Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, the Episcopal Church is "pro-choice."

    I've met Baha'is, both born ones from Iran and American converts; they were very nice. Going far beyond Christianity separating from Judaism, it's a completely different religion from Islam. Fun fact from '70s pop music: brothers Jim Seals from Seals and Crofts and Dan Seals from England Dan and John Ford Coley, were converts to the Baha'i faith. Seals and Crofts had discussions about their faith after their concerts; Dash Crofts is a Baha'i too.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind, we are in a discussion thread with someone (worldcitizen) who has heard of Jesus. And now, after reading here, we can be certain that he has heard the gospel message. Your diatribe about the possible "exception" for those who have not heard is ill-timed, IMO.

    After all, we're seeing a religious system that ostensibly incorporates knowledge of Jesus and sayings from the Bible, yet I have not heard any indication that the religion acknowledges Jesus as the Redeemer, as the door to eternal life and righteousness before God, or as the only begotten Son of God.
    I think it's a mistake to use the word "knowingly," because it implies that it's unreasonable for God to allow people to make decisions about Him without full, complete, comprehensive knowledge of God, grace, the means of grace, etc, etc. It's also erroneous to say that a person must "reject" God and His gift of grace to be rid of it, because the opposite is true: a person must accept by faith God's grace in order to receive it; this may (for all we know) include the aborigine who can only accept by faith the evidence of God's goodness and love which he has received through observing creation all around him, but he still must believe what God has shown him. Otherwise, nearly everyone would be headed into God's Kingdom in the next life; but Jesus said that the way is narrow and few find it (to the extreme that even many who say "Lord, Lord, look what we did for you" will be consigned to outer darkness for trying to earn their own entry ticket).
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Officially, that is correct.
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Those things may not be strictly speaking necessary. I don't think Jesus Christ in his teaching on human conduct mentioned anything about intellectually accepting and declaring his divinity. What he certainly DID demand was obedience to his TEACHING. There are many who do that without knowing of his divinity and also some who know of his divinity and believe in it, who do not do as he said.
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