What is Evangelical and what are the alternatives?

Discussion in 'Church Strands (Anglo-catholics & Evangelicals)' started by CRfromQld, Apr 4, 2023.

  1. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    I hear terms like Evangelical, Reformed, Anglo-Catholic, etc. but I really don't know what they mean. None of the churches I have been to have used identifiers like this. I know I'm not Progressive and would probably describe myself as a traditional or historic Christian.
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    All just labels for preferences in worship and traditions. Like someone you meet describing themselves as A human being, then thinking it would be helpful information for you to be told what colours they have the rooms of their house decorated, what kind of clothes they wear, if they have candles, oil lamps or electric light in all rooms and if they have flowers on a hallstand in their entrance hall. :laugh: If they are truly a disciple of Jesus Christ, I really don't care how anyone religiously decorates their own house.
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Trouble is, even within a particular church that uses one of those descriptors, you'll find a wide range among the members/attendees, many of whose beliefs don't fit the description.
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I attend a parish church at the moment where a number of members of it describe themselves as Anglo-Catholic and would even go as far as trying to convince others that the church itself they also attend, is therefore, Anglo-Catholic, and should stay that way. God alone knows what each of those individuals means by that though.

    They have their very own ideas what constitutes true Anglo-Catholicism. Some would only entertain a male priest and have said so. Others believe in transubstantiation in spite of being supposedly 'Anglicans'. Some insist that the Gospel must be read by an ordained Priest who also has to be a man, (it doesn't). Some want holy water at the door to dip their fingers in as they enter. Some do stations of the cross on Good Friday, kiss pieces of wood, venerate a splintery plank and carry around or reverently view a monstrance containing a consecrated wafer. Some ring bells, swing smells light and extinguish candles and wear fancy copes and chasubles. Some of them do all of these things and believe they have good reason for doing them. Some of us don't do many of these things and believe we have good reasons for not doing them.

    I can't see though how that situation makes our church, either Anglo-Catholic or anything else? Just 'confused' about how to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. It is just an assembly of people who are supposedly followers of Jesus Christ and his mission on earth to redeem mankind. God alone knows which ones are getting it right. :laugh: :cheers: And probably God alone cares, or maybe couldn't care less what we get up to in church. Almost certainly care's more about how we treat our neighbours inside and OUTSIDE of a church building.
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2023
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  5. Ananias

    Ananias Well-Known Member Anglican

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    "Evangelical" should describe any Christian at all as it simply refers to one adhering to the Great Commission to carry the Good News (Greek εὐαγγέλιον) to all the corners of the earth. However in Protestant usage over the last couple of centuries it has come to encompass a range of Christian belief and practice: an emphasis on being born again through baptism; a conviction of the Bible as God's inerrant Word; an emphasis on preaching and teaching rather than liturgical worship; a certain charismatic character to worship; and so on. American and African Protestant churches probably model this most closely (and perhaps the Korean Christian church also).

    Reformed is another term of art that originally simply meant any Protestant church -- a church re-formed out of the (as the reformers saw it) errant Roman Catholic church. Over time, however, the term "Reformed" has come to be associated with Calvinistic theology and eschatology. I think this is an unfortunate mistake, as Reformed theology proper (as it has developed over the years) is much broader than a simple re-statement of the TULIP acrostic. You have Presbyterians, Reformed Baptists, Reformed Anglicans (I consider myself one), and many non-denominational Reformed congregations. Most of them (in my experience) tend to adhere to the Winchester Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as their organiizing creed. We Anglicans use the 39 Articles as our organizing creed, and even that is quite a Reformed document theologically. (Remember that the Winchester Confession was written originally for Anglicans in England, though in the end the Scots Presbyterians adopted it instead). If you come out of the seminary world, "reformed" has a specific and well-understood meaning, but in the world at large this is much less so.

    I think American churches obsess about these labels more than other world churches do. Central and South America, Africa, and Asia are the big growth areas for Protestant Christianity, and they have their own notions of correct worship and theology. As the influence of western intellectualism and theology fades in the rest of the world, I suspect that much of this terminology will go out of use (or at least will take on a different character).
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
  6. StephenG

    StephenG New Member

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    Evangelical: In theory, that's supposed to be every church, because we're supposed to evangelize the nations. So, this is somewhat of an empty term.
    Reformed: In a word, Protestant. Most Protestant churches claim that they "reformed" the faith. It's an implicit accusation that the Roman Catholics twisted the faith over time, along with the claim that they restored, or "fixed" it.
    Anglo-Catholic: This one can be a bit messy. The history of the Anglican Rite and church doesn't quite follow that of churches associated with Protestantism. As such, this can mean anything from putting a huge emphasis on being catholic (with the little "c"), to outright disregarding Article 22 of the Articles of Religion.
     
  7. David

    David Member Anglican

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    For me and my experience:

    Evangelical: brace yourself, happy clappy service, no absolution in church, will refuse to use church of england common worship texts.

    High church - vestments, liturgy, candles etc.

    Anglo catholic - am I in a roman catholic church?
     
  8. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Well-Known Member Anglican

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