Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Old Christendom, Apr 6, 2013.
As am I. I don't know anyone who wants to "return to popery."
I find this visible/invisible church discussion interesting. According to church attendance statistics in my community, those who attend a church, by a vast majority, are attending an invisible church according to some of the comments above. Yet, for these people, and the community as whole, their churches are very visible--more so in many aspects than those churches that identify themselves as in historical apostolic succession.
I also want to thank Charlie J. Ray for being persistent in this forum and causing many of us to pause and reflect upon our beliefs and practices. I am not saying I agree with everything Charlie has posted. However, I do appreciate his participation in this forum.
I found a few images on the topic of the visible/invisible church.
Another thought just occurred to me--Is the idea of the remnant connected in some way to the idea of the invisible church?
I DOUBT that Queen Eliza took an oath to that effect. The Elizabethan Settlement was to the effect that the Calvinist gentry and nobility could weave their wicked spells in the Parliament to their hearts content and that the Country could be run as it had always been run, i.e. No Innovations. How-and-ever, where religion was concerned, Elizabeth was firm, Religion was the province of the Bishops. The Calvinists had to comply, the alternative to Eliza, was Rome, through a Spanish princess!
-----------------“At every Coronation for over three hundred years, British Monarchs have promised to maintain, 'the true profession of the gospel . . . the Protestant Reformed religion.' At a time when many Evangelicals and Anglicans are questioning their theology and re-thinking their identity, it is more important than ever for us to remember this gospel of sovereign grace.” --Lee Gatiss--From: Book Review: The True Profession of the GospelLee Gatiss was recently confirmed as the new president of Church Society.[/quote]-------------------The Oath the Monarch takes regarding the Protestant Reformed Religion, is a political one designed to aid and abett a Lutheran Prince in obtaining the throne of England. (Geo. I, 1714) It has nothing to do with the Church in England. Indeed only a few years before, that same Church positively refused to allow the use of the term in theological matters because it had no relevance to our beliefs. This was at the request of William of Orange and inspite of the fact that he had an foreign army of 10.000 North European Protestants at his beck and call.
At the time of the Continental Reformation, the Reformed religion spread all over Europe. The Continental Monarchs including the papacy used , the garrott , the auto da fee, burying alive and so on to dispose of the opposition. In England, we conformed to scriptural norms,I mean the New Testament 'Love thy Neighbour'. It was thought by Eliza, that the old ones would die off in the cold hard winters then prevelant, whilst the young would be catechised by the bishops! It was the Way of the Cross! The heretics were much more rigorous than the Church people and protestanism is a cross we have carried for some five hundred years now it is still with us in the form of the Church Society, but in a much reduced form!
See the part of your post I bolded, above
The Baptists and Quakers would not agree. Thomas Helwys , planter of the first Baptist church on English soil, felt some of that Anglican "love" in the form of a prison sentence, where he died.
You can't excuse it by saying it was a weakness of the times. No, it was a weakness and perversion of the state churches. The free churches saw that it was contrary to the teaching of Jesus to kill others in His name.
Do try to read and digest what I have written, I didn't say there wasn't any, only that the Church in England used it less that our neighbours.
You should really try to see the 16th, 17th, Centuries in their own times and not through the glasses of the 21st, Century!
The free Churches didn't hesitate to kill Episcopalians and Romans when they had their moment of glory. Further when they obtained power under Cromwell, they abandoned morality as well.
That has absolutely nothing to do with it and is a deflection from the truth. The Baptists, Quakers, and others who believed in religious freedom and church-state separation did not persecute others in the name of Jesus; all the state churches did.
That is a deliberate falsehood, or else you are completely ignorant of the facts. The Quakers were complete pacifists. The Baptists were not; they believed in defending themselves, but neither Baptists nor Quakers persecuted anyone or murdered them in the name of Jesus. All the state churches, including the Anglican one, did so.
The "invisible church" is not one you "join". God places the elect in that church. When the visible churches on earth are all corrupt and apostate the only option is to meet from house to house. Where two or three are gathered together Christ is there in their midst. (Matthew 18:20). Thanks for the illustrations. The last one is pertinent to the discussion.
-------------------The Oath the Monarch takes regarding the Protestant Reformed Religion, is a political one designed to aid and abett a Lutheran Prince in obtaining the throne of England. (Geo. I, 1714) It has nothing to do with the Church in England. Indeed only a few years before, that same Church positively refused to allow the use of the term in theological matters because it had no relevance to our beliefs. This was at the request of William of Orange and inspite of the fact that he had an foreign army of 10.000 North European Protestants at his beck and call.
At the time of the Continental Reformation, the Reformed religion spread all over Europe. The Continental Monarchs including the papacy used , the garrott , the auto da fee, burying alive and so on to dispose of the opposition. In England, we conformed to scriptural norms,I mean the New Testament 'Love thy Neighbour'. It was thought by Eliza, that the old ones would die off in the cold hard winters then prevelant, whilst the young would be catechised by the bishops! It was the Way of the Cross! The heretics were much more rigorous than the Church people and protestanism is a cross we have carried for some five hundred years now it is still with us in the form of the Church Society, but in a much reduced form![/quote]
Your spin doctoring ignores the plain facts, Mr. highchurchman. The queen did take that oath and it wasn't just political. Furthermore, the parliment still gives seats to the bishops of the Church of England. There is no absolute separation between church and state in the UK even today.
Furthermore, though many ministers cross their fingers when taking their ordination vows, they are required in the CofE to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles. Of course, the ACs basically lie about it but they do take the oath as well. Too bad they don't really believe the plain meaning of the text in the historical context of the document.
Yes, there is always a remnant of the elect in the visible churches. Romans 11 says the same Perhaps Church Society is a sign of that remnant?
The Irish Articles of Religion 1615 are a legitimate expression as well. Phillip Schaff says that they preceded the Synod of Dort and the Thirty-Nine Articles.
Charlie, if this question doesn't take us too far afield, I'd like to ask: why aren't you Presbyterian? I ask because 1) you seem very knowledgeable about Reformed history & theology, and 2) Anglicanism can feel like an uphill battle sometimes, regardless of the theological camp to which one belongs. Maybe I'm projecting my own desire for fewer uphill battles haha. But seriously - what about Anglicanism makes it preferable for you to stay and strive for your beliefs?
Well, having been ordained as a deacon at one time with the Reformed Episcopal Church, I saw that the genius of Cranmer's book of common prayer is that the liturgy teaches doctrine by rote memorization. In the times when reading literacy was not always up to par with the common people, hiding God's Word in the heart/mind is not a bad thing. Even the late Gregory Dix said that Cranmer's liturgy teaches justification by faith alone. I like the reading of the Decalogue and the reading of the Gospel/words of comfort and the post communion prayers because they teach the law/gospel distinction. Cranmer got that from the Lutherans and the Calvinists, don't you know?
Basically, I like the prayer book because it teaches the three major creeds, and it is solidly biblical and doctrinal. The Puritans ad hoc, fly by the seat of your pants, liturgy degenerates into what I can only call an Anabaptist service. That's a bit of exaggeration but I think you get my drift.
In my opinion, common prayer need not be a bad thing:
People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee. (Decalogue prayer, Holy Communion, 1662 BCP).
You might call me a "prayer book" Calvinist, although I am not necessarily a Presbyterian because I disagree with Presbyterian polity. Also, Presbyterians have their own problems with the dialectical theology of Cornelius Van Til and the Barthians. The Federal Vision error is also a problem. It won't be long until the "conservative" Presbyterians are as liberal as the PCUSA or the RCA.
It seems to me that the 1662 BCP is the best way to teach Protestant and Reformed doctrine and to drill it home into the minds of the people. The "heart", by the way, is not the emotions. It is rational. As he thinketh in his heart so is he... (Proverbs 23:7). Check out Samuel Luenberger's book on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
I don't like modern Lutheranism because it does not follow the logic of Luther. Like the Presbyterians, the Lutherans have sold out to irrationalism and neo-orthodoxy, even in the "conservative" Lutheran denominations.
The Bible is a rational, logical revelation of God in written form. All doctrine can be logically deduced from Scripture or read plainly in the text.
May God grant us all the wisdom and knowledge drawn from Scripture,
2 Peter 3:18
I'm confused here. How can the Irish Articles precede the 39 Articles if they were written in 1615? The 39 Articles were drawn up in 1563 and finalized in 1571 and represent a major (in my opinion) revision of the 42 Articles, which were written under Cranmer's direction in 1552, in a way that purposely distanced the Anglican church from the more Calvinistic excesses of Cranmer and other reformers under Edward's reign. All of this happened several decades before 1615. Am I missing something?
The precedence is in reference to the Church of Ireland, not the Church of England:
When the Irish Parliament adopted the 39 Articles in 1634 under pressure from the King and Archbishop Laud, Ussher ensured that the Church of Ireland in the Irish Convocation adopted them in addition to, not instead of, the Irish Articles. After the Restoration of 1660, it seems that the Thirty-Nine Articles took precedence; they remain the official doctrine of the Church of Ireland even after disestablishment. (Ibid.)
Ok, I got it. Senior moment...
You're correct that the 39 Articles preceded the Irish Articles. The Irish Articles were an expansion on the Lambeth Articles of 1595 and the 39 Articles. But the Irish Articles also preceded the Dutch Reformed Synod at Dort in 1619 by four years. There were Anglican representatives at the synod who upheld the Dutch condemnation of Arminianism.
++Cranmer certainly had an eclectic range of sources for the English Prayer Book. I don't think we should read too much into a small amount that is possibly of Calvinist origin. There's a fair amount of Lutheran influenced material and much that comes from the Sarum Missal. There's also a small amount of material taken from or influnced by the Mozarabic Missal and Eastern Liturgies.
The insertion of the Decalogue may have been influenced by Pullanus' service book of 1551 or possibly even one by John a Lasco. I think the use of the Decalogue in the Order for Holy Communion is peculiar to the Prayer Book Liturgy. In Pullanus' book. I believe the Commandments were sung metrically by the congregation at Morning Prayer, whereas in the Prayer Book Holy Communion they are recited by the Priest with the congregation making the 'Lord have mercy...' response. I've also read that the Decalogue may have been introduced partly because of the errors of Anabaptists who had pushed the doctrine of justification by faith so far as to underrate the obligation of obedience to the moral law.
The arrangement of the Epistle and Gospel readings is almost identical to that of the Sarum Missal. I too, like the Comfortable Words which are again peculiar to our Communion liturgy but the extracts themselves (apart from the first one) are taken from the Consultation of Hermann. The thanksgiving prayer following Communion is sourced partly from the Consultation of Hermann and partly from a prayer in the Eastern Liturgy of St James.
Can I ask if you have any objections to the 1662 BCP?