Skip to comments.A perceptive analysis of the Episcopal situation
Posted on 04/10/2006 9:06:03 PM PDT by sionnsar
One of the most perceptive analyses of the Episcopal situation I've seen in the last three years appears in, of all places, The New Yorker. Some selections:
The mother church of the Anglican Communion, which is a body of more than seventy million people, is the Church of England. It began when Henry VIII separated from Rome. One of his daughters, Queen Mary, brought England back to Roman Catholicism. Then his other daughter, Elizabeth, said, Enough of this back and forth. You people believe what you wantjust use this book, and the book was the Book of Common Prayer. So we had the birth of the middle way. Its liturgical, like Catholicism: the believers repeat in their services the fundamentals of their faith, certain creedsthe Nicene Creed, the Apostles Creed. But, unlike the Catholic Church, there is no Pope, no overriding single authority, and this is the source of the tension that is finally threatening to tear the whole thing apart.
But, in truth, there has been a pronounced divide within the Episcopal Church, particularly lately. The leadership of the main body of the Western Church and the American Church has become, increasingly since the Second World War, the theologically liberal Church. Much the same has happened to many of the mainline denominationsbig, old Protestant churches. As they have become more liberal, adventurous, and postmodern in their interpretations of the Bible, their pews have started to empty out. Their congregations get older, grayer, and sparser. And fervently faithful people have tended to leave and join megachurches or more evangelical denominations.
One of the wonderful things about the Episcopal Church, and about any liturgical church, where you sit and follow a program, is that it is possible for parishioners to go to a church and not know where its politics lie. But in the marketplace of faith it does seem that theres no contest between the liberal view and the theologically conservative view. The liberal, mainline churches are losing parishioners across the board. The conservative churches are not only growing but growing by leaps and bounds. To me, the reason seems obvious: if youre shopping for faith, faith is the thing you want, not a watered-down version of a civics lesson. Thats not to say that the evangelical or more orthodox view is just a marketing tool, but people who get up on Sunday morning and say I think Ill go to church today tend to want the genuine article, rather than a speculative maybe its true, maybe its not true, were all on this journey together exploration. Because its a lot easier, frankly, to stay in bed and get up in time for the first football game.
Read the whole thing.
The first paragraph while irreverently covering the political situation which birthed modern Anglicanism (and it does perhaps deserve irreverance) ignores the Anglican Reformers...who almost all gave their lives in order to develop a church based on biblical, not papal, authority.
Henry and his divorces, Mary and her murder of martyrs, and Elizabeth and her pragmatism, would never have been able to do any religious changes, but for the burgeoning Protestant movement carried accross the channel from Europe--carried forward by devout, scholarly and scripturally faithful church leaders, such as Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer--each of whom were burned alive for opposing the Pope.
You are so very correct in this. Thank you!
Henry and Elizabeth murdered Catholic martyrs as well.
Ridley and Latimer would have been under a death sentence for high treason anyway, for supporting Lady Jane Grey, a pretender to the throne. (Not sure about Cranmer.)
On the other hand, my namesake, St. Edmund Campion, was hung, drawn, and quartered under Elizabeth for "treason", though he protested his loyalty to the Queen under oath at his trial in every matter except his religion. His only real "crime" was that he was a Catholic priest.
I don't have a problem with critical comments from non-Catholics unless they (a) exceed the bounds of charity; (b) hijack the thread completely or (c) do so on a thread that was intended to be devotional in nature.
Whenever I see comments on RC threads made by those not of that faith, it is only a matter of time before the posters are told to go away, stop " persecuting", flaming"
But they don't go away. People who are asking a legitimate question deserve to be answered. Some people don't ask real questions; they simply operate like a prosecuting attorney who is trying to establish the defendant's guilt. I'm sure you've seen people like that in operation before.
Threads that present doctrine, news, Scripture, etc. are a "town square" - challenges are allowed and must be addressed on thread.
Challenges may be robust, even hostile, but only towards the doctrine - never to the other poster. Such personal attacks will be removed.
We do follow the threads and sidebars to intervene before tempers flare. But the wise posters will remember that passers-by judge each posters theology as much by his conduct as by his words.
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