cassowary wrote: ↑
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:31 am
neverfail wrote: ↑
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:36 pm
Thanks for starting this discussion Cassowary.
I have rubbed shoulders with Anglicans since I was a small boy 5 years old. I have had happy friendships over the years including a couple of the closest friendships I have ever had short of marriage. So as you might imagine my impressions of Anglicans are mainly positive.
However, their Church is a perplexing one to me because polarised (rather than divided) theologically between their High Church (whose rites and ritual is little different to our Catholic ones) and the Low Church (evangelical, crypto-protestant). Their church has made tolerance a virtue because one has to put up with the other within the structure of the same denomination.
What is high church? Law church?
A Low Church friend of mine told me he never feels at home or at ease at a High Church mass (it's just not me!) and likewise a High Church friend of mine told me she feels the same way about High Church services. It is like that!
(As an aside Cassowary, I was surprised to discover that the founding father of your denomination, the Rev. John Wesley, was a Low Anglican vicar. What I find very odd is that the Anglican hierarchy still kept this man on as one of their own -
they did not defrock him for deviancy - but Wesley's working class converts were apparently denied inclusion in the Anglican communion. Do you know anything about this and why?)
No, I don't.
To me those above mentioned "missionaries", Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers and those like them, sound like Low Church types. These are usually the protagonist types whilst the High Church people are more likely to be the passive defenders of tradition. Below the tranquil surface of Anglicanism the centuries old battle between high and low church devotees still rages on inconclusively.
It seems to me that gay marriage is something untraditional. So if High Church people are the traditionalists, then it must be th low church people who took over the Anglican communion.
Low Church = evangelical (protestant) Anglicans
High Church = Anglo Catholics not in communion with Rome.
Sorry, I presumed you knew about the centuries old theological polarity within the Anglican communion.
The Church of England, better known as the Anglican Church these days, was/is unique among the churches to have emerged from the Reformation era in that it was not doctrinally/theologically based. It was founded by King Henry VIII for his own dynastic convenience - to get the divorce from his queen, Catherine of Aragon, that the Vatican had denied him.
The Church Henry founded could therefore best have been described as a regime of Catholic christianity minus the Pope
. King Henry was not a protestant type. Successors of his were however. His son by Jane Seymour had secretly become a protestant convert so when he took over the throne he made an earnest endeavour to transform the sysmatic church he had inherited from his father into a protestant denomination:
(quote) The transformation of the Church of England into a recognisably Protestant body also occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters. Although his father, Henry VIII, had severed the link between the Church and Rome, Henry VIII had never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony. It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass and the imposition of compulsory services in English.
After the death of King Edward in 1553, his elder half-sister (Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon) Mary took over the throne and for the next 5 years tried to restore Catholicism as the state religion of England using inquisitorial methods inspired by her relatives in Spain (Catherine had been a Spanish princess). Just as her half-brother Edward had not been entirely successful in ridding the kingdom of Catholicism when he ruled (some Englishmen were very attached to it) so, despite her brutal methods, Mary was just as unsuccessful in ridding England of protestants - it merely drove protestantism underground for a time.
The next royal ruler, Queen Elizabeth, has nowhere else to go other than into protestantism as neither the Pope nor the Catholic rulers on the continent recognised her enthronement as legitimate. However, Queen Elizabeth had a policy of allowing Catholics still in communion with Rome to remain that way as long as they were loyal to her in worldly allegiance - a policy of toleration
. Meantime, Elizabeth presided over a church that was part Catholic and part protestant in terms of doctrine and practice. It remains so to this very day.
The story does not end there by any means but I will spare you and all of my other readers the historic details. The Church of England is an institution that has been shaped by the dynastic history of England. Indeed, more broadly still it to me resembles the embodiment of the entire religious history of the English people.
Safe to say, Cassowary, that the modern issues like the ordination of gay and female bishops is merely a latter-day irritant that inflames relations within a denomination that lacks a clear doctrinal centre of gravity.
It must be very hard within the Anglican communion to accuse a member of heresy. With a heritage of tolerating more than one theological position within, where is their benchmark standard by which to judge what is heretical and what is not?