Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The True Anglican Patrimony


By Robin G. Jordan

In Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism Frederick Meyrick coined the term “Neo-Anglicanism” to describe the tenets of nineteenth century Ritualism. Ritualism was an outgrowth of Tractarianism, the Oxford High Church movement led by John Henry Newman and others in Tracts for the Times 1833-1841. It was strongly influenced by the thinking of Newman but its adherents unlike Newman chose not to abandon the Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA for the Roman Catholic Church. Those who describe themselves as “Traditionalist Anglicans” are its modern-day adherents. But as Canon Meyrick shows in Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism and his other works, they no more represent “Old Anglicanism” than did their nineteenth century predecessors.

“Traditionalist Anglican” is a misnomer—a term used to describe something to which it does not rightly apply. The doctrines and practices that the self-described “Traditionalist Anglicans” espouse are not those of the Reformed Catholicism of historic Anglicanism but the doctrines and practices of unreformed Medieval Catholicism and modern Roman Catholicism, with two exceptions—the doctrines of Papal Supremacy and Infallibility. Rather than being described as “Traditionalist Anglican” or even “Neo-Anglican” they rightly deserve to be called “Independent Catholic.” Except for describing themselves as “Anglican,” they are indistinguishable from Independent Catholics.

Independent Catholics are not confined to the cluster of jurisdictions that describes itself as the “Continuum.” They are also found in undetermined numbers in the Anglican Mission (formerly the Anglican Mission in the Americas) and the Anglican Church in North America. In these two jurisdictions they are likely to have been exposed to the charismatic movement and embraced its teaching. They are also likely to be more liberal in the areas of the ordination of women and divorce and remarriage.

Charismatic and liberal Independent Catholics are not confined to these two jurisdictions any more than conservative Independent Catholics are confined to the Continuum. There are a number of Independent Catholic jurisdictions that do not identify themselves as “Anglican.”

Charismatic Independent Catholics generally fall into two groups, based upon their understanding of the charismatic experience. One group shows the influence of the Wesleyan theology of Pentecostalism. The other group is more Roman Catholic in its interpretation of the charismatic experience. Both groups may be found in the same jurisdiction.

Liberal Independent Catholics range from those who accept women’s ordination and have a relaxed attitude toward divorce and remarriage to those who accept the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions and even “gay marriage.”

What are the distinguishing characteristics of Independent Catholics? Independent Catholics believe in the doctrine of the Real Presence, or the objective presence of Christ in the consecrated elements of the Eucharist. They may have different theories of how Christ is present in the elements but they all believe in the localized presence of Christ in the bread and wine. They believe in the doctrine of Eucharistic Sacrifice in some form. The Eucharist is more than a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice: It is a repetition of Christ’s sacrifice, an addition to it, or a participation in it. They recognize seven sacraments. They practice Reservation. They believe in a doctrine of participation in the Body of Christ by those devoid of a vital faith. They may practice such Eucharistic devotions as praying before the reserved Sacrament. They may practice auricular confession, invoke the saints, and light candles and offer prayers before icons and statues. They may engage in Marian devotions such as the rosary.

Among the factors that have contributed to the spread of Independent Catholicism in a number of self-described Anglican jurisdictions in the United States have been the nineteenth century Romeward movement, the 1928 and 1979 Books of Common Prayer, the twentieth century ecumenical and liturgical movements, and more recently the Ancient-Future movement. The latter has tended to romanticize the past and has been uncritical in adopting unreformed Medieval Catholic doctrines and practices. As Professor Gillis Harp observes in his article, “Navigating the Three Streams,” the Ancient-Future movement has, like the nineteenth century Ritualist movement, displayed a negative attitude toward the Protestant Reformation This is most evident in the United States.

While the adherents of Independent Catholicism present themselves, their beliefs, and their practices as “Anglican,” they, their beliefs, and their practices are, from a historical perspective, not Anglican at all. As Meyrick and others have shown the Medievalism and Romanism of the nineteenth century Ritualists and today’s Independent Catholics is a foreign intrusion into the Anglican Church. It is not traceable to the Caroline High Churchmen or Non-Jurors of the seventeenth century Church of England.

The Caroline High Churchmen were not Medievalists or Romanists. They sought to restore what they believed were liturgical usages of the ancient Church and which they also believed were consonant with the Scriptures based upon their reading of the Scriptures and the early Church Fathers. They were not sympathetic to the Church of Rome and after their experiences in exile during the Interregnum even less so. They rejected the doctrine of the objective presence of Christ in the eucharistic elements. However, a number of the Caroline High Churchmen did embrace a doctrine of eucharistic sacrifice In The Thirty-Nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today, J. I. Packer describes this doctrine.

“Some with the Carolines and the Wesleys, have spoken of Christ always standing before God’s throne, presenting, offering, or pleading his earthly sacrifice. Then the church’s sacrifice is explained in terms of pleading Christ’s death for the remission of our own and others’ sins as we offer all that we are and have to God. This pleading is said to be a ‘re-presenting’ (not a symbolizing, but a fresh offering or a ‘making present again’) of Christ’s sacrifice to the Father in union with Christ himself as he re-presents it; and the church’s corporate self-offering in Christ, within which our re-presenting of cavalry finds its place, is seen as the main purpose of, and the central action in the eucharistic liturgy.”

Packer goes on to write:

“Of a piece with this is the fancy (it is hardly more) that the ‘remembrance’ (anamnesis) of Christ in the liturgy is directed Godward, as if Jesus’ words ‘do this in remembrance of me’ had mean ‘do this to remind my Father of me’.

This particular notion is based upon the misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:26: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” Modern translations such as the English Standard Version render the Authorized Version’s “shew” as “proclaim.” The Lord’s Supper is a visual proclamation of Christ’s saving death on the cross, directed not at God but at those celebrating the Lord’s Supper. It is not as some mistakenly infer a reminder to an absent-minded God of what His Son has done. Rather it is a reminder to us of what God has done for us through the death of His Son.

The notion that Christ stands before God’s throne and presents, offers, or pleads his earthly sacrifice is also unscriptural. It is based upon the misinterpretation of Hebrews 7:25. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” It ignores what is written in Hebrews 7:26-27: “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” It also pays no attention to Hebrews 9:24-28: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” It in addition gives no heed to Hebrews 10:12: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” In doing so, it disregards Article 20: “…yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.”

One of the shortcomings of the Caroline High Churchmen was a tendency to interpret verses of Scripture out of context or without consideration of what is written elsewhere in the Bible. While they regarded the Bible as the Word of God written and as the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice, their hermeneutics were flawed. They also relied too much upon the opinions of the Patristic fathers in regard to what a verse of Scripture meant.

The Caroline High Churchmen at the Restoration would resist the temptation to reshape the liturgy to reflect this doctrine of eucharistic sacrifice. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer contains no oblation of the bread and wine either at the Offertory or during the Prayer of Consecration.

The Non-Jurors developed their own particular doctrine of eucharistic sacrifice. They believed that Christ did not offer himself for the sins of mankind on the cross at Calvary but at the institution of the Lord’s Supper. He only was slain on the cross. Thomas Deacon explains this doctrine of eucharistic sacrifice in his Comprehensive View. The priest, he writes:

“…does as Christ did...he next repeats our Saviour’s powerful words ‘This is my Body,’ ‘This is my Blood’ over the Bread and Cup. The effect of the words is that the Bread and Cup are made authoritative Representations or symbols of Christ’s crucified Body and of His Blood shed; and in consequence they are in a capacity of being offered to God as the great Christian Sacrifice....God accepts the Sacrifice and returns it to us again to feast upon, in order that we may be thereby partakers of all the benefits of our Saviour’s Death and Passion. The Bread and Cup become capable of conferring these benefits on the priest praying to God the Father to send the Holy’ Spirit upon them. The Bread and Cup are thereby made the Spiritual, Life-giving Body and Blood of Christ, in Power and Virtue.”

This is the doctrine of eucharistic sacrifice expressed in the Scottish Non-Juror Prayer of Consecration of 1764, which Bishop Samuel Seabury persuaded the General Convention of the fledgling Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA to adopt in a modified form in the 1789 Book of Common Prayer in place of the 1662 Prayer of Consecration. Both doctrines of eucharistic sacrifice are inconsistent with the principles laid out in the Thirty-Nine Articles, as J. I. Packer shows in The Thirty-Nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today.

The Caroline High Churchmen, unlike the nineteenth century Tractarians and Ritualists and today’s Independent Catholics, maintained a positive attitude toward the Protestant Reformation. They recognized that Protestantism and Catholicism, when they are properly understood, do not conflict with each other. While they did not deny the possibility of salvation to Roman Catholics, they regarded the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as false and heretical. They believed that the Church of Rome had departed from the true Apostolic and Catholic faith, and therefore its teaching presented serious obstacles to the salvation of Roman Catholics.

The Ritualist movement to which the Independent Catholics are the successors was a Counter-Reformation movement in the Church of England and her daughter churches. It formed a key element of what is known as the Romeward movement. This was a deliberate attempt in the nineteenth century to re-establish Roman Catholic doctrines and practices in the Church of England and her daughter churches. The goal was to Romanize the Church of England and her daughter churches to the point that the Pope would accept them as a uniate province in the Church of Rome, reuniting the two Churches. To this end the Ritualists not only sought to revive the doctrines and practices of the pre-Reformation Church but also to introduce those of the nineteenth century Roman Catholic Church.

The Romeward movement was dealt a blow in the nineteenth century with Pope Pius’ declaration that Anglican orders were null and void. It was further dealt a blow more recently with the issuance of Anglicanorum coetibus by Pope Benedict. Anglicanorum coetibus left Catholics in the Anglican Church unwilling to accept its terms, to use an old phrase, “all dressed up with no place to go.” The cherished hope of uniate status in the Church of Rome evaporated with Anglicanorum coetibus.

The Independent Catholics, while they do not stand in continuity with historic Anglicanism, form a large segment of the North American Anglican Church. They have appointed themselves that task of interpreting Anglicanism to the world although themselves are not genuinely Anglican. Their redefinition of Anglicanism excludes those who subscribe to the tenets of historic Anglicanism. The Independent Catholic influence is discernable in the Reformed Episcopal Church, which has abandoned the Protestant Evangelical principles of its founders. The Independent Catholic element in the Anglican Mission has exported Roman Catholic doctrine, practice, and church order to the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Anglican province with which the Anglican Mission is affiliated as a missionary jurisdiction. Through the Church of Rwanda this element is seeking to spread their influence throughout the African Provinces affiliated with GAFCON. The Fundamental Declarations of the Anglican Church in North America caters to the Independent Catholic element in the ACNA as the Common Cause Theological Statement catered to that element in the Common Cause Partnership. More recently the Church of Nigeria recognized the Independent Catholic orders of an ACNA bishop, showing that it, like the Church of Rwanda, is susceptible to Independent Catholic influence, originating in the ACNA. The Basis for Full Communion that the Victoria Congress of Traditional Anglicans issued this past week portrays as “Anglican” what is a strong articulation of Independent Catholic beliefs. The statement makes no reference to the Thirty-Nine Articles, the confession of faith of the Protestant Reformed Church of England, and the centerpiece of authentic historic Anglicanism, and affirms doctrines that the English Reformers disowned and rejected at the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The recent announcement of a trial prayer book, ostensibly for the Reformed Episcopal Church and based upon the partially-reformed, transitional 1549 Prayer Book, also points to the strong Independent Catholic influence in the REC and the ACNA.

What is missing in the North American Anglican Church is a strong Protestant Evangelical and Protestant High Church element to counter Independent Catholic influence and the continuing movement of the North American Anglican Church away from authentic historic Anglicanism. This element is sorely needed if the North American Anglican Church is to retain a genuine Anglican identity. Outside North America Anglicans who are committed to upholding the faith and doctrine set forth in the historic Anglican formularies need to be on their guard against the North American Anglican Church’s exportation of its particular brand of Catholicism, in its conservative and liberal varieties, to their provinces and dioceses. It is NOT the Reformed Catholicism of the authentic historic Anglicanism albeit its champions may misrepresent it as that. It is alien to the spirit of historic Anglicanism, which submit all human thought to Scripture and confidently declares, “Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation” (Article 6).

The English Reformation was no mistake. It restored to the English Church the long-lost gospel of grace. It brought light and salvation to millions of people who would otherwise have perished in darkness and sin. The gospel of grace is the true Anglican patrimony. Whatever else we may cherish, if we do not cherish the gospel, we throw away the pearl of great price, and treasure cheap baubles in its place. The true Anglican Christian, whether he is a Protestant Evangelical or a Protestant High Churchman, is a gospel man, first and last and above all else. He more than proclaims the gospel. He lives and breathes the gospel. The gospel—Christ crucified, risen, and reigning as Lord—is at the heart of his ministry. He would have it no other way.

48 comments:

Jordan said...

Robin,

I have come to identify with the old (Protestant) High Churchmen such as in the Hackney Phalanx and other Churchmen before the Oxford Movement. I also have an historical fascination with this group because they seem to have been completely dissipated at the commencement of the Oxford Movement. Conservative evangelicals have survived Tractarianism, Ritualism, and the Liturgical Movement but have not escaped its consequences. I think it's past time for Anglicans in north America to unite together in whatever jurisdiction they are in to work together. I don't think that separation is an alternative, I think that we must stay where we are and promote true Anglicanism there.

George said...

The Real Presence understood is Anglican. Anglo-Catholic's define that Christ is present and acknowledge that the Bread and Wine do change. How and in what way well, Anglicans don't define it those terms because is it needed? Take a desk it is used for papers, pens, and computer etc... That is it use. However, if I sit on the desk now its use has changed, but it is still desk. The Bread is Christ's Body, but the Bread still remains. However we don't understand how God does it.

I am not going to get into Eucharistic Sacrifice because if Anglican's don't agree on the above terminology no point in proceeding with the logical progression.

I know have mentioned before about the 5 minor Sacraments or Mysteries. They are allowed states of life. The BCP define parts of these (Holy Orders, Unction, Matrimony). Auricular confession - If you read the Homilies it doesn't disallow it. It is mode of relieving ones mind of a sin and seeking individual guidance. What makes this Anglican? They aren't required of all people, but are retained.

Just as you can argue the Episcopate. Laud argued succession not because it is explicitly expressed in the Bible (however implicit), but also because it is ancient practice of the Church (Tradition) and we should be wary of breaking with that without good cause and Biblically founded Reasoning.

And the Church is charged with allowing called men to Holy Orders to dispense God's Holy Word and
Sacraments (notice the and you need both and the 39 Articles express the same thing).

Robin G. Jordan said...

George,

The doctrine of the Real Presence, or the objective presence of Christ in the elements, is not a doctrine of the reformed Church of England whatever you may have led to believe. The English Reformers rejected this doctrine as did the Caroline High Churchmen and the Non-Jurors. I refer you to Thomas Cranmer’s A Defense of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,John Cosin’s The History of Popish Transubstantiation, Daniel Waterland’s A Review of the Doctrine of the Eucharist, Frederick Meyrick’s The Doctrine of the Church of England on the Holy Communion and W. H. Griffith Thomas’ A Sacrament of Our Redemption. It is a pre-Reformation doctrine of the Medieval Catholic Church that the Tractarians and the Ritualists revived in the nineteenth century.

Nineteenth century Tractarian leader Edward Bouvrie Pusey promoted the doctrine of the Real Presence in The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ along with the doctrine of the participation of the wicked in the Body of Christ and the practice of the adoration of the consecrated elements. Pusey did not follow Newman into the Roman Catholic Church but he was undisguised in his sympathy for its teachings on the Real Presence and Eucharistic Sacrifice.

Confirmation, marriage, penance, unction, and ordination are not sacraments. The Articles of Religion do not teach the Roman Catholic Church’s sacramental system. The nineteenth century Tractarians and Ritualists would make much of the phrase “commonly-called” in Article 25 but the Articles of Religion, when they are read in their plain, natural, and intended sense, with attention to the historical context in which they were written and the writings of the English Reformers and the Elizabethan divines, do not support the Tractarian-Ritualist interpretation of the phrase. See Alexander Nowles’ A Catechism,which was commissioned by Convocation and subsequently mandated by Convocation for use in English universities and grammar schools in 1571. See also Thomas Roger’s The English Creede, the first exposition of the Articles, which was written not long after their compilation.

The Homily of Repentance and True Reconciliation with God, whatever your priests or seminary professors may have taught you does not sanction the practice of auricular confession. Part II of the Homily states: “And, whereas the adversaries go about to wrasto this place for to maintain their auricular confession withal, they are greatly deceived themselves, and do shamefully deceive others. For, if this text ought to be understandedp of auricular confession, then the priests are as much bound to confess themselves unto the lay people, as the lay people are bound to confess themselves to them. And, if to pray is to absolve, then the laity by this place hath as great authority to absolve the priests, as the priests have to absolve the laity.”

It is between a man’s conscience and God whether he subscribes to such doctrines. They are not grounded in God’s Word, nor are they Anglican, of the reformed Church of England. As Article 6 tells us, “Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation”

Reformation said...

Robin said:

"The English Reformation was no mistake. It restored to the English Church the long-lost gospel of grace. It brought light and salvation to millions of people who would otherwise have perished in darkness and sin. The gospel of grace is the true Anglican patrimony. Whatever else we may cherish, if we do not cherish the gospel, we throw away the pearl of great price, and treasure cheap baubles in its place. The true Anglican Christian, whether he is a Protestant Evangelical or a Protestant High Churchman, is a gospel man, first and last and above all else. He more than proclaims the gospel. He lives and breathes the gospel. The gospel—Christ crucified, risen, and reigning as Lord—is at the heart of his ministry. He would have it no other way."

Eegads, Robin, do u think that the average ACNA Bishop can follow your thoughtful argument?

On my end, I don't pay em' much mind, that is, these alleged Bishops. With warrant, I view them as such.

Nice article.

Veitch

Robin G. Jordan said...

Jordan,

You would find reading Stephen Hampton's Anti-Arminians: The Anglican Reformed Tradition from Charles II to George I and Peter B. Nockles' The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship 1760-1857 very edifying. They are rather expensive volumes but they are worth the investment. Hampton documents the continuation of the Anglican Reformed tradition in the Church of England after the Restoration. He identifies a number of English church leaders who, while they accepted the High Church "frills" of the Restoration, were Calvinist in doctrine. Nockles' examination of the Oxford Movement is a real eye opener. The Tractarians sought to change the character of High Churchmanship in the ninenteenth century as their Anglo-Catholic successors have sought to change the character of Anglicanism from the nineteenth century on. The Tractarians were not very nice people as a number of High Churchmen who initially allied themselves with them would learn to their regret. The Tractarians claimed to be the only true High Churchmen as their Anglo-Catholic successors now claim to be the only true Anglicans. They proclaimed themselves the leaders of the High Church party in the Church of England and then used every dirty, underhanded trick to eliminate any competition.

As for staying where we are, I think that it a matter of whether you discern that God has placed you in a particular jurisdiction to fulfill his purposes. You may discern in time that God has released you to go elsewhere. If you desire to see a revival of authentic historic Anglicanism in North America, you will need to network with other like-minded folk in the jurisdiction in which God has placed you and with like-minded folk outside that jurisdiction. I am convinced that a jurisdiction that clearly stands for authentic historic Anglicanism in doctrine and practice is also needed. At the present time no such jurisdiction exists.

George said...

I don't understand why you continually make the reference to the Roman Catholic sacramental system. The 39 Articles describes how the 5 other mysterys/sacraments have become corrupted under the See of Rome and unwilling to reform those errors that it was allowing to propagate.

Our 39 Articles state part of it was corrupt the other part is allowed states of life in Scripture! It is visible sign or ceremony was not defined.

What is Matrimony than? If not a Holy Mystery or Sacrament not of the Gospel because it was not fully laid out. However, shares a similar nature to a sacrament, but not like that of Baptism or the Eucharist. When God joins let no man put asunder. God joins the man and woman to make one flesh, but Christ did not set out how exactly it should be done. He only gave parts their by falling below the line of a Sacrament of the Gospel.

I read the homily neither my Priest or seminary teacher explained it to me. However, you leave an important part of the homily
"I doe not say, but that if any doe finde themselues troubled in conscience, they may repayre to their learned Curate or Pastour, or to some other godly learned man, and shew the trouble and doubt of their conscience to them, that they may receiue at their hand the comfortable salue of GODS word: but it is against the true Christian libertie, that any man should bee bound to the numbring of his sinnes, as it hath beene vsed heretofore in the time of blindnesse and ignorance."
Penance does not have an exact form and we are not "bound" to do this, but can if we choose within our Christian liberty. The homilies are meant for instruction on personal piety and morals. They are not higher than Scripture as such a previous article states that Penance is allowed state of life (again doesn't have to be auricular but could be). The practice does not have to be banned.

Furthermore what about the non-Canonical books? They can be read for " example of life and instruction of manners".

I think you fail to see that Anglicanism isn't as black and white as you make it out to be. It isn't Tractarian or Popery or whatever name calling you would like to use. The beauty of Anglicanism is it kept the practices and structure of the Ancient Church, but purged itself of having the Pope allow them to be further tainted and corrupted. And it still allows for those who want only the bare essentials under one roof.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, I was drawn to your point about the "re-pleading" of Christ's sacrifice as both a Caroline and Wesleyan doctrine. I found this particularly interesting since Pentecostals were heavily influenced by Wesley's theology of entire sanctification. Within the Pentecostal theology there is an emphasis on "pleading the blood of Christ" to overcome temptation and the wiles of the devil in spiritual warfare. It seems to me that the connection to Caroline and Wesleyan theology here is unmistakable.

Also, if you will forgive me for my usual bluntness and candor, it is totally bull that the Anglican or English Reformation was both Protestant and Catholic since it was Rome that martyred practically ALL the English Reformers of any importance, including Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer. All three made the list in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing compatible between Rome and Canterbury OR Geneva. One has to choose sides. One will either believe the Bible is THE final authority OR one will buy into Roman Catholic/Anglo-Catholic/Anglo-Papist bullshit tradition.

The idea that the English Church intended to be a via media between Rome and Geneva is just ludicrous. In short, the High Church Carolinians and the Arminians have more in common with Rome than with Geneva OR Canterbury.

I find your article is just a silly attempt to build bridges between diametrically opposed traditions. One of those traditions is a false religion and the other embodies the true Gospel and the doctrines of grace. It goes without saying that if what you have written here is so then we ought all to become Roman Catholics and be done with it.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

@George Brilliant explanation of the Tractarian position. Bullshit to be sure but that's the Tractarian argument in a nutshell.

Try reading the 39 Articles. It seems to me that the Articles say that no Anglican is obligated to believe ANYTHING that cannot be proved from Scripture.

Charlie

George said...

Charlie,

you add nothing to the conversation. Why bother posting is beyond me.

However, I enjoy Robin critics as they are thoughtful and well thought out. We do not agree, but at least we are tasteful.

Oh by the way Robin thanks for listing those books. I am going to have to see if the library carries any of those books. I have only read excerpts from them.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Charlie,

You are confusing the term "Catholic" (i.e. universal) with "Roman Catholic. Both the English and the Continental Reformers saw themselves as restoring the Apostolic and Catholic (i.e. unversal) faith of the Church. To say otherwise is to fall into the snare of the Romanists who insist that there is no continuity between the faith of the Reformed Church of England or the Continental Reformed Churched and the faith of the first five centuries of Christianity. There is no conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism when both are properly understood.. Thomas Cranmer believed that he was restoring the Apostolic and Catholic Faith to the Church of England as John Calvin believed that he was restoring it to Geneva. I am not championing the via media theory any more than I am contending that the moon is green cheese. (I have on good authority that it is very ripe Stilton.) You have read my other articles. You should know better than to suggest that I am.

Charlie J. Ray said...

George, there will be lots of "tasteful", self-righteous, and "good" people in hell. In fact, I would venture to say that all Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics will be in hell with the "good" Muslims, "good" Buddhists, and the "good" Pentecostals.


The "righteous" in the Bible are not "actually" righteous. They are accounted as righteous even though they are sinners. As Luther put it, the righteous are both sinners and saints at the same time.

All hypocrites, Pharisees, and the self-righteous will be lost in the end. Salvation is completely by an imputed righteousness through faith.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ESV)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 ESV)

Charlie J. Ray said...

As for the real presence of Christ...

Christ is really present to all who truly believe. The sacrament is a spiritual eating of the body and blood of Christ through a true and lively faith in Christ. In short, the sacrament is a re-participating in saving faith. It is a calling to mind of the sacrifice Christ made once and for all for all true believers. Those who are reprobates neither eat nor drink the true body and blood of Christ but eat and drink only bread and wine to their own self condemnation.

Eating Jesus cookies won't save a church mouse and they won't save a wretch either.

Charlie J. Ray said...

There are only two sacraments of the Gospel. The other seven are not sacraments but erroneous teachings from the false traditions of men. States of life are just that.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, you used the capital "C" rather and the small "c". If you meant "catholic" then you should have used that term. Perhaps you're unaware that there is a Roman Catholic blog called "Reformed Catholicism" or something along that line. It's sponsored by former Presbyterians who try to deceive other Protestants into apostasizing to Rome.

At least the blog used to exist.

The term is deliberately deceptive when used by High Church Arminians and Anglo-Catholics. Since Cranmer preferred to call the Protestant Reformation the true "catholic" faith (small "c"), I have no problem with that. Unfortunately, your article is sufficiently ambiguous as to allow this sort of confused thinking to continue.

The Anglican Reformation is "catholic" and "Reformed" and not "Catholic" and "Reformed".

Charlie

Robin G. Jordan said...

George,

The passage that you cited from the Homily of Repentance does not support the practice of auricular confession, of repairing every week to a confessional there to confess one's sins to a priest and to receive absolution from the priest. Rather it refers to the practice of anyone who after confessing their sins to God continues to have a troubled conscience. It advises them to seek the counsel of a minister who then shows them from Scripture that God has indeed forgiven their sins and assures them thereby of God's pardon and goodwill toward them, helping them to quieten their troubled conscience. The Tractarians and their Anglo-Catholic successors are notorious for misinterpreting this passage and using it to justify their practice of auricular confession.

The English Reformers both in the Edwardian and the Elizabethan phases of the English Reformation condemned the practice of auricular confession. See Philip Edgcumbe Hughes;s The Theology ofthe English Reformers, pp. 221-225. See also Dyson Hague's The Protestantism of the Prayer Book, pp. 113-140. I also recommend the following Church Association Tracts: 1."Must We Confess" (Vol. I),8."Confession and Forgiveness of Sin" (Vol. I, 57. "Absolution and Confession. The Mind of the Church of England as Shown in the Homilies," (Vol. I), 63. "The Confessional: The Best means of Arousing and Sustaining Public Opinion on the Subject," (Vol. II), 132. "Lord Harrowby (the late) on Auricular Confession" (Vol. III), 142. "Bishop Wilberforce on Confession" (Vol. III), 238. "Convocation on Confession" (Vol. V), 241. "The Modern Confessional" (Vol. V), and 253. "The Confessional in the Church of England" (End of Vol. V)

Jordan said...

Robin,

I have read Nockle's book and found it most interesting and edifying. His book convinced me that Anglo-Catholicism is not authentic Anglicanism because it does not adhere to the confessional standards of our Church.

George,

Anglican do not believe in a localized presence of Christ in the elements. A way of summarizing the teaching of the Articles is that in the Holy Communion, believing Christians feed on the body and blood of Christ by faith, therefore, there is no change in the elements other than a change in use (Calvin talks of a consecration for holy use). Christ's body is not contained within the bread but is received by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit when the believing man receives the bread.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Charlie,

In the older books the writers capitalize the "C" in catholicism; in the newer books they don't. I think that the older writers captalized the "C" because they objected to the Romish claim that they were the only true Catholics. For Roman Catholicism the older writers use Papistist, Papistical, Romanism, Romish, etc. It can be very confusing.

I opted to use a capital "C" for the same reasons as the older writers.

My reading shows that the Caroline divines were not all Arminian. Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud's predecessor George Abbot was a Calvinist, as was Archbishop of Amargh James Ussher. A number of the English bishops and other leading divines following the Restoration, while they adopted High Church practices were also Calvinists.

The point of my article is that, whatever you may think of their theology, the Caroline High Churchmen were Protestant. Only a few of them became Roman Catholics during their exile in France during the Interregnum. Most of them became even more Protestant. This fact must be brought out even if we do not care for their particular form of Protestantism. We play into hands of the Anglo-Catholics when we echo the sentiments of their Puritan critics. If you examine the writings of Laud, Cosin, Bramhall, Sparrow, and others, they certainly are not sympathetic to the Church of Rome or to most of doctrines that modern day Anglo-Catholics champion. They recognized the Thirty-Nine Articles as the Church of England's confession of faith. They also recognized the orders and sacraments of the Continental Reformed Churches even though they did not have bishops.

In the nineteenth century the Protestant High Churchmen did not like the Oxford Movement any more than the Evangelicals and were among its critics. These historic facts need to be brought out to put the claims of the modern day Anglo-Catholics in proper perspective.

Kevin D. Johnson said...

Charlie Ray said:

"Robin, you used the capital "C" rather and the small "c". If you meant "catholic" then you should have used that term. Perhaps you're unaware that there is a Roman Catholic blog called "Reformed Catholicism" or something along that line. It's sponsored by former Presbyterians who try to deceive other Protestants into apostasizing to Rome.

At least the blog used to exist."

As one of the original founders of Reformedcatholicism.com, I would like to emphatically state that the blog itself never existed to pull anyone into Rome but instead emphasized creedal and biblical fidelity consistent with the overall identity of the magisterial Reformation and classical Protestantism as seen both on the continent and throughout England. Mr. Ray's contention is simply ludicrous.

Charlie, as usual, you have your facts wrong.

Kevin D. Johnson said...

Robin G. Jordan writes: >>>In the nineteenth century the Protestant High Churchmen did not like the Oxford Movement any more than the Evangelicals and were among its critics.<<<

This is, of course, correct and Nockles' book in the main exposes the counterfeit nature of the Oxford Movement as feigning 'high church' - the true old high churchmen were very much Reformed in their orientation. Nockles also exposes the revisionist history that the Oxford Movement tried to pull off in pursuing their agenda. And, the Caroline Divines were most assuredly Reformed in the main.

George said...

Robin,

Understood. I agree with you. My point was Anglican's kept it in some form, but didn't demand that laity must go to confession every week like the Roman church (it lends itself to all those other unBiblical ideas of Indulgences etc..). And I would agree to a point that some Anglo-Catholics have slipped into the same frame of mind of Roman church. So maybe we have some agreement?

Jordan,

Anglican's (and genuine Anglo-Catholics) do not define in down to those terms of "local presence". As it is Faith, but how God makes this happen we do not get into. I like Queen Elizabeth's quote
Robin,

Understood. I agree with you. My point was Anglican's kept it in some form, but didn't demand that laity must go to confession every week like the Roman church (it lends itself to all those other unBiblical ideas of Indulgences etc..). And I would agree to a point that some Anglo-Catholics have slipped into the same frame of mind of Roman church. So maybe we have some agreement?

Jordan,

Anglican's (and genuine Anglo-Catholics) do not define in down to those terms of "local presence". As it is Faith, but how God makes this happen we do not get into.



Robin,

Understood. I agree with you. My point was Anglican's kept it in some form, but didn't demand that laity must go to confession every week like the Roman church (it lends itself to all those other unBiblical ideas of Indulgences etc..). And I would agree to a point that some Anglo-Catholics have slipped into the same frame of mind of Roman church. So maybe we have some agreement?

Jordan,

Anglican's (and genuine Anglo-Catholics) do not define in down to those terms of "local presence". As it is Faith, but how God makes this happen we do not get into.

"Twas God the Word who spoke it
he took the bread and broke it,
And what the Word doth make it
That I believe and take it"

Oh...I agree Robin about the Catholic and catholic use. Anglican's are Reformed/Protestant Catholics. We reformed by having the Bible as the central tenet and keep what is from the unchanged Catholic (Univerisal) faith purging the errors of Roman. We are Protestant because we profess this catholic faith and protestant against those Roman errors.

I know Robin and I disagree on how we define these terms, but at least we agree Anglican's are both.

Fr. Steve said...

So, basically, for Charlie, anyone who is not Calvinist in doctrine and snake-belly low in practice is going straight to hell.

George said...

Fr. Steve,

Yup, seems like it.

Kevin D. Johnson said...

To insert a "Calvinist" distinction as fundamental to the identity of the overall Reformed character of English divines is anachronistic and ignorant of history. The Reformed traditions were wider than what Dort provided in the early seventeenth century and room needs to be made to understand that while the Canons of Dort currently enjoy an exalted stance in the Reformed community today, Arminius himself held a faculty position at the University of Leiden and was never convicted of heresy charges. Not everyone in the Reformed world even at that time agreed with what went down at the hands of the Dutch. This is important not merely because it represents the facts but also because ill-informed Anglo-Catholics and their Truly Reformed cousins often try to pigeonhole being Reformed as something overly narrow when in fact the tradition itself is much broader both in scope and extent. This also helps us understand how we can see the Caroline Divines as manifestly Protestant and Reformed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Kevin, that's odd. I read the blog and it was definitely pushing Roman Catholic doctrine. Do you deny advocating prayers to the saints and infused righteousness? Puhleeze....

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, in case is has escaped your notice the reason that Archbishop Laud was killed by the Puritans was the fact that he was in sympathy with ROME.

The idea that Archbishop James Ussher was a Carolinian high churchman is ludicrous. The man was a Calvinist... Calvinism and high church Arminianism are as opposed one to the other as Rome and Geneva are opposed to one another.

It's this sort of confusion that leads others into the Anglo-Catholic heresy. Arminianism is no better since it denies all five of the solas of the magisterial Reformation.

Modern writers do not capitalize "catholic" because of dissimulators like the late Peter Toon who tried to hijack the English Reformation and make it appear to be some sort of via media between semi-pelagianism and Calvinism/Lutheranism. The English Reformation was not semi-pelagian, nor was it Arminian. The English Reformers were in full agreement with Luther's Bondage of the Will and with Calvin's theology of total depravity. Anyone reading the 39 Articles of Religion should be able to see that.

Articles 9-18 are a solid rebuttal of both semi-pelagianism AND Arminianism. Hence, Arminians are heretics by the Canons of Dort and by the 39 Articles of Religion.

Charlie

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Kevin, your comment proves you're a liar. The Reformed Catholicism blog was an attack on the Reformed faith, which is Calvinist. The 39 Articles are Calvinist and served to inspire the Irish Articles and the Lambeth Articles.

You've simply confessed that I was correct in my assessment of your blog. Dissimulation meant to deceive others into the Arminian/semi-pelagian errors along with the errors of Rome like prayers to the saints and seven sacraments, etc.

Case closed, enamigo.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

The Arminians were condemned as a whole on heresy charges at the Synod of Dort, which was attended by Anglicans in agreement with that assessement. Furthermore, Arminianism did not exist when the English Reformation occurred. It was a later innovation of the Laudians and the high church Carolinians.

One thing that pisses me off is a liar and a dissimulator, Kevin. What is even more distressing is that someone like Robin would fall for your line of bullshit.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Steve, absolutely right. Arminianism is simply a watered down version of Roman Catholicism. Reformed theology is the only accurate interpretation of the Gospel.

Lutherans who follow Luther rather than Melanchthon are in agreement with the Gospel as well.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

@Jordan...

At least you get the theology of the sacrament right.

Other than that....

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

@Robin... Amen to your comment on auricular confession. It's obvious to anyone who reads the original comments in the homily, et. al.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Hogwash. The high churchmen are by and large Arminians, not Reformed. The term "Reformed" means "Calvinist", not Arminian.

Charlie

Kevin D. Johnson said...

Charlie,

Your comments are simply in error. I will leave it at that for now. Maybe sometime I'll post some of the stuff I've written in the past so people can see for themselves exactly how far off you are. At any rate, I don't appreciate your language or your errant assertions. But responding further would be a waste of time.

George said...

Charlie,

Reformed doesn't equal Calvinist. And what you define as Calvinist isn't even in line with Calvin himself.

You comments are ludicrous with no basis. And you are just plain wrong.

Robin G. Jordan said...

Charlie,

Laud was tried and acquited of the charges made against him. His enemies were forced to seek a bill of attainder from Parliament to have him executed for high treason. Laud was a martinet and adopted unnecessarily harsh measures to force his program of "reforms" upon the Church of England. He certainly earned the hatred of Puritans through his ill-treatment of them. Pym so hated Laud that he falsified evidence to secure his conviction but even when the court was presented with this falsied evidence, it found no grounds to convict him of the charges, which included subscribing to the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

The historical record simply does not support the accusation that Laud was sympathetic to the Church of Rome. In his Conference with Fisher he shows no sympathy for Rome. The Church of Rome thrice offered him a cardinal's hat if he would persuade Charles I to bring the Church of England into the Roman fold. He declined all three times.

Laud was certainly a ritualist, an Arminian, and a supporter of the divine right of kings and bishops, and made numerous enemies due to the way he treated those who became between him and his ambitions. He was decidely an unlikable fellow and had few, if any, friends. He surrounded himself with syncophants who were seeking his patronage, trusting them more than he did other people because he understood their motives.

Laud's enemies would accuse him of Romanism but in the final analysis is a charge that will not stick. Being High Church and being Romanist are not synonymous. The Tractarians and the Ritualists who were not true High Churchmen in the historic Anglican sense would certainly do all they could to make the High Church and Romanist synonymous but we play into the hands of their Anglo-Catholic successors if we accept their redefinition of High Church. We allow them to define High Church for us rather than drawing attention to the fact that their redefinition of High Church is a revisionist view.

I believe that it is important to counter this revisionist view and give readers the true facts about the Caroline High Churchmen, good and bad. I believe that it is important to show that the nineteenth century Tractariarians and Ritualists and their modern day Anglo-Catholic successors are not an outgrowth of the Caroline High Churchman or even the Georgian High Churchman. They are an foreign intrusion in the Church of England.

I have good reason for not drawing attention to the Laudians' Arminianism at this stage, preferring to save it for future articles. It is obvious from this discussion that I needed to clarify what I have been talking about so far. I need to better define my terms, including what I mean by "Catholicism," "Romanism," and so forth. This may clear up any misunderstanding

Jordan said...

Robin,

I've recently launched a blog which seeks to document the history of the old High Churchmen (they preferred to be called Orthodox). I have a blog series that I am working on right now dealing with their demise.

http://solideogloria10.blogspot.com/

Charlie J. Ray said...

Sorry, Robin, but the fact that Laud persecuted the Calvinists is proof enough that his sympathies were against the Gospel and for works. Arminianism is simply another version of the Roman Catholic error of semi-pelagianism.

The idea that Anglicanism is some sort of minimalist hodge podge is basically heterodoxy. Doctrine is nailed down in Scripture and there is no room for Arminianism or any other false gospel. The reason Laud was killed was not trumped up charges but the fact that he persecuted Calvinists and taught false doctrine.

Arminianism is incompatible with Scriptural Christianity and in fact denies all five solas of the Protestant Reformation.

(See: Is Arminianism Heresy?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Is Arminianism a Damnable Heresy?

Charlie J. Ray said...

I might add that Articles 9-18 leave no room whatsover for ANY Arminian interpretation. "Prevenient grace", contra John Wesley, is not universally applied to all mankind but is rather applied only to the elect (See Article 17 and Articles 9-10).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, your own view is revisionist since you apparently try to redeem a damnable Arminian heretic for the cause of a false unity. There can be no union between two opposing views of the Gospel. One is false. Choose you this day which Gospel is true. Hint: it isn't the semi-papist and semi-pelagian gospel of the Arminians.

Charlie J. Ray said...

George, by your definition "Reformed" means Tractarianism. Apples are oranges and homosexuals are Christians in your mixed up thinking I suppose.

Simply because you wish to hijack the term "Reformed" to make it mean what it never meant does not justify the heresies you believe. Calvinism IS the Gospel.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

Kevin, by your own admission you deny the five points of Calvinism as defined at the Synod of Dort. What more needs to be said? DUH! You practically admitted you're not Reformed or Calvinist. Let me guess? You're also a theonomist:) Just guessing, mind you...

George said...

Charlie,

If calvinism = the Gospel
than the Gospel = Calvinism
Than you worship Calvin (not Christ)....hmmm...that's heretical.

I am sure you are going to say i am idiot or whatever name calling you like to use. As you say by your own admission this is your logic.

Anyway all you want to do is suggest i believe in heresy or I am Tractarian. But I am not going to go any further in any conversation with you because i realized it is pointless.

Charlie J. Ray said...

George, since you're apparently at this time a reprobate you're absolutely correct. This conversation is fruitless because you're still in need of regeneration.

I don't worship Calvin. I just think that the Reformed/Calvinist interpretation of Scripture is the most consistent, congruent, rational, logical, and applicable one there is. Papists, Arminians, theonomists, neo-Calvinists, and various other heresiarchs must twist Scripture to fit their irrationalism. Scripture, on the other hand, is perfectly rational and logical. The propositional truth claims in Scripture are so simple even a child can read and understand and be saved (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

May God grant you the grace to believe the true Gospel of grace before you drop dead...

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm glad the truth is finally coming out, Robin. Apparently you're in the same bed with the Arminians...

Next stop .... Tractarianism...

Robin G. Jordan said...

Charlie,

I am going to overlook those remarks. I prefer to draw my conclusions based upon primary sources and not secondary sources, upon the writings and sermons of the individual or group that I am examining than the opinions of their peers, in particularly their critics, which after all are opinions and reveal more about those expressing them than those about whom they are expressed. I am also more credible, and I am less susceptible to being exposed as not having done my homework by someone who has done more careful research than I have.

Drawing attention to the fact that the Caroline divines were not sympathetic to the Church of Rome and are classifiable as Protestant on a number of points does not make me either an Arminian nor a Tractarian. It is simply accurate objective historic analyis. If we affirm the historically inaccurate claim of the Tractarians and their Anglo-Catholic successors that the Caroline High Churchmen were their forerunners, we give legitimacy to their claim to be a natural development in historic Anglicanism, which is patently untrue. We undercut this claim when we show that the Caroline High Churchman were not sympathetic to the Church of Rome. We also put the Caroline High Churchmen in proper historic perspective. Their theology was in many ways defective from a Biblical and Reformed point of view, however, they were not an Romanizing movement like the Tractarians and Ritualists in the nineteenth century. Indeed, they were not a movement at all. They were a group of clergy and scholars that enjoyed prominence during the Stuart reign. However, their influence would wane after the Restoration. As Stephen Hampton shows in his Oxford monograph, The Anti-Arminians: The Anglican Reformed Tradition from Charles II to George I, the Church of England would in the main remain solidly Reformed, and did not succumb to Arminianism as later writers sympathetic to Arminian theology would claim. Where the Laudians were most influential was not upon doctrine but upon practice, that is liturgical usage. The Church of England acquired some High Church "frills," but these "frills" were nothing like the Medieval Catholic and post-Reformation Roman Catholic practices that the Ritualists introduced in the nineteenth century. We witness in this period in English Church history the emergence of the High Church Calvinists.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Robin, I've not read any of Hampton's books... So I can't comment on that.

Be that as it may, it is irrelevant to the Reformed position whether or not the Caroline divines were precursors to Tractarianism or not. What is relevant is that they were Arminian, which even YOU concede. Hint: anyone with any knowledge whatsoever of Arminianism knows that the system is in and of itself sympathetic to Roman Catholic doctrine. In short, one does not need to prove the historical connection since the Arminian position denies all five of the solas of the Reformation. Laud was killed by the Puritans for good reason. His theology is in and of itself Papist.

Semi-pelagianism is Roman Catholic even when it is watered down and disguised in Arminian garb.

Your position not only gives credibility to the Tractarians but also to the Arminians. Both are equally heretical and in fact Arminianism naturally leads to Tractarianism and even Rome--if you doubt me please explain why the vast majority of neo-Calvinists, Arminians and Evangelicals think the Protestant Reformation is over and there is no need to evangelize Roman Catholics as "lost"? Hint: Even Billy Graham thinks Catholics are "in".

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

In short, Robin, I'm accusing you not of being Arminian or Tractarian. I'm accusing you of being a jelly fish. Just as most Anglicans today morph into chameleons to fit with the minimalist doctrine approved by the Tractarians and liberals you have no convictions and no dogmatic theology.

Your view of Anglicanism is why Anglicanism is a gutless liberal organization rather than a church.

Charlie

Charlie J. Ray said...

True Anglicanism is the Lambeth Articles, the Irish Articles, and the prayer books edited by Cranmer...

There is no way the 39 Articles can be twisted to fit Arminianism since Arminianism wasn't even in consideration when Cranmer crafted the 42 Articles, which are the basis of the 39 Articles.

In fact, your argument that the Carolinians were Arminians provides equal fodder for the Tractarians since they are going to say that the Arminians are on their side and lay the foundation for the Tractarian movement. I agree with them. Arminianism IS the forerunner of Tractarianism. Even Augustus Toplady had sense enough to see this.

Charlie