The Protestant Dilemna

Here is something from the combox in reply to the departure of Anglican bishops for Rome:

Obviously this Bishop hasn’t a clue as to what authentic Anglicanism is. “Swimming the Tiber” is about as far away from Anglicanism as one can get. For those unaware of what this might be here are some guidelines:

1. First and foremost is Holy Scripture:

Holy Scripture containeth 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.

2. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer and other national BCPs based on it, for example the current Book of Common Prayer used by the Reformed Episcopal Church.

3. The 39 Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church

4. The two “Books of Homilies” which explain the 39 Articles.

These are the “Gold Standards” of what being Anglican is. And by those standards “Anglo-Catholics” and “Liberal Broad Church” types are not Anglicans.

So to this Bishop and others in the UK and US who depart for the Roman “Ordinariates” I say you went out from among among us but you were never a part of us.

BTW I am a recovering ex-Roman Catholic who is now worshipping the Lord in Spirit and in Truth as a conservative “orthodox” Anglican in the ACNA/Reformed Episcopal Church and I ain’t swimming the Tiber, been there done that.

The only reply we can give is to pose the same question we pose for all Protestants–a question that has yet to be answered: Why should your version of the Christian faith–in this case your version of Anglicanism–be the correct one?

The writer has outlined some ‘gold standards’ for Anglicans. But why should those ‘gold standards’ be the correct ones? There are many good, sincere, prayerful Anglicans who heartily resist his definitions. The liberals would smile at his quaint definitions. “The Book of Homilies? No one reads that anymore?–the 39 Articles of Religion? An interesting sixteenth century document. Irrelevant for today. The Book of Common Prayer? Very nice as a museum piece.”

The Anglo Catholics would similarly dispute his “Gold Standard”.

All particular disputes aside, the commenter must tell us what authority declares that his preferred version of Anglicanism is the correct one. Why should this version of Anglicanism be right and all the others wrong?  Because he says so? Because he likes that one best?

He will argue that this is ‘historic’ Catholicism. The Anglo Catholics argue strongly that their interpretation of Anglicanism is the historic one and his is a sixteenth century aberration. The liberals will say their interpretation is the modern revision of his. Who is right and why?

Note the last paragraph. Here is a lapsed Catholic who says he now ‘worships in Spirit and in Truth.’ Let me explain the code here. First of all, the implication is that as a Catholic he never worshipped in Spirit and in Truth and the further implication is that there are no Catholics who worship in Spirit and in Truth. Secondly, the ‘Spirit’ here usually means the individualistic, subjective sentimentalism of Protestantism. “This worship makes me feel good so it is worship ‘in the Spirit.’” Finally worship in ‘the Truth’ usually means for the Protestant that they read the Bible a lot. Of course I am not opposed to reading the Bible a lot, but the Bible is always read within the teaching of the Church’s magisterium. This is not what the writer means by ‘worshiping in Truth.’

Finally, it saddens me whenever I  hear of Catholics falling away from the Church. Sometimes it it their own fault. There is a broken marriage or moral matter that causes them to fall away, or they just become lured away be the attractions of other religions. However, too often the sad truth is that we have failed them. Through poor example, scandal, lousy catechesis, poor liturgy and all the rest, the Catholic Church on the ground is too often pretty awful.

So the sheep wander.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Film Noir... et Blanc: Morality at the Movies:
Universalism: Christianity's Killer
Hell. Will Lots of People Go There?
Earth is Moving for New Our Lady of the Rosary Church

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X