What Does It Mean to be Anglican?

In a Bronx parish, recent divisions in the Episcopal Church are troubling, but the openly gay priest and his church members from the West Indies and Africa remain comfortable as part of the Anglican Communion.

maplewood

02/04/2009 10:56:18 AM

Salvaged: ref: inspired Word of God and a changed life: Does your church allow divorce? Does it marry divorced people? If we read the Bible with your zeal, Jesus said that divorce and remarriage is adultery (Matt. 19:9). Only one exception is allowed: divorce because of adultery. Unless that is the mitigating factor, then any other divorce and remarriage is adultery itself. Adultery is a sin, and a sinful condition, unless ended and repented. Do you have divorced and remarried people in your church? Do you have divorced and remarried clergy? Bishops or Elders? Does your church allow divorce, and does it remarry divorced people? If so, why does your church allow, even condone and enable, the sin of adultery? And why is it okay for your church to defy the teachings of Jesus Himself regarding adultery, but we can’t defy the teachings of Paul regarding homosexuality? (Romans, Chap. 1) To refer back to Scripture, it says in Romans 2: 1 that “you have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for you who pass judgment do the same thing.” Explanation, please! Thanks!

maplewood

02/03/2009 03:45:20 PM

Hmm…”the faith once delivered”. That is the catch-phrase upon which much hinges, isn’t it? That our faith is a faith that never changes, rooted in immutable truth, subject to no fashion…regardless of any facts, or development. That, and the “new” Anglicanism that no longer looks to the three legged stool of Tradition, Scripture, and Reason in it’s faith and polity, but only Scripture. And a consciously literalist reading of Scripture, at that. Where does all this lead us? I suggest that it leads us down a path of intolerance and judgementalism that Jesus eschewed, an intolerance and judgementalism that is decidedly un-Anglican. Is that the faith that was once delivered? Intolerance and judgementalism? I don't think so.

salvaged98

01/22/2009 10:18:33 AM

Apparently the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not taken literally in this Bronx 'church'. We are to be 'transformed by the renewing of your minds'- If this 'pastor's' way of life is acceptable then I guess when I became born again in 1998 I could have kept on drinking, fornicating with different women, lying and cheating on my taxes- all in the name of being sincere in my belief of Jesus Christ. I had to only ask myself one question: If I stated that I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and did not change anything about my lifestyle- what am I showing the non-believers about the saving grace of Jesus Christ?' I wouldn't want/need to know Jesus Christ if I was living as the world does. God help you as He has helped me.

nivlac

01/21/2009 09:50:25 AM

This is rediculas...I was looking into going to a Anclica church..but now after reading the truith about the Angkican church..I can now have peace that the Anglican church is not for me .....Thank you for sheding the light on this .

Pattyklement

01/21/2009 09:26:24 AM

Dear Father Tobias, I am thankful for the work that you do in spreading God's word. We are all God's children, and acceptance and support is the very foundation of God's love. However, I do not agree with the practice and action of the homosexual life in our church leaders. We are all torn on on this earth between things that keep us from God and his message. Alcoholics are still alcoholics, but with the help of God, they can live a life without it, etc. If I am an alcoholic, I have a choice as to whether I practice it or not. We are all God's children, and acceptance and support is the very foundation of God's love. As far as a gay bishop coming to a place of leadership in our church, there was a lot to that political process and that is set aside for another discussion. God Bless.

matt b

12/31/2008 03:03:57 PM

Dear Fr. Tobias, Thanks for the response and the insight on the focus of the article. Also, agreed that we are formed first and foremost by Jeus' grace-filled call and knitting us together. The rub seems to be in how we are living into that. Without going down any number of paths, it is, obviously, messy and often difficult. God bless you and your congregation in Christ, matt

Tobias Haller

12/26/2008 04:42:57 PM

Fr. Matt, Thanks for your reminder of the importance of that more basic kind of communion -- ultimately the kind that is not something we do with each other but which God has done for us, in calling us to follow his Son. I took the concern of those who asked me to write this reflection to be with the more mundane matters of the Anglican Communion, and so I confined myself to that. I believe that only "communion" of the latter sort can be broken or impaired; that is, the communion we share in Christ is irrevocable, and is shared by all Christians, regardless of how they understand it or the extent of their knowledge of it. It is only the later kind of "communion" -- the kind that distinguishes denomination from denomination and church from church, where we run into difficulties; and I dare say they are difficulties of our own devising. God bless you in this holy season, and may we find, through the grace of God, a return to a focus upon the communion that is a gift, and not our own doing.

matt b

12/24/2008 03:42:54 PM

Dear Fr. Haller, I am also an Anglican priest, AMiA to be precise. I am confused as to why you define Communion membership as primarily procedural, i.e., in communion with the Anglican Communion via relationship with Canterbury and York; and second, membership in the ACC. Surely our common union is first and more foundationally in Jesus Himself present to us by the Holy Spirit, and into whom we are grafted to even be a C/church. And that is witnessed to in, yes, the quality of our lives, and our allegiance to Jesus per the best knowledge of Him. That best knowledge has across time been commonly articulated, for Anglicans, in the faith once delivered as expressed by the power of God the Holy Spirit in the Anglican formularies (Creeds, Articles of Religion, Book of Common Prayer) and the Lambeth Quadrilateral (Scriptures as revealed Word of God, Nicene Creed as sufficient statement of faith, 2 sacraments: Baptism and Communion, and historic Episcopate). And, all these gain their credibility from the fidelity to Jesus known in the Scripture and by the Holy Spirit. It may seem a bit dry, but let’s bring our hearts to bear along these lines of love of Jesus and His Scriptures, then we can talk about structural relationships, albeit important ones. In Christ, matt

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