Anglican Catholics

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Doubting Thomas, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Doubting Thomas

    Doubting Thomas
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    Hey Jude, do you consider yourself "Anglican Catholic"?

    The reason I ask is that I learned about the Anglican Catholic Church at anglicancatholic.org and was intrigued about what I read. I learned that the ACC--like the Eastern Orthodox--accepts the Scriptures, the Creeds, and the seven Ecumenical Counsels of the undivided church, as well as Patristic Tradition as authoritive. That being the case, I was curious about whether or not the ACC shares the same beliefs about Mary and praying to the saints that the RCC and the EOC teach. If you don't consider yourself Anglican Catholic, what are your thoughts on the ACC and how the beliefs of that church are different from those of "garden-variety" (if there really is such a thing!) Anglicans?

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. GraceSaves

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    I'd like to know too. We have a lady joining the Catholic Church in our parish this Saturday who is coming from an Anglican background.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  3. Doubting Thomas

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    (bump)
    While I'm waiting patiently for a response [​IMG] , I also am curious as to why some Anglicans accept the first FOUR ecumenical councils (Nicea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon) while Anglican Catholics accept the first SEVEN?
    Anyone? [​IMG]
     
  4. Jude

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    Yes. I am a member of 'Forward in Faith North America'(http://www.forwardinfaith.com/about/na_index.html).

    [/QUOTE][/QB]
    I was curious about whether or not the ACC shares the same beliefs about Mary and praying to the saints that the RCC and the EOC teach.
    [/QB][/QUOTE]

    I think it's perfectly valid to 'pray to' the saints (I believe in the 'communion of the saints'), and yes, even Mary. I do not subscribe to Mary being 'co-redemptrix', nor do I believe she was born 'sinless'. I do believe that she must have been a very-holy young woman, and that above all human-beings, (aside from Jesus, of course)she is to be most-honored. I have no problem with her being perpetually a virgin...the early church said as much, nor do I have a problem with her 'assumption' at death-after all, Moses experienced the same thing. I've prayed the Rosary on occasion, but find the Daily Offices to be much-more suited to my kind of spiritual life...a reflection of the Benedictine influence, which is, of course, very strong in Anglicanism.
    I used to be much-more of an evangelical, but studying the early church/early church fathers, and re-examing Protestant doctrines of 'Sola fide' and 'Sola Scriptura', lead me (making a long story short) to embrace a more-Catholic position.
     
  5. Doubting Thomas

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    Jude,
    Thanks for your response. I'll check out the website you provided. [​IMG]
    God Bless.
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

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    Interesting that you should say that.

    I've been a lifelong Baptist, but over the past year or so I've done a lot of rethinking of long held Baptist beliefs. First to go was the pre-trib rapture myth. Although that has been taught by every pastor and guest speaker at each of the churches I've belonged to since childhood, I can neither find Scriptural proof of this nor any historical evidence that this idea existed before the 1800s. Secondly, over that past few months, I've all but ditched the "once-saved-always-saved" belief that is held by most Baptists. Again, on the whole, there are many more Scriptures warning against the possibility of falling from the faith or exhorting the believer to endure to the end than there are passages that may suggest an unconditional eternal security. I still believe in eternal security, but only for those who continue to abide in Christ.

    More recently I've rethought the nature of the Baptist ordinances--Baptism and the Lord Supper. Having always believed these practices to be merely symbolic, I've been surprised to learn that the Early Church Fathers didn't think the same way. First, I have yet to see any evidence that any early Christians considered Baptism to be a mere symbol. Second, although I've read some quotes from "the Fathers" regarding the symbollic nature of the Eucharist, most other quotes express a belief in the Real Pressence. Now, I certainly don't buy the whole doctrine of transubstantiation, but it seems like there have been many in Church history who've held to a more mystical or spiritual concept of the Real Presence, including many Protestants! So I guess I've been coming around to having a more sacramental belief regarding the Lord's ordinances. However, I still have problem with baptising infants and I do think that immersion is a more vivid picture of what it means to be "buried with Christ".

    I also have reconsidered Sola Scriptura and do agree that it (at least the version of it that many Protestants profess) is problematic as an epistimologic guide. However, I think the whole partim-partim Scripture/Tradition view of the RCC is equally problematic. Ironically, I've read (and am reading) two books by Prostestants (including one by a BAPTIST) who calls for a return to apostolic Tradition as expressed in the early regula fidei, confessions, creeds, and councils. This view, as opposed to both the no-tradion view and the two-source theory, makes the most sense to me, but I'mn still working through it.

    I guess my biggest hang-ups with Catholicism (and Roman Catholicism in particular) is the infallible papacy/magisterium, the exalted view of Mary, and praying "to" Mary and the saints. I can see the evidence of belief in Mary's perpetual virginity from antiquity in the Protoevangelium of James (c.120 AD?), but I also see that Jesus did not encourage any special emphasis on his mother (Luke 8:19-21 and 11:27-28). And yes, I've heard Catholic apologists say that they don't "worship" Mary and that they only pray "through" her (as an intercessor) and not "to" her. However, I've read more than a handful of prayers from Catholics to Mary which border on blasphemy, attributing to her divine attributes that only God can possess. I also think that history belies the notion of an infallible papacy and magisterium, but I'm sure that you'd probably agree with me here.

    Anyway, sorry to be so long winded. I would be curious, though, to hear more about how you may have changed some of your beliefs over time, if you don't mind sharing. Thanks.

    God bless.
     
  7. GraceSaves

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    Doubting Thomas,

    Marian dogmas were the hardest for me to reconcile in my conversion (though I rejoice in them now). If you ever wanna discuss some of those prayers you have problems with, just gimme a hollar, on here, email, or AIM (username: DojoGrant).

    God bless you on your quest for Truth!

    Grant
     
  8. Doubting Thomas

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    Thanks for the offer. I'll have to get back with you, because I'm at work and don't have access to the sources which contain those prayers to which I was referring. Later...
     
  9. Doubting Thomas

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    Grant, here's what I had in mind...

    "Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy. Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to you do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping, in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ." (If I'm not mistaken, this is the conclusion of the Rosary)

    So in other words, Mary is "our life" and "our hope"? Maryis our "most gracious advocate"? These descriptions belong to the Lord Jesus Christ alone! We need Mary to turn her "eyes of mercy" towards us? We require mercy of GOD not Mary.

    Here's another...

    "Mary of the New Advent, we implore your protection on the preparations that will now begin for the next meeting. Mary, full of grace, we entrust the next World Youth Day to you. Mary, assumed into heaven, we entrust the young people of the world..the whole world to you!" (John Paul II, August 1993)

    So rather than entrusting the world to Christ, the pope is entrusting the world to Mary? He's imploring Mary's protection rather than God's??? This doesn't sound like he's asking Mary to pray "for" him--he's asking Mary--and not God--to do the protecting!

    Here's one more...

    "O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O mother of God, obtains salvation except through thee, none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee." Pope Leo XIII, Adiutricem Populi

    Contrast this prayer with the words of Jesus:
    "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except through Me/" (John 14:6)
    ...or the words of the Apostle Peter:
    "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).

    No mention of Mary's name nor notion of Mary's role in salvation mentioned here or anywhere else in the Bible.

    On the contrary, Jesus deflected praise from His mother (Luke 11:28), and basically said that ANY who hears the word of God and does it is His mother and His brothers (Luke 8:21), thereby passing up another opportunity to stress any role she may possibly have in salvation.

    Anyway, didn't mean to sound too harsh. I have to admit that I found these "prayers" through secondary sources, but if they are accurate, can you understand how Prostestants believe that Catholic devotion to Mary borders on blasphemy?
    Later....
     
  10. GraceSaves

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    Thomas,

    I'm on a tight schedule tonight; got practice for the Easter Vigil in 20 minutes, then I gotta write a research paper due tomorrow. Eek! I will try to respond to these later tonight or tomorrow night, though. Thanks!

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  11. Jude

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    Doubting Thomas...your post was excellent! You are perhaps on the same 'road' that I and many others have walked on. The problems you've addressed regarding Mary I share as well...at least many of them. Regarding Transubstantiation, the Orthodox, interestingly enough, never defined the 'how'. They have just said that the Bread and Wine ARE the Body and Blood of Christ. This, I think, is the proper approach. So-called 'Memorialism' is a rather-late development in the Christian era, and is a product of the Rationalism of the Middle Ages. If you keep going down this 'path', you may find that you would be more comfortable in either the Anglican (Anglican Catholic) or Orthdox traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is a wonderful church, really. It is rich in history and liturgy, yet, like you, I simply cannot embrace the idea that it is the 'only' Church. 'Valid' churches, i.e. those with apostolic succession, are Anglican, Roman, Orthodox, and some Lutheran. All a part of the 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic' church.
     
  12. Matt Black

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    Thomas, much of what you posted resonated with me, particularly the sola scriptura and sacramental points. I'm kind of coming at it from a different background, having been raised RC and then spent a lot of time in the charismatic movement here where I rejected a lot of Catholic dogma; I now go to a Baptist church where resposible Biblical scholarship - including looking at the role of Tradition, is encouraged; indeed our church's website has the works of the Early Fathers posted on it as well as the Ecumenical Councils. So I would encourage you to try a more liturgical tradition. If you want, I believe you can do this and you can remain Baptist - I think Mainstream Baptists, CBF and ABC have an element of the liturgical in them. Me, I'm happy where I am - I subscribe to the first five Ecumenical Councils, not 7, as I believe that after roughly the end of the 5th century, the eastern and western churches were pulling apart for cultural, theological and political reasons, and no longer spoke with a 'united voice' (and also I don't like Nicaea II cos of the stuff about icons [​IMG] ) - but I'm also happy with the two 17th century London Confessions, by and large.

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  13. raymond

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    Thomas&gt;&gt;&gt;On the contrary, Jesus deflected praise from His mother (Luke 11:28), and basically said that ANY who hears the word of God and does it is His mother and His brothers (Luke 8:21), thereby passing up another opportunity to stress any role she may possibly have in salvation.

    Anyway, didn't mean to sound too harsh. I have to admit that I found these "prayers" through secondary sources, but if they are accurate, can you understand how Prostestants believe that Catholic devotion to Mary borders on blasphemy?
    Later.... &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    dear Thomas,

    I can understand, my father has been the pastor of the same Southern Baptist Church for the past 45 years. I have my own theory as to why we all were raised not just to ignore Mary, but to denigrate her and her role in literally bearing Salvation to the World. How Satan, who has undying enmity with the Woman, must delight when Christians,a la Chick, call Mary "Satan's Masterpiece" or say that being chosen before the foundations of the World to give us Our Savior, is 'no big deal'. If that 's not a big deal, then there are no big deals.
    When the disciples argued who should sit at Christ's right hand, He did not 'break it to them', that Heaven is an egalitarian paradise. A simple reading of the book of Revelation indicates that Heaven does have rulers, and Christ does have His inner circle.

    I close with a couple verses from"Baptist Hymn to Mary" to help show you that maybe devotion to the Mother, takes nothing from the Son, and perhaps is not even incompatible with a well developed and consistent evangelicalism.

    As Jael crushed the head of Sisera,
    and Deborah called her blessed,
    So Thou crushest Satan
    thru Thy lowly handmaid,
    And we rise up and call her blessed.
    We are her children.
    Each disciple deemed that he should sit
    at the right hand of Jesus.
    But Thy wisdom elected the most unexpected.
    the humble, the quiet housewife,
    Is now our queen!

    raymond
     
  14. Doubting Thomas

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    Raymond,
    That's very interesting--a BAPTIST hymn to Mary? Where did you find that? [​IMG]

    Anyway, I certainly don't think anyone should bash Mary. Afterall, she must have been special indeed for God to choose to become Incarnate in her womb. All generations SHOULD call her "Blessed" for that is what she is. However, I'm not sure we should go to the other extreme and emphasize some ongoing role that she allegedly has in salvation (Though I'm not disputing that she HAD an instrumental role in bringing the Savior into the world.) Basically, applying titles such as "Redemptrix", "Mediatrix", and "Advocate" to Mary is highly problematic to me and many other Protestants. I'm beginning to coming around to the possibility of the Perpetual Virginity and PERHAPS the Assumption, but NOT the Immaculate Conception.

    I'm aware that Catholics believe that the "Woman" in Revelation 12 is Mary, but I'm not convinced. I can't recall from history Mary fleeing into the wilderness and being persecuted for 3 1/2 years. I'm more inclined to think the Woman is Israel and that the 3 1/2 years are in the future. And in Genesis chapter 3 it is the SEED of the woman who bruises the head of the serpant with His heel, and not the woman herself. Just some observations.

    God bless.
     
  15. Doubting Thomas

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    Jude, thanks for the compliment.

    I do find myself somewhat drawn towards a more liturgical type service, especially in the face of today's contemporary "worship". I still like many of the old Baptist (and Protestant) hymns, and SOME of the modern praise songs are reverent and Scriptural. However, I'm no longer a big fan of drums and electric guitars on Sunday mornings. Also, I've yet to recite the Apostle's creed in a Southern Baptist Church.

    You make a good point about the Orthodox view of the Real Presence as opposed to the specific formulation of Transubstantion which developed much later. The Lord's Supper is indeed a memorial, but contrary to what many modern evangelicals believe, it isn't merely so.

    As to what "path" I'm on, I'm not quite sure myself. I've certainly been reading about both Anglican Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy and find in both many commendable features. I'd probably choose either over Roman Catholicism (and perhaps Anglicanism over Orthodoxy). However, I'm still a proponent of believers' baptism (albeit in a more "sacramental" way) as opposed to infant baptism, so I'm not quite ready to give up being a deacon at the Baptist church just yet. [​IMG] But we'll see...

    God Bless.
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    Matt, I appreciate the insightful remarks. It sounds like we do have some converging viewpoints despite having the different backgrounds. It's also encouraging that some Baptists are putting more of an emphasis on the early creeds and Church Fathers. I recently read a book by an ordained Baptist minister (who happens to teach at a Catholic University!) called RETRIEVING THE TRADITION AND RENEWING EVANGELICALISM. I couldn't believe what I was reading! [​IMG]

    I'm currently reading a book called THE SHAPE OF SOLA SCRIPTURA by Keith Mathison discussing the role that Tradition plays in the classical Reformed and Patristic understandings of Scriptural and ecclessial authority for the believer. The author contrasts this with the "no-Tradition" view (ie many modern evangelicals) and the two source view of Tridentine Catholicism. It's pretty good so far--I'm about half way through.

    Anyway, thanks again.

    God bless.
     
  17. raymond

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    Thomas&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;I'm aware that Catholics believe that the "Woman" in Revelation 12 is Mary, but I'm not convinced. I can't recall from history Mary fleeing into the wilderness and being persecuted for 3 1/2 years. I'm more inclined to think the Woman is Israel and that the 3 1/2 years are in the future. And in Genesis chapter 3 it is the SEED of the woman who bruises the head of the serpant with His heel, and not the woman herself. Just some observations.&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;


    Thomas,

    To be correct, Catholics believe Revelation has to do with Mary AND the Church AND Israel. Hillary Clinton wrote "It takes a Village to raise a Child", Baptists seem to have their own version of this when it comes to Rev 12.: 'It takes a village to bear a Child'-anything to keep from seeing the basic clue the the I.D. of the woman, i.e. she is the mother of the Messiah.
    Anything to keep from giving Mary her due.

    There is an adolescent spirit of ingratitude behind many of the attacks on Mary, kind of like the teenage zealot who says he owes no gratitude, nor respect to his parents, only to God; or the Iraqi muslims who proclaim that the 3rd Infantry Division didn't drive Sadam out, God did.

    Cannot both assertions be equally true?
    God crushes Satan AND God uses Mary to crush Satan?


    your brother,

    raymond

    [ April 22, 2003, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: raymond ]
     
  18. CatholicConvert

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    Dear Brother Doubting Thomas --

    I think I understand your hesitancies quite well. Perhaps rather than looking to Rome, you might look to the Byzantine Catholic Church. Orthodoxy in praxis, sui juris in body, and yet in full communion with Rome. The Liturgies date back to St. John Chysostom in the 4th century, and St. Basil in the 6th century, so we can make a claim of antiquity that few others can, especially Rome with all her Vatican II innovations (which are, quite frankly, driving a lot of Latins to come join us).

    I don't remember how close Rome is to the Atlanta metropolitan area (I was a wee tyke when I grew up there) but check out the following parish:

    Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church

    There's also a nice WEB FORUMwhere you can learn from life long Byzantines and get your questions answered.

    You know, what's really sad is that Eastern Catholicism is probably the best kept secret in America. Even the Orthodox are more evangelical than we are, and they are NOT known for being evangelical!! Everyone thinks that to be Catholic one must be Latin Rite.

    Happy surfing!! [​IMG]

    Brother Ed
     
  19. Kiffin

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    Thomas,

    I call myself a Liturgical Baptist. At my former church we observed Advent and Lent and occasional confessed the Apostles and Nicene creed though generaly used historic Baptist and Protestant confessions. At my current church we observed Good Friday and at our Easter Sunrise service we closed our services by reciting a portion of Luther's catechism on the Apostles creed.

    I have too many theological problems with my RCC friends and infant baptism is a MAJOR, MAJOR barrier for me regarding even the Anglican communion though the Reformed Episcopal Church has some wonderful churches and people. If it wasn't for infant baptism, the REC would be a valid option for me. I would rather however seek reform within Baptist churches regarding worship. Dr. Robert Webber of Northern Baptist Seminary (And is Anglican) has helped introduce liturgical worship among many Evangelical Churches who have long tired of the seeker services, 3 hymns, sermon services, Contemporary Praise and Worship services that all seem to be human centered. He has a vision of a restoration of liturgical worship to those of us in the Free Church tradition. It has been my experience that many Baptists will embrace liturgical worship if they will open their minds, understand it and experience it. [​IMG]
     
  20. Doubting Thomas

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    Brother Ed,

    Good to see you back. I hope you had a good Easter season.

    If I had to choose a "Catholic" church, it would probably be the Anglican or the Eastern Orthodox--but your comment about the Orthodox not being evangelistic is somewhat concerning. [​IMG]

    I just can't seem to bring myself to accept infant baptism at this point, regardless of the denomination. So despite some of my misgivings for the current state of typical Baptist worship services, I'm "content" to "remain Baptist" for now. (Plus I'm still at the beginning of my three year rotation as a deacon at my church, and my wife really likes the "praise" music). But I still have a great attraction to the idea of a more liturgical tradition.

    BTW, Rome is about 1 hr 15 min from Atlanta.

    In Christ,

    DT
     

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