Small Group-The Church & Denominations-04/04/18
Anglican / Episcopal Church
- Name comes from the Latin ecclesia anglicana, meaning English Church.
- According to an Anglican legend, the founding of Christianity in England is attributed to Joseph of Arimathea.
- In 1534, King Henry VIII was declared head of the Church of England when it broke ties with the Roman Catholic Church and it’s pope in Rome.
-The nature of Anglicanism was based on questions of jurisdiction; specifically the belief of the Crown that national churches should be autonomous, rather than a theological disagreement.
- In 1549, Thomas Cranmer produced the first Book of Common Prayer.
- 85 million worldwide, 2 million in USA
- The official Church of England. (The church and the state are one)
- Episcopal in government
-Bishops/archbishops rule over the local congregations and a rector (priest).
-Both clergy and lay people lead the church.
-Deacons, priests, bishops are ‘ordained’
- The Bible contains the truth that is necessary for salvation and is the primary norm for faith, but must be interpreted in light of tradition and reason.
Question: Are there any words in that statement that should raise a few red flags?
-Contains the truth = the Bible is not true as a whole.
-Interpreted in light of tradition and reason = When times change so does the meaning of Scripture… LGBTQ for example.
Question: What does their statement on Scripture NOT say?
-Inerrant = The Bible is w/o mistake or error.
-Infallible = The Bible is incapable of mistake or error.
- The canon includes 39 OT and 27 NT books.
- The Apocrypha is respected but not viewed as Scripture.
Question: What is the Apocrypha?
-The word’s origin is Latin meaning ‘secret’ ‘non-canonical’
-It is a group of books/letters not in the Hebrew Bible.
-While Catholic tradition considers the texts to be part of the canon of Scripture, Protestants do not.
-Other non-canonical texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means “false writings”
- The one Creator and Lord of all, existing eternally as the Trinity
-Father, Son, Holy Spirit
- The eternal Son incarnate, fully God and fully man.
- Conceived and born of the virgin Mary.
- Died on the cross for our sins.
- Rose bodily from the grave.
- Ascended into heaven.
- Will come again in glory to judge us all.
- The third person of the Trinity.
- The gift of the Spirit to Jesus’ disciples after the crucifixion is associated with the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in Jn 20:19-23 and with the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
- The Catechism states that the church is holy “because the Holy Spirit dwells in it, consecrates its members, and guides them to do God’s will” (BCP, p. 854).
- All God’s operations in us as spiritual beings are by the word through the spirit.
- Salvation is the redemption of sins and eternal fellowship with God.
-Beliefs in salvation are a product of both Catholicism and Reformed Protestantism. The Anglicans accepted the predestination doctrine of John Calvin.
-Anglicans also believe that the sacraments of baptism and communion are essential for salvation.
-We share Christ’s victory when in baptism we become living members of the church, believing in Him and keeping His commands.
-Any orthodox notion of salvation, therefore, must make reference back to the Church as the chief means through which Christ’s work on the cross is realized.
-We are not saved merely as individuals. We are saved through our participation in Christ’s sacrifice by being drawn up into His Body, the Church. (Catholic position)
- Justification: There is a wide range of beliefs.
-Some arguing for a faith with good works and the sacraments.
Question: Where might we differ with Anglicans on salvation according to that statement?
-In baptism we become living members of the church.
-We are not saved merely as individuals
-A faith with good works and the sacraments
- Because God is just by nature, the wages of sin is death–and by “death” is meant both earthly death as the result of the fall, and eternal death in hell as the punishment for sin.
- Hell: The exact nature of hell is not known,
-Some see it less a place and more as a state of being, that of complete separation from God and from all good things.
-Others reject the possibility of eternal punishment, suggesting annihilation for those who die without faith.
- Heaven: The future hope of the saved is eternity in perfect relationship with God in heaven. As with hell, the exact nature of heaven is unknown.
-While the Bible often refers to it as a place, many prefer to consider it as a state of being. A state of continual worship of God, of perfect love, of rest, of the end of tears and pain and labors and death, of perfect fellowship with believers, of bliss.
- There will be a final day when Christ returns in triumph, all people are judged, the dead are resurrected bodily–the faithful to eternal life, and the unfaithful to eternal death–and the bodies of the living faithful are changed to resurrection bodies.
- There will be a new, glorified heaven and earth where all the faithful will dwell with God forever.
Question: What is missing from their end-times statement?
-No mention of the Rapture, Great Tribulation or Millennium.
-They are A-millenial.
-They do not believe in a “rapture” in which Christians are snatched away prior to the second coming.
-They also do not teach a seven-year period of earthly tribulation.
-Nor do they believe in a 1000 year earthly reign of Jesus before He ushers in eternity.
-They believe Jesus will return once to judge the living and the dead.
- Order of Worship: Hand Out
- The sacraments are ‘outward and visible signs an inward and spiritual grace.’
-Infants and converts are made part of the church by baptism.
-Christ body and blood are really present in Communion (called The Eucharist). And each time they take Communion, Jesus is re-sacrificed.
- The Book of Common Prayer is the norm for liturgy.
- Follows the Liturgical Year.
Question: What is the Liturgical Year?
-It includes various seasons of the year designated by the church.
-Begins the 1st Sunday of Advent. The focus is on Easter not Christmas.
-Its intent is to help us remember aspects of the life of Christ and various saints who have sought to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
-Major seasons: Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost.
- Order of Worship: Fixed
-There are readings from both OT and NT in each service. (Usually 4 readings)
-Considered High Liturgy.
-Formal with many rote affirmations of faith.
-The Eucharist is central to the worship time. It can be held either weekly or monthly.
-Norm for corporate worship is: stand to sing, sit to listen, kneel to pray.
- Is the body of Christ, whose unity is based on the ‘Apostolic succession’ of bishops going back to the Apostles, of whom the bishop of Rome is one of many.
Question: What does ‘Apostolic Succession’ mean?
-The teaching that bishops are the successors to the apostles and their authority comes from an unbroken succession from the original Apostles.
-This authority is specifically derived through the laying on of hands for the ordination of bishops in lineal sequence from the apostles.
Question: Where do you think they got that from?
-Roman Catholicism and the pope.
-It is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
-They are loyal to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Like all Roman Catholics are loyal to the pope.
- Members are free to accept or reject the Catholic traditions and doctrines of Mary.
- Called priests and can get married.
Women: In 1976 they approved the ordination of women.
LGBTQ: In 2009 they approved the ordination of practicing gay bishops and allowed bishops to bless same-sex marriages. Both has led us to this final doctrinal belief.
A Gender neutral God:
- God will no longer be referred to as He or Him in the Episcopal Church Diocese of Washington, D.C., which passed a resolution barring all use of masculine pronouns when referring to the Almighty. In 2017, the Church of Sweden also elected to call God only by gender-neutral pronouns. (The dailywire.com)
- Yet, the fact is throughout scripture, God continually refers to Himself as “Father” and presents Himself to humanity as masculine. Jesus, who is also both man and God, called God the “Father” and ascended into heaven in a male body.
Question: So, what do you make of that?
- Episcopal Church in USA
- Reformed Episcopal Church and Anglican Church in North America: more conservative
-Thomas Cranmer: First Archbishop of Canterbury.
-Anglican divines: Clergy whose theological writings have been considered standards for faith, doctrine, worship and spirituality.
-J.C. Ryle, William Temple, Phillip Brooks, J.I. Packer, John Stott, John Wesley, N.T. Wright
-Kate Winslet, Humphrey Bogart, J.K. Rowling, Julie Andrews, Teddy Roosevelt, Angela Lansbury, Reese Witherspoon, George HW Bush,
General Order for the Anglican/Episcopal Liturgy
God Calls Us to Worship
- Come into His presence with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise.
- Blessed be God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And blessed be His Kingdom now and forever. Amen.
- The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.
Collect for Purity
- The collect collects all of our thoughts and helps us to focus together on what we are about to do. We prepare our hearts to worship.
God Instructs Us
Decalogue or Summary of the Law
- These state the terms of the covenant.
Lord Have Mercy
- The Old Testament Reading is the voice of the Old Covenant saints.
- The Epistle Reading is the voice of the Apostles and Prophets.
- The Gospel Reading is read in the middle of the congregation to remind us that Jesus became flesh, dwelt among us, and taught us.
- The Creeds represent the voice of the New Covenant Church. By reciting the creeds we affirm our commitment to “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Apostles and Nicene Creeds
- We rejoice in God’s speaking and His great gifts
- An elder, as a representative of the church and as God’s delegated authority, leads the congregation in prayer before the Lord.
- God has given gifts of teaching and preaching to the church. The teacher seeks to make clearer and more practical for us the teachings of Scripture. The message should challenge us, convict us, instruct us, and encourage us. To listen well and be attentive often requires work on our part.
God Restores and Glorifies Us
- We affirm our commitment to God and His world by offering the sacrifices of the tithe (one tenth of our increase) and offerings.
Prayer for the Church
- We pray for the health and strength of Christ’s entire Church.
- Challenges us to seriously deal with our sins before we take communion. The communion table is a place of blessing or judgment depending on whether we take dealing with our sins seriously.
Confession of Sin
- Before God and His Word we all fall short. We have done things we ought not to have done and we did not do things we should have done. We also sin in ignorance. We dare not come to a holy God harboring sin in our hearts so we must confess our sins.
Assurance of Pardon
- If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God restores and glorifies us as persons, a process that continues throughout the service.
- This phrase means ‘lift up your hearts’. It symbolizes the completion our ascension into heaven where we will worship with angels and archangels and all the host of heaven before God, where He is seated on His heavenly throne. We say or sing with them the words of this heavenly worship song which is called the…
- Meaning “three holies”. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts…
God Feeds Us
Consecration of the Bread and Wine
- This is My Body…This is My Blood. This is not the same bread and wine you have on Saturday night.
Prayer of Oblation
- We present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto God.
- We establish the Lordship of Christ over all of life.
Prayer of Humble Access
- He has invited us to come but we can never approach God on our own merits. We thank Him for making us worthy.
Holy Communion/The Lord’s Supper
- Everything in the meeting so far leads us to this point. Now we rest, we feast, we enjoy the fruits of His salvation, and we receive the food of His body and blood. We kneel when we take communion because, in the Scriptures, kneeling is a position of humility and thankfulness. It is a time for remembering the Lord’s death. It is a time for remembering the resurrection. It is a time to look forward to the Lamb’s Marriage Supper at the end of this age.
- We rejoice in God’s giving His great gifts
God Commissions Us
Prayer of Thanksgiving
- Prayer is the first work of the people of God. We pray as He commands for grace to live in Him and for Him.
Gloria in Excelsis
- This is the desire and goal of our lives – the glory of God.
- The minister speaks a “good word” that we all may find the grace of God to engage faithfully in our ruling activities, to live holy and blameless lives, and be faithful witnesses to Him.
- We leave God’s presence to go and live for the life of the world. We shine as lights before all men to bring honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.