Happy Easter people. Welcome to the highest point in the Christian calendar: Resurrection Sunday. Today is our party day 😊.
So, what better thing to do than churn through some of the ‘this we believe stuff’ – we, being the Anglican (Church of England) Church. The history of the 39 Articles document was mentioned in last week’s post, so if you find the ye olde English language a bit much, remember when it was written. However, I must say I love “appertaineth”. We should use that one more often.
Here’s a selection of the 39….
Some of them are to do with doctrine. Here’s two relevant for today:
Article III Of the going down of Christ into Hell
As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed, that he went down into Hell.
Article IV Of the Resurrection of Christ
Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.
Wouldn’t mind a sitteth down myself.
Now, here’s some articles that are doctrine related but also identify how the Church of England is different to other Churches. I love how this is written before the days of political correctness. It ain’t got no shame in pullin’ out that ‘repugnant’…
Article XIX Of the Church
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also, the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
Article XXII Of Purgatory
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
Article XXV Of the Sacraments (I’ve shortened this one a bit)
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
The next few articles are helpful when considering the awful Church related abuse that has occurred across the centuries. I think this is a really helpful paragraph when considering a range of ramifications connected to these issues. It’s worth reading a few times to digest it slowly.
Article XXVI Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacrament
Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ’s, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in the receiving of the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ’s ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God’s gifts diminished from such as by faith and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ’s institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally being found guilty, by just judgement be deposed
Then another article to identify a different between The Church of England and The Church of Rome.
Article XXXII Of the Marriage of Priests
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God’s Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
And one last article on Christian charity, which again, isn’t backward about coming forward. However, it does clearly make the point that individuals in the Church of England should always be giving to those in need in correlation to the amount that God has provided them with in life.
Article XXXVIII Of Christian men’s Goods, which are not common
The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
If the 39 articles are held to (and not all Anglicans agree on them) then those living in poverty should always be a concern for The Church of England.
Yours in liberally giving,