Why I Became an Anglican

If you read the other posts on this site, you might think that I am "Pro Catholic."

This is true. I am Pro Catholic, but it would be better to say that I am Pro catholic with a small "c."

The word catholic means very simply "universal," so in general when we talk about the catholic church which is synonymous with the Church Universal, or the unorganized church which exists throughout the world. There are Christians in every nation and they are ALL part of the catholic church (small c).

The Roman Catholic church is different. I am not suggesting that it is not a part of the universal church, but that is a different discussion.

What is the Anglican Church?

If you study church history, you will most likely learn that the Anglican Church started in 1534 when King Henry the Eighth and Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy.

The following summary from "The Reformation Website" is a fair summary of what happened.

"The Protestant Reformation in England was largely a political and personal reform movement, again underscoring the lack of a united Protestant front. Henry VIII, Tudor King of England from 1509-1547, was a devout Catholic. In 1521, he was awarded the title Defender of the Faith by Pope Leo X for his written attacks against Luther. With his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, Henry had six children, only one of whom, a daughter, Mary, survived through infancy. Henry believed this was a sign the marriage was ill­ fated, and because he desired a male heir, the king chose to attain an annulment of the marriage from the Catholic Church. But Pope Clement VII would not grant Henry an annulment. Enraged, Henry refused to accept the pope's decision. In 1533, he secretly married Anne Boleyn, who was pregnant with their child, a move that provoked Clement to excommunicate Henry. In response, Henry published the Act of Supremacy, which named him-not the pope-supreme head of the Church in England. Eventually, this act resulted in the creation of the Anglican Church, which adopted some of the changes of other Protestant reformers but remained very close to traditional Catholic doctrine and ritual." (Source)

This summary is a fair summary of the formal break of the Church of England from the Roman Papacy.

What the citation does not tell us is that the Anglican (church in England) existed long before it the Roman Catholic Church was corrupted (again, a different discussion).

The FIRST Archbishop of Canterbury (The Church of / in England) was none other than Saint Augustine!

Here is a reference from Britannica.com...

"Saint Augustine of Canterbury, (born, Rome?—died May 26, 604/605, Canterbury, Kent, Eng.; feast day May 26 in England and Wales, May 28 elsewhere), First archbishop of Canterbury. A Benedictine prior in Rome, he was chosen by Pope Gregory I to lead 40 monks as missionaries to England. They arrived in 597 and were welcomed by King Ethelbert of Kent, at the behest of his queen, and he gave them a church in Canterbury. Augustine converted the king and thousands of his subjects and was made bishop of the English. On the pope’s instructions he purified pagan temples and consecrated 12 other bishops. He founded Christ Church, Canterbury, as his cathedral and made Canterbury the primary see in England. He tried unsuccessfully to unify his churches with the Celtic churches of northern Wales." (Source)

So, in a sense you could say that the Anglican Church was born out of the Protestant Reformation and yet it was not. It existed long before the Protestant Reformation.

So Why Anglicanism?

While I do not agree with every position of the Anglican Church, I believe that the Anglican Church, and specifically, the Anglican Church of North America, best represent catholic (small c) views that Evangelicals have gotten wrong. The biggest, most glaring of these views is the Evangelical view (generalization) regarding Memorial Communion.

Here is a video that explains the Anglican Church of North America in about four minutes.

Beautiful Liturgy

Finally, I LOVE the liturgy of the Anglican Church of North America. Although every church might be slightly different, the liturgy accomplishes what I believe God desires of worship in His Word.

1. The Liturgy focuses on Christ

The entire service in our church focuses our attention on the Redemptive work of Christ. The Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, Sermon and Scripture Readings are a constant reminder of how we should approach God. We approach Him in humility, confession of our sins and preparation to receive Christ in the Eucharist (Communion). 

2. The Liturgy is Beautiful and Boring

Many people think that liturgy is boring. In some ways (with our modern penchant for constant entertainment) it is boring. But praise God, there is nothing wrong with boring! Worship is and never was about repetition or no repetition. All Jewish Temple worship was repetitious and boring. Animals were sacrificed DAY AFTER DAY. There was nothing new or novel about worship in the Temple. But it was NEVER about the liturgy was it? No It was and is always about the condition of our hearts. 

God wants our hearts to be in love with Him and devoted to Him. I believe that the ACNA (Anglican Church of North America) has fostered such a spirit (the SPIRIT of God) in the worship of their churches.

Are they perfect? No. Of course not. We have all sinned and fallen desperately short of the glory of God. I thank God for the ACNA and their commitment to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.