Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I'm An Anglican X

Because We Are A Three Streams Church!

Bishop Eric Menees

So far, I've said that I am Anglican because we are: 1) Biblical, 2) Liturgical, 3) Sacramental, 4) Evangelical, 5) Rational, 6) Episcopal, 7) Ecumenical, 8) International, and 9) We Are A Three Streams Church!

What do I mean by a "Three Streams Church?" Generally speaking (and recognizing that books could be written on the subject), this refers to different styles of worship and theological emphases. These three streams are Anglo-Catholic, Charismatic, and Evangelical. I find it remarkable that our church embraces these three streams, and yet remains one church. This is not to say that we are without our challenges, but overall these three streams work well together, and can be found in each diocese (the Diocese of San Joaquin included) and province of the church.
Anglo-Catholic: Typically, this stream embodies a high church form of worship using liturgy as an evangelical tool. Seeing and participating in the majestic worship of the ancient church leads us to an experience of the divine. Anglo-Catholics place a heavy emphasis on the real presence of Christ in the Sacraments, and they deeply honor the way that the Lord has worked through Holy Tradition and continues to unfold his redeeming work through the Church.

Charismatic: Anglican Charismatics usually emphasize the experience of God through the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Charismatics place heavy emphasis on an individual's openness to being filled with the Holy Spirit and to exercise the gifts which God desires to anoint all Christians with. Anglican Charismatics argue that God the Holy Spirit is alive and well, and is performing his miraculous works daily. For Anglican Charismatics, the church that is open to the movement of the Holy Spirit is the church that embodies what it means to worship God in the fullness of faith.

Evangelical: By in large, Anglican Evangelicals embody the reformed aspect of our church. Heavy emphasis is placed upon a personal and saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and therefore they see personal evangelism as the primary responsibility of the church. The church is necessary to live out the faith, but a person may come to faith outside of the church. Among Evangelicals, the Bible is the primary source of God's revelation and He is present in His Word!
All three streams desire essentially the same thing: for people to come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and to live out our lives as His obedient disciples. Most Anglicans are not purely any one of these streams, but rather exhibit two or three of the streams in their worship and ministry. For example, Bishop Keith Ackerman--our upcoming clergy retreat leader--embodies all three streams in his worship and ministry. As president of Forward in Faith North America, he is associated with Anglo-Catholics. Yet, when I hear him preach, he places strong emphasis on the Word of God and a personal saving relationship with Christ which exhibits the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

As I travel around the diocese, I rejoice in seeing these three streams working in tandem with one another. I believe that we are a richer diocese, province, and communion because we experience the fullness of the Church and her faith in these three streams.

1 comment:

RMBruton said...

I guess that makes me an Anglican X.