Anglican Samizdat

February 7, 2010

Who are the real Anglicans?

Filed under: Anglican,Anglican Angst — David Jenkins @ 3:20 pm
Tags: ,

When I became a Christian, the final decision was simple. I felt like the thief on the cross with nothing to offer but sin, no recourse to good works to fall back on and, thus, no hope of earned salvation. I knew I was doomed without the only salvation that was on offer – the one from Jesus. There were no trappings, no liturgical requirements, no formularies, rituals or recitations, just a “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

In the current Anglican strife, what has become apparent is the desperation of each party to be included in the category “Anglican” while convincing everyone that the opposition should not. It is so pervasive that it raises the suspicion that being Anglican is more important than being Christian – perhaps because Anglicanism as it is practised in the West has become a buffer against the exigencies of real Christianity.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are determined that the ACNA not be recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and they are busy trying to sabotage the private member’s motion asking the CofE to recognise the ACNA. Such recognition would help confirm the “Anglicanism” of the ACNA, a confirmation TEC and  the ACoC are determined to derail at all costs.

For my part, I think the meanderings of Rowan Williams have the aroma of an institution long dead and now in an advanced state of decay; the vitality in the institutional Anglican Church is centred in Africa where to be Anglican also means to be Christian.

A similar parochial obsession is in evidence in the Archbishop of York’s declaring that ex-Anglicans who join the Roman Catholic Church as part of the Pope’s Ordinariate Scheme will not be “proper Catholics” – a contention roundly repudiated by at least some Catholics – as if such a thing bore the weight of eternal significance.

To solve the “who are the real Anglicans” problem, it might be best for Christian Anglicans to leave Western Anglicanism to bury its dead and take a new name: Aflicans, perhaps.

So who are the real Anglicans? Who cares.



  1. David,
    At one point in my life it was vitally important to me to be “Anglican” -in the global context. Today, I share many of your conclusions about the state of the Anglican Communion leadership and its implications on membership.
    Lately, it occurs to me that the form of worship I value is still Anglican, but the relationship I have drifted to is Congregationalist.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — February 7, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

  2. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!


    You have one of the funniest blogs.

    Almost anything regarding Anglicanism is hilarious.

    Keep up the work!

    Comment by David — February 7, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  3. It matters to me. Not as much as being Christian matters to me, though.

    Comment by Kate — February 7, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  4. Almost anything regarding Anglicanism is hilarious.

    It’s hard to disagree.

    Comment by Warren — February 7, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  5. Just so!

    Comment by Peter — February 7, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  6. Seems to me that Jim Muirhead has the rights of it. What we are seeing from some reasserters is outward forms which are Anglican accompanied by an inward ecclessiology which is congregationalist.

    Comment by Malcolm+ — February 8, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  7. Malcolm+
    I left the ACoC because its leadership had abandoned Scripture and Tradition. Today I am a deeply satisfied member of ANiC.
    From a personal perspective, I have judged the ACoC and TEC to be in apostasy and the ABC to be actively defending both TEC and ACoC. Twenty years ago it would have been unthinkable for a mere pewster to judge “the church”. That is the context I view as Congregationalist.
    My hope lies in the faithfulness and foresight of our ANiC Bishops and the grace of God upon His people.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — February 8, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

  8. Malcolm, do you think the Episcopal form of church government is superior to or just different than the congregational form? If better, can you give any Scriptural basis for your view, or is it based on tradition? I expect the topic may come up tomorrow or next week in my Church History class and I’m interested in different perspectives.

    Comment by Warren — February 8, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

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