Anglican Tradition Theological Essay

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Many denominations have emerged as a result of the growth and spread of Christianity around the world. According to Oliver (2015), these sects have different traditions, values, adherents, and doctrines when it comes to their Christian beliefs. Furthermore, denominations continue to grow and integrate into sub-denominations, resulting in the emergence of several churches. The Roman Catholic Church and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on the other hand, were the first to establish Christianity. For their adherents, these sects enhance true worship of God and their denominational practices. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, has devolved into a number of different religious practices. The emergence of the Anglican Church, which has various values and practices, is one of them. Consequently, it is believed that Anglican Church emerged in 1543 from King Henry VIII who served as a significant leader within the Roman Catholic Church (Hauriasi et al., 2016). Therefore, this essay would address the identity and mission of the Anglican tradition. Additionally, the study focuses on how the Anglican culture has been shaped by various churches’ origins and its understanding of the creed.

The Anglican Identity and Mission

What is Anglican tradition or Anglicanism? Christianity is considered the leading religion in the world having more than 3 billion followers. Christianity is mainly based on the actual teachings of Christ who died over 1500 years ago (Hauriasi et al., 2016). Moreover, Anglicanism is among the traditions of the Christianity. Some Christian traditions include the Oriental Orthodoxy, Baptism, and Roman Catholicism. In addition to Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Protestant churches. All these Christian traditions have different origins, leadership, and principles but they share a common belief in the worship of true God. Hauriasi et al. (2016) argue that Anglican word originates from the term ecclesia anglicana a Latin phrase meaning the English church. However, over the last three decades Anglican is increasingly adopted across the globe. As a result over 90 million members belong to the regional and national Anglican churches (Episcopal churches in other nations) that are collectively described as Anglican Communion (AC) (Oliver, 2015).

According to Hauriasi et al. (2016), many countries and their citizens across the world share the history, traditions, and worshipping style of the Episcopalians and Anglicans. Being formed in England, the Anglican Communion allows Protestants and traditions to worship together. Additionally, it retains its traditional worship despite disagreements from other cultures. These traditions argue that there are no two similar religions in the diocese systems or within the countries as witnessed in Anglican Communion and Episcopalians. The unity in diversification is a key factor making the Anglican Communion different from other Christian traditions. Additionally, the fertile ground of spreading the gospel of Christ in changing to the world has been adopted by other doctrines.

Oliver (2015) explains that the Anglican Communion separated itself from the Roman Catholic Church during the dominant reign of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary I then reunited the tradition but later was successfully separated by Queen Elizabeth I. Based on the last separation, Anglican tradition is currently viewed as a reformed continuation of the roman catholic church with significant worshiping of Christ beginning in 1578 (Hauriasi et al., 2016).This follows its essential mission of spreading the gospel across the world. In achieving its mission the Anglican Communion sent different missionaries to various continents. By sending the apostles, the Anglican tradition has increased the number of its followers and builds more churches in different nations.

The Anglican Communion achieves its mission and objectives of spreading the gospel through its instruments of communion which include the clergy and an established constitution of the Anglican consultative council (ACC) (Oliver, 2015).The ACC as an instrument of communion involves an active participation of deacons, priests, and laity. However, the Anglican Communion has been on the increase and is currently having 40 autonomous regional and national churches across the world. Moreover, the Anglican tradition has other dioceses and rural congregations in every nation hence successfully achieving its mission of spreading the gospel of Christ. Fortunately, there are insight, wisdom, and experiences that contribute to the joint endeavors of the Anglican believers from different regions. Hauriasi et al. (2016) elaborate that this significantly outlines that the communion has several organized punches at the regional, national, and international levels. Such collaborations are always on different networks of the Anglican Communion. For example, the Anglican Alliance, the Anglican international commission on orders, communion news activities, and faith (Oliver, 2015). Therefore, the Anglican Communion must establish strategies and policies in ensuring such collaborations continue despite essential disagreements. However, other Christian expressions view the Anglican Communion to learn from the controversies to ensure global unity with other churches.

How Anglican Tradition was Shaped by Church’s Origins

The Christian traditions rely on their beliefs, doctrines, missions, and believers. These elements determine the source, development, and global impacts of the cultures. According to Morris (2017), the Anglican tradition has emerged from separation to reunion due to its leadership and beliefs that are not enhanced by other religions. Hauriasi et al. (2016) describe that King Henry VII separated the Anglican Communion from Roman Catholic Church with the vision of reviewing the ethical worshiping beliefs within the Anglican Church. This contradicts Queen Mary I who viewed King Henry as trying to divide the believers and the Roman Catholic Church. However, Anglican tradition is shaped by Queen Elizabeth I who successfully separates the Anglican Communion from the Catholic tradition (Hauriasi et al., 2016). The Anglican origins consider the separation as a significant step in establishing the Anglican Communion doctrine that currently has more than 90 million followers (Morris, 2017).

The church’s origin ensures there is a continuous observation of Protestant and the traditional elements. Through its origins the Anglican tradition retains regular worship of the original church by ensuring effecting facilitation of active leadership and education to followers. Morris (2017) argues that being separated from the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican tradition has been increasingly enhancing reforms in its doctrines that ensure the rights of Protestants and traditional worship is observed across the world. These changes have led to declining in beliefs in some significant conventional aspects of the church. However, Kagema (2016) explores that not only has the church’s origin introduced reforms, but it has also enabled diversity in opinions and views among the Anglican leaders and followers.

The diversification in opinion has increased mechanisms of solving conflicts that would arise within the tradition. Therefore, the church’s origin has shaped the Anglican tradition and continues to do so for the Anglican Communion to be one of the leading Christian traditions which adheres to its customs, beliefs, and true worship of God. Based on the church’s origins, Hauriasi et al. (2016) argue that the Anglican Communion has currently enhanced unity among its members. The Anglican tradition achieves global unity through efficient and reliable, leadership headed by the papacy. Therefore, the church’s origins have played a significant role in shaping its identity and mission. Kagema (2016) argues that the Anglican Church is currently among the leading Christian traditions with more followers across the world.

Anglican Understanding of the Scripture

Several Christian traditions have different ways of understanding the scripture. Others consider the scripture to be the referral point of holy words mainly used by Christ. However, Ross (2014) outlines that Anglican understanding of the scripture has a similar approach to the Roman Catholic but different from other traditions such as Baptist and Orthodox. The Anglican understands the Bible to be holding a supreme authority for effective formation of the Anglican’s doctrine. By believing in Jesus Christ as the pure revelation from God, the Anglicans view the scripture as assured record of disclosure since it is inspired and revealed by the most high (God).This is proved in article VII of the Anglican doctrine, which describes that the scripture outlines all significant factors for salvation (Hauriasi et al., 2016). Therefore, all the unread contents of the scripture are not necessary for man. Moreover, the scripture is understood as a critical article for the Christians’ faith. This understanding has been observed for several decades in Anglicanism. The ordained Anglican bishops and priests are given the scripture to symbolize that their powers and authority is derived from the Bible.

According to Morris (2017), this contradicts the Roman Catholic where priests use chalice and patterns during ordinations to symbolize power. Therefore, the Anglican understands the scripture as sources of power and authority provided by God. Moreover, the scripture should be read and interpreted to those new followers whose faith is not rooted in Anglican tradition. However, these approaches to scripture by the Anglicans are characterized by consonance from the Catholic traditions and the Protestantism. This does not mean the Anglican understanding of the scripture is random but an observation. Considering this approach, the scriptural supremacy, human reason, and patristic interpretations of the Bible are hardly components of Anglicanism. According to Kagema (2016), this has increasingly shaped the worldview of Anglicanism for several years. Therefore, the Anglicans understand the scripture as a holy article that gives directions on the spiritual living of man and should not be misinterpreted.

How Anglicans Organize Themselves for Missions Today

Several Christian traditions conduct different missions with various objectives. Morris (2017) explains that the tasks are performed on regional, national, and international platforms based on the organization and leadership of particular traditions. Moreover, a mission involves social, economic, and spiritual preparedness. Similar to other cultures, the Anglicans enhance several mechanisms for organizing a successful mission. A key strategy and policy being observed during the mission is the unity of the Anglican Church through its global leadership. Hauriasi et al. (2016) argue that since the formation of the Anglican tradition, Anglican Communion has been organizing missions through annual meetings across the selected nations. But currently, the Anglicans use its regional, national, and international leadership in organizing tasks. It conducts annual global conferences for its followers as a critical mission of uniting the world with Christ.

Conclusion

Anglican tradition is one of the leading Christian traditions with the majority of followers across the globe. It emerged as a separation of the Roman Catholic Church with a critical mission of worshiping the Supreme Being. Similar to other traditions such as Baptist and Roman Catholic, the Anglican tradition has beliefs and traditions for its followers. However, it adheres to traditional worship with the inclusion of protestant. But the emergence of Anglican Communion has established reforms within the doctrine for ensuring Anglican Church separates itself from conventional religion. The church’s origin shapes the Anglican tradition despite challenges and opposition from other cultures with a different understanding of scripture. The Anglicans understand the Bible to be an article for living a holy life. The scripture is also interpreted to be the key reference points towards useful teachings of Christ. Moreover, the Anglicans understand the Bible to be a holy article, written, and ordained by God. There are different ways in which Anglicans organize for missions today. These include conducting annual global conferences. Therefore, Anglican tradition is a significant element of Christian expression that enhances unity across the globe.

References

Hauriasi, A., Hauriasi, A., Van-Peursem, K., Van-Peursem, K., Davey, H., & Davey, H. (2016). Budget processes in the Anglican Church of Melanesia: an emergent ethnic identity. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 29(8), 1294-1319.

Kagema, D. N. (2016). The Need for Equipping Lay Church Leaders in the Anglican Church of Kenya for Mission and Ministry through Theological Education by Extension. Journal of Educational Policy and Entrepreneurial Research, 3(11), 112-124.

Morris, J. (Ed.). (2017). The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume IV: Global Western Anglicanism, C. 1910-Present (Vol. 4). Oxford University Press.

Oliver, S. (2015). Book Review: Pro Communione: Theological Essays on the Anglican Covenant, edited by Benjamin M. Guyer. Ecclesiology, 11(1), 98-101.

Ross, A. (2014). SherlockCharles, Words and The Word: Case Studies in Using Scripture (Preston, VIC: Mosaic Press, 2013), pp. 179. ISBN 978 1 74324 021 2. Journal of Anglican Studies, 12(2), 249-251.

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