A STARTING PLACE


candleHow does your church look at the world? What sort of filters color its interpretations?  How do you look at happenings around you?  If you are a serious christian church member, you start by looking through your faith into the filters of your church. There are a number of ways you could dig into these questions. Here is one broad starting place.

It has been said (I don’t recall by whom) —that Anglicanism has a particular insight into the mystery of the Incarnation.  Rome, it has been said, focuses on the glory of the Cross, and Orthodoxy on the mystery of the Resurrection; the Reformed Churches are transfixed by the Sovereignty of God and Pentecostals by the Coming of the Holy Ghost. For example, Anglicanism, in its homeliness, has found the center of its theology and spirituality in the stable at Bethlehem where the Word became flesh.

These emphases (and that is all they are, for every family of true Christians embraces the whole faith) influence the way Christians of different traditions live out their faith. Such predispositions always color our first impressions.

If you are not into theology, dogmatics, or such. let’s pick this apart a bit. If these brief descriptions are accurate, then this may help to understand some of our approaches and decisions.

wide scene

ROME:  Looks to the Glory of the Cross.  They see the world around them first of all through the glory of the work of God through the cross. The glory of that cross colors interpretation and understanding of actions and methods around them. They choose first to see the cross surrounded in glory. They have become part of the Glory.

ORTHODOXY: The Orthodox focus on the mystery of the Resurrection.  This may be part of willingness of the Orthodox to accept mysteries in life which can not be fully understood by man. The Resurrection can be accepted as fact, but never fully understood by man.  This is part of the transcendence of God. The Resurrection proves God’s power over sin and death, and enables mankind to partake of that salvation.

ANGLICANS: Have an insight into the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of God becoming flesh. The Word became flesh in a stable in Bethlehem, and part of the human family. Anglicans first see world events and local happenings through the filter of that stable. Anglicans choose to start with God’s willingness to become fully us, fully man, fully the inclusive family in Christ. At that stable with this fully human, defenseless yet fully God babe we see our world.

THE REFORMED CHURCHES: are transfixed by the Sovereignty of God.  The first lens they see through is that of God in charge, always and entirely, of all actions and events. They are very conscious of man violating God’s 0rdinances and sovereignty, and what results from this. Their lens focuses on the consequences of both our faith and our actions.

PENTECOSTALS: are awed and overjoyed by the Coming of the Holy Ghost.  His first coming andcandle continuing action among His people are their first lens to understand the world around them. Events, opportunities, and actions of others are filtered through the actions of the Holy Ghost.

bruce white shirt A little on the esoteric side, but maybe it helps.

Fr. Orthohippo

About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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