Sunday, April 15, 2007

Campbellites? Nay, Cranmerites!

So, this is really Brent's post except that he's too lazy to write it so I have to do it instead. No, no, that's slanderously untrue. Brent is too busy writing his funereal dissertation to blog, whereas I'm just about to give up the pretense of being an academic altogether after last week's fiasco.

We have noticed over the past couple of years, Brent and I, that an incredible number of discontented CofCers have landed in the Episcopal Church. We're discovering new refugees all the time--mostly through the blogosphere but Brent also met two people while visiting VTS a few weeks ago, someone in the PTS bookstore, and there's a priest here in the Diocese of New Jersey who went to Lipscomb... It's enough to make us wonder, anyhow; and so here are the questions I have, for anyone who happens to be a former CofCer turned Episcopalian (not Episcopal, which is an adjective).
  1. Why the Episcopal Church? Why not something closer to home--like Disciples of Christ, for instance?
  2. How many other churches did you check out before choosing the Episcopal Church as home?
  3. What continuities do you see between the Episcopal Church and Churches of Christ?
  4. What was the last theological/doctrinal "hurdle" to overcome in joining the Episcopal Church?
  5. Aren't vestments cool?
  6. How long have you been Episcopalian? Do you still maintain any CofC ties? Does your family pray for your salvation or are they cool with your Episcopalian-ness?
  7. Have you met many other former CofCers? Why do you think so many turn to the Episcopal Church when they leave the CofC?
  8. Give us your vote--do we baptize Clare as an infant or not? (Not that sacraments are a matter of majority rule or anything...)


Indie Pereira said...

That's a lot of questions. I might have to post it on my blog and leave a link here.

JTB said...

from Jared at Scribere Orare Est:

1) Because of the theological foundations of Anglican Christianity and the Via Media tension between an apostolic monepiscopacy and a church always seeking reform (i.e., greater integrity in Christian faith and practice).

2) Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Disciples of Christ, Methodist...oh, you mean actually visited instead of just considered? None. I started attending the Episcopal parish in Abilene and it just kind of stuck.

3) An eye towards unity based upon early Christianity (though Anglicans understand everything about this QUITE differently than Restorationists), emphasis on the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, a capella worship (i.e., chant). In all of these, along with many similar things, I found The Episcopal Church as being the fullest expression of what I was taught in the Churches of Christ.

4) That's a tough one. There really isn't one. That was why I joined. I was sitting in my local Episcopal parish and it occurred to me that I spend all this time in the Churches of Christ jumping hurdles, trying to reform and call people to look at things differently . . . and that there were no hurdles, no key theological foundations in TEC that I disagreed with. I decided I should probably join the church I actually agreed with because it would be a more faithful ministry (for me) than trying to reform the Churches of Christ after my own image. Of course, TEC is continually challenging me to grow and deepen my Christian faith, so it's far from comfortable, but I think you get what I mean.

5) Yeah, they're great.

6) I've been attending almost two and a half years. I was confirmed last May. I still maintain many CofC ties, though some people and groups have explicitly and regrettably broke ties with me. My immediate family is VERY supportive but there is a large segment of my larger family that does indeed pray for my salvation.

7) Yeah, I have actually. Quite a few have commented on my blog or e- mailed me. I wrote a post where I ruminated a bit about your question (this was a while back). I can't find it now. I think a lot of it is due to what I said in my similarities answer, much of TEC (in my view) is a fuller expression of some key CofC tendencies.

8) Since I believe that neither age, nor intelligence, nor lack of a "conversion experience" should keep someone from being an absolute
full member of the Church, I cast my vote for yes.

Brian said...

I'll try to answer these on my blog, as well. Maybe later today.

jch said...

These Episcopalians do know they are going to hell, don't they? Brent?!?! Kidding, brothers and sisters. I love this post because I'm very interested on why someone would make that jump instead, as you note, a jump to a more familiar tradition. Good stuff thus far!

Indie Pereira said...

I've posted my answers on my blog.

Nancy E. Adams said...

So glad you asked! See my blog post for my answers. Previously, I have blogged about "Why I (Heart) the Episcopal Church" and plan to blog "What I Gained from the CofC." Will let you know when it happens...

Anonymous said...

I've finally answered your questions on my blog, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late at this, but I posted the answers on my blog today.