Monday, June 15, 2009

Episcopalian or Anglican: Two Different Faiths?

I'm going to guess that Jordan Hylden, who wrote this piece, attends Asbury Seminary in central Kentucky. It is no wonder then that he finds that the two are very different. That is the reality in Kentucky where both Episcopal dioceses are ruled by bishops who garner favor with the church's leadership by imposing the Episcopal Church agenda on their dioceses. Jordan's description of the reality on the ground is accurate.

Jordan Hylden

“Are you Anglican, or Episcopalian?” As an Episcopalian interloper studying at a Methodist seminary, I get the question a lot from my puzzled friends. Each time I’m asked, part of me wants to launch into a mini-primer on Anglican ecclesiology - to wit, that Episcopalians are Anglicans, since the Episcopal church is just the American province of the global Anglican communion. Which means that, technically, the question shouldn’t even make sense - it’s sort of like asking, “Are you American, or Texan?” But, of course, I know just what the question means - it does make sense, because it reflects the sad divisions that have roiled the church over the past five years. Quite simply and sensibly, my Methodist friends want to know whether I’m a member of the liberal Episcopal church, or one of the conservative Anglican groups that broke off. And as saddening as it is to admit, I’ve come to think that their common-sense perception is more accurate than my attempts at ecclesiological theory. Their question can only be asked, and answered, because of the reality on the ground in the United States: Episcopalians are one thing, and Anglicans are another.

Read it all here.

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