Repost from elsewhere in 2007

Chancel of St Paul's Within the Walls Episcopal Church, Rome
Chancel of St Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church, Rome

Here’s an adaptation of something I posted as a comment on my friend Rick’s blog. It seemed pertinent to my discussions of Anglicanism:

There was a period of time in which I tried being ‘merely Christian.’ But, try as I did, no matter what books I read, which people I spoke to, what churches I visited, I found that it wasn’t so much a LABEL as an adjective or a noun, a word, that describes me.

Unfortunately, that word is almost useless as it functions as a word.


Oh, how diverse a word! Anglo-Catholic, traditionalist, pew-loving, liturgical, non-liturgical, modern, postmodern, emerging, crumbling, simply traditional, orthodox traditionalist, orthodox, neo-orthodox, evangelical, low-church, evangelical high-church, conservative, liberal, gay rights, women’s lib, charismatic, confused, frustrated, anguished, blind, joyful, dancing-in-the-aisles, genuflecting, apostolic, Apostolic . . .

But give me a Book of Common Prayer. Give me Gothic and Norman (Romanesque) architecture. Give me candles, stained glass, vestments, and hymns. Give me the faith of Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Hooker, Andrewes, Donne, Wesley, CS Lewis, NT Wright. Give me a living tradition that I am a living part of, give me symbolic actions. Give me visual symbols. Give me four readings from the Scriptures on a Sunday followed by a 15 min to half-hour sermon. Give me these, but most of all, give me Christ. Give me the Lord Jesus and a love for Him. Give me the Crucified God. Give me His gift-giving Spirit. Give me a love of the Scriptures. Give me respect for His holy Name. Give me these and I will gladly submit to the word, the label, Anglican.

Any of you who have viewed my Facebook profile know my ambivalence to the word, though — Religious Views: Christian — [insert appropriate adjective(s) here] Anglican.

It used to be, “Christian — confused, frustrated Anglican,” but that wasn’t descriptive enough.

Update 2014: It currently says, ‘Christian: Franciscan Orthodox Anglican (?) Currently attending the Free Church of Scotland’

Just some thoughts . . .

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