If it had been my choice I would have never left.
Life doesn’t work that way, however, and I was relocated against my will.
Now, some 45 years later, when I return there it is not the same.
The people have changed, their ways have changed, and I no longer feel welcome in the place I have always called home.
Rather than try to turn back the clock and try to impose what was on what is…I simply don’t go there anymore.
That’s how I feel about evangelicalism.
It’s time to go and time to find a new home.
I’ve found mine in Anglicanism.
Instead of speaking about why I’m no longer an evangelical, I would rather tell you what I affirm about Anglicanism.
First, it’s focused on “catholicity” and unity.
We do not define ourselves by who we oppose in the Body of Christ.
There is a seeking of common ground between all those who affirm the historic creeds and confessions that define the Christian faith.
Second, it’s sacramental.
I believe God is acting in the Lord’s table and in the waters of baptism. These are not mere rituals, but means of grace. I can’t explain it, but I do accept it.
Third, it’s ancient.
Anglicanism doesn’t trace it’s roots back to the Reformation only, but back to the early Celts and from there to the Apostles that carried the Gospel to them.
We believe that we worship in the way that the church has always worshipped and we worship in accordance with what the church has always believed.
There is a formal liturgy tied to the church calendar. I’m not making up the service as I go, I’m praying and worshipping with the whole Anglican community all over the world.
Fourth, we have the “39 Articles”.
The 39 Articles are the doctrinal standards of Anglicanism.
The beauty of the articles is in their broadness.
They keep us between the ditches, but provide lots of room to roam.
Pick one and J.I. Packer will see it one way, N.T. Wright another, and Archbishop Ramsey, yet another.
They are all Anglican and all are (or were) in good standing in the communion.
I’m free to study and think and change and grow…and still be accepted in the brethren.
Fifth, it’s not about me.
It’s all about Jesus.
The focus of the divine service is on the Lord’s table and the work of the Trinity on our behalf.
You will be hard pressed to find a personality driven Anglican church…
Finally, we have the Book of Common Prayer.
Words fail me to describe how much I love the beauty and holiness of this book.
I could write much more about this decision, but I will end with this.
I have found the place that was prepared for me, the place where I fit.
It may not fit you.
I will rejoice in the place that you find that was prepared for you.
I can do that without reservation…because I’m (becoming) an Anglican.