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Those of us who take the Bible seriously and take our Anglican heritage seriously are often met with much resistance. In many cases that resistance is outright contempt. And when the mud-slinging begins, rarely do we get to choose which shade of muck we will wear. But today we can.
I am going to start identifying as an “Anglican Fundamentalist” to beat the naysayers to the punch. They would use the label as a term of derision, so I have picked it up as a badge of honor.
Here are the Five Foundational Principles of Fundamentalist Anglicanism:
1) Anglican Fundamentalists are “every-jot-and-tittlers.” The Word of God is forever settled in Heaven and that settles it for us. We affirm every syllable from cover to cover and then we affirm the cover because it says the Bible is “Holy.”
We don’t just believe that a whale swallowed Jonah, we’d believe he swallowed the whale if the Bible said so! We deny that Scripture contains any admixture of error even down to St. Paul’s comma splices.
Most of us still believe that the King James Bible is the Crown Jewel of the Anglican literary tradition. Anglicans built no cathedrals, the Authorized Version stands as our monument. It testifies to the majesty of God’s Word written, it conveys the beauty of the English language imbued with holiness, the vulgar tongue sanctified for the worship of God.
2) Anglican Fundamentalists don’t play fast and loose with the Doctrine of God. We don’t jigger around with the Holy Trinity. We don’t engage in exegetical monkeyshines in order to turn Theology Proper into a subset of Anthropology.
We affirm Nicea, the definition of Chalcedon, and are thinking about writing sea shanties based on the anathemas of Athanasius.
We don’t tolerate social trinitarianism, subordinationism, or any attempt to make the Godhead an experiment in sociology.
3) Anglican Fundamentalists are episcopal in government but—contrary to most Episcopalians and the rules of Chess—we believe our bishops should move in strait lines. Commensurate with the rules of Chess, we believe our bishops are distinguishable from queens.
We believe that Holy Orders consist of bishops, priests, and deacons—shepherds and servants all. They must be men marked by integrity. They must be men marked by fidelity. They must be men marked by charity. And of course they must be men.
4) Anglican Fundamentalists believe that the formularies, the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Ordinal, and the books of homilies are the instruments of unity. Yet, we are ecumenical enough to allow everyone to conform to the standards of uniformity.
5) Anglican Fundamentalists hold to a tradition that is based on Divine Revelation, based on the Great Tradition, based on the historic episcopate, based on the ethos of the Protestant Reformation, and in every possible way, just plain based.
If this sounds like the Anglicanism that you love and want to preserve, if this sounds like a faith that is worth passing on, then own the label before the wagging nabobs begin in earnest. Take up the name and wear it with pride.
To this end, I have begun creating gifts and apparel for just this purpose. Check it out. Wear it and share it. In an age where religion has slipped its leash, there is nothing wrong with returning to the fundamentals.