WHAT WE AFFIRM
The Anglican Connection–What We Affirm
The foundational and governing principles of any organization set the framework for the purpose and structure of that organization. So, the Fundamental Declarations of a Church are significant in that they form the foundation on which the mission and vision of the church is built. They also frame the way the church is structured and how its mission and ministry are exercised. We desire clarity and unambiguity in our understanding of the Scriptures so that our ministry can be faithful and effective and bring about a Godly unity in Christ Jesus for the greater glory of God.
Many today regard doctrine as a tedious irrelevancy, accusing anyone who campaigns for doctrinal issues of being a pedant or a misguided troglodyte who is frustrating the movement of the Holy Spirit towards revival, renewal and unity. Yet the irony is that sound doctrine is essential for the work of the gospel and for the unity of God’s church. Jesus himself said it:
“Those who worship him (God) must worship in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the 16th century English Reformation, understood this. He was committed to two key principles in his second prayer book (1552): clarity and unambiguity.
With the rejection in recent years of core orthodox Christian doctrine within the Anglican Communion, the Jerusalem Declaration provided Anglicanism with a clear re-statement of essential belief. This Declaration which was unanimously adopted by the Global Anglican Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem in June 2008, reflects core values of the Church of England. Canon A5 of the Church of England states: “The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal”.
In like manner the Constitution of the Anglican Church in Australia says in its Fundamental Declarations that the Australian Church is ‘part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ’, affirms the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, and receives the Old and New Testaments as ‘the ultimate rule and standard of faith … containing all things necessary for salvation’. There is a commitment to obey the commands of Christ, teach his doctrine, administer the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion and preserve the orders of bishops, priests and deacons. The ‘Ruling Principles’ of the Anglican Church in Australia commit the Church to the doctrine and principles of the Church of England embodied in the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. The reference to the Book of Common Prayer in both the Church of England and the Anglican Church in Australia is to the 1662 edition.
The purpose of the Anglican Connection is to provide a network of ministers and churches that is framed by the foundational documents of classic Anglicanism. In particular it provides an opportunity to re-establish a robust, vital, Bible-based, gospel-centered Anglicanism in North America, based on a doctrinal foundation and a ministry framework that is grounded in the doctrine of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the theological and liturgical principles of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and its Ordinal.
Declarations – for Anglican Churches
The Anglican Connection, being a network of churches grounded in classic Anglicanism, believes and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
The Anglican Connection affirms the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), June 2008 and in particular:
- confesses and upholds the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be God’s Word written, containing all that is necessary for salvation;
- confesses and upholds the orthodox Christian creeds, namely the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed together with the Chalcedonian Definition;
- assents to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today;
- upholds The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as setting out the true and authoritative standard for doctrine and worship; and
- recognizes three orders of ministry – bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons.