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High vs Low and Liberal vs. Conservative

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by HisHomeMaker, May 15, 2011.

  1. HisHomeMaker

    HisHomeMaker Reading the Bible in 2011. Join me!

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    I've been attending the same Anglican church for 10 years and I don't understand the difference between the terms "high church" or "low church". I also have no clue if my church is "liberal" or "conservative". Help me clarify the differences. I assume that if I attended a different church that I might have a different worship experience.
     
  2. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    well in a High Anglican Church you would see more images and statues of saints than you would at a low church. youd see alot of Insence in High Anglican services, priestly vesments, and more times than not High-church Anglicans (at least in Australia) use the Anglican missal (which is a Anglican version of the Old Roman Mass with afew Anglican additions) rather than the Book of common prayer. Alot of High-churchmen themselves might say the rosary or other common catholic devotions. and their Eucharistic theolgoy is often on-pa with Roman Catholics (though not always)

    Low Churchman generaly dont use insence, wont have images of saints, very few vestments, wont say the rosary, and their Eucharistic theology may include some form of 'real presence' but definatly not to the same extent as their High church brothers and sisters.

    However dont take this list as comprehensive....as nothing about Anglicanism is.

    In this day and age alot of the Anglican Communion doesnt fit into this 'High Church' 'Low Church' catogray, alot of the Anglican church would define itself as 'broad-Church' which generaly takes bits and pieces of both traditions...though based on what ive seen broad church anglcians are generly seem more inclined to more high-Church theology and practises whilst still allowing for a low-church interruption.

    now as for liberal or conservitive.....who knows what this means anymore....does your church support the ordination of women? (to alot of people that is a sign of being liberal) or an all-male priesthood (conservitive).

    some High Churches are liberal, some are not.
    some low churches are liberal, some are not.
    the broad church is generaly considered liberal (and mainstream)

    ...all this probably just makes you more confused than ever before, but thats Anglicism for ya lol
     
  3. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Conservatives generally means sticking to the 39 Articles I reckon!

    I'm an Evangelical Anglican, which means we tend to be charismatic, low church which pick the best bits of High Anglicanism, with conservative beliefs, but some form of liberal theology too; i.e women in leadership etc.
     
  4. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    Oh another thing that is abit of a tell-tail sign of what level of Churchmanship an Anglican Church is is by its frequency in celebrating the Eucharist.

    regular celebration of the Eucharist is a High/Broad Church idea. where as Low Churchman dont generaly see the need...at least historically.

    The only real Low-church area left in modern Anglicism is the Diocese of Sydney here in Australia....but I have serious doubts if they can even be called Anglican...some of their theology is so low/reformed that Calvin himself would blush.
     
  5. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    I've never meet an Anglican who agreed with all 39, Low or High lol
     
  6. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Really? Wow! Mind you, you Aussies are a bunch of rebels :p

    In the UK, if you're a Jesus lover, someone who believes that in order to be right with God, you trust in his death on the cross for God to forgive your sin, then you live a crazily passionate life in order to serve him and tell others the good news, then you're an Evangelical Anglican who's usually charismatic :p

    Thats the area of Anglicanism thats growing the fastest in the UK.
     
  7. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    what does that have to do with the 39 articles of religon? thats what all christians should put their trust in Jesus.

    ..but beyond that not all Anglican belive in the finer points of the 39 articles....to alot of Anglicans they are guides but not binding.

    and untop of that the 39 Articles are not officially normative in all Anglican Churches of the world. and never have been. only in england I belive they are binding. The only doctrinal documents agreed upon in the Anglican Communion are the Apostolic Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral NOT the 39 Articles!
     
  8. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    in fact im in favour of the 39 articles being renamed "the 39 suggestions" lol
     
  9. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Unfortunately there are Anglicans who don't trust in Jesus. Certain Bishops have even said they don't believe in God!

    I love the Anglican church, but I do get embarrassed and upset by it at times.
     
  10. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    The vast majority of parishes are not very high and not very low. So there is a good chance that your parish may be one of these. As well, these days there tends to be in many parishes a kind of different feel altogether that comes from a totally different direction than high or low.

    In a high sevice you might see fancier vestments, possibly more elevations of the Eucharist during the prayer or even bells, pictures or statues or more ephasis on commemorating saints festivals, and maybe incense.

    In a Low parish the priest might wear a surplice and a stole, you might have a tablle rather than an altar and the priest might celebrate standing at one end instead of the middle, you might see lots of commemorative plaques instead of saints, and there might be long sermons.

    But it is hard to generalize. My parish is high but started originally as low, and so has few images, and the sermons are long.

    Maybe you could describe your parish? The theological emphasis is also an issue here.

    As far as Liberal - hard to say because some people tend to use it for whatever they don't like. But most properly a conservative view sees that Scripture and possibly the Tradition of the Church contain inerrant information, and we are obliged to act on that. (That doesn't mean we have to be fundamentalists or literalists though.) A liberal viewpoint takes Scripture as a man-made inspired work, but one which is not inerrant, so we can do something else if we deem it more appropriate.

    The 39 Articles are not really a matter of being conservative or liberal - there are plenty of conservative Anglicans who don't feel bound by them, though the liberals probably almost never do I would think.
     
  11. aussie_anglican

    aussie_anglican New Member

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    I too love the Anglican church, and i too get embarrassed by it. on one hand youve got the extreme liberals who couldnt tell jesus appart from buddha etc

    and on the other hand youve got the ultra-conservitives saying woman have no place in ordained ministry and that homosexuals are going to hell(without actually looking at the historical and ritual context in which those passages of the bible were spoken)

    I tend to tread a middle road...I accept the faith of the 7 councils, the Book of Common prayer and the Holy Bible without being a bibical literalist in evey aspect of it.
     
  12. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter

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    High vs Low is about worship style. Evangelical/Liberal/Catholic is about churchmanship (theological values).
     
  13. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member

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    There are 39 Articles? :) I've been Anglican for 3 years and they have never been mentioned. Seriously, the Articles are not very important here in the US, and certainly "conservative" is not defined by commitment to the Articles. IMHO, Wesley did right when he removed the Article on predistination. Seriously, I expect that most of would find the Methodist Articles more comfortable than the Anglican ones. I do understand that there are Calvinists within the Communion. I just haven't seen many here.

    In the US, "conservative" has more with committment to the Nicene Creed, the belief that we shouldn't be ordaining homosexual bishops, and with a support of the Traditions of the Church.

    =================================
    Our church and diocese is considered very conservative; our Presiding Bishop certainly attacks us often enough.

    However, in the scheme of things, many would consider us high-church, but not Anglo-Catholic. We have no saints, no pictures, no incense (well, we have incense twice a year). 3 of our weekend services have Eucharist every week. 2 have Eucharist irregularly.

    We are charismatic (not in the liturgies) and with a strong committment to missions and outreach.

    There is strong emphasis on Scripture. However, we are in no way literalists.

    In the end, our style was exemplified last week when one of priests preached on the 23rd Psalm out of the King James (we normally use the NIV or the Message). The clear message was the God is NOT an angry God, and not a policeman.
    ==================================
    Does it work to love and not to judge others? Well it works for us. There are many churches in our area and we continue to grow. We are over 1000 each weekend (from 15 just 16 years ago). Our new parishioners are ex-Catholics, ex-Baptists and new believers.
    ==================================
    For us, the key to our life is to obey Jesus in his 2 commands and the Great Commission (using words only when aboslutely necessary), to be a place of prayer and healing, and to be a community of followers of Jesus, All the rest is mere commentary.

    For me, the Christian life is a difficult path, but it really isn't very complicated, as so many would make it to be.
     
    Maid Marie likes this.
  14. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Mmmm... it does worry me that we don't have a certain set of worldwide doctrinal points that we hold to as Anglicans other than a few creeds. Especially on Salvation. That's my main point.

    But like you say, if you're abroad it doesn't seem as if you're bound to them as much as we are in the UK.
     
  15. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Plus... evangelical anglican here means churches like Holy Trinity Brompton, All Souls Langham Place, Trinity Cheltenham and St Paul's Hammersmith.

    These sorts of churches are the ones that are bringing growth into the Anglican church in the UK.

    Tell me how these fit in with your churches over there? I'd like to know! :)
     
  16. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member

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    If Holy Trinity Brompton were here I'd attend. I just got through being one of the leaders on an Alpha course using Nicky Gumbel's videos. We have many of the kinds of programs that Nicky does. Of course we are only 1000 members in attending our 5 services per weekend. For me, Holy Trinity Brompton and Nicky Gumbel are fine models wtih regard to how to do church.

    BTW, the fact that his Alpha program is acceptable to those of many denominations is certainly in keeping with the openness of the Communion.

    quote=deanrobertsnet;57481055]Plus... evangelical anglican here means churches like Holy Trinity Brompton, All Souls Langham Place, Trinity Cheltenham and St Paul's Hammersmith.

    These sorts of churches are the ones that are bringing growth into the Anglican church in the UK.

    Tell me how these fit in with your churches over there? I'd like to know! :)[/quote]
     
  17. deanrobertsnet

    deanrobertsnet DeanRoberts

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    Amen to that!
     
  18. My church regards itself as "low". We have communion every week, and sing a mixture of old and new hymns. We also have a female OLM who is great. Our vicar is evangelical, but the congregation is a mixture of traditionalist and moderniser, conservative and liberal.
     
  19. Yes the Alpha course is excellent. Indeed HTB has spawned Soul Survivor as well as well known and spirit filled worships songs.
    The Alpha course is increasingly invaluable as an introduction to Christianity for a society where increasing numbers have no foundational understanding of the gospel but plenty of wrong ideas.
    Our church is very much a New Wine type church.
     
  20. To address the OP.
    High church is usually manifested with traditional formal services and low church with less formal. For example a high church would often have an organ and choir, sing hymns and take communion at the altar, a low church might often take communion anywhere in the church and have a worship band. But there are shades.
    Liberal and conserrvative is another matter, is popular terms, high and low church will usually mingle although they have different styles, liberal and conservative wont mingle as they dont have a common faith.
     
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