A long time ago in a manger far far away…there was born a baby who would save us all from the shackles of our slavery. How are we slaves, you might ask? We do what we do not want to do and we often do not do what we should do. Many walk around each day lacking the peace and joy that this baby came to bring. Who is this baby? Who is this King of Glory?
It is Jesus, the Christ born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago; who lives and reigns today over all things; and who has existed from before Creation began. He was crucified on a Roman cross and rose from the dead three days later to provide a way for us to live in Him, free from sin. His story is a harrowing one of hope, loss, and triumph; the ultimate underdog in the eyes of the world, but sovereign over all. We worship that risen Lord and He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us daily as we strive to imitate Christ so that one day we will see Him face to face.
Does that mean we’re joyful and at peace all the time? No. We’re still sinners living in a fallen world, but we’re forgiven…over and over again. Christ lifts us from our falls and gives us the strength to look beyond our weakness into His strength. All people are made in God’s image, and we’re called to love all in truth. We won’t turn from speaking the truth, but we’ll do so in love and build relationships with people with deep commitment to God’s glory and our individual and corporate sanctification.
God wins and He wants us to join Him in victory.
For a theological statement of our beliefs, see below.
Theological Statement (from ACNA website)
We believe and confess Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Him. Therefore, the Anglican Church in North America identifies the following seven elements as characteristic of the Anglican Way, and essential for membership:
We confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and to be the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life.
We confess Baptism and the Supper of the Lord to be Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself in the Gospel, and thus to be ministered with unfailing use of His words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
We confess the godly historic Episcopate as an inherent part of the apostolic faith and practice, and therefore as integral to the fullness and unity of the Body of Christ.
We confess as proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture the historic faith of the undivided church as declared in the three Catholic Creeds: the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian.
Concerning the seven Councils of the undivided Church, we affirm the teaching of the first four Councils and the Christological clarifications of the fifth, sixth and seventh Councils, in so far as they are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.
We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.
We receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.
In all these things, the Anglican Church in North America is determined by the help of God to hold and maintain as the Anglican Way has received them the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ.
"The Anglican Communion," Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher wrote, "has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning."
It may licitly teach as necessary for salvation nothing but what is read in the Holy Scriptures as God's Word written or may be proved thereby. It therefore embraces and affirms such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the Scriptures, and thus to be counted apostolic. The Church has no authority to innovate: it is obliged continually, and particularly in times of renewal or reformation, to return to "the faith once delivered to the saints."
To be an Anglican, then, is not to embrace a distinct version of Christianity, but a distinct way of being a "Mere Christian," at the same time evangelical, apostolic, catholic, reformed, and Spirit-filled.
CreEds and Articles
As Anglicans, like all catholic (universal) churches, we believe what is contained in the Scriptures only as necessary for salvation. The early church summarized these beliefs in a series of creeds (from the Latin, “I believe”) known as the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (Nicene Creed for short), and the Athanasian Creed. The Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds are listed below.
The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion
The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are the Anglican teachings that clarify our position on select Reformation era controversies. They express "fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief" (ACNA Constitution).
The authors of the Jerusalem Declaration describe the articles as "containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God's Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today."
Thanks for Church of the Incarnation at College Station for some of this material.