By the Rev Canon William Odom
The Church Bookroom (Published Prior to 1923)
Part I - First and Foremost I am a Churchman because the Church of England Assigns Absolute Supremacy to Holy Scripture as the One Rule of Faith and Practice.
In the principles and doctrines set forth in the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, our Church constantly declares allegiance to God’s Word written. Its teaching respecting the Incarnation, the Atonement, the Resurrection, the Future Life, the Church, and the Sacraments, wholly rests upon Scripture. It adopts the three Creeds (1) not because they are ancient, drawn up by learned men and decreed by Councils, but because “they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture” (Art. VIII.). It declares that “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation” (Art. VI.). God’s Word, not antiquity or so-called “Catholic tradition,” must ever be the test of truth, the one rule of faith, the final judge of controversy.
>> Part II. - I am a Churchman becasue the Church's Teaching on the Sacraments is in Agreement with Holy Scripture.
1) Note on the Creeds.—The Apostles’ Creed, the oldest and simplest of the three, has its name, not because it was drawn up by the Apostles, but because it embodies their teaching and contains the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith. It is found in the Baptismal Services, taught in the Catechism, and used in the Morning and Evening Services. The Nicene Creed, in the Communion Office, was first drawn up at the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, and enlarged and ratified by later Councils. Designed to meet some of the early heresies, it treats more fully of the Godhead of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The Athanasian Creed, which belongs, to the fifth century, bears the name of St. Athanasius, because it asserts those great truths for which he lived and died—a war-song of the Church.