Well, I am an Episcopalian which is part of the Anglican Communion as is the CoE.
Jesus is less God incarnate and more of a spiritual teacher.
I would likely put that into two parts, one Jesus and the other Jesus while alive and among us.
I do believe that Jesus is GOD but while he was here on earth He was fully man, human, just like you, just like me.
I think lots of folk misunderstand the term incarnate. They have, if they even really think about it at all, some idea of incarnate means "God in Human Form" as though it was some costume GOD put on so he could sneak around and spy on the humans.
That makes as little sense theologically IMHO as the idea that Jesus let himself be killed as some blood sacrifice.
Jesus was a teacher. The information we have all says that everything he did during his life was to teach people. If the message was as some have said, that his followers are saved and the bad guys are gonna get it, Jesus lives the wrong story. In that story when it came time to lay hands on Him He would have swung around, flapped open his oilskin slicker, drawn his trusty Ivory handled six-guns, mowed down the Clancy Brothers and rid out of town leaving behind one silver bullet and on the ears of the wind, a hearty "Hi-Ho Silver, Away".
But Jesus is not some Masked Man. The power of the Jesus saga is that He is human.
A God cannot be tempted, Jesus was. And Jesus resisted. And the message is "humans can resist evil".
A God cannot be threated, Jesus was. And Jesus did not respond with more violence. And the message is "humans can try to find ways other than violence".
A God cannot die, Jesus did. And Jesus rose from the dead. And the message is "all humans will rise from the dead".
Just as I believe that we must be honest about the great Evil that Christians have done in the past and that Christians are doing now, I believe we must also be honest about what the message was.
It is not that Christians are saved and everyone else is damned.
It is that GOD gave us in the life of Jesus a clear lesson of what a human should do, and more importantly, can do.
Yeah but Jesus was walking around like a ghost after he died, talking to people n'stuff. We aren't all gonna do that!
I wouldn't have described it as a ghost, and in fact, quite the opposite of that. He was very, very real, they could touch him, feel him, not just his presence but his physical body. He ate with them and walked with them and drank with them and continued teaching.
When I was in school, we often debated that very question, sitting on the little porch that was painted as so many porches were in those days with surplus battleship grey paint. Why did Jesus come back in the flesh, to walk and talk and eat and drink and laugh and share rememberances and plan the future.
I think it is part of the lesson.
There were several possible endings for Jesus story, it was, afterall, a story mostly told to a few individuals. For them to spread the word, they had to be convinced, convinced beyond a shadow of doubt.
The story could have ended with a body in the tomb.
The story could have ended with a body in the tomb and voices or visions appearing to the disciples.
The story could have ended with a body in the tomb and an apparition, visible but unsubstancial, appearing to the disciples.
The story could have ended with the tomb empty and either vioces, visions or an apparition appearing to the disciples.
I didn't though. It ends with an empty tomb and Jesus, in the flesh, returned from the grave, to walk, to talk, to laugh, to plan, to reminisce with the disciples. It is almost the final lesson that Jesus taught.
We will all rise from the dead, and IMHO there really is some form of afterlife. No, we will not be here, He said we would be with Him, but I imagine that will seem as real to us as what we experience today.
The point of the story, IMHO, is not that we would return here but home, that the life after death will be one of substance, one of reality.
Does it necessarily follow that where you don't agree with him he is wrong?
I wasn't trying to make a direct conection. I'm just suggesting that with some physicists saying that time and space are illusions, with solid materials being something like 99.999999999999999999% empty space, and with suggestions that we are a projection I have to think that there is something unreal about where we are and that the next life is bound to be more real.
Could be. I guess I just see that as pretty pointless stuff to worry about.
IMHO the other thing that must be emphasized is that the Second Commandment is a two parter. Before you can love others you must first love yourself. Until you can honestly handle that part, look at yourself, recognizing what you have done right, what you have done wrong, how you might do better, you cannot love others.
Christianity is simple, it is not easy. Folk like the fundie televangelists such as Gene Scott, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and all the other salvation for hire snake-oil salesmen seem to missunderstand everything Jesus said. It's not the show. It's not dramatic. It's not even notable or important.
Loving GOD is not profession, not even belief, it is the summation of all the little things you are and do. Loving GOD is an action, a continuing practice. It is listening to a child tell you about his day or helping someone reach a package on the shelf or unload their shopping cart or laughing when your child first discovers jokes or bringing in the neighbors trash can. It's nothing big, nothing important, nothing of any real merit.
IMHO it is really an important point. The really hard part IMHO is that it requires you to really look at yourself honestly. It is none of the soft sentimental self-esteem bullshit that many folk try to sell, Rather it is an honest personal evaluation, that then leads to actual actions relating to what YOU do, then to what you do oustside.Aslan is not a Tame Lion