I know 4 Army chaplains who used to be affiliated with other evangelical denominations and are know Anglican. I know one other who is seriously considering the switch. While it may be providence that I know all of these, it seems interesting that there are so many.
I have conversed with many of them about the reasons behind their movement. I can’t help but wonder if one of the contributing factors is Army culture. You see, there is a way prescribed on how to do almost everything in the Army. That is either a blessing or a curse, depending on your temperament.
Ceremonies, operations, how to wear your uniform and when to wear which uniform. They are all covered somewhere in an Army regulation. If you think about it, the Book of Common Prayer, used by Anglicans worldwide, is regulatory in nature as well. It prescribes services, readings, prayers and other elements in the life of the believer and the church.
Is part of the draw of this type of deliberate liturgy–to the military mind–the comfort of knowing their is a “manual” to appeal to? I don’t know for certain. I do know, looking at the Anglican tradition, the freedom from the tyranny of having to be novel (while not changing anything, pastor) sounds very inviting.