Some of the problematic articles:
"The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God. (Article XXII)"
The 'Romish Doctrine' involving Purgatory et al is what is being criticized and rightly so. In the Middle Ages there was the idea of the 'Treasury of Merit' which in part was believed to consist of the superrogatory works of the saints and could be tapped into (by way of pilgrimages, adoring images/relics*, etc) to lessen one's time in Purgatory (an alleged place without any Scriptural or patristic proof) . The result was to minimize the Atoning work of Christ and to vainly think the merits of other human beings (who themselves needed salvation) could be given to us if we performed certain works/rituals, seemingly irrespective of one's reliance on CHRIST Himself. The practical result of the 'Romish doctrine' was to make the saints (and their relics) seem more important than the finished work of Christ on the cross; it blurred the distinction between the Savior and the saints and between the Creator and the creatures.
As far as I know, the 'SMIPC'(Superrogatory Merit/Indulgences/Purgatory Complex
) is not an Eastern doctrine, so I don't see why this Article, once understood in it's historical context, would be objected to by the Eastern Orthodox.
The bottom line is, asking a saint (living or dead) to intercede for you is one thing; but supposing his/her alleged superrogatory merit can somehow be credited to your account to lessen your time in purgatory is quite another.
(*And isn't 'adoring
' images/saints forbidden by the 7th Ecumenical Council? 'Adoration/Worship' is for God/Christ alone; 'veneration' describes the reverence given to saints/icons)
"There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
I don't see why this is a problem. In the Gospels, these are the two sacraments specifically ordained by Christ.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures, but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God. (Article XXV)"
The Article doesn't strictly deny these are sacramental, just that they aren't 'sacraments of the gospel' (ie ordained by Christ) in the same way Baptism and Communion are.
However, to clarify, I'd add the distinction (btw the two gospel sacraments and the other 5) also lies in that Baptism and Communion are specifically ordained means of our union with Christ: Baptism being our death/burial/resurrection with Christ (and are putting on Christ) and Communion being are feeding on Christ so that we abide in Him and He in us.
"Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. (Article XXVIII)"
Don't understand the problem here. One can believe in the 'Real Presence' without dogmatically subscribing to one particular Medieval theory about how the same transpires.
"The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. (Article V)"
I sympathize with you here, but this criticism extends to the RCC as well.
'And the Son' can be understood in an orthodox way, but I agree that for clarity sake it should be: (1) changed to 'through
the Son' or (2) dropped all together. (When I say the Creed in church, I say "through
" We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification. (Article XI)"
This is true in a real sense--Christ's work (His perfect obedience and sacrificial death of the Cross) is the meritorious ground for our justification. Paul is pretty clear about this in Romans and Galatians (and in his other epistles as well) One cannot put God into one's debt with his own works (since all have sinned and fall short of God's glory and the wages of sin is death--Rom 3:23, 6:23), and God justifies the 'ungodly' (Rom 4:4-5) through faith in Christ (since He alone was sinless). And onne doesn't earn
one's way into Christ--it is a gift of grace. In the historical context, in which the Reformers were striving againt the SMIPC (ie the Superrogatory-Indulgences-Purgatory Complex
), the truth of this Article was definitely needed to correct unbiblical accretions/distortions to the Gospel.
However this Article could perhaps be clarified to better explain how James' concerns fits in with Paul's teaching, as James teaches that there is another sense in which we ARE 'justified by our works', and this as that they are evidence of a living faith (in fact the subsequent Article makes mention of this)--a mere intellectual assent is a 'dead faith' and thus cannot justify/save. At any rate, the Homily on Justification does a good job expanding on this.
If I were to rewrite the Article for today, I'd do so as follows: "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own meritorious works or deservings. Wherefore, we are justified by Faith apart from the deeds of the Law (Rom 3:28), but not a faith that is an intellectual assent alone (James 2:14), but a faith which works through love (Gal 5:6)"
. (However, I have no problem with the Article as written once understood in it's historical context and read along with the subsequent Article and the Homily on Justification)