Comments: columns for thought

'As John Briggs wrote in A History of the Ecumenical Movement: "The Churches together need to learn again how to be risk-takers, knowing that God's truth is larger and more robust than all their many attempts to conserve it" ' - Canon Nick Jowett, (The Times: article for The Week of Christian Unity) -

Nick Jowett's article, in quoting John Briggs on the subject of problems connected with efforts made towards the goal of Christian Unity, points to the reality of our failure to grasp the need for openness to 'What the Spirit is saying to the Church' today. Entrenched conservatism, based on an unwavering desire to preserve the status quo in our out-dated defence of our own tradition - regardless of its applicability to the modern understanding of Christology and Humanity - is causing the various Christian communities to draw back from new revelation about the relationship between The Creator and Creation.

The Biblical tradition should not blind us to the fact that the Holy spirit is still revealing the mind of God to us - as we are open to receive a new understanding of our common humanity. Unless the Churches are prepared to accept that God may have created us all differently - with the incentive to accommodate to our differences, in a spirit of ecumenical tolerance and charity, we may never achieve that sense of unity that comes from tolerance, patience, understanding and forgiveness that Christ himself exemplified.

Our squabbles, in the Anglican Communion, must seem quite trivial to the God who created us all in the divine image and likeness. If we are unable to live with one another in charity and love, how can we possibly expect anyone outside of our own particular faith ghetto to want to follow the Christ we each claim to be our own particular Saviour - to the exclusion of everyone else who thinks differently from us? And how can we square our insularity with the words of Jesus "They'll know you're my disciples by your love" ? (not by your claim to be right).

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 18 January 2009 at 9:27am GMT
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