Dialogue in the Church: can we do it?

From the editorial in the Christian Century of 7 October:

 

I served briefly as an elected officer of my denomination and spent a lot of time trying to encourage dialogue between liberal and conservative factions. I observed that liberals don’t like to fight, but instead are always trying to accommodate people, to be inclusive even of those who are trying to exclude them. And I concluded that the first thing on the minds of my conservative brothers and sisters when they get out of bed in the morning is fighting liberals, whereas liberals get out of bed trying to figure out how to live with conservatives.

 
This is so true, and so sad. Two different visions of what it means to live out the Christian vision. As for me, I choose the liberal one—our Lord did pray that ‘they might all be one…so that the world may believe’. What a witness it is when God’s people live in unity, despite differing on issues that—while important—are not central.

Read the whole article here. It also quotes Walter Brueggemann as saying we in the ‘mainline’ churches are in a kind of exile. This can be a good thing, in that we are free to say and do things we couldn’t otherwise say or do; but I wonder if it has given some people a peculiar sense of anxiety, and the need to blame those close at hand?

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Filed under Lord have mercy, reflection

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