Need to hear them.
Does not this wretched same-sex dispute bear more resemblance to a classic marriage breakdown than a doctrinal wrangle? For decades, the liberals haven't bothered to read or listen to what the conservatives have been putting out, and vice versa. There are liberal parishes and conservative parishes and never the twain shall meet. Now that an issue has popped up which has brought both to the surface, they realize how far apart they have grown. One is now screaming for divorce and both are fighting for sole custody of the "child," which each says it loves more than the other--namely, the Bible. It is a classic marriage breakdown that is happening, that needs skilled marriage counseling techniques, rather than yet more theological wrangling, which only adds fuel to the flames.
Another insight I suggest is to see the Essentials movement in its historical context as a familiar "tighten-up and close ranks," which we saw in John the Baptist, Savonarola in 15th century Italy, Oliver Cromwell's Puritans and Martin Luther ("Here I stand"). Some expressions of this outlook have been unfortunate--the burning of witches, the Inquisition, McCarthyism--but those mistakes should not deter us from pursuing rigour in Christian faith and practice. I believe they are mistaken in basing belief on legalistic definitions, and that history is against them there, but we do need to hear them say their piece, in unemotive language, and not behind closed doors.
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|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2004|
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