The Advantages of a Broad Church

“What kind of Christian are you?”

I have no real idea how to answer that. I’m just not sure where to pitch myself. I used to be an evangelical. I still think of myself as being so, but I’m not sure everyone would agree.

You could describe me as Progressive, and I definitely agree a lot more closely with a lot of “Progressive” doctrines than “Conservative” evangelicals, especially those in US. I believe evolution happens, and that the world is billions of years old.

I’m a member of an Anglican church, but I’m not sure that helps to identify me.

The Anglican Church is a broad church, and that is a good thing.

It is necessary to question progressive change, with an eye to the Bible and the church’s traditions, so as to ensure that progressive ideals do not depart from Christ centred Christianity. Tradition acts as a break that prevents us moving too fast to be able to see the perhaps unintended impacts of good intentions.

However, it is equally necessary to have progressives challenging the traditional interpretation of Scripture and sacrament, as was demonstrated by Wilberforce et al., when the Abolitionists questioned the “scriptural” defence of slavery that was prevalent at the time.

It would seem like the response to people of alternate sexuality demonstrates this tension. The conservatives strongly disapprove, quoting bible verses to justify their position. The progressives say that it’s not an issue and quote different verses to justify their position. In the meantime, the church looks very foolish to those outside, and fails to carry out its mission because it spends a lot of its energy in-fighting.

The challenge to progressives, and traditionalists both, is to learn to value each other’s contribution to the Church, rather than to see the other as “the problem”. That way we can, between us, discern God’s will for to care for each other, the world, and show God’s love to everyone without discrimination.

One thought on “The Advantages of a Broad Church”

  1. To answer your question, I’m not; I can’t see how in this modern era anyone can subscribe to the ideals in The Bible, or for that matter, any other “holy” book.

    The fact that Christians pick and choose what, in their Bible, is to be taken figuratively, literally, or what might just be a mistranslation is nothing short of shocking. There’s no such thing as “progressive” Christianity, it’s merely advanced ignorance for the modern day.

    I’d also rather “God’s Love” not come anywhere near me, don’t forget his love in the old testament and his modern love, spreading war, disease, and famine.

    It’s a scary thought that there are still theists walking the “1st world” in this day and age; humanity really is in quite a sorry state.

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