I would encourage my readers to read this piece by another blogger. I expect M Barratt Davie will welcome comments on (and “likes” of) his (or her) blog.post.
I would welcome comments here about this further dilemma:
“… if, in spite of their efforts, their churches do move to affirming same-sex sexual relationships or transgender identities theologically, or in terms of their practice, they must be prepared to publicly distance themselves from such a move and continue to uphold the relevant elements of the biblical witness in their own teaching and practice. This may involve acting as dissident members of their existing churches or joining (or forming) new churches that remain faithful to the biblical witness.”
Regarding the decisions and actions necessary, would it really be one’s duty to distance oneself publicly and, if so, how publicly?
What should the orthodox doctrine be as to whether to leave or to remain as a “dissident”? Is either course of action the duty for all? Or would this be a personal decision, as the Spirit leads the individual, just as there is a time for every purpose, according to Ecclesiates 3, including a time for peace and a time for war, and time to build and a time to demolish?
For sixteen years I was involved in the ecumenical work of the Church of England, first as a member of what was then the Church of England’s Faith and Order Advisory Group, and subsequently as the Theological Secretary of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity. During this time, I took part in numerous ecumenical conversations on behalf of the Church of England and was responsible for helping to draw up a number of ecumenical agreements between the Church of England and other churches. Since ceasing to work for the Council for Christian Unity in 2013 I have kept an interest in how the ecumenical scene has developed.
This article draws on this experience of ecumenism to try to answer the question ‘whither ecumenism?’ or in other words, what is the future for the ecumenical movement?
The theological basis for ecumenical activity.
Ecumenical activity is activity undertaken by Christians…
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