I’ve been putting off writing an article for about 3 months. The working title is “The New Ecumenism”, which will outline how I think the emerging church conversation can cultivate a real ecumenical environment for a new generation of Christians. I hope to get around to writing it at some point.
In the meantime, here’s an interesting article, written by Jonathan Brink, that touches on this very topic.
If anything stood out in Tickle’s book, it was this: The Protestant movement chose divorce instead of reconciliation. We just could not find a way to agree to disagree without separating. And we’re reaping the costs now.
What would it look like to participate in a movement that said, “No more,” to the idea of divorce? What would it look like to work through the issues in a way that allowed us to agree to disagree? What would it look like to expand the use of Scripture as just one of the many ways God speaks to us, and include the Holy Spirit, our community, and creation as part of this process? What would it look like to have a generative conversation that allowed a Catholic, an Anglican, a Protestant, and a Greek Orthodox to sit in the same room with a Bible and discover what brings us together, this amazing person named Jesus, as opposed to what separates us?
I can’t change what happened in the church’s past, but I can participate in creating a new story for our children. I can choose to love my neighbor even when we disagree. I can sit with my brothers and sisters and participate in a faith expression that rises above the traditional labels; one that finds the best in each in a way that reveals love.
And that is why I have hope.
Though Brink and I disagree with the subtleties of the post-Reformation understanding of sola scriptura, I like what he has to say about the Protestant propensity to divide rather than unite…and how 21st century Christians are working to change that tendency.