Something has happened over these last few days. Or, rather, a series of things have happened.
The first was that a reader of my occasional blogs got in touch and asked to meet. I had not been aware that he had been a reader of my blogs, but he wanted to chat about the ‘big issue’ (yes that big issue... gay relationships and the ministry and so on). And so we met and chatted. Both of us acknowledged that we came from backgrounds that were ‘evangelical’. We further acknowledged that we remained doctrinally ‘orthodox’, affirming without hesitation ‘the Word of God as contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the supreme rule of faith and life’ and affirming the creeds of the church. And yet, on the current big issue… well, we no longer find ourselves firmly in the ‘traditionalist’ camp.
Then on Sunday past one of the members of St Cuthbert’s said ‘You have not blogged recently’. Once again, I had not been aware that she read my blogs. But it spurred me on to re-engage with my blogging!
Finally, a few evenings ago, it was suggested by someone I know well and who has many connections throughout the church that if I were to think of providing a forum for discussion on the issue then it might be helpful. I am not sure I know all that lies behind this comment. I suspect that something had happened to prompt the observation. I can only guess. But perhaps all these incidents suggest that the time has come to do something.
So everyone, here goes…
… I have absolutely no interest in forming yet another pressure group or any association of people who simply wish to promote or reaffirm a pre-existing and fixed view on the question of the ordination of openly gay folks.
But what I would be willing to help facilitate is a forum / conversation / exploration with those who would not instinctively self-identify as theologically ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’, who take a high view of the authority of Scripture, affirm the faith once held by the apostles and enshrined in the catholic creeds, and yet who remain unsure about the ‘traditionalist’ views on THIS issue as espoused by those with whom they might normally otherwise agree. This would be a conversation which might include folks who take ‘traditionalist’ or ‘revisionist’ views on the ‘big issue’ but who are open to exploring with others and to changing their view, and who therefore wish to open up a debate with others in a context of (on the one hand) openness and genuine exploration and (on the other hand) Biblical integrity and creedal orthodoxy.
I realise that the preceding paragraph is extremely convoluted. But I hope you understand why and ‘get my drift’!
Let me know if you think this might be worthwhile. Ignore it (or tell me!) if you think it is a bad idea.... which it may be!