Monday, 13 February 2012

Orthodoxy and Openness

Several people say to me (in person or by email etc) ‘why do you blog so infrequently?’ Now I know you are likely to immediately doubt this and imagine that it is some vain fantasy on my part! But really there are a few who do say this!

Of course, part of the answer to that is ‘time’. It may only take a few moments to blog, but it seems that ‘few moments’ are few and far between!

There is also the question of controversy. I seem to want to blog on controversial issues and that cause trouble, stirs up heated debate and can even result in unpleasant vitriol.

And that last point is part of what takes me so long. I know this is entirely against the spirit of the internet which is all about instant comment and instant response. But I cannot take that risk. Too many colleagues have got into trouble by making comments too quickly. Too many people have been hurt. I have become more cautious. And so I write ‘blogs’ offline… go away and come back to them… and then sleep on it… edit it… come back a few days later and wonder about it and then, frequently, ditch it!

So no wonder there are ages between my blogs… which rather undermines the whole purpose of a blog, I guess!

But all this raises for me once again my feeling of loneliness. I am an orthodox Christian, in that I gladly affirm the ancient faith of the Church and the faith we confess week by week in the Creeds. That does not mean I do not wish to ‘unpack’ the Creeds... or the Bible for that matter! And that is where the openness comes in. As it also comes in when I yearn for a congregation (and am blessed to minster to one such!) that embraces a spectrum of theological opinion. It is this tension between ‘orthodox’ and ‘openness’ that allows me to be passionate about communicating the Good News of God’s love in Christ (does that make me an evangelical?) while also being ‘open’ on the human sexuality debate (so does mean some would wish to label me a ‘liberal’?).

‘Open’ and ‘orthodox’. Now, amongst all the labels that fly around, these are two I can live with… at least for the moment.

But even this may occasion some nasty responses. I can no longer guess what the outcomes will be of such postings!