I keep coming back to the question that Martha posed last week. “What is it that moderates stand for? Is it just that they want compromise?”
It’s a very deep question, and not one that I have a simple answer for.
I’d like to suggest that we, as this particular community, might commit ourselves to thinking this question through. To aid the conversation, I’m going to start collecting articles and ideas that speak to what it is to be a “moderate”. I’m going to collect them and post them under a new topic called “Centrists”. I’m going to go back and re-label some of the previous posts on this blog that do fit in this category.
I’d also call on you, the readers, to send me suggested articles and to participate in the comments section by vetting the ideas in the articles. I think we’re a small enough community that we might be able to make this work, but large and diverse enough that we can challenge each other if we get too comfortable with a bad idea.
I’ll go first and post some of my present ideas. These are likely subject to change – so I’m throwing them out to be “perfected”. (You can find them by following the link below:)
My first response is that what *I* want as a moderate is that the community be the primary place of decision making and not the individual. The more important the decision, the larger the community. Of course this guarantees that changes will happen slowly, if at all, but that to me doesn’t seem to be a bad thing all in all.
My second response is that we might think about drawing distinctions between what is adiaphora and what is essential. I’m of the belief that human sexual orientation is adiaphora. I’m also of the opinion that sexual expression can be adiaphora. I’m thinking then that my claim to be a moderate in the present debate in the Anglican Communion is because I hold this second idea in contradistinction to those who believe that sexual expression can not ever be considered adiaphora (whether they believe it must or must not be included in the Church.)
On the other hand, I do believe there are things that are not adiaphora in the Church. Things for instance, like salvation coming through Faith in Jesus Christ, that the Bible has a unique place and primary place in the Church, in the four points of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral… In those matters I am not a moderate.
Andrew, Jeffery, and Tony have all written bits and have shared other thoughts about what it is that moderates believe. Send me link or shoot me a note with your thoughts if you’d like to join in.