David Simmons has posted what is basically a Moderate’s Manifesto over on his blog. He starts by stating that moderates accept the four points of the Quadrilateral, and then tackles questions of ecclesiology, anthropology, etc. Here are the last few paragraphs about the task that moderates are called to:
“I believe the important question is not actually the end, but the means. God can work with any end – that has been proven time and time again. We are not in control of the ultimate end. What we are in control of is the means. When we disagree, do we honestly love one another, or do we demonize them? When people look at us, do they know we are Christians by our love, or do they simply see us as another junior league fighting over who gets to host the tea party?
I believe it is important for everyone to stick to his or her convictions. I believe it is important for the ‘left’ to continue to advocate for their view of justice. I believe it is important for the ‘right’ to continue to hold up the historic witness of the church. I believe the point is not to simply quell dissention. I believe that the loss of either voice is to the detriment of the church.
I believe the ‘middle’ is made up of people with views sympathetic to both ‘left’ and ‘right’ but that many of the beliefs that I have outline above hold us together in a way that is stronger than our political affiliation. I believe the task of the Anglican Moderate is to insist to both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ that we always remember that we are Christians and Anglicans first, and that the things that unite us (Scripture, Creed, Sacraments, Episcopate) are greater than the things that divide us. In the body of Christ, the torso isn’t an exciting part, but it keeps the arms and legs from going off in different directions.
I believe it is our charism as Anglican Moderates to turn to our brothers and sisters on the edges, love them, listen to them, and make our way forward after careful deliberation and measured debate. It is our duty to take the goods that each edge offers and hold them in tension for the benefit of the church catholic so that treasures both old and new can be brought out in God’s time, not ours.”
It’s a very helpful piece. Thanks for writing it David.
I agree with him that “being a moderate” is more about the process of making decisions than it is achieving a particular outcome. I hear that point in some of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s writings as well.
Read the rest here: Ayia Iluvatar: I am an Anglican Moderate….