Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Wonderful Disagreement - Sunday 14th May 2017

It's a rather obvious point to make, but a lot of things look very different when seen from different perspectives. Take a simple thing like a cork, for example. Look at it from one angle and you see a circle. Turn it round a bit and you see a rectangle. Two people looking at the same cork from different perspectives could have an intense debate about what shape this thing is. They would both be right - to an extent, and they would both be wrong - to an extent. The truth is that there is more to a humble cork than can be seen from any one viewpoint.
In life, society, church, faith, politics etc. we need differences. Things are complex; no one person's opinion or perspective is complete. Without disagreement we can never grasp the truth. However, human beings have a strong tendency to gather around those people who see things the same way that they do. This happens in churches as well.
In the traditional model of church life, one point of view dominates all others - that of the minister. When that happens, no matter how insightful and saintly the minister may be, there will be important perspectives that are missing. To make the situation worse, there is a high chance that the people who hold those important alternative perspectives will leave and seek a church that sees things their way.
We need differences of opinion, but they are not easy to manage. Moses did not work alone; he worked in partnership with his sister, Miriam, and his brother, Aaron. At some points in their story, the contributions of Miriam and Aaron were essential; at other points their judgement was less good. Stresses developed and God had to take the three of them aside to get their relationship back on track. Forgiveness was required.
We need different perspectives, preferences and priorities in our communities, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy or comfortable. Forgiveness will always be required.

No comments:

Post a Comment