Monday, July 7, 2008

You May Be Mistaken

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." (Oliver Cromwell)

Although this comes from what for me is a very unlikely source, Cromwell's advice is worth heeding. In the debates that are going on within the Anglican Communion, I often sense that some folks on all sides are not open to the possibility that they might be mistaken. I also sense, in me at any rate, a dangerous desire to define myself over against someone else: I am a progressive and not one of those terrible traditionalists!

Avoiding that danger, I see myself as one who is defined by God, who is becoming what God wants me to be - a beloved child of God formed in the likeness of Christ. And that means that I am by definition a sinner wh0m Christ came to save. And if a sinner, then most of the time - maybe all the time - mistaken in my understanding of the Good News.

Acknowledging that I might be - am likely to be - wrong does not mean that I don't stand upon my convictions, that I don't act as I believe God wants me to act. But I hope that I stand and act with a certain modesty, open to the strong possibillity that I'm mistaken and that I will need to stop and go in a new direction.

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