An interesting day where I have wondered at the church and whether it can cause a split personality.
Today I have been in 2 locations, both being Anglican in nature.
This morning I led worship at St Marks. I think what we did seemed to work well. I think I was very Anglican and we had a lengthy time of sung worship, as that is what a number of St Mark-ers like to do.
This evening I sat in an excellent MOOT service thinking about accountability. There was no singing, it was very meditative and held in a building from the Anglo Catholic tradition.
Both were great, both were very different. I was challenged in both in completely, but certainly not totally separate, ways.
During the drive home I started to reflect on where God’s role for me is going to be taking me in 18 months time. Today I experienced worship that was poles apart (although not extremely apart), and I enjoyed both and see that both are needed and are appropriate. Whether both are usually appropriate to the same person should not be strange as we all have different needs and preferences at different times.
Looking ahead, I am not sure I wish to be pushed to a pole, to an extremity or right to the edge. That does not seem quite right. I think that being at extremities is dangerous and can result in harmful practice, maybe even to eventual heresy. It is also at these extremes that I seem to find people who think they are right and that everyone else is wrong.
One of the things I have loved about MOOT is that I have not met anyone like this at all. The community enjoys its style, but it is the most open community to change that I have ever been involved in I have not met anyone who thinks they are totally correct. I have only tended to find that attitude amongst people in the established church(es).
The extremes of worship need to be held in tension, but also I wonder if we need to find a both/and middle ground. Do we need to be either charismatic or meditative, can’t we be both? Do we need to be evangelical or liberal; why can;’t we be both?
Why can’t we have a unity in our wonderful mix of diversity?