What should we do when Christians disagree - really
By The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey
I am writing in response to an article published today by the Anglican Communion's news office "What should we do when Christians disagree?" by the Rev. Dr. Phil Groves, facilitator of the Continuing Indaba Project. In the article, Grove writes that when Christians disagree, "when disunity appears, facilitated conversations are the Biblical way forwards."
With all due respect, his analysis misses the mark by a longshot.
First, he cites the disagreement between Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians 4:2-3 as the Biblical paradigm for all disagreement within the Church. But what about differences over Christian doctrine itself? In his landmark study Conciliarism: A History of Decision making in the Church (Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 56-60) Paul Valliere notes meticulously the doctrinal disagreements that gave rise to the Councils of the Early Church. Disagreements over doctrine often present themselves first as disciplinary issues-- such as how do you deal with the "re-baptism" of people who vacillated or apostasized in the face of persecution (Council of Carthage, 256 AD), or how do you respond to public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions and the consecration as bishop of a person living in such a union? (Anglican Communion, 2003).
Groves seems to have forgotten his history. The crisis in the Anglican Communion since at least 2003 has been and continues to be over the very definition of the Gospel...Read more.