First something for people to ponder and get back to me upon. Martin my supervisor started to day to ponder that the URC had more similar theological core ideas than Anglicanism did. I challenged this, I think effectively by pointing out that I have on occasions to use an “Anglican dialect” in order to get ideas across on places like Ship of Fools which is dominated by Anglicans. However my reason for challenging that was not that experience but being involved in the “Who the Heck are we?” I heard people within the URC expressing the exact same sort of opinion about the URC. So I am sceptical about both claims.
However it is worth pondering that some people in the URC don’t feel that there is a lot in common with others in the URC. I suspect it has a number of roots.
- Firstly I think that some of it is due to our independent spirit. The feeling that the way the our URC does things is the way our URC does thing and is a full legitimate way of being URC in all its idiosyncrasy.
- Secondly I think that when people start to encounter other URC congregations there is surprise at the different valid forms of being URC that others have. It is a richness but it also starts many people asking about what does it mean to be URC.
- Thirdly I think there is some genuine bewilderment at the diversity, especially on certain hot issues.
- However I suspect there is some importing of the Anglican discourse where there are real and current power struggles going on. The question is if the Anglican’s are having such a difficulty on keeping their show on the road, why aren’t these issues causing us equally difficulty.
That last question needs answering in multiple ways, both in terms of:
- our independent heritage which leaves us with a much more bottom up structure than the Anglican Communion,
- the commitment to unity and therefore travelling together,
- that tensions have been faced at other stages, remember what the 1990s were like anyone?
- conditionality of our understanding of revelation which results in a blurred identity
- that we have several not just one hot topic, anyone fancy a round on whether its necessary for a Christian to be pacifist?