Rant: Where Roman Catholics and Reformed Christians agree.

So the title is jokey, which actually agree about quite a lot, but the Church of England has given us one more item of common consensus.

Its to do with the way the CofE factions behave.

They quite often pick on another tradition as having something valuable to say. This is not bad, cross pollination  is in my opinion a good thing if only because it can lead to better understandings. The more we explore other traditions and come to some understanding as to how they work the better. If Anglicanism thinks there is something within the Reformed tradition that is worth emulating then by all means emulate it. After all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I am quite sure that Roman Catholicism is also happy for Anglicanism to explore its rich theological and liturgical tradition and to borrow from it. I am even content for these pressure groups to adopt the relevant badges. Nothing is wrong with that

BUT

When they decide that they know what we believe better than we do and will tell us so, I object. Especially when they decide it is a stick to beat us with. A bit of humility would go a long way. Anglicans don’t seem to be happy to learn from the Catholic tradition or the Reformed tradition they want to claim they have the essence of it and are more truly it than those who belong to it.

Well I have news, to be Reformed or to be Catholic is not something that is down to purifying the tradition until you have some deified essense. It is about belonging. To be Reformed or to be Roman Catholic is not just to adopt a set of stances, it is a whole way of being. You are formed by the community which you belong to, often in ways to subtle to notice.

Look Reformed Christians disagree about what constitutes a Reformed Christian. We would not be Reformed if we didn’t. We have several hundred years of falling out and making new alliances. Yes we are a dysfunctional family, but we don’t like Anglicans behaving like social workers and telling us exactly how we should be ourselves. Or to put it another way the one thing we will agree on, is whatever Reformed is, it is not what you tell us it is!

I full expect that many Roman Catholics will agree with me on this one point.

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