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Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Comfortable Ecumenical Service

Thanks to all the various groups that attended our non-offensive ecumenical service this afternoon. We were really keen, at the planning stage, that we should not include anything that could cause anyone to take offence or be uncomfortable. So we put together a really comprehensive service and then allowed people to say if they had any concerns.

The Lord's Prayer had to go, as we couldn't agree which version. The Nicene Creed because we divided into three groups - "Filioque", "Non-filioque" and "Compromise Nobody Likes." All the other creeds were rejected as not containing enough theology to be worth agreeing on.

"Onward Christian Soldiers", given we're just past Remembrance, had been kicked out by half of them because it was too militaristic, and by the other half to avoid offending any that didn't identify as Christians.

The actual legal form of "In Christ Alone" caused discussion because of the lines that preach substitutionary atonement:

"The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid"

So the alternative "the love of God was magnified" because how can you magnify something that is already infinite? Three weeks of mathematics went into that debate. While the alternative "the love of God was ratified" was rejected because nobody else could work out what it meant.

A confession was a no-go. Because one of the priests of Catholic persuasion wanted to pronounce an absolution and the Plymouth Brethren wanted to know why he thought God would let him have that right.

Then all responsive liturgy was rejected by non liturgical churches. Written prayers by the Methodists. Ex Tempore prayers by everyone else. And there was no way even the Sermon on the Mount would get past that vetting committee uncut.

So anyway. The service ended up being quite short. Just the Grace. Sure, the Christadelphians walked out over the Trinitarian formulation. But it didn't matter, as everyone else was heading out for coffee.

1 comment :

  1. What could be more ecumenical than a silent Quaker 'waiting on the Lord'?


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