Session 4 of the Open Paris Conference was The Economy of Ecumenicalism – how denominational affiliation is passé by Dan Haugh. As usual, as the session is live blogged I apologise for any typos etc:
So many divisions and splitting in the church. At times we can find it funny, but these are historical splits, there are 41,000 denominations of the church within the Protestant church.
What denomination do you belong to and why? This is such a shift from 50, 100 years ago where people would have known one denomination and stayed with it for life.
Statements of Faith can be long and are often about trying to make a distinctive about what makes someone right or wrong – not just about good standing with a denomination, but good standing with God.
Taize is an example of being truly ecumenical, shared leadership and community of protestant and catholic church – it shouldn’t work – but thousands of younger people come together who are tired of the fractures and the disagreements. Through worship and the spiritual disciplines it is possible.
Motivated to come to ACP as often in non-denonimnational we lose the history and the tradition; where as inter-denomination we can learn from the denominations, employing pastors and leaders from different church traditions and backgrounds. There major differences around the table, but what can unite us is far more powerful than what can split us.
Want to challenge us to be intentional to partner with other Christian traditions in our town.
A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren and The Church is Flat by Tony Jones have been very helpful in developing thinking. Our thinking can be challenged by this bigger and broader kingdom of God. At the end of the day in heaven we will not be known by our denominations, and if we are to pray the Lord’s prayer, “thy Kingom come, on earth as it is in heaven” what does that look like for us today.