Thinking further about the need for radical Christianity to offer a church to believers, I’m struck by an inconsistency in my thinking. I have been calling for diversity to be a key commitment of the church; surely that diversity should include radicals and conservatives and liberals too?
Our Anabaptists Anonymous group did a simulation of a Roman house church last Thursday, as per Reta Finger’s book, and it struck me how she has some of us play Gentile radicals who think the law shouldn’t apply and others Jewish conservatives who think the law still applies. We are forced to hold these opposite views while fellowshipping in the same church. This is a much bigger and wider reaching tension than many of the theological issues that divide us today. It would have caused constant conflict, and yet Paul would not have heard of them dividing over it.
I think it would take a certain kind of radical and a certain kind of conservative to co-exist peacefully in the same church. You would need to have a strong commitment to the kingdom, to Jesus above all else, and a desire to listen and love the others. A friend of mine tells me of a Uniting church he goes to where this happened effectively – an evangelical minister and a liberal elder co-operating beautifully.
I need to think some more.