I got up early this morning to bust through a bunch of reading in Transforming Mission by David Bosch and stumbled headlong into the following short passage, which has literally stopped me in my tracks. Compelled to stand up and find the nearest computer, I knew that I needed to post this immediately, as much for my own sake as possibly for yours, and for whatever is happening in your own world this morning:
The Holy Spirit who guides into all truth, may be present not so much exclusively on one side of a theological dispute as in the very encounter of diverse visions held by persons…who share a faithfulness and commitment to Christ and to each other. (Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commision, quoted in Transforming Mission, p. 24).
I am deeply challenged by this idea–that possibly, maybe even likely, the Holy Spirit doesn’t ‘care’ about what I believe as much as He is intricately woven into the relational fabric of developing unity between those who stand on ‘opposite’ sides, opposed deeply to each other. And this leads me to thinking that maybe those who think they are opposed may often have more in common than they would ever admit or realize. This isn’t to say that all beliefs or positions are the same, or that there isn’t a sense of right and wrong within one’s position, but rather to ask:
“Is that really the point?”
May I embrace this reality, and the Spirit beneath this idea, with increasing openness this day. I am praying for you, my friends and family. I love and miss you deeply!
ADDED PORTION: Tyler Savage, a new friend from CRM Boat Trip days (way back in September 2008!), added a brilliant comment to this post that deserves recognition. His thoughts:
In recent years, God has used a very different reference to trip me up on a similar line of thinking. In Lincoln’s second Inaugural address, speaking of the two sides in the Civil War, he said, “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. […] The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.” That quote threw me for a loop several years ago, and still does.