Todays Scriptures: Gen 39:1 – 23, 1 Cor 2:14 – 3:15, Mark 2:13 – 22
The other week I participated in a panel consisting of myself, the Roman catholic Bishop of Saskatoon and one of Saskatoons evangelical leaders. The panel discussed common ground, separating factors and other topics in front of about 40, most evangelical, christian leaders. The one hour conversation was really good and infused hope into my heart.
Shepherding and living in an evangelical orthodox context is, if you are honest, most of the times anything but peaceful, on a theological level. The very name breeds controversy if you approach it by label only. If you approach the word “Orthodox” as “adhering to the Law” (canonical) you will be scandalized by our traditions. We do not adhere to all canonical laws (in particular the ones that are not biblical). If you approach the word “Evangelical” as “conservative christians in the south of the USA” you will be scandalized. We hope that the label we chose can show that we are orthodox as in, following the right path, Christs path. That we are evangelical is in spreading truly good news by the way we live.
These two sides has always, ever since the fall, been in tension. The orthodox side (the Law, works, revelation, the objective, authority). The evangelical side (the Grace, faith, invitation, the subjective, personality). I believe it to be an eternal dance with the two. But to dance, you need proximity and the sin has pushed the two towards the extremes. The two do not dance at all, sometimes they do not even talk. As part of the evangelical orthodox church you hope to be able to display some form of dance between the two, even if it is just a humble, not at all perfected, waltz.
It is good to talk to “the other”. To spend time together. It is not asking for a dance but at least we spend some time in the same dance hall.
I wonder if Jesus felt torn sometime, being both human and divine. Both subjective and objective. Both Grace and Law. Approaching his death, he probably did but still contained the two sides in is Person. What a dance He invites us to!