Today we launch a new section to the AE Website – Good Disagreement – Jayne Ozanne explains….
If there’s one thing we see modelled in Christ, it is the fact that He met His critics head on. He seems to be in constant dialogue with those who disagreed with Him, appealing time and time again to the greater law of love revealed consistently through scripture, rather than a strict adherence to the actual letter of the law.
That said, one of the things I find quite limiting about the way the Gospels are written down is the fact that they fail to convey the tone with which I believe Jesus would have spoken. It is often easy to imagine an exasperated voice filled with anger and frustration – which no doubt comes from our own reaction to the situation: “You are like white-washed tombs!” Always read with such relish by the Gospel reader. But can we really be sure of how it was uttered? How it was said?
This is our Christ, the perfect embodiment of grace and truth – the Son of Man who is able to manifest fully all the fruits of the Spirit. I am personally convinced that His tone would always have been one of loving patience and kindness – the same voice which found the strength to cry “Father Forgive” to those who had sought to crucify Him.
As we enter this time of Shared Conversations within the Anglican Church, I believe it will be the tone of these discussions that will mark us out as either a beacon for the world to admire, or a squabbling clique that becomes even more sidelined and marginalized.
To help us reflect on the nature of “Good Disagreement”, we have commissioned the Very Revd David Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral to share his thoughts on this critical matter, drawing on his wide range of experience – particularly with inter-faith dialogue. He raises some key issues which people from all sides will want to engage.
Please do join in the conversation – but please do so in a tone that recognises the pain and hurt on both sides. Thank you.