[...] There are still a large number of issues to be thought about and resolved. We still need a more thorough debate on theology, and indeed on Reform’s claims that the opposition is from scriptural grounds. (Other evangelicals strongly disagree.) But to decide so far ahead of time how you will vote on a measure which has not been presented in a final form, suggests an incapacity or unpreparedness to listen and debate. For if minds are already made up along party lines, even on issues we have not yet discussed, then what is the point of Synod? All we would need to do is to assemble the tribes and count the numbers.
In fact, in my own twenty–three years as a member of General Synod, this is not what happens. The real work goes on in the interaction of those who disagree, in the exposure of people to views and outlooks which are different from their own. It is in the readiness to hear the Bible through the presentations of others that understanding is developed. It is in the listening and weighing up of the argument where decisions are best made. It is in the openness with which we concede that none of us has the whole truth, for that belongs to God alone, that humility and generosity begin to flourish. Read more