This week in 'How to Talk about Elephants' we began an important conversation that will precede future conversations that we will have as a church. We realise that being the church calls us to live in a particular way, as God's people for the world, evidencing and witnessing in our lives to the change that following Jesus has made to us. This means, however, that following Jesus does occasionally call us to consider how to be Christian when that commitment draws us away from the norms and acceptances of wider society. Before we spend time discussing these types of things we need to talk about how we're going to talk, and this is of paramount importance to us - if we can't talk well, then we shouldn't talk at all - but we need to be the type of people who can talk well.
"The church … requires a certain kind of people to sustain it as an institution across time. They must be a people of virtue—specifically, the virtues necessary for remembering and telling the story of a crucified savior. They must be capable of being peaceable among themselves and with the world, so that the world sees what it means to hope for God’s kingdom. In such a community, we are not free to do whatever we will but are called to develop our particular gifts to serve the community of faith." - Stanley Hauerwas The Servant Community
Therefore, as we see in Micah 6.8, we want to follow a model of talking that is as follows:
We want to let this model guide us, rather than ideas of fear, anger, political correctness, progression, 'getting with the times', or being 'on the wrong side of history'.
So, for us, 'How to Talk about Elephants' is an invitation, an invitation to join us patiently in a conversation where we try to wrestle with some of the difficult issues of contemporary morals and life whilst continuing to being a church of disciples.