Inclusive Church

What Is An Inclusive Church?

In the current debate about Membership of the Anglican Communion it is important to consider what constitutes the boundary between being in and out of a church. We will consider the issues for Christians in a proposed but approximate 'descending' order:

  1. Godhead. At the highest level we should consider the nature of the Godhead, a Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, expressed in the doctrine of the Trinity in the Creed. What does it mean to "accept" these doctrines as true? How do we account for the different understandings of the Creed in the Western and Eastern Churches?
  2. Word and Sacrament. What do we understand by Word and Sacrament?:
    • There are many different Christian interpretations of The Bible, and even some disagreements about what constitutes it. Where are the boundaries of interpretation?
    • Some Christian churches accept seen Sacraments; the Anglican Communion only requires acceptance of the two Dominical Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist.
  3. Worship. If we wrship the God of creation, redemption and sanctification, is that enough to define us as Christians or must we participate in some form of corporate "church" life?
  4. Authority. If there are disagreements about the meanings of matters in 1. and 2. and boundaries to the way in which they can be understood, who holds the authority to make rulings? Are we bound to accept these rulings to call ourselves Anglicans/
  5. Morality. Does membership of any church depend on observing a stated moral code set out by the accepted, constituted authority? What are the limits of conscience?
  6. Change. Is theological understanding and adherence to certain moral precepts? If not, what can change, why and how?
  7. Hierarchy. What is the role of the various levels of hierarchy in the Anglican Communion? Does our national hierarchy have the authority to 'pool' sovereignty in an international body?
  8. Ecumenism. What is our obligation to be ecumenical? Can we 'negotiate away' parts of our traditional understanding and, if so, which parts and on what basis?
  9. Mission. What is our obligation to spread the Good News? If we do not undertake mission, are we Christians?
  10. Multi Faith Communities. How should our relationships with other faiths be characterised?
  11. The Secular Domain. What should our relationship be with the secular domain?
KC iv/08