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And how would I know when I am wrong?

And how would I know when I am wrong?

David Runcorn, ordained minister in the Church of England, explains the surprising role that Evangelical Christianity played in reinforcing apartheid in South Africa, noting that Evangelical and Reformed Churches have expressed remorse and guilt over their role in racial discrimination.

Citing Richard Burridge, author of “Imitating Jesus”, Runcorn takes this a step farther, and asks how these churches–after being so wrong–can trust that they’re correctly interpreting scripture now that they take increasingly vocal stands against LGBT rights and inclusion.

From the article:

I want to turn the discussion round and ask: How would we know when we have got it wrong?

It seems to me vital that we have some way of approaching this question. After all, the most sustained opposition to Jesus in the gospels was from a religious group steeped in text and verse but of whom Jesus had to say – ‘You are in error because you know neither the scripture nor the power of God’ (Mk 12.24), and ‘you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life … Yet you refuse to come to me to have life’ (Jn 5.39). Then and now there are ways of being scrupulously ‘biblical’ that lead away from Christ.

Runcorn turns away quickly from this line of thought, in order to avoid making a simple dualistic statement about right and wrong, and outlines a multi-step approach to discerning our interpretations, involving faith, scripture, and thorough self-examination. The entire process is outlined in the article.

What do you think about his process? Is it similar to your own? How do you determine the right or wrong thing to do in your own daily life?

Posted by David Streever



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Joseph Messner

W need to be careful pointing fingers at Evangelicals. All of us are flawed and broken people, and as such, so are our organizations. The Gospel remind us to to be careful to take the log out of our own eye before we attempt to take something out of someone else’s eye. None of us are innocent and all need the forgiveness of Christ.

Marshall Scott

Joseph, I see your point. We can be – well, let’s say a bit hasty – around here. In the original article, though, I think he was speaking as one who is in the Evangelical tradition within the Church of England. I could be wrong, of course; but I think he was reflecting as one within that community, not as one outside it.

Ann Fontaine

On getting it wrong — my process is to look at outcomes – but always knowing I could be wrong.

Ann Fontaine

Few clergy in England use “priest” – prefer “minister”

Deacon Jim

He’s an ordained priest in the C of E to be more specific. At baptism he and everyone else became a minister.

[Please give first and last name in future comments. – ed.]

Deacon Jim

Sorry . .

Jim Brown

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