Yesterday I got to again deacon in a pretty unique (and technically illegal … sshhh!) service in the Rochester Bridge Chapel. I blogged about the service and experience here last year. The service we used is based on a pre-reformation text and last year the experience caused me to start to think about the idea of a ‘rolling reformation’ … trying to capture the idea that we need to be constantly undergoing reformation type acts as language and symbolism changes with time. A year on I find myself feeling this even more strongly as technology and communication seems to be fuelling a language revolution which is constantly morphing and re-morphing as it takes words that I once thought I knew how to use and give them a totally different meaning.
At the time Annie was kind enough to comment, suggesting that the idea of a rolling reformation should not be limited to religion but that the rolling reformation mindset could apply to other spheres of our life.
I liked Annie’s comment: ‘It is our nature to question and grow and evolve, and it is natural that our faith should do the same – while retaining the central core belief.’
I think that hits the nail on the head pretty much. Our understanding, our language, our expression, our living out should evolve as we grow in our learning and understanding. I wonder if this means it pulls our ‘absolutes’ to the bear minimum as it throws up in the air how we should live as Christians. Events of history, past (such as the slave trade) and very recent (such as Occupy London), show that our faith and interpretation of the Bible can be very very different and seen from totally different ends of a spectrum with both sides using the Bible in support of their stance.
I talk with a lot of people in my role – it is one of the things I love about this job at this time. I talk with people of no faith, Christians and post Christian. We talk about lots, agree and disagree about lots as well. I guess the thing that is open to debate, as I find in conversation with my new friends is what is, in fact, the central core belief that needs to be retained and what is, indeed, up for the light of a rolling reformation reinterpretation!