I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." — Lewis Carroll
I am fascinated by talk generated with the recent "date" the CRC had with the RCA. True we were once one, and then there was that messy divorce — what was it over again?
Many have indicated, like a recent Banner editorial, it was just a misunderstanding of where we were going and with "how we do church & culture." True, that was part of the process, later along with Christian Day Schools among other things; but now we have overcome these "petty" differences and can arrange a "renewed romance" between denominations!
Before we run headlong off the cliff with the rest of the "over-amored lemmings," perhaps we should carefully see where we have been in order to plot out the journey before us.
Could requiring a good read of Divided by a Common Heritage: The CRC and the RCA at the Beginning of the New Millennium, a rather insightful book and part of Faith Alive's livery of products, be a help to find a way? You may not agree with all of what the authors have discovered in their research, but one item stands out from their analysis: originally the CRC stood for purity of doctrine and scripture for the sake of unity; while the RCA stood for unity in the face of fights over doctrine and scripture.
I am sure there are other books, authors, and discussions that could also help us distill this "love potion" we are brewing.
Now really, there should be a little more common ground between those two aforementioned stands and perhaps a little hand holding will find a way! Certainly many of the periphery problems separating us as denominations may have dissipated like the storms we experienced lately — but remember, that split back in 1857 was one of those "category 7 tornados!" Lives and families were torn apart, there was considerable damage to livelihood and culture, and both were strewn about the familial landscape.
Too … time does heal.
In the meantime, have we changed so much that we have become once again the same? Perhaps most importantly, have we grown closer together for the right reasons?
Does this mean we cannot become closer in word and deed — nah … we already have. However, I do think out of respect for the "cultures" and institutions that have been created over 154 years — for both the right and wrong reasons, we owe ourselves a second look before we embark on any journey. Most certainly, becoming better neighbors and collaborators on this "blue marble" for kingdom causes wouldn't hurt! In all, I have also observed though we continue to "see through a glass darkly," our cups are overflowing with "grace through every generation."
We began with a quote from Lewis Carroll, and now at the end — one more that perhaps speaks to our need as we think of CRC & RCA romancing,
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - -