So I was talking to a friend of mine after mass, today, and I asked her whether the Catholic community in the Lakes Region was providing much support to the local pregnancy care center, and she told me that significant cooperation was still hampered to some extent by theological differences.Booo! Theological differences, booo! Why can't we just get along while we build the kingdom of God? All this rarefied theological blather is just getting in the way of all the great work we could be doing, says the Pragmatic American Full of His Own Self-Righteousness in His All-Holy Pragmatism.
This is roughly equivalent to a general who says, "Who cares which direction the guns are pointing! Just pull the d*** trigger!" Stupid, stupid, stupid pragmatic American: that's what I say.But just because theological differences do, indeed, make a difference doesn't mean we have to just give up on the whole project. Back in the late eighties or early nineties, Chuck Colson and Richard John Neuhaus started working on Evangelicals and Catholics Together: some sort of togetherness statement that emphasized all that we have in common. Excellent.
The problem with such a document is that it's a great statement of position, but unless our faith produces some works, then it's dead (at least so says the Bible), and so a statement of common faith ought to produce some common works. Is it?But I was thinking, it's kind of nice for Colson and Neuhaus to do all that for us, but the fact of the matter is that their statement is not binding, and it was a labor of love produced by two friends, so it ought to be used as a model. What we need are for local Evangelicals and Catholics to get together and outline their theological and doctrinal commonalities and use this process to help them in common works: common works that flow from common faith.
So I see in my dreams pastors and laity from the various churches getting together so that they know each other and coming up with some shared statements of faith that are oriented towards what common works they can do, common works that will be a flowering of their common faith. But these statements of faith will be used for real work and will therefore be real statements of faith, not just rehashings of old arguments and so on and so forth.And I have officially used the phrase "common works ... common faith" way too much. Feel free to make fun of me.