Recently a speech by Bob Edgars, head of the National Council of Churches was highlighted by the Prodigal Sheep. In it he speaks of two different Christianities which constitute "two voices that are not reconcilable".
While I know the culture wars and the church break ups make it next to impossible to see how reconciliation is possible, it does disturb me that the head of one of the largest and oldest ecumenical organizations in the country can use such language.
That is what an ecumenical agency is supposed to be. They exist to broaden the conversation, to bring opposing sides together, to increase the possibilities of cooperation if not some form of church unity. How does one go from that to speak of the "irreconcilable"?
It raises a question of whether the NCC performs that function or if it's role in the public life is more social justice in nature. It's not that the latter can be ignored. Especially not in this time with torture and secret prisons. We need that voice more than ever.
But I worry about what groups exist that are in a position to bring opposing sides together. If we believe that God affects reconciliation, whether in the ministry of Jesus or in our world today, working for such an end seems key for the church in a divided world.