For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NRSV)
Ever since I first began to conceive of a truly ecumenical Christian society, I knew full well that one of the biggest issues that separate Christians are the different doctrines that Christianity has developed over the centuries. Many, if not most of these doctrines (such as the infallibility of Holy Scripture in all matters both theological and historical, believers baptism vs infant baptism, open vs closed communion etc) have their staunch supports and indeed can all be argued with integrity by their adherents.
I believe though, that for a truly ecumenical Christian group to exist, we must all be able to affirm our belief in one core, essential creed. This is the creed the Apostle Paul gives us in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. If we can agree on this, all the other beliefs that we have added on to it over the centuries, while perhaps important to our individual faith systems, do not have to stand in the way of each one of us being able to proclaim to all that accept this simple creed that “you are my brother, you are my sister, in faith.”
One of the main reasons that I feel this society should exist, is to model for the world how Christ desires us to be inclusive, to work to create a Christianity where no one who feels the call to serve Christ will feel excluded, simply because some of their views on matters of faith are different than what others may believe. We must always remember that the Holy Spirit of our living God talks to each of us in different ways, helping people in different cultural contexts and different times experience God in ways that make sense according to their own understanding of scripture, their own reason, the traditions of their culture, and their own life experience. To be a member of the society is to acknowledge and rejoice in the fact that we all experience our faith in different ways. To be a member of the society is to respect each other’s individual beliefs, sharing our faith with each other in a non-confrontational or judgemental way.
Your brother in Christ,