My Doctorly neighbour and I had a discussion about the new ethos that is permeating our local diocese. There apparently is a declared policy (though I have not heard of it) that we should all live together in harmony and tolerate difference.
One can't criticise such a stand, indeed that is part of its insidious nature.
I am only happy with this sort of policy if such a view is not a statement that we want everyone to be in the insipid middle. Which I fear is indeed what it does mean!
In a way it is easy for policy makers and those who believe they have the right to direct everyone to have everyone in some amorphous middle.
But in the end I suspect it doesn't work, because it is lacklustre and lacks character.
I tend to be an extremist. Not a wildly anarchic extremist, (indeed my main manifestation of extremism is probably that I am an extreme conservative!), but I don't like sitting in the middle.
So I am by choice a Catholic Anglican. That is the sort of worship and spirituality that speaks to me. In fact one thing I am sure about is that I do not want to belong to the middle of our church. It is strangely where I have spent most of my ministry.
I actually want worship that is splendid, mysterious, full of smoke, colour symbol and music. I do not want half-baked thoughts and worship so restrained that it almost fades away.
I don't consider myself a "protestant", and don't like much of the sort of thought and worship that flies under that banner, though I have had and participated in my fair share of it.
It is often said that the Anglican Church is a "bridge church" between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant. That may be true to some extent, but another colleague once remarked...you can't live on a bridge. I would concur with that.
So it is for this toleration model that is being perpetuated. I actually suspect it is a model of control, and mediocrity. It is a bridge....but not a home