Celtic - Anabaptist- Ministries
Doctrine in the Celtic Anabaptist Communion
The Celtic Anabaptist Communion view of doctrine
is presented here, not specific tenets of the faith.
As presiding bishop of the CAC, many of those tenets
I hold as true are clearly presented on the "Statement
of Principles" page. I wanted to more specifically address
my philosophical views here.
First, I believe doctrine is important--very important,
but I also believe that being "doers of the word" is
important, as well. I take John Wesley's view--that "If
your heart is as my heart, then give me your hand my
friend--and let us journey together." He also said, "As to
opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." F.D. Maurice, 19th century Anglican priest and theologian, refused to be identified with any "party" in the church, including the "no-party" party!
Now, the CAC does emphasize Celtic, Anabaptist, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Quaker beliefs and practices, but emphasizing these does not mean excluding others. I have personal beliefs which I hold very passionately, but I also recognize that in this life we all "see through a glass darkly" and are all subject to mistakes. Further, God works as He wills and chooses--"the Spirit bloweth where it listeth," not where man listeth that it should blow!
So, considering all these things, if someone disagrees with me in a matter of doctrine, I do not necessarily consider this a bar to fellowship or spiritual unity, unless it strikes at the root of the faith. Of course, there may be disagreement about what the roots of the faith are; then, prayer and discernment are needed and required.
Due to the human condition, there can never be uniformity of belief, nor should their ever be total outward uniformity as in a "superchurch;" however, a broad fellowship and unity in the Spirit among believers can be achieved.
Doctrine is thus very important, but there will never be complete agreement or consensus on all points of doctrine--even in the earliest churches there was not, there has not been since, and there never will be.
So, in the Celtic Anabaptist Communion the emphasis will be on liberty of conscience, fellowship, and unity in the Spirit of Christ, with the goal of not letting doctrinal differences divide us.