Can We Disagree?

Archbishop Tutu was in Portland, Oregon last week for the 40th Collins Lecture sponsored by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. You can hear his lecture here, on Oregon Public Radio. I was out of town for the lecture, but I keep hearing about people’s experiences that night.

Here’s a juicy Tutu quote (though not from the lecture), “It is unity we are talking about, not uniformity. What is needed is to respect one another’s points of view and not to impute unworthy motives to one another or to seek to impugn the integrity of the other. Our maturity will be judged by how well we are able to agree to disagree and yet continue to love one another and to cherish one another and seek the greater good of the other.”

(Extract from Archbishop Tutu’s archiepiscopacy sermon during his enthronement in St. George’s Cathedral as the first black Archbishop of Cape Town, September, 1986)

The church as a whole, and many local churches, would be a different place, if we could truly live this out. These words challenge me to develop my own ability to “cherish” (a word we don’t use often any more) those with whom I disagree. What about you?

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