First of all wherein they agree:
1. They agree that they are to use the English language in a meaningful way for their worship and sermons.
2. They agree that until the 1960s there was only one basic form of Religious English, the language of prayer and worship used by all churches (when not using Latin).
3. They agree that it is good and right to aim to use or attend the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer and that on the first day of the week, where possible, they should attend Holy Communion (Holy Eucharist).
4. They agree that their GOD is to be addressed in terms of confession of sin, thanksgiving, praise, petition and intercession.
5. They agree that their God is above, through and around them and that they may know that Presence as communion and friendship.
6. They agree that the local assembly of Christians is to be united in fellowship and reveal in word and deed, in ministry and outreach, the Christian Faith and Love.
7. They agree that in matters of common interest they ought to cooperate as far as in them lies to promote that which is agreed to be good and right.
Secondly, wherein they disagree:
1. The one side states that God should be addressed in the same type of language that people use one to another; the other side claims that God should be addressed in the language of prayer developed and perfected over the centuries by the English-speaking people.
2. The one side insists upon a modern version of the Bible and of the Psalter while the other uses a traditional version of both.
3. The one side accepts that in adopting contemporary "secular" language, it is difficult, if not impossible, not to accept changes in that language as it reflects cultural and social change - e.g., in human rights, particularly women's rights. And thus it is admitted that this language is never stable but always open to revision. In contrast, the other side refuses to change the language of prayer to meet the changing agenda of modern secular society and claims that this classic form and style of language is the embodiment of biblical standards and doctrines.
4. The one side tends to emphasize God's nearness, friendliness and familiarity with people and to make little of human sin and rebellion against God. Thus forms of confession are simple and often optional. In contrast, the other side tends to emphasize the transcendent holiness and majesty of God, and to paint sin in dark pictures as wholly offensive to God. Thus confession of sins is thorough and required as normal.
5. The one side tends to be brief and general in its references to the Death of Jesus on the Cross while the other side tends to describe and explain this Death in specific and expansive terms and ways.
6. The one side tends to think of Celebration in a general way - of rejoicing in Creation, Daily Experience, Redemption, and in the Community of Faith - whereas the other side specifically sees the Death, Resurrection and Exaltation of Christ as the unique source of Celebration.
7. The one side is driven by a sense of wanting in the Rite used to make the worship simple, accessible, intelligible and acceptable to as many people as possible. In contrast, the other side is driven by a sense of doing justice in language to the greatness of the theme of worshipping the eternal, infinite God, the Holy Trinity, and asking people to grow into this style.
8. The one side contains a lot of people who see religion and modern Rites as a means of strengthening self-worth, self-respect, self-fulfilment and self-realization. Thus they look to the sense of familiarity in community, the minimal stress upon human sin with the maximum emphasis on God's love, and the use of the passing of the peace to achieve these ends. In contrast, the other side contains a majority of people who see that human dignity is best gained from the very activity of looking unto God the Holy One with the proclamation in the worship that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that God loves us and has provided salvation and friendship for us through Christ by the Holy Ghost.
9. The one side contains many who like to see the use of modern music along with or in place of the organ; the other side tends to be only in favour of music that is classical or traditional and preferably from the organ.
And so on.
In charity, the worshippers of the THOU-God believe that the conservative worshippers of the YOU-God who desire to have biblical doctrine and standards are really in truth worshippers of the THOU-God, but afraid or unable for other reasons to admit to being so. At the same time conservative worshipper of the YOU-God believe that worshippers of the THOU-God need to move with the times and transfer their allegiance to the up-to-date YOU-God, who is inclusive.
Also in charity the worshippers of the THOU-God seriously ask whether those worshippers of the YOU-God who have made this God the patron of such causes as full feminism and total Lesbigayism do actually worship a different God - an idol of their creation! And in the opposite direction the radical worshippers of the YOU-God believe that the conservative worshippers of the THOU-God are either to be pitied or to be driven out of the church for they stand in the way of necessary progress.
August 30, 2002.
The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon
Minister of Christ Church, Biddulph Moor,
England & Vice-President and Emissary-at-Large
of The Prayer Book Society of America