When Cracks Appear

Written by Anthony Douglas on 12 May 2018.

SinkholeThis week in New Zealand, a huge sinkhole opened up in a field outside Rotorua. Heavy rain fell on Sunday, and by Monday morning, a chasm two hundred metres long and twenty metres deep had appeared.

This week in New Zealand, the Anglican church held a synod and discussed a proposal to bless same-sex marriages, desperately seeking some magic formula to please all parties. They didn’t find it, but decided to go ahead anyway. Key evangelical church leaders have already given their regretful resignations from the denomination.

As fallen men and women, there will always be points of friction in any church body. But how do we decide when the cracks are too wide or too deep? How do we decide when it’s best to walk away?

We have been blessed with strong relationships in a harmonious church - but a sinkhole can appear overnight, and it is better to have thought the questions through in advance.

1 John provides the answer: we love God and love each other - that demonstrates that we are born of God. Love, however, can mean many things to different people, so it’s important to recognise that the letter also defines love: “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome...” (1 John 5:3). If people are walking away from God’s word, we must part ways with sorrow; if not, then we must love them and work through any difficulties. Hard work, but not burdensome!

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