Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Urge to Run

One of the problems with the present divided state of the church is that it makes it easy, when we encounter problems, just to leave. And it can encourage us not to even bother trying to work things out. And churches can come to take the same attitude. If you do not like the way we do things here, there is another church down the street. Now I am convinced there is a point where it is necessary to leave a particular congregation and go to another. But I am also convinced that the kind of unity Christ requires (Philippians 2:1-11; Ephesians 4:1-3; Colossians 3:12-14) involves real commitment and a genuine attempt to work things out (Romans 12:18; Matthew 5:23,24; 18:15). We need to remember that whether or not we are part of the same congregation with someone, we are still part of the universal church, which is Christ's body (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 3:10,11). Therefore, even if we are leaving a particular congregation, this does not nullify the obligation to make the effort to be reconciled with the people we are at odds with. There is a point when someone should leave a congregation. But it should only be when an effort has been made by both sides to settle their differences, if there are any.


  1. I have the opposite problem. I stay when I should run.

    1. Knowing when to stay and when run is a hard question. I am convinced we need to avoid both extremes. I have also had the problem of being unwilling to run when should. But I do think many people run too easily at the first sign of trouble.