What an Amazing Statement!!

Interesting article from john stott (via philbaker.net) here

Here then are the three options. Secession is to pursue truth at the expense of unity. Compromise is to pursue unity at the expense of truth. Witness is to pursue truth and unity simultaneously. This seems to be the biblical way. We are to “maintain the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

The third option is to stay in, while refusing to give in. Frankly, it is the most painful of the three options, and it causes us considerable misery. The other two options are psychologically easier because they break the tension. If we either get out or give in the tension ceases. But if we stay in while refusing to give in, we find ourselves walking a tightrope, and living in a permanent and painful state of tension. But we are called to this.

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6 thoughts on “What an Amazing Statement!!

  1. Great, totally agree we are called to the third option, we too often find ourselve looking at the first 2, cause it is an easier path to take.

  2. having taken option number 1, i can agree that there is a part of the tension that is broken – but that is only half the story.

    the other half of the story is filled with heartache, discouragement, frustration, broken relationships, loneliness, hunning, whispers, doubts & uncertainty.

    so while there is some sense of “ease” at this point of the journey, it is not necessarily and easy choice to make to walk through this.

    i’m not sure that option 3 is always the best option either – if a system has no intention of changing, or more importantly – being open the possibility of change – then moving on might be the only option left.

    each to their own… because no journey will be “easy”.

  3. Yep. I woould have to say that this concept is something I am trying to do in my life, sometimes, I must admit it done by necessity (I want to save face, save my job, save reputation of people/organisations I work for). At other times I walk the third option tightrope out of deep respect and love and relationship for friends who are ‘doing life/church/ministry’ different to the way I have chosen of late. Do my choices put me into an emergent camp? Yes I guess they do. Do I have issues with some of the methodologies of the model I have come/are coming ‘out of’? Well yes, I wouldn’t be moving if I loved it all and saw it as the only way. But at the end of the day I walk the tightrope out of relationship.

  4. My choice (Otherendup) to stay in #3 as best I can is not esentially to change them, or ‘bring them around’to my way of thinking, as much as I would like to at times (Don’t we all think that what I think and do is the best way for me? Why else to we choose it?).
    But rather I choose #3 because of my above post, they are doing just the same thing as what I am doing…just in another way, so I try to as best as I can see my self as ‘partnering’ with them.
    As is said in orig quote, this is not easy and brings heartache and CONSTANT misunderstanding – as you know! In fact I am in the middle of it again now, just frustrated with…things, just wanting to walk away from…things…

  5. I like this statement from
    Mike Riddell:

    “…My interest is in those Celtic monks who followed the call of God to places unknown… the monks were largely self-resourcing and self-directed. To a limited extent they stepped outside the constricting influences of bishops and church councils in determining their own journey of faith. Given the moribund state of the church of the day, this may have been a necessary distancing. It may be that our own times call for a similar distancing… Rather than experience the angst of a self-conscious break with the structures of the church, the monks subverted authority by giving the appearance of belonging while going about their own vocations… The tradition that they lived out of was portable, adaptable and inviolate. Their practice of faith was only marginally connected to the institution that claimed a franchise upon it… the monastic pattern of association offers a potential model for Christian belonging. The monks maintained a loose network of pilgrims united by a common vision, even though often geographically dispersed. They kept alive a sense of common purpose through the writing of letters, personal friendships, and occasional visits.

  6. could you say that the monks found a way of practising option 1 while keeping the appearance of option 3?

    in this day and age of some of our church mega structures, i’m not sure the CEO model is as cool with the subversive monk-type option. more control seems to be exerted over those who would say they are “with” the mother church.

    just wondering….

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