There once was a mighty ship with a good captain, which sailed the mighty waters. The ship was full of crew from around the world who had heard of the captains goodness, and so when he invited them to join the ship they joined with great glee. This meant that the crew was not made up of hardened seafarers, but of landlubbers.
The Captain, being a good man who cared for his crew desired that they know the rules of the ship and of the sea, so that they might be safe and flourish onboard, and so he wrote a ‘Ship’s Book’ for each member. To begin with the crew would study the ‘Ship’s Book’ daily, and would be exited and energised by what they read. But before long, as the crew began to think they knew the ship’s book well, the daily reading turned to every other day, and then only weekly, and eventually became mixed with land-lubber rules.
One day a storm sturred in the sea, and the ship was tossed about. The crew was greatly distuturbed, and although the captain reassured them that if they followed the ‘Ship’s Book’ all would be well, some abandoned ship and returned to be land-lubbers. For those that remained, they sought to secure the ship so that it was safe; securing the barrels and crates.
An arguement broke out amongst the crew as how best to do this: some consulted the ‘Ship’s Book’ and said that they should strap down the loose objects with ropes and nets in the hold. Others remembered how they fixed down objects on land and said they needed to drive stakes into the ground. In the end, the majority agreed that they remembered from when they were on land that stakes were the best way to go, and since that is what the land-lubbers did, it made sense that they did the same.
Some of the crew protested vehemently, and insisted that they follow the ‘Ship’s Book’, but to no avail. The others went and got stakes and mallets, ready to drive them into the ships floor…
…the story is not ended. Only time will tell whether the stakes will be driven in, or whether those who follow the ‘Ship’s Book’ given by the captain with succeed in saving the ship. The captain has many other ships, of which this is only one, but can this crew be saved from drowning?
See here for the papers from General Synod, July 2017
As this year is the 500th anniverary of the Reformation, please pray the the ‘crew’ will return to the ‘ship’s rules’, and will stay afloat.