There Is A Crack In Everything
“There is a crack in everything.” We would hope, of course, that this is not true; however, it is clear that society is experiencing revolutionary shifts in almost every area: politics, religion, communication, social constructs, education, science… and the list goes on. Let us not ignore the opportunity for a positive response, even when the situation is dreadful.
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
These words from poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen are a powerful challenge to do something. Do something now! Ungodliness and the rejection of God’s Word have cracked the foundations of humanity. If we are wise we will grasp this as an opportunity not to merely cower in defense, but we must see this as a time when the light can get in – a time of great illumination and ultimately revival is within reach. Compromise is not a solution. We cannot stand wringing our hands, trying to negotiate our position or bog down in the endless pursuit of perfection, trying to make flawless presentations. We cannot craft our own response to the problems that the world faces today. We must, “Ring the bell that still can ring.”
This will not be an easy task. God gave a similar challenge to Moses, and even his response was reticence. “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?” (Exodus 4:10-11). In other words, “Speak, and I will make this work.”
Most of us, in spite of however grieved we may be, can understand and make sense of the moral failures that happen in our churches and among the ministry. At the end of the day we cry with the offenders and the offended, while acknowledging our own humanity. We humbly accept the consequences that sin brings and seek solutions for all concerned – and we go on. It’s never pleasant, but when handled appropriately, the core doctrinal positions of the church go undisturbed.
There is, however, another kind of failure that happens in churches and among men. It creates deep anguish and despair, it is not easy to overcome, and ultimately leads to dissolution both physically and spiritually. It cracks the foundations. It is not simply the common moral failure of weak, careless persons. It is something else entirely. It is the harsh work of “certain men,” smashing foundations, making disciples unto themselves. Men who have crept into the churches unawares, under false pretenses, under false promises that they will maintain the churches’ doctrinal commitments. They boldly and deliberately manipulate the Word of God, while exploiting people’s consciences and their money. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
Now is the time to speak. Many people in our churches and our nation can see the foundations crumbling, but many apparently do not. The headlines scream the warnings daily. Television, still Americans’ number one influence, is mostly trash. It does not lift, it dumbs down. It unashamedly provides Americans clear examples of their own moral and spiritual chaos. Yet the nation laps it up and asks for more. As our churches slip into carelessness toward holiness and separation from the world, we too must ask the question – is there no off button? Will the party just roll on into an endless night? Will we take notice of our own crumbling foundations?
The cracking foundations are clearly visible in the culture and in the church. One does not need the perfect song or the perfect sermon before getting involved. However, we do need the perfect passion to speak, to vote, and to attend meetings. The spoken word, the counter-attack, and the rebuttal can make a difference. Resist the devil. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).
“Ring the bells that still can ring.” Ring the bell that you can ring. I understand there can be moral failure due to human weakness, but the evil deception involved in the twisting of scripture, the brazen robbery of godly people’s labors and deconstruction of holiness convictions is not about some poor man’s weakness in his flesh. It is a conspiracy of brazen flesh against God’s righteousness. And it is not a little matter that is going to blow over. Now is the right time for good men and women to speak up. The cracks are there, for sure…
“But that’s where the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is and that’s where the return, that’s where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things.” – Leonard Cohen