I saw a clip on the TV the other night that really got me thinking. That’s dangerous, you know, me thinking. My wife often tells me that I spend too much time talking to myself.
I tell her that I am the only one who understands me.
But I digress.
The TV clip was of a man outside of his burning home. Having just returned from his son’s ballgame, he was shocked to discover flames shooting out of the top of his roof. In a panic he sprinted towards the garage and emerged dragging a yellow water hose over his shoulder. As he desperately connected the end of the hose to the outdoor spigot, one of his well-meaning neighbors cried out to him.
“Paul, don’t waste your time. That little water hose isn’t going to make any difference. The fire has spread too far. Wait on the fire-trucks…there isn’t anything that you can do to stop it.”
As despair slid over Paul’s face, he answered,
“Maybe so. But I’ll be darned if I am going to just stand here and watch it burn. Grab a hose, will you? Maybe we can hold the line until the firemen get here.”
“Wow,” I said to myself as I nibbled on my popcorn “That is a picture of modern Christianity. The world is on fire and we want to watch it burn. Let’s just wait for Jesus, the fireman, to show up.”
I’ve never seen anything like it, the disconnect between what Christians believe and how they act. Because of the “Left Behind” series more and more Americans are wondering about the end of days.
“Is the end really near? All of the signs point that way. Earthquakes, famines, wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, are certainly the sign-posts that Jesus taught us. He could return any day.” [See The Real Signs of The Times]
I hear that kind of talk a lot. Too bad we don’t really believe it.
What do I mean, you ask? Are you offended that I say you don’t believe it…that I question your faith?
Well, I don’t really think most Christians believe it. If they did, they would grab a hose.
I don’t want to argue eschatology. I haven’t studied it enough to give an intelligent opinion. To be perfectly honest with you, I really couldn’t care less. I think it is a waste of time. Jesus is coming…. I believe that, but I’ll be darn if I am going to just sit around and study the fire truck’s arrival time. The end for me could come tomorrow. I’m gonna work while the sun shines.
You remember Paul, the guy whose house was on fire? Wouldn’t it have been odd if instead of grabbing the hose he had driven to the local furniture store to purchase a new bedroom suit?
“Paul,” you might have said, “What are you doing? Your house is on fire and you are going shopping for furniture? You aren’t going to have a home to put it in. Now is not the time to shop….now is the time to rescue what you can before it is burned up.”
Let me connect the dots. This second Paul represents most Christians. They say they believe the end is near, but all they want to do is store up riches.
Think I’m crazy? What are they studying in your church? Financial stewardship? Ten Steps to Prosperity? Your Best Life Now? Marriage enhancement? End time prophecy conference?
Are you in the midst of a building project? If you don’t mind me asking, why would you build a church if you are getting ready to leave this planet?
If we really believed the end was near, wouldn’t we stop studying the end-time signs, storing up stuff and teach our folks how to rescue those in peril? Does your church train you in evangelism, take you to the streets, and show you how to impact your community? Does your pastor spend as much time training you to bless others as he does training you to bless yourself?
We are fixated on last-days prophecy as if we need to convince ourselves that Jesus really is coming back. We study the fig tree, the four-horsemen, the bear from the north, six-six-six, the mark of the beast, and try and figure out just when all hell is going to break loose on the earth.
All the while the world is on fire as we sit around and try and figure out how long it will take for the fire-truck to make it down our street. You see, we really don’t believe what we say we believe.
If we did, we would be spending more time rescuing our valuables (friends) and making sure that no one was left in the burning house (America).
Instead we store up greater riches, buy bigger houses, pray for greater financial blessings, and build bigger churches. We act as if the church building is a rapture bus-stop.
As Paul’s house burned would it be wise for him to build a new addition?
One thing that really struck me about the terrible events of nine-one-one was the heroic efforts of the firemen. As they looked high in the sky at the flames shooting out of the towers, they realized that those trapped in the inferno were facing impending doom. Their job was to rescue as many souls as possible.
Aren’t we glad they didn’t just sit in the firehouse convinced that there wasn’t anything they could do to save the people? Against all natural human inclinations to save themselves, they ran into a building that everyone else was running out of. Hundreds gave their lives rescuing folks they didn’t even know.
The American church could learn something from those firemen.
spend my time fighting to save America. Many of my Christian friends think I am wasting my time. It is only going to get worse, they say, as they head to the mall.
Complacent ignorance is the most lethal sickness of the soul. –Plato
The soul of America is sick. Complacent ignorance has gripped this land.
When Jesus returns, if I am still alive, I hope he finds me with a hose in my hand.
What about you? Impending doom is at the door, death is knocking, while Christians play church.
Jesus is coming. America is on fire. Do you believe it?
Somebody grab a hose.
© 2006 Dave Daubenmire - All Rights Reserved
Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries http://www.ptsalt.com/ and Minutemen United http://www.minutemenunited.org/, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio. In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.