Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Roto-Tiller Religion .. Rotary Mower Church


I just happened to think of something an insurance company claims manager told me once. We were chatting over coffee, and I told him about my Father-In-Law's Roto-Tiller I'd borrowed. I told him the thing was fun to use, but a little scary. His response surprised me.

He told the Roto-Tiller was one of the safest machines to use, for the average homeowner. He said they look so scary, with all those revolving blades up front, that folks are almost always careful with them. Very careful! Rotary mowers, however, he said, are the most dangerous.

Hmmm, I said. Why? He said "Because they look so harmless".

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There's another thought that's been rattling around in my alleged mind for a while now: if you injured your back .. say, you strained a muscle .. and the doctor told you he wanted you to stay in bed, flat on your back, for a week, I think I know what you'd do. Like me, you'd stay down a day and, if the back didn't hurt much when you got up to address certain needs of the body, you'd probably move to the couch and maybe watch a little TV on day two.

Day three, you'd probably be in the recliner and by day four or five, you'd be up and about. Perhaps taking it easy.

Now change the scene a little. Say you'd been in an auto accident, and you have a spine injury. Maybe a sliver of bone close to the spinal cord. This time, the doctor says stay in bed for a week, or you'll never walk again!

In this case, you'd keep your backsides planted in the bed, holler for the bedpan, and probably stay an extra day or two just to be safe.

Same instructions. Different actions. Why?

Simple. In the second case, you'd see the value. The stakes would be high and you'd know it.

I wonder if the same thought might apply to the Christian and his walk with God.

I think it does, and I think one big reason so few Southern Baptist Church members actually go to church is because they don't see the value of going. They don't see the value of being involved.

I have been obsessed with a simple thought, for some time now. It concerns the discernment of value. Of worth. Face it .. in too many cases, the occasional Christian looks about like the consecrated one. And overall, the lives of the folks in the church look pretty much like the lives of the rest of the population. I have to ask myself why that is.

Maybe it's that the membership in general .. both the occasional attenders, and the non-involved pew-sitters .. simply doesn't see the value of obeying God. Jesus said something interesting about that.

In two separate verses, in the same passages, He said those who loved Him would obey His commands, and then that those who loved Him would keep His teachings. Now I'm no theologian, but one of those seems to be following orders, while the others seem to speak to who we are. What we are. Ordering ourselves, not just our actions, after Jesus' model.

I have to ask why it is that most in the church don't seem to get that. Maybe the downside of being a "believer" but not a "follower" isn't plain. Maybe it's not being made plain. Maybe it's not the way to attract members.

I don't know. But I do know that Jesus was more of a Roto-Tiller than a Rotary Mower, and the only safe place I know to be is right behind Him.

Hands-on.

Following.

3 Comments:

At 12:41 PM, July 07, 2011, Blogger Christ is the door, the way, the truth, the life said...

Jesus as a model... what a profound statement. I completely agree. To what extent is He to be our model of heart, thought and action? Many like to put it in the comfortable realm of loving others when it is convenient.
In our actions where it the line drawn? Do we truly understand it is a matter of the heart? That doing something with no faith and just in obedience because we know others expect us too...this is no different than the law abiding Pharisee s who desired what they gained on earth from the law rather than the fulfillment of the law?
It is time to pour into others and their walks with our Lord, rather than tearing down their actions or words and cause stumbling blocks to be thrown in their path; because the Lord has blessed us with understanding in a particular area in which they struggle.
Pouring in with gentilness and loveing kindness, G_d's words if He leads us to release them. If not to speak to them it was brought to our attention so we may pray for them.
To desire others to be equally yoked with our understanding can cause them to stumble for they are as babes which cannot be plunged directly into the deep. We must inspire them through G_d working through us. Walking ever closer with Him so as they see and witness yet a greater way.
So the question: Is it really them or us who needs to change?

 
At 10:05 PM, July 07, 2011, Blogger Stephen M. Young II said...

There is also the little idea of mutual responsibility, called accountability by many nowadays. There is not only a personal benefit, but a benefit to others as well. Many people who are faithful in their church attendance are also committed to people through certain ministries. They know that if they don't go, some people will miss an opportunity. This is another reason small groups is almost always associated with healthy churches.

 
At 7:01 AM, July 08, 2011, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Stephen .. the passage in Hebrews that says we're supposed to "not forsake the assembling" is actually a command to prompt one another to love and good works (without neglecting the assembling in the process). That's how I read that passage, anyway, and therefore I agree with your comment.

In practice, that seems to happen in Sunday School, small groups (I lead on on Wednesday nights) and church worship itself.

 

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