The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 9, 2013

Pastor's Corner

Why should Christians work together on ‘The Christian Mountain?’

By Ron George Jr.

— To be or not to be, that could be the question. One professor noted a cartoon that showed the character going off to battle and the caption said, “I have seen the enemy and they is us.”

Let’s look in the mirror and see what is reflected there as we reflect on what has become of our communities and churches. Have we been shooting ourselves in the foot? Have we been killing ourselves and the cause of Christ and we don’t believe it? How about it, church? How about it, Christian? How about it, Pastor? Have you been working together with the others in your community or have you been working against them?

One church member noted another local church and its pastor had been actively recruiting him for some time.

One pastor offers another church’s pianist extra pay if she would only come and play for them.

One life guard (or pastor) sees another guard struggling to stay afloat on a surf board with obvious holes in it. He has an extra perfectly good board, but instead of reaching out to give him a hand and the new good board, he only wishes them well, says “we will pray for you,” and does nothing to help. Life guards don’t care about how many lives they have saved versus how many the others have saved, or who is on the church leader board. Their job is to save the next one who is struggling in the waves of life.

Another life guard sees the struggling guard in the surf and says that you get what you deserve; since you were using the wrong technique of saving and you had not been speaking the right language.

One who was saved of the life guard’s decides to switch beaches and go to another’s lookout tower. Do we condemn that guard by saying that he is stealing our who were saved or are you still glad they were saved?

All of this reminds me of the Good Samaritan. Doesn’t it look like a similar situation?

It has become a pride game of competition like it is a football game or something. Whoever has the best church facilities and whoever has the most people and whoever has this or that is the best and, of course, the winner.

Ultimately, though, we have become the biggest loser. To whom much is given then much is required.  Have we buried our talents, treasures, and time in our own bank accounts so that not even God could get to that money? I want to say then if God doesn’t have it and can’t use it to save others; it must belong to the devil.

Let all those affiliated with Christ (from John Wyatt, a pastor in Rainelle) come together to save the community before more are killed with overdoses, guns over drug deals, and burned out minds and lives that are hell bent. Pastor John Wyatt, a Baptist pastor in Greenbrier County, has organized a couple of seminars during which church and community leaders have come together to discuss the problems and to determine what could be done to help change these life destroying problems. Could we get past these competition issues to work together to see our communities saved before it is too late?

As it is right now, the life guards are all on the beach trying to reach out to help those drowning in the waves. Some are saved, but the majority are being lost. As we look out there are so many out there drowning. There isn’t even half enough guards and lookout towers to accommodate the mass of people dying in the surf.

Panic has turned to apathy, and apathy has become a way of life, so much that we don’t see the drowning out there anymore. It’s a slow fade, as the song says. The guards are taking notes, making speeches on life saving, sending out messages to the One over all the guards, but for the most part, they are still not able to save a majority of those drowning.

They are still calling in the old life guards to talk about the good ole days of life saving and trying to build some enthusiasm, but to no avail.

They are still building their towers, their reputations, and their bank accounts to no avail.

The screams and the cries fall on deaf ears. We have done all we could do, so they say to themselves.  

And another goes down. And another, and another.

As it could be, the life guards read the directions from the One who is Guard of all. Lo and behold, He said to get together and work together as He does. Not just the individual guards and their towers and theirs who have been saved, but all who call themselves “guards” or “Christians” are instructed to work together and follow the example of the original guards in the Bible.

One guard who is down is encouraged and begins to swim again and pull them in.

Another guard who had become complacent and apathetic found new life in this new purpose. It is to serve and help his family of guards, and not just his patch of beach. He discovered the joy in the family when all are present, not just those who look, think, and act just like him.

There is a wide variety of gifts and functions in the fellow guards out there who have much to share with you. They dig up their extra boards and give them to other guards. They spread the news about the new way of sharing, giving, caring, and saving. We can save more together than we can save on our own!

Why, you say, would they do that? Because they care for those who are drowning in the surf. They have heard the voice of the One great Guard over all Who said to go.

Could we all get together with God and with each other? If you say you are with God, but you are not with other Christians, then is your God the God of the Bible?

Let’s save some people. You just might end up saving yourself.

(George is pastor of the Fayetteville Baptist Church and a member of the Fayetteville Ministerial Association.)