A certain man, one who would most certainly not have certainly not enjoyed top honors among many of our heroes kinfolk, was in the process of getting a lube job at the local Honda shop, otherwise known as a seedy motel in the seediest part of town. Oblivious to the fact that this other man was getting ready to make a venture into this same part of town, he was enjoying the ride of his life as he tripped the light fandango with his little Honda!
Being the middle of the week, Wednesday evening services were just winding down at one of the local congregational meeting houses. The leader of this congregation, a fairly well-to-do man for the part of town in which he pursued his ministry, was going about his duties, making sure his congregation were safely ensconced in the particular doctrine that he had been entrusted with. After he had fulfilled his duties there & every last parishioner had left the building, this minister of the gospel of feel-goodism made his way around, making sure all the windows & doors were properly closed & locked, lights turned out & the security system armed!
As the first man began to enter that certain part of town, the vehicle he was traveling in took a turn for the worse! As the the car came to a halt in that dark alley, the warnings he had been given came flooding in on our hero! He had a certain amount of money in his pocket, just enough to cover the object he sought to purchase, but now, the animals he had chosen to ride with began to forcibly remove him from the relative safety of the vehicle & beat him, with obvious intent of robbing him of his precious hard-earned money!
Not being one to give up easily, our hero made a valiant effort, but at the last, faced with two burly men armed with a tire iron & a baseball bat, he finally succumbed as they proceeded to beat the pulp out of him! Although these animals had only intended to rob our hero, because he had put up such a fight, he had unwittingly raised their ire & they had, in the heat of the moment, beaten him half to death! Not only this, but they had compounded their guilt & his ignominy by stripping him, not only of his hard-earned cash, but of his clothing, leaving him naked & dying in that dark alley!
As the pastor was leaving the vicinity, he was nearly struck by a speeding vehicle as it backed out of a dark alley he was approaching! Praising his lucky stars for his narrow escape, the pastor happened to noticed, as the other vehicle continued it's rearward flight, that there lay a crumpled & bloody mass near the mouth of the alley. After the vehicle had cleared the alley, the pastor, for a moment, turned his own vehicle into the alley, observed the crumpled bloody, almost unrecognizable mass as our hero lay gasping & moaning! Sure that the poor man was not a member of his own congregation, he backed out of the alley & pulled his cellphone from his pocket, dutifully preparing to alert the police of the situation!
While the pastor was on hold & speeding away from the scene of the crime, the man of questionable honor was leaving the seedy motel, which just happened to back up to the dark alley in question! As he left the Honda shop, he turned into the alley & soon enough noticed the bloody & mangled heap which was obviously knocking on death's door! Quickly bringing his vehicle to a stop, he approached the bloody, naked mass & after seeing that there was still life in it, covered the quivering heap with his own jacket & gently loaded the man into the back seat of his car & headed for the nearest hospital!
Arriving at the hospital, our Good Samaritan made sure the hero of our story was taken care of & learning that the man had no ID, money or insurance, left a fairly hefty deposit to ensure the man would receive the proper care! When the receiving nurse asked our Good Samaritan for his name, he replied that his name was Mr. Rogers & that he would drop in on the other man later to check up on him!
Although the above is a fictional story, it is based upon a sobering truth! This truth is that too many Christians act like our fictional pastor & seem to, rather than dirty their own hands, particularly when there is an element of danger involved, leave this dirty work up to the police, or other government officials & tend merely to the flock entrusted to their care!
Thanks & praise be to our Heavenly Father, this alarming trend has seen somewhat of a reversal in the past decade or so among certain congregations of varied denominational affiliation! Lord willing, this reversal will continue & more & more congregations will continue to cross party lines & even the threshold of the sacred & secular distinction! When Christians begin to follow the path of true religion & do what needs to be done, just because it needs to be done, irregardless of whether the needy person is of a certain race or creed, belongs to an acceptable social class or club & whether they are lovable or unloving, then we may see such a revival among those who belong to the Body of Christ, as well as a Great Influx into the Kingdom of Heaven!
May we see this Growth in our day & may we be the first-fruits of this Great Reversal!
Charles Haddon Shank