This past weekend, my father attempted to play some music on his old stereo system. The open-reel tape deck had a broken belt, and the turntable had a buzz in it. The last time the stereo was used, a few years ago, everything worked perfect, but when he attempted to use it this time, it did not, and now it needs some repairs. Mechanical and electrical devices can be like this sometimes. We tend not to think about them because we assume them to be in perfect working order and that we do not need to give them attention.
Christianity can be the same way. As Christians, we may believe many areas of the world are solidly Christian and we do not need to worry about these places. This has been the general attitude towards many European countries like France and Britain, and even here at home in the New England area in years past. We have been hearing in the news recently however of problems with Muslims in these countries attempting to implement Sharia law and attempts nationalize the Muslim religion. Even back here at “home” in the USA in Connecticut, my own church, Staples Mill Road Baptist ran a mission trip to this area last year. New England has been described as very “dark” meaning it lacks Christian believers. I was quite taken aback to hear this, as I had learned in history class that this area was where the country was founded by the Christian Puritans and religious freedom…I just assumed that this part of the country had many Christian believers and the faith was very strong there.
Pastor Jim’s Message at Staples Mill Baptist this past Sunday struck a chord in this respect. His message stated that there are some Christians that want to hear the message of comfort, while allowing other Christians to do all the work of missions and such. In the areas of the world I had mentioned above, they are the result of Christians becoming too comfortable and not working to maintain the church and spread the word. In effect, becoming comfortable with the word and not working to maintain Christianity, and just like when a mechanical device that gets used and not maintained, we become surprised when we find it suddenly in a state of disrepair. As Christians, not only do we need to work to spread the word to all places of the earth, but we also need to make sure that we are not neglecting our Christian neighbors!