My friend Ted had been badly burned as a child. His room was on the second floor of their family home when fire erupted quickly engulfing the old frame row house. The fire raced through the house trapping Ted with only one escape. Already badly burned he managed to make his way to a window and jump from the second floor. His broken leg and arm was of little consequence to this small boy when compared to the severe burns all over his body. Months of the agony of burn recovery left Ted physically scarred and emotionally wary of fire.
As his law practice grew and new offices were contemplated, Ted wrestled with the demons of childhood experience since the move meant his office would be on the top floor of a new seven-story building. Few knew of his childhood experience and wondered at his reluctance concerning the new facility. His office had always been “ground” floor with private entry and in college he refused to room anywhere except near the exits on the first floor. His home was “fireproofed” too. Each room had ways of easy escape. Now this dilemma!
His new office was beautiful with its ample windows and view of the community. Everyone especially liked one very unique table with it’s spooled rope which trailed out on the floor. The neatly finished table fashioned from an old wooden “wire spool”, wrapped with the large rope, topped with the “ship in a bottle” and nautical lamp was a quaint decoration everyone thought was really a neat touch.
Positioned against the outer wall near his desk, it was more than a decoration to Ted. It was Ted’s way of escape should there be fire. He rarely spoke of the table, the rope, or the baseball bat leaning next to it, but he knew in time of such an event he could smash the glass in the huge window, uncoil the rope and escape. There were fire escapes in the building and stairways, but Ted wanted to be very sure HIS way out was with little risk of being trapped. He chose to rather make SURE provision for his safety. The ONLY way Ted could be comfortable in his beautiful, seventh floor corner office, was to place at his disposal a strong rope, securely anchored. A sure and safe way of escape.
I’ve often think of Ted’s dilemma as I view events in the religious climate around us today. It appears to me Ted’s reasoning has great merit in the dealing with the eternal welfare of souls. That principle of a strong rope, securely anchored, appears to be a wise course when one casts them in the light of forever. I can’t imagine Ted just throwing down and old frayed rope, attaching it to a frail chair leg, and trusting life and limb to it.
Neither can I understand those who hang eternal souls on frayed ropes, poorly anchored. Are not many of the controversies rampant among Christians today well addressed with this simple reasoning? That is, why speculate with frayed rope, poorly fastened rather than a strong rope, securely anchored
Apply that principle to any of the whirlpool issues confronting people striving to be acceptable to God. The controversies swirling among churches today can easily be dealt with by applying this simple principle.
In matters of forms of worship, church organization, salvation requirements, and any myriad of other matters, speculation is not wise. Would it not be far better to simply anchor firmly to obviously solid concepts than to clearly speculative ones? Why trade a KNOWN solid anchor for what is, at best, a speculative one. One may take risks in the business world or speculate in the entertainment business but never with the soul business.
All things “church” must be anchored with a strong rope securely fastened!
I do not question the sincerity of people who seek to accept other ideas about what it takes to be saved. In fact I understand it. It can only be that those ideas are born of a desire to save everybody and I understand that. No one wants to see any one lost eternally.
This is not a matter of winning arguments and I hope they are right! I hope God in his grace and mercy can find a way to save everyone. But such ideas are not supported by scripture. The desire to save our eternal soul must be a sure way not a “maybe” way.
Jesus used examples in His teaching to instruct us to be careful to anchor with the solid and secure instead of the shifting and speculative. He said wise people build on the rock solid sure foundations while foolish ones construct on unsure and changing sand.
Is the salvation of your soul important? Why not anchor your eternity on the Rock of Ages. That gives one a strong rope, securely anchored. Check out His instruction book and build accordingly.