Summary: Do I love the church more than I love Jesus and lost people?
Dangerous. That word describes a certain strip of seacoast. Shipwrecks were numerous there. Some folks that lived in that area were greatly concerned about the loss of human life so they built a crude little lifesaving station. The building wasn’t much. It was really just a shack. They only had one boat but the few who saw the need were devoted to the cause. They kept a constant watch over the sea. Without thought for themselves, they went out day or night searching for those who had been lost in the sea.
Even though they were small and didn’t have the best equipment, they saved a lot of lives and because of that, they gained some notoriety. Some of those who were saved along with various other people in the area wanted to become affiliated with this life-saving station. They gave their time, effort, and money to support its work. The little lifesaving station grew.
Some of the new members grew discontent with the building. They felt it was crude and poorly equipped. They felt that there ought to be a larger and more comfortable building for such an important venture.
They built a bigger building and replaced the emergency cots with beds. They put nicer furniture in the public areas. This lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members so they redecorated it beautifully and furnished it as sort of a club.
Less of the members were now interested in going out on the sea on lifesaving missions. They hired life boat crews to do this work. The original mission of lifesaving was given lip-service but most of the members were too busy or lacked the commitment to personally take part in the lifesaving activities.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet and half-drowned people. They were water-logged, dirty and sick. Some of them had skin of a different color, some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new clubhouse was looking grungy. The property committee had a meeting and built a shower house outside of the clubhouse where the victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next full meeting of its members, there was a great uproar. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's lifesaving activities because they were unpleasant and were becoming a hindrance to the normal pattern of the club.
But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. Those who liked their clubhouse just the way it was outvoted those who supported the original mission. The lifesaving advocates were told that if they wanted to save the lives of all various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast. So they did.
As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club and yet another lifesaving station was founded. If you visit that seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but now most of the people drown.