6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Some churches are really big on safety these days, providing a safe place for you and the whole family … not that there is really anything wrong with that… but honestly; how safe is this Christian walk?

Dakota Community Church

June 15, 2008

Unsafe for the Whole Family

We live in a world that has gone to the extreme where safety is concerned.

Everything is labeled for safety.

As I write this I glance at my coffee cup which warns me that “the beverage I am about to enjoy is extremely hot” and in case I am offended by the artistic blurb on the other side of the cup; “This is the author’s opinion, not necessarily that of Starbucks”.

Wacky Warnings:

On a cardboard windshield sun shade: "Warning: Do Not Drive with Sun Shield in Place."

A label on a baby stroller warns: “Remove child before folding

A brass fishing lure with a three-pronged hook on the end warns: “Harmful if swallowed

A digital thermometer that can be used to take a person’s temperature several different ways warns: "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."

The label on a bottle of drain cleaner warns: “If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product.”

A 12-inch rack for storing compact disks warns: “Do not use as a ladder.”

A cartridge for a laser printer warns, “Do not eat toner”

A popular manufactured fireplace log warns: “Caution - Risk of Fire”

A box of birthday cake candles says: “DO NOT use soft wax as ear plugs or for any other function that involves insertion into a body cavity.”

(Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch - http://www.mlaw.org/wwl/pastwinners.html)

Remember being held at the top of the teeter totter by the school yard bully and begging to be let down… then feeling the unexpected shock of slamming into the ground when he finally let go?

Remember hanging on for dear life to the merry-go-round while a group of older kids spun it around and around until you eventually went flying off or tossed your cookies?

Remember metal slides that glowed red hot in the sun with ladders that were so steep it was like scaling a wall just to get your turn to screech your bare legs all the way down?

Those were the good times eh?

Our poor kids are missing out on all that fun with the plastic and rubber coated safety playgrounds of this modern era.

If your children are in sports at all you know the push for safety in that field.

Hockey Jerseys now come with red stop signs where the players name used to go to warn opponents not to hit from behind.

The first year my sons played hockey I bought them gear at a used sporting goods store only to get to the rink the first day and be told that half of what I had bought did not meet safety standards and they would not be allowed on the ice until I bought current equipment. I thought about the little plastic and Styrofoam hat my dad had sent me out to play in and realized he never really loved me!

One set of shin pads I bought for Caleb warned that, “Pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover”. True that!

Some churches are really big on safety these days too, providing a safe place for you and the whole family … not that there is really anything wrong with that… but honestly; how safe is this Christian walk?

Mark 8:34-38

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels."

Not exactly the words of a “safety first” union rep. eh?

I think in this play safe social setting we find ourselves in it is important to be reminded of a few things every now and again.

1. Ours is not a “safety first” calling.

2 Corinthians 11:23-29

Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

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