Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Watchman–Can We?

Have you ever seen a fire watch tower close up? The ones I’ve seen aren’t as tall as this one, but neither were the trees. It takes training just to get to the top of the tower and more training to know what to watch. Even more training to know who to contact and what to tell them.

If you want to volunteer to watch at the Angeles National Forest, you must take three classes. The Orientation class takes a couple of hours, Interpretation four and Operations seven. That’s for volunteers who belong to Angeles National Forest Fire Lookout Association.

Changes in communication has turned many of these watch towers into camping sites or vacation rentals – even for sale. A list is available at Forest Fire Lookout Association. Same for lighthouses – check out United States Lighthouse Society.

So what does that have to do with this blog? I see a correlation with Bible-based Christian churches. Some fall into disrepair – as shown on a Dallas news program last week – as attendance falls and there are insufficient funds to maintain. Some become historical sites – more tourists stop by than congregants. Some are sold for homes or shops.

Some remain in business – yes, that word is correct, business – through television advertising, product sales and contribution requests. I’ve found most of these speak of John 3:16 but would never mention John 3:18.  They are consistent in repeating 1 John 4:8 but not 1 John 5:12. They do not believe 2 Timothy 3:16.

Not all scripture is given for us to follow. Abraham had more than one wife and many would like that to be possible today. God’s plan differed, according to His Son in Matthew 14:3-9.

So, can churches return to their first responsibility?

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:13-18)

Did you get that? “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  I know, you read it the first time – but the Bible repeats important principles, so I will, too. The Christian church exists on the premise that the Jewish Messiah was here as Jesus, died to bring life eternal, continues to exist as He always has and it is our responsibility to share this message:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Can we do that?

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