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  • Writer's pictureRandy Nabors

Gunshots In An Airplane

I may be guilty of some sarcasm in this piece. I’m not sure but let’s start with this idea, since there are so many of us Christians, and we have no real enemies in the world, we can afford to take each other apart in pen and word, attempt to destroy each other’s credibility, slander, besmirch, and ridicule without regard to consequences. Since the only real problems in culture, society, and the world are those caused by stupid, ignorant, or misguided preachers, blog and article writers, or authors who claim to be Christians we can spend most of our time attempting to dismantle their annoying opinions; especially if we feel they are in the least heretical, liberal, or just sloppy. We can call them names, albeit in an intellectual way so as to make ourselves look incisive. We can align them with known malefactors of condemned periods of church history, or even of despised current splinter groups, so that they couldn’t possibly be taken seriously. Now, let me state straightforwardly that there are bad opinions and bad ideas and these things do have consequences. There is orthodoxy, and thus there is heresy. Bad ideas in fact have and can destroy individuals, families, congregations, denominations, and nations. I really have no problem with identifying bad ideas, and sometimes bad guys. What bothers me is a cavalier attitude to the plane in which we are flying. I have never been on an airplane that was being hijacked. I hope I never have to be in that situation. My hope is that if such a thing did happen there would be a Sky Marshal on board who would protect us from the perpetrator. I even hope the marshal is armed, but I really hope he/she is well armed and can shoot straight. Have you ever seen one of those movies where the plane is depressurized? A hole is ripped in the aircraft and things and people start flying out. I have sometimes had apprehension of such when using the toilets at 40,000 feet on an international flight. I think we Christians are on such a flight, and we are on it together. We travel through the atmosphere of a foreign environment, and can easily forget how fragile the aircraft is in which we fly. I think the way we treat each other sometime in public discourse is akin to untrained Sky Marshals who shoot at anyone who even gets out of their seat. I think institutions are fragile things, and I also think that much of the younger generation knows little of how much effort, sacrifice, and discipline it takes to create them and hold them together. I believe local churches are such fragile institutions, and Christian institutions like schools, colleges, denominations. For a generation who has become enamored with creating virtual cities and empires, and can then erase them when bored, there seems little at stake in making no long term commitments to organizations and institutions, nor even loyalty to friends and brothers. Of course, there could be something said simply about learning how to love one another, “….love is kind,. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Cor. 13:4-7) NIV I like and enjoy things that are well written. I enjoy humor, insightful critique, and even sarcasm. I just know that sometimes we shoot too quick, too frequently, without aiming well and seem to have little thought of the damage and danger in which we all are placed. I would think the atmosphere outside the plane was enough for us to be concerned about, but if there is danger on the plane, let’s make sure our shots are well placed.

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