A politician sat down with his advisors, that they might conspire how to get him reelected next year. His record was not stellar. By a considerable margin, he might well lose the next election.
They discussed six or seven alternatives, but none of them were rated very high in probability. But the last option rang like a new brass church bell.
“If you are reelected”, one of them said. “You could easily pocket 7 million over the next four years.” The politicians eyes smiled, but in his soul the word “if” stood out largely. He turned to look at Fred. “What’s your point Fred?”
Fred began. “It takes money to make money Stan. How would you like to get 7 million for a 10 percent investment?” He captured Stan’s imagination like a magnet to iron filings. “Why don’t you make a conspicuous donation to father Briers little Church? He’s got a tiny little place and a lot of land to build on. We will make sure it’s leaked to the press that you are a godly man, and can be trusted. I guarantee it’ll pop your numbers over the top.”
Stan fell in love with the idea. The next day Stan and six of his Advisors showed up at the little Catholic Church. After a bit of small talk, Stan handed father Brier a check for $725,000.
Father Brier accepted the check with great joy. And Stan’s advisors made promises to help advertise the new building. Soon father Briers Church would be full of people!
The priest was overjoyed. The building was completed long before election time. The people floated in, as promised. Needless to say, the income of the Church rose dramatically, and Stan got reelected.
The politician had done what politicians do; they often use whatever means is necessary to secure their position. But the priest had done something he should never have done. I’m not referring to accepting the money.
The priest considered his building as the Church. And from that misconception everything else fell flat.
A man can own a building. A man can gain a title. A man can play politics with the things that are in his hand. But no one can own the Church. The Church belongs to Jesus, the Christ of God.
No building, no title, and no politics, are able to wrench it out of the Lord’s hands. Forgetting that the word church refers to “the called out ones”, can be a grave mistake.
The priest may be happy today. But he has missed the fluid dynamic of the Holy Spirit’s power. Stop up the flow of a river, and it will eventually turn putrid.
By His Grace