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Friday, July 31, 2015

Smoking Holes in the Ground

Continuing the Air Force theme from yesterday.  One of the idioms we used frequently was, “smoking hole in the ground.”  That, probably obviously, refers to a crashed airplane; hopefully one from which you have ejected, referred to as a “nylon decent”.  The idiom was expanded to “crash and burn,” amongst others which would be better left un-shared in this forum…
Smoking Holes in the Ground
The idea is that the pilot, usually it was pilot error, messed up so badly that regardless of training or experience he was unable to recover the aircraft and either flew it into the ground or else ejected…

There were a number of us who were believers.  We were involved in Bible studies, evangelism, follow up of new believers, church, base chapel, and Christian conferences.  However, there were those who crashed and burned in their Christian life.  Those who although doing all of the “right” things made terrible decisions and crashed and burned, leaving a smoking hole in the ground of their walk with God.

Some have yet to recover.

You have seen this happen in your community.  Leaders involved in adulterous affairs.  Leaders involved in homosexual conduct.  Community members embezzling funds and spending the money on pornography.  Leaders in the community taking their own lives.  I could go on…

For me each time these things happen I experience excruciating pain.  My question is always how did we as a body fail?  We are supposed to be building one another up.  We are supposed to be strengthening the weak, 1 Thessalonians 5:14 – 15; Hebrews 12:12 – 13.  How did we miss it?

It seems to me that the challenge may be that we are not engaged with each other at an appropriate level.  We do not know one another well enough to see the danger signs.  We do not want to ask questions for fear of alienating people – in fact I have asked and confronted and had the person bolt from the church.

The bottom line is that there are too many smoking holes.  As believers, apprentices of Christ we have to do better.