This past weekend, a movie based on the 2010 rescue of 33 Chilean miners came out. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it reminded me of a series of posts I wrote back when it happened and wanted to share them here. I posed the question, “What if the Chilean mine rescue was performed like the church?” Each day this week, I’ll repost each of the blogs on the subject:
Last Wednesday, much of the country and perhaps the world, was glued to the live coverage from Chile of the rescue of 33 miners trapped in an underground mine. I was actually on the way with a staff member to Anderson, SC the day the miners were rescued to attend a leadership coaching network. Pastor Perry Noble said something the next day in one of our sessions that got my mind rolling. He said, “What if the rescue of those miners was treated the way the church often treats reaching the lost and doing ministry?” I’ve been thinking about it ever since and thought I’d throw some thoughts out here on the blog this week. Please understand, I’m not saying every church operates this way, I’m just saying it sure seems like sometimes we don’t have things in perspective when it comes to what we do as the church/Christianity.
I think the Chilean mine rescue is a GREAT physical picture of a spiritual issue that we face in the world today. People are lost in darkness, they are in danger of death and time is of the essence. If something didn’t happen SWIFTLY and EFFICIENTLY those miners could have been lost forever. 69 days they were trapped underground. I’m not sure how long they COULD have stayed down there, but I’m quite certain that action had to be planned, adapted and executed at just the right time(s) for a successful operation.
What if the Chilean mine rescue was operated like the church?
— Maybe they would have YELLED at the miners for being lost instead of taking WHATEVER ACTION NECESSARY to rescue them:
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, DOING EVERYTHING I CAN TO SAVE SOME. 23 I do EVERYTHING to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
— Maybe they would have looked down the hole, then gathered together in a private huddle and talked about all the reasons why THEY wouldn’t have got lost down there in the first place. Why THEY aren’t stuck in a mine needing rescue. Why THEY know a better way. And how THEY pride themselves on how good THEY are at staying out of the darkness those miners found themselves in.
Luke 18:9-14 9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
— Or maybe they would have divided into two factions of rescuers and started arguing over whether the miners were pre-destined to be trapped or whether they CHOSE to be trapped…debating whether they lost their safety or whether they were ever safe at all…bickering about whether the rescue would come pre-dawn, mid-dawn or post-dawn…pulling out random lines from the rescue manual to prove that their position was correct…wasting PRECIOUS and VALUABLE time trying to convince OTHER RESCUERS that THEIR doctrine of the rescue is better than the others.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
I mean, I don’t REALLY know what the rescue would have looked like if it looked like the church. I’m just saying…
Trying to rescue,