Tale as Old as Time

Tale as Old as Time

Disney

Almost everyone has universally acknowledged that the “Most Magical Place on Earth” is Walt Disney World for fifty-two years and counting. It is a place where children’s dreams come alive, and adults are allowed to become a child again. Disney World is a spectacular, jaw-dropping experience from the moment you walk into the park to the moment you exit. My wife and I had the opportunity to join some good friends this week for a day at Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, even though we had a day of laughter, excitement, and childlike wonder… it was evident that some people didn’t.

For every awe-struck Disney fan, there was an equal amount of upset curmudgeons. For every child filled with joy, there was a child filled with selfishness. For every world’s best dad, there was a world’s worst dad. Some enjoyed the perfectly sunny day, while others complained about the heat and sunburn. Some patiently waited their turn, and some bullied their way through lines regardless of who they hit along the way. Finally, some were kind and gracious if a first-timer didn’t exactly know what they were supposed to do, and some used every curse word in the book. The tale as old as time truly was Beauty and the Beast… though not the classic movie we all know.

Although there are amazingly beautiful things about Walt Disney World, like anything else on Earth, there are also awfully ugly things about it. It just goes to show humanity’s ability to take a place intended to make people happy and turn it into a place of entitlement, selfishness, and ungratefulness. It all comes down to choice. Everyone who enters the turnstiles has the choice to make it a magical day or a miserable one. Walt Disney World is going to operate the same regardless of the choice you make. The show will go on. The characters will continue to do the parade. The rides and attractions will not stop just because of a few bad attitudes.

As a minister, it really made me think how similar this is to the Lord’s Church. DISCLAIMER: I would never place a man-made institution like Walt Disney World at the same level of importance as the God-ordained institution of Christ’s Church. However, I believe a powerful parallel exists if you’ll hear me out. So think about this honestly with me.

For every newly converted Christian that is passionate about the Lord, there is a Christian in name only that is just occupying a seat. For every true worshipper of Christ, there is a worshipper of self who must have everything the way they want it. For every contributor, there is a consumer. Some are grateful just to have a place in the Body of Christ; others believe they’ve earned their mansion over the hilltop. Some seek to serve others and save the lost, while others seek to be served and only want to be around the saved. Finally, some are kind and gracious if a first-timer doesn’t exactly know what they are supposed to do, while others wish to run them out on a rail.

Although there are amazingly beautiful things about the Lord’s Church, there are also awfully ugly things about it. Just like with Walt Disney World, some Christians take the Lord’s Church and turn it into a place of entitlement, selfishness, and ungratefulness. This is exactly the reason many in our world today wish to have Jesus without the Church. Although that is a hopeless and fruitless desire, you can understand why they feel that way. For the record, the problem is not on God’s end. The “awfully ugly” I am referring to is not due to God’s design or structure of His Church. Instead, it’s the attitudes of some Christians who have distorted the original intent of the Church.

It all comes down to choice. Each of us is responsible for choosing what attitude we will have every time we enter the assembly. Everyone has the choice to let Jesus overcome their selfishness or to allow their selfishness to overcome their love for Jesus. The Church is going to operate the same regardless of the choice we make. The Church will go on. Worship will continue according to the pattern revealed in the New Testament. The ministries and mission of the Lord’s Church will not stop or be altered just because of a few bad attitudes. So in the tale as old as time… choose to be the BEAUTY of the Lord’s Church, not the Beast.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism

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