BUT THIS IS NOT WHERE I WANTED TO END UP?
I recently had an interesting experience on an airplane. I went to the airport looking for a certain airplane I liked I wanted to ride. After searching and hearing the pros and cons of different air crafts I found it and bought a ticket at the gate. After boarding I sat down and got comfortable excited about the choice of planes I had picked for my trip. The doors closed and we began to taxi. I was rather tired so I dozed off to sleep before the stewardess had a chance to give her little speech.
After awhile I awoke and we were sailing along probably 30,000 feet above the ground. I was really enjoying this airplane and I decided to outline a sermon on choosing the right airplane when I was interrupted by the captain making an announcement. He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are enjoying your flight to Portland, Oregon today. Sit back and relax and we will do everything possible to make your trip more comfortable.”
I panicked. I looked for a stewardess and did not see one so I hit my call button above my seat. Within a minute or two a lady stopped at my seat and said, “What can I do for you sir?”
I said, “Maam, I don’t want to go to Portland, Oregon. I want to go to Boston, Massachusetts.”
She said, “Well sir, I am so sorry but Portland is the destination of those who get on this plane.”
“But I can’t go to Portland, I am preaching in Boston tonight.” I said.
“Sir,” she asked, “Then why did you get on this airplane?”
I said, “Because it sounded like the right plane to get on. I heard all the arguments for and against certain styles of airplanes and this is the one that looked best, besides I went to to a conference recently and they said that this is the style of airplane I should choose. It sounded right when they told me. They said other planes would give me a more shallow ride and be less effective, so when I saw this one I decided it was the right one.”
She looked very confused but tried to understand. “Sir, if you had wanted to go to Boston, don’t you think you should have found an airplane that would take you there and not one they taught you about at some conference?”
“I never thought about the destination,” I said. Everyone else said that this is the plane they would take and I felt like I must be wrong if I took another one. This is the style of plane everyone is using”
“But sir,” she pleaded, “That is not how you should choose your plane. You should first consider where you want to be and then pick the airplane that will get you there. I am sorry sir but you are on the plane to Portland now.”
I had plenty of time to ponder the mistake I had made on the remainder of that flight to Portland. Portland was not what I wanted. Boston was. However, I had made the mistake of not considering where the plane would take me when I chose it. I chose it because it was the popular plane to take and it was what everyone else was doing.
You may be saying, “Brother Gray, that is so dumb. How could you make a ridiculous mistake like that?”
Well, I guess the same way many independent Baptist preachers are choosing their style of preaching today. They are choosing the styles of the Warrens and MacArthurs and wonder why they are not building fundamental churches like the Roberson, Malone’s and Hyles.
“But,” you say, “Its not a bad style.”
No, and that wasn’t a bad airplane, but it was taking me to the wrong destination.
A simple suggestion to my true independent fundamental brethren. Decide your destination first. Then pick your plane (preaching style).
“But, Pastor____________ is promoting this style and it is working for him.”
Yes, but are sure he is on his way to Boston?