October 25, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: One Degree of Separation

Brother-Aaron-236x300Today, the thesis or subject of this Pastoral Nugget is:  The difference between hot water and boiling water.  

Science teaches us that at sea level to 1000 feet above sea level, the exact temperature at which water boils is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

At 212 degrees Fahrenheit the physical properties of water change and the boiling process begins.

Therefore, knowing this, we can deduce that 211 degree water is simply hot water and that, while plenty hot, will never produce the required physical changes that cause water to boil. There is only one degree of separation between hot water and boiling water.

While doing research for this column I ran across an article at www.freerecipe.org entitled: How To Boil Water. (Seriously!) It states, “In cooking, the terms ‘boiling water’ or ‘boil the water’ are frequently used.

The cook sometimes thinks the water is boiling, when, unfortunately, the boiling point has never been reached.  These suggestions will probably help the cook understand the term boiling:

  • When the water is placed in the pan and heated and the bubbles stick to the bottom of the pan, the temperature is around 160 degrees.

  • When the bubbles rise to the top, the temperature is abound 180 degrees.

  • When the water starts to move slowly around the pan, the temperature is around 200 degrees.

  • When the water starts jumping and tries to get out of the pan, the temperature is 212 degrees.”

Using the formula above, let’s examine the church and see if we can determine its Spiritual temperature:

When the Spiritual temperature of the church is around 160 degrees the members can be observed sticking to the bottom of the pan.

In other words, the church isn’t losing members, but they are stuck in their pew, in their tradition, in their mindset, and in their “blessed assurance” and their theme song is: I Shall Not be Moved. At 180 degrees the members start to rise to the top. They begin to relinquish some old thought patterns, and they start to take positions of leadership.

At 200 degrees there begins to be an unsettled movement within the church. People are no longer comfortable with their current Spiritual condition and they begin to seek something more. The thought that something Spiritual is about to happen and that God is about to do something is prominent in the church.

An air of positive Spiritual expectancy fills the congregation. Ah, but when the Spiritual temperature of the church reaches 212 degrees – something mystical and magical happens; the boiling process begins.

The Spiritual climate begins to change the physical properties of the church and her membership. Things are no longer done the way they used to be done.

Members are no longer content to be stuck to the bottom of the Spiritual pan; they are no longer content to simply rise to the top and assume a position of leadership, and they are no longer content to move about the pan in a spirit of restless expectancy.

The Spiritual boiling point they are experiencing compels them to take the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond the four walls of the church.

Just as boiling water leaps and jumps in an attempt to escape the pan, we must realize that “the church” can only be “the church” when we get “the church” out of “the church” and into the “real” world to meet “real” needs of “real” people.

And that only happens when the Spiritual temperature of the church and her members reaches 212 degrees.  211 degrees is just hot water!  Hummmm …. one degree of separation … my, my, my, my!

 

Brother Aaron

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