SS UNITED STATES

In the early 1950’s the United States Navy and United States Lines commissioned the SS United States. It was a 78 million dollar ship built to convert to a 15 thousand troop carrier for the Navy. It was the fastest and most reliable troop carrier in the world. It could go 10 thousand miles without having to stop for fuel or supplies. It could outrun any other ship. It could go anywhere in the world in less than 10 days. The only catch is... it never carried any troops. It was put on standby once during the Cuban missile crisis but it was never used, in it’s capacity, by the military. Instead, it became known as a luxury liner for presidents, heads of states, and celebrities.

As a luxury liner, the ship could not carry 15 thousand troops. Instead, just under 2 thousand passengers could enjoy the luxuries of 695 state rooms, 4 dining salons, 3 bars, 2 theaters, 5 acres of open deck with a heated pool, 19 elevators, and the comfort of the worlds first fully air conditioned passenger ship.

Instead of a ship for battle, used during the trenches of war time, the SS United States was a means for indulgence for wealthy patrons who wanted to coast peacefully across the Atlantic Sea.

We need to ask ourselves and the church needs to ask itself, “Are we a troop carrier or are we a luxury liner?”. What is it that we are doing in our faith? What is it that we are looking for in our new found faith? Things look radically different on a troop carrier then they do on a luxury liner. The demeanor of the people will be different. The faces of soldiers preparing for battle will look drastically different than the faces of patrons enjoying their bonbon’s. The way we use our resources will be different. The way we use the supplies on a troop carrier will be radically different than the liberal opulence of a luxury liner. The pace will be different. The pace by which a troop carrier moves is much faster than a luxury liner. A troop carrier has an urgent mission to accomplish. The luxury liner is free to enjoy the ride along the way.

I’m convinced that the people of the church of this day have entered into this faith expecting, and has settled in this faith with the mindset of the church being a luxury liner. The church exist’s to make me feel comfortable, to adjust to my preferences, and cater to my desires has become the total and absolute mindset of the people inside the church; and in this err, we have lost sight of the eternal battle that is waging around us. We have a crucial decision of, “Are we going to indulge ourselves on the comforts of this world or are we going to engage in battle for the souls of people around this world?”