The Parable of the Man Who Yelled “FIRE!” In a Crowded Bible Class

So there was this church next to an apartment complex that held Bible classes on Wednesday nights.  One Wednesday night while the class was in session, a fire broke out in the apartment complex and a lady in an upper room could be seen dangling her baby out the window in hopes someone below would catch it and save it from the flames.  One of the students in the class sitting by the window facing the apartments, a guy in a wheelchair, saw the fire and yelled out to his classmates, “There is a baby hanging out the window of that burning building!  Someone save it!”

But just then, rather than heeding the alarm, the teacher facilitated a discussion of appropriate and effective EMS and Fire Department responses.  A dozen able-bodied classmates and a teacher analyzed options such as activating 911 and letting the professionals deal with it.  Then for 15 minutes, the class discussed how foolish it would be to run into the burning building to search for survivors.  One person noted that if the mother dropped the baby and the person waiting to catch it missed, then the child might suffer broken bones, possible paralysis, and maybe even death – and then the one attempting to catch the child might be sued.  Then another student analyzed the “savior complex” such a person has, which really is a self-serving personality defect.

The classmate in the wheelchair looking out the window kept urging the students and the teacher to shut up with all the pointless talk and go do something.  However his efforts went unheeded, and he became frustrated.  He repeated his alarm numerous times, each time more shrill than the last, and still no response.

At some point, the shrill alarm and frustration of the man’s voice began to upset some of the students who asked the teacher to make him stop so they could quietly and peacefully discuss proper EMS and Fire Department procedures.  The man looking out the window refused to shut up though.  He shouted at his classmates in their complacency while they continued their discussion.

After twenty minutes, the class time came to an end, and all the students and the teacher packed up to leave.  On the way out, they saw the fire department cleaning up the mess, and a white sheet covering a small lifeless body on the ground near the burned out building.

You, dear reader, please judge now.

Who is the idiot here?  The classmates and teacher who refuse to deal with reality?  Or the man in the wheelchair witnessing the fire for belonging to a group like this in the first place?

(Mark 12:12 and Luke 20:19)

 

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9 comments

  1. T. F. Thompson · April 11

    Now, then. Here is the problem with your parable. If you really want people to be involved and to rise up and do something, we must not talk about a baby in burning building. No. Not at all. We must speak about something really important such as a pet. If that were a dog or cat then people from all over America would jump into the fray. And that’s how it is. If we speak of people. Well, we can do without them, but not our pets or even our cellphones. We’ll spring into action over that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. T. F. Thompson · April 11

    Reblogged this on Hard Times Ministries and commented:
    Jimmy’s in the Well and Lassie is out to Lunch Agent X thunders the prophet’s warning. It’s a good day for a pizza.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · April 11

      “jimmy’s in the well and Lassie is out to lunch”!

      That’s too perfect, brother. I think you should put the titles on my posts. You are better at it than me.

      Thanx for sharing the post…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. clashofcashntrash · April 12

    That’s a tough judgement call, X.

    But let’s just change the scene only one small bit. Say the baby dangling out the window isn’t a baby at all, but is a homeless street person.

    Maybe he is an addict. Maybe not. Maybe he is a psych patient off his meds. Maybe not. Maybe he is just lazy, but maybe not.

    It is still a child of God out there, and the freezing cold is still freezing cold.

    How much difference is there in a burning baby and a freezing bum? Is there a verse in the Bible that says we should favor one over the other?

    Like

  4. laceduplutheran · April 12

    If our faith doesn’t make us so uncomfortable and inconvenienced so as to do something when we see an injustice, then is it really faith at all?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · April 12

      Ouch! That got under my skin.

      Liked by 1 person

      • laceduplutheran · April 12

        I felt that it fit it so well with the parable you shared. I tell me folks all the time that faith should make us uncomfortable and inconvenienced. In my preaching, the goal is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. A good portion of the reason we started doing ministry at the local Flying J (offering showers, laundry, and meals to those who call the parking lot home) is because I became so uncomfortable and inconvenienced in driving by day after day and ignoring what I knew was happening. It’s the reason why we are trying to get involved in stopping human trafficking as well. If faith is actually faith, then it compels us and drives us out of the church walls and into the streets to live out the Gospel, to live out what Jesus commands us to do. The question becomes, do we really believe what we claim we believe or not? If we do, then what proof do we have to show that we actually believe it? Thank you for being an example of faith. You are not alone.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. gideongroveumc · April 14

    During your faith journey, if you NEVER are called to get outside your comfort zone, and if your toes NEVER get stepped on during worship, YOU BETTER CHECK YOUR MOBILE DEVICE. You may have BLOCKED God.

    This parable is too close to home for me. 1- I own apartments , and the thought of a fire is horrific, and 2- my awesome daughter is in a wheelchair. And I BET SHE WOULD HAVE ROLLED RIGHT OVER AND SAVED THE BABY!

    Liked by 2 people

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