Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Driver on the Bus

On Thursday, September 16, 2010, a uniformed bus driver entered a Chicago Transit Authority bus and settled into the driver’s seat. He logged in, started the bus and headed out on the bus’ route about 8 pm. He picked up numerous passengers and dropped them off at the appropriate stops. All seemed to be going well.

Sometime around midnight, however, the man returned the bus to the CTA garage and accidentally hit another bus. Another worker saw the accident and left to get a supervisor. As the second man was leaving, the bus driver bolted out of the bus and ran down the street.

It took a while for the authorities at the CTA to determine what was wrong. It turned out that a bus driver had reported his uniform being stolen about a month before. Before long, the man who drove the bus around for a few hours was identified. He was an acquaintance of the bus driver whose uniform had been stolen.

Now the “fake” bus driver is facing charges for his excursion. His motivation in posing as a bus driver is unclear, but is under investigation. Also, the CTA has assured the public that they are evaluating measures to keep this from happening again. 

The interesting thing about this story is that if he had not hit the other bus, he would have gotten away with his venture. He looked like a bus driver. He logged in and followed procedure. He apparently drove like a regular driver. He even knew the bus route and picked people up and dropped them off in the right places.

Many people might say, “What’s the big deal? No one was hurt.” However, there is a very real danger in this story. This man was not qualified to drive the bus, and as a result, placed both the passengers and himself in a potentially harmful situation.

There are many people who look like Christians. They seem nice. They know the “churchy” words to say. They give money to their church and other Christian causes. They may even have leadership roles in the church. However, they may truly not know Jesus in a personal way at all.

There are many who believe that simply being a “good person” and treating others with respect will grant us favor with Almighty God. Jesus calls these people “false prophets,” and warns us to watch out for them. We cannot simply observe their actions or words to learn of their relationship with God. We must also look for the fruits of following Christ in their lives.

In Galatians 5, Paul outlines both the works of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit. He writes, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:19-26 NKJV)

Look for these worldly works and Godly fruits in the lives of those who you believe to be Christians. You certainly do not want to get on the bus with someone who looks like a bus driver, but turns out to be a fake.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV)

1 comment:

Jaki Glenn said...

Great post Stacy and Awesome analogy. One of the biggest misconceptions today in the church is a lack of understanding of "pistevo" - translated in most Bibles and conversations as to believe or to have faith. It is the most common command & instruction in the Bible, yet “Belief” doesn't just imply that I "know about" something - as this man in Chicago "knew about bus driving, the bus route, etc".. instead (according to Strong's Greek Dictionary) Pistevo means to entrust, to commit (to trust), to rely upon. WOW, We have many folks in our church who “believe” in Jesus, tithe & give money to Christian causes, serve in the church and yet still not know Him, don’t rely upon Him, don’t trust in Him, don’t yield to Him as Lord of their life. As defined above, "To believe" means something far different than acknowledging the existence of, which even Satan does, performing works, or espousing religious words.
A visiting children's pastor recently redefined the traditionally taught ABC's for our kids as Admit, "Back down from what we want and Yield, and lastly Change Course" to follow God's will. Imagine if we, as believers, thought of John 11:25b as "Whoever believes in (yields to, trusts in, relies on, adheres to, changes course to follow) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live" Pistevo is just one example where a word for word translation does not do justice to the true meaning of the passages in the Bible and without careful study of the rich Greek language, God's word has become simplified and our faith has suffered.
As you can tell, I am especially burdened by this as I have a little one whose walk has suffered by mistakenly being taught all she has to do is "believe" and thus she thinks she has been saved by her profession of "belief" in Jesus.. however, her heart has not been changed, she has not trusted in Him, she does not yield to Him and we don't see the fruit in her life as evidence of a life relying on Jesus. I pray daily for all the other children and adults who have suffered for the "simplification" of the Bible and the growth of church numbers... and I pray for my little girl to meet my Savior one day soon! And I pray that the “bus drivers” in our church will be growing and developing strong “believers” & seekers of the Word so that we can all help with the harvest. Miss you & Lynn greatly and praying for your family & eternal family down there in Edgefield.