Reformed Baptist Fellowship

A Parable in a Pool

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on October 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm

So the other day there was this kid drowning at the local pool.  While several could have responded to the flailing, the only one to dive in was this fat, balding man in ill-fitting trunks.  The man did a pitiful belly flop into the pool and then dog paddled over the child and somehow managed to pull him to safety.  The fat, balding, winded man was nothing in comparison to the many that could have saved the child.  There was a handsome guard with his nose buried in a book entitled, “Great Rescues through the Ages-the proper manner and techniques to prevent drowning”.    There were two men on the side arguing about how to best adapt to the water and especially on whether or not to become more like the drowning child in order to reach him.  I could go on, but you get the point.   When I transitioned from being in the broadly evangelical camp into the solidly reformed camp, I heard and I repeated many criticisms about all the things that are wrong with evangelism today.  Many, if not all, those criticisms are valid.  There are often things that are lacking in presentation (but even in these cases, God is using these efforts to genuinely save people).    Nevertheless, just as the fat man in our parable, there are those who are getting the job done, who are out and about with a zeal for souls, while too many others stand on the sidelines.  The question of Jesus that ought to ring in our hearts when we level our scoffing at the “belly flopping” and the “dog paddling” is this, What do you do more than others?

James Savastio
The Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville
  1. Jim,

    Another fine post! It’s good to have the heart cheered with a humorous illustration (and picture!) as well as convicted with a fitting illustration that brings God’s word to bear upon the heart. I praise God for the gifts he has given you and Pastor Chanski to communicate in a way that’s concise and that connects the timeless biblical truths to our everyday lives.

    Gratefully yours,
    Bob Gonzales

  2. I have often heard it said that Arminians at least try with great zeal while the reformed camp watches their errors. I don’t really think that is always true. It may be that those of the reformed camp simply desire to be faithful. Yet I get the feeling your post (in humorous way) helps remind us to stir up those gifts the Spirit has given for us to do that work of evangelism. Do we really believe men are dying and going to hell? Do we really believe the Gospel raises the dead? If we do, then why are we discussing it among ourselves and not proclaiming it. We should be diving into the pool and grabbing that person unconscious on the bottom and dragging him up.

    Thank you for the encouragement. Great post!

  3. That’s why I don’t become overly perturbed with the balding fat man using seeker-sensitive, decisional regeneration, Charles Finney altar-call methodology. He’s doing what he knows.

  4. I’m reminded of the time when Jesus rebuked His disciples for their prideful concern over what those ‘other men’ were doing in the Lord’s name. The first question we should always ask ourselves is not , “What do they think they’re doing?”, rather it should be something like, “Am I doing that which I should be doing?”

  5. Amen! Obviously, it would be best if all of God’s servants were “fit, well-fitted, fishers-of-men” but forced to choose, I’ll hang with the fat guy (he’s deeper than he looks!)
    Great post. Thanks Pastor Jim!

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