Page last updated



A Case of Spiritual Aids

by K. Scott Merchant

based on Luke 10:25-37

Anyone who can read a newspaper or operate a TV remote control knows that something is slowly destroying America. Some kind of hideous virus, some sort of deadly disease, is racing through our cultural bloodstream. What are the symptoms of this sickness ?

America is now number one !! Number one in teen pregnancy, #1 in violent crime, #1 in drug abuse, #1 in divorce. Every 47 seconds a child is abused or neglected, every day seventeen teenagers commit suicide, Every day 30 children suffer gunshot wounds, everyday 27 children die for reasons traceable to poverty. Every day a new holocaust of 5000 unborn babies die, while pornography floods our streets like open sewers. A generation of young people are drowning in their own blood in the streets of our cities, We have become a culture that values personal profit over justice and mercy, but rather then becoming mired down in the symptoms, I’d prefer to search for a solution.

If I were an attorney, I might search for answers in judicial reform.

If I were an economist, I would search for new ways to carve up the American pie, Figure out a way to throw money at the problem.

or If I were a politician , I would chase after legislative solutions.

But I’m not an attorney, an economist, or a politician, and while all of these areas have some potential for solutions. I think we really need to look elsewhere for the diagnosis and cure for this deadly disease.

When you bring the Bible to bear on the crisis facing our country today, you don’t have to spend much time with television or newspapers, We have a sure word from God.

When you pass America’s problems through the filter of faith and the screen of scripture, It becomes painfully clear that the problems spring from a common cause, from a spiritual problem deep within society’s system. In fact, the symptoms of our society look like the beginning of AIDS.

Our society has fallen victim to a disease I call spiritual AIDS. The bacteria of sin and the virus of lawlessness are running rampant through our cultural system without being seriously challenged, because societies immune system, The Church has been badly weakened. Our countries ills are not merely the result of corrupt politicians, militant feminist, or hateful racist. Our troubles can be traced directly to ineffective Christians.

The tragedy today is not that sinners sin; that’s what their expected to do, The tragedy is that we the church as a whole have failed to act as the salt and the light in this society. When Christians fail to live out their faith, then our families fail to function as Christian families, Failed Christian families make for ineffective churches, and ineffective churches make no impact on the community they have been called to serve and change. At a recent pastors conference I attended this spring, the speaker ask a tough question. “ If your church closed its doors tomorrow , would it have a negative impact on your community ? Not on just you, but on the community, would they notice ? If the answer to that question is NO there is a problem.

You can find a church building on nearly every corner in America, Yet our communities are being systematically destroyed by violence as people languish in poverty and despair. It is obvious that the church is not having the influence that God created and intended it to have.

Henry Blackaby writes “ If society as a whole seems to be getting darker and darker the problem is not with the darkness, the darkness is just acting out its nature. but rather it is time for the light to say if things are getting darker the problem is with us. We must let our lights shine before man , So that God may be glorified. If we who name the name of Jesus Christ are going to do something for our communities; judgement must begin with the household of God. ( 1peter 4;17)

Our Lesson this morning from the Gospel of Luke is that parable of the Good Samaritan . In the story the lawyer ask Jesus a very important question. “ WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR? “ The lawyer had already answered his own question when it can to what he must do to inherit eternal life. He quoted the law to Jesus. ‘ Love the Lord with your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. and Love your neighbor as yourself “ He knew the law, he knew how to talk the talk, but he tried to justify himself by asking “ Well then Who is my neighbor?”

Have you ever asked that question?

GK Chesterton writes ‘ The Bible tells us to love our neighbors and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people”

Someone else once wrote: To love the whole world for me is no chore; My only real problem’s the neighbor next door.

To often we associate the story of the good Samaritan with only providing first aid to a stranger in need , coming through in an emergency. of course all of us would stop at the car accident to assist the injured, All of us would scoop up that fallen child and bandage a knee.

But what about your co-workers, your associates, your friends, your neighbors. What about the teenager next door who’s on drugs, what about the guy three doors away that abuses his wife. What about that single mother who you pass by everyday in your busy schedule. Somewhere there is someone who has messed up their life big time and need someone to show them compassion and show them the way to a life with Christ. Everywhere there are those who are lost and unprepared for eternity. There are far more neighbors in need of spiritual aid then first aid.

Its easy to be a Good Samaritan when it comes to first aid, when it comes to sharing pantries, when it comes to volunteering for a church mission projects, its easy to be a witness for Christ to other Christians . But when it comes to confronting the secular society, when it comes to showing compassion to that trouble making teenager just two doors down . When it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus with our co-worker, We turn to jello. We become undercover agents for Christ.

When it comes to personally dealing with society’s diseases we are often like the man who got so upset seeing the newspaper articles about the gangs and shootings in his neighborhood that he knew he had to do something, so he cancelled his newspaper subscription.

There are so many stories that I could share with you this morning about people who are in need of your spiritual aid, But if there is only room for one on our concise today it should be little leroi’s story.

You see leroi was just three years old a few days before Christmas according to the story reported in the Chicago tribune.

Leroy was neglected by his mother, she plead guilty to manslaughter. Leroi was neglected by the State. The poor condition of the child was reported to DCFS, but the system let him slip through the cracks. Leroi was neglected by the Church, There was no indication that leroi or any of his family were members of a church, or that any Church made any effort to have contact with Leroi or his mother.

How quickly we can fill up newsletters and Methodist reporters and magazines writing about someone doing something contrary to our opinion. Everyone’s burning up the pages with transforming congregations, reconciling congregations, confession movements, same sex marriages,

But NOBODY was writing anything about Little Leroi

A citizen of the richest nation on the face of this earth - and little Leroy starved to death

A citizen of the state of Illinois where last year the gambling industry generated over 300 million for the state Coffers-- and little Leroi starved to death.

But most important !!!! A citizen of a state with over 10,000 Churches and millions of proclaimed Christians --- and little leroi starved to death. --- MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS ----

It is my contention that We as Christians have contributed to the spiritual decline of American Culture. While we have done an admirable job of cursing the darkness we have done a poor job of spreading the light.


Page 5

While we have talked about being the family of God, We have been a family in crisis unable to provide spiritual leadership to our unbelieving neighbors. rather then being the Church in the world, We have allowed the world to invade the Church and help determine out thinking, actions, and lifestyle.

Unfortunately today the Church has become as confused about the truth as the unbelieving world. We are like lighthouses with the lights burned out, standing and pretending to give light while all around us people are crashing on the rocks trying to find direction and certainty .

Do you see When society looses truth it looses meaning. We the Church need to standout like a beacon proclaiming the truth of scripture without stuttering, compromising or apologizing.

The price tag for Our modern day drive-thru McChristian spirituality has been weak Christians, leading leak families, bringing about weak Churches, resulting in a weak nation. I believe the churches greatest need today is not for sinners to accept our worldview, but first for us to accept our world view and make it our daily lifestyle.

Its not until Christians take the lead that the culture will have something to follow. Its our failure to live out our faith in the marketplace that has kept us weak and ineffective in this culture, despite a staggering proliferation of evangelical books, tapes, Christian television programs, conferences, conventions churches , How can we have all this Christian activity and yet have all this messed up culture ?

I’m convinced that until Christians change, the culture won’t change, No matter how much we lament the violence and immorality and long for the good old days. To conduct business as usual in the Church as we have been doing is to aid and abet the continued downward spiral of America.

Are Christians destroying America ? In many ways the answer is yes. Can Christians save America ? Not by our own works, But by the power and Grace of God, we can be instruments in His hands to salvage our culture. I don’t see anyone else around able to do the job.


Page 6

Friends, The Church isn’t going to get much done until you and I decide to be true disciples. This kind of commitment guarantees us some trials, suffering and inconvenience, but it also promises us the power, presence and provision of Christ. That gives us something to offer a nation full of people who have run out of options.

In case you have missed it there’s a war going on in our land like never before, Millions of souls are at stake, You can’t be neutral when your standing in the middle of a battle ground. In this war the Church ( you and I) must decide whether we’re going to fight the fight of faith or stand by and watch our country destroy itself.

I’m choosing the former option and I pray that you will make a personal choice to join me in going for victory. Victory is our in Christ if we claim it by becoming his true disciples. If we become good Samaritans providing true spiritual aid to a society with spiritual AIDS.

I urge you ... No I charge you all to fight the good fight in Christs army by being his disciples. There are a lot of Little Leroi’s depending on you and me. Share Jesus with someone this week, invite your neighbor to Church. Make a special effort this week to bring someone else to Christ . Don’t just talk the talk, If theres ever been a time Its time to walk the walk . Become a disciple for Christ.

Satan can handle ordinary Christians, But he’s no match for Disciples.

Praise be to God .