Christian Bunker Dwellers

OK, by now you should know that it does not take much to trigger another article out of me. The slightest thing can set me off. A news item did just that today. And this is one of those news items you just don’t see every day. So sure enough, it is now the basis of an article.

The short news story had to do with a rather odd Canadian. He basically disappeared for a while, but re-emerged in September, after quite an experience. He actually lived all by himself in a bunker in his own backyard. How come? The story goes like this:

“January 1, 2000 was the day that our computers were meant to fail us and change our lives forever. It was also the day that 44 year old Norman Feller headed into his underground bunker over fears of the fallout from the Y2K virus. Remarkably Mr. Feller spent the next 14 years in isolation only to emerge this past September. In this touching documentary, Peter Oldring visits with Norman to learn more about his unbelievable decision to live underground.”

(Update: Someone elsewhere pointed out that the comments under my linked article below indicate that this was just a satire piece. I did not see those comments – oh well, if it is just a story, it still serves as an apt sermon illustration! So let me continue!)

OK, so what does all this have to do with anything? Well, the way my mind works, as soon as I saw this I knew I had some more great sermon illustration material. I instantly could see some very real Christian application here. How so? Easy, let me explain.

It seems to me that all sorts of believers are effectively living lives just like this. Maybe most. They are living as if holed up in a bunker somewhere. They not only do not seem to know what is going on in the world around them, but they don’t seem to even care. And they certainly are having zero impact or influence on the surrounding world.

So they might as well be stuck in some bunker somewhere, or isolated in some cave out in the middle of nowhere. They are making no impact on the surrounding culture, and might as well not exist. And of course this goes against the entire rationale for being a believer: to make a difference, to have an impact, and to be a world-changer.

Remember it says of the early church that they turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). The history of the expansion of the Christian church is of course the history of Christians radically changing and impacting the world around them.

This is what Jesus did, and this is what his true disciples do. We are meant to be change agents. We are supposed to be having a real impact on the lives around us, as well as the values, ethics, customs, cultures, laws and politics around us. It is called being a godly influence.

Or as Jesus very simply put it: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).

Yet how many Christians today are actually refusing to do what Jesus said? This was not some optional extra Jesus was talking about. This was not some “Raise your hand if you want to be salt and light” sort of situation. This is a basic feature of the Christian’s job description.

This is actually what is involved in the normal Christian life. Yet so many believers are not at all being salt and light. Most have no clue as to what is going on in the world around them, and most do not give a rip either. And they of course are not having any sort of impact – at least not a godly, beneficial impact.

They might as well just sit in an underground bunker for 15 years – or for 50. So many Christians will live their whole life this way, and not even realise anything is amiss. It is only when they stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ that their heads will hang in shame as they finally realise what fools they have been.

They will then realise in an instant that they wasted their life. They did nothing for Christ and the Kingdom, even though Christ did everything for them. Christ lived his life to the full for the good of others, but plenty of believers live completely empty lives for the good of their own selfish selves.

I do not want to be such a person on that day. I want to hear the words that all true disciples of Jesus will hear: ‘Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord’ (Matthew 25:21). So what about you my friend? Is that your desire as well?

Or are you still stuck in some stupid bunker – just wasting your life away, doing nothing for Christ and nothing for anyone else. It is far better that we ask ourselves such questions now, than wait till it is too late. There are plenty of great saints I could cite here in this regard. Let me offer just three:

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” -C.T. Studd

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -martyred missionary Jim Elliot

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!” -William Booth

[1069 words]

14 Replies to “Christian Bunker Dwellers”

  1. OK, let me be the first to comment. Someone elsewhere pointed out that the comments under my linked article indicate that this is just a satire piece. I did not see those comments and know nothing about the website. Even with that being the case, it seems that it still serves as an apt sermon illustration! And BTW, there are indeed many Christian bunker builders in North America, so all this is not beyond the realm of possibility!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  2. Hi Bill,

    I think the answer comes from comments I have read here and in other places by those who claim to be Christian, which I shall repeat here as close to the comments as they stand.

    1/ All we need to do is accept Jesus as our saviour and leave the rest up to him.
    2/ But that’s works, if you think you get saved by works, your not a Christian.
    3/ That’s not our responsibility, we pay a priest who goes to bible school to do that so we don’t have to.
    4/ and my all time favourite cop out, but we are in the world, not of the world.

    And then they pull out their best argument Ephesians 2:8-9, 8.For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourseves: it is a gift of God:
    9.Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Then conveniently leave out verse 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    King James version (for disclosure purposes).

    Far too many so called Christians cherry pick scriptures, completely out of context, missing the entire thread of the Prophets and Apostles message they are teaching, to make up their own theology, especially if it means they can be lazy and not actualy do anything, yet think they will obtain the promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    As well as the above scriptures, I also add in James 2:17-26, which I will not post here as it is quite long, but people can read it for themselves (think of it has scripture reading homework LOL). But basically it states that we do works to show our faith.

    Appologies for the excessive post, but I hope that my thoughts are clear enough for people to get the gist of it.

    Neil Waldron.

  3. Yep, a good piece anyway, Bill: Christians in bunkers are useless.

    I’m told shouldn’t be judgemental (why? – Christ was when he whipped the money-changers from the temple and kicked over their tables!) but I don’t think much of Christians who are afraid to be ‘offensive’ about abortion.

    Abortion is worse than murder because it kills somebody who not only has never lived before, but who will never be conceived again. Never given a chance at being an air-breathing creature who could love abd serve God.

    Antonia Feitz

  4. We absolutely ARE commanded to be salt and light. A healthy church, as in ? ????????, the church at large, is the means to that end. The reason the western world and the United Sates especially, is rapidly descending into a grave of death and perversion is because THE CHURCH is no different than the world she is supposed to be salt and light to.

    Repentance begins in the house of the Lord. Correct voting habits and political/social activism are the very pinnacle of hypocrisy if not spawned from a faithful church that actually lives the transformed life she is so quick to require of pagans and politicians.

    What the culture sees as THE CHURCH, lives the same, fornicates the same, adulterates the same, divorces the same, talks the same, acts the same and drinks in all the same sick debauched media entertainment they do. I’m talking about conservatives whose spiritual and theological progenitors would be horrified to see what has been done with what they left us.

    Point? As long as THE CHURCH cannot even be accidentally mistaken for the body of Christ described in the New Testament, nothing else we do will make any difference. Demanding that a sinful culture not be sinful when we are as bad as they are, and in all the same areas, is worse than charging the leopard with the task of changing his own spots.

    We have NO influence because we have NO testimony. The world sees us as unholy duplicitous hypocrites, proclaiming to them: “do as I say and not as I do” on the grandest scale ever. The revival of the western world, assuming that is God’s intention, which is not a given, (but it might be) begins in the mirror.

    I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you Bill. I do however find it biblically unavoidable that the above be the foundation on which to proceed.

    Greg Smith

  5. I’d like to add that the bunker is exactly where secular society and secularized government want Christians to stay and get comfy. Prominent American public figures have begun referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” in the hope that gradually the former will be accepted as the true meaning of the latter. They know that once the salt is confined within the four walls of a church, it’ll soon lose its savor, and they can get on with their utopian delusions without pesky Christians getting in the way.

    Bob March

  6. This is definitely a good analogy using the bunker; it’s funny because I was talking with an older man at church last Sunday about this.
    Well not in a bunker, but how the church is asleep.
    I asked him a question.
    I said, when you were young, did you take drugs?
    He was shocked by the question, and said certainly not!
    I said, really but you said you belonged to a motor cycle gang?
    He said yes but I never took drugs, im not that stupid.
    I said, oh I see but you know, I did?
    He said really, he was shocked again.
    I said, if your shocked by that, how are we to approach a broken world?
    He started to see my earlier point which was, we need more ex-drug takers in the church.
    Daniel Kempton

  7. G’day Bill,

    Goodonya again. Thanks. I’ve been thinking about how some churches and Christians are autistic. They are unable to connect with the world around them, either to receive communication from the world or to communicate with the world. They live in their auto, self focussed world. Doing their own thing with repetitive, apparently meaningless activities. Okay, like living in a bunker, while the world goes on around them.

    Andrew Campbell
    Wagga Wagga

  8. Sorry to post a link once again, but it’s the bunker thing. It is time to come out of the bunker on this same sex marriage thing.
    In there is a hair raising piece on the High Court openly giving hints, plus a scenario on where it will lead.
    It comes on the same day as a court in the US pulled the same stunt against the law forbidding polygamy. Simple, just redefine “marriage” to allow one legal wife and three spititual wives.
    We need a referendum to state a definition of marriage. As John Howard put it, “we decide who comes here”. Similarly WE decide what the definition of marriage is.

    Jim Crudden

  9. Sorry if I have misinterpreted you Jim but the job of government is not to redefine God’s created order. The task of government- as was the first mandate given to Adam- was to care for God’s created order. The universe is not a plaything that man can should recreate into some Frankenstein version of the original. Our laws should protect marriage and the family not redefine them. As with tyrannical regimes, one can create laws to say that the sun is the moon and the moon is sun, but inevitably God has the last laugh.

    Psalm 2 says: Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs: the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    David Skinner, UK

  10. Thanks Neil Waldron, i simply love your 4 point list, will be using it hope you dont mind.
    Daniel Kempton

  11. Neil, Eph 2:10 is a good starting point to debunk the first point in your list of objections part of which said “the rest is up to him”, yes, it is up to Him to give instructions after we have begun to trust Him and it is up to us to then obey those instructions, hence Eph 2:10 and many verses out of John 13 to 17, which all boil down to “If you love me, you will obey my commandments”. He even says it back to front somewhere “He who obeys my commandment it is he who loves me”, just in case we don’t get it the other way round.
    re your quote by William Booth, Bill, it has struck me before that those who speak out with the most zeal and passion against sin and evil, whom the world so often misunderstands and labels “bigot or harsh or some such hard thing that are the most compassioned and most forgiving and most concerned about the eternal state of souls. Jesus, Paul and Steven are of course our biblical examples, but the Booths were too. It appears that the other side of true love must be a hatred for sin and evil, or else the so called love becomes weak and wishy washy.
    Paul spent 14 years in Arabia, not in a bunker maybe, but determinately in prayer, preparing himself for the suffering that lay ahead of him. Maybe we could all do with times of solitude with God where we can be made strong and uncompromising in our stand for biblical truth.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  12. This might seem a bit of an odd thing to say, but I’d almost rather many so-called Christians would have less influence, when their influence is the opposite of what the Bible says. At least in the bunker they wouldn’t be able to be used as useful idiots by the devil, attacking the brethren who are genuinely given over to a life following Christ.

    Of course, however, those who are in agreement with the Bible should be making their voices heard.

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