Troop Carrier or Luxury liner?

18 02 2011

I just finished reading a very interesting book by David Platt, titled “Radical”. I highly encourage you to read this book. When you are reading it and it is talking about missions, think about the mission you feel called toward. I placed Campus Ministry as my focus.

Below is a brief example of what is in the book.

Troop Carrier or Luxury Liner?

“In the late 1940’s the United States government commissioned William Francis Gibbs to work with United States Lines to construct an eighty-million-dollar troop carrier for the navy. The purpose we to design a ship that could speedily carry fifteen thousand troops during times of war. By 1952, construction on the SS United States was complete. The ship could travel at 45 knots (about fifty-one miles per hour), and she could steam ten thousand miles without stopping for fuel or supplies. She could outrun any other ship and travel nonstop anywhere in the world in less than ten days. The SS United States was the fastest and most reliable troop carrier in the world.

The only catch is, she never carried troops. At least not in any official capacity. Instead the SS United States became a luxury liner for presidents, heads of state, and a variety of other celebrities who traveled on her during her seventeen years of service. As a luxury liner, she couldn’t carry fifteen thousand people. Instead she could house just under two thousand passengers. Those passengers could enjoy the luxuries of 695 staterooms, 4 dining salons, 3 bars, 2 theaters,5 acres of open deck with a heated pool, 19 elevators, and the comfort of the world’s first fully air-conditioned passenger ship. Instead of a vessel used for battle during wartime, the SS United States became a means of indulgence for wealthy patrons who desired to coast peacefully across the Atlantic.

When I think about the history of the SS United States, I wonder if she has something to teach us about the history of the Church. The Church, like the SS United States, has been designed for battle. The purpose of the Church is to mobilize a people to accomplish a mission. Yet we seem to have turned the Church as organized ourselves, not to engage in battle for the souls of people around the world, but to indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of the world.”