Have you ever been to a drive-in theater? There are a few of them still around our state. I remember going to them when I was a kid. My mom and dad would load us into the old '53 Ford and off we'd go. They even put the baby crib mattress in the back seat so my sister and I would have someplace to lay down, watch the movie and ultimately fall asleep.
My dad would position the speaker on his driver's side window and we would watch the latest cinematic adventure stream in through the cars windshield. Life was good . . . except for the mosquitoes. Those pesky little things could get in through the smallest cracks! They often wrecked the entire movie experience with their invasive presence.
One of the movies I remember watching when I was a kid was Hans Brinker. It's a wonderful story with many good life lessons contained in its plot and should be required viewing for ALL children, everywhere.
Within the original novel (written by American Mary Mapes Dodge) there is another story of "a Dutch boy who saves his country by putting his finger in a leaking dike. The boy stays there all night, in spite of the cold, until the adults of the village find him and make the necessary repairs." The young man saw a problem, a leak in the dam, and he addressed the issue as best he could. He plugged the hole with the only thing he had, his finger. The dam was eventually repaired, saving the town from total destruction.
The story of that boy and the dike reminds me of a couple of things. It reminds me of how "the line" between what is acceptable and what is NOT acceptable has changed. Little by little a crack opened up and darkness seeped in. Gradually, the crack kept widening and, bit by bit, things changed.
I am also reminded how this country of ours once felt so safe. Now it feels uneasy from acts of terrorism. Today is the anniversary of 9/11 - the day our once-safe lives changed - forever.
The boy and the dike also reminds me of our churches today. There are about as many different beliefs and denominations and interpretations of what God believes, what His will is and what is right and wrong that it's like there are multiple cracks forming within the church and it's going to take all of us, and our little fingers, or standing up, to stop the bleeding.
One of the signs of the end times is a great falling away.
"3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (The Anti-Christ) - 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Jesus' promised return will not happen until there is a great falling away from Christianity, from God. It sure seems like that is happening right now. There are many "shepherds" who are not shepherding their flocks. Instead their minds are focused elsewhere. They're focused on the number of people in the pews, the bottom line on the spreadsheet. They become so obsessed by trying to win people to Christ that they change the message of the Gospel to make it more "appealing." They forget to tell their followers about sin and repentance, they begin questioning God's Word, they begin to believe that Jesus is not the only way, even though that is exactly what Jesus told us!
This can be a very depressing time for those of us who truly believe. We see our brothers and sisters being deceived by those we should trust. We see them on a path that leads to destruction instead of the one that actually leads to Jesus. The path HE told us to walk on.
So what can we do? We must stay on the path set for us through the words of Jesus. He is our one true shepherd. We must listen to HIS voice and not the voice of man. That means we must pick up our Bibles and read them. Read God's Word to us and learn from the greatest teacher of all time. It is only in Him that we should place our trust.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2
Here is a good article on apostasy in the church.