A group of devout Christians once lived in a small village at the foot of a mountain. A winding, slippery road with hairpin curves and steep precipices without guard rails wound its way up one side of the mountain and down the other. There were frequent accidents, often fatal.

Deeply saddened by the injured people who were regularly pulled from the wrecked cars, the Christians in the village churches decided to act. They pooled their resources and purchased an ambulance so that they could rush the injured to the hospital in the next town. Week after week church volunteers gave faithfully, even sacrificially, of their time to operate the ambulance twenty-four hours a day. They saved many lives, though some victims remained crippled for life.

Then one day a visitor came to town. When he heard about the accidents, he asked why they did not try to get the deadly road over the mountain replaced by a tunnel. Startled at first, the ambulance volunteers quickly pointed out that this approach was unrealistic. The road had been there for a long time. Besides, the mayor would bitterly oppose the idea; he owned a restaurant and service station halfway up the mountain.

The visitor was shocked that the mayor’s economic interests seemed to matter more to these Christians than the many human casualties. Somewhat hesitantly, he suggested that perhaps they should speak to the mayor. After all, he was an elder in the oldest church in town. If he proved stubborn and unconcerned, perhaps they should elect a different mayor.

Now the Christians were shocked. With rising indignation and righteous conviction they informed the young radical that the Church dare not become involved in politics; the Church is called to preach the Gospel and give ...

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