Boiling the Frog

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Many years ago, my sweet daughter Susanne and my hubby Bob got their heads together and made a video for one of Bob’s Sunday sermons. It was called, “Boiled Alive.” And yes, they actually boiled a frog at our kitchen stove – pretend! It’s amazing what you can do when you edit a video these days. The frog was not boiled, as it appeared to be – but you didn’t know that until the out-take where it showed Bob with frog in hand headed back to the pet store. Nevertheless, we got a ton of nasty emails slamming us for boiling Mr. Green Frog in the Beckett kitchen. (This video can still be viewed on youtube.com.)

Most people are aware of the term “boiling the frog.” He sits there getting hotter and hotter, and although nothing is restraining him, the frog will sit there and boil. Why? It appears that the frog’s internal apparatus for sensing threats is geared only for sudden changes, not slow ones.

Doesn’t this sound a lot like what’s been happening to our society in general over the past several decades? It isn’t like we all just woke up this morning and things were a mess – it’s been a “sliding down the mountain” process. A little here, a little there, and boom, we’ve landed on our bum!!

I just read an article this morning which was a stunning example of boiling the frog. A man has been charged with raping a lady on a train outside Philadelphia. Here’s the “boil” part – the assault, which continued for about 40 minutes, took place as fellow passengers watched through more than two dozen train stops!, cell phones in hand! We should all be outraged and disgusted by this – not one person called the police. Not one! The lone call finally came from an off-duty transportation employee. What were all those passengers thinking just standing there? Is this just a daily occurrence anymore, so – no big deal?

The frog process is so gradual that people aren’t even aware of it at first. 2 Timothy 3:13 tells us, “Evil men will progress from bad to worse, deceived and deceiving, as they lead people further from the truth.” It’s such a creeping process many aren’t aware they’re being boiled. Hard to believe! Compare the actions of those on the train to Proverbs 3:27: “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person.” Too late – the train people had been boiled.

Recently, I read some online poetry – “Boiling the Frog” by Forrest Maready. Forrest covers our last two years of boiling the frog in such an insightful way – here’s an edited version of this truly clever poem.

[It’s just a mask.

It’s just two weeks.

It’s just non-essential businesses.

It’s just a few more weeks.

It’s just singing.

It’s just an app.

It’s just to let others know who you’re been in contact with.

It’s just a little chip.

It’s just a few more months.

It’s just an email account.

It’s just for protecting others from hate speech.

It’s just a few people.

It’s just so you can travel.

It’s just so you can vote.

It’s just for a few more years.

It’s just a statue.

It’s just a building.

It’s just a song.

It’s just a few words.

It’s just a book.

It’s just a flag.

It’s just a blood test.

It’s just a clump of cells.

It’s just the bad people.

It’s just the undesirables.

It’s just the Jews.

It’s just the men.

It’s just the Christians.

It’s just the people that don’t think like we do.]

So, I suppose the question of the day is – who will save the frogs? Do they even realize they’re being stewed? And do they even want out, poised to take on responsibility? Albert Einstein noted a profound truth when he said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Point being: don’t be a toad!!

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA.

For more information, you can visit them at DPCitychurch.org.

Susan Beckett |The Dwelling Place City Church

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