Article: Sunday Morning Faith

Before his arrest, Robert Courtney served as a deacon at the Assembly of God Church he was a member of in Kansas City. In 1990, Courtney began purchasing pharmaceuticals on the “gray market” and using them to fill prescriptions at his pharmacy. In time, he began diluting prescriptions to increase profits. Both practices were and are illegal.

According to law enforcement estimates, from 1990 to 2001, Courtney diluted 98,000 prescriptions, which were given to 4,200 patients. Courtney is reported to have diluted 72 different kinds of drugs. In August 2001, two months before his arrest, Courtney held total assets worth $18.7 million.

In 2002, Courtney pleaded guilty to 20 federal counts of tampering and adulterating the chemotherapy drugs Taxol and Gemzar. He also acknowledged that he and his corporation, Courtney Pharmacy Inc., had weakened drugs, conspired to traffic in stolen drugs and caused the filing of false Medicare claims. He was sentenced to 30 years in Federal Prison.

That is a tragic story. People died because of his greed. It makes me wonder how a Christian (and even a deacon in his church) would do such a thing? It is clear that he was a “Sunday morning Christian.” Those are the kind of people who appear very religious at church but lead a completely different life the other 167 hours of the week. 

Not only are certain believers called “Sunday morning Christians” they have a condition called compartmentalization. Their trust in God is only a small part of their lives. Their faith is only active when they are around other church people. Their lives are segmented. Every part of their lives is separate from the other. More simply, a compartmentalized faith tends to be rife with hypocrisy. 

Of course this is an extreme example but as a pastor my hope is that every person of faith develops a 7 day a week faith. A trust that informs every part of their life including how they interact with others, how they spend money and even how they vote. Jesus is not a hors d’oeuvre (appetizer)… he isn’t even the main course! Jesus is the plate on which all of life is served. 

But is it is more than trust, right? Remember our theme verse for the year? The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6A faith given, received and shared in love. 

What kind of faith do you have? 

God bless you,
Pr. Ben


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