January 5, 2011, the pilot of United Airlines Flight 940 (a Boeing 777-200 headed from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany) spilt a cup of coffee onto the cockpit control panel, inadvertently setting off a false hijacking in progress signal and culminating in the plane's emergency landing in Canada. Fortunately, no jets were scrambled to bring down the supposedly hijacked passenger jet, neither did any other mechanical problems threaten the integrity of the aircraft, and the plane landed safely. The incident, having set off a chain reaction of communication failures, has prompted Federal Aviation Authorities to re-examine the prudence of beverages on or around the control consoles of aircraft.
Talk about sending the wrong signal! Aircraft that send the "hijack in progress" signal are in danger of being shot out of the sky. This is serious stuff. Fortunately, the pilot was able to set the record straight.
Even more serious is the message of God's grace sent to a world facing eternal condemnation. Our mission is so important, and the stakes are so high, that we dare not send the wrong message. We must carefully examine not only the words we use to communicate our message, but the signal sent by our actions, as well.
For example, does the homosexual community hear our message of a loving, forgiving God who sent His Son for the redemption of all people, or do we engage this topic in a way that sends the false signal, "only heterosexuals are welcome in heaven?" Let us proclaim to the world that Jesus purchased a place in heaven for every single person, no matter who you they are! All any of us have to do is accept it.
It is imperative that the modern church not spill its coffee on the social issues of our day, sending our world false signals.
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13).