In the fateful winter morning of January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger stood poised for launch. Overnight, the temperature had plummeted into the twenties. At liftoff it was a crisp 36 degrees F. Four-foot icicles still clung ominously to the launch tower.
Allan McDonald, an engineer employed by the manufacturer of the solid rocket boosters that straddled the shuttle, shuddered, but not because of the cold. Research had shown that the O rings sealing the sections of each booster might be more likely to leak as the temperature dropped. In fact, the rings had never been tested during an actual launch below 51 degrees F.
McDonald stood virtually alone as he steadfastly opposed the launch that icy morning, but he was overruled. The launch went ahead as scheduled, and 73 seconds later six brave astronauts and one enthusiastic school teacher lost their lives when the O rings failed.
Was Allan McDonald arrogant when he challenged the decision to launch? Was he intolerant? Any thinking person would say no. He just was unwilling to see innocent people die because others had ignored or distorted the facts. We would say Allan McDonald knew the truth, and he stood up for it.
Friends, there are many “innocent” people today being sent to their spiritual doom because of a failure to check the “O rings” of their faith. Two passages come quickly to mind: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11), and “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Will we speak out that we might save the “innocent?” Friends, we must “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) – spiritual lives are at stake. We must stand for the truth.
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!