When Christians are Of the World   Leave a comment

Ralph Seekins is a local car dealership owner and politician. Although I’ve met him, I can’t say I know him personally. He’s owned the largest car dealership (Ford) in Fairbanks since I was in college and he’s been in the State Legislature. I think he ran for Governor or Lt. Governor at least once. He’s a Republican.

He’s also a huge contributor to Young Life locally and is the most prominent member of the largest Assembly of God church in town.

He is a public Christian involved in business and politics.

There are significant numbers of Ford owners in Fairbanks who buy their cars in Wasilla or Anchorage (250 to 400 miles away) and drive there for service that you have to wonder why. I own a used Ford and take it to an independent garage. My experience with Seekins Ford is never good and that appears to be the view of just about everyone except the military, who are never here long enough to need any real maintenance. I can get a Ford part from NAPA for 1/3 of what it would cost me at the dealership and the longest I’ve ever had to wait is two days for shipping from Seattle. That same part will take two weeks if I order it through the deadership. I’m told by those folks who make that long drive to the Wasilla Ford dealership that you can get the same part there for quite a bit less than Seekins sells it for. In some ways,  the Fairbanks car market is a monopoly because of the distance to other locations, but not all local deaderships have this reputation.

Mr. Seekins is an important member of the Republican Party in Alaska, but it’s interesting how many of the folks who have had political dealings with him don’t trust him.

I think Young Life does good work and I have nothing against the Assemblies of God, but I know folks who will say both are phony organizations and they point to Seekins involvement as proof.

Here is just one example. A number of years ago, Seekins Ford donated a car for a Young Life raffle at the State Fair. Alaska has a weird state fair system where the fair is held in multiple locations a couple of weeks apart. Nobody won the raffle at the Tanana Valley State Fair. We were told the numbers were randomized and so the winner could be at the Palmer or Juneau fair. Nobody won there either. We discovered this because a reporter at the local newspaper decided to investigate. The promoter, apparently rattled by being found out, admitted  the winning number was not in the block of numbers available in Alaska. He pointed to Seekins’ manager making that decision. She obfuscated, talking about how this was standard procedure with raffles through out the country. Ralph said nothing — ever.

So all those people who bought tickets thinking they might get something for being generous to a good cause now have a sour taste in their mouths about Young Life and Ralph Seekins … and Christianity in general. Seekins talks a lot about family and he seems to have a good one. He speaks out against abortion and I believe he believes God cares if we abort our babies. He gives to the right causes. But he’s known as a crook in business and politics and even in charity and that speaks very badly for the God he says he serves.

I may be the only Christian someone else will ever know. I may be the only reflection of God someone will ever see. When I reflect the world instead of my Savior, I am misrepresenting God and potentially keeping people from coming to Him.

Think about that, Christians! What are you doing that misrepresents God?

Like it or not, you’re going to answer for it at the bema seat judgment, so you’d better ask yourself —

 

“Do I want to face God and explain myself over this?” 

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