by David and Tim Bayly on August 12, 2010 - 8:08am
(Tim, w/thanks to Taylor) Vladimir
Ladyzhenskiy is dead. It had come down to the final at the World
Sauna Championships in Heinola, Finland, last Saturday, and he placed second. But they couldn't give him his prize.
Seconds before he died Ladyzhenskiy was still competing, giving a thumbs up to the medics watching through a window (along with a thousand spectators). The sauna was above boiling--230 degrees fahrenheit, to be exact--but neither
Ladyzhenskiy nor five-time champion Timo Kaukonen were willing to lose. The other finalists exited around three minutes and Kaukonen had just three minutes more to wait until
Ladyzhenskiy's death crowned him the six-time champion.
When medics entered the sauna...
Ladyzhenskiy and Kaukonen out, the floor was littered with skin and blood.
Ladyzhenskiy had been thumbs up less than five seconds before he was lying outside the sauna, dead. And the victor?
He's in the hospital in serious condition, but he retains the title.
What a perfect picture of man's momentary glory before God's judgment and the bottomless pit of eternal torment. Like these competitors, man arrives at his grave in tatters; skin hanging from his forehead, arms, and back; his nose boiled like a brat; his conscience seared beyond recognition--of sin, that is; all his God-given glory consumed in the pursuit of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Leaving behind a bloody mess--including body parts of his unborn children, in one instant he is translated to the Judgment Seat of the Holy God where he must give an account for every single word and deed.
Here is our work, brothers and sisters, Titus 2 women, deacons, elders, and pastors. Our Lord has sent us into the sauna to break the spell of false glory and pull men from the shedding of their own flesh and blood, out into the safety of the flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some among us call it "contextualization" to awaken sinners by speaking of the bloody horror all around us in dulcet tones. Or to describe the joys of the cool evening breeze they're missing as sinners stew in Satan's sauna--that highly vaunted demilitarized zone hip pastors refer to as "culture."
Who knows? Maybe it works. You can't argue with success and there's no question they get thousands to listen to them each Lord's Day morning.
Speaking only for myself, though: generally, I've found it best if the medium matches the message. And I've never heard dulcet tones from a fire alarm.