You Are What You Eat, and Other Things!

I have recounted at another time about a university professor who made the statement: “During your lifetime you will only be able to read about 5,000 books, so choose them carefully.”  It seems like I’ve been reading all my life (although I didn’t start until my early 20’s) and I don’t think I’ll make the 5,000.  In any event, we can be influenced greatly by what we read (that’s how we learn), so to “choose them carefully” is very true indeed.

 Many can look back to a time in college, or perhaps even high school, when a book had a life changing impact.  One person I know, while studying religion at college, took some psychology classes and found himself thinking that he had discovered the “secret” to how man operates.  It took some time for him to get grounded in the Word once again and return to Christian sanity.  The siren song of the world can at times be almost hypnotic.  That, of course, is by design.

 We all believe it is healthy to have an inquiring mind, after all God gave it to us.  But when an inquiring mind is not grounded in truth, it will be open to any and all influences.  Before I met Christ I would follow just about anyone or anything that had a good story, and why not?   Without the truth we will always be attracted to areas that speak to our emotional needs, a never-ending quest.  Even as Christians we are still drawn to the same fixes, except, as we become more and more like Jesus, God little by little meets those needs with His healing love and Word of truth.  A fully matured Christian will look to God for all of life’s questions and answers, which will come primarily through the Bible.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, explains how important it is for Christian leaders to prepare God’s people so that they “…become mature, attaining to the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (4: 13b, 14).  When Barna Research reports that the majority of “born again” Christians do not believe that Jesus is the only way to God, it indicates that they either do not believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, or they are woefully ignorant of it’s content.  In either case, it calls into question the “born again” part.

As the heresy of the “emergent church” cancer continues to metastasize, the issue of the nature of the Bible is the line in the sand.  Because the heart of emergent beliefs is not based on scripture, but rather on secular philosophy, the antidote to their influence is to know the Word of God, and that the Bible is in fact what it claims to be.  We know that by faith, commitment, study and most critical, because God tells us so.

I exchange emails almost daily with one of Pat’s cousins who is a retired Air Force pilot and businessman.  He is also a strong Christian man devoted to the Lord.  A religious question came up recently (which is most of our focus) about a certain person, church or something related to the “Message Bible.”  I sent him some information, which prompted him to investigate (he does not take anything at face value).  Later he came back and stated, “It looks like our church needs to have a book burning.”  Here is a situation where a person, upon investigation, found such blatant contradiction with the Bible that he knew exactly what to do (they will not actually have a book burning).

In Acts 19:19, some Ephesians, having witnessed the power of God against evil were saved and, “A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.”   That still happens today.  The message here is that we must choose what we read carefully.  We must select authors who we know to be men and women of God.  And how do we know that?  Simple.  Those who receive the Bible as the God-breathed, inerrant Word of God in its entirety, are those we can trust not to mislead us.

Does that mean we should be fearful and avoid reading opposing material?  Of course not, we just need to be discerning and know their agenda.  It has taken me time to learn that I don’t have the time (years) or calling (intelligence) to be a “watchman on the wall” for the world of Christendom.  I’ll leave that to the real learned whose life work is to do the hard work and then report it to you and me.  But it seems incredible that one Ph.D. can spend a lifetime on Biblical study and not believe it is true, yet another comes to the opposite belief.  The difference is that the latter is a person of real faith and God tells him His Word is true.  He does the same for us.

Well, you are what you eat.  You also are what you read.  And as I would tell my counselee kids, you become like those you hang out with.  Or more properly, you become like those with whom you associate, in person and through the written word.  They did not see the humor in, “That is the type of behavior, up with which, I will not put.”  Blank stare or roll the eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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