WARNING: Stacey, you may not want to read this first paragraph. That’s because she hates this story, but it serves a point in this post. One time I was invited to a family’s home for a meal. As I was eating, I looked down at my plate to see a long dark hair in my food. Now, normally I would be able to just discreetly pull a hair out of my meal without being noticed, but that wasn’t possible with this one. It was a small table and the husband was on my left and his wife was on my right. For a while I tried to eat around the hair, until that was no longer possible. I was a the point that I had to make a decision. Do I noticably pull the hair out of my food and risk the embarrassment of this family who had graciously invited me over for the afternoon, or do I do something more drastic? In that moment, I went with what was more drastic. I plunged my fork into that hairy pile and proceeded to put it in my mouth. I don’t remember how many times I chewed, but I do know that I was able to swallow it without gagging. That was a feat unto itself. I don’t remember what was on the menu that day, but I do remember “The Hair”.
OK STACEY, YOU CAN START HERE
It reminds me of where some people are at in the church today. In the desire to have something new, something different, they have begun to eat things that never should have been eaten. Except this is much more dangerous than a hair. They have traded in what God says about Himself with what people say about God. This new “spirituality” questions or redefines everything that is foundational to the Christian faith and in so doing loses the power of the Gospel.
One of the examples of this is the book “The Shack“. It is currently #3 on the Amazon bestseller list. Heralded by Eugene Peterson and Michael W. Smith, this book attempts to explain God through a fictional account. People are divided over this book and rightfully so. If only all Christians were more discerning. Just because someone claims to explain God, or have a Christian title slapped on, doesn’t mean that it is good. Christians need to have a stronger gag reflex for when this kind of stuff comes out. The gag reflex prevents from swallowing.
Everyone has their favorite recipes or restaurants. When trying something new, how many times have you said, “It’s not as good as so and so’s.” That could be your mom’s, it could be your wife’s (definitely your wife’s), or your favorite dinery. You have a standard for that dish that you compare everything else to.
The problem in the church is that people have lost that standard. The standard seems old. The standard seems outdated and it needs revitalized in order for people to really get excited about it. However, the power of the standard is not in how it is received, but by who it was given. Since God is the giver of the standard, it can be trusted and it needs to be followed. When we know His standard, we know when something else just doesn’t mesh with it, even when it claims to.
Please watch what you eat!
For a great review of The Shack, go HERE