Saturday, April 14, 2012

Examine What You Hear

It is amazing the things people will believe simply because someone said it was so. Infomercials are classic examples. We want to believe these miracle products will do what the people claim..This is not new. Years ago, I ordered a vegamatic from an offer on television. One of the first things I did after the product arrived was to attempt to slice a tomato for the hamburgers we were having. I placed a large tomato on the blade and smashed the top down. I, then, spent several minutes wiping the tomato juice from the counter, the wall, the stove and the floor. This miracle product never worked for me like it worked for the man on the TV.

False claims about kitchen products are more annoying than dangerous. However, this same gullibility is used to mislead people in spiritual things. Consequently, there are all kinds of spiritual interpretations being taught on Christian radio, seen on Christian TV, and written about in Christian literature.

Jim Cymbala addresses this issue in his book, Fresh Power. There is a chapter he titled “Of Cemeteries and Insane Asylums”. Here he examines the broad spectrum between churches that have no visible evidence of the movement of God’s Spirit and those where things are attributed to the Spirit without any reasonable evidence of their reliability being found in the Scripture. He writes, “In I Corinthians 4:6 Paul declares, ‘Do not go beyond what is written.’ While we often lament churches that take away from God’s Word, we must also beware of those who do the opposite. It is an offense to God when someone attempts to add to Scripture. We have no right to go beyond the book that the Holy Spirit inspired. It is the circumference of our spiritual circle. The Spirit of God will never contradict Himself. When we test everything by the Word of God, we are doing nothing more or less than honoring again the Holy Spirit who authored it.”

We would be less likely to fall victim to false claims if we would heed Paul’s admonition in I Thessalonians 5:21, 22. He wrote, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (NASB). We would also be wise to follow the example of the believers in Berea. In Acts 17:11 we read: “Now these were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (NASB),

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