Monday, August 25, 2008

Feel Good Faith

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
(2 Timothy 3:14 – ESV)

When it comes to spirituality, something more than the Bible will give you something less than Jesus Christ. Don’t settle, and don’t look for something more.

Now I am not talking about acquiring life skills, learning, and the discovery of our natural world. It is right and good to gain knowledge, skills, and to develop our understanding of things. It is right to make progress in politics, in human rights, it is right to try and stop poverty, and war, and to fly to the moon and beyond. It is good for technology to help in our studies and for our societal issues. However, when seeking God and spiritual growth, accept nothing less than the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus Christ as found in the Word. If something claiming to be spiritually good for Christians doesn’t line up with what the scriptures teach, it is in the line heading for hell. If something about spirituality isn’t found in accord with the Bible, it isn’t what you need. If you don’t see it in the Bible, don’t look for it now. Don’t fall for counterfeit Christianity and superstition just because you yearn to see the supernatural. If you learn to discern what the Bible teaches, you’ll put yourself further from deception’s reaches.

People often are deceived because they can become so desperate that they begin looking for someone to confirm what they want to hear. Most often what they want to hear is that there is some solution, some fix, something they can do to receive relief, blessing, or fulfillment of some felt or real need, right now, or soon enough. They don’t want to wait, but they have to because they are on the wrong track. When it doesn’t work they are told that they are the problem, and the cycle starts all over again. The wind up never getting what it is they want, but they spend all their energy trying to get it, and running to and fro to meetings, seeking to be at the place where “the Spirit is moving”, or looking for “prophetic” teachers, and “apostles” or elites who are selling something or promising something, or who are all hyped up and talking of the “anointing”, the “glory” or whatever the lingo is this time. Their desperation leads to deception.

Somebody tells them if they just try and reinvigorate or fulfill this Old Testament type it will bring blessing, and they think it is deep stuff. If they just let loose and let themselves shake, rattle, and roll they will dance into dominion over their defeat. If they will just sow seed into this or that “good soil” they will reap their heavenly harvest a little early. They get flattered with words like warriors, intercessors; it is always something new, something novel, something more.

It would seem that most people would wake up and smell the coffee of confusion they have been brewing and stewing in, that they would see the treadmill of frustration they are on, and begin to call out these charlatans for what they are, snake oil salesmen, as in serpent in the garden of Eden type. Alas, many people always want something more than hope in heaven, more than the Word, more than Christ. They lose all sense of discernment, and are willing to accept anything and everything that has any semblance of spirituality in it, as long as it promises a hope of relief. They aren’t looking to know God; they are looking to feel good.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


MrsEvenSo... said...

In our ignorance it is so easy to allow ourselves to be deceived into believing the "feeling good" is "knowing God". The Word of God must be our source for knowledge while understanding the text and intent, not our emotions.

Even So... said...

True...our emotions can be good if biblically understood...

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good words, Even So. Well said.

I also think we need to see Scripture as the lens through which we find with discernment God's help given through natural revelation. Some of it is not too hard to discern, such as the need to get a broken arm set, splinted, etc. Some is much more difficult, such as psychological or psychiatric counseling. Even there the church can err, but I think there's something to be said for saying that "all truth is God's truth." Though we must judge all things by the word of God, by Scripture, of course.

Even So... said...

Excellent thoughts Ted...