There are many different types of poison. Some poisons kill suddenly and ruthlessly. But for those who want to kill in a less suspicious way there are less violent substances (for example, arsenic) which kill slowly and painfully with little suspicion aroused. If you google arsenic poisoning, you will find a bevy of awful physical symptoms that accompany this type of poisoning.
Now let’s say you were given a brownie that was 99% full of the best ingredients. It looks amazing and wonderfully delicious. It was made with the most expensive cocoa on the market, freshly ground flour, and fresh eggs from a local farm. Would you eat it?
What if I tell you that it also contains 1% arsenic. Would you still eat it?
You wouldn’t? Why not? Because it’s poison, you say?
Exactly. It contains poison and no thinking person is going to purposely consume poison, no matter what package it comes in.
So, I can’t help but wonder why so many of us, while not willing to consume poison physically, are so willing to feed our minds poison?
Think for a minute about some of the latest “Christian” books, movies, and even music that have gained popularity. Are they pure or do they contain things that change your view of the gospel or of who God is?
Many–certainly not all–are filled with arsenic. New age teachings, prosperity gospel, and downright lies are laced throughout all of that “good” stuff they also contain. Sure, some of it is good. How else will Satan make it attractive to believers?
But just like arsenic will slowly kill you, consuming poisoned “Christian” resources and entertainment will also weaken your faith.
Can you take something good from the consumption of these items? Sure. Of course. The brownies are also full of good ingredients that will help give your body nutrients (okay– so that might be some wishful thinking–maybe I should have used a salad as an example, instead! But you get what I mean, right??) So why wouldn’t you eat that brownie?
Because you– like me– realize that there are many other brownies in the world and the risk is just not worth it.
It is really the same principle.
Here is the thing: while I believe that I know basic biblical doctrines and principles quite well, I would never trust myself to be so discerning that I could pick through the poisoned buffet of today’s Christian resources. Before I will pick up the latest, greatest best seller, I will go through these five principles of discernment (I Thessalonians 5:21)–
1. Is the Bible the final authority for the author/preacher/musician or is he/she more prone to weaving in modern day philosophies and “proofs”? (2 Thessalonians 2:15 and 3:6; Romans 16:17-18)
2. Does the person in question live a holy and pure life? (I Peter 1:15-16; I John 2:3-6)
3. Is their book or podcast or CD a Best Seller or #1 in the secular market? (John 15:19)
4. Has their message changed over the years to become more “palatable”, making it less biblical?
5. Who are their best friends? Who do they quote? What do these friends and quoted people stand for? (Proverbs 12:26; 2 Corinthians 6:14)
Does this take work? You better believe it does. But shouldn’t we want to know? Don’t we care enough about our spiritual welfare to do this work?
Destroying Christianity in America has been a huge under-taking by Satan. He has done it very methodically and very surreptitiously. Many Christians are filled with unbiblical thoughts about God, His Word, and the plan of salvation and do not even realize it. But it is what Satan is using to obliterate true Christianity in this nation. I believe that with all of my heart. Sure, there is some pressure starting to build from the outside world but that isn’t what will ultimately kill Christianity in this nation (and, actually, persecution is what will probably revive it– but that is a different post for another day).
This reminds me of what Moses tells the Israelites over and over again in Deuteronomy. I recently read this book and was really reminded of how seriously God takes mixing in other forms of worship and idolatry in our worship of Him. This is not a matter to be taken lightly. And the Israelites paid dearly for this compromise.
Do we think we are somehow more spiritual and less susceptible than these men and women who ate manna directly from the hand of God or saw water miraculously spring forth from a rock?
And, so, perhaps we should make an effort to avoid poison in all of its forms.
And, on a side note, I realized something recently. As I have gotten together with a group of ladies to study–really study– the book of I Peter, I realized that I do not know God’s Word near as well as I thought I did–or should. Perhaps it is time to turn back to the Bible in our Bible studies? I am amazed all over again at the power, wisdom, and true light contained within the pages of scripture. Let’s not get distracted.