Everywhere we turn there is news about food. We have a tomato scare in the U.S.A. (now apparently Mexican peppers are the real culprit). We have concerns about the number of children who are not just overweight but who are obese. We can sign up to have meals come to our door and lose weight like Marie Osmond has – paying a company to control the size of the meal (portion) because you won’t. Now the government of Canada is requiring that Canadian manufacturers list all the ingredients in each product so we can know which ones are really safe for diabetics and celiac patients, for example. This is something the United States government did two years ago.
Of course, one of the main issues in all eating-related stories on the news or the television ads for food products is the junk food we have grown to really like. Food that tastes good but that really has questionable nutritional value. Food loaded with fats, salt, and articifical flavors among other unhealthy ingredients and additives.
But, how many of us are concerned about our spiritual diets and the spiritual food we are feeding our spirit on a regular basis? The material we read, the preachers we watch, the conferences we attend, the CDs we listen to. How many Christians are able to discern between the meat and the mixture? The holy and the profane? That which is biblically correct and that which simply sounds biblical, maybe?
Iverna Tomkins makes an interesting observation: “Many people are so used to mixture that they have lost a taste for what is pure. Lavish displays and methods of presentation have come to be more important than what is being served, and the servers more important than what they serve. Those sitting down at the spiritual “table” reason: If it looks good and multitudes are eating it, then it must be OK.”
Junk food: Because God so loved the world and God is love we must accept all religions in the name of love without insisting their followers repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. All religions are good and their teachings right and you can chose which one you believe (or chose items from a number of them) as they all bring you to the same place.
Meat: John 3:17-18 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
This issue is of major concern in the Church today. You would think it is only an issue in the world where other religions are finding acceptance. However, this is not the case. It appears that born again Christians either do not know what the Christian faith teaches or no longer believe that the Christian faith is correct.
The Christian faith is both inclusive and exclusive. It is inclusive because “God wills that all men be saved.” (1 Timothy 2:4) So, the message of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is inclusive.
However, the message also declares that there is “no other Name under Heaven whereby a person can be saved.” (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:13). So, we believe that there is only one way into Heaven and His name is Jesus. This means we are being exclusive – we don’t believe that all roads (all religions) lead to Heaven … we believe there is only One Way, One Door, One Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5)
This does not fly well in some nations like my own nation of Canada. We have based our Canadian culture on tolerance and acceptance so we are a mosaic. Unlike our U.S. neighbours where you can be Hispanic American, or Native American or Irish American …. In Canada you are simply of Italian heritage, English heritage, or Scotish decent. We don’t seem to have a Canadian identity and so we simpy accept all cultures as part of the cultural expression but do not attempt to make you “a Canadian” as well. The Americans have fashioned ther nation as a ‘melting pot’ and we have a ‘mosiac’ – a culture that is an expression of many cultures and apparently we are without a single Canadian culture or identity.
This means we are suppose to be very tolerant as a nation. Very accepting. And we are in most cases. We accept people and their cultural and religious expressions … unless you are a born again Christian who believes the Bible. Then, you are fair game to be discriminated against.
A marriage commissioner here in my city has been fighting for several years in the court systems for the right to not officiate at same-sex marriages because of his born again religious convictions – and has lost at every turn. We have a court structure and a Human Rights Commission that seems to defend everyone’s rights except those of the born again believer. In my nation – to preach the Bible and state that homosexuality is a sin and not natural in God’s eyes could bring you before the Human Rights Commision on hate literature charges.
My point – our society today does not encourage the belief that there is only one way to be forgiven and to be right with God. It no longer has the structure that supports the concept that one group is right and so everyone else must be wrong. No, we are an accepting and tolerant society where we accept everything and judge nothing (well almost).
Thus, many Christians have bought into this mosiac approach when it comes to their faith. We simply welcome and accept all faiths into this nation – which is good. However, it goes further than that – we also accept that their beliefs are correct and so simply add them to the already existing mix of religious beliefs declaring that they all speak and teach truth and are all valid expressions of faith. And, there is some truth, I suspect, in all religious structures and doctrines and they are a valid expression of the faith of the adherants of that particular religious belief. But, it does not mean they are right in their understanding of reconciliation and forgiveness, for example.
So, as society goes so goes the Church. Many preachers are no longer declaring that Jesus Christ is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. Many Christian churches no longer believe that there is a Hell to avoid and a Heaven to gain. Many no longer believe in a literal Devil. Some preach that Jesus was a good man and a moral teacher but not God incarnate. There was no virgin birth. Therefore He is not the Saviour – which again is okay because Adam and Eve were not real people and with no real Devil to tempt them there is no original sin or actual sin – because God does not hold people to harsh standards such as the ten Commandments and He accepts and loves everyone and ….
Thus, we eat spiritual junk food as it is presented by many churches and ordained clergy today. We think everything is okay because there are obviously many ways to Heaven. Afterall, we have accepted these other religions and there is no way that many people can be wrong. So, we believe what we want to and throw out what we don’t like or don’t believe and deceive ourselves into believing that everything is all right with aGod – if there really is a God.
Spiritual junk food is dangerous to your spiritual health, folks!
More on this tomorrow…