Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gullible Christians

 In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out his disciples, and among other things; he tells them to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. In the Old Testament, God offered to give King Solomon anything he wanted..... all he had to do was ask for it. Imagine..... if God asked we modern day Christians what we wanted and assured us we'd get it..... I can't imagine many of us asking for something like wisdom. We are too shallow, too materialistic, too addicted to comfort and entertainment. No, I fear too many of us would ask for "stuff": Money, expensive cars, expensive homes, fame, position....the list is endless.

  Yet Solomon asked for wisdom. I am not exempt when I say this, but I fear too many of we Christians are not wise as serpents, and certainly don't come close to having the wisdom Solomon possessed. Someone said a while back that Christians are very gullible, and someone said more recently that Christians are easily deceived.

 I've thought about it, and am afraid that is the case. We Christians are gullible and easily deceived.

Example #1: 88 Reasons why the rapture will be in  1988

  Not everyone is familiar with this fairy tale that was so popular in 1988. The author laid out some compelling reasons Jesus would return on September 11, 12, or 13..... He got around that verse that says no man knows the day or the hour by saying the Bible doesn't say it can't be narrowed down to a few days..... and Christians by the hundreds and probably thousands fell for it. We had the book. I read it and made sure I was ready to meet Jesus on those 3 days....... and nothing happened. I was ready to meet Jesus for nothing......(just kidding!)  The man was wrong, and fooled a bunch of we gullible Christians, including yours truly.

Example #2: The Prayer of Jabez

 I was working in a Christian bookstore when this book came out, and it sold like the proverbial hotcakes. We couldn't keep it on the shelf. It got so bad that if someone walked up to the counter and asked "do you have that book.....", there was a 99% chance that it was The Prayer of Jabez... except the one mixed up lady who asked for "The Prayer of Jezebel"......true story.

 The prayer was printed on mugs, wall hangings, toilet paper..... well, maybe not TP, but everything else.

  People were convinced that praying that simple prayer was going to do wonders in their lives.... as if repeating a prayer one man prayed was a magical guarantee to success and favor with God. One woman was positive she had been asked to lead her church;s Christmas cantata because she had prayed that prayer, and God was enlarging her borders. I prayed the prayer, and God enlarged my gut...... no, not really.

  Again, gullible Christians had taken leave of their senses and swallowed the lie by this author that praying this prayer was going to do something that our normal every day prayers couldn't do.

 And as with any fad of this kind, it died out and the books are only good for kindling now.

Example #3: Jesus Calling

 As with Jabez craze, the Jesus Calling Devotional has become immensely popular. They have Bibles, perpetual calendars, children's versions, and who knows what else. I actually bought a copy, but then read up on it and the author and was disturbed by what I read. I took it back and got my money back.

 This Sarah Young seems to be a recluse..... at least when I read about her. Her description of coming to Christ was severely lacking in reality. It sounded like she just gradually grew into it.... and the idea of a devotional written by a human trying to write as Jesus bothers me.... a lot. If you Google the book, there are many people warning against it and saying it uses New Age language. I am inclined to believe them with what I know of it.......and maybe I am wrong; but I would rather exercise caution and avoid a devotional that might be okay, than to read one that isn't. Are Christians gullible who use it? Maybe, maybe not...... but I would urge caution about using it.

Example #4: Facebook Jesus and other Christian memes.

  I am amazed at the Christians who post memes on Facebook telling you to type "Amen" for different reasons.

Type Amen if you love Jesus, keep scrolling if you don't

Type Amen and you'll receive a blessing

Share this and God will do you a huge favor

Share this, and you will find money in your yard......yeah, a lady who attends my church sometimes shared that one.

  Are we that gullible that we think typing Amen or sharing a certain post is going to grant us a wish as if God were a genie in a bottle? God doesn't work like that, but there are a lot of Christians who are gullible enough to try it.

Example #5: Donald Trump

 Oh yes, I am going there.....though I didn't intend to when I started this post.

  This may be the biggest example of Christian gullibility of this century.....maybe of several centuries.

  Here you have him, Donald Trump: Strip club owner, serial adulterer, vulgar potty mouth, a man who acts less mature than a juvenile delinquent, a man who has gone bankrupt 4 times, has several failed businesses, supports and defends Planned Parenthood, has sent jobs out of the US, has bankrolled and supported liberals for years, and suddenly announces he is a Republican and is going to make America great again.....and has changed his views on pretty much everything, though he keeps flip flopping on a lot of issues.

  And Christians have swallowed it all hook, line, and sinker. Talk about gullible......how on earth could any wise person believe him? How could any Christian believe this vile sleazeball will do anything he said he will do? How can they believe someone with his thin skin and immaturity can run this country and make wise decisions?  How can they believe he will actually fight against the same Hillary Clinton he has been friends with and defended for years..... this just may top all things gullible Christians have fallen for over the centuries.

   I have been praying for wisdom. We are surrounded by different voices telling us different things. Some take the Bible and twist Scriptures, others weasel around verses they don't like so they can teach, preach, and believe what they want. I don't want to be a gullible Christian who falls for every new fad or teaching that comes along. I don't want to be deceived by false teachers, politicians, or things that I read that may not be true and right.

  I don't want to do anything just because it is the popular thing for Christians to do, or my church, or the Christians I rub shoulders with. I want wisdom, discernment, and God's guidance. I want the kind of relationship with God where He will nudge me and say "That teaching is wrong, don't believe it", "don't read this book, it will lead you wrong", "Don't believe that politician, he is the wrong guy", "don't hang out with that person, they will influence your thinking in the wrong way."

 There is only one totally trustworthy source for anything, and that is God. People will lead us wrong, even good people, even Christians.... even pastors and teachers. We can't be gullible Christians and fall for everything, believe everything that has a Christian label attached, or jump on every new Christian fad.

 James 1:5 says that if any man lacks wisdom, we should ask God who gives to all men liberally. I want that. I don't want to be easily swayed by wrong ideas and false teachings, or even corrupt politician's promises. God doesn't want us to be gullible, but discerning and wise. It would do us all good to ask for wisdom, and to prayerfully seek His direction in the areas that we can be gullible in.

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