FEASTING ON FAKE GRAPES
My three year old boy will no longer eat whatever I put in front of him, that is, unless he likes it or unless it's real food. Once I tried to give him one of those fake rubber grapes to see if he would fall for it. He did, the first time. He believed it to be the real thing. It looked right, felt right, but as soon as he bit it, he knew something was wrong. Every grape I give to him thereafter was suspect. He began to use discernment.
Babies never worry about the food given to them, no concerns of anything bad, dangerous or unhealthy. The baby totally trusts the parent. He'll never spit out the food saying "I think there's a trace of arsenic in my baby food mommy". We should expect total trust from a baby. But should we expect the same from supposedly "spiritually mature" christian adults? Let me explain:
How is it that my three year old child will use greater discernment in determining the realness of a rubber grape, which has no eternal consequence associated with it, than many full grown adults will do in our churches today? Mature, elderly adults in our churches refuse to apply spiritual discernment when it comes to what they are being fed by their pastors or churches, which could determine their eternal destiny! These adults today are feasting on spiritual fake grapes. Even fewer are concerned about what is being taught by the youth pastors of their church. Just so long as the kids are coming I guess that's all that matters. Why? Because they are totally trusting their leaders to filter the unbiblical teachings from the biblical teachings. But God requires the exact opposite!
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
We are told to be a workman, approved before God, who will not be ashamed because we have learned to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
We should never totally trust the pastor or youth minister to give the truth without error. Rather, we must test everything he says with scripture, like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11. Once tested, hold on to what is good or true according to scripture and shun all forms of evil or error. 1 Thess. 5:21, 22: "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." This is the responsibility of every believer. Nowhere in scripture are we to totally trust the pastor or teacher with what is being presented, that is unless, of course, the teaching aligns itself with the Bible. Are you or your children or grandchildren munching on FAKE GRAPES in your church? You'd better find out before it's too late.
P.S. Lastly, using good, biblical, critical discernment is an absolute necessity in the church today. Hundreds of once traditional, trustworthy evangelical churches across America are falling for just about every newfangled way of reinventing, re-imagining, revising, rethinking methods of functioning as a church. The biblical models of the church as described in the books of Timothy, Ephesians, Titus and elsewhere are being replaced with whatever the Rick Warrens, Bill Hybels, Brian McLarens, Richard J. Fosters or Rob Bells of evangelicalism spoon feed the milk-craving underdeveloped and malnourished christians in today's churches (remember, the fake grapes are on the serving plates).