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Pointers along the way #629


- Jacob Ninan

What we see in many 'Christian book shops' nowadays is that the focus of the display is on 'Christian' articles such as pictures with verses, key chains, etc., or music CDs or DVDs, rather than books! The sales people tell us that these are the things that sell more than books. If we look around at our Christian friends what we see is that for many of them the 'Christian' activity they enjoy is listening to Christian music, and not Bible study or prayer.

It is a fact that since the arrival of multi media in easily available forms, less people read anything at all compared to what they watch on their phones, computers or TV. This has affected Christians also in how much they read their Bible or Christian books. A survey has shown than less than 20% of Christians have read through the full Bible even once. When we remember that the Bible is God's gift to us with which we can grow spiritually (1Pe.2:2), we can understand why many are not growing in their relationship with God or in their understanding of His ways. Compared to those who actually read the Bible, the number of those who read Christian books is even much less.

For many Christians, all their knowledge of God is from their pastor or favourite TV personality. To say the least, this is all second-hand. Their spiritual food is coming to them pre-cooked, and people just have to swallow what they get. Doesn't this explain at least one reason why false teachings flourish when they are put across by impressive speakers? The hearers or readers now do not have to exercise their spiritual senses at all either to discern if what they hear is true or to learn how to apply it in their practical lives (He.5:14). They become blind followers of blind teachers (Mt.15:14).

When Christians have to be fed always with 'milk', pampered with entertainment, kept from getting offended, etc., one reason could be that they have never been born again properly, because just as physical babies start crying for physical food, those who are truly born again will have a deep hunger for the word of God which alone can nourish them (1Pe.2:2). What they need to hear is the bad news that they are sinners in the sight of God headed for hell and the good news that Jesus has come to save them from sin.

Because of watered down preaching that avoids offence, many are really not born again, but they are given the impression that they are safely on the way to heaven. Then everybody has to keep them entertained lest they leave. When people want only promises, words of comfort and encouragement, etc., and cannot bear any word of exhortation or correction, then there is a strong chance that they have not experienced salvation or that their spiritual growth is stunted. They are really disinterested in spiritual things, and they want to be attracted with cake or games! What they need is not encouragement but to wake up from their spiritual deception. Where are the preachers who will lovingly tell them that?


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