There’s an incredible emphasis these days on the food we eat. If you go in a grocery store, you’ll find health conscious moms reading the ingredients on everything from Frosted Flakes to Granola. You would think they were reading the Torah.
We are obsessed with health in America. Although we are the most obese nation in the world, we are obsessed with additives, fat grams and anything hydrogenated. While ordering the ‘biggie’ size upgrade on our drive through meal, we talk the newest diet craze.
Everything I like to eat is sinful, fattening or deadly. It seems when I order a steak or nachos the plate comes covered in cholesterol. I wonder if chocolate cheesecake has the good or bad cholesterol in it?
We want the feeling of getting away with something, so we process turkey to taste like beef, yogurt to taste like ice cream and diet drinks to taste like the real thing. Food is doctored up and processed with products and chemicals you can’t pronounce to give it the ‘right’ flavor.
It’s time for believers to read the labels when it comes to spiritual intake. We need to be discerning in who we listen to and who we read. More than one believer has been poisoned by error disguised as truth.
Truth must be determined by the Word. It is not based on personality or even sincerity. You can be sincere and be dead wrong. Some ‘teachers’ of the Word could give one spiritual indigestion. Many believers are dying by filling their spiritual veins with junk food. If left unchecked, they will eventually die of hardening of the spiritual arteries. Just because a man uses the name of Jesus, or even quotes the Bible doesn’t mean he is feeding you with manna from heaven.
Every preacher should exhort his people to be discerning. There is a proliferation of material and ministry these days, not all Biblically based. While we may disagree on interpretation (and don’t we all), the essentials are non-negotiable. I’ve heard one of my members say, “He must be right, so many people support his ministry.” Not a good standard of measurement.
Scripture commands believers to “study to show themselves approved unto God, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If we fail at this point, our hearts will be hardened to truth and we will die eating junk. The Word of God is rich in spiritual vitamins and nutrients. It is described as milk, honey, bread and meat. That’s quite a meal.
The Psalmist pictured the Word as our necessary food. If we teach our people to read, study, and apply the Word, they will be less likely to eat spiritual junk food. To not feed on the Word regularly will result in spiritual malnutrition.
America leads the world in Bible sales. Every church has some kind of Bible Study program. However, having it available, we tend to relegate it to a class or group study. Nothing can substitute for personal study. A good daily diet of the Word would alleviate the majority of the church health problems.
Vance Havner said, “When Bible believers take a stand against false doctrine, they are accused of ‘rocking the boat.’ It is better that belief should rock the boat than that unbelief should wreck the boat.”
From I Left My Mind In Mississippi…But I Still Have My Ministry, by Michael Catt. Copyright 1994.
©2001 MCC This article is copyrighted by the author and is for your individual use.
Reproduction for any other purpose is governed by copyright laws and is strictly prohibited.
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.