Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Fish and Bread Christians
It has been said that it is difficult to speak to people who have an empty stomach. Therefore often food, medical care, or some other good works program is used as a means to gain an audience. There is certainly nothing wrong with helping people who are in need but we must understand that many will learn that Christians are generous and will take advantage of our graciousness. We therefore must learn how to guard and be good stewards of our resources. Jesus spoke of the danger of casting our pearls to the swine. The Devil will often send people to us who know how to talk the talk but are not willing to walk the walk. They are here for no other reason but to test us.
Growing up in a small town, I ventured into the perilous and confusing arena of the occult. Later, as a Christian, I was thrust headlong into a much broader view of religion through Biblical apologetics and the life experience of missionary outreach among a variety of denominational traditions. In effort to understand and meet the needs of people from different cultures and religious backgrounds my wife, Peggy, and I have always tried to find some form of practical application to what we have studied. In 1989 we traveled with a medical missionary team made up of an assortment of Christian denominations to Haiti with Peggy serving as the dentist. To get a glimpse at the mind of Islam we listened to the Muslims and Christians debate at “Speaker’s Corner” in London’s Hyde Park in 1988. On the Alaska/Canadian coast we have logged thousands of miles on boats exploring remote towns and villages. Several road trips across the United States put us in Mormon fundamentalist towns where polygamy is still a part of that “old time” religion. We have been to Jehovah’s Witness conventions, Bahai Faith meetings, Muslim Mosques, Buddhist temples and Mormon testimony meetings.