23rd May 23:36
Peddling Snake Oil (false faith reality religion grace)
When we decide we really want to know the truth about God we will look to
what He has said, and stop listening to those who only spout the ideas and
opinions of mortal men.
Some things never seem to change. Now the latest snake oil salesmen are out
peddling the bones of someone’s desecrated grave as the remains of Jesus
Christ and His family. I suppose it will sell books and a round or two on
So often these days the so-called knowledge being offered to the world is
nothing more than a comic-book tale designed to make money. Maybe even a
lot of money. After all, what could offer more fame or fortune than to have
some "secret knowledge" about Jesus Christ?
There was a time when men and women "of learning" truly hungered to know the
truth about the world. I know that we still have many honest men and women
today who work hard to uncover knowledge, wisdom, and truth. But we also
have our share of hucksters who will peddle any idea you want for a dollar.
Christians, of course, are not impressed. The Lord Jesus Himself, as well
as His prophets and apostles testified that such delusions would be offered
to —and received by—the world. In fact, lies and accusations against Christ
and His followers were already in circulation before the Lord Jesus went to
Unbelief simply cannot accept the reality of God's grace and power.
No one should be shocked that Hollywood (long famous for distorting even the
simplest story and changing every truth into something more profitable)
would jump to propagate such nonsense. In the name of entertainment,
Hollywood cranks out any kind of story promising fame and fortune.
I am grateful for one thing: God always allows the liar to show his own
hand. The deceptions currently being peddled about Jesus will be no
exception. While some souls, desperate for "proof" that Jesus never was
what He claimed to be, will no doubt embrace the newest "evidence," reality
itself will overtake most of the world when the rest of the story unfolds.
And the rest of the story always unfolds with time.
I am mostly amused by the news media. Journalists have a habit of dividing
the world into two groups: those who follow the evidence, and those who
But all people live by faith. We all tend to follow the ideas that make the
most sense to us. That’s why so much overwhelming evidence is required by
skeptics. Their ideas keep getting in the way. Faith in their own
philosophical heroes and ideologies makes it difficult for them to accept
even solid evidences to the contrary.
But in all fairness it isn’t just the skeptics. We’re all like that, to
some degree. Human beings develop opinions and convictions as we experience
life, and as we hear or embrace new ideas that seem to correspond with what
we’ve already felt or thought. We tend to believe the things that confirm
our own perceptions and conclusions.
Most real Christians, for example, do not believe in Jesus simply because
someone told them a nice story in Sunday school or church. That may work
for children, but not for adults facing the struggles of daily life.
In fact, many Christian started out in life just as confused and skeptical
as the rest of society. Biblical faith requires a supernatural
intervention. Jesus Christ Himself confronts us at some point and the
Presence and power of the Holy Spirit transforms us into new believers.
This may happen when we are children, while we are ****s, or after we become
adults. The result is the same: new life.
When faiths collide, the result is controversy.
Unbelieving skeptics follow their firm convictions (their faith) that all
religion and all ideas about God originate in the imaginations of mortal
men. At the same time, Christians who’ve truly experienced rebirth in
Christ are naturally “skeptical” of the so-called evidences that unbelievers
drum up to prove the Bible is false.
People on the outside (unbelievers) can never understand what the true
Christian believer is talking about. Nor do they comprehend why born-again
Christians can’t be talked out of what they now know to be real. To truly
know Christ is not to simply follow a dogma or religion. To know and follow
Jesus Christ is to walk with God.
When I was in a small village of Old Mexico some decades ago, I remember
standing in a tiny tienda, a neighborhood store, talking with the owner's
son. I tried to tell him what the supermarkets were like in the United
The little store in Mexico had no electricity most of the time, so
everything was kept very warm. Even soft drinks were sold warm. I told the
young man about the refrigeration systems and air-conditioning used in U.S.
stores. Since he had visited larger towns and cities in Mexico, he
understood what I was talking about. But when I describe shopping malls,
and how escalators were electrically-powered stairs moving people from level
to level, he stopped listening. He simply could not believe that such
things existed. Not even in the United States. He thought I was telling a
That's how it is with unbelievers when a true follower of Jesus talks about
the life we have in Christ. They simply can’t go there in their thinking.
They often know some things about religion and dogma, but not about real
life in Christ. (To know real life in Christ is to cease to be an
unbeliever.) And so they’re more likely to accept any story that might
prove us wrong.
I couldn’t prove to the storekeeper’s son in Old Mexico that shopping malls
had moving stairs called escalators. Standing in the heat of the day, in a
tiny store in a village with unpaved streets, my story seemed fantastic. He
would have to see shopping malls and the escalators for himself before he
When unbelievers meet Christ for themselves they finally discover that all
the passing "evidences" conjured up against Jesus and against the Bible are
empty and silly. They stop trying to prove God false. They stop listening
to the latest fad in unbelief, because they now know the truth about Jesus
Christ. They know because now they are on the inside looking out.
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