Monday, May 23, 2011

What Are You Thinking?

Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

Computer people might restate that as "garbage in, garbage out". But I prefer Ann Curry's quote from jazz great Charlie Parker, "If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." And that describes us. We're a product of everything we take in ... physically, mentally and spiritually. And that's what I want us to consider today.

In an old post, I commented that I felt sorry for some of the Pharisees. I could really stretch that to more modern examples. There are believers and unbelievers who hear the Truth and reject it when they obviously shouldn't. There are others who have been trained throughout their lives to believe something else, then are given a brief exposition of Truth that isn't likely to change anything. And there's a third group who've been questioning what they'd been taught and readily receive and embrace Truth. And, just days ago, we saw examples of these.

First, there were those in Harold Camping's group who followed his multiple erroneous rapture predictions, despite having had better teaching prior to affiliating with Family Radio's teaching. Private interpretation took precedence over Truth. Along with those, somewhere on the fringe, were technicians, etc. who claimed not to believe the prophecy, but were technically active in spreading the false teaching. I'm not sure I'd want to be any of them when the real judgement arrives.

Second, there are those who listened to Family Radio when they were first saved and became indoctrinated in the combination of good and false doctrines. They know nothing else as proper doctrine. But they were learning because they wanted to draw closer to God. They're the ones who get hurt by the false teachings. Because, when those teachings unravel, they question the bad doctrine, themselves and even the good teaching around them. And we may be to blame for some of that by not taking enough time to disciple our new converts. We need to get better at that.

The third group could, maybe, be exemplified by the dazed Camping followers who recognize that there's something wrong with the results of the doctrinal stance that was taken. Ready to explore and embrace Truth. And this is where we have a real opportunity to show God's love. By not condemning, but lovingly showing them proper doctrine and demonstrating God's love for them.

I'm sure there are other examples of the three groups, but this one has been in the news and is recognizable by believer and unbeliever alike. The great thing is that, as public as this example was, we have one responsibility. The words of 1 Corinthians 14:6-9 tell us to trumpet the message of God's grace, mercy and love with a certain sound. And, as Charlie Parker put it, "If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."

As always, pray for Libby. And besides that, consider my friends Curtis and Dana, with varying needs and requests. And all the victims of the recent natural disasters, from Japan to Joplin and anywhere in between.

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