When I was a young pastor, in my zeal to preach biblical truth, I often referred to II Tim 4:3-4, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Today we have a lot of itching ears.
In those days I never had The Message as back-up to make the point sink in with the congregation. “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.” Men, don’t be satisfied with “spiritual junk food.”
Recently Barna research group came out with this shocking data indicating how our nations is consuming “spiritual junk food.” They found that just over half of Americans hold a biblically-informed view of God, a 22 % drop from 30 years ago. The new report also showed that only 51% of Americans considered God to be “all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect and just creator of the universe who still rules the world today.” In 1991, 73% of Americans believed that to be true.
Even more shocking is the fact that only 52% believe “the Holy Spirit is not a living entity, but merely a symbol of God’s power, presence or purity,” while 56% believe that “Satan is not merely a symbol of evil but is a real spiritual being and influences human lives.” Nearly half of those surveyed believed in a God who is an influential spiritual being but not full confident that He even exists.
“The spiritual noise in our culture over the last few decades has confused and misled hundreds of millions of people,” concluded Barna. “We can no longer assume that people have a solid grasp of even the most basic biblical principles.” As a nation we have moved from upholding absolute moral truth to embracing “spiritual junk food.”
Men, here is my counsel in light of these findings. First, determine in your mind (thinking process) what you believe the bible to be. It is the final authority in all matter of faith and practice. It has to be the final word – period! It’s a decision!
Secondly, I plead with you to take at least 15 minutes a day to study, reflect and meditate on scripture. It is solid food for our soul. Eugene Peterson reminds us, “Sound teaching is not junk food. Nor it it comfort food. It’s solid food. Hearty and healthy and good for the soul.” It’s a habit!
Thirdly, submit yourself to the instruction of the scripture. Allow the truth of Scripture to form your world view. Have the bible in one hand and the news report in the other. It’s work!
Fourthly, pay attention to the preachers and teachers who influence you. Ask these two questions. First, do they submit to the authority of Scripture and secondly, does their lifestyle reflect an obedient heart. Don’t be spiritually blind
Fifthly, let your family know, that God’s word is precious and true. Do your best, by the grace of God and by his mercy in your life, to live according to the truth of Scripture. Let your family see and know how the bible orders your life.
Sixth, one more thing. Don’t expect others to teach your children the truth. That is your duty as the head of your house. Be their primary “bible-teacher.”