Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Itching Ears of the American

Nearly a month ago, my husband and I took some time to watch the ABC News Iowa Republican Debate anchored by correspondents Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. Watching was hardly my decision, but my husband’s. Given the choice, I would have turned to HGTV or The Food Network. However, I surprisingly found myself growing interested in this question and answer process. Difficult and controversial issues were raised and I anticipated each candidate’s response.

What disappointed me most was that I realized, yet again, my inability to decipher true meaning behind countless words of grandeur. Had I been given the challenge to cast my vote for the next President of the United States upon viewing this debate, I would have failed miserably. Why? Simply because almost every candidate presented themselves to be a wonderful choice! Each made valid points. Each came across as having genuine concern for the welfare and wellbeing of our country and our people.

Truth is, I prefer not to bother myself with politics. Most issues I simply don’t understand. I know I could, and maybe should, invest my time in researching all the hot topics and backgrounds of each candidate, but I choose not to. These divisive subjects are just plain confusing and I feel inadequate when it comes to all things political. So I choose to let my husband, pastor, and other leaders I trust make those decisions for me. Sad, I know.

What’s even worse is that most Americans do this very thing when it comes to religion and the truth of the scriptures. Many of us feel overwhelmed with doctrine and incapable of deciphering truth, so we let someone else do it for us. We find churches and pastors teaching prosperity and the good life with smooth words and flattering speech, deceiving the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:18). We really don’t want to hear all the negativity that comes with judgment, right and wrong, and an eternity in hell. We desire simply to attend church, knowing we should, and we want to leave church feeling like a good person, worthy of approval from an all loving, all accepting god. And many will follow their destructive ways... by covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words (2 Pt 2:2,3).

While allowing others to decide our country’s future is irresponsible and terribly risky, allowing others to decide our eternal future is downright dangerous. And not just dangerous, eternally dangerous! Each candidate knows exactly what the American people want to hear, laboring tirelessly to tickle our ears and win the next vote. Likewise, countless churches and pastors are operating the same way, teaching faithfully and precisely only that which will fill their buildings and their pockets rather than fill your spirit with truth and the Kingdom of God with saints.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. -2 Timothy 4:2-4

Yes, knowing the truth of God’s Word takes effort, and yes, sometimes it seems overwhelmingly difficult, if not impossible. However, we MUST be in the Word and in prayer. We MUST guard our hearts against deception. If you find it difficult to read, study, or understand His Word, pray, pray, and pray some more. Ask God to open your eyes before you read, as you read, and after you read. Satan is capable of stealing God’s Word right out of your heart and mind (Matt 13:19), but God desires for you to read and understand. However, we cannot understand without the help of God through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:10-16).

If you missed the ABC News Iowa Republican Debate and are interested, you can get caught up here, since I really can’t tell you anything that was said L.

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