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Friday, June 15, 2012

Not Buying the Brooklyn Bridge

How does a Christian distinguish between what is God's will and the words of a false prophet or misguided person? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 683).

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37–40 spells out essential Christianity by which attitude and action are verifiable – it is the reality check to all claims of divine inspiration. There are several types of enticements that do not meet this test. One is romantic mysticism in which one worships with pseudo-religious infatuation charismatic persons. This is driven by a profound need for a feeling of significance. By touching the cloak of the religious mystic the need for limitless significance is superficially satisfied. By subject sycophancy one creates a surrogate God. Another enticement tightens the perimeter of the second Commandment to love one's neighbor. One's neighbor is limited to only those within one's clan. Hence familiar abominations are heard such as “my country right or wrong”or “God bless (my country only).” This enticement hugely stokes our ego at the expense of the gospel truth. A third enticement is that created through extensive propaganda. Propaganda represents huge sums invested to have us love entities and ourselves more than God or our neighbor. We are literally encouraged to love a trinket or a leader with all our heart, soul, and mind; and to adorn ourselves with these and not righteousness. In this sense, today's ministers of culture function as marketing executives. In the end, even though we have Matthew 22:37-40, discerning the truth is not all cut and dry. The Holy Spirit abides still to lead us.

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