The Birthing of Spiritual Fads

Paul Hoffmaster

Paul Hoffmaster

There is always something to write about, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.  When you think the Bible (KJV) has 1,189 chapters and 31,173 verses, which includes 773,746 words, there should be enough content to occupy our interest until we meet Him face to face.  When we compare the extra curricular “self help” tutorials that strive to explain the Scripture, we have entered into the world of interpretive theology.  Christianity has become big business in promoting editorials on what God means from His Word.  Today, Christian publications have surpassed the Bible in revenue growth. Whenever someone writes anything, from a pamphlet to a book, inquiring minds rush to purchase the newest “must have.”  Electronics bridge the gap between the “seeker” and his desire to hear or see the manna from Heaven.

Does God really need help in making the Bible more relevant to its hearers?  There seems to be a “cliff note” mentality in so many Believers.  Instead of searching out the Scriptures themselves, they want someone to present a condensed version, which highlights the important aspects of selective Truth.  This trend is also evidenced in our Saturday/Sunday worship experiences.  Let the Pastor spoon feed his congregants and burp them so they can best understand the Word without feeling uncomfortable!  The Pastor/Shepherd is to lead his people to the truth of God’s Word and encourage them to search for themselves.

Do we really need people to explain what God has so clearly said in His Word? Throughout the years there have been periods of “discovered truths” that have been presented to the body of Christ.  These “uncovered” truths are like a shot of spiritual adrenalin to the Christian.  Whenever the Bible is neglected, modern interpretations are birthed to satisfy the stagnant Believer.  These fads are short lived and are eventually replaced by “updated relevancy.”  So much of the Christian literature today is centered on receiving, instead of giving.  Our faith is more vertical than horizontal.  The evidence of our spiritual growth is displayed by the outward instead of through the inner man.  Reality has become the new faith.

Instead of supplementary books and recordings, why don’t we just open the Word and let the Holy Spirit illuminate the Word in our spirits?  Let us not be so quick to reach a goal of reading the entire Bible in a year.  Instead, let us read one word at a time, giving the Holy Spirit time to seed that Word into our spirits.  Once that Word germinates into a living entity, our minds will grasp its power and we will begin to exhibit its Truth.  Many Christians are bypassing the Bible for explanatory books that convey an editorial understanding of the Scripture.  There is no substitute for God’s Word!  If we do not understand certain verses, move on to the next verse.  When the Holy Spirit believes we are ready for its meaning and application, He will open our understanding.

There is nothing wrong with extra Biblical publications, as long as they do not become the text book for our spiritual journey.  When religious books transcend the Bible, we will be vulnerable to extra Biblical truths which will lead to confusion.  Whatever we read, we must make sure it does not conflict with or contradict the Scriptures.  We must never dilute the Word to fit it into our comfort zone.  Let us be patient in our quest for Biblical understanding.  There are no short cuts to Scriptural comprehension.  We need to study the Word and let the Holy Spirit illuminate it.

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