Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Devotion 7.15.15

A book I read in college (on my own, not for class) was Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (Simon and Schuster, 1961) which was about a B-25 pilot in World War II.  He wanted out of the Army (Army Air Corp at the time which later became the Air Force).  The number of missions to fly to qualify to leave kept increasing so he wanted to plead insanity.  Yet, as his fellow servicemen and officers told him, it is totally sane to not want to be in battle, so to plead insanity to get out is a completely sane act.  He was in, as we now call it, a "catch-22" situation.

During the course of the book, some officers get into a conversation about God.  All four are atheists, but they argue anyway that if they did believe in God, their God would "be like this" (and they went on to describe their gods in great detail).

Aren't we like that as Christians? Divided into numerous denominations and non-denominations to serve God the way we see Him (and Her by some accounts depending on the faith)?  This can be reflected in today's debates about marriage as various faiths weigh in on whether or not certain types of marriage are "God-pleasing" or not.  Some faiths focus on a strict interpretation of the scripture and some have almost completely abandoned the mention of anything related to faith and have either a prosperity gospel (you are your own special creation and can accomplish your dreams) or a social gospel (we are here to serve the poor, the needy, the less fortunate, the ill, the infirmed, etc), neither of which mention sin, Satan, death, forgiveness, Christ and the resurrection.  Sometimes we all forget this is not our gospel, it is the Word of God, given to us by God to come to and strengthen our faith and that of others.

Christ speaks of such when he speaks of signs of the end of the age (this doesn't mean it is around the corner, so please don't read it as such), "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!', do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.'" (Matthew 24:23 - 24)

How to discern all of this?  Test what is taught against the scripture or take it to a learned person in the scripture to ask.  Pray to God for guidance when you hear such things taught.  Be in the Word and personal prayer and devotion time to learn and apply what Christ is teaching.

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