By Lewis Willis
I’ve been traveling again, and something happened which gave me the idea for this article. On my flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Akron, I was served my lunch. You never expect much from one of those meals, but this one even managed to fall far below my expectations. Let me try to describe what I was served. On a long wooden skewer stick, I received four large chunks of boiled chicken (you surely know what boiled chicken looks like!), with four pieces of green pepper and a cherry tomato in between the pieces of chicken. To further enhance the chicken, I was given one small sweet pickle, a black and green olive. Besides this main course, there was a tossed salad which consisted of several kinds of exotic lettuce that you and I have never seen before. I was given a packet of barbecue sauce for the chicken, and a packet of Italian dressing for my salad. If you do not realize what this combination tastes like, try it some time. I was given a one inch chunk of soft cheese in shiny alumium foil with a name I could not even pronounce. I did recognize the two Nabisco crackers they served with my cheese, though. For dessert I was given two cylinder shaped sticks of cookie, about the size of a fountain pen. However, there was no filling in it; it was hollow in the middle. It was flavored with chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon. I scarcely knew I had even eaten dessert; I just had a pleasant taste in my mouth. Well folks, that was my lunch. US AIR must have spent many dollars to provide it as a convenience for me during my flight. I am certain all of you men are ready to ask your wives to prepare just such a meal for you. The sad part is, I ate the whole thing. And, as you might suspect, it tasted awful!
That was my experience, and I am sure you are wondering what possible application I can make of it in this article. Here it is. I am convinced that people will swallow about anything, whether it be food or religious ideas. In a given circumstance, most people will accept anything. If my wife placed such a meal on the table in front of me, I would suddenly suggest that I take her out to lunch. I cannot explain why I decided to cat the meal US AIR served to me. I wasn’t even hungry! Since it didn’t even look appetizing, it had to be the novelty of the situation.
The Bible speaks of food for the Christian. For babes in Christ, Peter prescribed “the sincere milk of the word” (1 Pet. 2:2). The Hebrew writer noted that “strong meat” was for those of maturity (Heb. 5:14). The Word of God is given to us to nourish us in the ways of the Lord. This good food is appetizing to those who love God and recognize that the Bible is his Word. Again, the Hebrew writer talks of those who “have tasted of the heavenly gift,” and of those who “have tasted the good word of God” (Heb. 6:4-5). If Christians are what they are supposed to be, they will be satisfied and delightfully nourished with the food God provides. After sitting at the table that God spreads before us, we will be satisfied with his goodness.
After God has provided us with nourishment for the soul, along comes the false prophet with his meal. Isn’t it interesting the things a false teacher can get folks to eat? I have heard many people say things like, “I can’t believe I swallowed that,” after they have learned the Truth. I have seen many who were Christians accept things that I never dreamed they would accept. It seems that with religion, like food, about anything will do.
The false prophet says there is no God, and people accept that (Psa. 53:1). He says Jesus is not God’s Son, and people accept that (Jn. 8:24). He says the Bible is not from God, and people accept that too (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:12-13). He says you don’t have to be baptized to be saved, and people accept that (Mk. 16:16). He says it is alright for the church to use instrumental music in its worship, and people accept that (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). The false prophet says build a facility so that the church can serve common meals to itself, and people accept that (1 Cor. 11:34).
You can serve people any combination of religious doctrines, theories or ideas, no matter how outrageous they might be, and people will sit down and “eat it up” with great delight. We had better open the Bible and “check the menu” before we decide to eat. Some food, you know, will kill you!
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 19, p. 590
October 1, 1992