Home | Archives | Guest Book | Links | churches of Christ | Contact Us
Plan of Salvation
 | Correspondence Course | Daily Bible Reading | Store
Gospel Gazette Online logo

Serving an international
readership with the
Old Jerusalem Gospel
via the Internet.

Vol.  9  No. 7 July 2007  Page 18
powered by FreeFind
Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Ernest Underwood

Religious Litter

By Ernest Underwood

    As our children were growing up, there was a hard and fast rule that applied as we were traveling. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was ever to be thrown from the car onto the roadway. Punishment would have been rather immediate and severe if there was disobedience.

    When we moved back to the United States from our first missionary tour of three years in Russia, we brought a Russian lady with us for a two week visit, as a gift of appreciation for the many ways in which she had been helpful to us. She saw sights that astounded her. On one occasion she went into hyperventilation when we went into a supermarket. Now, in Russia when you go to buy something, you first point out to a clerk the item(s) you want. The clerk then gives you a handwritten slip of paper of the amount of the items. This then is taken to the cashier where you pay that amount. The cashier gives you a paid receipt with which you then go back to the line (yes, everything has a line, usually a long one) and when it comes your turn again the clerk gathers the items you have paid for, puts them on the counter, and you put them in a bag that you have brought with you. When this lady saw this supermarket with it aisles and aisles of products, and such a large variety of each product, she just couldn’t comprehend it. She became so weak that I had to literally help her leave the store. Yet, as she was about to depart back to her native land, I asked her what had impressed her the most in our land. She first stated that the members of the Lord’s church, and the love shown to her, was the most impressive thing she had ever known. Then, she stated, “Your roads—they are so beautiful, so smooth and so clean.” Of course, compared to most of the roads in Russia that we had experienced, driving in our ditches would have been an improvement. I did not wonder that she was favorably impressed with our interstate highways, as well as lesser roads. However, even as nice as they are, we all know how disgusting it is to see all kinds of litter and actual household garbage lining our roads and highways.

    However, as repulsive as such litter is, there is a “litter” that is much more contemptible, and that is the “litter” of false teaching wherein men and women spew their religious garbage (false doctrines) over the airways, in the newspaper, on the television and in the church buildings on the streets and roads of our nation and our town. Although the litter on our highways is offensive, religious litter is much more so. Those who do the littering, and those who ingest such “spiritual garbage” into their hearts and souls, letting it guide their lives, will surely be lost eternally.

    Jesus warned about such litter. He said, “In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8). In this same discussion he pointed out that it isn’t what one eats that defiles, but that which comes out of the mouth—those false doctrines of men—is that which defiles. Such religious litter not only defiles the one from whom it emanates, it also defiles and destroys those who hear and follow. Jesus further stated, “They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

    The apostle Peter spoke of those false prophets who would bring in destructive heresies (false doctrines—spiritual litter) and would make merchandise of the many who would follow such prophets (cf. 2 Peter 2:1-3). Jude, likewise, did not make any “bones” about it as he described such teachers, be they male or female. He said of them that they are “marked out for condemnation, ungodly men…spots in your love feasts…clouds without water…raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame…these are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage” (excerpts from Jude 4-16).

    When the Lord and his apostles so described the false teachers of that day, and when one can see this same kind of malodorous religious teaching being done in the 21st century, can we call the message of those false teachers anything but spiritual litter and garbage? I think not.

Current Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20