Salad Bar Christianity
The Salad Bar came into our lives back in the late1960’s in restaurants. The concept was simple – everything you could possibly want on a salad was laid out in individual bowls on a table and you chose which items you wanted and how much you wanted. There were even new inventions developed to protect the foods on the salad bar – the ever popular “sneeze guard”! Today everyone is familiar with the salad bar concept and it has even grown to now include hot foods, soups and desserts.
It is a grievous thing to realize that so many modern Christians have relegated their walk with the Lord to a salad bar mentality. They have decided that the Holy Scriptures of God are the menu items and they pick and choose which items are pertinent for their spiritual appetite. There are the basic items that we always have: Sin, Crucifixion, Resurrection of Christ, and Heaven – oh, yes, no one has a problem with adding Heaven to their plate. Some of the items are fresh and enticing: Prosperity and Freedom in the Lord are very popular and must be kept fresh and refilled at all times. These are the ones that everyone wants to add to their line-up.
But it is the older items that seem to be left behind to become stale and not so appetizing anymore, such as: sacrifice, dying to the flesh and serving others without the newspaper covering it. How often I open a newspaper and see a church here or a youth group there who are giving out food in a poor neighborhood or going to the nursing home to sing Christmas carols. It always makes me wonder why this was needed to be publicized. Does the scripture not tell us- “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6:1-4
It is so important that we recognize and understand and accept that the Holy Word of God is not a pick and choose prospect. We live under the New Covenant which was established through the sacrificed Blood of Christ. The Old Covenant was an example and shadow of what was to come in the New. We cannot throw it all out and say it is not pertinent to us, but we must examine it closely in relation to the Light that we have received by Christ. Much of the daily walk is clearly spoken in the Old Covenant and it is a valuable resource for us.
If you assume that the Holy Scriptures were not completely and totally the inspired Word of God and perhaps some human reasoning was added in with the words then we also begin to allow disrespect and compromise to enter into our accepting it. That is the point where we allow ourselves to throw out the portions that we do not like and make us uncomfortable. God forgive us! Just because you think that a scripture is not “for today” doesn’t mean that you are right. Ignoring the truth and self-imposed blindness are not going to stand up before a Just God.
The Word of God is alive. Why is it that we keep adding in cultural importance to determine the validity of the Scriptures? Do you think the Lord Himself did not realize that it would be read by people thousands of years after Christ? Do you think that He is not a big enough God to make His points clear to those who didn’t live “way back then”? Ridiculous! He knew the culture of each human on this earth then, now and in all time to come. He knew that modern society would call us to a more and more ungodly lifestyle. He knew “way back then” how we “now-a-days” would think, feel and assume. HE IS, WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AN OMNISCIENT GOD! All-knowing, All-seeing, All-powerful.
There must come a point in time where we face the truth and say – God is God and His Word is TRUTH!!! You cannot pick and choose what you like and add it to your plate and then pour the dressing of “God is Love” all over the top to cover the error. Yes, God is Love – but Love doesn’t allow sin. It doesn’t close its eyes to compromise. It doesn’t say – “Oh, that’s okay. I know this part is hard so I am not going to make you do this part!” Really?
I want to encourage all to seek the Lord about those areas that they may be skipping over. All concepts in the Word of God are “. . . given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Tim 3:16
For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.