Do you remember Gilligan’s Island? I couldn’t wait to get home in the afternoons so I could watch that TV show, back in the day. One of the shows featured an actor named Hans Conried, a marvelous character actor. In this particular episode, a pilot named Wrong Way Feldman came to the island and eventually flew away in a hastily repaired plane promising to send help to the castaways.
But Feldman, true to his name, flew away in the wrong direction and once he finally made it to civilization, he couldn’t remember how to get back to the castaways. We even say, “Wrong way, Feldman” around here and none of the children knows what it means.
Feldman was so earnest, so honest and so wrong. He really believed he was He doing the right things. He thought because something looked right and seemed right to him, that it was absolutely right. But he never stopped and thought about what he was doing what he did or questioned himself. He just did it because it seemed right. He didn’t compare what he thought was right to any standard except his feelings.
He was just like people who believe things about God and the Bible that have no truth to them. Those folks are earnestly and sincerely going the wrong way.
There are Christians out there who, when they see the name “Christian” tacked to anything, believe that thing is true. If it makes them feel good, they think it must be right. If something sounds good to them, makes them feel all warm and fuzzy, its must be OK. Or, if something brings them some kind of comfort, it must be godly. And if there are other Christians who are reading it and loving it, well then, it must be OK.
The truth is, human beings have emotional and spiritual needs that they work hard to fill. And if something seems OK, they’ll use it to fill those needs but many Christians don’t take God’s command to guard their hearts seriously. They don’t test the spirits or compare what they want to use to fill their needs with scripture.
One of the ways Christians fill their needs and try to find spiritual guidance is in books and other reading material. In particular I am referring to books like The Shack and Jesus Calling and Heaven Is For Real. There are tons of others, these are just three that constantly come across my Facebook feed or Twitter.
Books like these can really make us feel good. They reach inside us and touch some human feeling, some need. They offer something we are looking for. Perhaps we’re looking for direction or empathy, hope, consolation, a listening ear or forgiveness. Books like these can paint in words a perception of God that is pleasing to our minds but not true to scripture. And in some cases they can speak soothing words to us that please us but which are not God’s words.
Someone said to me once, “It doesn’t matter that these books don’t teach truth. They don’t claim to be God’s words, they don’t claim to be teaching theology.”
Here’s the thing about that. If a book presents a view of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of Jesus, or claims to speak for Him, it has stepped over the line from fiction into the world of theology. And sometimes well-meaning Christians don’t differentiate between the two. It becomes a blur and before they know it, they are building their understanding of God and His Kingdom on a work of fiction.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. 2 Timothy 4:3
I’m telling you, that time is here. Books and teachings like these (there are thousands) do not agree with scripture. They do not offer God’s truth. You can be deceived if you allow yourself to be deceived.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:23-24
The reason so many cannot see this is due to Biblical illiteracy. Do you know how experts can tell if U.S. paper money is fake? They do not study the fakes, they study the real bills and know that paper money inside out, from one end to the other. Then when they are presented with a forgery, they know it.
This is how we can know if a teaching, preaching or book is true to scripture; we study the Real Thing; the Bible, until we know exactly what it says and means. Only then can we accurately compare it to other works to see if they measure up.
We’ve got to turn away from the Wrong Way. Don’t be fooled.