Give me a good, Christian read, and I am in knowledge heaven!
I’ve always been a reader. I much prefer to read than listen to a podcast or audio or watch a video of the material. Reading, along with spelling, English, and the law classes I took as I progressed further in my education, has always been a favorite subject of mine. At one time, I would read loads of fiction “garbage,” but now, I only consume the things of God. More than anything else, you will find me reading and studying my Bible. Next up will be commentary on my findings, via my favorite Christian theologians and teachers, Christian articles, and, here and there, Christian blogs. I’m not big on Christian books, but I have read through a few in my day (none of which I’d recommend).
In everything that I consume mentally, even if it is labeled Christianity, I am mindful of the materials. You must be, too. However, in order to be mindful of the materials, we must first be familiar with the Word of God. If we’re not familiar with what God’s Word says, we will be easily swayed by the things we read, as we won’t be armored up to refute the lies of satan, brought to us by his junior allies. Yes, I did say his junior allies. How can I say that about a Christian author writing Christian material? Well, because not everyone writing under the umbrella of Christianity is truly a Christian.
I’ll give you an example.
As I did some reading on GotQuestions.org one day, I found an interesting article on a lady named Ellen G. White. According to the site, Mrs. White was a former Methodist, who converted to Adventism through the preaching of a man named William Miller—a false prophet. Miller “predicted” Christ would return in 1843 or 1844. Of course, his prophecy failed. Matthew 24:36 tells us, “But concerning that day and hour [of Christ’s return] no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
When Miller’s “prophecy” failed, a couple of his followers claimed to have visions to account for the failure. One of these followers was 17-year-old Ellen G. Harmon (Ellen married an Adventist preacher—James White—and thus became White). In this vision, White said she saw the Adventists on a journey to the city of God. Those who were weak and gullible believed her, and she soon became: a “beacon of hope” for those disappointed by Miller’s failed prophecy, a unifier of Adventists factions, and the spiritual guide for a new religious group.
After White’s marriage to husband James (1846), the two began to study the teachings of Joseph Bates, a man who promoted Sabbath-keeping for all Christians. The two were sure that Bates’ teaching was correct, and began observing Saturday Sabbath. Soon afterward, White had another “vision.” This vision, so she said, confirmed her newfound belief. White “claimed to have been shown the law of God in a heavenly sanctuary, and the fourth commandment [concerning the Sabbath] was surrounded by a halo of light.” Therefore, “the Whites began to uphold Sabbath-keeping as a primary doctrine.” (Note: This vision was clearly false, as was the others, because under the new covenant, Sabbath-keeping isn’t required. We’re no longer under the law, but under grace. In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul says: “Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Romans 14:5 says, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” If a believer chooses to honor the Sabbath [i.e., by resting and not doing any work], that is up to them; however, no believer is under any obligation to do so, and no believer should force anyone else under that obligation, either.)
Ellen White later began documenting her false beliefs and visions—she wrote about 60 books in total. The site also notes that she wrote nearly 10,000 pages of “prophetic” material as well, having much of it published in the nine-volume Testimonies for the Church.
There’s much more to be said about Mrs. White, but I won’t document it here, as I don’t want this post to be too long (or should I say, too much longer?). Nevertheless, you can read the article on the GotQuestions.org website. It’s titled “Who Was Ellen G. White?”
I noted Mrs. White, and these things about her, as an example to you that just because someone says God’s name or writes about Him, doesn’t mean that they are actually living for him, actually writing the truth about Him, or actually even know Him. So, be extremely mindful when consuming “godly” or “biblical” content, because the enemy is a trickster. Second Corinthians 11:14 tells us that he disguises himself as an angel of light. He’ll do whatever he can, however he can, in order to deceive. Yes, he’ll even use an author or “prophetess” who is supposedly “called by God” to write, which is why we must be on guard. In Matthew 24:24, Jesus warns us, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
The enemy is relentless in his pursuit of God’s children, and therefore, we must be even more relentless in our quests to find and hold tightly to the truth—the truth of God’s Word. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
All that we need to defeat the enemy and his allies is given to us in the Word of God. But, it is up to us to read it, study it, crave it, and apply it. In doing so, we will be equipped to reject the lies and wiles of the enemy, and to cling wholeheartedly to the truth of Christ.