Shalom everybody! I’m going old-school today with an actually written blog. I know, I know, that’s so 2001. But first, take a moment to enjoy the end of one of the most epic comedies of all time: Caddyschack! Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this.
So what on earth does Caddyshack, a corny comedy from the 80s, have to do with the faith once delivered? For you poor souls who are not familiar with the movie in question, it’s a slapstick comedy with layers of story lines. The story line I’m referencing today is not the one in the foreground where a young man won a golf tournament. It’s the back story with the gopher and the smoldering golf course. In that story, the groundskeeper, played by Bill Murray, goes through a series of increasing ridiculous scenarios to try to get rid of a gopher who is doing minor damage to the golf course. The crescendo of this insanity, akin to slaying a white whale (that’s a Moby Dick reference, incidentally), is Murray’s character actually blowing up the golf course and the gopher gets away. Now for the scripture and the tie-in:
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
(2Ti 4:1-5 NASB)
For the past four or five years, our movement has been playing whack a mole with ludicrous doctrines. Every year some new strange doctrine comes up and then those who would normally be talking about sound doctrine go to war trying to tamp down the strange doctrine. This scenario has come to such a climax that we’ve seen multiple strange doctrines come up just in 2017. It’s a gigantic game of whack-a-mole and guess what? The movement is a smoldering mess. In the name of YouTube hits or website traffic, we have gone full sensationalist. Those who propose the “next new thing” as it was referred to at Sukkot in Wewoka, are lusting after attention in the form of web traffic. Those who just can’t take the bad teaching anymore are fighting an endless battle because we feel if someone doesn’t fight back, then the madness will win out. But, again, this has left our golf course in ruins. It’s to a point where we are literally damaging the sheep. In one of a few anecdotal incidents. I recently had a conversation with a believer in the northeast who refused to go to Sukkot because, you guessed it, the crazy teachings circulating in the movement. She simply can’t take it anymore and regards the holy assembly as being profane.
So what do we do? Clearly the whack-a-mole track isn’t working out. All it is doing is elevating false teachers and creating division. I say we ignore it. Instead of scouring the interwebs looking for some new thing to slam, why not go nuts and read our bibles? Or perhaps perform an indepth study on a section of the bible using actually credible resources? Why not take a month and read Josephus, the Antiquities of the Jews, and really understand the context of first century Judea. Why not just return to our first loves, actual truth, and meditate on the WORD like we are supposed to do. This year’s Sukkot in Wewoka wasn’t burdened down with esoteric and strange doctrines and, guess what? It was kind of nice and relaxing. So lLet’s start filling in those craters and replanting some grass. That’s what I’m going to do. Are you going to join me?