Monday, November 26, 2012
Moriah 4: Every Word
“Bo-y, you need to learn to slang your words,” My friend told me one night as we waited in the Choir line for a Sunday night service. I did a double take.
I was in the South with a capital ‘S’. You can’t get more south than the
Coast . I used to tell people I came from the
Northern coast, if there was such a thing. Mississippi
Cleveland, the one in
not Ohio ,
was on the coast of Tennessee Lake Erie. To the north of Lake
Erie was ,
so it was a coast of sorts. They used to
call it “The mistake by the lake,” when I went to college in Canada . Or, the people from Oxford, Ohio called it, “The armpit of Cincinnati .” It was all just jealousy. America
So here I stood at the opposite pole of
. A six foot tall person looked down at me and told
me to “slang” my words. What does a guy
say to a comment like that? I kept my
mouth shut and felt my face turn red. America
Later that night I headed back to my apartment and thought about my friend’s comment. “I could use with some loosening up,” I thought to myself. These people are happy.
The weekend came, and a friend from that same church, invited me to spend Saturday night at his house. It was a full half hour between Pascagoula and Biloxi, where I was stationed. Staying there saved on my car and gave me a little more time to hang out with my new friends.
Saturday night came.
“I’ve been following this new Bible study method,” My friend told me. “It really forces you to read and know the scriptures.”
He told me about his method for study, and showed me his extensive notes. He was in a program that gave him the equivalent of a Master’s in Biblical Study, though it wasn’t accredited, so he wouldn’t actually get the degree. In the end it didn’t matter to him, he wanted to read and study the Bible, and he was doing that.
I envied him. I thought to myself, “Why couldn’t I do this? There is so much confusion with all of these movements. If I could just study the Bible, I would be grounded.”
“There are a lot of preachers out there. They come across with strange doctrine. If you don’t get grounded in the Bible, you’ll get mislead,” his words echoed my thoughts.
I made up my mind. I needed to be grounded in the scriptures. I needed to stop following men. From that day on I dedicated myself to Bible study.
The rest of my tour in
brought me across the path of several charismatic preachers and movements. The more churches I visited, the more
movements I came across. They all showed
me the need to be firmly grounded in the Bible.
Movement Christianity can be dangerous.
You will end up believing things you never thought you would believe
because of the momentum of the movement. Mississippi
My Youth Director used to put it this way, “If the Devil can’t keep you from Christ, he’ll push you right past Him.” I saw that played out in the movements.
People start out following Christ, become zealous about the movement where they first experience Him and before long they are followers of the movement and not Christ anymore.
This just added to the message I had put in my back pocket.