by David Wells
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January 11, 2012 Ė Pasteurized Christians
1 So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow into [completed] salvation, 3 Since you have [already] tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord. Ė 1 Peter 2:1-3 AMP
Peter tells Christians in todayís passage to be finished with any kind of evil in their lives. Wickedness, deceit, insincerity, jealousy, and evil speaking are to be replaced with an earnest desire for pure milk in order to grow into completed salvation. It left me wondering how many Christians know the difference between real milk versus the stuff you buy at the grocery store.
On our farm we have some milk cows. When they give birth, they obviously produce milk. They produce so much milk, in fact, that their newborn calf cannot consume all the milk they produce in a day. In those times, our sons go out, round them up, and our family gets to enjoy this fresh milk. We bring the warm milk into the house, refrigerate it, and over the course of several hours, the cream separates from the milk. That milk is the best milk I have ever tasted. I absolutely love the stuff. Marlo is not a big fan of it as she doesnít really like milk in general, but I am convinced that I could survive for months at the time with milk from those cows and Double Stuff Oreos by my side. It is the purest form of milk you can get and doesnít get any better.
So howís that milk from our cow different from the milk at the grocery store? They use cow milk donít they? Sure they do. But the difference lies in a process called pasteurization. As a child I was taught in school books and by countless teachers about the benefits of this process. It was like Louis Pasteur, its inventor, was the savior of humanity. This process took away bacteria from milk and made it healthy. Want to know the truth? This process came into existence because cows would step into the milk bucket and the dairies still wanted to sell the milk, regardless of what was on the hoof of the cow. How disgusting. Sure, pasteurization killed those bacteria so the milk was and still is fit for sale, but there are good bacteria in pure milk that helps promote wellness in the human body. Ultimately the process of pasteurization has led to a less effective and less healthy version of the real thing. Christians also wake up every day and find they too have gone through the process of pasteurization.
I was a pasteurized Christian for years. I was full of wickedness, hypocrisy, and jealousy. I have even met Christians who never get rid of sin in their life because they didnít want to get rid of it. None of us craved the real deal.
Do you know what they do to pasteurized milk to give it its nutritional value? They add man-made chemicals to it. They try to duplicate what God has made for us and promote its end health benefits. But these man-made efforts are not effective as the real thing. They lead to children with lactose intolerance. They lead to adults with allergy problems. The real thing has been compromised and will never be the same. This is why many Christians find themselves pasteurized.
I compromised the Word in my hypocritical life. Christians who keep sin in their life donít really desire to be a Christian. They just want to be called a Christian. They have already tasted the goodness of the Lord through their salvation, so why donít they crave the purity of the entire Bible? It all goes back to society.
Society has taught people for years they can have whatever they want. If they want to get saved, then they can get saved. If they want to continue in sin, they can continue in sin. There are no strings attached to keep you from doing whatever you want to do. Godly living is only for fanatics, right? If you donít want to be viewed as one, you better find some way to fit into the world so you can be a true, modern day Christian.
Thatís not true Christianity. It is instead hypocrisy and compromise. Christians who think this way are pasteurized. They have taken Godís Word, killed it, and rewritten it into a nice neat package without sound instruction in order to market it to the world. But there are no benefits to it. In the end, it leaves people sick and diseased, wondering why it looks so much like the real thing but just doesnít taste the same. Donít fall into the trap.
Are you a pasteurized Christian? Do you find yourself craving the Word or just anything that happens to make you feel good at the moment? Do you continually search for loopholes in the Bible to justify sin? Is your church doing such things to attract more members? By your salvation alone you have seen what God can do in your life. Why not crave the real thing and stop killing all God has for you in His Word? Nothing man can make to substitute it will even be close.
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