Stay Off of Slippery Slopes

Hello Hump Day readers … how is your week? Is it going well or going downhill on a slippery slope? I ask this because I read a short column from my daily Smithsonian articles that come via email and it caught my thoughts in several ways.

First, the photography of Victoria Falls in Africa was outstanding! I’ve never been there and likely won’t ever get there, but I loved the photos and the short video of this stunning area. I also noticed how shrouded it was in misty clouds and the article went on to explain the mist, the clouds, and the importance of them for the environment.

I also saw a very large sign in the video which was posted several times on the walking path. It said clearly, “Danger! Crumbling Edge.” I wondered in the mist and clouds if that could even be read by someone on the path. Well, the article went on to list several people who couldn’t quite see the sign so they did the unthinkable and ventured out toward the sign missing the slippery mud below them and sadly, it took them over the gorge and to their death. That was a downer indeed. The article mentioned that going off the path was forbidden and that was posted all along the pathways.

As folks who follow Jesus, how often have we missed “the signs” and started on our own slippery slopes? Some new theology or thought captures our minds and hearts and we miss the danger zone until we’ve gone too far. I believe this is truly infectious in our times today. We hear all kinds of preachers declaring what is right and wrong and many are not preaching what Scripture tells. Often the messages from those who claim faith in Christ are just as misleading if not downright un-truths that sadly lead people astray.

How many of us have walked on this kind of “crumbling edge?”   There are so many books, TV preachers, videos, etc., that lure us from the truth of the Gospel. We buy into something that is fresh and new because that “church down the road is exploding with folks so it must be right” and we’ve left our “fact-checkers” in the background and headed out into the mist.

It’s easy to be tempted into something that is popular. We have way too many options today from clothing, vehicles, movies, books—so much that we run to and don’t realize the harm it does to the solid theology of the Gospel. And worse, is the political polarization that has made their stake in a Christianity that is far from Scripture but great for getting elected if not filling the coffers of political war chests. Conspiracy theories have turned the Gospel into messages that destroy instead of build-up. Every day the crumbling edge crumbles some more and folks are falling off the slippery slope.

Perhaps you are not sure what is good theology, maybe church hasn’t been a part of your life or you’ve left it, etc., but the TRUTH hasn’t changed. The Bible IS truth and God’s Word will never mislead you—ever. If you’re not sure of something, watch for the warning signs, pray and ask God for the wisdom in making your decisions. If you find yourself tempted to walk out into the heavy mist of dangerous doctrine where things may not seem as they should, watch out for the warning signs! Stay grounded in the truth of Scripture. Recognize when what’s being taught is not what the Bible teaches. When you do that, you can be sure you’ll build your faith on the solid rock of good doctrine and not on the crumbling edge of bad theology.

The world would love to suck us all into its slippery slope of secular thinking, popular ideas, etc. We don’t want to go there! In fact, when we’re tempted to do so, we need to remember this important verse from Paul’s letter to the Romans (16:17-18) who, by the way, were sliding around on their slippery slopes. I am using The Message translation for this because I think it says to us in our modern day what we truly need to hear:

“One final word of counsel, friends.
Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the
teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble.
Give these people a wide berth.
They have no intention of living for our Master Christ.
They’re only in this for what they can get out of it,
and aren’t above using pious sweet talk
to dupe unsuspecting innocents.”