All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).
Have you ever sat along side a swiftly flowing river to watch the waters
move. You can fix your eyes on a stick and follow it with your eyes as it passes then
eventually fades from sight. Fix your eyes on the floating object long enough and you may
notice that it seems as though the object and the water move as one, and everything on the
shores become a blur.
But put yourself in the stick's place. You happened to have sort of fallen into the place
you are now. You're going with the flow, following the currents for the time. After a
while you don't really notice the speed you are moving. In fact, it doesn't really seem
that you're moving that fast at all. When you first started moving, you noticed the
shoreline becoming a blur. But now, you hardly notice the shore at all. It's easier to
watch as another stick seems to be catching up to you or passing you by.
I recently found myself concerned as one of my children was wowed by a musical group that
has recently grown to fame. I really didn't know that much about the group and I was not
too sure of their values and beliefs. But I did know that they were mainstream, and this
disturbed me. Why? Because I know how entrancing the things in the mainstream can be, and
I know how distracting they can become. Things in the mainstream are often wondrous,
causing onlookers to wonder where they came from and where they are headed. Things in the
mainstream always seem like they're going somewhere while someone on the sidelines may
feel like he is not going anywhere. The mainstream is attractive and tempting, and has
claimed many souls who have jumped in--who lose focus on the reality of stable shorelines.
In the day in which we live, we must be very careful that we are not taken in by the false
promises of a fading existence. Jesus warned, "For there shall arise false Christs,
and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were]
shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). We live in an age full of
self-flattering ideologies and self indulgent philosophies. It would be real easy to be
taken in by the enticing mainstream currents of our day. Yet Christ warns us so that we
will not be deceived--so that we will not be taken in by the false teachings to lose our
sight of reality as it blurs into the background.
In 1 John 2:15 we are instructed, "Love not the world, neither the things [that are]
in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." What
is it that we love of this world? What thing in our lives can we think of that might suck
us into the current and lose sight on God's purpose for our lives? It could be any of a
number of things: money, career, fame, love, romance, sports, material possessions. . .
("For after all these things do the Gentiles seek" (Matthew 6:32)).
The thing of significance about the mainstream is this: though we do not all get into the
stream at the same place, as long as we remain in it we will end up in the same place as
everyone else therein.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the
gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life,
and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14).
Something to think about: How much does mainstream Christianity resemble
mainstream society? If you were to list the differences, how long would it take?