An explosion in the kitchen

There was a small explosion in my kitchen the other day, or perhaps ‘eruption’ would be a more accurate description.  Let me explain.

 

I like to make water kefir, a simple process which involves dissolving sugar in water, adding kefir grains and some flavouring, and leaving it all to brew for a couple of days before straining and bottling it.  ‘For extra bubbly results,’ the instructions read, ‘transfer to glass soda bottles capped with wire-held caps’ and that is what I usually do, though I have to say that the ‘extra bubbly results’ tend to be a faint fizz and a few bubbles rising lazily to the surface.  Nevertheless, being an optimist, and just to be on the safe side, I normally open the bottle over the sink.

 

And so, last Saturday, I took a bottle to the sink, released the wire – and watched in amazement as a fountain of kefir shot ceiling-ward.  It didn’t quite reach the ceiling, but within seconds kefir was dripping from the Roman blind and the entire window had become a kefir waterfall.  When I had finished laughing, I drank the little that remained in the bottle and then set about clearing up.

 

While I was cleaning the window and wiping the paintwork I found myself musing on one of the parables the Lord Jesus told, the one about the woman who hid some leaven in a large quantity of flour ‘till it was all leavened’.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, ‘A little leaven leavens the whole lump.’ (Galatians 5:9)

 

Alan has recently been preaching through Jude.  Both Jude and the Apostle Peter warn us in graphic and vivid terms of the dangers of false teachers who creep in, secretly bringing in destructive heresies.  Like leaven, their false teaching works silently and unseen, ultimately capable of wreaking havoc, constituting, in the words of Campbell Morgan, ‘a ferment, a disturbance, a disintegration.  Wherever the Church has come under the influence of such evils, corruption has spread throughout, manifested in spoiled lives and feeble witness to the Kingdom of God.’

 

False teachers will inevitably come and their teaching will take many and various forms.  Here are three that have recently been brought to my attention, modified versions of some of the world’s ideologies:

Theistic evolution – the early chapters of Genesis are considered a myth, there is no historic Adam, and no historic Fall; science always trumps the bible.  Ultimately, of course, that leaves us with no biblical gospel.

Social Marxism/Social Justice – the church’s role is to redeem the world and make it a better place, which is, I suggest, a reinvention of liberation theology and a social gospel.

Intersectionality theory – there is an ‘interlocking matrix of oppression’ which affects groups because of their class, race, sexual orientation, age, disability or gender.  Churches espousing this become more interested in preaching a message of reparation for the perceived wrongs of our forefathers than a message of repentance.

 

What is the antidote to such teaching?  What can keep us from a bunker mentality and potential despair?

First, Jude: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  (Jude 20-21)

 

Then Peter: You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall away from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.  (2 Peter 3:17-18)

 

And finally, let us remember that He who said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  (Revelation 1:8),

also said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”  (Matthew 16:18b)