This morning a young woman posted this on Facebook:
So I feel incredibly stupid. I’ve been watching Hocus Pocus ever since I can remember; I’ve probably seen it a million times! However, it wasn’t until this morning that I learned I’ve been calling the cat, Zachary Binx, and not Thackery Binx! Seriously? Thackery?!
Hocus Pocus is a movie. And I can relate to watching a movie a million times. Caddyshack, Vacation, Stripes, and Elf come to mind for me.
What struck me about her post was how we are deceived by what we think we know as fact. We rarely read one of the stories from the Bible, or read some truth about Jesus or from Jesus, so that we can be instructed or learn. We typically go to the Bible with a preconceived idea about what we already know, and we look for affirmation. And we’re all guilty of it. The stories are so well known to us that it’s nearly impossible for us to approach them with wonder.
Shea Wolford, one of the missionaries our church supports, shared with us on Sunday that she was going through the Bible with a 17 year old in Mexico and the girl read the story of Lazarus for the first time. As the girl understood it Lazarus was a zombie. Shea corrected her. If that had gone unchecked, eventually the girl would have a difficult time believing she was wrong.
And that’s our major problem in the American church today. Our inclination is to go to Scripture to be affirmed and not to be instructed. We go to church to be affirmed and not to be instructed. As the pastor in one sermon I listened to today said, “I have lots of people come up and tell me they want a church they feel comfortable it. Nobody ever says ‘I’m looking for a church to challenge me and make me uncomfortable.”
We’re all wrong about some things we think we’re right about. Some of our misunderstandings, I believe God can accept. Others are deal breakers – crucial that we get it right. And it’s not enough to simply be sincere in your beliefs.