A spoonful of sugar makes the poison go down
This is how they get you.
"Here's a spoonful of poison. There's a little bit of sugar in there. The sugar is real, legitimate sugar. You like sugar. Your body can make use of sugar. If you test it, you'll see it's real sugar. So eat it because of the sugar."
The media does it. Anyone in leadership will do it. You can poison and confuse and destroy people by mixing some good in with the bad.
"This movie is rated R, yes, with vile scenes galore, but you can't deny the redemptive message at the end."
"Yeah, but I had to watch a bunch of rape and murder to get to it."
"But didn't all of that awful gore and sin make the redemption all the more amazing?!"
"I think Paul covered that in Romans 6:1."
[See also: all of the Christians defending and sermonizing Game Of Thrones a few years back.]
This approach is everywhere, to some degree. Parents use it to get kids to eat food they don't like, teachers use it to get kids to do their work, and media and the government use it to get people to do things. As I noted in most of my blogging last year, you can get a twisted message down the throat of a public when you wrap it in something else. Guilt, shame, the threat of missing out or being ostracized, or...sugar. Something good and lovely.
Like an angel of light, for example.
It works so well because most of us function off of emotion rather than thinking, and when there's enough that "feels" or "seems" correct, we assume it all must be acceptable. Even those of us who still have a nagging voice warning us that something is off will ignore it and go for broke. It is very difficult to say "that's correct, but that isn't, and so I have to reject it all." We want to compromise and take something in to be a part of the group, or we simply can't grasp that there can be good mixed in with evil. That, of course, is the devil's favorite ploy. Mix good and evil, then work the logic on the good to make you accept the evil.
We call it pragmatism.
You see it a lot as high profile ministries and leaders go off the deep end, because they've been gobbling up a mix of good and evil for so long that the evil has far outweighed the good.
We see it now, from our experts and leaders.
"I decline the vaccine because it isn't well tested and a plethora of other reasons."
"But you can get your Green Pass and be given freedom and people will stop harassing you. Experts and leaders, even in your own community, promise you it is safe and effective. Plus, you can have a free donut or get $500."
"Oh, well in that case, inject that soupy mix of slop into my body."
Poison wrapped in sugar. The amount of sugar they entice you with to do something ought to be a sign about the amount of poison mixed in, but we get distracted by the sugar.
Scrolling through social media, I found this comment. It was praised by others as being right on.
I shared it, and expressed my concerns. "Anyone see the trouble, here? Burning sage isn't Biblical. God talks to us through his Word, not through meditation. We have all kinds of believers shouting that the church needs to wake up but what is really being said is "wake up to believe how I believe." What is described [here] is not Biblical. It sounds close, maybe rings true if you're not familiar with your Bible, but it is not."
When I shared it, and expressed my concerns, the first comment was a long list of individual verses that contained the word "meditate."
It's not hard to do a quick search on the word "meditate" and find it in the Bible. But we should know that language is tricky and finding the mere word doesn't condone the action we associate with it today.
I responded. "Meditating on the word is not the same as meditation in general. Considering that this guy is mixing in sage cleanses, burning incense, and a hint that the old covenant isn't exactly fully gone draws a likely conclusion that the meditation he's talking about isn't on the Word. The inability to know the difference between meditating (thinking on, talking to God about) the Word of God and meditation in general is where we get people going into the New Age. Look at the language in this post. It's tricky. It's how New Age people confuse Christians. We are not a trinity in the same way as the doctrine of the Trinity. But it sounds right because there's a kind of similar analogy. So we get led astray."
Meditating on the word involves the Holy Spirit. Not sage, oils, or borrowing from paganism which, contrary to what the original post said, is NOT in the Bible as what followers of Jesus Christ should be doing.
Find me, in correct context, where burning sage, vague meditation (after all, the person doesn't say meditating on the Word), burning incense, and other rituals are required and recommended under the New Covenant for followers of Jesus Christ. We have communion and water baptism. That's what Jesus modeled for us.
We are always looking for ways God will speak to us outside of simply reading his Word.
We are always looking for mystical activities we can do to apparently endear us or make us closer to God, or cajole him to speak to us. When he doesn't, we let the emotional satisfaction of having performed a ritual (to what spiritual being I don't even want to know) substitute for something real and we can walk away feeling spiritual with a little emotional buzz and think we just got something from God.
God speaks through His Word. Talk to him every day. Surround yourself with His Word, and think about it. I put post-it notes of Bible verses everywhere, and that's how I meditate on His Word through daily household life. You can't conjure up communication you prefer through ritual. Sometimes God seems silent be we are to be faithful anyway.
Every day I get up and ask God to help me know what is the Truth, and to not let me be deceived, to instead help me hear the Holy Spirit guide me away from what's false. Every. Single. Day.
You'd better do the same.
It's getting very difficult to navigate the straight and narrow path these days.