Monday, March 09, 2009

No substitutes

Today I called my insurance company to ask about some billing issues. I never understand why they use an automated voice to answer my questions. It always irks me. Don't they know the myriad of mistakes they can make by using voice activated or phone activated connection? There's just no substitute for talking to a real person.
This particular time the automated system was messed up. The recording on the other end of the line cut off...I didn't know what to say or what numbers to press in. Out of frustration I entered "zero" to talk to a real live person. I tend to do that no matter what, anyway.
This is the problem sometimes with Christian culture. Christian books, tapes and resources can be a poor substitute for the Real Word of the Lord: the Bible.  In my opinion, sometimes Christian culture can breed legalism. Rule-keeping and self-generated righteousness will always appeal to the human heart. It's when we have to work at the complexities of relationships that we want to find the easy way out.
We must always be on guard for resources that can replace Scripture and real relationship with the Lord. If we find ourselves reading Christian blogs, books, magazines, or listening to speakers--and that they replace the time in the Word, then there is a clear problem. Trust me, I've done it and it doesn't work. There is no substitute for the Word of God that is time-honoring and hits us right in the soul. Anything we read should only compliment our relationship with the Lord, not replace it. Books and resources and speakers should only add to what the Lord is telling us in prayer, Scripture, and time with Him.  We know there is no substitute, for this way brings the greatest freedom to our lives--where we are not burdened or breeding legalism.


Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

And the church said "Amen". Or at least it should.

Katie Rich said...

Hi Andrea, I found your blog recently through Nie Nie. I really enjoyed this post. I agree that books and speakers, especially those that are strongly opinion based, cannot replace the Bible itself.

I have enjoyed reading your blog. Though I am not a mother yet, I am recently married and my husband and I are not too far off from that time. It has been really encouraging for me to see so many women of faith who embrace child-rearing and who strive to live Christian values.

Sara said...

Oh my kidding about the automated systems. Don't they know how yelling children mess up those systems?

Me: "AUTO Insurance"
System: "Did you say "Auto Loans"?
Me: "NO. AUTO Insurance".
System: "Did you say "Home Owners Insurance"?

And it goes on. Seriously. I give up. I always hit zero too, but they are getting too smart for that and will sometimes say "I did not understand your request". Yeah yeah.

And yes to what you're saying about Christian culture/paraphernalia. I can hardly go into a Christian bookstore these days without feeling bombarded...if I don't buy all the newest coolest Jesus t-shirt or Jesus pen, I won't be saved anymore, right? :)

There is so much value in reading and dissecting scripture ON YOUR OWN. Apart from any "helps" or opinions or podcasts. I love all of the resources, but I also get so much more out of it when I look up the original text myself and then apply it to my life. Good stuff my friend.

Elise said...

I can't say anything else but "Amen".

And maybe one more thing- you approached this in such a gentle way, and I'm thankful for that. I'm all "ranted" out from my time on the web today! :) Thanks for the peace.