Daily Post: Pluck
Personally speaking, I don’t particularly like chickens. When my family would go to visit my maternal grandmother, I wouldn’t go out in the yard with the hyper-active chickens, or that crazy rooster; it was mean and chased me. The only chicken I had any interest in was one that wasn’t clucking anymore. I wanted the one which had been plucked clean, chopped into bits and deep fried. I wanted the leg or the thigh, along with some mashed potatoes and cream gravy.
The photo here is of the wild feral chickens which roam the Hawaiian Islands. The native Hawaiians will all share their version of how to prepare this wild bird for a feast of “chicken stew.” The recipe is usually a version that goes like this: “Place one wild chicken in a pot of boiling water. Add spices. Add lava rock for flavor. Simmer for minimum 12 hours until lava rock is tender. Discard chicken. Eat the rock.”
On a bus tour, one tour guide explained how the “mua” (red jungle fowl) were originally brought to the islands by Polynesians as a source of food. The birds thrived in this environment because they faced no real predators to trim the flock. However, I also heard just as many store clerks say the masses of wild chickens that exist on Hawaii’s islands today, is because the tourists feed them. Perhaps both perspectives are true in a sense.
Today, at least in the USA, there are any number of “Cluck in a Bucket” type fast food restaurants where you can feed your family original recipe, crispy fried, roasted or grilled chicken, in parts, or as a whole bird. Whether you prefer white meat or dark meat, (or no meat if you are vegetarian), the non-feral chicken can be prepared for consumption in any number of ways, offering sustenance and nutrition. The feral version… not so much. Few could live or thrive on a steady diet of this rangy fowl.
That’s all very interesting, but one might ask, “where are you going with this?”
God’s word, believe it or not, in many churches around the world, might be compared to these descriptions of feral or non-feral chickens. When men or women stand and present the word of God to a congregation or Bible study group, each teacher/preacher will explain, engage, and extract the thoughts they want to teach from Scripture. When they do this, some will “pluck” singular thoughts, from obscure text references, to prove their personal belief system or agenda. In this way, the meanings of God’s word are mis-spoken, perverted, twisted, or changed altogether. I call these “feral” (wild) lessons dangerous, because they may sound like the truth, when in reality they are distortions of truth. Our pastor just finished a series of sermons he called “Gospel-ish.” In those sermons he helped our congregation understand the True gospel message first, so our church could tell the difference from what they might hear from “false” teachers on the radio or television today.
The Bible says, both God and God’s Word tastes good.
O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
1 Peter 2:1-3
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
When presented with a gospel-ish-type feral teaching from God’s word, many have responded favorably. However, these teachings lead to malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander, leaving people acting more like infants, rather than grown up mature believers. Yet, when folks dive deep into the study of God’s word, going further than just the milk-and-cookies style of preaching so prevalent today, we grow in “respect to salvation.”
The perversion of God’s word, much like the feral chicken, often does more harm than good. God will hold those who distort His word on purpose, accountable for the truth they destroy. John issues this grave warning…
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
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