By Edd Sterchi
Many today have the wrong impression about what to expect from worship. They want to be entertained by mechanical instrumental music, praise bands, choirs, solos, drama presentations, non-condemning sermons, etc. They are willing to accept something that is unauthorized in worship so that they may be amused. Paul called it “itching ear” religion (2 Tim. 4:3). I call it Gummi Bear religion.
You know what Gummi Bears are, don’t you? They area sweet candy treat that is quite cute and colorful. Kids seem to really love them. Personally, I never have been too crazy about them. Oh, I like the way they taste, but they seem to stick to my teeth a lot. My grandchildren would easily make a meal out of them if their parents would let them. But that would not be good for them, as there is practically no nutritional value in them.
Gummi Bear religion may be very pleasing to the eyes, ears, and other senses, but it is woefully lacking in spiritual nourishment. Just as a steady diet of Gummi Bears would cause one to become sick and malnourished, so will Gummi Bear religion cause one’s soul to starve to death. The Corinthians had changed the Lord’s Supper from a God-honoring event toa man-pleasing one. As a result, Paul told them that many in the congregation were spiritually weak, sick, and some even dead (1 Cor.11:30). And the Hebrew Christians, because of a lack of proper diet of God’s word, were not properly developed in knowledge or skills (Heb.5:12-13).
Rather than picking and choosing the way we want to live and worship, we should strive for a well-balanced diet of using God’s word to guide our lives in wisdom, work, and worship (Heb. 5:14). It is only then will we give glory to God and create an environment where our souls will grow, mature, and prosper (2 Pet. 3:18).
Gummi Bears may be yummy to eat from time to time, but our meals, physical or spiritual, should never be patterned after them.