Tuesday, September 3, 2019

4 Signs You've Got a "Hot Dog" Faith

I like meat.

Beef, pork, chicken, fish (I don't care WHAT some people say, trout is meat), rabbit, bison...practically anything except escargot is more than fine with me. (And even escargot is tolerable with enough garlic butter.)

I even like hot dogs, though there is an argument to be made they don't technically qualify as being meat. (Ball Park's ingredient list features corn syrup, potassium lactate, salt, sodium phosphates, water, sodium erythorbate, maltodextrin, and  -  oh look! some actual meat!  -  pork and "mechanically-separated chicken".)

I am not, however, a fan of hot dog faith.

I came across this term in my Sunday School class while we were using J. D. Greear's study on the book of Judges, produced by RightNow Media. It refers to constructing a faith by mixing together pieces of Biblical truth with cultural norms and popular philosophies...basically taking the Grade A U.S. Choice steak of Truth and turning it into a hot dog.

Here's a partial list of things some well-meaning people firmly believe that just aren't scriptural:

All roads lead to heaven.  -  This is a pleasant attempt to dissolve any sense of conflict between different religions but doesn't make much sense for the religions that don't even believe in the existence of heaven. It also stands in stark disagreement with Jesus' statement, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

God is in control.  -  I've written a whole post about this (which you can read by clicking here), but suffice it to say that not only is this not found in the Bible, but it leads people to actually reject Yahweh: "If God is in control, he must be an uncaring monster. Look at all the bad stuff that happens!"

Everything happens for a reason.  -  This is a cousin to "God is in control," and is a misreading of Romans 8:28, "We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." That does NOT say that God causes everything. IF it's true that everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is that people make bad choices.

God has a wonderful plan for your life.  -  "Now wait a minute, Dewey! This is the first of the four spiritual laws that have helped to lead thousands of people to Christ. Are you telling me it's not true?!!?" Slow down, my friend. Take a breath. This one is true, but only to a certain extent. It's true that God has some glorious intentions for us to live a life filled with joy that extends into eternity, but nowhere in Scripture will you find anything about God's plans for our lives involving which college to attend, who you should marry, or which route to take to work.

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Truth is...Enjoying a Labor Day hot dog is not going to have a long-term detrimental effect on your health, but a steady diet of nothing but potassium lactate and mechanically-separated chicken isn't going to take you anywhere good.

Let's feast on the Word.

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