The churches were full. In my imagination the same thing was taking place in many of them. People with cheerful expressions were eating sandwiches as the organ played. “Mine has such a lovely roast-beef flavor.” “Mine is turkey with herbs.” “Mine tastes like fresh tomato and lettuce, though the texture is strange.” “Mine is honey and peanut butter.” Hungry people being filled? Nourishing food becoming a part of each person’s growing body? No. Then what is taking place in this flight of fancy?
These “sandwiches” are filled with sawdust. Cleverly flavored sawdust is filling people’s stomachs, giving them a comfortable, full feeling. Cleverly prepared imitation bread filled with imitation meat, imitation vegetables, imitation honey, has been handed out and eagerly accepted, eaten without question. People walk out, thinking they have been fed. “Wasn’t that a lovely lunch? So tasty and satisfiying.”
What a tragedy it would be if well-flavored imitation food with no nutritional value were placed on the plates of hungry people. Physical illness would soon result, and in time death. “What a fiendish plot!” we would say, if nations succeeded in luring their enemies into “eating” to their own destruction without any resistance.
What would be worse—sawdust sandwiches fed to physically hungry people or sawdust Christianity fed to the spiritually hungry? When is it more important to examine the content of “food” being handed to us, when it is a silver platter of sandwiches or a silver platter of pulpit eloquence? Are we meant to open our mouths and swallow anything that is being served? No. The food we need has been carefully described for us, so that we have a base from which to judge, a sample with which to compare.
It was while hearing ...1
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