When I was the military, communication was essential. It could be the difference between life or death. During my time in the Gulf War, there was a report that Sadaam Hussein had gassed the coalition forces. For the next three weeks, we had to wear our charcoal lined suits, and could not take a shower. Later we discovered that it was a rumor; bad intelligence.
My personal opinion is that two high level officials had just finished dinner, and one remarked, “ooh, I’ve got gas….” That’s just my opinion.
There was a rumor that every service member in the gulf was going to get a $25,000 bonus from the king of Saudi Arabia, but President Bush turned it down on our behalf. I’m sure that there was no truth to that story either, but everyone was angry at the president anyway.
Half truths and rumors can lead to wrong spiritual behavior.
After He rose from the dead, Jesus was having a teaching breakfast with the disciples, (John 21). He has barely restored Peter, and then Peter needs to know what is going to happen to John. Jesus says, (and let’s read carefully), “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”
The next verse begins, “…so the rumor spread among the community of believers….”!
God’s people just can’t seem to help spreading rumors. In every generation, God’s people begin spreading rumors that can be costly. Right now the rumor among many believers is that the pandemic is a left wing work to control the people.
If satan wants the shut the church down, he won’t at the same time shut down the bars, casinos and strip clubs. Jesus said that satan can’t cast himself out, or then his kingdom is divided, (Mark 3).
Rumors can lead to legalism. If God says one thing, He isn’t implying or asserting something else. The Pharisees and other religious groups added to what God said. Actually, legalism; adding to what God says, began in the Garden of Eden. God said “don’t eat of the tree.” Man said “don’t eat or touch it.”
Rumors are born out of what we think God said. Once I was having a conversation with someone who said, “well, like the bible says, ‘God helps them who help themselves.'” I replied that the bible doesn’t say that. The person looked at me puzzled and said, “really? it ought to be.”
Rumors and legalism are meant to instill fear into people, and they can take away one’s ability to think for themselves. Many in my tribe, especially years ago, added to what God said, in the sincere hope that the ‘extra’ will help people live closer to God. My papaw wouldn’t even say the word “help;” he would say “he’p” because he didn’t want someone to think he said “hell.”
What Jesus says is enough. We shouldn’t add to it, nor take away from it.
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