Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and thought to yourself, “Woah…they have some strange ideas!”??? Do you confront them? Do you ask for more details? Do you just let it go? Maybe it’s not worth the trouble. Or maybe, we need to be more like children. Children? Yes.
Think about the classic situation where one child is telling another child about how excited they are for Christmas, because Santa Claus is coming soon, and he will bring loads of gifts for them!
The child listening quickly responds, “Wait…you know that Santa Claus isn’t real, don’t you?”
Both kids’ parents overhear this, and rush in to the rescue. The first child starts saying, “What do you mean Santa isn’t real? Of course he is real! He brings me presents every year!” That child’s parents start comforting the child, assuring them that the other child doesn’t know they’re talking about. Then the other child’s parents pull them aside with a stern look on their face, saying, “Stop this conversation right now. Just let it go. His parents will decide when they want to tell him the truth.”
Children are quick to confront false belief, aren’t they?
My guess is that you’ve encountered that Santa Claus situation many times. Perhaps it makes your heart ache, as you long for the first child to continue to enjoy the mysterious wonder of Christmas. Perhaps you agree with the second child, that a false belief needs to be revealed as false!
Which is it? Is it okay for a child to be led to believe in something false? I suspect most people would say, “Yes, it’s fine.” Whether it is the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa, they aren’t doing any children harm. But if those beliefs would persist into adulthood, I think just about everyone would have serious concerns. Most of us would say they would be justified in those concerns. Truth is foundationally important. Especially as we consider this from a Christian viewpoint, we should be people committed to the truth. False ideas about life can deceive, leading people astray.
As we continue our study in Ezekiel, this coming week we look at what God has to say in Ezekiel 13 about false and true beliefs. I’m not concerned about anyone believing in Santa Claus, but I am concerned that many adult evangelical Christians believe in other false ideas. I’m concerned that those other ideas can lead us astray. In fact, if we are believing false ideas about God, it can result in us not knowing who God is. That is quite serious. A. W. Tozer once wrote that what comes to mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. He’s right. We need to think about God as correctly as possible, if we want to know God as he truly is. I’m looking forward to our study of Ezekiel chapter 13 next week, as God, through Ezekiel, will help us think about who he truly is.