My grandfather was a fisherman, so naturally he loved fish. While we were still living in Romania, at least four meals per week included fish, and whether it was pike, catfish, carp or sardines, grandpa always made it taste good.
It was only upon our arrival to America however, that my grandfather discovered shrimp. To say that he loved shrimp, would be an understatement. He found a restaurant that had a shrimp buffet twice a week, and whenever we were not on the road, it was inevitable that he would take us boys, myself and my two little brothers, and treat us to the shrimp buffet. It wasn't by any stretch of the imagination a high end place, the shrimp wasn't even de-veined, but what could one expect from a buffet dinner that cost under seven dollars? We didn't know any different anyhow, and we got to spend some time with grandpa, which was always a highlight.
A few years later, after I had learned a little something about this new place we now called home, after buying my first car at auction, fixing it up, and selling it for a nice profit, I decided to treat my grandfather to a real shrimp dinner, at a real restaurant.
Needless to say, he enjoyed the experience immensely, amazed at the fact that the shrimp came to the table already de-veined. He noticed that it tasted fresher, better and more appetizing, even though it wasn't all you can eat.
If the old adage, 'you get what you pay for', is true of the restaurant business, it is also true of most of the doctrines floating around the grand doctrinal buffet, sitting under the heat lamps, having been sneezed upon, prodded, reheated and passed over, until some unwitting soul thinks, 'hey, that looks good enough to eat.'
Too often, men find only after they've consumed large quantities from the doctrinal buffet, that it only satiates their hunger for a short while, an from time to time they get stomach aches, and break out into cold sweats just as an added bonus.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking buffets, in fact, especially when I'm traveling I tend to hit the trucks top buffets quite often, in large part due to the speed with which I can eat something, then be on my way. I do not walk in expecting to savor a gourmet meal, nor am I expecting something extraordinarily tasty, in fact I'm quite content simply if I don't get sick after. So why do I still go to the buffets? It's all about getting in and out as fast as possible.
Today men seem to view doctrine in much the same fashion I view buffets in general, as something to fill their soul as quickly as possible, so they can get back to the business of life. Because they pay so little attention to what they are allowing into their hearts, its only when the lack of substance is made evident, either by trials, hardships or lack of relationship with Christ, that they realize they may have consumed something that wasn't good for them, and in fact did them harm.
Empty doctrine will fill you temporarily, but it will not sustain you. No matter how much you ingest, no matter how much you consume, there will always be that perpetual emptiness that can only be filled by the truth of God's holy word.
What we must remember, is that every morsel of doctrine we ingest, must be filtered through our system, and no matter how good your system is working, or how healthy it may be, the doctrine always leaves something of itself behind. Soon, we discover that we have grown spiritually heavy, we are burdened and weighed down, and don't know how this happened.
Eat enough junk, and you will inevitably do damage to yourself, and given enough gluttonous consumption of false doctrine, perhaps irreparable damage.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.