Trying to Get Honest
You know, getting broken-hearted and humble of heart isn't easy. It really messes with the pride. You know what I mean? I really don't like doing this kind of article. There is something inside of me that still finds this sort of thing disgusting, which is why I have to write it. This article is more for me than for you.
As you know this publication goes out with no price tag on it. That puts me in the sparrows category, you know, trusting I'll find enough seeds to get me through the day? There are not too many people who are comfortable with that kind of life. I only found one and he thought he was Elijah the Prophet. He was looking for Moses so that he could die in Jerusalem and be raised again. (I'm sure glad I disqualified as Moses.) But he managed to live from day to day and after observing him for a few weeks, I believe he was content to live like a sparrow.
Recently, I was trying to decide whether to write a review of a book which would bring our readership into a teaching ministry of another man. Some of what this person taught I felt was way off, but there were other portions I felt were powerful truths He expressed very well. He had a lot of books, tapes, etc. along with a regular monthly mailing.
I knew that if I recommended this particular book which I felt was very good, many people on our mailing list would buy it. I also knew they would then be exposed to all the other material and all this material cost money. Most people usually don't increase their giving, they just rearrange it. Inside, I felt that recommending this book would reduce our financial support and possibly substantially. This is why one will usually not find too many newsletters, monthly Christian publications, etc. advertising or recommending other people's writings. It makes financial "sense" not to create problems for yourself if you don't have to. But I know that it is a wrong attitude. It shows a lack of faith that He will provide even if your financial support drops. There are just enough dead sparrows and dead children from starvation in this world to put just enough doubt in my mind to make me want to do the natural thing, to watch out for myself.
On the other side of this problem is my responsibility to those who read and listen to what we produce here. When I recommend a certain book from another source, people place a certain amount of trust in my judgment. My recommending a particular book from someone opens the door to them being put on a mailing list for all sorts of teachings which may be very faulty. This too, is a great concern for me.
You may say, "But you can't watch over everything. You are not God." No, but I know I am responsible for that which He gives me. I know I am accountable for what I teach and what I recommend. I feel a responsibility to those who have established a relationship with me. Both of these situations, the financial one, and fear of leading someone astray due to my recommendations of other people's writings are concerns on my heart.
It turned out in this particular incident, that I received some material from an archaeological source which refuted much of what this book I was reviewing asserted. It took several days of further research to find out this second book (and video) on the same subject was very faulty. The author outright lied on several points. It took dozens of hours of long distance telephone time to determine this. Most of us do not have the time or money to check things out that deeply. Neither do I, but the subject matter was critical to my understanding of Christ's crucifixion. Therefore, I pursued it till I was certain whether the second author was telling the truth or not.
At any rate, I bring out these two points to let you know I have plenty of growing up to do. Please pray for me to get the right balance in each of the areas I mentioned. Pray that I don't see any dead sparrows for a while so that my faith can be strengthened. And Father, if there are any who are reading this who also have problems with dead sparrows, I pray that you send them the faith to overcome. (My prayers for others seem to work better than the ones for myself.) If you have the same problem, then maybe praying for each other is the answer ... Amen.