Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;
I could not help but digress to the image of the psychedelic incense burning hippy of the days of my youth when I read that scripture. Born in the 60’s, I was born smack dab into the middle of a love fest. Although my parents weren’t hippies, but they did love me. If anything they were anti-hippies. They were the God fearing, church going, straight as an arrow family of the 50’s who refused to come into the new age. Praise God!
That era did however have a profound effect on me, even though I was a tiny tot and early elementary kid at the height of it. The ideological principles were carried right into the 70’s and with the 1980’s we embraced all things new and shiny with the attitude, “I love it, therefore I should have it, right or wrong.”
But in the day of Jeremiah, they weren’t incense burning hippies. They were idol worshipping backsliders who had turned their back on God’s ways and thought they’d found a new and better path. Hmmmm… perhaps it wasn’t so different than the 60’s. Preachers of the 60’s were called Jesus freaks and Jeremiah was indicted by the Jews because he preached truth. Nobody wanted to hear the truth or the consequences of it in Jeremiah’s day and Truth or Consequences was a hit show hosted by Bob Barker in the 60’s. That’s kind of a silly similarity but the results aren’t funny at all. What we have is a nation
Scroll into the new millennia and tell me how we’re better off? We’re not, but I’m not Jeremiah the weeping prophet. The good news is Jesus is coming soon! I’m not praying my nation’s demise or wishing God would reign judgment down upon it. That will come on its own. What I’m praying for is for the churches of America get back to the foundational truth of the Word of God and stop wavering into the “feel good nonsense” that sends people to Hell. And no, I don’t think all hippies are going to Hell. The hippies may be more in touch with God than the white shirt suited preacher that points his finger at the world in condemnation rather than showing them the love of Jesus. But regardless of whether you are a hippie, Jesus freak, preacher or average Joe or Jill, the truth is Jesus is the way, truth and life and nobody is getting into Heaven without understanding that. (Paraphrased from John 14:6)
I’m thankful that I grew up with parents who were very close to the Ozzie and Harriet show of the 50’s. Traditional stay at home mom and working dad with honest Christian values. Now, my mom did go to work after we were grown, my dad became very stylish in his later years, but they never strayed from the old path of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their children strayed, but returned and gave evidence that if you train a child up in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)