Defensive Reading

Reading As A Gift

Reading is a wonderful ability that gives mankind one of the many advantages over the other species of God’s creation: it offers an open door to greater knowledge.

It is quite true that improvement of our vocabulary enlarges our thought capacity, and, as such, our imagination is better expressed by the words we know. Reading assists us in improving our vocabulary and knowledge.

Consider the fact that a person may spend his or her entire life researching and accumulating information to write a single book, yet in a few hours or days we can access this wealth of knowledge by the simple act of reading. As I see it, reading is an absolute necessity  in our spiritual and secular advancement. Mankind should treasure and utilize this wonderful gift.

Satanic Influence

However, is there any grace of God that the Devil has not perverted? Is there any commandment that Satan has not twisted? Is it not true that our adversary has, for many thousands of years, undermined even the very truth of God’s word? As sad as it is, that which was ordained to offer life has been thwarted to result in death and ultimate destruction. (Romans 7:10).

As children of God we cannot ignore the fact that we live in a spiritually hostile world, and our enemy, the Devil, is “as a roaring lion,” seeking to destroy both sinner and saint. (I Peter 5:8).

Described as “the god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), the Devil orchestrates and motivates evil in society. Satanic control of the media and the printed page will increase and eventually influence the entire world. Scripture warns that God will give the beast of Revelation 13 (civil government) a mouth speaking “great things”, so much so that the entire world will “wonder after the beast”.  This evil and ungodly system will be allowed to engage in spiritual warfare with the saints and overcome them (Revelation 13:3,7). To follow the beast is to worship (appreciate) the Devil. (Revelation 13:4). God’s people, the church, must understand this reality and “gird up the loins of [their] mind.” (I Peter 1:13). We must guard our souls by guarding our minds. We cannot simply sit by and allow evil to penetrate our thought pattern without any resistance.

Monitored Reading

Asking an overweight person how to lose weight is as ridiculous as asking a beggar how to get rich. Yet, in our society, with Internet technology at our fingertips, we can access almost every kind of global information in mere minutes and in most instances, believe such information with little or no concern as to the validity of its source.  It is no wonder that everyone, in spite of their qualifications, can give so-called advice on almost every subject.

I am personally convinced that honesty and fact will fade into oblivion in a society that thrives on misguided information. It is therefore imperative that we question the validity of all available information. A media such as the Internet is not confined to facts, and, as a result, accommodates both truth and fiction. It is sad that such an amazing piece of technology would include the most heinous of speculations, and provide such a destructive arena for the perversions of every morally corrupt mind. Because of this unbalanced blending of truth and fiction, it is necessary that we use the Internet with extreme caution. The source of all information must be carefully scrutinized. Authenticity of authorship is of absolute importance.

Just because something appears official does not make it so. With absolutely no controls governing the Internet how much more careful must we, the children of God be?

Christians cannot wilfully and ignorantly allow their minds to feed on anything that will pervert their souls. The apostle Paul warns that the “words” of Hymenaeus and Philetus will “eat as doth a canker”. This will result in the faith of God’s people being overthrown. (II Timothy 2:17).

The intent of this brief article is to add caution to God’s people to carefully monitor what they read. The Hymenaeuses and Philetuses of today are sold in every bookstore, but scripture warns that we must “beware of the leaven [teachings] of the Pharisees.” (Matthew 16:12). Before reading any material it is necessary to carefully scrutinize the spiritual and moral background of authorship.

As it is important in a health conscious society to monitor what we eat in order to maintain good physical health, even so it is imperative to monitor what are minds feed on in the development of our spirit.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure…if there be any virtue, think on these things”. (Philippians 4:8).