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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 16


Be not righteous over much. Eccl. 7:16.

This scripture does not mean that one can be too righteous or too committed to the cause of God. It warns against an overemphasis on the externals and the forms of religion as a substitute for the genuine thing.

In all religions extremists are to be found. Some are given to riding religious hobbies that usually do not deal with spiritual issues. We need to guard against religious crazes, where the mind is captivated by fanciful and extreme opinions and methods that project self into the center of religious controversy.

This is not to deny the value of new ideas and spiritual progress. But the basic truths of the Word of God do not stand in isolation. The real worth of the Christian faith does not lie in excess, in private and bizarre discoveries. Genuine faith in God and in His Word always makes for spiritual balance and maturity. To engage in religious fancies tends to deny our witness to Christ, to distract the attention of those who might be Christians from the fundamental truths of the Bible. In these crucial days we need all the energy of mind and heart directed to Christian growth and to an effective witness to Christ.

When people go off on tangents, religion is frittered away on things of little or no value. This type of religious profession feeds one's vanity but rarely exalts Christ or furthers the cause of God. It inevitably denies one's witness to the truth by isolating the individual.

A well-balanced and well-adjusted life is part of being a Christian. Christ lived that way, amid temptation and conflict. Believers need to apply the Christian faith at the point where life has meaning, where real temptations and conflicts arise that require spiritual power. One cannot move on to the fringes of religion without making mockery of the truth and withdrawing from the arena where the real battles of life are fought. A religion lived out on the fringes misrepresents a loving God and makes religion unattractive and undesirable. A life with Christ at the center is the most attractive religion in the world.

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