The Blurred World of Ice Cream
I am a lover of ice cream. And although I enjoy the many flavors of ice cream, my favorite is vanilla ice cream. I am talking about the pure cream and sugar ice cream, not the ice cream with air mixed in to make it appear creamy.
Ice cream has always been a big part of our family. I remember visiting my Grandmother who undoubtedly passed on the ice cream lovers gene to my mother and her on to me. When we would visit my grandparents, my grandmother would have the typical desserts. But she always had ice cream as an option. She did not adhere to the ½ cup serving size either. In the summer time she would top the ice cream with fresh strawberries that she had picked from her garden. The strawberries were cut up and doused with sugar to make a sweet juice.
But ice cream isn’t what it used to be. Look at any ice cream section in a grocery store and you will see what I mean. You can get every concoction with artificial flavors with ingredients no one can pronounce. You can get low fat, non-fat, less sugar, lactose free and on and on. One ingredient you will not see on the label is air. Air is pumped into the ice cream to give it a creamy texture when less than premium ingredients are used. If you look closely enough you will even find an option in the ice cream section that will have, in small print, “non-dairy dessert.”
This blurring of ice cream progression seems to be prevalent in our society in general. We have financial institutions, that were once deemed rock solid, fined billions of dollars for unacceptable business practices all in the name of greed. We have athletes who are caught taking performance enhancing drugs. Our political world has spiraled down and out of control. We have politicians who preach one thing and are caught doing that which they preached against.
But then I began to wonder: Do we not have that same blurring progression of our view of the Bible.
Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear some politician or other public figure quoting the Bible, yet all too often the quote is either decontextualized or is not a Biblical quote at all. A recent football coach who was fired went on during the press conference quoting from the Bible that “This too shall pass.” Yet that quote is not in the Bible at all.
Many people wear the Bible and religion on their sleeve and tout it every chance they get. Yet, where it comes to people who may not look exactly like “us”, they turn a blind eye. What happened to the belief in Matthew 25:40 where it says, “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” Or Matthew 25:35 where it says, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Undoubtedly, it is easy to pull a passage out of the Bible that if taken out of context will support your belief. People prefer knowing biblical passages that they believe will reinforce their pre-existing beliefs. But this is a dangerous approach to understanding the Bible. We need to get past the blurring of the Bible. 1 John 4:20 states it very clear. “If any one says “I love God,” and hates his brother he is a liar…”.
We need to get back to the sweet taste of pure ice cream without all the artificial ingredients, the air pumped in, to the point that it winds up being a “non-dairy dessert.” We need the essence of the Bible so we can keep our actions in the context of what the Bible says. John 13:34 gives us the test where we need to begin. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you love one another.”
If our actions do not pass the love one another test, we need to reevaluate ourselves.
May the love and peace of Christ be with you, always.