Itching Ears
Monday, January 31, 2011


“A time is coming when men will gather around them teachers, who will teach them what their itching ears want to hear.”  -- Paul to Timothy


                It has always fascinated me the power of teachers.  When I was younger, teachers were the parents, the public school teachers and the volunteer teachers of Sunday School.  Most of our information which formed our lives came from those sources.  I admit that all my thought processes stem from what those people had to say.  Later, I had teachers in the shade of the old live oak tree in the corner of the West Ward playground, but because of the information received from my other teachers; I recognized the falsity of the oak tree teachers.  They were really influence peddlers rather than teachers.  But we live in a new world today.  Our young people – all people – get their teaching from sources too many to count – internet, radio, TV, and government schools to just name a few.  And the words of Paul to Timothy ring loudly in my ears:  “The time is coming when men will gather around them teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear.”


                Last week in my travels, I was struck by a tidbit of inspiration for this writing as I was channel surfing awaiting my next meeting.  Gathered around a table were some ladies – actresses, journalists, and sports figures.  These ladies were pontificating on the moral wrongness of the conservative elements of our nation.  As I watched (and listened to myself get degraded by these influence peddlers) the tidbit of inspiration hit me.  “What qualifies the ladies to teach on morality?”  The leader of the pack once had an affair with a U.S. Senator, resulting in the destruction of his career and marriage.  Another, has produced TV commercials on condoms, wrecked a marriage or two, and is outspoken against matters of the Christian faith.  While not knowing the background of the others, I can imagine equally stellar histories.  But what dawned on me is that many women across America are willingly listening to the “pundits” tell them what their itching ears want to hear.  And less than a handful are asking the question, “How are their philosophies, knowledge, and faith (or faithlessness) working out for them?”  Poorly, I would answer, yet they make extraordinary salaries to influence the thoughts of our lives.


                Then, I got in my car, turned on the radio and heard of another kind of teacher wishing to scratch my itching ears.  This time the teacher was flying under the banner of “Christian Radio.”  And I thought to myself as I listened to false doctrine being spewed out of the “respectable” teachers, “At least the ladies around the table made no bones about their foundations.”  I became frightened at the teachings coming from my radio that flew under the banner of Christ:  “How to Manage Your Money,” “How to Lose Weight,”  “The Jesus Diet,” and “Living Healthfully.”  All of these topics were meant to manage life on earth, and in each case, a cue was taken from the ladies at the table --  Warp current data, give it respectability, and influence people by it.


                That evening, as I got to my motel bed, I turned on the TV to get a wrap up of the day’s news.  There I was greeted by one of my favorite commentators – Glenn Beck.  This man seems to have his head on straight in regard to American history, political processes, and unconstitutional agendas.  Yet as I listen to this very wise man, I am always reminded that he is a Mormon.    That means that he does not believe that Jesus is God; is informed by a book that has been amended more than 5,000 times to adapt to the culture in which it finds itself, and is leading people away from the true Gospel of Christ.  He is an absolute expert in sounding Christian while believing something else.  And the real tragedy of Glenn Beck is that people come to him for political advice and unknowingly become influenced away from the beautiful and wonderful teachings of Scripture.  Again, we gather around ourselves teachers who teach us what our itching ears want to hear.

                 So, “What’s a Christian to do?”  It is easy.  We must become Bereans.  We must know what the (unedited and unchanged) Scriptures say.  The Word of God must become our filter through which every other teaching of the world is filtered.  Only when the words of Barbara, Whoopie, Glenn, Dave, or Joyce are filtered through God’s word and are found accurate do we have permission from God to be influenced by what they say.  But you see that takes work.  And for most modern Christians, we have such a limited view of the worth of Christ that work is simply not worth it.  It is far easier to listen to the pundits than teachings from Christ, Paul, Peter, or John, or to the teachings of those whose lives have been faithfully dedicated to knowing and understanding the true gospel.  If we are going to turn our nation back to God, we must invite Him back.  That means we must know what His character is; what He desires for our lives and our nation; and we must be willing to accept His truth even when it does not scratch our itching ears.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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