Itching is a maddening type of pain and pain can cause a person to reach for anything that promises relief; even poison. Many believers and non-believers these days are driven wild by an epidemic of itching ears and a plethora of hucksters have appeared in response, offering relief; selling snake oil that relieves the itch but also, produces deadly side-effects. I’m not talking of course, about physical itching but spiritual. Many people today are tired of hearing the same old things they’ve heard before regardless, of whether or not they know that those same old things are true. This is a new century, peopled by those who want and desire everything new and regard everything old as garbage. Ghetto they call it and they’ve decided that Biblical teaching is also, ghettto. They miss the point that truly, there is nothing new under the sun, when it comes to the behavior of human beings, and anything created by man apart from God is true garbage that fills real ghettos, plagued by spiritual poverty. The doctrines imbibed, bought whole-sale from preferred dealers, looking for a way to escape their own poverty, are false and even demonic. They soothe itchy ears but produce confusion, deception, strife, anger, destruction, immorality, even violence and death. The only, cure is Jesus and the only way to inoculate one’s self against deception is daily washing in the Words He lived, the Holy Bible.
The religious and spiritual world is haunted by many seductive spirits. They have no power over believers unless, we give them that power. Knowing they can’t kill those who belong to Christ Jesus, they seek to oppress them and diminish their effectiveness. The root causes of itchy ears are sin, want, emotional need, spiritual neglect, and any kind of pain. Snake oil hucksters and their CEO, the enemy of God, Satan calls to that sin and make empty promises offered to fill every need. If you are struggling financially, they promise prosperity. If you are lonely, they promise love, acceptance, and friendship. If you are sad, they promise happiness. If you struggle with sin, they offer grace without obedience. If you are sick, they promise health. If you’ve been hurt in church, they offer an alternative. Their offer comes in the form of new teachings, re-vamped doctrines, new scriptures, and new forms of fellowship. What they want in return is your allegiance, your adoration, your money, your services, and your soul. The ultimate side-effect of false, demonic doctrine is death.
All hucksters hate competition and there is no one more despised by these follower of a reformed-Jesus than a genuine believer. Their attack begins first by deception in establishing common ground and a relationship. When deceit is established they turn to seduction, using charm to feed vanity, with words of admiration designed to make someone struggling and feeling invisible, feel special. They feel around for the besetting sin that every believer must wrestle with and feed into it. Then they introduce their doctrine, knowing the weakness of their target gives them the power they desire to form a following or an allegiance. If their target escapes, the information gathered can be used to frighten them into silence and destroy their reputation. Some adopt the methods of street-gangs and even employ violence to control and punish non-compliant victims.
It’s enough to make a believer want to form a crusade and free the church from deceptive doctrine; but the war we are called to fight isn’t without but within. The right response to hucksters (even if for a time you fell victim to one or to a whole gang) is a closer walk with Jesus. Not even correct doctrine gives us eternal life. Only Jesus can offer eternal life and there is no life apart from Jesus. Doctrines teach but Jesus saves. Theologies are all human theories only, Jesus is Truth. No human being can fully comprehend or apprehend God and only, Jesus is the Way. If you have a spiritual itch, a real want, a nagging need, or a sin that just won’t let you be don’t reach for the quick, temporary cure that comes with deadly side-effects. Reach for healing in Jesus and be filled by the Holy Spirit. Read, study, and mine your Bible. All the new answers you need in this new century are in the same old place, waiting for you to rediscover them. There is no need to rely on any expert for interpretation because the Bible says of itself that “scripture interprets scripture” and over time all of its secrets will be revealed, just in the moment you need them. In combination with the Holy Spirit, under the personal tutelage of Jesus, and power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual fruit of joy will be produced in your life. Joy is the strength of those who belong to Jesus and only one of the spiritual fruits available to those who love Jesus and seek to obey His commands. The fruits of the Spirit are the cure and the preventative for itchy ears and protection against hucksters, standing on the street corners of spiritual ghettos, offering demonic, deception. Those hucksters, having their own ears scratched and rubbed often, are only out there trying to support their habit; lost in the false relief they swallowed, in desperation to escape their suffering. Even though they may mark you as an enemy, pray for them. When they insult you, remain silent. When they pronounce curses against you, bless them. When they pursue you, driven by their pain and hatred, trust God. He is the only One with the power to deliver us from the evil that desires to swallow up all of us in death. Don’t be discouraged, embrace the righteous joy of Jesus, and look up! Our redemption is very near!
Scriptural References: 1 Timothy Chpt. 4, 2 Timothy Chpt. 4, 2 Peter Chpt. 2