5/23/16 Collin about 25
Collin was walking down the sidewalk, ear buds on, listening to music and lost in thought. Suddenly a stranger waved to get his attention, so he took off the earbuds to see what he might want. The stranger (me) apologetically explained that he goes to a nearby church and is running an interesting question by random people on the street: "What do you think happens after this life?" Collin didn't hesitate at all in his answer: "After we die we will go to heaven through faith in Jesus" he said.
With such a quick, confident answer, I expected Collin to be strong in his daily walk of faith, showing the spiritual fruit that Jesus spoke of, but I found it to be quite the opposite. Collin's progress toward maturity in faith has been shipwrecked by an obsession with conspiracy theories and the paranoia that comes with them. He believes strongly in Jesus as his hope for salvation and the Bible as his source for truth, but he hasn't continued to apply that strong faith to everyday life. Instead of reading the Bible for himself, he has taken to reading the opinions of others about it, people who claim inside knowledge.
Collin seemed to be like King Solomon, author of most of the book of Proverbs, who began as the wisest man in the world but who didn't have the common sense to apply that same wisdom to himself personally. Some of the conspiracies he is preoccupied with have to do with the Bible, such as end-times scenarios, or a supposed FEMA/Church Clergy Response Team plan, which is his reason not to attend church. But it doesn't stop there. Collin told me with a straight face of his belief in government-sponsored time travel and teleportation missions.
How does one's faith get shipwrecked in this way? Collin hasn't read the Bible for himself in six months. He has allowed himself to get distracted from the truth he claims to believe in by what seems more interesting. I warned him he has fallen for the eye-candy of worldly intrigues and political prophecies that masquerade as news, and forsaken the daily bread he needs in God's Word. "Would you rather eat one big meal a year, or have a smaller healthy meal every day?" I asked him. If we want to mature our Christian faith, we need the healthy food of God's Word every day, not the quick sugar high of eye-candy that appeals to children.