Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Substitute

I worship You, Almighty God. There is none like You. I worship You, O Prince of Peace. That is what I want to do. I give You praise; for You are my righteousness. I worship You, Almighty God. There is none like You. (Sondra Corbett 1983 Integrity's Hosanna! Music)

There is an old advertising slogan that tells us to accept no substitute. Many companies, selling everything from chocolate, to tea, to expensive automobiles, have used this slogan, and most of them have had great response to the advertising. All of the companies who adopted this campaign have performed very well.

What is it about that slogan that gets us to buy the product? Perhaps it is the underlying notion that the product we are hearing about is the premier, genuine article and every thing else is simply a cheap imitation of the original. Of course, we want the original, because we think somehow its better.

When I was in high school, I worked for Bi-Lo in Greer. I saw the vendor that came in to stock the bread, and the same guy that brought in the name-brand bread also brought in the Bi-Lo brand. They were the same. However, despite the Bi-Lo brand being cheaper, many people wanted the name brand bread, because they felt that it was the original, therefore, it was the best.

Remember Curtis Mathes? Yes, Curtis Mathes was a real guy, and he did most of his own television commercials. I remember seeing him in the 1970 s and early 80's. I always thought the idea behind his marketing campaign was extremely bold. The slogan was, The most expensive television set in America; and darn well worth it. Of course, the implication was that you could pay less for a television but wouldn t get the same quality. In fact, Curtis Mathes was known to quote a 19th century philosopher named John Ruskin, who is credited with saying, There is nothing that someone can't make a little cheaper and sell for a little less...and the person who buys for price alone is that individual's lawful prey."

All of this was brought to mind when I read a news story this week from Kingston, New York. A newly appointed judge was taking his oath of office before a packed courtroom in the historic Ulster County Courthouse. The new judge, Donald A. Williams, was a former district attorney, and as such had probably seen a number of swearing- in ceremonies. When it was time for Judge Williams to take the oath, there was no Bible. Most officials tend to use their own family Bible, but Judge Williams didn t bring one. This sent the courtroom into a flurry of activity as officials tried to find a Bible.

U.S. government officials are not required to swear in on a Bible, but most do so as a demonstration of the binding nature of the promise. The act also adds solemnity to the ceremony. However, since no Bible could be found, Donald A. Williams was sworn in with his hand placed on a dictionary. Williams said later he didn't mind using a dictionary instead of a Bible, because the swearing-in Saturday was purely ceremonial.

While I am sure that most all the words in the Bible could be found in that dictionary, they were not in the proper order to be called God s Word of Life. You see, the elements of the Bible were there, but it was a terrible substitute for the Holy Bible. How often do we substitute God s Word for something less? How many sayings do we live by that we think are in the Bible, but are simply something that sounds like it should be?

I was talking with a friend this week, who said that for many years he thought the phrase, God helps those who help themselves , was in scripture. He was shocked when he found out it wasn’t, because it was something he had heard from his youth. In fact, he found that quite the opposite is true. God wants us to depend on Him.

Never accept cheap imitations of God. Those things will fail you every time. Jesus died on a cruel cross, and defeated death and sin by rising from the dead, on the third day, so that you could have genuine, original salvation. Surrender your life to Him, and never accept any substitute.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works. All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God (Psalm 26:8-10)

1 comment:

バックリンク said...

No substitute, great.

Good read, thanks for the sharing.