It's been a long winter. For more mornings that I can count, we have been awakened by a phone call from the school district at 5:30 am announcing a school cancellation or a two hour delay. This morning came as a surprise to both of us as snow had not been predicted to be a serious concern. We were surprised to find 4 inches of the whitest, fluffiest snow we've had all season outside our window. Last evening when I came home, it had just begun to lay on the flower bed border. The light shining on it revealed the individual snow flakes, so intricate and diverse in their design. I stood there for several minutes observing them, marveling at them and trying to find two that were alike. There weren't any. This morning I rushed outside early to clean off my car and found that just a light touch to the snow hanging on the side of the car would cause all the snow on that side to fall to the ground. A leaf blower proved to be the most effective way to remove the snow from the walkways and driveway.
The downside is that there won't be any snowmen or snow forts built today. It;s not the right kind of snow. You can't even make a snowball out of it much less build a foundation to a snowman or fort. It's pretty much useless except that it looks radiantly pretty until the sun hits it and poof, it's gone.
As Christians, we see and hear a lot of spiritual fluff on Christian radio, TV and and sadly from American pulpits. It sounds pleasant. It's easy to swallow. It challenges us little and affirms us too much. But like the beautiful snow that I found outside my door this morning, it is useless! It will not build any kind of foundation in your life. It will not add to what foundation you already have. It will not add anything to your spirituality. It will be here today and gone tomorrow and you will remain un-helped. When a little north wind blows, that fluffy teaching will run away ahead of it and be gone. It will offer you no protection or shelter.
Fluff will only make you feel full and deceive you into thinking you've been fed. It's empty calories. It's like cotton candy for the soul. Full of calories with no nutritional value. It will leave you feeling sickly and weak.
The ingredients of spiritual fluff are truth, some extra-Biblical material and plain falsehood. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous. There is enough truth in it that it won't slap you in the face with its error, but if put into practice will lead you closer to heresies or at best, leave you the same way you were with no change, maturity or strengthening.
Fluff tells you there is grace without repentance, blessing without obedience, and virtue in weakness. The end result of fluff is vulnerability, a sickly spiritual demeanor, and eventual spiritual death. You will melt away just as the icy fluff did on my flower box.
To be strong, we must have meat and vegetables and fruit. But just eating it will not produce results. We gain strength by eating healthy and exercising with the strength that it provides. Our spiritual life is no different. Sound, Biblical doctrine strengthens us to walk strong in the Lord. Spiritual fluff deceives us into thinking we are strong until it's too late.
That fluffy snow might make great snow ice cream, but when it comes to spirituality, we need to stick to the teaching that throughout history has been the foundation of the church.