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Spiritual Cliffs Notes

I do not know who Cliffs is, but he used to be my best friend in high school. He read every important book known to man and then published his summary of knowledge in a small yellow paperback book for only $9.95. It did not make a difference how long or boring the book was because Cliffs was always there to lend me a helping hand. I sure do miss him.
The only problem with me Cliffs helping me out is that to this day I have missed out on reading some great literary classics. Sure I can tell you the main point of the story and possibly the plot, but do not ask me for specifics. I cannot give you specifics because I did not take the time to read for myself. I depended on Cliffs to give me the answer to every question I had.
I have noticed a trend in the church that is very scary. Members show up to hear the sermon or “spiritual cliffs note” for the week. They take what they hear and for the most part take it to be true as long as it does not make them uncomfortable or disturb any belief that they already have. The problem with this scenario is that the preacher become some sort of Bible quick fix for the week. Many people will not go back and check to see if the preacher is speaking the truth. This fact is frustrating because some of us preachers actually like the fact that people take what they say as the gospel truth. I do hope everything I say is the truth, but each of us have the responsibility of studying God’s Word for ourself. I pray that each of us will come in contact with the Bible besides just during the Sunday sermon. God bless you this week and grow from His word.

  1. brian
    November 14, 2006 at 2:02 am

    WELLLL….preach it!

    what is more sad?
    that some preachers like it or that some Christians are content with the cliff notes?

    good thoughts

  2. Michelle
    November 15, 2006 at 2:43 am

    I like this post! I could easily name books I’ve read that I just couldn’t put down, but how often to I feel that way about the Bible?

    So, Michael, today something made me think about that day out at FIT when we ordered about 1 million pieces of chicken. Good times, good times 🙂 Hope that PA is delightful!

  3. Gallagher
    November 15, 2006 at 6:31 pm


    Great post. I am glad to hear someone missed out on great works because of Cliff Notes. I know did.

    I agree and have your same concerns. I often pray for my children as they grow, that they will not seek a Sunday Cliff Notes service only. I want to see them take Sunday’s message and fellowship and let it live through the entire week.

    God bless!


  4. J.D.
    November 21, 2006 at 5:58 am

    You totally hit the nail on the head, Mike. I think a great many Christians are this way.

    I remember when I started preaching (before I decided to give it up professionally and do it on an amateur basis) I would always start trying to move us along to deeper subjects in our Bible class, in books we never study in church, like Amos or Haggai or any of the minor prophets. People did not like that one bit. They’d always make me go back to the book of Acts, and when I got sort of halfway through that, they’d want to start over, or go through the first 15 chapters of 1 Corinthians (after which, of course, we’d have to go back to Acts.)

    I don’t know if they even realize they do this. It’s a sad situation, but it’s one that we as leaders in the church can try to change as we push the church toward more spirituality.

  5. JimmyBob
    November 30, 2006 at 7:12 am

    Hey Mike! Just checking in. Nice post!

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