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"Gumbo in South Dakota?" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

While on a group trip to Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore, we had dinner one evening in Rapid City, South Dakota.

I ordered salmon, but also requested a small sample of another menu item that got my attention, “Cajun gumbo.”

The salmon was delicious, but the gumbo was not. It was not anything like Louisiana gumbo. I have to say in a charitable way, it was not even close to the real thing. It didn’t even have rice!

Here is a fact. If you know the real thing, you are less likely to be fooled by a counterfeit. In the spiritual world, our culture is filled with counterfeit spirits. We can be easily fooled into believing something new and alluring. There is always a danger of deviating from the faith and doctrines that the church has held for centuries upon centuries.

The Apostle John warned us about this. He wrote, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God . . .” (I John 4:1)

In this day and time where so many different spiritual options are out there, I just believe that it is a healthy thing to “test the spirits to see if they are from God.” To see if it lines up with God’s word. To see if it is in agreement with two thousand years of Christian doctrine and teaching.

In some strange but profound way, gumbo in South Dakota reminded me of that truth.

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