Scripture: . . they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money (Titus 2:11 NLT).

In her later years, my grandmother tried to spend a month each year with each of her twelve children.  The most exciting moments of my childhood were spent waiting with Mama for the Greyhound bus to pull in and unload our beloved visitor. For the next thirty days, I would have Grandma’s special attention and love.  No matter how many grandchildren she had—and there were lots—when she came to our house, she made me feel as though I were the only one.

I loved helping her unpack her green Samsonite suitcase, filled with her simple cotton clothing and a small gift for me.  In the middle of the flowered dresses, there was sure to be a large brown bottle of Hadacol, a tonic said to give the “pep, strength, and energy of buoyant health.”  Curious, I begged to taste it and gagged as the bitter liquid touched my tongue.  Thereafter, I only watched in wide-eyed awe as she took large spoons full of the stuff four times every day!

This sweet, soft-spoken little lady was a staunch Southern Baptist who would never have let liquor cross her lips.  Imagine her dismay when a newspaper article proclaimed the twelve percent “preservative” in Hadacol to be nothing more than alcohol.  The article went on to say bars in New Orleans sold it by the shot glass. No one said anything to Grandma, but the brown bottle mysteriously disappeared.

The FDA investigates claims of such remedies to protect us from such duplicity.  Even if the “remedy” turns out to be harmless, its use will keep people from taking something to make a real difference in their health.

There’s a lot of “Hadacol Christianity” around today, packaged to appear as the real thing. Some teachings are watered down and useless, while others are corrupted with “feel-good” lies. Those who fall prey to these counterfeit religions not only waste their lives in dangerous pursuits, but they also fail to find that which is truly effective—the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety.

Prayer: Father, shield your Church from all false teaching and lead us to Your truth. Amen.

 

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