"For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:17
Webster's dictionary defines the word "knockoff" as a cheap or inferior copy of something.
If you've ever been to New York City or any other major metropolitan city, you know that there are certain place to go if you want to purchase genuine designer label items like clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc... You likely also are aware that there are often places to go if you want the look and feel of designer labels but aren't willing to pay the price--the part of town where there are smooth talking characters who are more than willing to sell you a "knockoff".
When you step out into the world of "knockoffs, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
First of all, the "peddler" selling the knockoff knows he (or she) isn't offering you the real thing. He just hopes you don't know it. Not a quality individual you are dealing with here.
Secondly, you either know you're getting a fake and just hope that everyone else will think it's real or you are so gullible that you "take the bait" because someone is telling you what you want to hear.
Neither of the above look too good for you.
Sadly, "business" in our current christian culture isn't much different. How heartbreaking that the gospel is so often reduced to marketing techniques and emotional manipulation by crafty "peddlers" in order to suck the cash right out of our hands. In our culture of cheap grace and blessings on clearance, authenticity is often hard to find and even harder to maintain.
So called "peddlers" of God's word are everywhere-especially on television. Scroll down the channels on much of christian TV or stroll down the aisles of many American churches and it's as though the peddlers can't wait to grab the lapels of their suit coats and fling them open to reveal an array of "Spiritual Knockoffs". Sow your seed, claim your blessing, declare this, stand on that, stand on this, stand on your head! Give me a break! Give all of us a break! Don't insult me or my Lord by asking me to help you buy your own personal jet or build your million dollar mansion. I WANT AUTHENTIC. I NEED AUTHENTIC. THIS HURTING WORLD IS BEGGING FOR AUTHENTIC.
James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
What has happened to us? When did we decide that the peddlers should be exalted and represent who we are as believers in Christ?
Lord, forgive us for cheapening the greatest gift the world has ever known.