Originally written about 2003. Last re-edited February 12, 2007
You can't fool me! I know what real ice cream is. I've been around long enough to know and remember! When I was a child they hardly had anything but real ice cream. But today they have ice milk, frozen yogurt, low-fat, non-fat, soft-serve, slow churn, frozen desert, and more to come. What will they think up next to put in the ice cream cooler at the supermarket??
They put the name ice cream on things that are not truly ice cream. When you pick up a gallon and read the ingredients you read polysorbate 80, cellulose gum and all kinds of things that aren't part of real ice cream. Much of today's ice cream is actually some kind of frozen conglomeration with thickeners and emulsifiers.
When I go to McDonald's® and order a shake I expect it to be made with real ice cream. But it isn't! It's some new formula!
There's two ways you can tell real ice cream from the fake stuff: real ice cream will freeze your throat if you take too big a bite. Real ice cream. when it melts, turns to liquid....it doesn't have any lumpy globules in it, unless of course you have strawberries or chocolate chips, or something mixed in.
The same thing that has happened to ice cream has happened in too many churches. Somebody has changed the recipe in so many places. When you slip into those places, if you are old enough you'll recognize that what they have is something synthetic. It's not the real thing from Heaven. It's something from earth. It is very religious...and at first it seems kind of authentic. It's formed like the real...but there is no power. It won't freeze the fire of darkness and it's so lumpy that it won't melt your heart for God.
When I was a little boy of eight my parents took me to the big tent of an anointed man of God Almighty. I was not even a Christian yet. I had never met Jesus as my personal Saviour. I was just a kid that went to church and Sunday School every week because our car went there and Mom and Dad didn't leave anybody at home without a real good excuse.
The moment I walked into that tent, the instant I stepped under the tent flap onto the sawdust I felt something glorious. I didn't know what it was. But an expectation of something super fantastic fell on me. What I felt was so good, so clean, so pure, so mighty, so sweet, so wondrous that I was immediately quiet and in awe. I wasn't sure what it was...but I knew it was wonderful. Later I found out it wasn't "a what or an it," it was HIM, the Lord, the Holy Ghost who was manifesting HIS presence in that rough old tent.
Even though I felt so good I was a big sceptic. I believed when I saw people go forward to give their lives to Jesus. But when I saw the man of God pray for people in wheelchairs and then they arose and pushed their wheelchair away...well, I decided that somebody must be slipping folks $20 bills to dramatically get out of a wheelchair. But then a lady with a huge growth under her neck (a goiter) was prayed for. I kind of figured nothing would probably happen. But I watched very, very closely just in case! Something did happen! The skin stretched around the cantaloupe on her neck fell in rolls on the front of her dress. Her neck had become as good as mine and the big ball that I had seen on her neck was gone. But why didn't God fix all that skin?? Being young I didn't realize the skin would slowly take care of itself and shrink over time. After that day I believed that God still does miracles, that Jesus hasn't changed since he walked the dusty roads of the Holy Land.
Ever since I have been an addict, a seeker and a desirer for the REAL ice cream from Heaven, the Third Person of the Trinity is the part of God that does this work on planet Earth. And when I walk into a church that is filled with God I know it. And when I walk into a church that has some lesser thing, I soon know that too. When I turn on a T.V. evangelist I soon know if he moves by the Holy Spirit or in the natural.
I hope you haven't gotten hooked on the lesser stuff. I hope you can tell the real Holy Ghost from a religious spirit! Don't be confused. When God shows up there is a purity and cleanness and a joy that is hard to describe.
So next time you are opening the freezer at the store to grab a box of ice cream, take a good look at the ingredients on the box. And ask yourself whether or not you want the real stuff or the synthetic. I don't mind a little fake ice cream...but I can't stand ANY fake Christianity. I want the real Holy Spirit and the real Jesus and the real Heavenly Father!