Down With Dufflepudism!

By Dolores Kimball

Is it possible that there is an epidemic of Dufflepudism in the evangelical church? The Dufflepuds are characters in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, part of the Chronicles of Narnia series. These amusing little one-footed creatures have the odd habit of agreeing with everything they hear — everything. When their Chief, a foolish pontificating creature, says something, the Dufflepuds all chime in enthusiastically, affirming what he says with great gusto. "Hear him!" they roar with glee. "That's our Chief. You can depend on what he says! He's telling the truth, he is!"

The only problem is that when someone else says the exact opposite, they are equally affirming, even though the two statements completely contradict one another. But no matter. Their enthusiasm for agreeing, with great gusto, with whatever sounds good to them is undiminished. Doesn't this sound a little like what is happening in Christian circles?

When we hear something that sounds good to our ears, or when a new Christian buzzword appeals to our emotions — soaking prayer, a prophetic word from the Lord, spiritual formation — especially if it's something that ‘sells,' our enthusiasm for agreeing with it knows no bounds.

Is it really true that we can live our best life now? "Yes, absolutely! Of course we can! It must be true — just look at how popular Joel Osteen's church is!" But wasn't Jesus a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief with no place to lay his head? Isn't that true? "Of course it is! Yes, yes, you couldn't say it better! Speak on!"

Ok, well, God loves us and want us to have health, wealth, and prosperity, doesn't He? "Yes, yes, of course! Truer words were never spoken!" But the Bible says the Apostle Paul was flogged, stoned, shipwrecked, hungry and thirsty. Yet we are supposed to emulate him. Isn't that true if it comes directly from the Bible? "Yes, absolutely, by all means! Definitely!"

Hmm. Well, how about linking up with cultists and the Emerging Church to ‘get the word out' about Christ? Isn't that the best way to fulfill the Great Commission? The more people that are involved, the greater the ability to get the Gospel out, right? "Yes, indeed! I couldn't say it better! Keep up the good work!"

But don't these groups deny at least some of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith and didn't Jesus say to "beware of false prophets" who are ravenous wolves? And didn't Paul say to avoid those whose doctrine is contrary to the doctrines of the faith? And didn't he say of false teachers, "let them be accursed"? "Yes! Hear him! Absolutely right! Couldn't have said it better ourselves! We agree totally!"

I fear that Dufflepudism is rampant in the evangelical world today as Christians buy into every new fad that comes along, subscribe to each new philosophy and blindly agree with all of it, even when the ideas contradict one another and, more importantly, when they contradict the Word of God. We have become a religion of consumerism, buying and consuming every new thing that comes down the road, regardless of its source.

In an effort to have "unity," we agree with everything and everyone, because to disagree with anyone is to commit the ultimate sin — divisiveness. But the Bible itself is divisive, dividing truth from error. Jesus said He came not to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34) to divide even families and that those who follow Him would be hated for His name's sake (Matthew 10:21-22). Now that's something to which we can say "Yes! We agree totally! Absolutely right!"

Down with Dufflepudism. Up with discernment.

Image: The Dufflepuds of CS Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Published 18-5-11