First Baptist Church of Beltsville

Finding Peace with God on the Hilltop of Beltsville

"Cheap Imitation"

I have become a coffee snob! I am just as surprised as you by that admission because I would have never thought such a thing was possible. My first taste of coffee that I can recall was in the military. Coffee made on a security post in the middle of the night is utilitarian at best, and swamp water at worst. It served a purpose to keep us all awake, but I can't say much more about it, nothing kind anyhow. Some of the guys would creatively add eggshells or sprinkles of salt to cut the bitterness in a vain attempt to make our coffee potable.

Until recently I visited coffee shops like Starbucks with my wife only because I enjoyed the company. I typically ordered brewed coffee, regardless of the expansive offerings on the drink menu. Then I was served a proper cup of coffee, a cappuccino made for me at Ragamuffins Coffee shop on Main Street in Laurel. Hallelujah, I have seen the light! They make it strong, two shots of espresso despite the petite cup, and top it with a bit of micro foam. No sugar, no whipped cream, no flavorings, and certainly no fancy preparation. When I folded the foam into my extra-strong coffee, I finally understand what it means to be served a proper cup of coffee.

With that said, I think that we can all agree that there are few coffee shops that aspire to that level of greatness. Honestly, most coffee houses are cheap imitations, serving hot and weak drinks with sugary additions to mask poor quality beverages. But comfy couches, flavored syrups, and free Wi-Fi cannot compensate for mediocre coffee drinks, in my opinion.

The Bible speaks of cheap imitations that are far worse than a poorly made cup of coffee. False teachers are potentially dangerous, not only because of the incorrect and self-serving message that they espouse, but also because they pretend to be orthodox in every way. Be warned, Christian friend: Some will pretend to be innocent little lambs as they proclaim smooth sounding platitudes. In reality they are ravenous wolves who intend to abuse and misuse true sheep in their selfish and glutenous quest (Matthew 7:15-20). You will know true believers by their good fruit produced over time, and you will know them as easily as spotting a proper cup of cappuccino among the vast sea of caffeinated swill.