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Easy Bake Oven Christians

August 19, 2013

How many remember the Easy Bake Oven? I was amazed to find that it is still being sold; something my sisters played with in the early 60s is still (apparently) somewhat popular among kids. Perhaps I should look to see if my old leisure suit or Beatles wig is in storage somewhere? No, perhaps not; some things are better left buried.
Anyway, the Easy Bake Oven is a device that was invented in 1963 by Ronald Howes and sold by Kenner Products, currently made and sold by Hasbro, Inc. This actual working oven used an incandescent light bulb as a heat source initially, though current versions have a true heating element. Small round pans were part of the kit as well as cake mixes that only require water and time in the oven to produce a small cake. It was (and perhaps still is) a rather ingenious device designed to separate the family from some of their money in order for budding cooks to actually bake small cakes. In many instances, at least for my sister, the cake came out either half-baked or burned into a charred mess that required tossing the cake pan in the trash.
Ovens work on the principle of external heat applied that slowly heats the material (meat, cake batter, whatever) from the surface to the middle over a period of time. This can, like the Easy Bake Oven, produce something half-baked or crisped if your timing is off; many was the time that I would pull something out of the oven thinking it was done, only to find it (as I did recently with a chicken I was roasting) mostly raw. In such cases, back into the oven for some additional heating usually accomplished the desired result (in my case, a delicious chicken that I then butchered while trying to ‘carve’ it).
As with my roast chicken and I’m sure many cakes baked in the aforementioned Easy Bake Oven, there are those who are ‘half-baked’ Christians; those who, as Hosea commented on, mix with the culture of their day and thus are unfit for worship or fitting in with the culture around them.
“Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned.”
–Hosea 7:8 CEV
As with the Easy Bake Oven, we seek to take shortcuts to spirituality; often these leave us feeling ‘good’ inside, but they do not complete the process of working within us the changes that God would produce if we would but surrender completely to Him. We want God, but far too often we also want the things of this world, to be like everyone else. Israel made this same mistake, demanding of their prophet Samuel a king to rule over them “…like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5). When we seek the approval of the world over that of God, we too will wind up being led by the nose in directions we are not meant to go in; we will be (as with Ephraim) “…a cake not turned…” or, in the vernacular of today, half-baked believers.
No, the Easy Bake Oven Christianity is not what God plans for us; yes it is quick and easy, but it produces no lasting changes and leaves us bereft of any real lasting transformation in our hearts and lives.

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