It began as one man’s project, building his own musical machine he dubbed the Marble Machine. It was eye candy and mesmerizing, combining old world ideas with new world ingenuity.
Millions were captivated and the infectious melody he composed to showcase his invention was soon incorporated into thousands of other videos created by laypersons and musicians seeking to present their own interpretation of the tune. Regardless of the instrument that was played, all aspired to create a perfect imitation of the original source. It was a vivid confirmation of Oscar Wilde’s famous quotation, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…”
When we are learning a new skill, whether for a personal hobby or our vocation, we often seek out mentors that we can model. We may incorporate their habits and style and may even imitate their actions and speech. I have been blessed to have trained with brilliant dermatopathologists and my diagnostic approach and the phraseology I utilize to describe different diseases is a complete imitation of these great experts. As much as possible, I try to adhere to the solid foundational teachings I received, always giving credit to the originators.
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:4 (NKJV)
Since the beginning of Christianity, a plethora of religions and cults have emerged, all extracting or distorting some aspects of true Christianity. However, unlike my situation and that of the Marble Machine, the imitations are not flattering. They are wrong. They all deny the foundational teachings of the absolute deity of Jesus Christ as God and limit Him as only a prophet or great teacher. The Trinity means that Jesus is not God but one of many gods. The Bible is filled with errors and contradictions. This is not imitation, it is a mockery.
When we imitate, we seek to honor the original source. The closer the imitation, the more it should draw us to recognize the originator. When the imitation involves our spiritual lives, it is no surprise that Satan seeks to supplant the Truth with a tawdry substitute. He uses these faulty imitations to seduce us from seeking the Truth and substitute these heretical counterfeits.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Anything that does not encourage us to seek to learn more about the Source and imitate Jesus Christ is sin.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.