Danger 4: I am not learning anything new in my Church. Click here for part 3.
Now, clearly there are a lot of things worth repeating over and over. The reason being, as Paul states it in Philippians, that it is “safe” for us to be reminded of those things, because of dogs, evildoers, and mutilators of the flesh (yep, those are his words!).
Philippians 3:1,2 – Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.
This said, have you ever felt that there is much more to the Word of God than what you are being taught? Have you ever felt that you are hearing the same things over and over again, not because it is safe, but because that’s really all your pastor, preacher, reverend, bishop, etc. seems to know? Yet that individual will preach that same thing as if it is the “whole” truth of God, or at least as if it is the “only” truth that should really matter to us now. He or she will present it weeks after weeks, albeit in slightly different packages to make those teachings look like different messages while they are essentially the same.
You may even say to yourself: “The truth is the truth; there can’t possibly be anything wrong with me hearing it over and over again…”. But as this article will show, one should “never” ignore the feeling described above. As children of God, not only do we want the truth taught to us, but we want the “whole” truth! Just look at how God puts it Himself.
Ephesians 3: 14, 17-19 – For this reason I kneel before the Father…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
God wants us to be filled with His fullness. He wants us to really “grasp” the love of Christ. He wants us to know! But how is this possible if we are hearing nothing but the same old – often elementary – record? How is this possible if we are not challenged to really dig and search the Word of God? True church leaders strive to bring God’s people to the place Paul is describing in Ephesians 3.
1 Corinthians 3: 1,2 – And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it…
Hebrews 5:12,13 – For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
God’s children who feel the way described in this article should strive to reach the next level in spiritual food…moving from milk to solid food. Unfortunately, our church could very well be the reason we are not having that solid food!
So, just how much of a danger is this one really? Ok, we may understand that it is obviously better to grow than to stay an infant. But is there a “real” danger for feeding on milk only? The answer is an emphatic YES! Look at Hebrews 5:14.
Hebrews 5: 14 – But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Look, it is the constant feeding on solid food that causes us to eventually make the difference between good and evil! Those who feed on milk simply lack in this ability! It must not be obvious to discern good and evil if God states that spiritual maturity is what is needed for it. Clearly there is more to the difference between good and evil than meets the eyes. How can one afford to lack in this ability?
We can learn to differentiate between good and evil. And God tells us how! Hearing the same things is not the problem in itself. In many cases it is actually beneficial. But what we hear over and over does matter! And often, if we hear the same things over and over – assuming the teacher is even teaching them correctly – it is regarding the elementary things of the Word of God, which God wants us to grow from! There are congregations that are spiritually stagnant, and dare we say, congregations that are regressing spiritually! God wants us to know Him. And if we are honest with Him, we understand from His Word that to know Him requires love, dedication and study (proverbs 2:3-5). Regardless of where our church may stand spiritually, we have the ability to grow as God intends. But it starts with us acknowledging potential problems with what we are being taught if such problems appear to exist. Our belonging and allegiance is to God and to Christ. Let’s not be content with hearing the same elementary things. Instead, lets endeavor to grow!