Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Message from Ryan Stephens, Junior High Teacher

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:12-14

How desperately the church needs to consider these words today! The church is experiencing an all time high in biblical/theological ignorance. As a direct result, the church is a majority of spiritual infants. You see, we cannot claim to love a God we do not know. We get this in human relationships. If you were to ask me about my wife, and I could not tell you basic things about her likes, interests, personality, and so on, how much would you really believe that I love her? Yet, this is the case for most of us when it comes to our relationship with God. We wonder why we remain so spiritually immature and distant from God when we know almost nothing about him.

Mark 12:30 says, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. We tend to be really good at focusing on the loving God with all our hearts part. But when it comes to loving God with our minds, we act as though it is optional. I submit to you that biblically, we cannot claim to love God in our hearts, if we don’t love him with our minds as well. This means getting to know God through the Bible. It means moving on from milk to meat. Let’s put down The Shack, and pick up the Bible. If we knew more about the Bible, we would recognize better the serious theological problems with pop-books like The Shack. Likewise, if Rick Warren is our highest standard of theology, then we have a problem. Rick Warren is great milk, and necessary for babies, but I fear many of us have been babies for some time.

Some suggestions for growing: focused daily meditation and prayer. We must also have daily focused study in God’s word. I would also suggest complementing our bible reading with a solid systematic theology (I would recommend Wayne Grudem’s; top level scholar written for laymen). Individual study is not enough; we need to be in a church with corporate worship and sound Bible teaching (Heb. 10:25). My prayer is that we all have a desire to love God by knowing him; that we learn to crave solid food.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan,

    Well said and an accurate (I fear) portrait of our 21st century church. Thanks for the word.



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