…and what it is that I do is insaciously study God’s Word, and those who proclaim it. Many times I am asked, “why?” “But you have been a christian for many years, you have read the Bible forwards and backwards, what does it matter?” What does it matter?! To ask me that very question is like running sharp finger nails across a chalkboard. If you are too young to know that sound, well lets say you are very very lucky. To me is is a matter of everything. It’s my breathe, to be able to study. Now, while this degree of study may not be for every Christian, it is for me.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15 KJV
To be a Christian in the Biblical sense is to be a disciple of Christ. A disciple is a “learner”. The disciple, as the name suggests, is to be a disciplined studier of the things of God. It is of great concern that I have for many of today’s believer that have bought into an easy road of what I call “believism”. “Just believe, and you will be blessed….Just believe and you will know the things of God…..Just believe…..” Another easy out is isolation and misapplication of a single verse (Isn’t this the root of most errors in theology begin?) They justify having “Childlike” faith, to keep it simple. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:15 KJV . If one would continue to read on in the chapter they would grasp that there is much more to it. There is a monumental difference between having “childlike” faith and “childish” faith. Having faith LIKE a child is that of absolute trust. It is not about voiding out your responsibility to grow your knowledge of God and His ways. God deserves to be implicitly trusted. No question about it. It would be outright foolish not to. He is all together trustworthy. The mature Christian never outgrows this childLIKE faith.
Another point that leaves me with a “what were they thinking” look on my face, is when I hear the excuse that further study would only lead to skepticism, there fore they are protecting their faith by avoiding it. But to that I say this, to reject all theology and theological education in order to avoid bad theology is to commit seeker suicide. To reject all study of theology is to reject the knowledge of God. This is NOT an option.
Want to see my pants get in a bunch, then tell me that Christians argue too much and I do not want to be a part of that or that it just causes controversy. Study no undoubtedly will lead to controversies-No question about it. The Bible also forbids us from heated …. divisive, argumentative, and judgmental controversies. Sure we have all heard that in order to keep peace “Never discuss religion or politics…” Discussions about religion or politics generate more heat then any other topic. But Christians are to avoid controversy is to avoid Christ. No that was not a typo. If you are for Christ you will be controversial. It’s not theology….it’s who you proclaim as Lord of your life that is controversial to the world. However, very important we are called to avoid “Godless” controversies like they are the plague. One positive aspect of Christians debates is that they understand that truth, truth that is of eternal consequences. Passions will rise because the stakes are high. You can not put God’s truth in a bottle and set it upon your mantle. To do so would be outright denying His Lordship.
The very source of these Godless-divisive arguments is not because of an overzealous amount of study, but from the contrary. It’s their lack of knowledge that begins the divisive tone to their point. It’s the failure to discern the difference between worthy matters of debate and minor points that were never meant to divide. The more on becomes competent in the Word of God the more one can discern what issues are negotiable and to what ends to make a point.
But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,[Or everyone, skillful in teaching] and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 2Tim 2:23-25 HCSB
Lastly, but most importantly….and this is truly the heart of why I do what I do….We can not feed our hearts if we are not feeding our minds. The absolute purpose of God’s revelation attainable thru study is that we understand it with our minds so that it may penetrate our hearts. There can not be anything in our hearts without first filtering thru our minds. While it is all together possible to have proper knowledge in our head without is ever penetrating our soul. It is impossible to pierce the soul without first being grasped in our minds.
A person can have a very sound theology and yet not live a sound life. But how could one have a sound life without ever having a correct theology?
Our knowledge of God,as disciples of Christ, is our foundation. His Word. Stop seeking Him…and we commit suicide to our faith and eventually our hope becomes poisoned.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ro 15:13 HCSB