Questioning = Learning
Last week I wrote about questioning God and questioning the Bible. But Questioning is no good your only aim is to question. The whole aim in Questioning God is simply to get closer to God and understand God (even if that where ever possible). In Mark 12:29-30 Jesus said, “Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad (Hear, O Isra’el, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, and you are to love Adonai your God with all your Heart, with all your soul, with all your understaning and with all your Strength.” (CJB) As you will know Jesus was quoting here from Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Christians are very good at listening to what Jesus says taking it and then only obeying part of it. We love God with our heart, our soul and our strength, but very often we forget about our undertanding or our mind. Paul tells us to renew our mind with the things of Christ. We are told to study to show ourselves approved. But despite have more resources, more books, tapes, dvd’s and internet sites, the average Christian now knows less than Christians did 20 or 30 years ago. We all must take repsonsibility for this but also the Church leadership must own up as well. Where as expositary teaching and in depth teaching was all the rage when I was growing up, it seems to me that most people have now settled for a little devotional thought on a Sunday morning. Now don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with devotional thoughts, but if that is all you are getting then you will never mature as a Christian. Paul tells us to move on from milk and start digesting meat, unfortunately many people are still only on Milk. While I have issues and some problems with the Church I grew up in I am glad I grew up in it and not somewhere else. The reasoning being that while I now may not agree with all their interpretation of the Bible and did come away knowing the Bible. We not only learning memory verses we learnt whole chapter. We learnt doctrine and we learnt stories from every part of the Bible. I remember once being at Bible College and the Lecturing was talking about a story from the Old Testament which I had learnt from Sunday School. What surprised me was that most other people in the class had never heard of it. This really shocked me that there where people at Bible College who had obviously never read the whole Bible at least once never mind be taught from every part of the Bible in Church.
It is time to get back to not only reading the Bible, but also learning and understanding it so that we can also love God with our undertanding. When I talk to some young people people I am saddened by how little some of them know the Bible. What saddens me even more is that some of these young people come from Christian families. We need to get back to proper teaching. I will talk to other people and ask what they believe and they will tell me. But when I ask why they believe it or explain it very often they can’t. This is sad. Unfortunately this is not only the case in Northern Ireland. I have seen it in Romania and in Ecuador on my travels. For the Church to grow we not only need to grow numerically we also need to grow in depth as will. It is no good if the Church is a mile wide but only an inch deep. We need to go deeper so that our roots are strong, so that when the wind blows we will not be swayed by all sorts of false doctrine but we will stand strong in what we believe and know what we believe. If you attend a Church which is only doing devotionals and most are then in my view you have 3 choices. You can either leave, stay and try and change it, or stay stuck in your rut but learning from outside sources. There are many good teachers out there that you could listen to their teaching or read their books. I will only name a view, these are Chuck Missler, David Pawson, Perry Stone, Andrew Strom, David Servant etc etc. Obviously the ideal situation is for you to start learning in your own Church but in the mean time you can use these.
So in the end we should never stop learning, never stop undertanding and never stop getting to know God as best we can.