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Monday, May 23, 2016

Taking it Easy

(With appropriate apologies to the Eagles)
In the past several weeks I have been struggling with an issue.  Yesterday’s post was part of that struggle as was the post “Crippling Diet.”

Taking it EasyI have been in conversations with men I admire and respect that said things that, frankly, were inconsistent with what I have observed in their lives.

The thrust of their thoughts were that we needed to make the Bible easy for men.  I am still trying to recover from that statement.

Nothing I have ever done in my life was ever easy.

My undergraduate career was less than distinguished.  However, when I enrolled at Texas A&M, they did not hand out my diploma with my room assignment.  That came 5 years later after 173 hours of class.

When I was commissioned in the Air Force, they didn’t just walk up to me one day and hand me my wings and tell me to start training men to fly jets.  That was 58 weeks of primary and secondary jet training, followed by 5 months of instructor training.

When I started seminary… you know what’s coming.  They did not give me the diploma with the honors sticker on it, nor the pastoral ministries award the first day of class.  No they handed out syllabi some of which were 20+ pages long, expecting me to read 500 – 1000 pages between class.

My kids have all graduated from college, with various degrees.  My son the CPA was not handed those credentials without some difficult work.  My son the Physician is still in residency essentially still in school as he has been for the past 13 or so years, he has another year of that and then a fellowship before he can enter practice.

That is true of any profession.  Is it easy to become an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a CPA, a teacher?  NO.

Why do we want to make the Bible easy?  Is it because we have low expectations of the people in our care?  Is it because we do not believe that they can understand the Scriptures unless we spoon feed them?  Is it because we really do not believe Jesus when He promises that the Holy Spirit will teach us, John 16:13?

If we made pilot training easy, more planes would crash.  If we made becoming an engineer easy buildings and bridges would not stand.  Doctors, more would die.  Lawyers…

We need to acknowledge both Christ’s expectation that all of us abide in His Word and resolve to raise our expectations for all believers.  All should abide.  Further, all should be engaged in helping others abide.

2 comments:

  1. And it seems to be a total contradiction of Proverbs 2:1-16 and following. The verbs used throughout don't seem to recommend ease and relaxation - although I firmly believe there are those times of perhaps "soaking" in a passage quietly and meditatively - but much backbreaking labor, inconvenience and sweat are implied in digging for hidden treasure.

    It's a lot easier to listen to or read what someone else has said about a passage and let it go at that.

    Many years ago in a couples Bible study I notice one man didn't have a Bible. I gently asked about it, thinking we could try to get him one. His reply was that his wife had a Bible, and he didn't see why he needed one.

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  2. Great point. I agree. As Prof said, "There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity... It is work -- to study the Bible, requires same mental effort one needs when studying nuclear physics."

    I am working on the Overview of the book of Ruth these days. And helping a young guy to discover the joy of personal Bible study learning the same synthetic method I use. It is not easy, but totally worth the effort!

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