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Friday, March 10, 2017

Passive Christianity

I have sat on this for about three weeks but it won’t go away.  It seems to me that many in our communities are passive Christians.  In this context a passive Christian would be one who is continually taking in information.  Continually perhaps, even regularly listening to messages, reading Christian literature, and attending Christian events.  In other words high levels of preprocessed input.
Passive Christianity
However, a passive Christian is not personally engaged in self-feeding on the Word of God.  They are committed to what the writer of Hebrews refers to as milk, Hebrews 5:11 – 14.

What is milk?  Predigested and processed protein.  Someone else has done the eating of the meat.  There are all kinds of Christian milk available.  Books about the Bible, fill in the blank studies, messages on mp3, blogs, studies on disk, all of which I have used and from which I have derived benefit.  However, that, according to Hebrews 5:11 – 14, should not be our primary or continual input.  We are supposed to grow past that.  We are supposed to graduate to meat.  (By the way this is repeated in 1 Corinthians 3:1 - 3.)

How?

Practice.  We are to engage in the Word personally.  We move.  The word train here, is the Greek word from which we derive gymnasium.  We should be working out in the word.

But those in the Christian communities have to be equipped, they – well all of us – need personal trainers.  At the gym we need help to understand how to exercise properly.  We need that so we do not injure ourselves.  In our walk with God, we need people to equip us in how to study the Word for ourselves, that seems to be what Paul is suggesting in Ephesians 4:11 - 16.  In the New Testament we read that is exactly what the disciples did they showed people how.  They did not just tell them what.

All this brought the image above to mind.  In the movie Wall-E the people never moved.  They never ate solid food.  They were addicted to milk.  It was the robots that moved.  It was the robots that served.  The people didn’t even turn their heads to speak to one another, they used their media.

Perhaps it is time for some meat eating practice.

3 comments:

  1. I attended a meeting of some folks who prefer to just fellowship rather than to have some milk, not even meat. Sad and heart-breaking!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I know of entire communities like that. The challenge then becomes what does the Lord want us to do in a situation like that? We are still called to love and serve them. What does Philippians 2:5 - 18 look like for us in a group like that? How do we follow Him and engage properly with them.

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  2. That has been my experience all too often in years of trying to get people personally engaged in actual study that results at least at some point of personal application. It is a constant battle, and I find over time I begin to give up trying to move them and just discussing the surface and sharing my own applications.

    Many "Community" groups I have been in have mainly heard and "gummed" someone else's predigested work. The results are quite unsatisfying. But I would say most have not been merely passive believers. AT lest they have been very active loving each other and even seeking to reach out to others at work of where they live. The is hope that will increase their appetite.

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