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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Crippled by Diet

Sometime back I met with a group of men.  These men had been in a “Bible study” for most of their lives.  The study consisted of a publication that led them through a portion of scripture.  There is an introduction to the material and then essentially a commentary on the passage.
Crippled by Diet
There is no prep other than reading the passage and the publication.  Frankly, few of the men do that.  Their time together consists of the leader reviewing the passage in light of what the publication says about it.  Then the men discuss what they think about the passage.

Many of their comments were general statements about the gospel or the Christian life.  There was little or no observation on the text being studied.  Some of these men had been in a study like this for 40+ years.  I was struck by the shallowness of their comments and the lack of understanding of the Bible as a whole.  Struck, is not really an adequate word.  I was a mixture of deeply saddened and angered.  These men thought that they were engaged in the Word.  One of them was at some level, the leader.  The rest of them had been essentially eating baby food their entire Christian life.

Last month I wrote about crippling help, this is the same thing.  If as leaders we do not equip people to study the Word themselves, to abide in that Word, as Jesus commanded us.  Rather, we continue to give them “studies” that are essentially shortened commentaries on a passage.  We are not equipping them to engage with the Holy Spirit as they work through the text.  We are creating sincere, believing cripples.

If we continue to make the Bible easy for people, it is like cutting the cocoon of the butterfly open.

Please let’s not do that.