Problem: what does one do when a church group does not want to study God's word in depth? When a person who questions what is said about Biblical doctrine is ostracized or shut down, what should he do? Find another church? What does it say about a church when the people seem to be lazy about studying and knowing God's word? How did a great church get this way?


Benjamin Bryan said...

Leave or stay?

I almost left the church I attend. Bible study had become bible fellowship, evangelism had become more important than doctrine, numbers had become more important than making disciples, we had teachers who didn't know what they were teaching. Of the genuine believers some of us left the church and some stayed and prayed for teachers. I was on the brink of leaving but decided to pray for teachers and wait for a year, if not I would leave. God answered my prayer before the year was up. My wife and I attend a great Bible study class, and we've found several others. We can't attend them all! Of the people that left the church I hear they're also doing well.

A person shouldn't be ostracized for pointing something out... if the church is afraid to defend it's views perhaps reason has left the church. Our Bible study encourages such questions. We just had a new believer ask if our church was being legalistic for not allowing dancing. These are great discussions.

I was complacent in my Bible study for much of my Christian life. But I think it's important I have had a strong desire for studying scripture, I just wasn't motivated until I found some great teachers that talked above my level and knew things I didn't. These teachers continually encourage and challenge my wife and I.

Proverbs 1 describes the characteristics of a righteous man, he delights in Scripture, he studies it whenever he gets a chance. Peter commands us to desire the word like a newborn desires milk (1 Peter 2:1-3). This is sort of paradoxical because believers are both marked by their longing for the word and are /commanded/ to long for the word. (Peter does not command the believer to study, memorize, etc. but to desire). Psalm 119 is all about Scripture. For a Christian who doesn't desire the reading and studying the Bible a great place to encourage them to start is on those passages above.

Those are my thoughts.

Benjamin Bryan said...

Proverbs 1 in my previous comment should have been Psalm 1.