As a baby everything is new to us. We are taught to walk, talk, feed ourselves, read, write and much more. We are vulnerable and helpless on our own at that stage. As we grow we develop insights and desires. Curiosity leads us to discover what we need as well as what we desire for ourselves.
We start out in kindergarten, move on to first grade and advance from there until we graduate from high school. At that time hopefully, we have plans to move on by attending college or trade school maybe even a employer provided training for our new job or career.
We grow up, we learn more things, we develop, we advance our knowledge. Our taste in food, our ideas, our desire for companionship grows. We develop our belief system based on our learning and our search for more knowledge. Basic growth throughout our lifetime.
So . . . why isn’t church like that?
If you accepted, through Faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our eternal salvation rests in that promise, while in church, you went into that service a baby. Unknowing of what lay ahead or how to get to where you need to be, spiritually. The Pastor is the shepard of that church and through his teachings and the programs laid out in that church you begin to grow and learn, developing spiritually.
Where is kindergarten or first grade churches?
Most ‘faithful’ attendees of church who have been there for any length of time had at one time accepted what was being taught in that denomination and have not moved from that denomination since. But the first time visitor (new christian) is still a baby, still in the learning stage. Yet they have been put in grade twelve with the graduating class. Unprepared for the real world and the battles with the enemy.
The new in Christ have not learned the basics, for lack of a better word, the fundamentals or the foundation upon which their faith will be built and grow. They can barely drink milk yet they are in amoung the meat eaters. I know that sounds dramatic in tone since most denominations and churches have watered down the Gospel so it is nothing more than skim milk at best.
There are foundational churches, fundamental churches that teach and grow the new Christian, but they are few, very few and far between.
Someone said to me recently that if we had church for new Christians we would not need denominations. While I can agree with that on some level, the most important lesson from that statement is if the churches today were teaching the true gospel no one would need more. Yet most church goers find a church that ‘fits’ them. They agree with the basics being taught and tend to gloss over the deep teachings. The expanding messages that reach into further purpose and reason of the Gospel.
Basics need to be taught, preached and preached again until all understand it is the will of God that you give of yourself in service to Christ until you are spent. All for Him. It is not about us, it is about Him. God’s currency is souls, why are you not doing all you can do to increase the Kingdom of God?
Do you remember when you became a member of a church? Did the Pastor or elder sit you down and show you a sheet of paper that told you what the church believed along with the corresponding verses? Did they ask if you agreed with these beliefs? Did you nod your head in agreement? Was it traditions or doctrine you agreed to?
Instead of agreeing to what they told you what if you had to provide a sheet or two of paper that you wrote that listed your doctrine and a few verses that went along with what you believe? The church could then decide whether or not you believed their way. What if you passed that test only to become an associate member, with the only way to become a full member being that you had to take and pass an evangelism soul winning course?
Could you pass that membership course?
Praise God that His gift of salvation, of eternal life is free. No courses need to be taken, no exam passed, no proving yourself.
HOWEVER . . .
The Word of God tells us to do more than take that gift and do nothing. Just as many take their church memebership and do nothing. They gloss over the stuff they are reluctant to learn and accept on someone elses word what their doctrine should be.
2Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
This is a circular verse, it has a question at the end, What is the truth? It has the answer at the beginning, Study.
A Christian will grow in any environment, whether it is first grade or graduate school if . . . they study to show themselves approved unto God. They become workers for Christ and the Kingdom of God. They boldly stand up, unafraid, unashamed for their beliefs. Beliefs based on sound doctrine they determined for themselves by . . . studying the Word of God. Through hours of prayer seeking His Will, His desire for you. Seeking His help and guidance.
Tradition is not doctrine. Just because someone tells you something, doesn’t means it’s the truth. Only the Word of God is true.