Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh yeah, knowledge puffs up!

If you're anything like me, Sunday's can sometimes be difficult. Let me explain. When I first became a Christian, I used to really enjoy going to church. Though I wasn't the most fond of worship (as singing), I loved the sermons. I was eager to learn about the things of God; I wanted to hear what He had to say to me, to change my mind, and consequently my heart. Incidentally, my co-blogger Norm and I got saved within probably a time span of about 18 months of each other. We both attended the same church and loved listening to the messages preached and articulated by our Pastor. We would sometimes even stay and listen to both 8:30 and the 10:15 messages, back to back; we couldn't get enough.

Though as the years have gone on and my knowledge of the things of God have increased, something started to happen. I began to struggle from time to time with Sunday morning sermons. Not that there is anything wrong with the sermon, but with the fact that I've heard them over and over again and I felt like I wasn't learning anything new. As I continued to learn the Bible in my own personal study, the more I found sermons to be unfruitful. I always thought to myself, "Maybe if I attended a more theologically sound church, I'd be better off," or "Maybe if I went to a church that would speak to the great doctrines of justification and eschatology, I'd actually learn something." Pretty high-minded. I have to confess, even as recently as Easter Sunday I've had similar thoughts. While I grant that there are some churches that simply don't have a theologically sound Pastor, this was/is not the case in my situation.

As a result, in my opinion there are two things wrong with my above inclinations.
  1. Too much pride in my knowledge has created an unteachable mind and heart.
  2. My perspective of church, and involvement thereof are severely flawed.
There is no question that these thoughts will create an unteachable heart. And, though I'm not one to attribute much of my faults to the Devil, I'm sure he takes a little credit when I think this way. While I admit that I need to be more humble and have a more teachable heart,in reality, this not really the issue. The issue is not so much that I should be learning something new each Sunday, but rather giving solemn testimony by standing in agreement with the preached Divine Word. I should be worshiping the God of the universe who created and redeemed my soul with fear and reverence. I should be giving witness alongside others that stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. I should be preparing my heart for worship the night before with fervent prayer and supplication.

And this leads me to the second issue above, my perspective of church. Now I'm not an expert in ecclesiology, but I do know that learning isn't the only attribute of church (though surely it has its place). I do know however that church should be a place where we not only worship God with our ears (mind), but also with our mouths and hearts. It should also be bearing witness to Christ by heeding His words and serving the saints. Finally, I believe church should be a place that fosters relationships with other believers through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

So as I continue to forge on in church and in my theological education, I need to reflect on the notion that church isn't simply about listening to a sermon containing theological constructs. Rather its about the coming together of the redeemed of the Lord for worship, instruction, fellowship, and service.

In a word, its not about me.

1 comment:

Notice said...

Sound theological knowledge is at the heart of true Chrisitan spirituality. This same knowledge however can lead to insensitivity and even resistance to the voice of God because our own well informed voices. It is critical therefore that our desire for knowledge must emanate from our love for Jesus Christ