Have you ever read a brilliant quote –and were afraid to post it because the author has made other statements you don’t agree with?
I quoted someone I thought gave a delightfully pithy observation. Giving credit where credit is due, I named the the author, of course. Later someone contacted me saying, “I didn’t know you were a follower of McBarnacle! Are you aware of his eschatological position on the role of kumquats in the millennium, or his opinions on the Publicat party?”
OK. I made that up. But here’s my point: I do not worship human beings or consider any one of them to be right about everything –at least not as right as I am.
When my then three-year old grandson was visiting he asked me what I was making for supper. I told him chicken. He was quite excited because, as he said several times in a row, he reawy, reawy, reawy liked chicken.
When we sat down to eat he took a bite and yowled, “It gots bones! Why you put bones in it?”
Apparently until that point the boy had never eaten anything more challenging than chicken nuggets. Who knew? I tried to explain how to pick it up and eat around the drumstick, but for him, this was too much work and dinner was a massive disappointment.
I’ve also heard many people complain that they feel called to another fellowship because they are “just not being fed.”
I want to respond, “So pick up a fork.”
We want to be fed our comforting spiritual food in easily digested liquid form from denominationally-approved sterile 10-minute-devotional bottles.
It is written in Hebrews 5: About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Ask any little kid. Teething is the pits. It makes you wonder if chewing is really worth it. Learning to avoid bones and spit out grizzle takes even more skill and diligence and often involves uncomfortable experiences with learning how to dispose of a hunk of gnarly weirdness with enough decorum not to embarrass your mother. If our tummies are full of warm sweet milk, or our hunger is satisfied by pre-masticated mechanically de-boned breaded fried chicken blobs, drumsticks will hold no thrill.
Just the thought of spiritual whole fish (or pomegranates) can send some people on a google search of heresy hunter sites.
I wonder if God is silent on some questions we desperately want answers to because he’s waiting for us to be motivated enough to chew on something for a while. Yes, the young need milk, but not forever. I’ve heard people worry aloud that some writers/teachers/leaders include just enough truth to get you to trust them, but if you do you are certain to be deceived.
Well, if you plan to swallow everything, yes –but not if you use your God-given discernment, developed by constant use, to chew the nourishing bits and spit out the bones.
So, if I quote someone, it’s because that particular statement resonated with me, and not because I plan to sell the homestead and move into a commune where we all wear purple, drink koolaid, and shout “Heil McBarnacle!”
Yes, it gots bones. Deal with it.