Monday, 5 September 2011

Bible study

There is a trend which, although it has been going on forever, it has only recently caught my attention. Although this trend can be profitable, it can also be damaging  to ones ability to hear and be taught by the Holy Spirit. What I am talking about is peoples tendencies to hoard up teachers and teachings in spiritual matters.

Don’t get me wrong, teachers and teaching material can be highly profitable.The pros are so obvious that I am not even going to spend time writing about them. I myself have a bookshelf that is overflowing with everything from topic specific to complete bible study reference books, I have even done 3 years of formal theological training.

So what could possibly be bad about all this? Well, in the last 2 months or so every time I have heard someone mention that they are doing a bible study it is immediately followed by the name of a person or book which is leading that study. Is it really a bible study then or is it “so and so’s thoughts on the bible” study? I am beginning to wonder how many people have lost the ability to read the scriptures for themselves without having someone interpret it for them. 1 John 2:27 says that we have no need for any man to teach us but that Christ himself would teach us all things. Now it does not mean that we throw away all teachers, people don’t need cars either, we got along for thousands of years without them, but they certainly have been helpful , even if they have made us physically more lazy. 

I fear we have become like the pre printing press invention Christians who relied on others to interpret the scriptures for them. Do you ever sit and wrestle with or pray about something you read or do you just jump straight to the study notes for an interpretation? Teachers are great, but we must not allow them to become our mediators by relying on "holy men" to give us a "thus saith the Lord". 

I would just like to challenge you to put as much trust in the Spirit as we do in humans, not to discard the wisdom of others, but to learn to learn from the master teacher Himself as well. It is no wonder why they say that our theology is a mile wide and our spirituality an inch deep. We have made it that way.