Thursday, March 03, 2011

Spiritual Information Addicts

For most Americans, more stuff seems important.  How many bikes do I need to have covered up in my backyard or hanging from my garage rafters to be enough?  Do I really need another patio set to use once or at the most three times a year?  Why am I opposed to borrowing one from my neighbor when I need it?  Do I really need another pair of shoes?  The questions and lists could go on.  What is it about acquiring more that is so intoxicating?

But I don't want to talk only about items we own around our homes, I'd rather talk about our culture's addiction to acquiring more information, specifically about the Bible.  Far too many believers will sit in a comfy chair two weeks a month to hear a 30 - 40 minute talk about some good and solid spiritual truth and rarely do anything about what they have learned.  These newly acquired truths sit in their brains and are too often forgotten.  In the following week or two they head back to the same comfy chair to hear another 30 - 40 minute talk about some other solid truth, only to have it be forgotten and not applied.  What is it about acquiring Biblical information that is so intoxicating?

What if instead of simply acquiring more and more Biblical information, we focus on distributing the spiritual resources deposited in our souls?  I believe this would serve to enhance the realms we travel in.  What is the responsibility of teachers who move from topic to topic, week after week, serving to saturate brains and souls with truth never lived out?  I really don't know the answer to that question but I do believe we must ponder it.  Is there a way to help people live out what they are taught?  Are those teachers simply and unintentionally serving more information to spiritual information addicts?

So here is the Scripture I read this morning that flooded all of these thoughts to my soul. 

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."  Luke 12:48b

What is required of those of us who are constantly acquiring more and more spiritual truths but who are not distributing these truths?  What does it mean when we are 'entrusted' with spiritual truth?  One of the first truths we ought to be taught is the last thing Jesus said to His disciples, "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded...".  It seems to me that living out this spiritual truth will take the rest of our lives, even as we learn more.

I would love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What Does It Mean to Make Disciples?

Jesus' last words to His followers was to go through life making disciples.  This is vital to the continuance or reproduction of disciples and of the church.  According to Jesus, everyone is suppose to be making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).  In my experience, I find that very few people have even considered engaging in the activity of making disciples and even less who are doing it.  So, if Jesus' last words were for each of us to be making disciples, then we probably should know what it means to make disciples.  So I'm asking you for input on this, what does it mean to make disciples?