In our church-wide study of Radical by David Platt, he asks, “Do you really believe this Book [the Bible]?” While we usually give mental assent to its truthfulness, do we always demonstrate agreement by our actions? That has been the challenge this week.
It has been interesting to hear the comments and challenges that we are encountering through this study from the Word of God. The comments run the gamut from this being a totally new teaching that is being met with skepticism to the view that “this isn’t ‘radical’… it’s ‘ordinary’ Christianity.” I think the variety of responses speaks to a couple of things.
First, we are all at differing levels of maturity or “completion.” Some need the “milk” of the Word, while others can handle the “meat” of the word (see Hebrews 5:13-14). While some may not be at a point of fully assimilating God’s truth, we must not be content to remain “bottle-fed.” Just as this would be a physical abnormality, it is a spiritual anomaly, too. Paul said:
3:1 Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, HCSB).
Therefore, we need to lovingly acknowledge our different levels of spiritual maturity, but always strive for growth under the Spirit’s tutelage through our exposure to the truths we are learning.
Secondly, a healthy dose of uncertainty/curiosity/skepticism is good. You have heard me say, “Don’t take my word for it, search out the scriptures for yourself.” If you’re not sure what David Platt says is true, check it against the Bible. That’s exactly what the Bereans did:
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea. On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. (Acts 17:10-12, HCSB).
I continue to be excited by what God is doing and pray that you will “hang in there” as we seek to be transformed by a radical focus on God through His Word, enabling us to be seen in a way that looks radical to the world.