11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
In secular society we’re taught to not question what we’ve been told. The example I’ll use is evolution. Here’s a quote from evolutions biggest evangelist Richard Dawkins:
“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” I first wrote that in a book review in the New York Times in 1989, and it has been much quoted against me ever since, as evidence of my arrogance and intolerance.
Critical thinking is not encouraged unless it’s critical against Christianity specifically or being conservative in general. If the media gives us a story and you question it, you’ll be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” as a derogatory comment, not a critical thinker. If you question evolution, you’ll be labeled as stupid. If you don’t believe this, simply go to any university campus and claim you believe in creation as told in the Bible.
This passes on to the Christian arena where many good pastors are experts in the latest book written by a “Christian” author but ignorant of what the Bible teaches. This problem is extremely deep as many Bible schools teach a very liberal interpretation of the Bible. There are many churches teaching topical light sermons that don’t leave a lasting impression rather than going through the Bible verse by verse in an expository fashion.
With all of the Bible expertise available on the internet, it should be rather easy to teach the Bible verse by verse, but the denominational church isn’t training it’s congregation to be experts on the Word in order to win their friends and family, then bring them to church to be trained, rather they adopt a “seeker sensitive” model in hopes that a sinner will wander in, hear a light Gospel message of inclusiveness and then become saved.
This simply isn’t the model of the Church that was setup in the first century. The early church was based on discipleship, not going to large facility to be entertained by musicians and professional speakers. We need to get back to being devoted to the Word and community as the early church did.
There are 5 warnings in the book of Hebrews.
The danger of drifting (Hebrews 2:1-4)
The danger of disobedience (Hebrews 3:7-4)
Dull of hearing (Hebrews 5: 11-14)
The danger of willful sin (Hebrews 10: 26-39)
The warning of indifference (Hebrews 12: 25-29)
The writer of Hebrews says the following of being dull of hearing:
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.3 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The “milk” is refers to what Jesus did on earth, it is what the Gospel is all about. Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 15:
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Once you understand and accept what the Gospel is, you are saved. This is a starting point, not an ending point. Once you are saved, your mission begins. For this mission, you need training in the Word. If you continue to need milk, you are unskillful just as a child. As you mature, you progress to maturity, you require meat, just as you require meat as you physically mature. Clearly we’re required to grow and mature, not to remain as babes.
This passage in Hebrews is extremely relevant to most churches now as the teachers keep the congregation on milk and don’t progress with teaching in the Word. The intent of the early church was to train Christians on how to evangelize and bring others into the fold. Jesus said to “make disciples” which simply means “disciplined ones”.
Many churches now are “seeker friendly” with the intent of hoping the unsaved will wander in, hear Gospel-light and become saved. While intentions may be good, this is not how God envisioned the Church. We simply can’t mature in the faith by a short time of worship, announcements and a quick sermon. We need to make daily deposits and make an effort to learn as in the end, we’re responsible for our own growth. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will guide us on how to do this.