(My apologies to delirious for stealing their lyric…) Last week, Tim from “The View from the Hill” published a throught-provoking post called “Are We Going Deep Into the Truth or Drowning in Minutia?” He began with this excellent quote from Ed Stetzer and David Putman’s book Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community:
The irony is that most people crying for “meat” are really crying for minutia. They want to learn the deeper truths about the times of the rapture rather than how to live the Christian life. True meat teaches people how to be transformed by the renewing of their minds so that they will live like Christ, love like Christ, and leave what Jesus left behind. But believers in church-focused ministries often think it is more important to teach about controversial subjects rather than transformational truths. [p. 80]
He concluded his post with this statement:
It cannot be emphasized enough that no matter how deep one digs into Scripture, Bible study is ultimately worthless if it does not help us to grow to become more like Christ in what we think, say, and do. God is less interested in how much we know than He is in how we live and how we love Him and others. We must go deep into the Word to discover and understand what God is telling us and how this message affects our lives, but we must not allow knowledge and understanding of the text become ends unto themselves.
Being part of a seminary environment, I have witnessed and even taken part in conversations that centered more on the minute details than on a deeper walk with the Lord. In fact, I think it might be beneficial if I start asking myself (and others) the following question: How does this discussion help someone become more Christ-like? If we decide on one position over another position on this issue, how will it affect the way we live our life for Christ?
I’m afraid that if I ask myself these questions, then my discussions may become less frequent. I enjoy discussing different issues. But, I wonder if these discussions can become a distraction to what is truly important.
Now, there are some discussions that followers of Christ need to take part in. There are issues that do affect our walk with the Lord. These issues we should discuss and work together to understand how to live in a way that brings glory to God and how to encourage other believers and how to be salt and light among unbelievers. Some discussions… not all discussions.
So, I think I’m going to start asking myself and others, how does this discussion help me and others in our walk with the Lord? I’m not sure what kind of response I will get. I’m open to people explaining how a discussion is beneficial. What would you say if you were discussing your favorite topic of theology and someone asked you, “How will this discussion help me in my walk with the Lord? If we choose one position over another, how will that benefit us as we live for God?”