-4 Talking Like Experts About Things We Have Not Studied - Don't you just hate know-it-alls?
We do not expect a 9-year-old to drive a car; we also do not expect them to teach someone else to drive.
Why is it that we feel the need to answer every theological question? Although I find it interesting that many Christians have not really read the Bible, that is not the entire problem. Often times those that have taught us, tend to round the corners of verses to fit a particular point, or topical teaching. I do that here. It is always a good idea to take a look for yourself!
The Bible is an amazing book, and no one will know everything about it.
Christians seem to find it important to defend God and the Bible. Well, God doesn't need defending. Nor is He threatened by popular culture running off in the ditch.
In life, we will often meet folks that are better educated than we are. It happens all the time. But we don't start telling a doctor how to do a medical test or procedure, or tell the car mechanic how to adjust the intake valves, do we?
I find it interesting that cults seem better educated in the scriptures than many Christians. Cults rely on having answers, and we should too - answers that give life, not simply engage debate.
Early on, I was encouraged to read books about other religions, the cults and the occult. It is good to know what we, as a church, are up against. That said, it is better to know what our gifting is, and stick to that which God has created us for. Each one of us has unique abilities to relate to God and to others with our spiritual gifts. This will include an understanding of the Scriptures pertaining to our gifting.
I happen to think that the church is well taught in some areas, and extraordinarily uneducated in others. Any good evangelical knows Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16 and Acts 2:21. Our Charismatic and Pentecostal friends are well versed on 1 Corinthians 12 and Acts chapter 2. Folks that believe in healing are familiar with Isaiah 53:5 and Mark 6:56. And our friends at the 4 Square, their denomination is based on: Acts 2:42.
Where we fall short is in digging in and getting our own revelation, and developing an intimate relationship with God. We tend to follow the main stream of Sunday morning teaching, missing important areas God may want to work in us personally. For example, I know hundreds of believers in the spiritual gifts, but few, even pastors; who can give a biblical example of each of them. If you'd like to be the first on your block, HERE they are.
When questioned about our faith, it is OK, to say: "I don't know," " I'll look it up," or "I'll get back to you." God can use that kind of humility - especially if it is the truth!! Most folks are much more interested in what Jesus has done for YOU than they are with the tidbits you know from the word.
To put it in a nice neat little list.
-1 Be passionate about why YOU love Jesus.
-2 Don't float Bible verses like magic diamonds in an arcade game.
-3 Keep the Bible chatter to a minimum. Some say don't use verses with those that are not saved. But I believe that the Word has power. One Holy Spirit place verse is worth a 1,000,000 words. Read Acts - quoting scripture, however; is mostly for religious people!
-4 Don't Claim that only Christians can understand the Bible. That's crazy! Some things are understood with the natural mind, like some of the 10 commandments.
-5 Don't confuse science with faith - and for God's sake if you are against the Theory of Evolution, abortion or Global Warming (and you should be) then you should know why!
-6 Do NOT pound your least favorite denomination into the ground or tout your favorite one. It makes you sound like a religious bigot. Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
-7 Listen carefully and speak slowly - if God is at work, and then let Him do His job. HERE are a few tips. It is much easier to present a challenge to naysayers such as this. "Ask God every morning and every night to reveal Himself to you in a simple prayer for 30 days." Then we'll talk some more.
I believe that what people find important about Jesus is that He meets them where they are. He doesn't beat them over the head with a Thompson Chain Bible. It is love that is attractive; it is the beauty of His presence - the wonderful and indescribable passion we feel that overflows our hearts - which seems to capture the attention of others.
Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
What's your testimony?