post some time ago about being a glutton for knowledge that I did nothing with. This same idea came into focus when I heard someone quote Niel Cole recently as having described American Christians as "educated beyond their obedience."
When I was growing up I can remember my charismatic church teaching that when God tells you to do something, he waits until you do it before he'll tell you anything else. I don't take this to mean that God only talks to those who obey, but rather that discipleship is done on a "need to know" basis.
I wonder if we aren't damaging our souls by learning more about God when we haven't acted on what we already have learned. Are we becoming calloused to conviction?
Jesus had some clear teaching for his fans that resisted becoming true followers.
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand...and when the storm comes, the house will fall with a great crash."
The sadly funny thing is we've somehow become convinced that the best way to follow Jesus is to learn something new about God, when in fact, we'd be far better served to act upon one thing we have already "learned." You might say that the almost ignorant activists make better disciples than the learned philosophizers. And this is an indictment of me, as it is likely to be of you - who derive some pleasure from reading a blog about Jesus. :)
An elder at our church who's deeply invested in a ministry planting churches in Africa told me about how they make disciples, using a process they called "obedience based discipleship." While the sound of it is, I'll admit, a bit off-putting this is quite close to what I'm suggesting. It's a cycle of praxis that begins with Bible study: learn, action, reflect. Learn, act, reflect. They've planted thousands of churches and developed as many pastors using this method, and it's about time we learned from the new center of the Christian world.
Let me ask you, what is one thing you have learned about following Jesus that hasn't moved from mind to hand? I dare you, before you learn one more thing, before you listen to one more sermon, do it.
Being Educated Beyond Our Obedience Pt. 2
God's Word is Dangerous Entertainment
Confessions of a Glutton