Isaiah 5:18–24, Luke 11:37–44, 2 Corinthians 11:1–11
Much of today’s passages revolve around religious leaders, religious know-it-alls, and egotistical maniacs using religious language. It is really easy to point out the flaw of our and of course everybody else’s religious leaders. Oddly enough, they’re human too. The easy thing to point out is when their pride gets the best of them, and it becomes about them, and not God. We should not be so quick.
In Jewish tradition, just accepting one’s faith was being a child (which was good). Yet, owning one’s faith meant digging into God’s words and ways, especially with others. Ignorance was no excuse. Christianity continued that tradition (despite what many naysayers would have you believe). We weren’t just to inherit the faith, we were to embody the faith. There is one point where Paul admonishes his charges to be eager to stop being children (“spiritual milk”) and become adults (“meat of the faith”). We are not to have a milk toast kind of faith.
The flip side, however, is that there are those who take their knowledge to the extreme. These aren’t even the, “so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good.” These are the people whose quest for knowledge or pride in having knowledge overrides their relationship with God and others. These people are often the religious leaders that Jesus struggled with. Their knowledge or legalistic formulae were perfect. Their walk was anything but.
The “super-apostles” that Paul wrote about were people who were great debaters or scholars. They believed they have the corner on the right spiritual knowledge. They certainly had the rhetorical skills to make Paul acknowledge that he wasn’t good at public speaking. Yet, while he was religiously well-trained he set it aside to have a relationship with Corinthians so that they could see how the life was to be lived out. Paul took his knowledge and applied it to their lives. He also lived with them. He loved them. When we talk about #Framily this is what we are talking about. Milk knowledge is starting knowledge. It is not supposed to stop there. That’s just the beginning. As we walk in the Christian life, we learn from and teach others. We struggle together. We live life together. Great religious knowledge is the flip side of great religious ignorance. That little space between them is where we need to be.
1) Have you ever experienced a Christian that saw themselves as so knowledgeable about the faith that you disliked them? What about that was uncomfortable for you?
2) Have you ever experienced a person that called themselves a Christian, but as you talked with them, you realized they didn’t really understand what that meant? What was the feeling you had?
3) The biggest thing about #Framily is walking beside one another. How can you walk alongside another in those situations above?
FD) Isaiah uses the word “woe”. There are 2 primary meanings: sadness and beware. Which do you think Isaiah meant?