Loving the Lord with our Minds.
We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Deut 6:4-7)
Obedience without faith or belief is unrighteousness.
Compliance without understanding is foolishness.
If we expand our hearts, and souls, and strength, in our Christian walk, are we not too, to expand our minds by reasoning in the scripture and in the natural realm? Truth is an intepreter of itself.
Honest questions lead to Biblical answers which promotes growth.
Paul debated to persuade people of the priniciples of the kingdom of God. When will we lose the fear of losing our salvation and begin to trust the Lord and His Word which states "Howbeit, when the spirit of truth is come, he shall guide you into all truth".
Do we not trust the Holy Ghost? Or can we allow God to be God.
May we become more like the bereans who followed Christ rather than pastor or denomination followers.
We are to make disciples (students) of the Word, not clones.
So Why Don't Pastors let People Question and Reason?
There exists in many churches a system of control where pastors and priests are unwilling to let God be God because they are fearful of everyone losing their salvation, backsliding, etc. As well as the loss of tithes, commitment, and attendance.
If God gave someone the Holy Ghost and sealed them, is He not able to see His work and claim on that person through to completion?
For those who have wisely abandoned the doctrine of eternal security, are sometimes in error in that they sometimes cheapen the Sovereignty of God to save a soul by His power. And in so doing, we fail to recognize that the reason people get saved and fall away is NOT because of God, for he brought them to an altar of repentance by His mercy and goodness.
The Church is Truly Failing People:
Churches are failing believers by controlling, dominating, dictating, legislating, restricting rather than loving, empowering, nurturing, serving. The best example of holiness is how believers live, love, and SERVE.
He that desires to be greatest among you let him be servant of all.
The "perfecting of the saints" is not in making everyone perfectly conform to a man-made standard added to the Word of God, it is for perfecting our knowledge, position with God, and relationship with God that we may excel in the Great Commission, lay hold of our salvation, and expand the kingdom of God.
Honestly, our controlling pastors, embittered women, crotchety elders, and good-ol'-boy preachers drive more people away from the cross than anything written in the Word of God. It is by our intolerance, control, and ignorance that we shut the door on heaven to countless souls.
For example I watched one church stagnant in growth for 50 years that never maxed attendance over 250.
Once the pastor released control and allowed God to move and empowered his people, and started really allowing people to flow and be used, the church quadrupled in size. They have built 2 new sanctuaries and more. Using the same people, they now serve well over 1200 souls.
We need shepherds, caring guides, loving fathers, patient teachers, burdened lovers of God. Not rule makers, dictators, my-way-or-the-highway leaders. This reveals fear and ignorance in the mind of a preacher. The preaching of the Word of God is not to be agreed with, but to speak the Word in Truth. Jesus said, I have not come to bring peace, but to divide. Too many preachers are men-pleasers shackled by a board of elders, or directors, or even a presbytery with no particular anointing for a given work of God in an area. They are hired guns, always treading water in fear of losing the ability to pay down the building fund. Always seeking for more programs than for more power and consecration.
There is therefore a great and grievous arrogance that has arisen in the ministry.
If church leaders would really get involved in the saints lives and SERVE them rather than be served....we would see explosive growth.
Many pastors have trouble with keeping people in church. Here is the reason why: People see right through the showmanship, the stage antics, the prepared speeches, the trite phrases and smiles. They see the Cadillacs and fancy cars and suits while people in the fellowship struggle to put food on a table.
Let us not be like the wicked shepherds in Ezekiel:
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the
Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not
the shepherds feed the flocks?
3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye
bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither
have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the
field, when they were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered
upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
This is why there are so many bitter and fearful people in churches today. People obey without knowledge or true conviction. We need to make disciples not amen crowds. Let's empower people through sound applications of truth and through helping them adeptly handle the Word of God.
Let us be like the Bereans.