April 27, 2009

Baby Believers - Part II

2. Babies have their "safe place" - and they don't like to change it. As babies grow they tend to become attached to certain things. Their crib is a special place. It is their "safe place." Some babies find it difficult to sleep in a crib or bed that is not their own. As babies grow into toddlers and learn to talk, one of the first words they learn is "mine!" They can quickly become attached to a routine. They become attached to their room, to their toys, to their parents. Babies become territorial.

Young believers who never mature properly have the same problem. I have seen churches full of these baby Christians. "This is my church. Don't think you're gonna come in here and change things." "You're trying to ruin the good thing we have going here." And my personal favorite: "We've never done it that way before."

Young believers who never mature properly also tend to become territorial. They become attached to tradition. They become attached to their favorite leaders and pastors. "My pastor should visit me in the hospital when I am sick." "He's a good speaker, but I really enjoy it when you preach." It is easy to become more interested in the speaker than in what the speaker has to say. Paul had to address this issue with the Corinthian church:

11My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."(1 Corinthians 1:11-12)

Paul's response? "Is Christ divided?" Did your favorite pastor die for you? NO! We all belong to the body of Christ. We are all united in Christ, and only Christ. This is not my church. This is not my pastor. It's not about my way of doing things. This is God's church. The kingdom of God is much bigger than a local gathering of believers.

3. Babies want milk - and that is enough for them. Babies are satisfied with the basics. They don't know about or desire a nice juicy steak. As adults, we know that there is more to life than a bottle of milk...like chicken wings, cheese fries, hamburgers, and filet mignon! (Wow, I'm getting hungry!)

Baby Christians who are not taught to feed themselves will become dependent on the milk provided to them by others. What a dangerous place to be! Hebrews 6:1 says we should leave the elementary (foundational) truths about Christ and go on to maturity! In other words, learn to eat the good stuff! Get a knife and fork, cut into the meat. Grow up!

I hope you have opportunities in your church to grow. If not, find a church that values the Bible, and that will help you take the next step in your growth process. Don't settle for milk. Learn about the steak!

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