PREFACE – every now and then I use the “set post date” feature in wordpress to complain about something or write about something that has happened to me that I don’t want to post on the actual day it happened because I don’t want anyone involved to know I am writing about our conversation or an event they were involved in. I’ll set the post to appear anywhere from a few years to a couple of days after the actual event. I won’t tell you when this conversation took place but I will say that it definitely DID NOT happen today. It probably didn’t happen in the past year. Now for the rant.
I was in a conversation today with someone who left one church to go to another. I know both churches and I am friends with the pastors of both churches. They are both wonderful human beings that I like a lot. This person said that he/she was left one church to go to another because he/she wasn’t getting deeper into God’s word at the church he/she left and wanted the depth that was at the other church.
Now let me go ahead and say that I generally have a knee jerk reaction to people saying they want to go deeper. Why? Well I love going deep in God’s word and I think people should but generally when someone says they want to go deeper into God’s word what they usually mean is they want to learn more interesting facts about scripture not that they actually want to go deeper into God’s word. Going deeper into God’s word leads to love, action, and sacrifice. It is knowledge that moves you to live more like Christ and that always involves greater risk. Look at the early disciples. The more they hung out with Christ the riskier their lives became. If your “deep” study of God’s word isn’t pushing you to serve and risk more outside of the church then I seriously doubt its depth. Going deeper involves the risk of being engulfed and consumed. After all the risk of drowning is greater in the deep part of the water. The risk of being engulfed by the waters is minimal in the shallows.
That was the problem here. I know and love this person and I know and love the pastors at both churches. I know what those churches do and preach. They are both great churches that want to help people go deep into God’s word and thereby live risky lives with God. This person wasn’t swapping churches because of a need to go deeper into God’s word. He/she was swapping for other reasons. It is just that saying you want to go deeper sounds better than those other reasons. I imagine that the person’s real reasons probably sounded a little selfish and therefore it sounded better to them to say it was actually about going deeper in God’s word.
Though I am sure He doesn’t like it, God often makes a great excuse our actions that are motivated by our own wants and desires.