Monday, November 8, 2010

milk and solid food

Today I've been doing some in-depth study of the book of Hebrews (insert nerdy sound here).  I was struck by a passage concerning the basic elements of the faith (milk) and the mature parts of faith (solid food).

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.  Therefore let us go on towards perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith towards God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. And we will do this, if God permits."

That's right, the basic things about faith - repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection and eternal judgment.  That's milk!  And if we don't get that right, then we're not ready for ethical instruction, training our faculties to distinguish good from evil.

That is where some of our problems arise.  Before we have gathered all of the pertinent evidence or committed ourselves to instruction in the faith, we are tempted to make rash over-generalizations.  Hebrews is calling us back to the basics, to a place where we can discern the right decision because it grows from our Christian faith.

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