For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
[I have written on this Scripture before, but I am being purposefully repetitive in this post. It is vital that these truths shine brightly in our hearts and minds if we are going to stand against the darkness so prevalent in the visible church today].
No Christian I ever heard of prides himself in being a baby. Not overtly anyway. “See my diapers and my bottle? Pretty cool, eh?” And yet, nothing has changed since the days the Apostle to the Hebrews wrote these words. So many people in our present day who claim to be Christians have never been weaned off their baby food. This is a very dangerous state of affairs that wicked ones delight in.
Consider more closely the verses quoted above. Particularly notice these two points:
- Spiritual children are “unskilled in the word of righteousness”
- A key mark of maturity in Christ is to have one’s “powers of discernment” trained to “distinguish good from evil.”
So how do you ensure that you remain an infant? Neglect God’s Word. Be lazy and careless. Eat spiritual junk food rather than using the Word constantly to train and hone your ability to identify evil and sort it out from what is righteous and good.
Let’s talk then about spiritual junk food. What does it look like today? It isn’t even milk, you see. The milk the Apostle is speaking of is a good thing – for starters. These people he is writing to have become so careless that he says they need to be taken back again to basics boot camp and have a solid gospel foundation laid once more. Then they need to grow up by consuming more and more of the truths of Scripture.
But this junk food thing. Notice the verses above once again, and look carefully. The problem isn’t even that these infants are downing a diet of milk (the basic principles of the Word of God). That would be better than what they are “eating.” No, their diet consists of something else and I would suggest that all you need do to find examples is to take a look at what so many professing Christians are making the core of their “growth plan.” It isn’t difficult to think of examples:
- A once each week sermon at church which, in so many cases (thankfully not all), is mere fluff if not right out heresy,
- An occasional conference or retreat with a “noted” speaker whose books you can buy at the book table,
- The latest Christian book store volume that “everybody” is reading and “you just have to get a copy,”
I am sure you can think of many other very typical examples of the common junk food being consumed today. The large mass of professing Christians never seriously open their Bibles to study and digest for themselves the Light of Christ’s truth. All they do is listen to what someone else tells them, and then they pass that on as “Scripture.” The result? Darkness reigns in their lives and in the churches.
Now, here is what else happens in this scenario. People like this have little or no power to discern good from evil. Their discernment muscles have never developed. If you point out some deceptive evil to them that has crept into the church, they stare at you as if you are some alien from another world. And just as the Apostle to the Hebrews warns his readers, we too must warn such people that they may well not know Christ at all. After all:
But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
See it? EVERY real Christian has been taught the truth that is in Jesus. That truth instructs us to know what evil and sin is, to turn away from it, and to walk in the light of Christ as our new selves. So then, when you have pastors and entire churches and “christian” celebrity authors evidencing that they cannot discern evil from righteousness, when they cannot and will not see the difference between a wolf and a sheep, then at most they are babies who gag on the meat of Jesus’ truth, or most probably they are not His sheep at all.
And if this be true, brothers and sisters in Christ, then what does this say about the real nature of most of what claims to be the Christian church today? I think the answer is obvious.