People in church do not love theology

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    While the singles in my class are great to hang around, its obvious they do not have a desire and a passion for theology. I see this trend also in the leader. Nothing I have heard is heretical, its just the lack of a love for theology that bothers me. MacArthur has wanted greatly against this type, but sadly more and more of this type are emerging. If the Gospel According to Jesus would have been resealed in 2013 and not 1988 it would not have caused the division and debate in the church that it did, because relativism is ever more present today than it ever dreamed of being in 1988. I have not left the church as I get good fellowship, but at times I deeply miss a old church of mine where the sunday school teacher, and the people in the class had a deep love for theology.
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    It seems to me that the real issue is a lack of interest in God. Those who love God are interested in knowing more about Him (theology).

    However, theology is often presented as a series of propositions that has little to do with real life. Pastors and teachers who live in isolation from their people or have never held employment outside of vocational ministry are at a real disadvantage when it comes to teaching theology to their people.

    Moreover, the "gospel" message that is often preached (believe things about Jesus, get baptized, stay out of trouble - but if you do you are eternally secure, go to Heaven when you die) leads to a life that is disconnected from the vitality of Christian discipleship where you find your place in the Kingdom of God.

    The gospel of Jesus is that the Kingdom of God is immediately available and accessible to all people ("Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand") and we are called to follow Him in faith and obedience, teaching others how to follow His commands, by grace through faith. In a very real sense, we enter the Kingdom of the Heavens now, long before our physical bodies fail, and persevere eternally through the life of Jesus in us.

    So I think the problem is three-fold: (1) Lack of interest in God, (2) Lack of good teaching that applies theology to life's situations and not just the theological controversies of previous centuries, and (3) a severely watered down "gospel" message that reduces the gospel to being merely about forgiveness instead of the Kingdom of God.
     
  3. Bro. James

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    Most of those religious have a religion which is conformed to their lifestyle. Churches which are tough on separation and holiness do not have many members. How does one be holy at the Coliseum? See "DeSpectacles" by Tertullian for some early observations--an interesting extrabiblical view for sure, but still worthy of note.

    We have trouble with the fact that God saves us and sanctifies us all in His Own Good Time and for His Good pleasure. Salvation is instantaneous, sanctification takes a lifetime.

    The problem with the "Christian" witness is there seemingly is nothing different about their lifestyle: speech, dress, entertainment, work ethic, etc. etc. Holiness is a 24-7 endeavor. We cannot do it of ourselves. We must put it all on the altar.

    Peace,

    Bro. James
     
  4. Bronconagurski

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    I agree. I was at a Christian school chapel, and the speaker was telling the kids that knowing doctrines and theology did not make you smart or a good Christian. I was incredulous. Instead, he said that it was how much you cared for people. Two different things. The more I find out about God, the more I love and respect Him, and the more I see the great scheme of things. When the Holy Spirit confirms a great truth in my soul through the study of His word, then is is like finding a gold coin, except better. I can't adequately explain it, and I know feelings don't make you saved, but when I have been in God's presence and He speaks to me thru His word, how great is that feeling? I would not trade it for anything this world has to offer.
     
  5. mont974x4

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    I have heard several times, once even from an old and dear friend, the phrase (or some variation of it), "I just love Pastor "X"! He doesn't get into all that doctrine and theology stuff."



    Oh! How we have a problem. Is it any wonder that God told us, through Paul writing to Timothy, the great exhortation to "preach the Word!" and gave us a clear reason for doing so?

    Our job is not to convince people. Our job is to be faithful and obedient servants to God who faithfully and fully preach His Word. Leave the convicting job to the Holy Spirit.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Per the OP, it is true that not everyone in the church loves theology. As a pastor with a PhD in historical theology, I'm stunned to continue to encounter milquetoast Christians. That said I recognize that not everyone is where I am intellectually, but also that many people who might not crave the same depth in theology might have a deeper prayer life than me.

    It is hard to balance speaking to deeper issues that some more maturing Christians desire while also allowing the message to speak to newcomers and spiritual infants as well. As leaders we get pulled in all kinds of directions. Not every believer is ready for a six point study on the doctrine of priesthood of the believer. They need it, but they might not be ready for it. Too often I've found that if some individuals continually remain in a near infantile state they have some other problems at hand than just being able to process theology.

    Finding our spots is important. That is one of the reasons I'm engaged with multiple forums over which I post deeper theology and philosophy. I love these conversations (even though they are limited.) Its a place of leveraging my interests.

    The weird thing about church is that it brings together people of all social levels, all educational levels, and all vocational levels into a diverse community and (usually) forces them to find stuff in common. It is something that we generally don't do on our own. But it is worth it when we work at it. :)
     
  7. drfuss

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    I agree that most Christians are not turned on by studying theology. Our SBC Bible study literature is light on theology, IMO. Many times the Quarterly gives exerpts of scriptures in the same book rather than studying the book or scripture. It encourages asking the students for: what they think, how they feel, and what experiences they can give. In other words, the book encourages a lot of discussion instead of presenting the theological aspects of the scripture.

    I think a part of the disinterest in theology is the literature we study. Or the literature we study is that way because that is what most people want.
     
  8. go2church

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    Not a new problem really Hebrews 5

    11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

    Zondervan (2010-12-26). Holy Bible (NIV)

    People have always wanted to hear what tickled the ears, always will. So the challenge then becomes faithfulness in spite of the surrounding environment of interest.
     
  9. Berean

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    I find that most people today are more interested in knowing about God then in knowing Him.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    I get what you're saying here. I'd rather have someone know God than know theology, but i dont think the two are excusive of each other (just as I'm sure you don't). In your experience, why do you think people diminish the need to also know about God? On a human level, when I love someone, I am interested in not only knowing the person, but also learning about them and sharing their interests.

    Do you have any insight?

    FWIW, it is nice to have a thread where people aren't attacking each other and trying to win an argument. I'm really interested in getting some insight and wisdom from my brothers and sisters here.
     
    #10 Baptist Believer, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  11. righteousdude2

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    I Believe this is Why We See Movement in Membership...

    ...there are churches that preach the Gospel of salvation so good, that they can get people to the altar, but after those folks grow in the Word and their hunger for more information on God grows, they search and find another church that feeds their new-found hunger.

    One such church that is great at getting them to the altar is the Calvary Chapel group; however, I've been in churches where some of our better workers have transitioned fro CC to our church, because they needed to grow and CC wasn't feeding that hunger [with more deep seated theological teaching of the Scripture].

    A lot of pastors may get squeamish [egotistically speaking of course] the thought of losing members, but I've always called it "Blessed subtraction" because when people grow as far as your theological teaching is going to take them, it is like moving from elementary school to junior high, to senior high, to college, to graduate school.

    Some people never grow [see my note in pij comments above about infants that never grow]. Others desire what one church can no longer provide, which is why I always encouraged those folks to seek out new surroundings that meets their spiritual needs, and challenges their spirits to grow further than my church can take them.

    Sometimes, a good pastor can meet that hunger throgh Bible studies, and even bringing in pastors or lay pastors who have knowledge of theology the pastors may lack, and putting them in charge of teaching subjects throough classes offered by the church.

    If the church is doing its job, people will come and people will go, it's just important that we never let people simply drop out of fellowship, which is why a pastor's heart must also include a shepherd's eyes.

    Sound, progressive theology should always be something a pastor strives to teach, but, like you said, pastors can't be everything to everyone; so when a family or member hit the wall and want to move further [theologically speaking] it is the pastor's job to help them grow further and at times that may be helping them to find a good place to nuture their hunger and help them to continue to grow.

    This is my opinion, and many see it differently, but when I served as a full time pastor, I never took it personal when a family let me know they had to move on. I felt like I had done my job to my best ability, and they were in need of someone who would be able and capable of taking them to another level, theologically speaking.

    Migration in the pews can and always will be part of any teaching church. After all, "Iron sharpens Iron!" Even if it's not always us that continue to sharpen that particular piece of iron.
     
  12. Bob Alkire

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    I believe less and less members in our churches care as much for theology as maybe you would like. I believe it is due to theologians and shall we say how many have bullied the everyday folks and looked down or gave that appearances due to they knew more than the pew or student.
    Just because we might differ on the mechanics of salvation why should we attack each other? Most will agree that some folks are saved in all of the camps. The pew is tired of the fighting. As our Calvinistic brother Dr. Cairns keep telling his camp, show more love and understanding, lay down the hammer. Ready the NT he tell his camp, look at how poor acting some brother were, but Paul didn't kick them under the bus.
    My camp can also learn from Dr. Cairns, we need to show love to our brothers and get the Gospel out to the lost.
    As I said many in the pews are turned off by the word theology because so often all they see is a debate or fight from it and if the buy a book or two by theologians they are likely to read a fight. Many are tired of fights, I drove a truck for about 46 years and I gave the CB radio up in the mid to late 70's because I didn't care for all the fighting many people have turned off of the word theology for the same reason.
     
  13. HAMel

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    In my humble opinion, people lose interest because they become confused and frustrated.

    In way too many churches it does appear that no matter what you "do"..., they just aren't "doing" enough. Been there and done that.

    At this point, many begin to invent things to "do" that somehow magically transform into "their ministry" as the "work" they are doing is somehow attempting to please the Lord when perhaps in fact, they should be going in the other direction.

    Theology - Biology!

    All believers need time to be still and listen. In most churches folks are encouraged into Sunday School for 45 minutes of, of, of whatever happens, then right into the morning service where there's a couple of songs, the choir sings, tithes and offerings, another song and then the message which is usually nothing more than, "you gotta get saved; you're not "doing" enough you gotta get saved; you're not "doing" enough; you gotta get saved" and along the way the "guilt trip" is piled on heavier and heavier and we expect to see you back tonight.

    What's wrong with turning the service over to the Holy Spirit?

    Not everyone will drive a truck; not everyone will work in the factory; not everyone will be a teacher; a preacher; an evangelist or sing in the choir and not everyone will be turned onto in-depth theology.

    Turn the services over to the Lord and stop all the nonsense. :BangHead:
     
  14. Bob Alkire

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    Have you lost your mind? Let the Holy Spirit into church, what happens to my 27 lessions to show you how much smarter I am than you are? God has a place on a duty for each of His children and for most of us it starts at home with our family and putting to practice faith rest.
     
  15. HAMel

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    Yes Bob, I have lost my mind and so glad that I have. Praise the Lord!!!

    In 1900 I had two Great Grand Fathers in West Virginia that were Circuit Riding Preachers. Those various communities were able to sit under a Gospel Message once a month.

    ...how did any of them ever get to Heaven?
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    Good point. I have been a member of a church where certain seminary professors made a point that they had a Ph.D. when discussing controversial topics. Instead of an appeal to reason and discussing the matter through, they made an appeal to their own authority.

    Fantastic point!

    Thanks!
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    I'm afraid most of us have. We frustrate our people and still expect them to expend effort to learn the things of God. Good insight.

    That will get you into big trouble! :laugh:

    Another tremendous point! I think many church leaders diminish what the person in the pew does for a living. Where we work is one of our ministry fields. If we do our job well, with a Christian spirit and gentle witness, we can be much more effective than the vocational evangelist, preacher or teacher.
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    Amen! :thumbs:
     
  19. Bob Alkire

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    Amen, brother.
    We owe a lot to our Methodist brother from Frances Asbury on for the Circuit Riding preachers such as Robert Sheffey for doing a great job. Even B. R. Lakin in his early days did the same. God will use the one who avails himself to God for His service.
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    Much of that fault is at the feet of church pastors/teachers, as many today preach and teach what people want to hear, niot need to hear!

    Word of faith, liberation theology, social gospel, etc!
     

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