Shallow Teaching in the Church
There is a book by A. W. Tozer called The Pursuit of God and in a chapter he spoke on shallow logic. This book was written years ago and yet it was as if he wrote it with today in mind. Influence is the power someone has over another. The influence of others has the power to effect us.
Effect - bring to pass, accomplish
Shallow - lacking depth of character, intellect, or meaning; superficial
Logic - (art) of reasoning, way of reasoning whether correct or incorrect (yourdictionary.com)
The church today, for the most part, has departed from the purpose God intended, which is to preach the message that came from the lips of Jesus Christ. Today the church is influenced by those who preach and teach shallow logic. That is, the message of man's wisdom and philosophy. This is the message of gratifying self.
The foundational message that a church should teach on is to be, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and God in the flesh who is the last "sacrificial Lamb." Jesus shed His blood on His cross for man to have the way to receive forgiveness from God. He took the wages of sin, death on the cross, and He rose from death to life to prove He is God and has victory over death, hell, and the grave. Before Jesus returned to heaven (Acts 1), He instructed His disciples to continue His work of spreading His gospel.
Acts 1:1 In the former account [which I prepared], O Theophilus, I made [a continuous report] dealing with all the things which Jesus began to do and to teach.
How did Jesus instruct them? Jesus instructed by teaching and doing as believers we are to continue in what Jesus began. If we do not know what Jesus began to do and teach we will fail. God will not fail, God's plan will move forward but it is each person's choice as to whether they are following God's plan or man's plan.
This foundational teaching has been laid aside in many churches today. Today believers are taught to seek their dreams and pleasures. God is merely an add on and this has led to the condition of the church today. The good news is there are people whose hearts are longing to know their Lord God but they leave the church service as empty as they came in. This is because they are listening to shallow reasoning, man's philosophy. Shallow logic will not teach you about true character, integrity, morality, holiness, obedience and so forth listed in the bible which are the essentials needed for our eternity.
Shallow logic speaks as if God counsels us and gives us what we command and teaches us to pursue a self-life.
What is the truth
John 17:3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.-- This is the definition of eternal life which is: know the One, True living God and Jesus as the Christ, the One God sent.
Believers are to know the nature and will of God. This means believers are to be influenced by the nature, will, and wisdom of God towards obedience. We obtain this knowledge through God's word and seeing God's word work in our life through the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 3:19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses [mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
This verse tells us we cannot know the love of Christ with head knowledge or intellect. Knowing the love of Christ is in the heart. Experiencing Christ's love is when the word of God touches us and it becomes alive in us. God's word is more than black letters on a white page. The bible is the learning tool by which believers come to understand God. Jesus Christ is the mediator between us and God. The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the heart of believers to teach them the truth, walk in obedience to the truth, and experience God's truth.
What does God say about shallow teaching?
Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23
God's truth is - believers are not to live a self-life. Their life is to be completely submitted to the leading and control of God through the Holy Spirit. In Matthew, Jesus spoke to His disciples, in Mark He spoke to His disciples and the crowd, and in Luke He spoke to anyone listening. This command is for anyone who looks to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus is telling everyone to know what it will cost them to follow Him.
What is the command of Jesus?
Deny yourself which is in direct opposition to the shallow teaching of pursuing self interest.
What is it to deny yourself?
Deny - disown, repudiate
Repudiate - refuse to have anything to do with, reject in a public way, refuse to support, reject the authority
To live coming to a deeper knowledge and understanding of God and Jesus as the Christ, we must reject our authority, and worldly knowledge and wisdom. We must stop supporting our fleshly self-life and emotions.
We must have one goal:
1 Corinthians 2:2 As for myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; 2 For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified. 3 And I was in (passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you. 4 And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], 5 So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.
Paul says, I did not speak in the wisdom or philosophy of men but in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that persuades those listening so faith is not put in the wisdom of men, human philosophy, but in the power of God. The church today is saturated with eloquent speakers, pop psychology, and human wisdom. This is not what God is looking for or accepts. It is those who, like Paul, have a single goal; to know Christ and Him crucified.
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
Come before God with one purpose to know Him.
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Biblegateway.com (we use Bible verses from this site)