Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The importance of good teaching

"You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. "You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Teachers#sthash.MA1ey2Ug.dpuf
"You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. "You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Teachers#sthash.MA1ey2Ug.dpuf
“You shall teach them (God's Word) to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” Deuteronomy 11:19
 
True North... that's what I've been thinking of lately... quite a lot, actually.  For one learns a lot about the culture when trying to stay as still as possible and watching TV more than usual.

There are favorite PBS cooking and gardening shows from which I relax and learn a lot.  One is never too old to learn more about either subject.  I'm infamous famous for watching Finding Bigfoot and it is now in a new season.  A couple evenings a week are spent with a cup of tea and Masterpiece productions.  Tuesday nights have NCIS.

Which seem like a lot but over seven days containing twenty-four hours, it really isn't that much.  But last week when I was not making a simple meal, doing dishes, or reading... I was watching TV.  On the sofa.  Which means over the air (antennae) reception and not made for cable or satellite channels.

It did not take long to feel a little sick to my stomach.  If media is a reflection of the culture, we are seriously in trouble (if you haven't realized that already).  Whether media is a reflection or shapes the culture is a mute point... I happen to think it is both... what is laughed at now on situation comedies would have been unthinkable just recently.

Not when I was growing up or even when my kids were small.  I mean five years ago.  I thought of what it must be like for young people today who have no real Biblical instruction... no anchor to hold them in the hurricane force winds of a post-Christian society... no real understanding of God's Word... no True North.

I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' program on the NRB Channel Monday evening as he was speaking to students at a University and answering their questions.  It was the second part of a talk he gave entitled, "Why I am Not an Atheist".   It was... amazing.  He has been gifted in such a way as to communicate Truth to those who like to think through their faith.

As I watched his program, I thanked God that in the early years of my Christian walk He provided mentors and teachers to prepare me for the journey ahead... some in person, many through books recommended by these teachers.  The wonder of the written word is this... that a person born centuries ago can be just the mentor and teacher I need this week.

If we are to stay on this journey without straying off on tangents... lured by the enemy of our souls... we need to 1) stay in the true Word of God, and 2) make it a priority to stay in the presence of His Truth as taught by teachers and preachers grounded in Truth... not fluff... not the current theological rage... but the Truth of the centuries.  What Schaeffer called true truth.

I like Ravi but I do admit he can be deep.  My husband has two college degrees and his thinking just doesn't line up with the way Ravi writes and talks.  (Ravi's autobiography called Walking from East to West is fabulous and the one book at the time for which he asked for a co-writer who also makes it easy to read.)

I thoroughly appreciated Francis Schaeffer's books but I had to re-read them a few times to grasp what he was saying.  Eventually I realized I could get all of the Truth he wrote about in Edith's books, along with her own teaching.  Which I re-read many times because I enjoy them so much.

But one's teachers and mentors do not have to be theologians.  On the bookshelf in my Study, there are at least eight books by Elizabeth George (the Christian writer, not the novelist).  She is my favorite Bible teacher to read and re-read over the years.  I started with her bestselling A Woman After God's Own Heart.

Of course, no one will perfectly line up with your thinking... and no one should for we all "see through a glass darkly".  For instance, Elizabeth George reminds me of the Energizer Bunny and advocates always keeping busy throughout the day.  While I agree we must make certain our homes are tidy and in order... I also believe one must have time to sit and dream and ponder and create.  But that is a very small area of disagreement overall and has nothing to do with theology.  ;)

If we are to give our children the foundation they must have to stay firm as the cultural stream flows the opposite of their God given journey, then we must also make it a priority to continue growing strong in His Word by reading it ourselves and learning from those teachers He puts in our path... in person, in writing, and online.  Then to pass it on to the next generation if there are children in our life.

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors (in this case teachers) they succeed.  Proverbs 15:22 NASB

Just "be careful out there" for there are many wolves in Christian theological clothing.  Ask God to lead you to teachers of Truth and hold fast to those He has already given you.  Never, ever listen to just one teacher for then it is much easier to absorb false teaching.  It is also the way cults are formed.

I remember long ago attending a new church for a few months and finally one day discussing with my husband what was taught does not line up with what I believe the Word says.  We eventually decided to leave that church and attend another whose pastor-teacher did preach true truth.

But if we had not received sound teaching in the early years of our walk with the Lord... we would easily had been led down the wrong theological path.  Oh, we would not have forsaken Christ, it was not that bad.  But "off" enough we felt... uncomfortable.

Remember...

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.  2 Peter 2:1-2  NIV

There are many good Bible believing teachers who hold firm the essentials of the faith.

Grow your roots deep.  Ask God to lead you to all Truth.  Walk the journey He has placed you on whether the sun is shining or the storms are raging.  For there will be both along the way... and keep the Truth of His Word before you... that True North star you are walking towards.

We are told it is worth it all.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV

Maranatha!

Image:  Blue Stove; allposters.com

12 comments:

Vee said...

Maranatha! Amen and amen.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for your wise words of wisdom! My hubby and I were just discussing how what is shown on T.V. these days would have been totally unacceptable not that long ago! We need to be aware of the times we are living in and definitely stay grounded. Thank-you once again, for good food for thought! Take care.
Blessings,
Laura C. from WA

Anonymous said...

Brenda,
This is an excellent post. What and who we read or listen to makes a huge difference. Thank you for encouraging us in our walk through this life in many areas.
Dianne L

suzanne said...

Another wise and wonderful post. I love to re-read your blog during the week, and I usually glean another nugget or two of wisdom when I do. Thank you and amen!

Mrs.Rabe said...

Amen and amen to it all!

Thank you for using your gift of words to communicate truth Brenda. It's so important in these days!

Deanna

Anonymous said...

I was shocked to find a "reality" series on the ID channel as I was browsing that is called "Sinister Minister". You can guess where that was going.

Friend Debra

Anonymous said...

Just a quick thought for now...How old was Elizabeth George when she wrote about staying very busy? I mean when was the last of her books that advocated it? :) How old was she then? Could be by now she realizes she too needs to do a little at a time! Remember we all could go and go and go when we were younger and thought we would always feel like that !!! :-) !! P.S. I have always loved her books too. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I have joined an online group called "A Million Moms" They make it easy to email sponsors of TV trash and ask them to discontinue their sponsorship. It is the very least we can do to stem the tide.

Deb said...

I don't watch much TV any more because most of it is boring, troubling or downright disgusting. That includes the news. Interesting post! I agree with you. Thanks!

Maria said...

Very informative!!! Thank you!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I'm a sometimes reader who came over to catch up and was much encouraged by this post. Thank you!

Sallie Borrink said...

I heard Ravi speak at Urbana in the mid 90's. He was an amazing speaker. So thought provoking, encouraging and challenging all at the same time. If you know anything about Urbana, it runs down to the minute on the schedule because there are so many logistics to get everyone where they need to be on time.

They held the buses for Ravi when he ran over his time while doing a plenary session. It was that good and you could clearly sense the Holy Spirit moving.