I am not a theologian. Studying Scripture is alright but it is not one of my favorite things to do. Probably not something you thought you would ever hear from your preacher right. Well there you go, you have now heard it … well at least read it. While it is not one of my favorite things I do, it is something that I have to do. The problem isn’t that I don’t like learning new things from God’s word … I really do … it is the act of study that I do not like. But study is what makes us grow as followers of Christ. It is through his word that God left us his thoughts. It is through his word God left us his desires for our lives. It is through his word that God communicates to us today. So study it we must.
The funny thing about study at times can be the fact that two separate people can rip apart a passage of scripture and arrive at two distinctly different understandings. This has happened time and time again in the church. That is the primary reason we have so many different Christian denominations out there. The problem we face in study is we let our background; we let our previous knowledge infiltrate our understanding of God’s word. But if you want to be a true theologian, you must come to the text with a clean slate. You must throw out your previous knowledge and allow God’s word to speak directly to you. When you do this, you will begin to understand what God has to say, and not what some denomination has to teach.
If we did this, than I would not have to spend much time in study for a sermon I am preaching Sunday morning on communion. The act of communion wouldn’t be an issue in the church today. If we were to simply take what scripture teaches and demonstrates about communion, we would do it in the way that Christ envisioned that night in the upper room. But because we have let so many outside forces determine the way we do things in the church and as Christians we a contorted view what following Christ really looks like.
So while study isn’t fun … at least for me … study I must. If you want to hear my thoughts on what I have studied about communion then join us at West Side on Sunday morning. But please remember, what I say in my sermon is just my thoughts on the subject … however, as I write each sermon I do plead to God to remove me and speak through me … so maybe they are God’s words. I don’t know.
PS. … There is more to being a theologian than what I have typed above. Maybe sometime in the future I will completely complete my thought on what it takes to be a theologian.
The image used above was borrowed and is linked to the website Sound Feelings and used in an article titled “11 Free Tips Improve Studying Results.” The link is as follows … http://www.soundfeelings.com/free/studying.htm. Use of the picture is not an endorsement of the website or material published there.