Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yet More On Self-Feeding, Part Two

First, this is an afterthought addendum to these several posts of mine on this subject:
For I Was Hungry, and You Told Me to Self-Feed
Feed Yourself; or, Am I My Brother's Keeper?
You're Supposed to Feed People
Yet More On Self-Feeding

As you can see, it's a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine. But as long as people keep urging it, I'm gonna keep pushing back.

Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree that Christians should take responsibility for their own spiritual growth, so long as it is in the spirit of Galatians 6:1-5.

But another thing occurs to me about why pastors saying "Learn how to feed yourself" to people who have the audacity to say they're not being fed is so wrong. It has to do with what sort of food is being provided/suggested.

See, the new tack isn't "This stuff is for beginners; go learn how to get your own food." The new tack is actually, "I'm putting the food out for you every week, but until you pick it up and eat it, you're gonna say you're not being fed. You're not a baby; you're a grown-up. Feed yourself."

It's clever and it's cute and it makes those asking to be fed feel like immature dolts and it gets laughs from the choir. But it's still pretty much wrong.

Because here's what it is saying, essentially: "Hey, every week I tell you how to be a better Christian. I give you lots of applicable tips and steps to be happy, healthy, and confident. You have to actually do those things if you want to be fed, though."

And what that is actually saying is that if you aren't getting fed it's because you aren't doing enough. And that, ladies and germs, is what we call legalism.

The unsearchable riches of Christ is a sumptuous feast grand enough for every sinner. The searchable riches of us is a hollow wafer that only creates more hunger.

So the food being presented each week from the "feed yourself" pulpit isn't the body and blood of Christ; it's good works. Wanna be fed? Do, do, do. Don't feel full? Do more.
If you're not being satisfied, it's because you aren't doing enough of the helpful hints for successful living the preacher is nicely putting on your high chair tray.



Spherical said...

I am getting to understand more each day how legalistic we are, and how that is NOT what God wants. I think it is so hard for both us and churches to let completely go and trust God, but that is where the freedom that Jesus talks about come from. Any form of legalism is a prison. Keep preaching it, bro!

Anonymous said...

What happened to "Do you love me? Feed my sheep" to the 3rd power. or at least x3 my math skills are lacking. We in the pulpit are to be sheep feeders. It is our job.

Jared said...


Milton Stanley said...

You know, the converse is also true: preachers who preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, and their congregations want four steps to a better marriage, five principles for peaceful parenting,and six standards for sizzling sex.