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.