|Posted on July 15, 2020 at 1:30 PM|
What concerns me most about our culture today is not the blatant ungodliness (the inability to trust God) in every sector of our society, but the condition of the modern church. Besides the obvious problems associated with the manmade institutional church substituting religiosity for true spirituality and genuine religious entertainment for genuine love, the modern church today is filled with spiritual “brats”. These are believers in Jesus who have been born again but still think, feel, and act like the same old persons they have always been. They are “babes in Christ” in need of the “sincere milk of the Word” as Peter calls it so they can grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.
The problem with such “brats” is their inability to walk out their new life in Christ. Being ignorant of who God has made them to be in Christ and all that he has done to meet their every need, brats continue to “walk as men” or live the natural self-centered lifestyle of law and lies. Relying on their own knowledge of good and evil rather than the personal leadership of the Spirit brats are most susceptible to the delusional power of the Enemy and vulnerable to his “seducing spirits” and “doctrines of demons”. Brats worry me more than the obvious enemies of the cross because they can turn on you thinking they are doing God a favor. Not having a solid foundation in the gospel they are easily led stray into the natural coping strategies of the flesh.
The most serious problem with brats in the church today is not simply their ignorance of the gospel of grace, but that they are often recognized and promoted as leaders in the body of Christ. Like the condition of the ancient Pharisees Jesus referred to as “the blind leading the blind”, religious people who depend on their own performance and the approval of others around them for their sense of worth tend to proselyte other babes in Christ. This is not a new phenomenon in the modern church but has been a real issue from the very start. Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches warned of those who would teach another of a different kind of gospel message insisting that faith alone in what God says he has done for us in Christ is not sufficient to make us acceptable to God.
To fight this growing problem believers need to literally “grow up”. The “milk of the Word” Peter referred to is all the Bible says about what God has and is doing for us in Christ. Spiritual babes need that milk to grow and thrive. But as they mature in the Lord they can take in the “meat of the Word” which is all the Bible says God intends to do through each of us to love others like Christ. Babes who only take in the milk will soon become selfish brats and are easily led astray whereas those who begin to take in the meat not only continue their growth in grace and knowledge of the Lord, but also begin to realize their full potential in Christ. The best way to ensure your spiritual growth is to follow the personal leadership of the Spirit in loving others like Christ.
What is desperately needed in every sector of our society today is mature believers who are not only born of God but know him well enough personally to love others around them. Rather than compete with and/or avoid those who are immature brats we need strong believers who will challenge their faulty belief systems, comfort their insecurities, and support their spiritual growth and development. Now is the time for us to “shine as lights in this world” as we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation”. Our dependence on God and love for others will make us more than conquerors despite the overwhelming opposition against us.