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Old Paths or Old Ruts

January 24, 2006

If you are a grand parent I am willing to bet that the front of your refrigerator looks a lot like ours. It is literally covered with drawings and pages out of coloring books, the works of art done by our grand children. As time passes the quality of art and ability to stay within the lines improves. Sadly, one day those works of art will stop as maturity sets in.

If at the age of 19 or 20 my grand children were to still bring me this child like art, I would be concerned and you would too. My son works for an institution that was established to take care of these type of children who are now living in adult bodies. When bodies mature and minds don’t there is a problem, a big problem. It is especially sad from a spiritual perspective. “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word…” Heb. 5:12 NLT. The basics are stepping stones to take us on to maturity, or as this same writer calls it, the meat of the word.

When some chant long and loud for the “Old Paths”, I fear what they seek are the “Old Ruts.” The church is going through a process of maturing these days. Maturity brings about change. Truth is still the aim of the pursuit, but truth applied in the 21st Century, not as in the 20th. or 19th., etc. Truth that is based on the meat of the word and not just the milk. There was a period of time when those of my tribe were controlled by a hand full of leaders. Their interpretations and understandings ruled, even though we preached long and hard that we had no official headquarters or governing body. Those days are long gone and may I say good riddance. What has resulted is not only alive, it is refreshing. It is worship that flows from the heart. It is devotion based upon a relationship, and not knowledge alone.

We have not arrived. The process of maturity is life long. And what we pass on to the next generation should not be just the “way we did it”, but the ideals and principles that caused us to do it the way we did it.

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