My sister speaks her mind, a trait she owns which I appreciate. Few people I have met in life are as genuine. Few people seem to know nothing about political correctness like she—knows nothing about political correctness or verbal protocol. But my sister’s apparent ignorance of telling people what they want to hear, her innocent spontaneity in saying instead what she is feeling, makes her easy to talk to. She has a heart big enough to support any claim to honesty but she possesses a humility that doesn’t care to.
Jesus said to let our nays be nay and yeas be yea. You must know that Scripture—Matthew 5:7—and anything else, our Lord reminded us comes from the evil one. I admit that sometimes I have been too careful in what I say. I have weighed my words and tried to avoid confrontation. She is simply not this way.
The problem is that you must be prepared for this level of transparency. You never know what she might say. And this brings me to my point. Many pastors ago and a few more yesteryears she confronted the leader of the church she was then attending and bluntly asked, blurting out, “Why aren’t you teaching us the Bible?”
She wasn’t being nasty. She wasn’t leading an inquisition to challenge his right to his pulpit. My sister doesn’t have the drive for such a thing. She can’t have a hidden agenda—not and be so outrageously simplistic, so clean-glass clear in what she actually wants to say. She was simply asking in her own inimitable way if her pastor would teach her the Bible.
The Bible. Not a bad request!
But that is a very general subject. She wasn’t seeking any particular teaching; she wasn’t asking for emotional reinforcement over some pet doctrine. She didn’t seek support for her view point on anything. She simply wanted to be taught. Being teachable, she was expressing an interest in learning something—a little something more—from the Bible. In her own way she was asking him to open the book and point and then explain what his finger fell on. As she observed things, a Sunday morning service wasn’t doing it for her and she wanted a bit more.
Not everyone feels that way. Not everyone finds a Sunday Morning service a little less than filling. Some, and perhaps most, christians are totally satisfied with the portion of God’s Word they hear in one service a week and no one—least of all my sister—would look on these believers as lacking a desire to know God’s Word. Everyone’s appetite is different.
In addition it is improper to accuse the person in the pulpit of not fulling their commitment to God’s Truth because they kept the message short or didn’t dive into a monologue of technical chatter in the name of learning. Sometimes we get more Truth in five minutes in one sermon than we might enjoy or find in hours of another. A pastor’s “Gettysburg address” might stamp upon our memories a far more lasting impression than an Edward Everett’s. Most school kids can quote Lincoln but does anyone—beside some dedicated historian—know what Mr. Everett said? It was over 10,000 words long!
Keep in mind that quality trumps quantity and quality does not mean the use of Greek words. Most pastor’s tone down the rhetoric and the technical jargon without losing the emphasis and impact of Scripture. They talk the interpretation of the Greek and Hebrew without our even knowing it, because it isn’t the Greek we need to learn. It is God’s Word in our language that we must get into our heads.