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We shouldn't be Christian “Idiots”

 

We shouldn't be Christian “Idiots”

1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

The Christians in Corinth had a number of problems. Paul’s, letter to them is almost a laundry list of addressing many of them. In chapter 14 he addresses the chaos they were having in their meetings. One thing interesting to note is his use of the word “unlearned” (idiotes). The origin of the word was based on the disdain the early Greeks had for someone who refused to participate in the politics of the city. He was considered selfish. Eventually this came to mean a person unable to participate because of some innate deficiency such as lacking professional skill, relatively unskilled, not clever, or a private soldier as opposed to officer.

Paul cites the terms, “unlearned” and “unbeliever” as two different conditions. Weust translates the word (idiotes / unlearned) as “uninitiated”. This is a kinder approach as it leaves out the reason for being uninitiated (disinclination, inability, poor teaching, or new to the faith).

In the context of Wuest’s definition of the word idiotes as “uninitiated”, one might come to the conclusion that most Christians are “uninitiated”. When asked if they knew for sure that they were going to go to heaven when they died, most would answer, “I hope so”. Most would not be able to articulate the reason for such “hope”.

Most Christians inherit their Christian practice and tradition from their families and their family association with a particular denomination. They place a lot of trust in what others have told them about Christianity. Considering the eternal consequences, and that Jesus warns that some will be mistaken regarding their assumed eternal destination, it can be a good idea that each Christian search out for himself to verify the basis for his hope that he will end up in heaven.

There are many questions that an uninitiated Christian can have such as, “Was the “great commission” given to Israel or the church?” or “How do Israel and the church differ?”. The bible provides many answers and raises many questions. However, it would seem the most important place to start is to determine if your final destination is heaven or not.

The bible paints a picture of Christian growth and maturity towards Christ-likeness. One might consider this a process of “initiation”. Unfortunately much Christian practice is less dynamic and active. Christians are often assured that they have met the minimum requirements and do not have to concern themselves with the details so they get on with their “real” lives.

Hebrews 5:12-13 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

 

  

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