by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Some mature Christians complain that the preacher should not speak on the fundamentals of the faith because they “won’t get anything out of the lesson.”
They argue that they are well past such simple lessons regardless of others in the congregation who need them.
This conflict rages within most preachers who struggle to stand in both worlds. We must step back and realize that fundamentals are important for all Christians.
A young Christian needs to know a simple explanation of Jesus’ nature and mission as well as the character and practice of his Church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:22-23).
They need to be taught to separate the spiritual from the physical, so they can learn a new way of thinking (Romans 12:1-2).
A baseball team of children has to learn the basics of the sport, so they can mature as players.
However, a ten year-old player and a professional succeed or fail based on their abilities to throw, catch and hit. Teaching fundamentals is more important than many realize.
Advanced thinking means that we can compartmentalize and break things down to their component parts.
Teaching fundamentals can be divided into two categories. For example, faith is a foundation doctrine that can be taught in a rudimentary and an advanced way– same doctrine, two different intentions.
Ultimately, the application is where we find the depth.
Rudimentary teaching on faith addresses the definition and some basic applications. Teaching advanced fundamentals means that we take that same teaching and go much deeper into what Scripture, as a whole, teaches on the subject.
The rudimentary is not based on prior knowledge or understanding. The advanced presents that basic information and takes it to a new and fresh place facilitated by their knowledge of Scripture.
Preachers and teachers must push themselves to help the brethren understand the fundamentals in great depth.
In the complex book of Romans, Paul never delves into impenetrable doctrines. He simply addresses common teachings in an advanced way. That is how we all should teach.
We must help brethren to understand that fundamentals are much more complex than they have been led to believe.
When we can conquer this crucial truth, the Lord’s people can really begin to accelerate their understanding of Eternal Truths.