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Spiritual vegetarians

When a baby is born, they are fed milk or formula until they are able to handle solid food. As we grow, we have a greater say over our diet.

Some choose to become meat eaters while others become vegetarians. Neither is inherently right or wrong since you can find a host of experts and advocates on both sides.

Spiritually, though, we can be more certain. In the Bible, God uses diet to refer to spiritual maturity. New Christians can’t handle the advanced teaching that may be a normal meal for a mature Christian.

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, NKJV).

Later, the writer of Hebrews used the same concepts.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).

We must be transformed by the gospel so we can grow in the faith and in decision making (Romans 12:1-2).

Spiritual immaturity is a personal choice with disastrous results (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV). Faith can’t occur without attention to God’s Word (Romans 10:17).

In far too many congregations, this problem is institutional. They may be very active in ministering to the hurting, yet they’re starving the brethren doctrinally.

Instead of feeding them a steady diet of meaty preaching and teaching, they substitute jokes, heartwarming stories and the rare verse with limited application.

They may even limit the teaching time and instead fill it with other activities.

Funny and touching stories are sweet but they’re often spiritual milk.

However, when the bottom line is money and popularity, leaders are often converting their congregations into spiritual vegetarians.

James said that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). So is love without knowledge.

Christianity is about putting the Lord first in everything. But application without a heavy dose of doctrinal teaching is simply folly.

Unless we’re trained on spiritual things by God’s Word, we will do the fleshly and tell ourselves it is spiritual.

Friends, Satan will usually be satisfied with spiritual vegetarianism because it can lead to destruction.

Stay in the Book.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

2 thoughts on “Spiritual vegetarians

  1. A very good article Richard. We have two families from two different congregations that are attending our Bible study. Both said the felt like they were being entertained at the other locations but they went away feeling empty. One of the ladies said they were not being fed (spiritually).

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