Several years ago I told you we were “cutting the cable” at our house. For several years, we did not watch any TV at all. We had a couple of streaming services so we could watch movies, but no TV at all.
Just over a year ago, I decided to see how one of those indoor antennas would work for us. I picked one out that had a 35 mile range It does an OK job...we lose signal from time to time and other times the signal is fairly broken up... but it’s better than nothing, I guess.
A couple of months ago I was in a local discount store having some automotive procedure done and saw an indoor antenna that had a 50 mile range. And I thought it might get a better signal.
It wasn’t too expensive, so, after I asked permission, I purchased it. I was somewhat disappointed that when I installed it to our living room TV and searched for channels, it picked up less channels than the other antenna!
I was going to take it back, but then thought I’d see what would happen if I put it on the TV in our bedroom (on which we could only watch DVD’s). It actually picked up more channels than it did in the living room, but still not as many as the 35 mile antenna does.
Sometimes something sounds better than what we have, but really it isn’t any better. In fact it may even be worse. What does this have to do with church?
Some congregations of the church are making changes to doctrinal beliefs in an effort to appeal to more people. They are adding things that they see other religious bodies doing and changing various aspects of how they do things to be “more relevant” or seen as “more sensitive” in our current culture.
They are changing the church to match the culture they see around them. This is backwards to Jesus’ desire for His church.
Just because culture says it is “right,” doesn’t mean God’s Word has changed on a subject. Jesus wants us to let our light shine (Matthew 5:14-16). In other words, He wants us to change our culture!
Lately I’ve become fascinated by a channel on YouTube. The channel’s name is “OverSimplified.”
The goal of this channel is to “explain things in an oversimplified manner.” In all honesty, I really wish this type of thing was available when I was taking history classes!
These, to date 20, videos cover several important historical events including major wars from history, several “mini wars” as they call them, and a couple about other things/people as well. One thing I find especially enjoyable is that they interject some humor into the stories.
There’s even a video of an actual history teacher responding to OverSimplified’s two videos on WWII...and he says it is a very good introduction to the subject.
If you are looking for a “good introduction” to a subject, then if someone has over simplified that subject, that’s where you need to go. But what if you want more?
If you want a deeper understanding, you have to make a much bigger investment of time than just watching a 10-30 minute video on YouTube.
You might have to even make a trip to a library, find and read books on the subject that are written from a variety of different points of view concerning the subject. Then you have to spend some more time contemplating how you feel and forming your opinion on the subject.
Why am I telling you this? Because for some people, when it comes to the Bible, they are satisfied with the over simplified version. They take whatever the preacher says about the Bible on Sunday morning...interjected with a little humor...and, well, that’s the only Bible study they do all week.
When it comes to historical events, even important ones, an over simplified knowledge is perfectly acceptable...after all, not all of us are historians or even have the desire to become a historian.
All of us are, however, Christians. And when it comes to the Bible, over simplified knowledge is absolutely unacceptable. The writer of Hebrews rebukes his readers for still needing to be taught basic principles of the faith (Hebrews 5:12) and encourages them to “...leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…” (Hebrews 6:1).
When it comes to Bible study, don’t be satisfied with just milk; grow to “solid food” so you will be able to mature and distinguish good from evil (see Hebrews 5:11-14).
Way back in the summer of 2016, we relocated our library from what is now the Audio/Visual room to it’s current location...the last room on the right of the hallway to the right as you enter the building.
There are several reasons that I wanted to point this out to you.
First, to let you know that we do, in fact, have a church library. The church library does, in fact, have books in it, as well as various other medias. You are, in fact, allowed to “check out” the aforementioned books and various other medias. You can either “check out” the books, etc. here at the building or take it home with you...just return it in a timely fashion.
Second, those of you who were here last Sunday night heard Dr. Eddie Cloer give us an update on Truth for Today World Mission School. In the library we have, I believe, most (if not all) of the Truth for Today Commentary set that has been published to date. This is the only commentary set that is authored by members of the church of Christ. When they finish, there will be 55 volumes covering the entire Bible.
Third, while he was here, Dr. Cloer gave the congregation the two volumes covering the life of Christ...which are the two volumes they did a mail out of to sub-Sahara Africa in 2019 (actually mailed in January, 2020) and that they will be mailing to Latin America later this year. You’ll hear more about how you can help with this later on.
Fourth, I wanted to encourage you to make use of our church library. The books (and other items) are not designed to be left on a shelf in perpetuity. They are designed to be picked up, opened up, and read (up).