If I’m going to be completely honest, a lot of children’s sermons I’ve heard have been much more useful to me than some sermons meant for mature and educated adults. Not that I have anything against the latter – I love a good, intellectual sermon – but a lot of the time it’s just easier for me to find a practical application for a message like “God is bigger than all your problems” than it is for me to even understand a sermon on Progressive Dispensationalism.
I’m not sure what it means for my faith that I’m more moved by a sermon meant for kids who are still learning how to write in cursive than by one meant for kids with degrees and jobs. I’m not cracking a joke or setting up to argue a huge point here. I seriously wrestle with this.
On one hand, I think knowledge and the intellect are very important. I went to a college preparatory high school, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude from a private university. But on the other hand, I think a lot of the beauty of Christianity is in its accessibility. You don’t have to be brilliant to follow Christ. Jesus didn’t say “Let only those who have a Masters of Divinity come to me, and hinder everyone else, because if you haven’t written a hundred page thesis on Zephaniah yet, you’re wasting your time here.” He said “Let the children come to me.”
Not seminary students.
But at the same time, there is a lot of intellectual stuff in the Bible. There’s ancient history, bizarre prophecies, and philosophical-ethical debates. God didn’t put this stuff in the Bible so we could look at it and say “You know what, this is beyond me. Jesus loves me and died for me, and that’s all that matters.” I really think that on some level we should try to wrestle with these big questions.
Jon Acuff has joked about the Christian tendency to jump into a “Childlike faith escape pod” when questions of faith get too deep and difficult to understand, and I really think he has a point. I know that escape pod starts looking pretty attractive to me when someone asks me what I think about almost anything in Revelation.
The fact of the matter is, like with most things in the Christian life, there’s a balance to be found here. There are some things that we aren’t meant to understand. God is beyond us. A lot of his plans are beyond us. But there are some things that he’s buried just deep enough that if we really work at it, we can unearth something beautiful. It’s just not always that easy to tell where we should be digging.
Question of the Week
Do you struggle with finding that balance? Is it even possible to try too hard to uncover these mysteries?