Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Teach, Teach, Teach

Many of us heard it frequently at the Seminary. Probably thousands of times. “Catechize your people!” “Teach your people!” “The people have not been taught, and you are there to teach them!”

It’s true. I had good, honest, faithful pastors growing up but once I began reading and studying theology I wondered why I had never learned this stuff before, why I had never been taught before. To be charitable, it might have been the case that I had not received the ears to hear it yet. Perhaps my pastors were delivering gold by the shovel-full and it all simply went past me, too wrapped up in my own thoughts and sin, too immature to notice it. I’ve seen this happen with my people. Once I was discussing sanctification for the hundredth time when one member piped up, “I never heard that before!”

It bears repeating from another post, however: the emphasis on continual teaching of the congregation is a liberal proposition. It assumes that education will lead to wisdom and solve all problems. Horace Mann was wrong.

The other implicit assumption is that people want to be taught and will accept the truth when they hear it. This assumption is most suspect of all.