Same Ole, Same Ole…

Posted: July 14, 2015 in Blog

““To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast? For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”” (Isaiah 28:9–10)

It might be hard to tell upon first reading, but Isaiah’s words are the scoffing words of priests and false prophets. Put in modern parlance, it’s much like a complaint that the prophet is boring, elementary, and too simplistic. Or even yet, that Isaiah was preaching the same ole boring message, treating them like children.

People want to move on past the same ole message. Once I’ve heard something, I usually want to hear something new. However Isaiah continued to hammer down upon the same precepts over and again, as do many pastors. Hearing the Word can often feel like like listening to a broken record with no relevance.

Recently in the blogosphere, we’ve witnessed a small eruption, making much about the words of an evangelical leader, mentioned in an interview years ago. This particular leader considered preaching from the word of God line by line, verse by verse, to be a lazy pastoral practice, stating, ‘You don’t grow people that way.’ I’m rather sure God’ gives the increase, but that isn’t even the point. It seems as though we live in an era where the prevailing voice is for a move beyond the same ole, same ole, in an effort to provide satisfaction for peoples felt need.

One encouraging thing this same leader mentioned, in the very same interview, was about the importance of getting people to feel the unfelt, and legitimate need, as necessary to the human condition. Nonetheless, this isn’t the motive of many who seek to scratch the itch so many feel.

The complaint from Isaiah’s day is being echoed as the problem with so much of the modern church. We tire of hearing the same old message over and again. I’m not convinced that monotone lecturing on systematically selected texts, irrespective of the current need is what God had in mind for His church, (which isn’t a rejection of verse-by-verse exposition). But I do know that novelty when it comes to the message of the cross is dangerous, as is scratching the itch of the worldly.

Over the next few articles we will cover the repetitious nature of the life of the church, the same ole, same ole. Let us ask ourselves about our hearts in the matter. How do we take the same ole, same ole? Do we shut off? Do we stop listening because we’ve heard it all before?

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