Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
I’ve been blessed over the past eight years to teach a Bible class to our academy students. The biggest blessing is watching them get excited about digging into the Word of God, the Bible. It is the only textbook we use. As we study the Word together, we find that there were periods of time when the Bible was banned from being read, or even owned, by common folk (Like the Dark Ages). The only individuals that could have a Bible were the priests.
This methodology of religion had a huge benefit to the Roman Catholic Church; mainly that the general population could be controlled easily because they had to trust that their priest was always telling the truth. This led to horrific consequences when man’s sinful nature began to trump the truth of God. Many thousands of people were killed as a result.
Of course, the Protestant Reformation put an end to the darkness. Bibles became widely distributed, and people came to realize that what they read in the Scriptures did not match the teaching from their priests. Chaos ensued, but the truth won the day.
However, there is a danger of a repeat of the Dark Ages in the 21st century. This time, however, we are doing it by choice. The Bible is still accessible (at least in the USA) yet, people choose not to read it for themselves. Instead, they choose to trust others who have done all of the reading for them and will break it down into understandable, bite-sized language.
The danger then becomes that our faith is not built on Jesus, but on the men and women who represent Jesus. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t trust, or listen to our pastors. But, we should definitely check them against the Word of God.
If we are spending more time devouring information about God from others than from the Scriptures, then our faith is built on their own interpretation of the Bible. When we can quote our favorite authors, preachers, or teachers, but not the truth from the Scriptures, we must repent. Though their teachings are useful, they are not a replacement for the Bible.
Instead, as the verse says, our roots must grow down into Jesus Christ, who is revealed to us through the Scriptures (both the Old and New Testaments). Our faith must rest in Him.