KEEPING IT SIMPLE
In a June 19, 2021 edition of The Economist magazine, an article was written on some of the challenges being addressed within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) – issues like whether to allow an investigation into accusations of sexual abuse; a showdown over race; and the election of a new president.
The article began, “Annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), America’s largest Protestant denomination, are usually dull. Church representatives, known as “messengers,” debate resolutions about ecclesiological minutiae and hold referendums about referendums. There is a committee on committees that selects officers for a committee on nominations that nominates members of other committees.” Are you still with me? Have your eyes started to glaze over?
Little wonder people have such modest interest in church politics. They tend to be dull, difficult, and draining. Jesus frequently used little children as an example of the pureness and simplicity he requires for people to come to a full understanding of him and his ways. “Let the little children come to me,” he said, “and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)
One day Jesus’ disciples were arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. Again “Jesus took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:33-36)
Jesus sought to keep things simple. He used simple stories to convey complex truth. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
Donald Whitney in his book Simplify Your Spiritual Life says, “The primary reason to pursue simplicity in our spirituality is to maintain the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. We simplify, not merely to save time, but to eliminate hindrances to the time we devote to knowing Christ. All the reasons we simplify should eventually lead us to Jesus Christ.” Simplicity sets us free to both receive and to share the message of salvation and hope in Jesus.
The Bible says, many professing themselves to be wise, have become fools. (Romans 1:22) In the 17th century, Francois Fenelon wrote, “O the blindness of the greater part of mankind, who pride themselves on science and wisdom! How true is it, O my God, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes!” (Matt. 11:25)
Let us work to keep things simple. God forbid that we would in any way clutter the path to the cross of Jesus, when there are still millions urgently needing to discover the Way. (John 14:6)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Proverbs 3:7; Eccl. 9:17; Ephesians 1:15-23; I Cor. 1:20; Psalm 19:7-11; 116:5