People in our church, readers of my blog, should not trust me or take my word. Everyone must study Scripture for themselves. Why follow me? I’m just some guy.
- If what I say is true to Scripture, follow Scripture.
- If what I say isn’t true to Scripture, follow Scripture.
- If you aren’t sure if what I say is true to Scripture, follow Scripture in what you know for sure. Leave the rest until the Lord makes it clear — but keep reading the Bible so He can teach you.
Thanks Jon, we must always remember it’s the Scriptures, not man’s thoughts or ideas. With that said, I found something rather interesting within the church setting context. The pastor is “to feed” the flock. The flock is never told “to feed” itself. The flock should “search the Scriptures” and “to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” amongst other things in regard to the Scriptures but not “to feed” itself. This really struck me as I “pastor” my flock God has entrusted to my care. It is quite a sobering thought.
Hello, Brian, interesting thought. I Peter 2:2 comes to mind, which perhaps implies “self-feeding.” Probably the strongest indication of “self-feeding” is the fact that believers are to feed one another. Hebrews 3:13 and 10:25 (both of which say to exhort one another), and especially I Thess. 5:11, which says we are to “edify one another.” You can’t edify others if you have nothing to give. So I think the responsibility for believers to feed themselves on God’s Word is strongly implied.
And yet, I think you are right that the strong emphasis on the feeding of the flock falls on those whom God has equipped. Part of the reason is there is good food, and there is poison. There is so much warning against false teachers and error creeping in, so we know believers are vulnerable. One of the key responsibilities of a pastor (we see it over and over again) is to help people to the good and teach them to recognise and avoid the poison.
Jon, your thoughts are helpful and the imagery is a bit different though. Edifying is building, feeding is nourishing. God, I believe, gives us those different images for a reason. I don’t know that I would say I Peter 2:2 means self-feeding as much as it demonstrates from the image of an infant the insatiable desire we as believers are to have for the Word of God. That we should desire greatly to be fed just like our babies greatly desire to be fed. When I brought this up and I should have been a bit more specific, I am referencing the Greek word for feeding, poimaino. It is not used between believers except in the case of a leader (pastor) to his flock. Yes, we have other words for our interaction amongst fellow believers, edify, admonish, etc. but not that word.
Anyway, good thoughts nonetheless, appreciate the interaction and drawing us into the Scriptures.
Ah, I see what you are getting at, I think. You are right about poimaino, and you are right that the imagery is different. Interesting.
Poimaino refers to feeding a flock, shepherding. So we would expect that to be applied to pastors, rather than others. But I think you are right, I can’t think of any passages that use the imagery of feeding one another or self-feeding which are clearly general to all believers. Interesting thought. I’ll file that one in my “things to look for while I’m reading through the Scriptures to see if Brian is right” file. 🙂
Hebrews 5 is interesting, too, but it really only has reference to the ability of the readers to process spiritual sustenance, not whether they were being taught or not. I John 2 refers to the teaching of the believer by the Holy Spirit, but doesn’t use the food/feeding imagery. So I don’t think either of those passages really have any bearing on the point you are making.
Love your file heading, though it is a bit long. I have one like that in my head that gets stuff stashed in it from time to time. The Scriptures just continue to amaze me as I open its pages and open my heart to the Author’s working of His Word in my heart. It is a most humbling experience that our God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, would save a sinner such as I and actually desire me to know Him better and provide for that to happen.