by John Armstrong
“Everyone is a theologian, some are good theologians, and some are bad.” A theologian is someone who engages in theology (the study of God). Are you a good theologian or a bad theologian? Obviously, different people are going to answer that question differently depending on their perspective. Let me propose to you that the Bible is God’s special revelation of Himself to man. If that is true (it is), to be a good theologian, requires a knowledge and study of the Bible. That is part of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Good disciples are good theologians eagerly putting themselves in the way of the Word so that they are fed and nurtured. Now, if I were to form that idea as a test question, I’m pretty confident that you, dear reader, would have no problem answering it correctly. However, that is not a question on a test, it is a question for your life. It is a question for the lives of your children.
I was speaking with a parent recently and we discussed the fact that our children are being discipled, even as we are being discipled. This raises a number of questions: who is discipling our children and who is discipling us and what are we being discipled in? You are either being discipled so that you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus or you are being discipled into something else? The bottom line is, we are all being discipled one way or the other. You cannot turn on media devices and not recognize, to some degree, that the media industry is working to “disciple” you in some way. There are many organizations, corporations, and others who have an agenda they are trying to push. You are being exposed to this kind of thing all of the time. If you don’t counter the negative “discipling” of the world, you will tend to start thinking and acting like the world. If you are being discipled in the Word of God, you will by God’s grace, start to think and act more like Jesus.
Each generation must exercise its faith in Christ, God has no grandchildren. So, your children are not saved on the basis of your faith. That is why it is so vitally important to put them in the way of the Word from an early age. Don’t think a couple of hours on Sunday mornings is sufficient to guard against the schemes of your enemy. If you are going to stand firm against the devil’s schemes and against the effects of worldliness in this life, you need to pursue a robust discipleship. It should come not as a burden or a duty, but as a delight for those in Christ Jesus. To that end the Christian Education Committee of the church has changed its name to the Committee on Discipleship Ministries. That change reflects a desire to engage the congregation more deliberately in the area of discipleship beyond what we are already doing on Sunday mornings. It is my sincere hope that you will see the benefit of being discipled, and seek to be discipled yourself, as well as serving to encourage others by offering to be a discipler as the Lord leads you. Our commission from the Lord is to make disciples. We are called to be the disciples of Christ, actively seeking to grow in our own discipleship and giving it away to everyone that will listen. Lord, make us faithful and fruitful disciples for the advancement of your kingdom and the glory of Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.