Thursday, June 30, 2022
“And he [the Lord Jesus Christ] said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 KJV).
In the secular world, one fundamental business principle is as follows: learn precisely what customers want and then experiment to find the most efficient way to give it to them. Of course, problems arise when we begin treating God’s ministry in the same fashion.
Once we take up God’s Book, whose narrow teachings are offensive to mankind in general, we have already inadvertently chosen to limit the size of our audience. Knowing this, professional church operators will compromise: they rely partly on Scripture and derive the rest of their material from other sources. Popular psychology, world religions, philosophy, and other cultural “supplements” are used with the Bible instead of the Bible alone. The implementation of this wide variety of information affords the opportunity to appeal to myriads upon myriads, thereby increasing and maximizing attendance and merchandise sales. This humanistic approach has driven the megachurch movement for decades. It has also been the standard practice of numerous “Christian” publishing houses.
We need not be theological geniuses to recognize that the more universal the teaching is, the greater the likelihood it will be a well-received medium. Such establishments can be likened unto a restaurant that has broadened its menu, a college that has expanded its selection of available courses, or a brick-and-mortar store converting to an online presence. Customers will gather and profits will surge—but there are inherent risks (which should never be unnoticed but often are). If we try to create Bible groups using nonbiblical or unbiblical beliefs and practices, we will seem successful to the world. However, in the grand scheme of things, our efforts will not pass Almighty God’s inspection.
In today’s Scripture, young Jesus (only age 12!) knew He was about His Heavenly Father’s business by imparting spiritual light to the ignorant religious leaders of His nation, Israel. “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (verse 47). In short, there is no substitute whatsoever for sound Bible study—not what people want but what they need!