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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Arrested Development

The necessity of spiritual growth and development for the individual Christian is mentioned several times in the New Testament. In short, the teachings of Jesus, Paul and Peter seem to dwell on the fact that Christians are expected to grow in love, faith, grace and knowledge.

For some, however, spiritual development has been defined as studying scriptures that prove and/or reinforce one's belief system. Anything that challenges that system or encourages the person to think in new or different ways is viewed with suspicion or rejected out of hand. Unfortunately, for many of these folks, the chief goal/aim of their studies is the protection/defense/preservation of what they received from others (or what they consider as having been revealed to them personally). Hence, exploration and the acquisition of new insights are transformed into exercises that seem foreign, futile or even dangerous.

For me, this blog has been an exercise in growth. It has provided me with an opportunity to really think about my belief system. Moreover, I believe that my research and thinking (as well as the comments of others on these topics) has served to strengthen my understanding and growth as a Christian and has helped to make me a better person. It was also my hope that these posts would be of some help or use to others with a similar religious background.

Nevertheless, just as I have outgrown my previous experiences with the Armstrong Churches of God, other interests/pursuits have intruded on my dedication to writing for my blogs (you may have noticed that the frequency of my posting has dramatically declined over the years). To be clear, I don't mean to imply that I ran out of things to say or that I've decided that the blog was wasted effort. I do, however, feel that things like children, grandchildren and health deserve more of my attention these days. After all, as was suggested at the beginning of this post, growth and development is supposed to be perpetual.