When we’re constantly covering baptism, the instrument, and the other doctrines that set us apart from the denominational world, growth comes to a halt. As Hebrews 5:11-14 discusses, there comes a time when we need to move beyond the fundamentals and onto the meat of the word. When the Bible is reduced to being little more than a reference book filled with proof-texts that back up the doctrines we already believe, our ability to see its application in all areas of life is hindered. Where this is the case, God’s word is used only defensively, to defend the territory we already occupy. But the Bible is a book that should transform us bit by bit every time we open it. If most of our time spent studying the Word together is focused on backing up what we already know, we’ll never move past the milk stage.
Last year, when my wife and I realized our “break” from our past church home was turning into a search for a new church family, this exact issue is one of the things that turned us off from some of the larger churches of Christ in our area. We settle for a form of self-righteousness under the guise of teaching and preaching truth. It’s a form of “itching ears.” We tell ourselves we are teaching the “hard truths” when really we’re just rehashing things we want to hear because they remind us of our rightness.