{Excerpt taken from When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James}

Is theology really important for women?  The writer to the Hebrews answers with a resounding yes, perhaps more emphatically than we are prepared to hear.  Abruptly and with a measure of exasperation, he halts his discussion and, like a well-informed surgeon general, stamps a laying warning label on his letter- to warn us not of the dangers of theology but of the hazards of getting too  little of it.  I can't help feeling a bit shocked every time i get to this point in his letter.  His words land like a punch, but it is straight talk women need to hear.

"There is so much more we would like to say about this.  But you don't seem to listen, so it's hard to make you understand.  You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others.  Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures.  You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food.  And a person who is living on mild isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't' know much about doing what is right.  Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right.  Hebrews 5:11-14 NLT

This is where a lot of us act as though we are reading someone else's mail instead of a private letter addressed to us- a clever tactic to dodge the sting of this rebuke.  But this letter isn't addressed to a gathering of church leaders or exclusively to men.  The author is talking to Christians of all ages, including women.  Instead of setting the letter aside as "too deep" or "not meant" for us, women need to close the door behind them and read as though the letter bears our name and was written by someone who knew exactly what we need to hear.

The writer is taking us to task for a diet of theological pabulum- ideas about God that don't require chewing and going down easily.  He urges us to tackle a meatier diet that will fortify us for the task at hand.  And why is he so concerned?  Our spiritual health is at stake, for starters.  But the ramifications are greater.  The facts are simple.  A soft diet will stunt our spiritual development, stagnate our relationship with God, and weaken the body of Christ.

The letter to the Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that refusing solid food will stunt our growth.  The assumption is that we are all capable of deeper understanding…  Fixing our eyes on Jesus means advancing from baby food- the basic concepts of Christianity- to an adult diet of deeper theological truths about Jesus.  It means we have to learn to feed ourselves- reading and studying the Bible not in search of some tasty morsel to help us through the day but in search of God.

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