Spiritual Grown Up Babies
When asked to describe a baby, positive things come out first: small, cuddly, innocent, cute. When there are no more positive things to say, there is an awkward silence, which is broken by somebody suggesting that the cry a lot, they require too much attention. They awake at inopportune times. They require a lot of feeding, a lot of diapers, and cleaning after them. In other words, babies are selfish, self centered and unconcerned for the needs and wants of others. However, you would expect this of babies.
Evidently, we would expect an adult to be different. You expect them to be concerned about others' concerns and needs, to an extent self sufficient, self-providing and able to communicate. However how many grown ups do you actually know like this? You can probably count them with you fingers. These adults are in a figurative sense still drinking milk; because, in many they still acts like babies.
The same happens on a Spiritual level. Many wanted their physical needs met, but were not ready to receive more of what Christ taught. The disciples that left in John 6: 54 - 66 were offended by Jesus language. As it says in our quarterly,
Many who had witnessed, and benefited from, the feast on the mountainside the previous day followed Jesus in order to be fed again. As Jesus attempted to turn their minds to spiritual things by using the illustration of His body and blood, many turned away. It wasn't that they could not grasp the truth of salvation through Christ alone; it was that they refused to accept it. It was a testing time, and when their personal wants were not met, they chose to walk away.
To the 12 disciples Jesus said, "I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear it" (John 16:12). Paul went through the same experience with the Corinthians. Paul told the Corinthians that, "I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it" (1 Corinthians 3:2, NKJV). Ellen White says of these,
"…those addressed in these words had not been feeding on Christ, and therefore they were not advanced in spiritual knowledge. Paul said, 'I have fed you with milk'—the plainest, most simple truths, suitable for converts young in the faith; 'not with meat'—the solid, nourishing, spiritual food suited to those who have made progress in a knowledge of divine things. They were living on a low level, dwelling on the surface truths which call for no thought, no deep research."—Ellen G. White, Manuscript 70, 1901.
We often think that Paul was referring to theological knowledge. And, yes babies know nothing compared to a grown ups. But, there is the other factor expressed above that is often ignored; which goes along with the comparison above. Paul in essence was telling them, "You act like Spiritual babies. It as if you think that salvation is about you: What you are spared from and what you rewarded if you join the church. But, there is no concern or consideration for the One who saved you. How do you feel about Him? How does Christ feel about not yet receiving what He purchased with His precious blood? Although He is in Heaven does He still feel compassion when we suffer? Is He suffering now, when we go about our lives only concerned about us and not him and others? Do you long to be with Him, whom gave His life so that you could be with Him forever? Are you still a Spiritual Baby?"
Ellen White seems to confirm this line of thought,
"Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ's agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him" (Education, 263).
Many act like the Shulamite Woman when her lover came to see her. Let us read in Songs 5: 2 – 3,
Songs 5: 2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
Songs 5: 3 I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?
Full of self-concern, her comfort and convenience were more important than her lover's need to be intimate with her. He left disappointed. She called Him lover. But, she demonstrated that she did not love Him enough to open the door for Him. This Shulamite woman represents us the Laodicean church. The writer of Revelation says that we believe we are "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (Revelation 5: 17). Christ in the meantime is standing at the door knocking. Crying out, "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Will we let Him in? Or will we like the Shulamite woman send Him away because we do not want to inconvenience ourselves? We have milk in the house, but he brings meat. Which one do we want most?