Those Who’ve Gone Before Us
I always have to remind myself that my faith is not one in an isolated bubble without any influence from anyone else. I always have to remind myself that I am standing on the shoulders of the giants of the faith who have gone before me. There have been great men and women of God who have gone before me and who have wrestled and experienced deeper things of God. Larry Powers, my church history professor during my undergrad, used to say that church history is simply getting to know your family. I took heart to those words.
Unfortunately, as I interact with other followers of Christ, there seems to be a resistance towards these great men and women of God. The common sentiment is, “We follow Jesus not men!” They wrongly see the study of other great men and women of God as worship of men but that’s hardly the case. They will admit that they do read and follow the works of more of the modern pop-Christian authors/speakers/pastors. I don’t see how that’s different? How can a person quote Rick Warren and at the same time despise the works of Augustine?
Are we so advanced and so sophisticated as a society that these great men and women of God have nothing to say about our situation today? This is a very immature perspective to take. It’s like a high school student who refuses to listen to words of wisdom from their grandparents simply because they are old. I am deeply sadden by the blind arrogance that has gripped many evangelicals.
Our faith is part of a larger story. In the timeline of history, we are just part of what God has been doing and will do on this earth through men and women. It is so important that we heed the words of those who have gone before us. Not as worship but as advice and as wisdom from God.