Chapter five verse eleven: If the Apostle Paul was as blunt in speech as he was in his letters he must have made many enemies within the New Covenant church. From what is written about his speaking style, it can be assumed that this was the case. There are those of us, myself included, who prefer to hear God’s Truth raw and unencumbered by Religious Correctness. I do not mind my feelings being hurt if they are hurt by that Truth. Sometimes, actually many times, our feelings–a R.C. word for pride–need to be stomped on. A hurt pride is better than a lost life. And we all need a good spiritual kick in the pants at times. Paul, it seems, was a very good kicker as verses 11-14 attest.
In verse 11 he tells the Hebrew Christians, or at least a goodly portion of them, that they are so “dull of hearing” that he and the other apostles cannot teach them on the maturity level at which they should be operating. The word “dull” in the Greek language is nothros, meaning slothful, resistant. Here Paul is telling them that it is not God’s Truth that is hard to understand and obey, it is the Hebrews’ pre-existent religious mindset that prevents them from freely embracing that Truth. Having grown up on a farm and having dealt with a variety of animals I find that, when exposed to God’s Word, church people react to His Truth in the same way that a hog reacts to a new situation. A hog will repeatedly try to go from point A to point B the way it has always gone, even if that way is now blocked by a wall and a better, more open way has been made available. Though a better way is within sight, a hog will continually butt its head against the wall in an attempt to go the way he has always gone. One can herd the hog to the open space, but he will ignore it, go past it, turn around, go past the open space again and return to the old place where it will butt its head repeatedly against the wall in an attempt to go that way. Such is the manner of church people who, having been under false prophets and a false gospel for many years, will refuse to believe God’s Truths when shown them in the very Bible they swear is in fact God’s Word. Some will even admit that they are wrong but will refuse to turn to God. How can one do this? some may ask. The answer can be summed up in one word: deception (Rev. 12:9). Satan has deceived those in the Institutional Church (Catholicism/Protestantism) into believing that they are saved and born again. Therefore, the fix being in, they can defy God and, as did Adam and Eve, believe that they will “… not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). In other words, they believe that they can sin against God and still inherit eternal life. I never cease to be amazed by the extent of Satan’s power over the church and the church’s insistence on yielding to his power. L.J.