The author of Hebrews gives a stern rebuke to the Hebrew Christians accusing them of being ‘sluggish’ in regards to their Bible study (cf. Hebrews 5:11, 6:12). Like the Corinthians, the Hebrews had plenty of time to have learned enough of the Word of God to be teachers rather than needing someone else to teach them the same elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ over and over (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:12). Apparently, the Hebrew Christians were these ‘loving’ brethren who saw to it that those among them with needs were cared for. The Lord acknowledges this good quality in them, yet at the same time He admonishes them to “show the same diligence unto the fullness of hope” as they were doing in their service to the needs of others (Hebrews 6:10-12).
We often see the same problem in the Lord’s church today. Many ‘loving’ brethren care so much for the needs of other Christians but often times do so to the neglect of their understanding of God’s Word as a whole. This was the problem of the Hebrew Christians. These ‘loving’ brethren are generally the ones who work the hardest within the local church. They are good about volunteering for building maintenance, taking food to Christians in need and showing up for various work days both at the church building and at people’s homes. Unfortunately, some of these same brethren are decrying their inability to know all of God’s truth and thereby no one else may know. These brethren opine unity in diversity using Romans 14 as their platform. These same brethren cannot stand for a beloved teacher to be called out as false. Clearly they have not given the same “diligence” in Bible study as they have for ‘loving’ their brethren in need (Hebrews 6:11).
On the other side we have the doctrinally sound brother who often becomes so involved in defeating the unsound teaching of the erring that they forget to show charity toward those in need. Such brethren sometimes forget that there is work to do such as building clean up, opening and closing the building, and lawn maintenance. They often forget that there are needy saints that need to be taken care of. These often forget that there are elderly and widows that need visits for comfort. Such activities slip the mind of the doctrinally sound brother because he is too involved in one area of his Christian responsibility.
Somewhere in these two extremes exists a balance. Those brethren who would hold to error yet opine ‘love, love, love,’ need to spend more time in Bible Study and less time quibbling over elementary principles within the Word of God. Those brethren who neglect the needy saints and other basic needs ought to be reminded what “pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is...” (James 1:26-27). Yes, I realize how simple this may sound in regards to the deep divisions that are currently abounding within the brotherhood; however, we must all remember that it is ignorance of God’s word that does the dividing (1 Corinthians 1:10; 3:1-3). Unity of minds occurs when all strive to understand the word of God alike instead of fighting for areas of unity in diversity. God would not have commanded and prayed for such unity to happen if it were impossible (John 17:17; Romans 15:5-7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Eph. 4:1-16).
John C Robertson