Weeds or Standards

Church it is time!  As Pentecost approaches, I think it is time for a check-up.  This post has been stirring inside of me for a while but a verse in Psalm 74 finally put a voice to what I have been feeling.

This started with a “kingdom parable” in Matthew 13: 25.  Good seed was sown, but while we were asleep the enemy came in and sowed weeds. The master of the field had an unusual response – leave the weeds alone so you do not pull up the wheat!  And all of the gardeners said, “What!”  And all the church people said, “But that is not how I read the Bible, my doctrine must be correct.” 

Weeds – a plant that is not wanted were it is.  Unfortunately, that is a huge definition when it comes to plants.  I have cut down some huge weeds because I did not want that tree there.  But I quit fighting the false dandelions in my lawn just because they are pleasant to look at when in bloom.   Another example is penny and dollar wort, I don’t like them in my lawn and they are a pain in a garden/flower bed.  To get rid of them I can pull them up or poison them.  One method may work in a flower bed and the other may be okay in the lawn, but it is a decision that must be made carefully.  Oh, if those plants are in a sand dune they are wonderful at helping establish the stability of the dune along the beaches here in south Texas. 

The weeds the enemy has sown come in many shapes and sizes.  Throw in the human condition of pride and it can be war in the printing presses.  The “weed” that set me off is found in Genesis 1. The problem was not that God created the world, a Christian should agree to that, but how long it took and how it was done.  I have followed this argument for many years.  Some of this “weed pulling” comes from what Study Bible you use.  So, the Church of my Living God has battled itself for truth and let evolution take over the education system!

The verse in Psalm 74 that divided weeds from standards is #4.  “Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.” (NIV) Pick your favorite translation the meaning is clear!

Acts 2:36 needs to be a common point for all Christians – Jesus is Lord and Christ.  Unfortunately, weed seeds have been sprinkled into the rest of Peter’s sermon, that first birthday of the Church!  Verse 40 holds the last part of this post. “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Church, they are in our meeting halls – roaring their standards.  New Age thought has been brought in, and we have let postmodernism change definitions in the Church.  Postmodernism works by changing (usually it is a slow change) the meaning of words!  Words they are changing or at least trying to change – Father God, Jesus, Christ, love, sin, family, and others!  The Great Commission has not changed and that needs to be the work of the Church.  Asaph is credited with writing Psalm 73 to 83; as I have read them recently, many sound like prayers against the foes of God and the Church of Jesus.           

Additional Thoughts – fellow Christians should not be an enemy, you may not agree with them on everything; the Seed is still good; Jesus has confidence in the Seed/Plants even with weeds trying to suck the life from the plants’ roots; Jesus still wins in the end! 

Seeds – Part of God’s Garden

Seeds – Part of God’s Garden

Pumpkin seed and Wheat

Pumpkin seed and Wheat

Recently I was asked if you could assess the planting of spiritual seeds, this was part of my answer.

To start with a study of seeds you must realize that the Father is a gardener at heart, after all that was where He first put Man, and He would walk around and enjoy His handiwork.  So I feel it is always fair to view the Kingdom as a garden where there are all sorts of plants each having its own purpose for being there.  Gardens can have different sections and purposes but still be considered a single garden.

The spiritual planting of seeds is discussed well in Mark 4 where three different stories are used that all talk about seeds.  The chapter has a version of the Parable of The Sower (4:1 – 20), an analogy of the Kingdom of God with the man who does not work for the crop (4: 26 – 29), and a second analogy where the Kingdom of God is compared to a mustard seed (4:30 – 32).  I will also use Matthew 13:24 – 30 which explains how to handle bad seeds.

The Sower

The Sower

The Parable of the Sower is a great way to assess the spiritual planting of seed because Jesus, the Master Teacher, explains the parable for the disciples and us so there is no mistake about its meaning.  The seed on the path represents people who hear the Word but Satan steals it.  The seed on rocky ground was received with joy but shriveled quickly when trouble came.  The unfruitful seed was sown into a place where worries and desires became more important, producing nothing.  But the seed on good soil multiplied itself and produced more seeds.  It is worth noting here that the seed on the good ground was also the majority of the seed planted in the field.  The “how” can we assess seed in this parable is done all the same way; it has to be allowed to start growing.

This idea brings in Mark 4:26 – 29 and Matthew 13:24 – 30 where the seed has been planted and has been allowed to grow.  In Mark, it is recognized that the framer’s job was to just plant the seed and the seed does the rest of the work until harvest time comes.  In Matthew, another problem with growing seed is covered in the fact that bad seed will at times be forced in with the good.  This parable shows the great love and patience of God in that He allows the bad seeds to grow because He knows that

Bad Seed

Bad Seed

sometimes if you pull “weeds” you can kill the developing good plant.

The size of the seed plus what type of seed was sown and what we can expect is shown in the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  Seed will produce exactly what kind of plant it has come from.  God can use a variety of seeds to produce the crops He needs to fill His barn.  The mustard seed may have been small but what it produced was useful and needed.   The plant mentioned in the parable may have been a Sinapis nigra or a Salvadora perscia.

The only way a farmer knows if his seed is any good is to wait for it to grow and produce a crop.  It is the same with a teacher of the Word; the only way we know if our spiritual seed sowing has been good is when we assess the crop.