I see it almost everywhere in the “Christian” culture. The spoof of the “Got Milk” slogan as “Got Jesus.” The promotion in Christian circles of “milk of the word” (meaning the Bible). It strikes me that in this age of information that even though people who are not professional nutritionists are privy to Google’s wealth and yet so often do not put the physical truth and spiritual truth side by side, as if our core and shell are two entirely different entities incapable of being affected similarly if not parallel.
I hear “Milk!” promoted and preached from the pulpit and repeated by congregants, and the purity of a mother’s milk as a positive thing. I’ve heard this in church for over a decade and have yet to see another article on this topic where mothers (who have given birth and know the necessity of weaning) speak up to this spiritual deficiency in the church. Hearing another “milk of the word” referenced recently caused me to take a look at the whole verse again. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of spiritual babes out there who need and are benefiting from actual pure milk. But, when the only popular meat reference in Christianity is a t-shirt that reads “Jesus King” instead of “Burger King,” I think we need to take a look at the whole of the verse so many repeat:
“I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?”
1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (blueletterbible.org)
Here we see Paul starts in past tense. Fed. We also see that Paul (a single man with Pharisee background) is able to assess that there is a problem. He sees they are stuck, treading milk, if you will, because they would rather be carnal than receive and desire to know more about God. Thinking on this, I got inspired with the title for this article. I thought, “This problem was going on approximately 2000 years ago. That’s some pretty sour milk by now!” I began thinking of the Little Miff Moffet nursery rhyme and how easily she was scared by the spider while she munched down her curds and whey. Just like Miss Moffet, so many who claim the name of their Creator, who claim the name of Yeshua rationalize their carnality and portray to those who don’t know Yeshua/Jesus that it’s ok to get inebriated, to post social media crushes or objectify or idealize the opposite gender, even though those people didn’t die for our eternity. They get scared of the darkness around them instead of growing into disciples and a warrior bride for The Warrior, respecting Him above fearing whatever the enemy is allowed to in order to test us..
The writer of Hebrews shares:
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is,those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Hebrews 5:13-14 NKJV (blueletterbible.org)
Solomon reminds us in Proverbs that churning milk makes butter. Butter is known to be a fattening food and can clog arteries. So just as physical butter clogs the physical blood stream, so too does spiritual butter prevent the oxygen of the Holy Spirit or Ruach Hakodesh from replenishing our spiritual life, given that “the life of the creature is in the blood”. (Lev 17:11 NKJV) (blueletterbible.org) Yet, American culture is still largely churning the milk of the word and at times not even pure milk, but rather humanized formula!
Although incomplete scriptures can minister to those designed with a simple mind, not everyone is designed with a simple mind. Not everyone with a simple mind is a babe in Christ. Incomplete scripture delivery are not falsehoods, but they can hinder understanding when context and follow up are not included. Milk is given for growth. However, if we have been churning the milk, the issue, this particular scripture for nearly 2000 years, what are we churning it for still and what else are we expending but some very unhealthy results?
Google has some very interesting food reminders. In physical butter, its oils go bad as it expires. So, if Christians are churning 2000 year old butter, just imagine how sour the Holy Spirit (biblically illustrated as anointing oil) tastes to those who don’t know what we proclaim that we do.
Butter churning is not our scriptural vocation. Desiring the pure milk of the gospel is–for GROWTH, as Peter imparts in 1 Peter 2. Peter’s charge from Yeshua Himself was to feed His sheep. He (along with the other foundational disciples) were commissioned to making disciples, not converts as has been so popular in Christianity. Paul’s calling was preaching and proving that Jesus was the Christ Acts 9:20&22 NKJV. (blueletterbible.org) The disciples both walked with The Word and studied The Word in the Torah. I say this because there are renewed movements in Christianity. There are some who focus on God’s love over mere discernment to oppose the “only need the Bible” folks who mostly bereave themselves of experiencing others testimony and prayers and the twofold power needed in overcoming. Likewise, those who shy away from the scripture, focusing mostly in on God’s love, also bereave themselves and encourage others to not know the accountability part of God. Each rather tend to try to dissect God to some degree. Discipleship in both areas is needed.
So what does growth by pure milk look like? Well, Peter gives us more elaboration in 1 Peter 2: (blueletterbible.org)
-offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5 NKJV
-proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
-having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12 NKJV
-that by doing good (verses about submission to leaders) you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—1 Peter 2:15 NKJV
-For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 1 Peter 2:20 NKJV
Five foundational things. When we don’t grow, we hurt God’s credibility to the bankrupt and diminish our spiritual inheritance of blessed investment. As said at the beginning, I’ve never birthed a child and I’m not a nutritionist, but I love information. So, it interested me to read two particular articles (which I’ll include here at the end) that pointed out:
“The research found that by age 2, babies who had been breastfed exclusively for at least three months had enhanced development in key parts of the brain compared to children who were fed formula exclusively or who were fed a combination of formula and breastmilk. The extra growth was most pronounced in parts of the brain associated with language, emotional function, and cognition, the research showed.”
“…too much milk can fill kids up, increasing the likelihood that they forgo other nutrient-rich foods.”
If milk is calcium rich and ministers to the bones, we are spiritually skeletal and hard in texture and interaction. What are we doing to help our muscles and other internal systems of the body of Christ? I’ve already seen that Christian adults favor emotion over truth and use paraphrasing of scripture as an excuse to not go deeper in understanding for starters. Now although people in the Bible ate bull, quail and other meat than only lamb, I thought it would be good to include nutrition facts of lamb since Jesus is called The Lamb and The Word, as perspective to the spiritual nutrition we deprive development. Ironically, glancing at nutrition of lamb, there are two components that pop out at me. Lamb meat has ample vitamin B12 and Zinc among other vitamins and minerals.
* “Vitamin B12: Important for blood formation and the function of the brain, vitamin B12 is only found in animal-derived foods, and is absent from vegan diets. Deficiency in vitamin B12 may cause anemia and neurological damage.
* Zinc: Found in high amounts in lamb, zinc is usually much better absorbed from meat than plants. It is an essential mineral that is important for growth and the formation of hormones, such as insulin and testosterone.”
I chose these particular ones since I’ve been writing how the body of Christ and our spiritual minds need to grow in understanding. In one of the milk articles included, i found it interesting that it included how milk fills up the body so the body doesn’t desire other food. Problem is the majority has for so long been tasting we are “unskilled in the word of righteousness.” (Hebrews 5:13 NKJV) (blueletterbible.org) The first time the word “skill” is introduced in scripture is regarding the Tabernacle in Exodus 35:35 NKJV. “Tapestry makers, engravers, weavers, designers,” (blueletterbible.org) from a majority who had for 400 years been slaves (which no doubt included various trainings) and yet, many were brick makers and manual labor building whatever pharaoh desired which included architects. At the tabernacle all these skills came together. It is my hearts prayer to see growth in skill as such and for the hearts of His people to desire a deeper relationship with Him.