Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Many years ago I received a yearly prayer letter from people I did not know all that well but who had been in a church we attended at that time. The letter asked for prayer in regard to their daughters who had, they said, been estranged from them and cut off all contact. It went on to say that the source of the problem stemmed from their daughters consulting a therapist who had planted false memories in the girls.
Now, what I want to attempt to communicate to you is how I reacted to that letter. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t think a whole lot about it. To my knowledge the parents were fine Christian people. So I didn’t really choose up sides – and let me tell you why.
This scenario was beyond the paradigm of my mind. It was like a foreign language – or better – an alien language.
I just didn’t know about such things. I had never personally experienced a situation like this, and therefore my mental programming had no real capacity to understand it. I was not wise about evil. And in such settings, it is inevitable that the whistleblowers (in this case the daughters) are not going to be so much disbelieved, as they are going to be met with a kind of blindness and deafness. Which blindness and deafness is naturally going to gravitate toward accepting the claims of the accused perpetrator of whatever evil is being called out. (I told you I was going to TRY to explain this!)
When a victim of some kind of wickedness – especially the kind that parades as an angel of light – …when the victim reports the thing, this inability to process the data comes into play very, very often. And I suppose it especially does so in local churches and other Christian settings where naivete to evil so often reigns.
To a large extent, this is what the Apostle means in the verse above (Hebrews 5:14). We must be trained by constant practice to be wise to evil. No one ever sat me down and said “Jeff, you need to learn about evil and how it works in life. What it looks like. How evildoers disguise themselves.” But have you ever heard of a seminary course or a church Sunday School class dealing with this very topic? Pretty rare. So, a seminary graduate launches off into a pastoral career and guess what is going to happen when a woman (or man) in his church comes to him asking for help with child molestation or domestic violence?
You may as well be feeding a mathematics problem into a word processor application. It isn’t going to compute.