My point is not to say these are bad things or that we shouldn’t be doing them on a regular basis, only that we’ve made them ends in themselves when they are only a means to an end. Scripture doesn’t give nearly the emphasis on these things that we do in American Christian sub-cultures. Meditating on the Scriptures and meeting regularly with believers are necessary conditions for spiritual growth but they are not sufficient conditions. What does this end up looking like? Well, to the world, it looks like we are smug in our traditionalism, we couldn’t care less what happens to the world as long as we are “saved” by reading our Bibles and going to Church.
It’s like me proclaiming myself to be an amazing cook, since of course, I have read all the best cookbooks. This is silly. No one will hire a chef because they have “studied and memorized the best cookbooks.” No, they have to have actually cooked before. For me, I am tired of “studying the Scriptures” as though that is an end in itself. I realize I know more recipes (read: Scriptural “understanding”) than most people but I haven’t even really began to cook. I know perfectly the recipe for an amazing dinner, lamb racks in garlic sauce, etc, but all I ever make is a PB&J sandwich.
As students of Scripture it’s easy to think that our knowledge of Scripture qua knowledge actually means something, but it is only meaningful in so far as it is the impetus to action.