Elementary My Dear Watson

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip.  As they lay down for the night, Holmes said, “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.”  Watson said, “I see millions and millions of stars.”  Holmes asked, “And what does that tell you?”  Watson replied, “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.  What does it tell you Holmes?”  Holmes answered simply, “Somebody stole our tent.”

Sherlock Holmes is a character that is famous for being able to solve the most difficult of cases.  Interestingly, he does this by observing very basic and elementary aspects of a situation.  He then uses this information to form complex and insightful conclusions to help solve the crime.

Throughout Scripture we see discussions on elementary principles for mature Christians and young Christians.  Younger Christians are told to grow (1 Peter 2:2), to mature (1 Corinthians 14:10), and move past the elementary teachings (Hebrews 6:1).

Mature Christians are told to live up to their maturity expectations (1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:11-14), to no longer be Children but be grounded in Scripture (Ephesians 4:14), and to continue growing (Ephesians 4:15; 2 Peter 3:18).

The point of these Scriptures is to always grow, mature, and move beyond the elementary principles.  We cannot stay on “milk” forever.  But does this mean once we learn these principles we should toss them aside?  Of course not!  We should always keep these principles firmly in mind.  But for mature Christians, this means continuing to use these elementary principles as a foundation for more complex and deep spiritual thought.  Using them as the foundation.

Sherlock Holmes was all about keeping the elementary principles fresh while using them to bring out depth and complexity.  Young Christians need to continue to learn the elementary principles found in Scripture.  Mature Christians can forget the most basic teachings of Scripture.  Therefore, everyone must always keep these basic principles fresh in mind.  As we grow and press towards maturity of Christians, let’s never forget the basic, yet vital, teachings of the Bible.

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