The Baby With the Bathwater

Do you like to get new things? There is such a thrill whenever we get something new. There’s nothing like slipping on a new pair of shoes for the first time or the smell that comes from the first ride in a new car or experimenting with the amazing things that my new iPhone can do. Adults aren’t the only ones who love new things. My children love new things; their faces completely light up whenever they get a new toy or game or when my daughter gets a new outfit. We all love new things! 

This idea of new is better isn’t simply left to our society, but the Church seems to buy into this as well. We love new ways of doing things, singing new worship songs, new dress styles, and involving technology into our worship services. It is good to do new things! The church should like things that are new and fresh. In fact, the Psalmist writes in Psalm 96:1 that we should, “sing to the LORD a new song.” New is good. 

While new is good, when did we come to the thought that the old is bad or inferior? When did modern methodology replace ancient theology? One of our problems is that we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Friends, just because something is old doesn’t mean it is bad. Yes, we need new ideas and songs and methods, but that doesn’t mean we abandon the things that still work and are still relevant. We need to strive for growth, and that growth requires a foundation that was laid by the generations before. 

So how can we make this dichotomy work? Let me give you 3 suggestions. 

  • Read books by Dead People. I know what you’re thinking. I probably had the same thoughts the first time I heard this statement. But the truth in it is amazing. The generations before us had the same issues and struggles in their walks with God. When we read through how they handled these issues, we gain such a wealth of wisdom. Read books by St. Augustine, the Westminster Catechism, Martin Luther, D.L. Moody, A.B. Simpson, etc. 
  • Be Open to New Ideas. When was the last time you prayed for a new passion or vision or desire? When was the last time you sang a new song or experienced something out of your spiritual comfort zone? Realize that by being open to new ideas, you don’t have to abandon the old. Simply build on the foundation that God is laying for you. 
  • Choose What Benefits. There’s really good old things, but also old things that should be left. There are great new songs, but some that should be left alone. Make sure that everything lines up with Scripture and is profitable. 

I pray these will be helpful to you. 

I find that the quote attributed to St. Augustine is very applicable to our discussion of old v. new. He writes, “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things charity.” May God bless us as we continue to seek after Him!