| Is this what God intended?|
... The Jews were astonished, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?" So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not mine but He who sent me."...John 7:15-16
... But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I said to you... John 14:26
... As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you but as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and it's not a lie, and just as it has taught you, and you abide in Him...1 John 2:27
... Now as they observered the confidence of Peter and John and understood they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and begin to recognize them as having been with Jesus... Acts 4:13
Brothers and sisters as I look at the above vereses and others in the New Testament I have to ask where do we get this idea that only the professional theologian can reveal to us the truth of God's word.
Even Jesus Himself was not educated in the traditional synagogue theological model of his day. He did not study at a rabbinical School. Or attach Himself as Saul of Tarsus. did to a particular leading rabbi. But Jesus through a relationship with his Father received spiritual truth.
The disciple that Jesus called to Himself were an eclectic bunch. They were not the theologians of their day. But they were fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, and so on. Untrained uneducated men who were not in the rabbinical schools of their day. But they were in relationship to the Son of God. And after Pentecost they were empowered with the Holy Spirit. So empowered, that they stunned the religious establishment leadership of their day.
Peter and John and the other disciples did not have degrees from Westminister or Dallas Theological Seminary. Or for that matter from Jerusalem Seminary. What they had was a three-year education of hands-on experience with Jesus. And then they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to go out and shake the world. And at the close out of the first century the gospel had been preached to most of the civilized world at that time.
The first century Apostles and those who followed in their steps operated in the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. They operated through listening to the Holy Spirit and hearing truth as conveyed by Him. The first century Church learned the truth about Jesus Christ in relationship to Him and to one another.
In the house churches that were birthed during the first century there was no one man standing up in front of the congregation with a ThD. The congregants were not seated as facing one man and each one looking at the back of one another's head to hear truth expounded from the scriptures.
In all likelihood the house churches would be seated in a circle where the members would look at one another. Then there would be body ministry or a word we used to use in the Jesus movement "body life". Each member would be expected to participate with a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All things were done for the edification of the body as Paul describes in i Corinthians 14;26.
The spirit was very vibrant in the first century Church. But as the years went by after the first-century closed out. The church became more organized. In a sense it became more Jewish in its structure.
We can look the Constitine who gave rise to the professional clergy and laity. To the idea that only those who were educated in a theological system could expand the truth in Scripture. In essence the Holy Spirit was snuffed out.
What we have here in America is totally unbiblical. We have substituted the relationship to Christ and His Spirit to reveal truth to us into the hands a professional clergy. It is far easier to trust someone with a degree from Master's Seminary to reveal biblical truth to us. Then to trust the Holy Spirit to open up His word to us. I have seen that in this forum.
The professional clergyman with his degrees from various theological seminaries is far more capable of opening up biblical truth then the Holy Spirit who authored the scriptures.
Even in this forum to suggest that one can receive truth with an open Bible and the Holy Spirit to instruct him and the things of Christ is frowned on and comsidered heresy. I keep hearing through the posting of some of the forum members we need to trust those that have been to seminary. We need to trust those that have Seminary degrees.
Brethren I ask is this what God ever intended. Did God ever intend for His Word to be left in the hands of a professional theologian. Did God ever mean for the professional seminarian to break forth his truth.
Those of you who claim to be out of the Reformation heritage. Those of you who claim to be Sola Scriptura. What of William Tyndale who died to give the ploigh boy and milk maid a Bible to challenge the Catholic doctrine of their day? Did he ever mean for the Bible to be left in the hands of the Catholic clergy? Did he ever mean for the Bible to be left in the hands of the Protestant clergy.
Yet this is what is happening. We are trusting those who come out of seminary to open up spiritual truth. We think if we're not sitting under someone for Master's Seminary or Westminster Seminary we are not receiving biblical truth. I think Tyndale himself would weep over this.
I submit that this is not what God intended. He meant for His word to be understood under the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. His word was meant to be understood directly in relationship to Him.
I know some, perhaps many, will object to this. But then I say gently you are arguing from a religious spirit. God's word can be understood under the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. God's word can be understood in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ believing that he will reveal spiritual truth to the hungry heart that seeks it.
God meant for His word to be understood by the Spirit filled heart that truly submits to His teaching.
This truly is from the shadow of His cross.
| 2016/7/12 18:03|
| Re: Is this what God intended?|
Carefully spoken and true.
| 2016/7/12 18:40||Profile|
| Re: Broad brushing it seems|
/Even in this forum to suggest that one can receive truth with an open Bible and the Holy Spirit to instruct him and the things of Christ is frowned on and comsidered heresy./
I can't remember ever hearing that on this forum. When and by whom?
/I keep hearing through the posting of some of the forum members we need to trust those that have been to seminary. We need to trust those that have Seminary degrees./
Why should we not trust them just because they have been to seminary? Does that poision their motives somwehow or corrupt their abilities and callings?
/Did God ever mean for the professional seminarian to break forth his truth./
But why does going to seminary automatically ensure they can't bring forth God's truth? After all, it's the Scriptures they committed themselves to study. You're broad brushing with more than a little bias. You're making it a needles either/or type of situation. What I hear is either you went to seminary and studied the Scriptures and are therefore suspect or you did not go and have the Holy Spirit to equip you so you are therefore okay. What untrue caricatures and broad brushing!
/Yet this is what is happening. We are trusting those who come out of seminary to open up spiritual truth./
No we're not. Most every church has anointed speakers and guests who come and local members who are anointed to open the scriptures and many of them have not been to seminary. Going to seminary is not a pre-requisite for an anointing or understanding of the Word. The uneducated pastor who studies by candlelight can get quickened and have an understanding just as real as a seminary participant. Yet a seminary participant can get a quickend understanding also because he is studying the Word. Just like the preacher studying at home by candlelight.
/I submit that this is not what God intended. He meant for His word to be understood under the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. His word was meant to be understood directly in relationship to Him./
And there's not a seminary anywhere that understands this?
I would back off a bit and take some breaths if I were you. I'm all for body ministry and each bringing something to the meeting. But ostracizing those who loved the word enough to go and study it in a formal manner is counter productive. Why did Deitrich Bonhoeffer run an underground clandestine seminary during the Nazi era? Meanwhile, some with an anointing went to seminary and some with an anointing didn't go to seminary. Those who did should have nothing to hang their heads about. They don't all come out of seminary as theological hot shots intent on teaching only head doctrine.
| 2016/7/12 19:15||Profile|
| Re: |
What is the definition of a "professional Theologian"?
b/ deceived christian
c/ wolf in sheep's coat
d/ true christian
I say all of the above can be a professional theologian.
We need to test the spirits in each case whether they agree with the bible. To do this we need sound biblical doctrine.
Ephesians 4:11-16King James Version (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
| 2016/7/12 19:27|
| Re: Is this what God intended?|
May I state what I believe Blaine is trying to say another way? He may correct me if I get it wrong. But I think I get the gist of it.
The Biblical pattern for men taking assuming the role of ministry to the body (be it apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher) has been by the calling of the Holy Spirit. This calling is recognized in mature, established leaders and the person is ordained with the laying on of hands. Recall that this is how Paul was separated unto the calling apostleship that was on his life by God. These men then went forth under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit of God (read 1 Cor. 2) and did the work that they were called to do. It seems that most of these men in the Bible were not seminary trained, did not have much formal education at all to be honest, and were powerfully used by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit teaching them the things that they needed to know. These men were largely uneducated, but powerfully used by God.
All too often the modern American church works off of another pattern. A man decides that he wants to be a pastor, teacher, or evangelist. He determines that, for whatever reason, this is his career of choice. He goes to a seminary and earns a degree. He goes through an "ordination" process which really amounts to being papered or licensed by an organization or a denomination. He then tries to send out resumes, gain trial preaching dates at different churches, all in hopes of landing a job as a pastor or teacher so that he can get on with his career. Often he starts as a youth minister, using that position as a stepping stone to the position he really desires. The man is highly educated, trained in exegesis and hermeneutics, and was never called by God and carries absolutely no anointing or power of the Holy Spirit to do what he is trying to do.
I think Blaine's point is that we see the second all too often, and that it is not God's plan for ministry to the body. We would much rather see a genuinely called man who steps up in obedience, experiences God's anointing and power, and is taught by the Holy Spirit than to see a man with no real calling but lots of theological education try to do the job on his own power for his own motives.
Of all of the early NT church leaders, Paul (apostle), Luke (evangelist), and Matthew (apostle) are the only ones that I know of that had any record of any form of formal education. Paul was the only one with what we might call a seminary degree (trained by Gamaliel). No one would ever claim that these men were less anointed or less used by the Holy Spirit due to their education.
Seminary can be a VERY good thing. Systematic study of the word is a VERY VERY good thing. But these cannot take the place of genuine calling by God and anointing by God when it comes to leadership in the church.
Hope I articulated that right.
| 2016/7/12 20:07||Profile|
| 2016/7/12 20:19||Profile|
| Re: brother Travis|
Well done bro!
I like how you said that and hope it helps to restore some peaceable exchanges, where we give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt and seeking to understand what's being presented from their perspective rather assuming they're wrong and promoting a heretical agenda...
| 2016/7/12 20:19||Profile|
| Re: Travis |
Brother I believe you articulated more clearly what I'm trying to say.
| 2016/7/12 20:45|
| Re: |
... But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ gift... and he gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the statue which belongs to the fullness of Christ...Ephesians 4:7,11-13
Some argue that we need these positions in the church. I agree. Above what is called the five-fold ministry is needed. But notice these are spiritual gifts with a spiritual calling. They are not the professional clergyman. But those individuals that God does call from the local body to be the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, and the teacher. This is the working of the Holy Spirit in the body, the bride of Christ.
Paul's whole letter to the Ephesians is to show that the bride is the spiritual body of Christ. The body of Christ is where He dwells. If Jesus is dwelling in the midst of his body, then there will be an organic life of the Dpirit.
But if He is not dwelling in the life of his bride, then all we have is a dead religious institution of organizational unity.
Simply my thoughts.
| 2016/7/12 20:56|
| Re: |
Very cool. I hoped I understood you correctly.
When a man is not actually called of God to ministry, and tries to do it of his own choice and volition, I believe he does more harm than good. But a man surrendered to the call of God and anointed by the Holy Spirit can will always bear much fruit.
I know of one pastor who was called by God to preach. Three years ago, he pioneered a new work. My wife and I joined in during the third month of the work. This man has never had any formal seminary training. He simply studies the word of God and spends a great deal of time in prayer. I have watched this man over the last three years. His first sermons were...well...rough to say the least. I have watched as the Holy Spirit has taught him, and the very deep truths of scripture have progressively come from his preaching. The church is growing and people are hungry for God. I hear him speak and I think, "Wow! Where did that come from?" The answer is simple. The Holy Spirit has been revealing scripture to him as he studies. Would he benefit from seminary courses. Absolutely yes. We cannot hide too much of the word of God in our heart. But he has started from the platform of obedience to a definite call of God and with that comes the anointing of God. Had he not been called and simply decided to go get training and become a pastor his ministry would not be prospering like it is and he would probably have a very small group of lukewarm people following him.
| 2016/7/12 20:57||Profile|