I don't know if I truly agree with that because I have seen some Minister come out of Seminary school know the bible inside out but aren't lead by the Spirit. The word says if you ask for Wisdom God will give it to you freely. So I think it's a plus to have Seminary or Bible College but don't think if God has called a Man or Women to Preach his word they need approval based on what man says.
Brother I am Spirit-Filled and I have seen more of the reverse in our Pentecostal churches, I see too many men and women NOT versed enough in the scriptures to be Pastors. I have seen Pastors that couldn't READ. THAT is ridiculous! The Bible is clear STUDY to shew yourself APPROVED. Why is ignorance embraced in our churches? The pastor SHOULD be spiritual AND intelligent, remember Jesus spent 3 years TEACHING His disciples before they even were even Spirit-filled.
Brother...you said it MUCH better than I could ever. There are forces at work that want to paint all Black Church going folk as Ignorant and Unlettered who will follow any or all religious con men blindly.
Allowing Ministers or Pastors to pontificate before our community WITHOUT being educated totally in the Word is foolhardy. That is a disservice to all of us and to keep it real...looks bad on our people.
Maybe there would not be so many of these jive Spiritual Snake Oil salesman fleecing our people if we had a DEFINITIVE STANDARD for ALL Black Ministers - whatever denomination.
People fail to realize that a Pastor SHOULD be a TEACHER! In fact the word Pastor and Teacher are almost the same word in Greek, A Shepherd HAS to know HOW to make disciples....not MEMBERS...DISCIPLES!
I don't know what the full curriculum entails or if pastors need years and years of training if God called them, but what I do know is that if the foundation is faulty so will be the message.
I'm in support of a good foundation in the study of Greek and Hebrew (word study) as well as contextual and inductive study of the Bible especially if you are planning to teach. I'm also in support of a solid understanding of church history and the historical christian doctrine.
The Bible says the Word of God is of no private interpretation but was written by holy men through inspiration the Holy Spirit. Which simply put means "God said it and He meant what He meant". God never intended that there be multiple interpretations of scripture. We make gross errors in interpretation when we take scriptures out of their context to support our idea, topic or message which seems to be the popular preaching style without considering elements such as the actual meanings of key words in different text, culture, time, history, and law. For example, there are things that God promised or required of Israel that are not promised or requuired of us today, but many of us quote some of these scriptures and they have no relevance to us today.
Biblical Training would certainly produce more Bible based sermons.
You are right on! How could a Pastor/Minister NOT study the Greek or Hebrew on a Bible College Level and even be considered seriously as a teacher/pastor? That should be a Basic requirement!!!
My brother in Law is attending World Harvest Bible College (now Valor Bible College) and is not only getting grounded in the WORD but is being forced to read, speak, and write on a professional level. That is what it is all about...TRAINING! Not just being able to talk a good game and twist the Word to fit your own version of the Gospel.
This is what is needed in our leaders. Oratory skills without intelligence and education refining the mind is USELESS.
In too many of our churches (I am talking to Black folks) we have the ancient slave mentality that says, “I don’t need to go to school to be a preacher, I got the anointing!” Well during the days of slavery and Jim Crow we didn’t have an opportunity to go to Seminary or Bible Colleges. My grandfather was a deacon and his brother was a pastor back in the days when folks only got a grade school education and had to quit because they had to help pick tobacco. My forefathers made due the best they could under harsh circumstances. Now there is NO excuse for a preacher not getting formal training! You may not be able to afford Harvard or Princeton Theological Seminary, but every denomination should have a local Bible school. Most churches today have their own Bible Institutes or Schools. When you accepted the call to preach you also accepted the call to discipleship (training). Jesus spent 3 years training His disciples for ministry. He taught them how to pray, how to cast out devils, how to lay hands on the sick, how to carry themselves, and how to make more disciples. I am disgusted at how easy it is to be ordained in our churches. Just because a brother or sister can testify loud or run their mouth doesn’t mean they are called to preach! If they are called they will be willing to be trained BEFORE being given a piece of paper ordaining them. Remember this, if the preacher is ignorant and unlearned, then the people will be too! The gospel preacher must devote his (or her) life to purity of doctrine. Paul warned Timothy to avoid fables and old wives tales. It’s very easy for preachers to get involved in the “flavor of the month” teachings.
I am in the same dilemma brother, I started late with education. Igot my BA in Theology at 40 and my MA in Ministry at 44, I started preaching at 21, I look back and wish to God I started school sooner, so many things I taught early on out of ignorance and church tradition, A sound Bible school will teach you to study the Bible inductivley (Meaning to draw the Bibles conclusion and not man's)
I always go to the word of God and not what man thinks. If you need wisdom, talk to God: "For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:6 NKJV). "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally… and it will be given to him" (James 1:5 NKJV). "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17 NKJV). "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you… " (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). Once again I think going to school is a plus but the Word says God will instruct me.
I truly think that seminary or bible college attendance “could be good” for one’s personal development, whether we are talking about it as a requirement (or not) for ordination. I do look at it as a plus to further myself in understanding of the bible, so that I can be even more effective for God.
However, this conversation reminds me of the story of Jesus in the midst of the doctors of the law at the temple when He was only 12-years old. He wasn’t as a normal 12-year old playing with other children as they visited Jerusalem for Passover. And, being a Spirit-filled believer, we wouldn’t be as a normal student attending a bible college or seminary. There will be others who attend because of the historical knowledge they seek after or even instructors there who don’t know the Lord personally. So, we will have the chance to do as Jesus did when He gave them a glimpse of His divinely inspired answers and astonished the “experts” of the law, as a 12-year old. What I’m saying is that Jesus was about His Father’s business and we need to be the same way.
I think it would be great for all ministers to be in the midst of the supposed “teachers” of the law and have the opportunity to dialogue with them as Jesus did at the temple. You see, Mary and Joseph knew from the dream of Joseph and Angel of the Lord appearing to Mary of Jesus’ Kingly appointment, but didn’t know of His Prophetic or Priestly appointment. He showed them a glimpse of this during His temple visit, when they hastily returned in a worried fashion to pick him up at the place He must have felt very comfortable in visiting because of the conversations going on there. (And, church folk sometimes get worried about the requirement for further education.) But, even though Jesus knew more than all of them, by the Spirit within, He humbled Himself and didn’t reveal everything to the experts and went home with His family as He should have at that time in His life as a little young man. Jesus would later have the opportunity to do the ministry He came to earth for at the age of 30-years old. We also have the opportunity to do ministry before bible college or seminary and afterwards too.
Even though the bible doesn’t say so, I can bet Jesus was talked about and sought after at many Passovers after that one. (Who knows, maybe there were many opportunities to have many more conversations with the theologians annually.) Basically, what I’m saying is that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and found favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52) I think bible college and seminary attendance would not only better equip an individual, but will allow one to find favor with both God and man too, just as Jesus did. When we do attend, we shouldn’t be so Spirit-filled that we don’t receive the opportunity to learn things like history and geography that will open up our interpretation of the scriptures even more. Yes, we have the Spirit, but furtherance of educational opportunities can be a good thing too.
To paraphrase, Matthew Henry says it this way, “In the perfections of Jesus’ divine nature there could be no increase, but of His human nature, His body increased in stature and bulk, He grew in the growing age, and His soul increased in wisdom and all the endowments of a human soul. Though the Eternal Word was united to His human soul from His conception, yet the divinity with Him manifested itself to His humanity by degrees, ad modum recipientis – in proportion to His capacity; as the faculties of His human soul grew more and more capable, the gifts it received from the divine nature were more and more communicated through reading, studying, and dialogue of the Word year after year after year. And, Jesus increased in favor with God and man, that is, in all those graces that rendered Him acceptable to God and man. Herein, Christ accommodated Himself to His estate of humiliation, that as He condescended to be an infant, a child, a youth, so the image of God shone brighter in Him when He grew up to be a youth (12-years old), than it did or could, while He was an infant or a child.”
The same goes for us! When we start off as babes in Christ, we are on spiritual milk, and then as we mature in Christ we can eat the meat of the Word. This comes through studying to show ourselves approved unto God. (2 Timothy 2:15) The unique thing is that when we study to be approved unto God and not man, we simultaneously are approved by men in the ministry. As the saying goes, God anoints and man appoints. This is where certification, licensure, and ordination come into play. Yes, we have that inner calling that we know to be anointed and doing the work of the Lord, but that outer calling is made evident by people in ordination and appointing us as ministers. The people (or congregation) accepts the Word from us and entrusts their very lives on the balance of what we say to them as answers to their questions. That’s why we must study.
A seminary graduate once told me something so profound. He said that doctors truly begin their “practice” after they have attained the necessary preparation. That made me think of us beginning to minister at a different level after ordination. (Acts 6:1-7 shows the appointing of deacons for the daily administration, so that another level of ministry can be done, along with constant prayer.) That shows that we’ve put in the work to do what we’re doing in our “profession” and our “calling.” For example, when you’re an ambassador for a country, you’ve served in all kinds of positions of office and met the necessary requirements before you were appointed to go out to represent that country. We should have the same mindset with God. Just look at Paul, he was an example of someone highly qualified; although the argument would be that everyone in the bible wasn’t like Paul. (I know some will play devil’s advocate to make a point or keep the debate going.)
But, the bottom line is this for me: Bible college or seminary attendance as a requirement for ordination; I would hope so, but I know that will never happen across the board for everyone. However, if one would have the opportunity to attend, I would suggest doing so. God willing, I will in the future!
Amen Bro. Day, I fully realize that Seminary may not be for everyone BUT every minister of the Gospel should seek more intense training than a layman. would you go to a doctor that didn't study medicine? I don't think so.