You can be as anointed as a bottle of olive oil--one can only communicate any divine inspiration received from God within the confines of his or her own intellectual, religious, and cultural contexts. This is not to say one is more qualified to speak for God if he or she went to one seminary vs. the other--it simply means that one has taken responsibility to qualify him/herself for the calling that has been laid upon him or her. It also so says that those who CHOSE to be formally trained and educated have also chosen to sit UNDER authority, be trained, and disciplined and learn something--the SAME things pastors ask their members to do. Anointing does not make up for ignorance, just as education does not substitute for the anointing. There must be a balance--not a forced choice for EITHER OR.
I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I preached for 10 years all over the country without seminary degree. Mose folks didn't care--long as I gave them the word. During that time, however, I was WELL studied, and sat at the feet of my pastor and bishop for nearly 15 years (they WERE seminary trained, AND Holy Ghost filled and could just PREACH). But as God began to elevate me in the kingdom and in the church, more education, training, and discipline were required. I think the more rank one has, the more traning and education--along with personal servitude, devotion and anointing is required. Only in the house of God, can one occupy positions that that affect people's lives and welfare without ANY formal training.
Usually, it is those people who have elected, for whatever their reasons, NOT to sit down for 4-10 years to be formally trained who refuse to celebrate those who have. On the other hand, many who are highly educated, who may not have a great anointing, often call the uneducated ignorant and unlearned.
Interestingly, in most all other professional helping vocations, people must have degrees in order to recieve licenses to practice. But when it comes to the church--there should be no similar standards---just the anointing? This is froward and foolish thinking. There are many anointed to teach--but how many of us would send our children to private or religious schools to sit under teachers who had NO training, or no state license--but they were just anointed and called? The anointing alone isn't enough, else there would be no need for 5-fold leaders to equip and mature the saints to work the ministry.
It seems to me Bro West that many assume that Seminary teaches theology alone. This is untrue. It teaches pastoral counseling, finance, church administration, greek, hebrew, homiletics and the like. As long as I have been in ministry (27 years), it was not until my last year of seminary that I found out how ignorant I was in church adminstration and finance, and all of the legal matters concerning being a corporate organization. The anointing doesn't teach you that.
The Holy Spirit is indeed a teacher--but this is no substitute for God's order in the earth. The Holy Spirit does not need to teach me what others are already expert at--this is the beauty of the diversity of the Body of Christ. Just like every prophet of old, I must submit myself to those whose knowledge, expertise, or spiritual or secular rank is greater than mine, if I am to maximize God's call upon my life.
"Why would I join a Church where the Pastor places to high a value on an education that I have not had the priviledge to get.and therefore limits how he preceives my calling or my effectiveness, be it in ministry or some other form of Church committment"....all I can say is WOW!
Why would you sit under a leader who FAILED to influence of his or her congregants to be all they could be? Since the heart of the black community and family has always been the black church, why would you pursue a leader who placed so little value on education (since this is one area that will lift our people)? I do not understand, and perhaps do not need to....but I would hope that people would not discriminate against me because I value education and migrate to another leader SIMPLY because he or she doesn't.
Could you have generalized a few of your personal experiences and perceptions to all preachers who are educated, Elder? You make some good points, however. Not all who attend seminary are called to preach. By the same token, not all who CHOOSE NOT to go are called either. There are those with questionable callings irespective of education. However, this is not the issue that has been raised for this forum.
Since more preachers are NOT seminary trained than ARE, then this cannot be the reason that the church is not reaching out to people who need it the MOST (and we have NO way of knowing who they are except by the Spirit). To assume that those who need it most are those in the "poverty stricken inner cities" is stereotypical thinking at best. Conversely, I could make that same assumption: Maybe the reaosn why the church cannot reach out to the people who need it the most (the highly educated and successful) is because of our own unadeucated selves. Some of the most arrogant preachers I have seen have not been the most educated--that's for sure. Arrogance comes in ALL forms--lol--and when we see the educated being arrogant--it's just "educated arrogance"--the character flaw was there before schooling.
Most people in this country have had the opportunity or chance to educate themselves to some degree or another. It's just that they have either chosen other paths, chosen NOT to, or simply did not believe that they could do it. Not all of us who went to seminary were priviledged. At the time I went, I had been preaching 10 or better...and my decision to go was greatly influenced by my EDUCATED pastor and Bishop. It was no pic-nic Elder. I was BROKE....some days not knowing how I was going to eat. I had NO money to go to school--I borrowed it, and cleaned white folks' apartments after they moved out of them. Yup, the "national evangelist" cleaned toilets so she could go to school. That was not privilege--It was purpose! I did not agree with my leaders' pushing me to go to seminary but I was too afraid of God to disobey, and to presume I knew more than they.
Eccl. says that time and chance (opportunity) come to every man...many who did not further their education decieve themselves into believing they did not have the opportunity, chance, time or money (just as I did for 10 years). It all boils down to what people are willing to give up or pay to better themselves (whether that be seminary, college, bible school, on-line study, seminars, conferences or whatever).
What I find most disturbing about OUR people is that the church is the only place where their OWN people are criticized for chosing to educate themselves. What a pity. We used to celebrate our educated because we lived through them vicariously.
I suppose people will never agree on this issue....to each his or her own. The bottom line great Elder is this: If EVERY one would do EXACTLY what God tells them to do in preparation, sanctification, and dedication for ministry, what EVER that is, we would ALL be the better for it--wouldn't you agree? Thanks for sharing Elder.