2 Corinthians 4:2, "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

1 Thessalonians 1:5-, "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.   "

1 Thessalonians 2:13, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

2 Timothy 2:15-21, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."

2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

Also read Hebrew 13 (emphasis: verses 7-17)

AFTER reading all of the scriptures, what is your answer - are you taught by man or by the Holy Ghost?


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Again this make no sense. The path that brought me to Bible College and now Seminary is simple I was teaching error and not what the Word of God said so my mother and a brother form the Church I once pastored sat me down, showed me the error of my teaching and the next month I enrolled in Bible College. That is what happen. If you must know My mother is a nurse and the brother was (he has long gone to be with the Lord) an older man that was a father to me in many ways.

I ended up in Seminary because I met a pastor that became my mentor and friend and as we study together I wanted more of the Word. Now if you feel that you don't need to attend seminary okay, don't put me down because I do. I need to know Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; I need to know the form/textual criticism. I need to know the art and science of Hoiletics.

If you don't okay but I do!

Brother Sweet,

     I don't believe that the subject of this discussion is about you specifcally.  I was simply trying to establish if your mother and brother had a seminary education or did they engage in self-study and learn from another preacher/teacher.  You brought them up during the course of the discussion.  It seems that they were able to understand the word of God without seminary training from an accredited institution. 

     I am 100% for anyone that attends seminary if that is the path that they choose.  I am also 100% for people who choose not to attend seminary and study the word of God through self-study and through the preaching/teaching of their pastor.

     I believe that we should support people in whatever decision they make as long as they are listening to God and being lead by the Holy Spirit.  Usually people will try and force their personal revelation upon other people.  They simply do not understand the infinite nature of God and the working of the Holy Spirit.  They think their personal revelation is "IT."

     People will support you as long as you are supporting them and doing what they want you to do.  When you decide that you are going to do you, people will ostracize you, talk about you and put you down.  This behavior is prevalent in many churches. 

     I also understand the many people are not called to ministry and simply use a seminary degree to get behind the camera.  There are also many people who have never attended seminary who are in ministry today who also want the attention, lights, camera and action. 

My brother; I use my mother and the brother form our church as an example of my own path. I truly believe that if one is called to ministry/pastor than they are called to the highest level of preparation for ministry. Yes I mean Seminary.

Lives are at stake...People make life and death decision based on the advice of the preacher/pastor.

In Houston we are over run with pastors that claim to be Dr. This or Dr. That; and the poor sheep in the pew is taken and fleeced.

I tell my people all the time that a seminary education is not guard against false teaching, and at the second I began to teach that which is not in line with Orthodox/historical Christian Faith they must remove me from my post. It is that important. I believe that if you are not able to read the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek you do not know the Bible, now let make this clear to read the Bible in English in the read the Bible, yet it has been translated for the original languages.

To not know the history of the church in the second-sixth century is sad, to not know the history of how the reformation started and ended is sad. To not know History of the Black church in America and the development of its theology has led to the decline of African American Theology in our churches. Young black males are outnumbered by males form other people groups 10 to 1 in College. We have an out of wedlock birth rate that is near 80% and you say we don’t need out pastor/preacher to be seminary trained!

Brother Sweet,

    You are implying that seminary training is the answer to the problems which you have identified.  Once again this is a biased, personal and limited scope of understanding.  The bible says to study to show yourself approved.

     Seminary school is your personal revelation.  The bible does not state that ministers need to be seminary trained and this will solve man's problems.  This is Pastor Sweet's personal revelation. 

     2 Chronicles 1:11, "And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:"

     You have not mentioned anything about the heart (intentions) of the man.  You have not mentioned whether or not God has ordained that man or woman to ministry (king).  You also do not understand that it is God who gives wisdom and not seminary.  Seminary is not the answer to man's problems.  God is. 

     What must I do to be saved?  Knowing the history of the church is not a prerequisite for salvation.  You need to be able to teach people how to live today.  Don't get me wrong.  The more information a minister has the more he will be able to understand and incorporate relevant meaning for today's message.

     Once again I have enjoyed our dialogue this morning.  Be blessed.    




     One more quick note for today.  I always tell people that it really does not matter who becomes the President of the United States of America.  You can pick the most educated, the most qualified candidate, choose based on racial preference and gender, etc.  It doesn't really matter.  What matters is your relationship with God concerning turning around the current plight and predicament of man.

Brother Sweet,

     You said, "I truly believe that if one is called to ministry/pastor than they are called to the highest level of preparation for ministry. Yes I mean Seminary."  Do you truly believe that seminary is the highest level of preparation for ministry?

     It seems to be a prevalent theme throughout scriptures that God incorporates additional training.  There is something about Moses in the desert, Jesus in the wilderness, Joseph in the pit, Daniel in the lion's den, the list goes on and on.  It seems that the highest level of training is orchestrated by the hand of God rather than man.  This training seems to move away from the natural and point more toward the supernatural power of God.

The majority of them are taught by man and themselves and using their own opinions and this is why we have the HUGE mess we have today.


Everybody wants to be right but have NOT consulted God about it nor have they took the time to read the Word.


Everybody wants to have a "new revelation" and from what I know the Bible hasn't been updated. 


Your quoblibet has a number of fallacies in it.

First you presuppose that the events in the lives of the persons mention are to be repeated or duplicate in the life of the pastor/preacher. This is exegetically not true!

Second you presuppose that the only way that the pastor/preacher is prepared for ministry is to undergo some form of hard ship again this is not true!

Yes, every believer has some type of experience (a hardship of some type) that he can learn to turst God more or learn that God is his source for the meeting of all his needs.

The simple truth is that God in both the Old and New Testament tell the Jews/the Church to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind.

So in short yes I do believe that the right seminary training in the hands of our loving God is the highest form of ministry preparation. I truly hope that you come to understand that seminary is not about just learning “Biblical Backgrounds” as you have said in a past post; as important as that is; it is about spiritual formation coupled with learning the disciplines and skills needed to interpret the bible rightly.

     Brother Sweet,

     I think that you missed the paramount idea behind my analysis.  I am suggesting that everyone who studies the bible does not have an intimate and personal relationship with God.  Can we agree?  I also propose that everyone who attends seminary school does not have an intimate and personal relationship with God.  Can we agree? 

     Just because you read a persons biography does not mean that you know that person.  It means you have some history or insight concerning the information that you have been given.  Can we agree?  We have text book applications (seminary) and we have real life experiences that God will orchestrate and use to develop a more intimate relationship with a person.  Can we agree or do you believe that all people have the exact same relationship with God, have the same amount of faith and the same amount of passion for God?

     It is apparent from reading the bible that God develops him ministers and allows them to know him very intimately through real life experience aside from text book applications and theories.  Can we agree?  My premise is that everyone who attends seminary has not been prepared by God.  They have been prepared by man.  Biblical history shows us that God will separate those whom he calls, he will isolate them from man and develop them through practical applications (life experiences) that have been orchestrated by the hand of God.  Do you believe that the hand of God is still in control today? 

     You also state in your reply that seminary in not just about biblical background, but it is also about spiritual formation...  Do you not believe that spiritual maturity is taught by the hand of God and not man?  God is spirit. 

Okay I think that before we can agree we need to define what you mean by personal relationship with God. If you mean in the sense of salvation OH YES! There are many pastors/preachers that are not saved and the simple fact is the church has not done a very good job at vetting them! If that is what you mean then yes I agree.

You ask “Can we agree or do you believe that all people have the exact same relationship with God, have the same amount of faith and the same amount of passion for God?”

So the answer is yes! God has revealed himself to all persons yet only some come to faith. (Read Psalm 19:1-14) to understand the two modes of revelation.

The fact is that God uses man to develop and train his leaders. Moses had his father in law, Joshua had Moses, Timothy and Titus had Paul. John Mark had Peter and so on! That is how discipleship works one on one. It is when the church fully understands discipleship that spiritual maturity happen! See the Book of James chapter 2!

     I believe that you are a proponent of the secular mentality which states, "You wouldn't go to a doctor unless he had a degree."  The truth of the matter is that you are not going to a doctor just because he has a degree. 

     You are not concerned with the classroom and textbook training, you are not just concerned with a medical student's clinical reviews.  You need to know more.  You need to know how the doctor has performed in the surgery room, how he conducts himself with colleagues and clients.  Does the doctor have any medical malpractice suits against him or her.  Have they performed poorly as a doctor, have they hurt or injured people?

     Likewise, a ministerial degree does not qualify a person for ministry and neither does seminary.  What qualifies a person is God and the life that they live in service to God.  People are not just going to a church just because the minister has a seminary degree.  Have they been called to ministry and qualified by God.  Do they practice what they preach?

     In your last reply, of course people instruct and train people.  How can they hear without a preacher?  Parents are to train up their children.  My final queston for today; do you believe that the Holy Spirit is teaching, operating, orchestrating, conducting your footsteps today or is it all Godly men and woman of God? 

     You are following God through man.  God wants you to come to a place where you have a direct line of communication and you hear from God for yourself.  This is a paramount biblical principle.  All of God's ministers had a direct line of communication with God for themselves.  My premise is that seminary training is not the highest level of preparation.  There is more.

My friend:

I think that you and I are not talking to one another but passed each other.

I agree that I looked at my doctor's history and all the things that you stated! I also will only go to a doctor that is board certified and not some person off the street that says that he/she is a doctor. The point of the doctor going to medical school is so that they know how to be a doctor. No one is born knowing how the human body works and the best ways to treat it.

I understand and agree that it is God that calls and it is God that equips those whom He called…I just believe that seminary training is part of the equipping process; it is not the totality of the process! Mentioning is a part of the process; discipleship is part of the process their spiritual formation is part of the process; and yes seeing how thay walk with the Lord is part of the process.


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