Seminary or NOT: Whether or not Christians need to recieve seminary education…..

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 12, 2008



          These are the statements that are often heard by people on both sides of the fence, specifically on the issue of whether or not SEMINARY is necessary for glorifying the Lord on issues of life. You have pastors on one side of the fence who believe that you need seminary in order to be a pastor and who have seen good results because of it and condemn those without it, while you have people on the other side of fence doing the EXACT SAME THING……so WHO IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FENCE??


        Though there are many things that could be said on the subject, this is what I’ve learned on subject.  I have seen people who had no formal education and have done many great things for the Lord………… and I’ve also seen others who had degrees from this side to infinity and yet were horrible leaders for the Lord’s people. 

     Honestly, I couldn’t help but consider the entire situation with Jesus and how He selected His disciples, as see in Mark 3:13-19:

The Appointing of the Twelve Apostles

13Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14He appointed twelve—designating them apostles[a]—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15and to have authority to drive out demons. 16These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

There were hundreds of people who followed Jesus wherever He went…some who followed Him for the right reasons and others who followed Him for the wrong. (Matthew 3:7-12, and John 6:1-15, 22-71). However, although He had many follwers and disciples, He only chose 12 to be His apostles, and to these 12 He gave the most extensive/special training and sent out with His own authority (Matthew 10:1).

Through the leadership of these 12 men, the early Christian church was established and God did alot of powerful things through them. Although others besides them were used no doubt by the Lord to trasnsform the world, the impact of these particular men (including Paul who later became a apostle/messenger of Jesus) and how the Lord used them seems to be mainly in the focus/spotlight throughout the New Testament

On one hand, as demonstrated by the selection of the apostles, you could make the point that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary people…people set apart for Him and His glory. It was from a group of “ordinary” men who all had a myriad of backgrounds (i.e. Fishermen, Tax Collectors, Zealots, etc.) and personalities that Jesus selected to be used so mightily of Him. Seeing that none of them stood out with unusual ability, it couldn’t be that they were chosen for their talents/abilities.

 Seeing that Jesus had many other learners from similar backgrounds/experiences in life as the apostles were, it could’nt be for their potential in leading and administration.

Seeing that they none of them had practically any formal education in the things of the Lord, it could’nt have been for educational experience and knowledge that they were chosen. If that were the case, He would’ve chosen the Pharisees/Saducess and teachers of the law.

Seeing the many ways they were considered by many who saw them as qualified to lead God’s people (i.e. knowing what the teachings of Scripture and the Bible said, trying to follow every one of the laws of Moses to the T and even adding some of their own, possesing enough thorough knowledge to earn titles such as “Rabbi” and “Teacher”, etc.), surely they would’ve been chosen by the Messiah to be His disciples…and yet Jesus didn’t even give them the time of day because of the wrong attitudes of their hearts concerning leadership….attitudes like their concern moreso with being served that serving, having appearance/symbolism rather than substance, rejecting God’s truth/word in favor of the ways of man or whatevr would promote what they wanted, showing themselves rather than reflecting the heart of the Lord, turning people away from God toward themselves,wanting the title of leadership while rejecting the function that comes with it and various other things that even Jesus Himself…the Ultimate Leader…was not above doing (Matthew 15:1-20, Matthew 20:20-27 , Matthew 23, Luke 10:25-37, John 9:1-41, John 13, and so many other passages/verses in the Word seem to prove the point…).

The disciples were far from having everything together. Even considering the mistakes they made while following Jesus (Matthew 16:22, for example, or the great wrongs they did toward Jesus throughout His trials before He died, as seen Matthew 26:31-57, 69-75), there was no real reason to indicate they they were more worthy/qualified of being used by the Lord anymore than you or I or the next imperfect person.

 Yet, because of the one characteristic that they shared (minus Judas, of course), which was God’s grace/unmerited mercy and their willingness to submit to Jesus and follow and participate in His footsteps/what He was about, even when they messed up or didn’t understand, look at all that God was able to do through them! (Luke 5:1-11, John 6:60-71, John 21, Acts 2-4:20, etc).

Just considering the fact that John and Peter were uneducated men and yet were able to floor the Jewish leadership when they were required to lead by their actions in defending the name of Christ (Acts 4:13), as the book “Experiencing God” states, “All of the persons that you see in the Scriptures were ordinary people…their relationship with God and the activity of God made them extraordinary…anyone who’ll take the time to enter into an intimate relationship with God can see God do extraordinary things in his or her life.”

Whereas the worlds’ ultimate standard is titles/degrees/appearnance, it would seem that God’s standard for leadership is whether that individual is in right relationship with Him and what He’s about and whether or not that person desires to reflect Him. From that point of view, no one is too unfit to be used by the Lord to lead in some sort of capacity, no matter how insignificant or useless he or she may feel…for God’s the One over the Work.

On the other hand, even though the disciples were ordinary people used mightly for the Lord, one must consider the fact that they were the ones whom He gave authority to cast out demons and cure diseases/sicknesses (Matthew 10:1-16, Luke 9:1-6).

 Even though many others were apparently given authority to drive out demons and were working various wonders/mighty acts on behalf of the Lord (Luke 9:49-50, and Luke 10:1, 17-24 and even the story of Stephan as seen in Acts 6:1-8 and 7:54-61, whose walk with the Lord and death caused great ripple effects for Christianity), the fact remains that the most extensive training/teachings were given specifically to the disciples.

They had seen Jesus in His private moments and walked with Him side by side. They were the ones whom the Lord chose to confide in with the things that He didn’t teach many others in public. They were the ones who were entrusted with the growth of the church concerning leadership. Who better to lead the early church in His absence than they?

Even though Jesus told them not to worry about what to say beacasue of their lack of formal education when they stood on trial for Him before the Sahandrein (Acts 4:8-14 and other instances), Jesus Himself “taught them on many occasicions what to say and how to say it” when needed. Additionally, what Jesus was referring in that passage (Mark 13:1-13) was the issue of worrying and not being fearful because of the power of Holy Spirit within us to present us with what to say and our security in Him.

To say that preparation/education is unimportant to being unimportant would be contrary to the way that Jesus went about things and contrary to what the Word says muitiple times about the importance of continually educating oneself in things pertinent to what he or she is called to do.

 Furthermore, although a degree alone does not make one qualified to lead (you can get a degree off of the internet nowadays which proves nothing of one’s content or character or knowledge in a specific field, and the same thing was taking place in Pauls time with false apostles and preacher who apparently had “degrees”/false letters of recomendation but their degrees/character and credibility unlike Pauls was being measured by their persuaiveness and charisma and how they matched up with others rather than with the standards of God and lives transformed with the power of God and their achievements pointed to themselves or Jesus…..as seen in II Corithians 2:14-17, 3:1-6,10, and II Corinthians 11:1-33), it doesn’t erase the fact/importance that a standard of some sort should be held and that those seeking to grow in leadership and learn as much as possible so as to be of maximun effect in helping people to grow in godliness.

 It does not erase the fact that one needs to to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it may take or grueling it may be at times, to be qualified for such a high calling as leadership (including things such as possibly going to seminary or getting a degree).

It doesn’t erase the fact that one should be considered credible by their knowledge of the Word and their actions of right/consistent living by the principles of the Word before being placed in a position of leadership. Consider the ways in which the apostles chose leaders in the early church (Acts 1:12-26, where the apostles were trying to find a replacement for Judas and did not simply pray about the decision or take people with charisma/talent but rather outlined a specific criteria consistent with the Word to evaluate people before a decision was made, or even the life of Paul who went into intensive training and validation by the other apostles before being considerd a true servant/leader of God as seen in Galatians 1:11-24 and the fact that even he at one point needed to prove his validation so that others would be able to discern the difference between he and other false apostles as seen in II Corithians 11:16-33, or 2:1-10 and even the leadership qualifications that were/are still required of leaders in the church as seen in I Timothy 3:1-16 and 4).

Concerning 1 John 2:27, where does it discuss the fact that God does not require or even need us to do all that we can to be as prepared as possible for His calling, like going to seminary or continually studying under those skilled in rightly dividing the Word as a part of His working His calling in our lives through us? If it’s relying on a man alone apart from the Spirit of God/Scripture to teach truth, that’s one thing….and that what the verse seems to be dealing with since all the verses before this one all seemed to deal with the last days and how people were falling away because of individuals who were infiltrating Christian fellowship with false doctrines (I John 2:18-19)…which would’ve placed some believers in danger of being deceived…and how John, seeing that they knew the truth/correct teaching (I John 2:21-23) was encouraging them to hold to the basic truths of God’s Word that they heard at the beginning of their walks (I John 2:24).

He didn’t need to teach them so they wouldn’t not fall away since they’d been already properly trained in correct doctrine enough to know the difference between lies and truth (I John 2:20-23) (something that Word-based seminaries seem to be necessary for since we all need to be trained as much as possible in knowing right doctrine and they can/do greatly aid people since many people sincerely desire to fulfill God’s call/rely on His Spirit but don’t know anything about the Word to begin with).

Also, in saying that he (or man) didn’t have to teach them, he wasn’t asserting that they never had any need to continue becoming educated at all costs in the Word/ depending on or sitting under the tutelage of those skilled in expounding God’s Word. For prior to what he stated, they’d been already properly/intensely trained (something that requires much discipline, time/good preparation) in correct doctrine enough to discern truth from error (I John 2:20-23)…they had a solid basis of truth already, but can the same be said of those many of those who automatically jump into ministry but never receive any kind of training/proper preparation. To me, at least, this is why seminary-based training or any kind of training (i.e. Bible college, intensive internship at a biblically sound church, etc) in theology for that matter seems that it should be necessary (preferable at least) in preparing for one’s calling since we all need to be trained as much as possible in knowing right doctrine alongside trusting/relying on the power of God to fulfill His call in us. They can/do greatly aid people seeing that many people sincerely desire to fulfill God’s call/rely on His Spirit but don’t know anything about the Word to begin with.

Concerning the verse, it seems he was speaking in reference to how there was no need to enable them to be able to recognize and resist false doctrines/stay in the faith (I John 2:26-27) since, along with first being properly trained in the Scriptures, they had the power of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the anointing received from Christ) in them to keep them from going astray…the same Spirit whom Jesus had promised to send in order to guide/teach His followers and remind them of all He taught (John 14:26 and John 16:13), and seeing that that it wasn’t a fake power helping but something real/effective one they’d seen in their lives, he was encouraging them to continue staying in Him (I John 2:27).

Again, it seems that the verse was referring to a testimony of the trustworthiness of God’s Spirit in them…not necessarily as a testimony excluding the need of seeking to be properly educated at all costs and learning from others mature in Him alongside the Lord as He works His power in our lives.


In asking about the issue elsewhere, others have said the following:

The gift of teaching is one that is truly immeasureable. The case being that an individual is instructed, and thereby proceeds to teach based on the pedigree (because he is qualified on paper)…..instead of the calling….which lends dependence upon the receiving audience.

God calls men to teach (of course – agreed), but dependence on the Holy Ghost is of the utmost importance, as not all would be called to “formal” training.

I was actually talking to my fiancee today concerning this, and she brought up a pretty revelant story.

Simple….but relevant.

A current pastor was really pushing himself forward through seminary school.
Studying Greek, and Hebrew he searched and searched for understanding to scriptures that he needed clarity upon.

He searched and searched…and never received the complete clarity.

That was until he came into contact with an older woman he knew.

He happened to be talking about the clarity he was having difficulty with…..and within a few minutes with this woman (with no Greek, Hebrew, or Theological training) interpreted the cloudiness for him and made it totally clear for this highly educated pastor.

Only the Holy Ghost could do this.

Now, the instructor nor the institution couldn’t bring forth understanding in the matter for him. He was “humble” enough to receive from one whom many educated frown upon because she doesn’t posess the credentials validating her.

I don’t frown on theological education….It just is not the path for everyone….as many may frown upon those whom elect otherwise (America is a prideful HOTBED concerning educational levels).

It’s especially pressuresome to be educated today, but if it were that important….many of these teachers would properly train individuals from the pulpit what they have learned….instead of sending their congregants to seminary in the first place.

Formal training shouldn’t come at a price.

Another thing to consider:

Formal training is simply the discipline of putting yourself through a rigorous program of study; in this case, the study is The Word of God. It means to submit oneself under “qualified��? persons who have been “formally��? trained in the discipline that you are now attempting to be trained in.

As you probably know, we have a Biblical mandate to “Study to show ourselves Approved unto God, in order that be might Rightly (cutting it straight) Divide the Word of Truth and we will therefore, have no reason to be Ashamed!��?

…. God does love Seminaries; especially the ones that hold to the truth of His Word, and seek to teach others how to hold to the truth of God’s Word.

I am amazed at our people when it comes to preaching. Black people for the most part seem to not mind if a preacher stands before them and have no training/education….and then have the audacity to call these people “Scholars��?.

Could a man or a woman be called a Medical Doctor without having gone to Med School? Could a man practice Law…legally without having gone to Law School and passed the Bar Exam?

Why is it that when it comes to The Word of God, which is, by the way the very Mind of Almighty God, we don’t expect our preachers to be trained in order that they might “accurately��? communicate God’s Mind to people?

If you don’t believe in Seminaries, Bible Colleges, etc. then how does a man who says he has been “called��? by God to preach prepare himself to fulfill that calling?

Contrary to what we have been taught, the Call to Preach is really a Call to “Preparation.��?

For something else to consider, HERE’S a discussion that took place on another site elsewhere. It’s between another individual and SIS Mav, with perspectives on BOTH ENDS OF THE ISSUE.

PERSON: It’s actually a very recent phenomenon that education has been disdained by the church. There was a time when one would not sit under the teaching of the unlearned. There was a time when the church was known for its great learning. Not so any longer. We revel in ignorance.

Mrs. Mav- Ok …..when did I say I disdained education??? Reread my post. Never said it, or implied it. And when you say there was a time when one would not sit under the feet of the unlearned, you are obviously equating lack of seminary training with being unlearned. Just because one hasn’t gone to a seminary doesn’t mean they are unlearned. Can’t we agree that learning takes place in all kinds of settings? Besides this, what do you mean by “there was a time when the church was known for its great learning?��? I never heard the Church referred to in that manner, and even if this is a true statement, shouldn’t we, the Church of the Living God rather be known for our great love for one another instead? Acts 4:13, John 13:35, John 15:12 ,17 1 Cor. 8:1-3. And how can you generalize and say WE revel in ignorance. Who are the WE? Granted many do- but I don’t extol ignorance. There is one thing I have to say concerning ignorance though, with all there is to learn and know in this world, it stands to reason that we will always be ignorant of something at any given moment of our lives.

PERSONI see much bloviating about how the Doctors of Divinity are the ones twisting the Word.
While there are SOME liberals that do so, there are FAR more uneducated pastors out there relying upon the “spirit��? that have caused untold mayhem and destruction which FAR exceeds the damage done by a few liberals. And why was the damage by the liberals mitigated? Because the EDUCATED were able to contradict their errors.

Mrs. Mav: I don’t know the percentage of the people who misuse and twist the Word and I doubt that you do either. So to say that one group far exceeds the other is hyperbole on your part.

PERSONCare to look at the genesis of the movement we fight on this site?
Azusa Street – Relying on the “spirit��?.
Toronto Blessing – Relying on the “spirit��?.
Brownsville – Relying on the “spirit��?.
Hagin – Relying on the “spirit��?.
They ALL followed the methods you folks describe as relying on the “spirit��?. How have they done?

Mrs. Mav: These people and I have nothing in common. Nor do they have anything in common with earnest and faithful believers. The people you highlighted are following their own spirit, and their own minds which I never said anyone ought to do. I never said, nor did I read in anyone’s reply that we need to just rely on the “spirit��?. I made a distinction of what Spirit I was referring to. I said it was the tutelage of the Holy Spirit that we need to eventually come under once man has taught us what he could. It is obvious by their false teachings that they have yet to even know Who the Holy Spirit is regardless of how many times they use His name. Don’t ALL deceivers do the same? Don’t they all claim God or the Holy Spirit told them this or that to give then some sort of legitimacy? But God is not mocked. He will hold them accountable for their works and the lies they’ve told in His Name. But these men don’t operate this way as a result of being uneducated- they are this way because of a proud and sinful heart. Seminary trained or not, they would still be greedy liars. I believe they have been exposed to the truth but they choose to disregard it. You say it was the educated that mitigated these people and exposed them-but I submit to you that any believer who spends time in God’s Word and prayer seeking for truth would be able to refute their lies even without seminary training.

PERSON Why are you against them?

Mrs. Mav: Because they need to be exposed for the deceivers they are. Jude 3,4, 18,19

PERSONWe, with our darkened understanding, our finite capacities, our sin-wrecked hearts, WE are going to rely on our ability to be led by the Spirit alone?

Mrs. Mav: Again, I never said we didn’t need anyone except the Holy Spirit nor that we couldn’t learn from one another. Prov. 27:17, Col.3:16, Titus 2:3-5 , Only that our reliance on man should wane in order that we may find complete dependency on God alone for our life’s direction. Is this a bad thing to you? To want to rely more on God than on man?

PERSONHow do you discern whether you are hearing the Spirit clearly without a deep knowledge of the Word?

Mrs. Mav:  I’m missing your point here and it’s not because I’m trying to be obtuse. To answer your question- no one can discern clearly what God is saying apart from His Word. I never said one could. As far as acquiring deep knowledge of God’s Word, certainly I don’t need seminary training for that. As new believers, we desire the sincere milk of the Word, as we grow in Him, we move on to meat. 1Pet. 2:2, Heb. 5:13-14. The Spirit will bring back to my remembrance the Word that I have hidden in my heart. (Ps. 119:11, Ps. 119:105, Jn14:26, 2Pet 3:18)

PERSONHow do you know your darkened heart, sinful lusts, impure motives are not deceiving you??)

Mrs. Mav: That is very well the case at some point in ALL of our lives but the remedy for that is found in God’s Word. (Ps. 139:23, Ps. 119:9, James 1:5, Prov. 17:3) If my motives are impure, the Holy Spirit convicts me, I confess it to God and He forgives and cleanses me. If I’m deceived, God will reveal it to me because He knows I want to know truth. He knows my heart. God gives grace to the humble- communion with God and meditating in His Word are the tools I use for avoiding deception. Over the years He has opened my eyes to errors I once mistook for truth. He’s so faithful- hallelujah! Furthermore, the seminary instructor is not exempt from having a darkened heart full of sinful lusts, impure motives and deceit! We all inherited the same depraved nature. Rom. 3:10, 23

PERSONThe very first sin is in the protoevengelion, and it is due to NOT KNOWING WHAT GOD ACTUALLY SAID.
Gen 3:1 – 6
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And here we have a man and woman WITHOUT the stain of sin being misled as to the Word of God. Yet WE, sin-darkened heart and all, think we can do better.

PERSONAnd here we have a man and woman WITHOUT the stain of sin being misled as to the Word of God. Yet WE, sin-darkened heart and all, think we can do better.

Mrs. Mav: I’m familiar with the Genesis account of Adam & Eve. And I honestly don’t know what you mean by saying we think we can do better at knowing what God says. I’m in no competition with anyone. 2 Cor. 10:12 I also don’t know what you mean by using protoevangelion, perhaps seminary may have helped me to understand and use this word, but again, for what greater good? 1 Cor. 8:1, 1 Cor. 2:1

PERSONThe Seminary is an avenue to discern WHAT GOD ACTUALLY SAID.

Mrs. Mav: Sure it can be an avenue to help one discern, but again the credit belongs to the Holy Spirit. After all, what spirit is the seminarian relying on?

PERSON A perverted heart won’t be helped by seminary.

Mrs. Mav. A perverted heart isn’t interested in what God actually said- period.

PERSONA heart after God will be aided immeasurably since the tools are implanted to KNOW what was said, and what was NOT said. To discern Truth from error.

Mrs.,Mav: A heart after God will be aided immeasurably simply because IT IS A HEART AFTER GOD. Seminary may do some good and I did mention that in my original post. God will help His children to discern truth from error. Matt.5:6, Ps 25:14, Ps.111:10, Prov. 9:10 Dan. 2:21-23

PERSON To lead the flock of God to safe pasture.

Mrs. Mav: Now we get to what I feel, is the crux of the whole matter. So seminary training is about leading the flock of God. In your estimation, Only those “educated��? in seminaries are qualified to lead the flock of God to safe pasture. This is where our disagreement stems from. I do not see this to be the case. I believe this is how the clergy versus laity mindset begins. Someone who is seminary trained is looked upon as fit to lead. He has obtained credentials showing that he has followed a certain course of study. He understands hermeneutics, homiletics, and has the “right��? exegeses of Scripture (of course ‘right’ is a relative term) You believe that this man, because of his seminary education can now claim the right to be called pastor and be in a position of authority to teach God’s people. He meets your standard. How do we know that the seminary trained man is more qualified to teach? We don’t- not any more than we know that the non formally trained man is. Aside from knowledge, it is man’s character and conduct that is highly esteemed in the Scriptures. According to the Word, if a man desired to lead God’s flock (I Tim. 3:1-13) or was appointed to be in authority (Titus 1:5-9) his qualifications were based foremost on his behavior, his life being submitted to Christ and his ability to have his own household under subjection. And please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that these men were God-fearing ignoramuses because they also had to be apt to teach, and instruct. But, they acquired their knowledge from the INSPIRED men of God- the “A��?postles. Today, all seminaries teach their own doctrinal views and tenets. Armenian, Calvinist, Oneness, etc. The process of choosing one is all subjective to what a person believes.

PERSON: Where do you think the Spurgeons, Pinks, Chambers, Sprouls, Moulers, Hodges, Edwards, Macarthurs, Wesleys, Kennedys, et al come from? Those who agree with YOUR theological stances? No! They came from seminaries.

Mrs. Mav: As noble, as godly, as gifted, and as educated as these men were- they are NOT the inspired men of the Bible. They, like any believer are subject to error. 1 Thess. 2:1-13 Have we benefited from their scholarship? Indeed. Are they supposed to interpret the Scriptures for us? Certainly not- the Holy Spirit does that for us. Did they not themselves rely on the Holy Spirit to give them understanding? Can the same Holy Spirit illuminate mine and anyone else’s understanding who dedicates themselves to study of the Word? I trust so. Have these men EVER erred in their understanding of Scripture- most likely they have for they too, are human.

PERSON: The havoc and ruin perpetrated in history AND TODAY by those who eschew teachers (in violation of the Word) and learning (in violation of the Word) is abetted by the words of many here.

Mrs. Mav: I agree with you that it can be detrimental to us to eschew teachers and learning. We can learn something from any brother or sister seminary trained or not. (1Pet. 5:5, Prov. 11:14, Prov.15:22, Col. 3:16, 1 Tim. 6:3-4) But even without any instructors around, God is able to direct us as He did others. (Ps. 16:7, Ps. 32:8, Ps. 119:105 Isa. 28:26, 29 , John 14:26, Eph. 1:17-18, 1Pet. 1:5-8.) And I don’t eschew teachers. I don’t eschew you. I’ve learned some things from you as well as others on this site. Some have had bible school training as you have, and others have not. I’ve been blessed just the same. But thank God I have my own bible to search out all things (Acts 17:11) and don’t have to rely on one man’s view of Scripture if in my heart I don’t see things the way they do. Being that I no longer submit to pastoral leadership (I submit to my husband’s teaching instead- I’ve learned more from him than any pastor I’ve ever been under) (2 Cor. 1:24, 1 Cor.11:3) I’m free to live out the dictates of my own conscience according to what I believe the Holy Spirit revealed to me. I no longer fear a pastor’s condemnation from the pulpit if I dare disagree with him. May God sustain me.

PERSON: You pontificate as to the uselessness of Biblical education, then turn around and excoriate ON THIS WEBSITE those who followed your advice (by failing to get an education) and have made shipwreck of the faith of millions.

Mrs. Mav: The one who is pontificating is you. You are the one who is being dogmatic in your belief that ‘those who lead’ should be seminary trained. I don’t believe they need to be, nor do I believe biblical education is useless at all- I just disagree with you on WHAT CONSTITUTES A BIBLICAL EDUCATION. To me, although you don’t come right out and say it- you are a proponent of the class system because you feel that the “educated��? are the ones who should be in the position of leading the flock of God. You make the distinction between believers by calling some educated (because they’ve had formal/ seminary training- and others who haven’t- uneducated.) Your concept is wordly. (Prov. 28:21, Acts 10:34, Rom. 2:11) The Bible doesn’t teach your position. You exalt the people who’ve gone on to seminary while dismissing those who haven’t as being ignorant and somehow lacking. You certainly don’t see them as qualified to lead the flock of God to safe pasture. I don’t exalt those who’ve earned degrees from seminary any higher than those who haven’t. I say leadership in The Church is not so much about who knows more and who holds credentials as it is about one’s obedience to God by being an EXAMPLE to the believer in word and deed, demonstrating humility, and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. And I’m not saying it’s an either or issue. Certainly one who has graduated from a seminary can have both- degrees, and the fruit of the Spirit. I find both situations to be acceptable. The question is why don’t you?

PERSONThe ability to PROPERLY EXEGETE the Word (which is learned in seminary) would have stopped “Blab it and grab it��? before it got started.

Mrs. Mav: You can’t prove your statement. There are countless others who have never been to seminary that can refute the error of name it and claim it. There were always false teachers; there will always be false teachers. Again, properly exegeting the Word is relative to what you believe. Don’t you believe you are properly exegeting the word? Are you claiming infallibility- of course you’re not. So what pastor/teacher, or seminary instructor can make the claim that they alone have the proper exegesis of Scripture? I know the pope thinks he does and look at all the murder and evil that was committed in the name of that false institution. So it falls back to the individual as a priest before God, answering for his/her own conscience.

PERSONThe ability to parse Greek and Hebrew in the Word (which is taught in seminary) would have stopped the “Jesus Died In Hell��? doctrine before it ever got started. The knowledge of Biblical and church history (taught in seminary) would have stopped the growth of the neo-Gnostic Word of Faith movement in its tracks.

Mrs. Mav:  c’mon there was false doctrine in the first century and the people spoke in those languages, lol. (2 Pet. 2:1-3) The point is that false teaching has always existed, even while the Apostles were alive, and it will always be around. People hate God, so people will always tell some kind of lie about God and His Word. God knows them that are His and He knows how to bring them into His truth. I’m glad it’s not our responsibility of convince someone of truth. We present what we believe to be true from the Scriptures, we plant or we water and God gives the increase. I really believe it’s that simple.

PERSON But those who began these movements are UNEDUCATED, therefore the heresy lives. Those who support these movements are uneducated, therefore the heresy THRIVES.

Mrs. Mav. Carlton Pearson IS educated and heresy thrives. It’s the heart Gary. Not solely the lack of knowledge. Heresy doesn’t thrive because there aren’t enough Christians enrolled in bible schools, it thrives because man is inherently evil. (John 3:19, 2 Tim. 4:3, Isa. 30:10 2 Pet. 2:1-3)

PERSON Seminary doesn’t substitute for the calling and gifting of God, and no one here has ever claimed otherwise. But to extoll and revel in the sort of ignorance that has perpetrated these heresies upon the church is mind-boggling.

Mrs. Mav: Again, what earnest believer is extolling and reveling in ignorance?

PERSON You who refer to Bible Concordances and reference the Greek and Hebrew to support your arguments against these pimps – where do you think those concordances CAME from? Some guy who just relied on the “spirit��?? Or from learned men who submitted to the Spirit?

Mrs. Mav: I agree that those godly believers who translated the Scriptures for us were submitted to the Holy Spirit. But it was the Holy Spirit Who planted it in their hearts. The credit belongs to God. He wanted every man to be able to know Him for themselves. If they already knew the original languages or they learned them in order to translate them, God still gets the glory for their tedious and selfless endeavor. Their works were truly a labor of love. I thank God for them, and I am grateful for their obedience to God.

PERSON You who refer to the works of church history to support your stance against the pimps, how do you think they were compiled? By some “spirit��? alone or by learned men who submitted to the Spirit? You who refer to the works of Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, etc, why do you not rather heap the scorn upon THEM that you do upon others who were educated?
You who read a Bible in English, why do you not reject it outright since it’s the product of seminary-trained men who were educated in Greek and Hebrew and history? Why do you not rather read the Word from the Greek and Hebrew?? You cannot, you say? Well, THEY could. How? Education.

Mrs. Mav: Ok,  I get your point. God used educated men to translate Greek and Hebrew for us. That’s commendable. But do you get my point that the CREDIT, The GLORY, The PRAISE belongs not to the instrument, but to the Operator of the instrument. (Rom. 1:25)

PERSONEverytime you crack open a Bible to read, or refer to a concordance or Bible dictionary, or a work on church history or theology, you stand upon the shoulders of men that GOD gifted and EDUCATED to be a source of knowledge, and therefore a light to your path through their exposition of the Word.

Mrs. Mav: see my above comment

PERSON:But, while standing upon their shoulders for nearly EVERY bit of knowledge you have (even as far as being able to read a Bible at all in your native tongue), you ridicule and demean them.

Mrs. Mav: You are lying. No one ridiculed or demeaned them.

PERSON While standing upon their shoulders to defend the historic fatih against heretics (which you learned from these educated men), you publicly advocate the ignorance and lack of knowledge that INCITED the heresies to begin with.

Mrs. Mav: see previous comments further above.

PERSON:1Ti 5:17Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who LABOR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE.
Double honor? Heck no! We deride and insult them. What exactly do you think seminarians ARE but those who LABOR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE???

Mrs. Mav: No one derides or insults them. Now which seminarian is worthy of double honor? The Arminians, The Calvinists, The Reformed, The Pentecostals, The Calvary Chapels of the world, The Baptists? They can all stake a claim that they are worthy of double honor. Each has their own seminary. How do we decide? I’m not against honoring people when honor is due (Rom. 13:7) But who deserves that acclaim?

PERSON: You stand upon their shoulders while crapping down their backs.

Mrs. Mav: No comment.

Regardint that discussion, I felt that both sides had some very interesting points.  Someone says choosing to go to seminary’s unnecessary because the Holy Spirit is all we need, yet even the basic skills they possess to survive life (ex. Knowing your ABC’S , writing/analyzing, mathematical skills, telling time, etc) were gained by simply attending Kindergarten through High school.

Practically, they had to GET AN EDUCATION AND NOT JUST RELY ON THE HS FOR LEARNING. If that’s wrong, why not condemn ALL of the basic schooling we’ve had till now?

Why condone sole reliance on HS when studying God’s Word but believe education in secular venues doesn’t require Him, even though you need the HS equally in those areas? Christian Doctors, for example, MUST pursue schooling if they’re to be proficient in their skills and successfully save lives, but it’s still by the HS’s power they’ll complete the job…..and yet they still pursue education.

Why are ministers exempt? You wouldn’t tell an aspiring surgeon “Simply rely on the Spirit��?, and yet you’d tell ministers the same….As if they do not need to gain sharpened skills/ further their knowledge so as to be secure in saving lives spiritually?

On the other side, I definately agree to a certain degree. going through formal education means nothing if one does not rely on the Spirit of God to give revelation/understanding or lacks the humility/teachable attitude to learn from the Lord since He doesn’t work with people who do to begin with and even working with those refusing to acknowledge/fear the Lord (i.e.”fools”) is futile/pointless to begin with (Psalm 25:8-9, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 26:7-9, Proverbs 18:2, Proverbs 9:7-9, various others for example).

Your point reminded me of two kinds of people Jesus always encountered….the “wise” or those arrogant/trusting soley in their own/knowledge or reasoning and the “little children”, who are those “humbly open to recieve the truth” and proper attitude of admitting their helplessness/trusting in Jesus.

Isn’t a trip to how Jesus always revealved Himself/His teachings to the later (especially as He did with His parables, as seen in Matthew 13:1-17), and how sad l to see people having to be sent from their congreations to seminary school, depending solely on that as the key rather than trusting the Lord or being taught from the pulpit by godly teachers to understand the Word (much that woman you spoke of who had the attitude needed to understand the Word and never set foot into seminary). Moreover, how sad is it to see how many struggle to understand the world and never ask themselves “if you are wise in your own eyes, or do you seek to the truth in a childlike faith, realizing that only God holds all the answers”:

=Matthew 11:20-27=

Woe on Unrepentant Cities
20Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21″Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.[d] If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Rest for the Weary
25At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
27″All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


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