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The Reasons Why I See No Need for Formal Minstry Education?!

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Believe it not I could say a hearty Amnen to that, except with a few reservations. I was saved through the Navigator movement after being a Catholic for 20 years and never hearing the gospel once. It was on the campus of a university. Immediately they began to get me into a program of memorizing Scipture (two verses every week). Taught us how to memorize (and constantly review) so that those Scripture would get into your long-term memory and you would never forget them--and I never have. That was 30 years ago. They showed me how to have devotions every morning--first thing in the morning before breakfast, before anything--the great importance of personal devotional devotions, a personal relationship with Christ needs to be maintained and nurtured. They taught me the value of fellowship and Bible Study. Once a week I would attend a Bible Study, and once a week I would attend a recreation night with a Biblle study to follow. This lasted for two years. In these two years I became grounded in the basics of the Christian life--practical Christian life. The weakness of the Navigator movement was its emphasis on interdenominationalism and its de-emphasis on the local church. After two years the Lord providentially led me to an IFB church, the only one in the city that I was living in. It only took a matter of months before the leader of the Navigators (not the pastor of the IFB church) gave me a choice--either leave the IFB church or leave Navigators. You can't be involved in both. He said that the IFB church would cause me to be withdrawn and even a hateful individual. By that time I knew that God's blessing was upon the local church and I thank God for the decision that I made, and I left Navigators.
    But I am forever thankful for the grounding in the Word of God that I got from the Navigator movement.

    Interestingly enough, there were to female graduates from a fairly fundamental Bible college ready to go to the mission field. I was not yet two years old as a Christian. But in my own personal study of the Bible, constant memorizaton of the Scripture, one of those graduates testified to the pastor: "I am ready to go the field, a college graduate, but I can't quote Scripture like he can. I don't have a grasp of the Bible like he does."
    The bane of the church today is a lack of a good discipleship program. The command of the Great Commission is not simply to win people to Christ; it is to disciple all nations. Is that what we are doing? If so how are we going about it? I have yet to see a program in an IFB church as effective as the program that I went through that got my feet on solid ground. It is too bad that the local churches are lacking in this area of discipleship.
    (BTW, when I did go to Bible College, I already had more than 90% of the verses memorized for the course of Personal Evangelism. That course was a snap.)
    Would to God more churches would disciple new believers.
    DHK
     
  2. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    It all comes down to making disciples! Both the Ph.D. and the high school graduate can do that!

    So let's make disciples.
     
  3. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Ive seen a few good formal discipleship programs in IFB churches. There ought to be more, yes.....but why do we think that there HAS to be a formal program in order to accomplish this goal?

    What makes you think that just because there is no specific Sunday School class called "discipleship 101" that this need is not being met? To me this makes it look like we are looking at the church leadership to do all this discipling while we sit back and criticize them for NOT doing it. In fact, there are how many men in the leadership positions in a typical church? 5....10? Perhaps up to 20 in a very large church? They cannot disciple every new member if they are the only ones trying to. And a one-hour class sometime during the week is nice, but it isn't enough to have a truly discipling effect.

    There needs to be involvement with new members on every level of the church people. We need to make friends with them. I don't know that Id claim any one person with my having completely discipled them myself. But there are many who I contributed to....using teachable moments in our relationship, counselling when they have a question, discussing spiritual issues they don't understand yet.

    Ive contributed to many new members in this way. But it took effort. I had to come out of myself and go meet the new people. Help them make friends and feel like they were part of a church-family.
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Kiffen, I hope that you are correct in mentioning someone in Dr. Mohler's position has stated that. I think he is right. Recognition of the problem is the first step towards correcting it. Sometimes I get the impression that some folks don't want to correct the problem, or possibly that they don't think we can correct the problem. IMO, we shouldn't say we can't if we haven't tried.
     
  5. RayMarshall19

    RayMarshall19 New Member

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    At least I never called anybody {SNIP}.

    [ February 01, 2006, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: TomVols ]
     
  6. RayMarshall19

    RayMarshall19 New Member

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    At least I never called anybody {SNIP}. [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]Sorry about that. I was not aware of the rule about that word.

    At least I never called anyone a "donkey".
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Bill, I expect you are correct on this point, at least to a large degree.

    I suppose this thread has pretty much run its course, but I'd like to sum up a couple of things. I sensed a strong attitude among many, as was expressed by one writer, "There are simply too many ways nowadays to further your education to make it optional." It seems that I and others never got across the point that we are not opposed to furthering education, but that we are seeking/promoting other options. I am not sure whether we couldn't express it or whether some couldn't "hear" it?? Some even challenged that individuals who have achieved "seminary equivalent" learning on their own to step forward and prove it. I think we as Baptists should not be ignorant of our own history. As go2church wrote, "ignorance is defined as unawareness of something, often of something important." It is quite evident from our history that many of our leading preachers were sorely deficient in the amount of formal education "required" by some posters on this thread. Yet some of them did achieve much of this "equivalency" on their own, with little formal education. And some of those were even responsible for laying (or helping lay) the foundations of formal education for Baptists in the U.S.

    While too much of this might not be appropriate here, perhaps it would make an interesting topic for the Baptist History forum. John Leadley Dagg "was born near Middleburg, Virginia, on February 13, 1794. He received limited formal education, attending school from 1803 to 1810…In 1843 the University of Alabama awarded him an honorary doctorate of divinity...Dagg is perhaps the most representative theological figure among antebellum Baptists in the United States."
    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-787

    Of course, we must consider, as Dagg wrote, "...January, 1809, before I was fifteen years old, I became the master of a neighborhood school." His limited formal education may have been better than what many students now have when leaving American High Schools.
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Leadership begins with leaders. The proof of leadership is that one who leads has followers. somebody has to start the process. About 3% are great leaders. They can see a problem and do soething about it. Most cannot lead that well and need a mentor. Jesus mentored his disciples and held them accountable.

    Discipleship is nopt another Bible study. It is teaching the people so thaty 100% of the people can discipple others when they encounter someone. They know how to share their faith and disciple another.

    Discipleship is both formal and informal. Nothing gets done without some sort or structure. How many students would study if there were no accountability? Jesus held his disciples accountable.

    The informality comes when it is also done personally. In a Bible study it may start out as just a Bible study but eventually as I get to know people it becomes much more personal.

    When a church has in its fabric a spirit of discipleship, it spreads spontaneously. It is contagious. Too many preachers advocate come to church to get fed. How can some 30 minutes sermon give me all the nourishement I need for each weeek. Jesus gave his disciple more than just that. They were with him. It is a proven fact that those who are being discipled will show up in greater numbers than those who are not.

    It take time to study and give a sermon. But it takes a life to reach another life.

    A mind reaches a mind and a life reaches a life.

    There are many churches which are dying but I have never seen discipleship fail anywhere in the world.
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Exactly the opposite happened to me. The leaders of the Navigators on the campus where I was required each of us to be doing at least one thing in the local church where we were. Most of us taught a Sunday School or led a discipleship group in the church. I started teaching kids and teaching them to share their faith and encourage other kids, effectively, teaching them to disciple others. It had a tremendous impact on the church. The pastor encouraged the students from campus groups to help the church. He was an IFB pastor. Before he was a pastor he had been in Youth For Christ. There were a few leaders in that church who opposed him and eventually he left. When he left the church was baptizing about 100 each year. It was about 1200 in attendance. Once he left, it continued a downward spiral to about 250. It became an introverted, dead church. 30 years later it is still an introverted church. Some of those leaders have died and it is growing some but nothing like it once was.

    Some pastors condemn the parachurch organizations. When I hear them do that I simply ask them what they are doing on the campus or military bases. The answer is usually the same–not much.

    When all is said and done: take a look at the percentage of those in the navigators who are able to lead someone to Christ and disciple them compared t the average leader in any evangelical church. Recently a friend of mine told me about how his parents were complaining about the new pastor of their IFB church because he told them it was their responsibility to share their faith. All his parents knew was knocking on doors and handing out materials.

    My experience has been that unless the church will support discipleship it becomes a very difficult task. In each church I pastored I was met with opposition to discipleship. I started it anyway and always the opposition increased. Then people accept it or they get more hostile. Those who are being discipled are growing while the dead are feeling pressure.
     
  10. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    We can do it before and after any diplomas and degrees.
     
  11. UZThD

    UZThD New Member

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    By the way, what possible reason could you have to speak of "Paul' didache" rather than "Paul's teaching"? Is this the way you speak to your congregation?

    Mark Osgatharp
    </font>[/QUOTE]===

    Sorry. No, I am not now preaching to a general congregation-am I? I didn't suppose that individuals who felt qualified to tear down seminaries or to discuss the need of formal education,or lack of it, would be offended by the usage of a term that God the Holy Spirit , Himself, opted to employ as a term to name a precise and authoritative body of doctrine(TDNT) . Shame on the Holy Spirit! I particularly did not suppose this since that very Greek noun is transferred into English usage as in "didactic" thus available is it for all. Therefore anyone with a simple high school experience would immediately get my meaning.


    Bill
     
  12. TomVols

    TomVols New Member

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    Reprise the theme song and roll the credits....
     
  13. convicted1

    convicted1 Guest

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    Formal education

    This worm looks way too big, so I'll bite!! LOL

    Please don't take this that I am slamming anyone who has a degree, or at least attended a bible college, but my problem with this type of education is using man, not God, as their teacher. If I want a helicopter license, I don't go to the local market and get lessons from the butcher. I go where the pilots are. God, in His infinite wisdom, will give the believer the knowledge he needs, if he will ask of Him, and study His word. Too many people put their faith moreso in man, than God. If I need to know something, I open my bible, pray to God for His wisdom in understanding His word, and He will give me what He wants me to know. Please don't take this as a slander against the BC's, it's just my opinion. If I offend anyone, please forgive me. I am just stating my opinion. Thanks ever so much!! May God bless you all!!
     
  14. convicted1

    convicted1 Guest

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    formal education

    After I posted my last response, I noticed that this thread had been dormant for over two months. I hope I didn't swat the hornet's nest and am now waiting for the stings!! :laugh:
     
  15. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
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    Convicted Response

    By-the-by, thanks for the PM:

    Just a few questions;

    First, do you not think that the OT "School(s) of the Prophets" were a place where God's men studied with those of stature under that dispensation? Is that not like studying at a BC or seminary now?

    Second, did the 12 not study in "The School of Jesus" for three years? Seems very similar in time to an MDiv degree from the seminary. I know I am pushing credulity here a bit.

    Third, did Paul not instruct young Timothy to commit those things both seen, heard, and learned of him to faithful men who could commit them to others also? Sounds like more than just the "drop and flop" method of Bible understanding to me!

    Fourth, do we not have two millennia of Church History, exegesis, hermeneutics, traditions, et al upon which we can draw? Are we so smug as to think that no one who has gone before us has anything to say about "Question X" or "Interpretation Y?"

    With all of this that has gone before, I do not discount the Holy Spirit speaking to the heart directly! However, it seems that new heresies (if there is such a thing) and new world religions have sprung up b/c someone saw an "angel" or got a "new book" of some sort b/c all of them who have gone before "missed it."

    It seems to me that we do need the influence of the German Pietists but we also need community, history, tradition, and strong Biblical exegesis to keep us from error or heresy.

    I hear way too many on TBN saying "God told me!!!..." And many is the time when what God told them contradicted the Scripture. And it also seems to me that that can be done in an SBC context, IFB context, or some charismatic/pentecostal context as well.

    Pietism and personal Bible study is great but there has to be some sort of check and balance, don't you think?

    sdg!

    rd
     
  16. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    ==As a seminary graduate myself, I think you are correct. We should not look to seminary professors, or even preachers, alone to teach us the Bible. We should study Scripture for ourselves (1John 4:1-3) and God, through the Holy Spirit, has given us everything we need to know the truth (1John 4:4-5). However the Bible does say that God has provided us with pastors, preachers, and teachers (Matt 23:31-36, Eph 4:11-12, etc). So there is a need for the flock to have teachers. Why? Well there maybe several reasons, but one I think of is that pastors/teachers have dedicated themselves to fulltime study of the Word. Therefore they will have a better grasp on things than other person who does not study the Word fulltime. So there is a need for teachers, and yes there is a need for seminaries. There is a need for those men/women who have spent years studying the Word of God at a very technical level to teach those who wish to pastor (etc). Is it required? I guess not, but it does help.

    Also there are things that are taught in seminary that you cannot learn just from reading the Bible alone. Church history, greek, hebrew, laws concerning pastoral counseling, etc, etc. So, as I said, I do believe there is a need here and I believe that God provides some wonderful men to fulfill that need (Craig Blomberg, Darrell Bock, Mark Noll, etc).
     
  17. convicted1

    convicted1 Guest

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    Bible Colleges

    One more thing that I wonder about the BC's is this. Doesn't it seem like some schools produce "robots", and not preachers? What I mean by this is that, take Rhema, for instance. I work with someone who is of the charismatic faith. They download every Keith Moore sermon they can find and put it in MP3 format so they can listen to a lot of them. Keith learned under Jessie Haggins(sp?). He has the same beliefs as Haggins did. See what I mean? I am not saying all of the BC's do this, but some tend to preach like the ones who taught them the scriptures instead of letting God lead them. I am not against studying/learning God's word, nor against someone giving us help with certain scriptures, but some teachers seem to want to make younger clones of themselves, instead of bible-learned people. People need to lean on God, not man, for knowledge and wisdom. I don't want my stance to be misconstrude(sp?) with someone who wants the BC's obliterated. I just want people to use more "me" time to study the WORD! May God bless!! "me"= God and I
     
  18. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

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    Those who appeal to Spurgeon and others need to realize that they are the exceptions which aptly proves the rule of good formal training.

    Before I went to seminary, I thought I just needed to study the bible and not consult commentaries. How foolish was I. The bottomline is this, we need our good seminaries, seminaries that are committed to the tried and proven orthodoxy.

    As a pastor, there is nothing like the joy of understanding the Word and to be able to share it with God's people. And going to seminary has been instrumental in my confidence in Scripture. God was behind it all. So I say a hearty yes to formal education, for the ministry needs it.
     
  19. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    convicted1,
    Id like to agree with the replies you've gotten here....but also say, when you rely completely on your own thoughts in Bible study you are essentially assuming that everything you think is going to be correct because you are led by the Holy Spirit.......it is important to have the input of older and wiser teachers who can help you stay on track spiritually. They make a good point when they mention those who have gone astray into heresy. Very often these were people who refused to listen to any other teacher, and assumed that their thoughts had to be correct because they were trying to rely on the Holy Spirit.


    also, in regards to your last post, just because a man's style is reminiscent of the teacher he studied under does not mean that he is not letting God lead him. I think you'd admit that you do some things in the same way that your parents do them....that doesn't mean that you are denying God the Father, does it? Does that mean that you are putting your parents in the place of God in your life? Of course not......

    Im sure there are some teachers who wouldn't mind little clones of themselves....but for the most part BC teachers consider it a ministry unto God, and they are trying to do what God wants them to do....make servants of Christ. There will be some personality styles that translate along with the knowledge, but as the student grows and matures on his own he will develop his own style.
     
  20. EdSutton

    EdSutton New Member

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    Actually, the thread had been "dormant" for over a year and three months.

    Ed
     
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