Education-olotry:

The way of the intellect versus the Way of faith

The Worship of the Human Intellect


Did the men who Jesus used to preach His gospel - men who were, "uneducated and untrained men" - seek to change those characteristics, or teach others to become educated and trained? (Acts 4:13)  Why did Jesus say, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)


Summary

Which false god is greater in these pagan United States? Money or Education? What brings you more adoration from men - having much wealth, or having a degree from an esteemed academic institution? It would depend which god you worship more - the god of mammon or the god of education i.e. intellectual achievement. Men love to worship themselves, and what better thing to worship than that which sets man apart from the animal kingdom he so much wants to believe he is a kin to. If people are simply the highest form of evolved animal due to 'intelligence', then the most 'intelligent' person will be worshipped as the highest type (or evolved form) of human [link to What About Evolution?].

In regard to the religious leaders who profess to be sent by Jesus - and in perfect parallel to this lost culture - much the same question is answered in much the same way. What brings a man or woman more adoration among "the church" - being "blessed and prospered of God" (i.e. financial 'success' [link to Wealthy Disciples of Jesus?]), or being the top graduate from an esteemed theological Seminary?

Whether that which calls itself the evangelical, pentecostal, baptist or fundamentalist (EPBF) church wants to admit it or not, the truth is that they worship an insidious false god. Even as the lost culture puts great worth on a person who attains some level of educational or intellectual achievement, so the religious organizations place great worth on a person who attains some level of academic or intellectual achievement. As the world goes, so goes that which calls itself 'the church' in the United States. The evangelical, pentecostal, baptist or fundamentalist (EPBF) organizations are using intellectual achievement as one of the main criteria for determining whether someone is called and gifted of God for "ministry leadership".

Introduction

Many adults labeling themselves as "Christians" partake in the world's idolatry of education. The vast majority of parents in the EPBF organizations are only too eager to see their children "graduate" from an obviously secular college or university. And this in spite of the fact that those institutions are radically against the teachings of the Lord. Having a degree from the world is viewed as much more important for their children than their children having child-like faith in Jesus, and staying pure in spirit. The simplicity of the gospel and of childlike faith in Messiah Jesus and His Words have always been mocked, but never so much as in these last days and ironically, by that which claims to follow Him i.e. His "church".

As the people go, so the "leadership" goes. Since the people think that a degree is necessary to be a 'somebody', especially a leader, then their "leaders" must also earn some piece of paper and approval of men. But is this the Lord's way? Is someone being deceived?

In light of this darkness, a few extremely important questions need to be asked and answered. Does Jesus teach that his Family will have leaders who are educated and trained, academically or otherwise? Does Jesus teach that his Family will have leaders that are "intelligent" as judged by some standard? If so, should men, using religious institutions fashioned after the world's academic institutions, be the judges? Does Jesus even mention intellectual gifting as part of qualifications for following him? Does Jesus say that one must "earn a degree" in order to be a part of his Family...his flock? The answers to these questions brings up some other important related issues, such as should Jesus' disciples send their children to colleges and universities?

The answers to these questions is a resounding and clear NO, as this article will Scripturally and logically demonstrate. In fact, those who claim to be "Christian" leaders, and who also believe that a person must attain a degree from some academic institution in order to be a leader in Jesus' "church", are badly deceived and are hindering the true work of the Spirit. Grievously, those "Christian" parents who desire to see their children attend a college or university, secular or "Christian", are virtually ensuring their children turn out to be massively confused with weak faith at best, and more likely unbelievers, at worst.


To go directly to an examination of the scripture on this issue, Click Here to skip to the latter part of this article

To Define Terms and Explore Reason, Continue Reading…

Education: A Definition

In these United States, it is taken for granted that your worth to society is proportional to your "educational" achievements. If you have graduated from Harvard, then you are judged as worth much in terms of career potential, leadership, and thereby value to society. If you have only graduated from High School, then you are judged as worth little, having little or no leadership potential, and being essentially of very low value. The people of the world would deny this truth, yet it is so obvious and so prevalent here in the United States, that to deny it is to be utterly deceived. Education is in fact worshipped. That is, it is the master passion that drives many people's lives - to be more educated, smarter, accumulate more degrees, graduate from more esteemed institutions, etc. [link to What is the Purpose of Your Life?].

Lost parents are buying tape recorders and playing "fetal educational" material through a microphone on the pregnant mother's belly. The competition and pressure to achieve "academic success" is started as early as kindergarten! Parents send their children to special educational programs during the summer months so that they can "get ahead". Special 'high IQ' programs are available for children as young as four years old. The 'prodigal' this program, and the 'prodigal' that educational system abound in this country and around the world. There is no person more stressed in this culture, than a father or mother whose children are doing poorly, or not doing as well as the educational system says they ought to be doing in school.

Who are the most highly esteemed people in the world? Those who have the highest degree of educational status and achievement. The Nobel prize laureates, and the Ph.D. holder of some think tanks high achievement award in some intellectual pursuit.

Important Distinctions About Being 'Smart'

First, we must define some terms by taking a look at how the dictionary defines some popular terms. The following definitions are taken from, "The American Heritage Dictionary: Second College Edition", copyright 1982, 1985 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Essentially, all these terms are defining what people describe as the ability to understand and store knowledge in their minds, and to be able to communicate that knowledge to others. The more understanding you have of knowledge deemed difficult to understand; and the more information you can store in your mind (acquire) and repeat and/or explain (apply), then the more "intelligent" you are.

For example, the "most intelligent" physicians, are those who most completely understand human physiology, and can diagnose and treat problems in the physical body. The most intelligent scientists are those who can understand, explain, and usually apply some benefit from, the various physical laws of the universe. The most intelligent theologians have the most information stored in their minds about their source of understanding things about their 'god' and his alleged way of doing things.

To boil the whole issue down yet further, what is most highly esteemed is the person with the "best" mind, i.e. a mind that can more fully understand and communicate things about our world/universe, especially those things about our universe that have not been previously understood. It is the "admiring" (or worth-ship i.e. worship) of that which sets humans apart from the animal kingdom - the mind and its ability to reason. Since the ability to reason is unique to mankind, it deductively follows (given the evolutionary assumption) that to have the greatest capacity to reason would make one the "highest" of the highest life form on the earth. In short, to be the smartest person would mean that you would be at a minimum admired, and more than likely worshipped, by other people. Since the world believes evolution, it makes perfect sense that the person with the "highest intelligence" would be considered the most highly evolved person [link to What About Evolution?]. Even if there is no direct acknowledged link to evolution, the person with the highest intelligence as defined by the world would be the most highly admired.

We like to think we are smarter than the next person, don't we? Isn't our pride always finding other people whom we can declare in our mind as "less intelligent"? Don't we feel particularly proud when people declare to us in some way that we are very intelligent? Yes we do. We have this understanding that the essence of being human is the ability to reason and to know, and we want to excel in our human intellect. It is a basic human desire, and it is a desire of the flesh in as much as it is used for selfish purposes.

Shades of Idolatry:  Capacity versus Achievement

People admire, envy and yes, worship others on two primary basis's in regard to this issue. There is admiration due to having achieved the title of "best" in some area e.g. the best athlete, or the best businessman, or the best engineer. Then there is admiration for being recognized as the most intelligent, usually as judged by the world's academic communities or institutions. The two forms of admiration are related yet distinct. The latter admiration is based on the person's intellect itself and that person's intellectual capacity as measured by communities of people deemed highly intelligent. The former people are admired due to achievements made in things the world judges as important i.e. success or achievements that bring one money, popularity or power. Things like the best athlete, or the most successful business man or computer programmer. Again, the distinction is between the popularity or envy of the masses for those who have achieved "success" as the best, as distinct from recognition of intelligence by the communities deemed highly intelligent themselves i.e. academic institutions or independent think tanks. If the latter folks use their intelligence to bring some benefit to large numbers of people, then their intelligence will also be admired and perhaps worshipped by the masses as well.

Capacity and Content

In broad terms, the world defines intelligence, as we have seen above, as the ability to accumulate knowledge, understand that knowledge, and to successfully communicate that knowledge to others. Therefore, the most intelligent people are those who have the capacity of "high" intelligence and can demonstrate that capacity to others, or use that capacity in a way where other people can identify it. In general, it doesn’t really make much difference to people what area of knowledge one has expertise in, as long as one is recognized as the most knowledgeable in that area. As long as the area of knowledge is considered difficult, generally meaning that there is much acknowledged ignorance in that area of knowledge, then the smartest person in that area of knowledge is highly admired. Part of human nature is the recognition of areas of knowledge that test the limitations of human understanding. And those people who have the highest knowledge base in those areas are more highly esteemed due to the fact that the area they have knowledge in still has many un-answered questions. For example, the most intelligent engineer will not be as highly esteemed as the most intelligent astronomer. Why? Because astronomy has many more unknowns in its knowledge base than engineering. Astronomy also deals with more difficult mathematics than engineering. Therefore, those who deal with areas of knowledge that only very intelligent people can understand in the first place, are generally more highly esteemed.

In general, however, the most highly intelligent person in their specific area of knowledge (area's of knowledge that do not necessarily have practical application) are equally highly esteemed by those communities of people considered highly intelligent. For example, the Nobel Prize winner in nuclear physics and the winner of Harvard's most intelligent Astronomer award, will be basically equally esteemed.

Recognition and Educational Credentials

As has been noted so far, intelligence has been defined as the ability to accumulate knowledge, understand that knowledge, and to successfully communicate that knowledge to others. An important part of that statement is the fact that intellectual gifts must be recognized by "communicating that knowledge to others". How does a highly intelligent person have their intelligence recognized, and through what means are they enabled to communicate their intelligence? Through recognized and established institutions which identify and grant acknowledgment of that person's intelligence. And how is this done? Primarily through the academic process, which entails attending the institution for some period of time and then being granted a "degree" after accomplishing the institutions course work. A degree is a piece of papers stating you've accomplished the intellectual work associated with that institution and thereby the institution has graduated you from their program.

If you haven't figured it out already, what I am describing here is the educational system in the United States, and around the world for that matter. I would be remise not to mention that the person going through the academic institution's course work must pay a very large sum of money to do so. The key point to note is that in general, graduation from these institutions is based solely on intellectual achievements. You learn the institutions course work, and establish that you understand it through intellectual testing. Having done this, you eventually are graduated from the program, and granted a degree e.g. a Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree or a Doctorate, etc.

Foolishness versus Wisdom

Having established some framework of defining 'intelligence', and having described the educational system in the United States (and sadly the vast majority of that which calls itself EPBF seminaries or Bible colleges), the question needs to be asked: What should the disciple of Jesus' thoughts be on the matter of being 'educated'? Or stated another way, what is the believer's position on receiving an education in regard to both the world's methods of attaining that education, and the content of that education?   What value does God place on an 'intellegent' person?

Jesus' Words Reviewed

"At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."  (Matt. 11:25-26)

"At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."  (Luke 10:21)

Commentary:

These verses are the lead verses of Jesus addressing three things: His relationship with His Father; God's election in revealing Himself to certain select people (only "…to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."); and then a call to all mankind to come to Him.

Notice carefully Jesus' open thanks to His Father. Jesus gives thanks to the fact that His Father has purposely "hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants." What are "these things" which He has hidden from the "wise and intelligent"? The following context makes it clear that "these things" are the way to salvation, its by product sanctification and the Kingdom of God. We know this because following the statement of "You have hidden…", Jesus says, "no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son…". Salvation is a personal "knowing" of the Lord as Jesus says in John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Messiah Jesus whom You have sent." Thus, Jesus says that the Father "hides" salvation and the Kingdom of God from those people who believe themselves to be "wise" and "intelligent". Does that shock you!? The Lord is purposely hiding the most important things from those folks who believe themselves to be intelligent or wise from the world's perspective.  So, right up front, the answer to 'ought a disciple of Jesus seek to be intelligent as judged by the world', the answer is plainly NO.

Yes, the LORD God of the universe is NOT impressed with man's idea of intellectual 'brilliance' or to use contemporary synonyms, smartness or intelligence. For He says plainly elsewhere, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)

Do you think that you are smart or intelligent? Do you believe this of yourself because you have attained some piece of paper that men call a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree or Doctorate? Do people in general consider you highly intelligent because you have let them know of your academic achievements? Do you consider yourself intelligent because you have attained some position that is usually only occupied by people with "advanced degrees"? If so, then you are very unlikely to enter the kingdom of heaven. Oh reader, please receive that.  Why? Because Jesus plainly says that His Father has "hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to babes". Do you understand how puny our thoughts are before the LORD God? Do you understand how ignorant we are in God's sight? If we will not acknowledge in our heart that our mind is badly affected by our sinful nature, and that we have a depraved nature that deeply taints our ability to reason, then we are blind. If we can't see how puny our finite intellect is in comparison to the Infinite Mind, then we walk in darkness.

You see dear friend, the Lord God hides His precious salvation from those people who believe themselves too smart or too intelligent to just simply believe Jesus' plain words in the gospels. You know, those people who don't "really" believe in Jesus. Those who say, "well, it's all a matter of interpretation", yet who will not try to interpret much of anything of his Words. Those who just know better that science has disproved Jesus' teachings [link to What About Evolution?] All of those theologians who "just know" that Jesus cannot be taken "literally". And sadly, to most christians who say, "well, Jesus doesn't really mean that…you see in that culture" [link to How to Know God by Reading the scripture]. To those people, the things of the Lord's salvation are "hidden". How much time do you spend trying to read Jesus' Words in the gospels as a "babe" instead of as the local interpretation expert or armchair theologian?  God is not only not impressed with "deep thinkers", he rejects them.

You see, Jesus said things like, "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple"; and "He who finds his life with lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it". Who in the world wants to become a simpleton, that is simply trusting in Jesus and trying to give one's life away in following after Him? This life the Lord wants us to walk in DOES NOT INVOLVE chasing after the things of the world, and it certainly does not involve chasing after pieces of paper from educational institutions in which the self-viewed intelligent people bestow praise and glory upon each other so that they can become wise in some person's or people's eyes.

Oh yes, having achieved some academic work will in fact get you judged as intelligent and thus give you access to the ears of many people. "Oh", they say, "Dr. So and So is coming to speak tonight". So the foolish people run after the wisdom of this world while forsaking the Way of humility and debasement - the Way of hating this world and the things this world esteems and instead giving our life away for Him. Tragically, those calling themselves God's people are worshipping at the alter of education-olotry, while despising being the Lord's Words of �must become like a little child�. 'Oh no, we must be educated', scream those labeling themselves 'well educated' or 'seminary trained' christians. They say, 'you must graduate from one of our esteemed academic institutions in order to get the job...oh, excuse me, I mean, in order to fulfill you calling'.  Lord help us [link to Jesus' Leadership].

Why does God delight in those 'simpletons' with childlike faith in His Son? Why does He use those who spurn the way of the world? Why does He use the "uneducated and untrained"?  The Lord is not looking for educated servants, he is looking for humble, meek, true-hearted servants who despise that which God despises - as His Word says, "For what is highly esteemed among men (degrees, awards, and academic achievements and intellectual credentials), is an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15) Yes dear friend, the letters you place in front of, or after your name are a stench in the sight of God - Rev., Dr., President, Director, M.Div., Th.D., M.S., M.A., B.S., Ed.D., Ph.D., D.Min., M.D., J.D., etc. ad nausea. Repent, and bear fruits worthy of repentance [link to Jesus' Leadership].

Where do you stand dear reader? Do you embrace the narrow Way of hating your life in this world, or do you embrace the wisdom of men which leads to darkness and death? What is more important to you, the praise of men or the approval of the Lord God? To whom are you looking to for approval?  Who are you seeking to please by performing academic good works and seeking the foolishness of intellectual acheivments?  Where does Jesus call for that?  Who are you trying to impress with the letters before or after your name? [link to Jesus' Leadership]

The question that begs to be answered is do seminaries use the world's methods and even content in "educating" the "clergy"? This author had attended a well established seminary for a short time, and can testify that the world's methods and even content was in fact the rule and not the exception. My first required course was nothing less than an indoctrination into the traditions of men - and this in spite of Mark 7:1-13. There was essentially no difference between the secular university's the author had previously attended (undergraduate and graduate levels), and the seminary he attended. The course content was "religious" in nature, but not spiritual in understanding and practice. Rather, the content focused on building intellectual knowledge and the memorizing of facts about traditions, history, biblical grammar, language, and of course a very heavy dose of biblical cultures [link to Avoiding Interpretation Traps].

Can you imagine Jesus asking the Jewish leaders, or the roman leaders, to approve the method's and content of His teachings?! Can you imagine Peter or John seeking the approval of the Sanhedrin or the Roman Consulate for what they wanted to teach the people about Messiah Jesus? The very heart of the gospel is offensive to the world (John 15:18-20), so why would the world approve that which offends it? It would not unless the offense is taken away by an altering of the truth. Tragically, most seminaries and Bible schools today need some type of sanction or approval from the state. Stated another way, most seminaries and Bible schools today need the approval of the what they judge as the world in order to operate. If using the world's ways doesn't raise a red flag for you, then surely desiring the approval of the world ought to.

Please consider this - if a man graduates from a prominent christian seminary, by whom is he counted as "having childlike faith"? As he stands in the pulpit in his fashionable business suit or flowing religious garb, with his degree hanging in his office, who counts him child-like in his faith?  The world "respects" those "clergy" who have earned ThD's ad nausea - just look at the roman organizations as well as the Protestant ones. In contrast, watch the simple, uneducated man who has a true calling from the Lord, as he tries to serve God's people. Guess who is respected, and who is despised, and guess what basis this respect or despising is granted upon? Don't worry, you called of the Lord, you are in good company (Acts 4:13). The discernment of the Spirit has been replaced by the deceitfulness of the flesh. The highly educated "clergy" have always despised the "lay people", and hold a particular disdain for those trying to make disciples without similar "credentials" as they possess. Tragically, it is no different today in the vast majority of the christian organizations. The wicked division of "clergy" and "laity" based on academic or intellectual achievement is as strong in christian circles as it is in 'the secular' world with the professional professorate and the students [link to Jesus' Leadership].

Do you have the education and degrees and academic achievements the world judges as making you intelligent? Do you place those titles or letters before or after your name?   Perhaps you have the education and degrees that the "church" judges as having made you wise? Are you invited to speak at various gatherings and buildings based on your educational credentials? Were you placed as "The Pastor" due to your intellectual achievements?  Don't deceive yourself in answering these questions...

Let me state it another way - would you have 'gotten the job' if you didn't have the piece of paper and the letters after your name? Well, would you have? Where does Jesus say that your intellectual achievements make you qualified to be a servant among God's people?  Perhaps you are able to spew more facts out about God's universe and this world than the next fellow? Perhaps you have more scripture referents memorized than the next fellow? How about being able to win at Bible trivia? This "rubbish" is what makes you seem wise in this age - the age of the worship of the intellect by the religious organizations. 

Well, the Lord has a Word for you - "that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in God�s sight�repent�you must enter in as a child". How does one become as a child in one�s faith? By not explaining Jesus� Words away with all the twisted arguments about 'culture' and 'science'. By rejecting the world's methods for education ('pay me and I'll tell you something worthwhile'), and seeking simply to hide God's Words in your heart that you may not sin against Him. By forsaking the world's ways of "education", and simply learning at the Master's feet perhaps with other humble servants in His Family who are also seeking Him with their whole heart.  Repent, and seek a pure, true heart before the Lord.  Forsake your intellectual achievements and turn to simple, faithful service unto the Lord [link to Jesus' Leadership].

The Lord enjoys and rewards child-like faith, and despises and deceives men who believe in their own self professed wisdom, knowledge and 'intelligence'. You may not like this truth, but Jesus says it is true, so you can either receive it in simplicity, or reject it in your own 'wisdom'. May you become an 'infant' in your own sight so that the truth of Jesus' Words will no longer be hidden to you.


"Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it'."  (Mark 10:14-15)

Commentary:

These Words of the Master Jesus follow closely on the heels of what we just looked at in Matthew 11. Here recorded by Mark, Jesus tells us that the "kingdom of God" is open to "little children" and those who believe as they do. Jesus then states the same truth in a negative fashion by saying, "whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it". This clarifies His earlier statement, and it is quite plain to those who are seeking the Lord in truth. Jesus says that only those who believe His Words as a little child - with child-like trust and acceptance - will enter the kingdom of God. When a person reads Jesus' Words, Jesus wants them to just believe what they read as true. He wants them to have child-like faith in Him and His Words. He wants them approaching the scripture as a child who does not doubt that the Lord can do those things.

Those who don't read Jesus' Words regularly obviously don't care about what He has to say, and obviously they do not love Jesus [link to Do You Love Messiah Jesus?]. Those who don't want to talk about His Words obviously don't love Messiah Jesus and the spiritual life He provides, for Jesus says, "the words I speak are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). If you reader, are not reading Jesus' Words in the gospels, with a great desire to know what they mean, then you cannot have come into a relationship with the Lord, since His Words say that all who SEEK Him WILL FIND Him (Jer. 29:13). So as a first cut, if you are not reading His Words, then you cannot possibly be struggling with whether to believe them or not, so please read What Is the Purpose of Your Life and Be Sure You're Going to Heaven and You Must Be Born Again.

Now, for those people who are reading Jesus' Words through the Holy Spirit, we must address Jesus saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it". Have you spoken to a little child recently? Or have you seen other people speak to little children recently? Perhaps the greatest issue of note in the context in which Jesus spoke those words is the issue of trust. Little children believe what you tell them. They have a pure heart in as much as it is not completely hardened yet by deceit and unbelief. If you tell a little child that a helicopter will land in the parking lot in the next few minutes and a clown will get out, then they will excitedly wait for the helicopter to land. If you tell a little child that a man is coming by in a few minutes to give them 100 pounds of chocolate kisses, then they will eagerly be awaiting the chocolate. If you tell a little child that they are going on a space ship to Mars tomorrow, they will believe it. Do you get the point?

Well Jesus says to you, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). Jesus says to you, "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire - "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'" (Mark 9:47-48) Jesus says to you, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28). Jesus says to you, "I am the Way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus says to you, "…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Jesus says to you, dear reader, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Gloriously, for those who believe Jesus' Words as a little child; and to those who receive the kingdom of God as a little child, Jesus says to you, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2-3).

You may want to seek the answer to the following question. Why did Jesus say that the kingdom of heaven belonged to those such as these, referring to the little children; while on the other hand, Jesus said to His main adversaries, who where the religious and civil leaders and lawyers, "How shall you escape the condemnation of hell"? You should see a contrast. You shouldn't believe the lie that things have changed and religious and civil leaders and lawyers are any different today than they were when Jesus said those words to them. As a matter of fact, if anything, things are worse during these last days. The contrast is simple. Children don't have educational degrees, and have not yet become so wise in their own eyes. Religious and civil leaders do have their men-esteemed educational degrees, and are wise in their own eyes. The former will inherit the kingdom of God, the latter will not. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The choice is up to you. You may choose to trust in the Lord with child like faith, or you may choose stubborn, arrogant unbelief - the former unto eternal Life, the latter unto eternal death. You can believe that you are too smart to 'just believe what Jesus' Words say', OR, you can fall on your face in your true ignorance and throw yourself on your Creator's mercy. The choice is up to you.


"Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."  (Luke 11:52)

Commentary:

In this portion of scripture - the verses preceding verse 52 - Jesus is judging the religious and civil leaders and the lawyers as seriously deficient in many ways. His final woe, or cursing, falls upon the lawyers, who were the people who would judge others by their man made laws and in so doing would often nullify the Words of God. As lawyers today, they made a mockery of justice, willing to argue any side of an issue for money. They believed they possessed the greatest knowledge - the law - and yet they utterly pervert the knowledge that the Lord is concerned about. The lawyers themselves, and the society which provided them their positions, believed the lawyers were some of the smartest of the smart people. They were thought to have great intelligence. The same sad beliefs exist today in large measure. The lawyers were intelligent in their own eyes, but not in Jesus' eyes. After excoriating them on many sins, Jesus delivers the final blow of truth. He says, as part of their sins, that they, "have taken away the key of knowledge". What did Jesus mean by this?

Well, a few things can easily be deduced. First, Jesus says that the knowledge they possess is worthless to the Lord. Certainly the lawyers possessed a good deal of knowledge about the laws of Israel. There is no contention about whether they possessed a good deal of knowledge. Nor was there any contention that they were judged as very smart by the people who made up their nation. Yet with all their esteem from the people due to their advanced degrees from the schools of Israel; and with all the knowledge they possessed; Jesus calls curses upon them. You see dear reader, Jesus was not impressed by their degrees and alleged intelligence.

Second, in verses 45-51, Jesus points out that the knowledge they possess not only is worthless to the Lord, but harmful to others. He accuses them of "hindering" those who were trying to enter into the wisdom of the Lord. Thus Jesus says that their alleged knowledge is a hindrance to a person seeking the kingdom of God.

The question remains, what is the key to knowledge, and how have the lawyers hidden it away from the people? That answer can be found in the rest of the verses being examined in this article. The "key of knowledge" is humility, and child-like faith in Messiah Jesus. The "key" is the knowledge that no man can make themselves justified before God by their own "righteousness" or intellectual abilities - this is true humility. Since the lawyers thought themselves to be the smartest people around town, Jesus says that they, "…did not enter in yourselves" to the kingdom of God - that means they were headed for hell. And worse, not only did they not enter into a relationship with the Lord through humble, child-like faith, but they also taught others that the way to God was through knowledge ABOUT the Lord and His ways rather than trusting IN the Lord to save one from one's sins. How incredibly important is this key of knowledge - that knowing facts about Jesus' Words and about Jesus and His commands is not the key of knowledge. Rather, and in eternal opposition, the key of knowledge Jesus speaks of here is the glorious truth that "whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it".

Sadly, it seems the arrogant are always those whose fear of the Lord is the weakest.  If this is so with the redeemed, how much more so with lost, prideful man. Woe to those who teach commandments of men as if they were of God, and in so doing actually contradict God's Words. Thus Jesus pronounces woes upon the religious and civil leaders and lawyers, as those leaders deny Jesus' Words and His Lordship. And finally, woe to the lawyers, for in their pride and arrogance, they are heading for an eternity apart from the Lord and His love and mercy. If you are a lawyer reading this, don't deceive yourself by saying, 'well, this doesn't apply to me…'


"You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me."  (John 5:39)

Commentary:

This verse is three quarters of the way through another discourse of Jesus who is talking to the religious leaders of Israel at the time. From verse 18 to verse 39 here in John chapter 5, Jesus is trying to reach the lost religious leaders through words of grace and truth, as He always spoke (John 1:14). The verse we are looking at speaks volumes to the issue of this article - that knowledge as judged by the world is the antithesis of wisdom as judged by God.

What Jesus is plainly saying in verse 39 is that the religious leaders thought they had eternal life through the knowledge of the scriptures they had possession of, searched and thought they knew. They were tragically, and eternally wrong. Jesus said that He IS THE SUBJECT of the scriptures, the One Whom the scriptures scream to love and obey! Even as today, there are so many with so much head knowledge of Jesus' Words - so many verses memorized, and so much insight into the cultures at the times various portions were written - yet these many have not trusted in Jesus for their salvation. They can tell you many facts about Jesus, yet they don't know Him for they have never been born again into a relationship with Him [link to You Must Be Born Again]. Nicodemus was one such religious leader, and he was the one to whom Jesus said, "You must be born again" (John 3:1-7).

The dire warning of this verse is aimed directly at religious leaders, not civil leaders or lawyers, for these folks don't claim to "search the scriptures" as their calling in life. Thus, the application today is to those who claim to speak for God. This would include all clergymen/"ministers" who would identify themselves with some "church" organization. Frankly, this warning would especially include all religious leaders who take the title "reverend" - all who are proud of their religious studies, degrees and training. All who think that their "education" in the scriptures (more than likely around the scripture) somehow automatically earns them the "right" to be the Lord's spokesman. That pride is an abomination to the Lord as this article proves.

How tragic that so many "ministers" who make a habit of just happening to let people know they have this degree, or that position, are the direct target of Jesus' words here. "Oh", they say, "I have a degree from Esteemed Seminary", or, "I have a Th.D. from Holy Mountain Cemetery". They put pictures of themselves and their educational letters, on their literature, and on their web sites, just like the world's marketers. These are those who like to make sure the "lay people" know that they have a superior religious intellect and advanced degrees in Theology and Bible Scholarship. Jesus even today says to them, "You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life…", yet they do not possess eternal life - instead they possess knowledge about Jesus' Words or theology. They too have never seen themselves as wretched sinners desperately needing the Way to the Father. Rather, they pay lip service to being sinners, while all the while believing they are better than other people based on their religious education, training and 'commitment'.

Oh that they would repent and come to Jesus as little children. Oh that they would stop leading those astray by their worldly credentials and falsely pious attitudes. Oh that they would see the One who said the scriptures "testify of Me", and fall down before Him and repent of their unbelief and worldly ways. Oh that they would turn from the "wisdom of the world" and understand they must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of God.


"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus."  (Acts 4:13)

Commentary:

Perhaps no verse speaks as clearly against the education-olotry that has established itself in that which calls itself Jesus' church, as this one. The time context of the passage is just after Peter and John had been preaching the gospel in Jerusalem. Thousands were being saved through the preaching of the gospel, praise the Lord! The religious leaders arrested Peter and John for preaching the gospel. When being examined by the religious leaders of the nation, verse 8 of chapter 4 of the book of Acts gives us the key of understanding for verse 13. Verse 8 eight says, "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, 'Rulers of the people and elders of Israel'…". It is not so much what Peter said, but rather Who spoke through Peter. Most significantly, the text does not say, 'Then Peter, having graduated from the best seminary in Jerusalem, said to them…'; or, 'Then Peter, being the valedictorian of his class, said to them...'. No, no, a thousand times no! Rather, the One who is an affront to our pride and our intellect - since those things prevent His working through us - spoke through a humble, empty vessel.

Peter then preached to the religious leaders of Israel the gospel of Messiah Jesus. This brings us to verse 13, the focus of this commentary. Remember, the situation: the educated religious elite are examining the ignorant fishermen. And what two things did the ThD's, MDiv's, and the 'intellectually successful' notice about these two pesky fishermen? First, their boldness. You see, education does not produce boldness. Intellectual achievements do not produce courage. Rather, the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers those who are indwelled by Him (Acts 1:8). Thus, they could not quite understand these ignorant fishermen's courage since they could only understand confidence based on knowledge, experience, and educational credentials - they had their confidence in these things of the flesh (Luke 16:15).

There are two basic ways of learning - the way of the Spirit, or the way of the flesh. The way of the Spirit is allowing the Spirit to teach you God's eternal truths as you study God's Words in humility and meekness, seeking to understand His Words with child-like trust (John 14:26). The way of the Spirit is spiritual, focusing on the things of the spirit or of the heart, as addressed in Jesus� Words. It is the Holy Spirit teaching the believer's spirit, which was made alive at salvation (John 3:5-7). It is endeavoring to understand the Way, and go give one's life away to His Father's glory.

In contrast, the way of the flesh is adopting the world's ways in pursuing some degree from some institution that is almost exactly fashioned after the world's institutions of "higher learning".  The way of the flesh is of the soul or mind, focusing on the things of the world, the physical universe, and man apart from God. It is learning apart from the Holy Spirit, using the soul/mind to remember facts about His universe or even about Him. In the religious sense, it is the soul or mind focusing on memorizing tradition or the scripture without the Spirit.  The fruit of this way is seeking to be appreciated by others due to one's intellectual gifting or achievements [link to Jesus' Leadership].

Second, they noticed the most important thing in their eyes which disqualified the two fishermen from being spokesmen for the Lord - they were 'ignorant' fishermen. The scripture says, they were, "uneducated and untrained men". Oh, the horrible stigma this holds in the world.  Oh dear reader, can you not see this glorious and awesome truth? To be used of the Holy Spirit, we too must be judged by the world as being, "uneducated and untrained men" in regard to what the world, or the worldly 'church', terms "religious education". The very heart of this article is exposed here in these words. The Lord is NOT FOUND through educational achievements, nor intellectual ability. The Lord is not approached through human intelligence or academic achievements. One cannot know the Lord based on intellectual works. The Lord is not approached through the intellect.  NO, rather the Lord is found in child like trust. The Lord is found by those who do, "not lean on their own understanding" of things (Prov. 3:5).

I can hear the anger and groans already. 'Are you saying, Mr. Spiess, that my ThD/MDiv is of no value to me, the church or God?' My answer is simply 'Yes, that is what I am saying'. (Please note I did not say that you are of no value.) And why am I saying that? Because the scripture says that! Tell me, who was used more by the Lord to His glory - all the highly educated religious leaders of Israel at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, or two ignorant, uneducated and untrained fishermen?  The gospels provides an unequivocal answer to that question in this verse, to all those who have ears to hear and a heart to understand. Those clinging in pride to their degree, and searching for ways to justify themselves against this simple truth will likely say, 'well, what about Paul, he was highly educated'. Yes he was, so you are free to follow Paul instead of Jesus if you want.  Even Paul deemed his intellectual works as "rubbish" after he allegedly met Jesus the Christ (Phil. 3:3-8)  So, if Paul described his educational credentials as literally 'dung', why would you want to labor for 'dung'?

Please note that even Paul (see Are the Writings of Paul Flawless? ) DID NOT seek to establish "Christian schools" to educate the brethren, and he surely had every opportunity to do so.  Neither Jesus nor His apostles give any command or teaching that could be construed to mean to establish religious schools or discipleship training 'programs'.  Nor is there a single verse in the gospels providing an example of this concept.  The Lord provided everything the believer needs for growing in the faith, and He did so through His Son's Words, and His Spirit.

The other attack will be, 'Mr. Spiess, you are making the classic mistake of throwing the baby out with the bath water. All education is not wrong'. My response is, I did not say that all education is wrong. What I have said is that academic achievements in the name of the church of Messiah Jesus is un-Scriptural, against New Testament principles, and thereby wrong. What I have said is that having a degree from some seminary or Bible college, not only does not qualify a person for leadership in Jesus' church, but actually hinders a person in serving the Lord, and should be considered a negative, not a positive. Education the world's way is almost entirely a pursuit of the flesh. Education the world's way is man centered and serves to glorify man rather than God. Seminaries today, at the turn of the 21st century, are modeled after the world's academic institutions, and thus are set up to pander to the flesh.  If a man says he is truly at seminary to simply learn the ways of the Lord, then let him reject the 'award' of the degree when he completes his studies. If the men he is learning from are truly servants of the Lord, let them teach the students without demanding filthy lucre to do so.  How does demanding pay to teach someone about Messiah Jesus measure up with Jesus' Words to lay down our lives for one another?  Can you reader, even see the contradiction? [link to Jesus' Leadership]

No where in the scripture can you find a principle to justify professor's in seminary getting paid to teach other's about Messiah Jesus. What you will find in the gospels is principles directly against demanding money for ministry (Matt. 10:8)  All means of mixing 'money for ministry' is a perversion of the scripture and is thus sinful in its motivation, and thereby displeasing to the Lord [link to Jesus' Leadership].

Forsake what the EPBF church says you must do (those wretched intellectual works) in order to serve the Lord in some capacity. If you have already earned some piece of paper, and that intellectual good work was the main reason you were placed as "The Pastor", then repent, tear the paper up and announce to the congregation your sin in this matter. Renounce your education-olotry and then share Jesus� Words in this article with them, thereby seeking to please the Lord and not men. Seek the Lord with all your heart and step out in faith and just follow Jesus.  Renounce and forsake the worldly good works done in order to gain some degree. Renounce and forsake other means designed to give recognition to individuals for academic accomplishments allegedly associated with "ministry".

Ask the Lord to show you the truth in His saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." (Mark 10:15)  You can win the Nobel laureate in EPBF scholarship, yet your heart can be cold and far from the Lord. Becoming 'smarter' according to the world will only puff up your pride and lead you away from the abased, humble life of a servant of the Lord. Seeking wisdom to gain the approval of men is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Seeking wisdom for worldly gain (for example, to be 'hired' as a "president/pastor" and get to live in the nice parsonage) is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Beware the deceit of the human heart - even of the regenerate human heart.

Who were those most set against Messiah Jesus while He ministered here on the earth? Was it the simple, common, uneducated people? No, it most certainly was not. Rather, it was the 'well educated', who were so sure they knew many important things. The religious and political leaders of Jesus' day thought they knew many important things about God. Thus, in their pride, they actually knew nothing of eternal value.

It is to be likened to an employee who knew many facts about the president of his company. He would read everything written about the man, but he never talked with him personally. He knew many facts about the president, but he did not know his character or the reasons why he did the things that he did. He drew conclusions about the president based on a spattering of disjointed facts about him. The employee knew more facts about the company's president than any other employee, yet he misunderstood the president to a greater extent than any other employee. He was full of knowledge, yet lacking in discernment and understanding about the president.

Jesus made this same point several times in the scripture. Practically all of Matthew chapter 23 is making the point that knowledge puffs up, and leads to pride which condemns. Jesus basically says to those well versed in their 'law' of religious traditions: 'woe to you who think because you have knowledge of your traditions, and that you keep your traditions, that you are justified before the Father - you are not and are actually sons of hell' (Matt. 23:15, 33). These people's religious knowledge puffed their pride up, which hardened their hearts against truly knowing the Lord. Jesus lead his Words against the well educated religious people, with the Words, "And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12). If one's humility does not grow with their knowledge, then they will be puffed up and not useable for the Lord to show His love through.

Was your "president/pastor" or teaching leaders granted their position due primarily to their knowledge about God and His Words, or on the basis of their love for Him? Chances are very high that the reason was the former, as difficult as that may be for you to admit. I really don't expect many people to seriously consider this question, since most pay allegiance to their "president/Pastor" because, sadly, he comes to represent God to them. The confusion over knowledge and love is tremendous in this education worshipping culture. The Lord is not looking for 'smart' men, but faithful, courageous men who love Him supremely. People incorrectly assume that one must love God to go through the education to get the knowledge about God, and of course the degree which 'qualifies' them to lead Jesus' people. Yet anyone can go through seminary and receive a degree - even the unregenerate and un-called of God.

How well educated was David when he approached the philistine? How educated were the apostles when they preached the gospel (Acts 4:13)? What role did any education that Stephen might have had, play in his giving his life for the Lord (Acts 7:59-60) In contrast, how educated where the Pharisees and Sadducees? How educated are today's Jewish Rabbi's? How educated are the leaders of the catholic church, the large denominational protestant churches, and the rest of churchianity? Do you see them out on the streets boldly preaching the gospel? Grievously, how well educated is your EPBF �Pastor�? Can you see the contrast? He that has ears to hear, let him hear! [link to Jesus' Leadership]

Messiah Jesus is the Son of the true and the living God, and he visited His Father�s creation for a short time some years ago. So, God�s Messiah himself came and walked with his Father�s puny creations for several years. Jesus, being God�s annointed, knew much. Due to the Father�s gifting, Messiah Jesus is by FAR the smartest, most intelligent, brightest, greatest genius ever to walk on this planet. In stark contrast to men, however, He was also the most loving and humble Man ever to grace this wicked planet. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. What greater love was ever manifest? In Messiah Jesus alone will we find both perfect knowledge and perfect love.

As was stated earlier, the more knowledge a man possesses, the more likely his pride will get in the way of the Lord living His love through that man. You see, knowledge and power are very closely associated, and surely the god's of power are some of the most powerful idols Satan has set up for men to worship. When a man is given knowledge and understanding from the Lord about the Lord and His kingdom, then other's will covet that understanding, and will thus seek to be taught by that man. The opportunity for corruption of motives is present right from the beginning in regard to knowledge providing power. Again, look at what this did to Solomon.

Love is selfless or kind behavior towards others, combined with compassion for them. Possessing knowledge is simply an amoral fact about what one's mind contains. There are many, in fact most, who possess knowledge, yet their use of that knowledge is inherently selfish, with possessing power as the motivation behind gaining knowledge. In contrast, there are no people with true love, whose motivations are wrong in the sight of God. Thus, one can possess "all knowledge", yet that fact will not please the Lord if the knowledge is not used to glorify the Lord and demonstrate His love to others. In contrast, one can possess great love for the Lord, and yet be considered an ignorant simpleton by the world and worldly church. Which does the Lord approve?

It certainly is possible to possess knowledge AND love the Lord. It is also possible to possess knowledge - even knowledge about the Lord and His Words - and have none of His love in one's heart. As we have also seen, the tendency of our flesh is that the more knowledge we possess, the more likely we are to be puffed up in pride. It is a rare man who can possess great understanding of the Lord and remain humble. Seek His love first, and wisdom will take care of itself.

Wouldn't it be glorious to see men who take titles of spiritual authority like "Pastor", forsake all their educational credentials, and turn to the Lord with a simple faith, and thus become fools in the eyes of men? Sadly, don't hold your breath. How about you? Will you give your heart to Messiah Jesus, and let Him strip you of all the world counts important, that you might "become as an uneducated, untrained child"? Are you willing to forsake the worldly church's credentials in the flesh, and instead walk by faith in the simplicity that is the gospel of Messiah Jesus? Will you make a clear stand against the education-olotry clearly identified in this article? [link to Jesus' Leadership]

I am afraid that this issue might be lost as well in the last days apostasy.   The worship of men's intellect and of the educational process is so deeply ingrained in the believers in the United States, that nothing short of the Lord's return will cure the illness.  For those with ears to hear, keep walking in humble faith.   Receive Jesus' Words as a child.  Reject the attainment of degrees which are nothing more than dead intellectual works of the flesh.  Seek to prove your heart first before the Lord, and He will give you the wisdom to glorify Him.  Know you are not alone in as much as you are, and desire to continue to be, an "uneducated and untrained" man.  Continue to desire to be simply a faithful disciple of Jesus.

Concluding Remarks

I have endeavored to demonstrate what Jesus has to say about 'education' in the context of God's people. What should be clear after reading this article, is that service to the Lord is to be from a simple heart - just do it as the Lord leads. Efforts to attain academic achievements are efforts in the flesh and have no part in preparing servant-leaders for service in Jesus' Family.

In terms of disciples of Jesus sending their children to the world's universities and colleges, the message of the Words looked at in this article should be clear.  A few points of clarification and distinction need to be made first prior to looking at the answers.

Training for vocations in order to support yourself and your dependents is obviously all right. Learning skills and trades is certainly approved in the scripture. Attending a school that teaches a person how to perform some trade or skill which enables a person to work to support themselves and others is fine. Some examples of trades or skills would be carpentry, masonry, auto mechanics, computer technicians, plumbing, etc. There are many trades a person can work in to support themselves for which training specifically geared to learning the trade would be perfectly appropriate.

However, colleges and universities are an entirely different matter. These secular institutions of "higher learning" are all about indoctrinating young people into the worlds belief's and doctrine. Evolution, new age philosophies, greed-based economic doctrine - the list goes on. The universities and colleges are not there to teach vocational skills. Rather, they are there to brain wash young people into the unbelief of the world. The sciences deny creation and seek naturalist explanations for the physical world. The 'social sciences' are nothing less than new age false beliefs, pantheistic beliefs, or simply pagan beliefs about mankind. The arts are nothing less than the worship of man and his creative capacity - and if the reader is not aware, that creative capacity is orienting itself in increasingly more perverse ways in this culture. I cannot imagine any sound reasons why a believing parent would want to send their children to a secular college or university. This should be unconscionable to the believing parent.

In terms of "Christian" colleges or universities, the picture is no better than the rank secular colleges and universities. In many, perhaps most cases, it is worse, since some, if not many of the people who are part of the "Christian college" are unbelievers. Thus, how confusing and damaging it would be for a young true believer to be sent there. There is nothing more damaging than having a young believer being taught by counterfeit believers. It would be 'better' if the young person went to a rank secular institution. However, this should not be a choice for the believer seeking after the Lord.

How tragic that people calling themselves 'Christians' feel the need to emulate and duplicate the worship of education in their secular counterparts. Of course they would never accede to setting up the worship of education like the secular schools, but that is exactly what they are encouraging by virtue of the methods and emphasis. For example, the roman catholics never agree that they are worshipping Mary, but certainly the statues and the other means to 'adore' her certainly do encourage people to worship her. Attaching the word "Christian" to something does not make it from the Lord or in His will. This is a classic example. A "Christian college or university" is an oxymoron according to God's Words. We examined the passages that clearly make this point obvious (Acts 4:12). Where in the gospels do you see the believers establishing "institutions of higher education"? Where do you even see any "school" being established to teach the believers?  Do you see even Paul running to the institutions of higher learning of his day (Jewish seminaries and Greek universities) to either attend them, establish "Christian" versions, or encourage others to attend? The answer is clearly NO. Why, if this is what the Lord wants His people doing?

The truth is that the Lord has always intended the 'education' of children be the primary responsibility of the child's parents and of the church, after Jesus came and established His Family.

The Lord's Alternative to Education the World's Way

You may be saying, 'we'll, what do you want me to do, just quit school', or, 'stop pursuing my degree'. The answer is yes if you are pursuing a degree from a seminary, Bible college, Christian college or university or secular college or university. This "yes" answer can also be stated as, "What is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God...they noted that they were uneducated and untrained men." Why would you want to become smart in this age's beliefs and practices? Why would you submit to the world's ways in your "Christian" school? He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The answer to education-olotry, is found in true believing parents teaching their children the Ways of the Lord from His Words, as well as developing the skills to do so. Home schooling should be the desire of every true believer's heart for their children. Reading, writing and arithmetic are all that is needed outside of the glorious eternal precepts spoken by Jesus. These things should be taught by parents to their own children first, and by other's gifted in Jesus' Family. The Family - which is the community of believers living for the Lord, and living to love one another - is the gloriously simple answer. Yes, the Lord's plan is that all the education that anyone needs is to be found in His Family. The women teach the children, and the men teach the young men the vocations, trades and skills necessary to live life on this planet.

Tragically, the church is so corrupt during these last days here in the United States, that the remnant of true believers will have to raise their children virtually without assistance from other believers. Don't lose heart, this simply means the Lord's return is very near. Have the courage to come out of the apostasy, and love your children in the Lord's foolishness, and not in the world's wisdom. Don't buy one of Satan's lies, where he says, 'oh, but your child needs socialization with other children, or else you are depriving him/her'. Please show me where Jesus teaches that. What Satan is actually saying is that you must not be separate from his world, thus he tells you to go against God's commands (John 15:18ff). All any child ultimately needs is one parent who truly loves the Lord with all their heart.

Closing Challenge

To close, I issue this very serious challenge to those who advocate seminaries or Bible colleges:

    • If a man says he is truly at seminary or bible college to simply learn the ways of the Lord, then let him reject the 'award' of the degree when he completes his studies (Acts 4:13).
    • If the men he is learning from are truly servants of the lord, let them teach the students without demanding fifthly lucre to do so (Matt. 10:8b).
    • If "the church" is really God's Family, let them select Jesus as their Leader, and let not academic works play any part in honoring an elder disciple

(Footnote. The author of this article had attained a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master's degree prior to becoming a disciple of Jesus. He now sees the 'value' of those pieces of paper, and his past efforts to become wise as the world counts wisdom. He also, early in his faith walk, gained approval to enter, and thereby attended a well established, "conservative", Bible believing seminary. He completed a semester there before the Lord called him out. He is deeply grieved as he remembers how the "dean" (where is that title in the gospels?) of the seminary told him that he believed that some "professors" were essentially lost and teaching heresy, but "could do nothing about it because they were tenured". The "dean" and his wife lived in what was essentially a mansion. In talking to the young men, the 'testimony' most often given to the question as to why they were there at seminary, was something like, "well, I graduated college, and I wasn't really sure what to do. My uncle is a pastor, and in talking with him, I thought that it seemed like a good life being a pastor, and ya know, serving God and everything.")


Send comments to the author Tim

Share

Top of This Page

Go To New Web Site