One thing I was thinking about this morning after throwing a temper tantrum over my cats, who are bound and grimly determined that I am never able to sleep in ever… is the thought of Seminaries and Bible Colleges.
In my former church, the Associate Pastor was attending Liberty University through the Internet. I was finishing up my own Seminary studies through my seminary. The senior pastoral candidate was also finishing up his education. We were all driving from a Pastor’s convention with our senior pastor, and of course we were all talking about Bible college.
One of the things we were talking about was accreditation. Yes, it’s wonderful if you can find an accredited college. They’re everywhere. But there’s more to this than getting some kind of paper diploma. You’re doing this to LEARN.
The associate pastor was attending Liberty, paying a lot of money (or the church was, I’m not sure which) and learning… not so much.
The senior pastoral student never really discussed what he was learning.
I was learning from an unaccredited Seminary, with no tuition, and what I was learning had them all dumbfounded. Several times what we discussed had them commenting, “I’d never heard that before!” The discussion of Homiletics and Hermaneutics blew their minds, because some of the rules I cited they’d never heard before.
You see, it’s not how much it costs. Seminary, Bible College, University, whatever you want to call it, is not about credentials. I could attend Liberty or Southern Baptist Theological, pay a lot of money, and end up with… a piece of paper.
I attended my seminary, paid no money, and got… a piece of paper.
The statement from the president of my seminary had a comment to make – “We’re not state accredited, but we’re accredited by God.”
The essence is the education. And talking to my son in the faith, who is restless and preparing for his ministry (years after he should have may I add) he’s looking into attending an accredited school, because the need to be introduced with letters and degrees in his culture is paramount.
My point was quite simple – if you go to someplace like Regent University, or Liberty, or even Southern Baptist Theological, you’re going to have to wade through the unbelief of scholarship. you’re going to hear smug atheists lauded to high heaven as if the sun rises and sets on them. You’re going to hear the Bible questioned and denied. “This verse is not in the original manuscripts” will be uttered at least 4 times a day. When you’re looking at 240 days a year, 4 to 6 years of hearing that, I really don’t think you can emerge unscathed.
And… how are you going to derive ANYTHING from that teaching? What can you do with that?
The FIRST thing, is to ascertain if the college is a BELIEVING Bible college. I’d love to apply for a job at Regent as a professor, and my catchline would be this: “Well, you’d finally have an instructor who’s saved, and believes the Bible.”
The thing is, I believe the Bible. If you’re making throwaway comments like, “That verse isn’t in the original manuscripts”… you DON’T believe the Bible. I’ve been looking at Bible Colleges to recommend and many of them to be blunt, scare me.
There’s Hyles-Anderson… but from what I’ve heard about graduates of Hyles Anderson, you could simply save the money, open up Microsoft Publisher, make a diploma saying “Jack Hyles College” and save the time and money. You’re actually learning more that way – you’re learning how to use a publishing program! That’s about all you’d learn at Hyles Anderson. An experienced pastor has told David Cloud about how he’s been given rides to and from the airport by HA students, and has asked them questions on Bible Doctrine, and found them to be completely in the dark. He’s suggested passages and asked what they mean, and gotten confused answers. He’s asked what their favorite Bible Dictionary is, and they can’t answer.
It’s FAR BETTER to go to a Seminary that will TEACH you the Bible. But they first must BELIEVE the Bible. Questions to ask them are:
- Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, preserved word of God? Or do you believe it should be studied as just any other book?
- What is your belief on the last chapter of Mark?
- Do you believe the Apostolic sign gifts are for today? (if they do, avoid this college)
- What is your belief on the seven days of creation?
- Who wrote the book of Daniel?
- What is your stand on the Pericope of John 8?
There are readers of this blog who take the stand that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, preserved word of God in all its books, chapters and verses… and they are able to LEARN because they approach the Bible Reverently. When you sit down to read the Bible, understanding you are about to see the very words and thoughts of God, you begin to expect mighty things when you read and study.
I know what I know because I went to a Seminary who was downright stubborn about the Bible is the inspired, preserved, inerrant in all its words. And when the instructor taught things that were often taught in other colleges, he would loudly decry the modern teachings as “Lies from the pit of Hell!”
Yeah! That’s probably where I get this stuff from! But aren’t you glad I’m not regurgitating the same “scholarly” vomit that you see on most other Christian blogs, questioning and denying the Bible?
To first question, then to deny the word of God is the main tactic of Satan. And let me tell you, a large number of his employees seem to be firmly entrenched in Universities, Bible Colleges, and Seminaries.
If you attend an institution for the sake of a degree (that amounts only to printed paper) and sit under Satanic teaching, it’s going to be really impossible to avoid it coloring your doctrine in the future.
Can’t get the good pastoring jobs at the church with a congregation of 12,000 without it? Better to preach in poverty and hear “Well done” than to preach to the large churches and hear the Lord say to you, “I have this against you…”