Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sure of What We Know

John 7:47 The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."

47 ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν αὐτοῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι· μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς πεπλάνησθε; 48  μή τις ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων ἐπίστευσεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἢ ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων; 49  ἀλλὰ ὁ ὄχλος οὗτος ὁ μὴ γινώσκων τὸν νόμον ἐπάρατοί εἰσιν.

There were folks in charge who started to believe in Jesus.  At least they were giving Him the benefit of the doubt considering what He taught.  Yet the Pharisees were resolute.  They refused to believe no matter what.  Their authority was in themselves and their knowledge of the Law.  It was clear to them that there was no way for the crowd to have an insight that they did not have.

I have one year to go before I finish seminary.  As I finish this year I see the need to guard against having the mindset of the Pharisees.  If I become a pastor I will have a much better theological education than most of the folks in my congregation.  It is easy to get into the mentality that they are mere sheep and I am a shepherd with a form of magisterial authority.  That is true to a degree, but it walks dangerously close to a line that is normally reserved for Roman Catholics.

While I think that ordination is a fine thing, I also have a problem with the title.  "Reverend" is short for "revered one."  If there is one thing that I want to communicate through this post it is that I am just a guy like anyone else.  I am a sinner who desperately needs God's grace.  The only thing separating me from some others is that I have a better education in languages, history, and theology.  That does not give me magisterial authority.  It is possible that they would understand something that I do not.  The last thing I want is to be like the proud Pharisees who were sure of their own righteousness and the crowd's sinfulness.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Theology is not learned in the seminary. Theology is the life of the follower of Jesus, literate or illiterate, educated or uneducated.

Brother, do not be a professional. Be a lover of souls, and a servant of all, else you will die hard in your vaunted cloth.

Seek the better way, do not promote yourself or your ideas. Show them Jesus, and Him alone. Then stand aside and let Him save.

Jason said...

I think that there is great value in a seminary education. However, I also don't want to let learning get in the way of my relationship with the Lord. That has happened more than once in the past four years.

freedom said...

Great post and great blog:-)