Seminary, Respect For The Ministry Of Others
Pastor Brady Williams wrote a very interesting response to a previous article titled “Should We Go To Seminary.”
He wrote in part:
…There is a problem I have seen for a long time that needs to be addressed. I hope you don’t mind that I am slightly off subject but why is it that most, and I say most because I do not feel this spirit from you or anyone I have read concerning this subject. But of a truth I have seen a disdain for the faithful in the spirit of seminary-trained preachers. Why is it that a seminary-trained preachers cannot respect a non-seminary trained preacher? Consequently a seminary-trained preacher cannot respect anyone who has not had similar types of worldly training. What’s wrong with this picture? Do we truly understand what the Pharisees represented in the Lord Jesus’ day? What has happened to the church?
All I can say is “ouch.” I don’t’ know about you, but I have seen exactly as the brother wrote. I have seen people’s ministry belittled and questioned because they went to seminary and I have seen the same thing happen to those who did not. Even if we value and believe that most should go there, we must allow for the possibility that God has other ways of training that may not be the ones that we think are appropriate. I have talked to people who have had a ministry placed on their hearts and neither the finances or their situation allows for them to get to seminary. Some might argue that professional ministry should not be open to them just like they couldn’t be a doctor or a lawyer without the training required by the state.
Which brings up another issue that comes up from time to time is the comparison of Preachers to Doctors and Lawyers. The sentiment is that Doctors have to go to school why not preachers. Well it is true that Doctors have to go to school, but those are not the only professionals. For example, in Computer Programming you commonly have people with other degrees and some with no degrees at all working side by side. There are other professions like Sales that require some training but not always formal training in a school.
In any case, whether in a formal seminary or somewhere else, you do need some training, but I always recoil from any suggestion that one size always fits all. Thank you for all of your comments…