Tag Archives: Pastor-Teacher

The Lego Analogy

I’ve embarked on a near impossible task.  I have about 7 gallons worth of mixed up Lego toys(thousands of pieces) and I’d like to put the sets back together and keep them apart from the miscellaneous Legos.  It’s rather daunting but will be worth it in the end(I think).  I was struck by the similarity between this task and learning doctrine.  Legos don’t come in big mostly assembled parts, they come in small individual mixed up parts.  In the same way, when we learn Bible doctrine, we learn one small thing at a time and before long as we put the small pieces together we see larger and larger portions of the bigger picture.  Whole doctrines become clear one small piece at a time.  Legos also come with instruction booklets which could be like the Pastor Teacher giving you each days set of  instructions “put parts a,b, and c with the previously constructed x,y, and z”.   It’s a loose analogy but a fun one just the same. 

We shouldn’t get discouraged by the slow growth or the small thing learned each day.  That is how we are supposed to grow. 

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Beware The False Colors

Beware the sweet, gentle, helpful individual in the local assembly who really only wants to “enlighten” you.  They didn’t come to your congregation to learn. They aren’t wholly focused on working out their own salvation.  They don’t really believe the Pastor Teacher has all the truth.  Sure he has pretty good doctrines( he’s missing the vital ones of course) and they are just waiting around for the opportunity to “teach” you something they think you are missing.  They truly believe that God has brought them to you or your congregation to give you “truth” and they think it’s noble, right, and their calling.  They think they can possibly get the Pastor Teacher to accept their doctrines given enough time and if that doesn’t work they will be available to teach and be so nice and sweet and have just enough truth to wheedle their way in to a leadership position(so they can give the real truth to at least some). Or maybe hold an outside Bible study where they can work on the weak and searching. Then after the damage is done they leave feeling martyred for having their “truth” make them unpopular, after-all God must be calling them somewhere else to share truth with all those who don’t have it like they do.   Beware! be on guard.  Watch out for this attack!

Don’t become this person. 

It’s never anyones job to be in a local assembly for any other purpose than to learn doctrine under their right Pastor Teacher and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.  If it is indeed their “right” Pastor Teacher the teaching will be challenging and their personal study based upon the Pastor’s Teaching wholly absorbing.  If you find yourself disagreeing with the Pastors doctrines you need to be absolutely certain you can back up your disagreement with scripture and then quietly leave.  We have absolutely no business being in a local assembly where we think we know more than the Pastor.  It is never ever our business what doctrines our fellow believers know or don’t know.  It is certainly not our job to fill the deficiency even if there is one. Where in the Bible are we commanded to fix doctrines in someone Else’s congregation? Each believer in the local assembly is accountable to God for their own knowledge of Him and God will only expand that knowledge through the teaching of Bible doctrine under the filling of the Holy Spirit by their Right Pastor Teacher not Mr. or Mrs. congregational member(no matter how knowledgeable or gifted in teaching).  I’m not saying that God can’t show you something through a friend, encourage you or have the doctrines you know echoed or expounded upon, or help to get a point across to you by another believer but when it comes to learning doctrines and being grounded in truth, or fixing doctrinal deficiency, that is the Pastor’s Job.  If you are in the plan of God your face will be pressed forward like flint and you will be barely aware of anyone but you and God in the local assembly when it comes to teaching.  After the teaching there is room for fellowship and service but don’t forget to mind your own damn business and if you just can’t help trying to “teach” everyone what they lack.  Get your own damn church and leave everyone Else’s alone! 

We are free to share doctrine with anyone and hope for others to know it (friends, family,acquaintances, co-workers etc) but not to go into a local assembly with that purpose unless we are the Pastor Teacher of that local assembly.  If teaching corrected doctrine is necessary in a local assembly you are a part of… then you shouldn’t even be there.  It’s not your right Pastor or the place God wants you to be. 

I’ve seen this first hand and been confused by the sweet personality and sincere intentions and that is why I decided to write about it.  It only recently became clear to me as “false colors”  and worse. 

I don’t want anyone to confuse what I’m saying with helping each other, encouragement, and sharing doctrine with all those around us in our everyday life whenever possible.  Or having a discussion about doctrines with other members of our congregation and learning something from them.  Or giving advice when asked.  Hopefully what I was trying to say is clear.  Don’t subvert the Pastor’s authority in ANY local assembly(good or bad) by your arrogance and good intentions.  Go forward in the plan of God being taught

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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Learning to Sit Walk and Stand Part 3

Sit Walk and Stand was the theme of this last year’s Bible conferences all over the country.  The lessons were inspired by a Christian writer named Watchman Nee.  Conferences are a really great time to be with other believers and listen face to face from our Pastor Teacher since so many of us listen through the internet.  It’s also a time where we get to focus for a brief time on a single subject apart from our regular lessons.  We weren’t studying Watchman Nee specifically but our lessons were inspired by the subject of Sitting, Walking and Standing as it relates to the Christian way of life. 

I love my “Sit”.  I love to go to Bible class.  I love to learn the Word of God.  I just want to learn more and more.  There is more to the Christian “Sit” than that but I’m just going to touch on intake.  Everything about the spiritual life begins with the intake of God’s word and  a right thing must be done in a right way.  God has give the Pastor Teacher a special gift for digging into the Bible and extracting the truth in such a way that it can be clearly taught and then easily absorbed by the believer.  By all means we can pick up a Bible and learn for ourselves but I believe without a doubt, after years of doing that exact thing that I was crippled in my ability to gain a full understanding without the gift of the Pastor Teacher. Though I went to church, I did not believe that I needed any man to teach me.  Plus how was I going to be able to avoid being deceived by a false teacher if I didn’t learn it all for myself.  I didn’t know at the time about my own sick head and deceitful heart.  When I was first approached with this idea of a “right” Pastor Teacher.  I balked.  I struggled.  I got mad.  I wasn’t going to trust some man to have the truth that I did not.   I was new to Bible Doctrine teaching at the time and the doors of my soul were flying open with what I was learning.  It was like I had been dying of thirst and I didn’t know it or starving to be more precise.  I was being fed and based on that and a lot of questions, my friend Karen was able to talk me down from my mistrust of a Pastor Teacher.  I trusted that the Lord would show me if it was really Biblical or not and He did.  Sometime later, I realized that I had been saying to the Pastor Teacher “I have no need of you” as per 1Corinthians 12:18-21.   The gift the Pastor Teacher has to gain insight into the word of God is a gift from God the Holy Spirit to the body of Christ, the Church, made up of believers.  God the Holy Spirit uses the Pastor Teacher’s gift to give the fullest understanding of the word to those he is assigned to teach.  If you cut yourself off from the gift of Pastor Teacher or go seeking a teacher of your own desire, you are now limited.  You have excluded yourself from the insight the Holy Spirit has given to the Pastor Teacher you have been assigned to.  So you try and fill that void with your own human IQ and study alone.   Subsequently your own gift becomes inoperable because it is tied into a full understanding of what the Spirit is teaching.  Sure, you may do many “good” works but they will be your own and not from God.  Not the ones He has prepared for you.  You will become frustrated, weak and weary. 

It is not hard to sit and listen daily.  It is not hard to rebound (1John1:9) and have the Holy Spirit in charge of your thinking and filling your soul with doctrine.  The “Sit” is restful.  The sit takes humility to sit under a prepared teacher and receive.  It takes concentration and then sometimes it takes a little effort to check out what the Pastor has said.  It’s not a blind following of the teacher.  My teacher is very good and lays all the information out so that you can go and make sure it is backed up by scripture and the original languages.  I very rarely have a question anymore because the teaching is very clear to me. 

I think that is all I have to say for now on the subject of “sitting” in the Christian way of life.  For more on the subject of Pastor Teachers  you can go to www.gbible.org and do a search.  I also reccommend a blog post by my friend Karen on that subject which you can check out here: http://karenhancock.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/eusebeia/

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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Learning To Sit,Walk and Stand Part 1

Sharing my Bible Doctrine experiences with the world is a trepidatious path.  As I was discussing with a friend last night, most of it is failure and embarrassment.  Generally it’s only after a lot of failure that I succeed at any application at all.  I think though that there might be some value in being an open book.  I suppose it is a way of laying down your life – so to speak.  Plus failure and embarrassment are only failure and embarrasment if you stay there.  Once you lay that aside it begins to be success. 

Success has actually been a theme in our recent Bible lessons.  I don’t think I can embark on this discussion of Sit Walk and Stand without first touching on the subject of success.  We as believers, especially doctrinal believers are hyper focused on success I think.  The truth is amazing and as you receive it, your understanding about the Spiritual Life broadens.  You learn how knowing God through His word sets you apart.  You have the opportunity to solve problems and think the way God does.  You also learn that with all that opportunity comes great responsibility.  You might actually end up a losing believer(not receiving all your rewards) through hearing the word of God, understanding it and then not applying it.  The warning is valid it comes right from God.  If we can succeed then we can also lose out.  So success and failure become a focal point.  We were focusing on learning God’s word, knowing Him, and living out that relationship through application but now we are hyper focused on our failures, just certain that they will rob us of success. 

I think as we get our eyes off the Lord and onto our performance (or lack there of) we miss the point of the warning.  We don’t really understand what the failure is that leads to a wasted life.  Likewise we misunderstand success. 

 At this point it gets a little sticky because I can only express what I understand about these things and I cannot give anyone the doctrine they must learn for themselves and I am fairly certain I don’t have it mastered or I wouldn’t be struggling with this issue almost daily. 

What I understand about failure is that I will fail a lot and failures can be turned into success through rebound (1 John 1:9).  True failure that leads to a wasted life is abandonment of God’s Word given through my right Pastor Teacher.  Failure is also hearing that same Word of God and becoming so apathetic or familiar towards it that application no longer matters.  I hear and understand but I refuse to apply. Stubbornness.  

So If I fail to apply am I a loser?  No, not necessarily, because who doesn’t fail to apply often.  Everyone fails.  It’s only the person who will not apply and will not rebound(1 John 1:9) who ends up in true failure.  Failing and confessing the failure to the Father leads to success through His ability to transform your thinking. 

What I understand about success is that if you never quit and you go forward no matter how much you fail, you will succeed.  You will be a winner and recieve the blessings that God has already assigned to you for time and eternity.  The greatest of those blessings I believe to be the intimate personal relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit whom you have glorified and who’s essence has been portrayed by your life.  When life becomes all about Christ in you and you in Him, that is the ultimate success.  All the other blessings of life mean nothing if someday I don’t have that in fullest measure.

So obviously I want to succeed.  I believe it is possible and promised.  Sinless perfection isn’t even a requirement, only positive volition. 

As I share things about my life that seem more like sitting, stumbling and crawling than sitting, walking and standing.  I think it helps to consider what the real goal of the Spiritual life is all about. 

A quote from Bible class  “Success usually occurs in private but failure in full public view”

Keep Sailing,
Mary

 

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Change of Command?

Bible

Concern over my Pastor Teacher’s health and well being recently led me to consider what doctrines were really in my soul about that subject.  Would I know when I should need a new Pastor Teacher?  Was perseverance the right course of action at the present time?  

Thankfully these questions were answered shortly after I wrote this but I wanted to share it anyway. 

What is Bible Doctrine all about?  Where in the scale of importance does the “right” Pastor Teacher fall?  Is it the main issue in Bible Doctrine?  My understanding is that positive volition is the main issue in Bible Doctrine.  My “right” Pastor Teacher is not really MY issue at all.  The Pastor Teacher is a grace gift from God and as such it doesn’t really have anything to do with me, or my personal choice.   It can seem in the current situation as if there is a list of voices and I should maybe pick from those voices the one that I might “think” is my “right” Pastor Teacher.  It sounds reasonable but I think it’s a deception, I think it’s a tool of confusion in the hands of the kingdom of darkness.  Nothing gets me more confused than too many choices.  God is not in a hurry, no, God is NEVER in a hurry.  He isn’t worried or concerned about anything.  He has a perfect plan.  My issue is Positive volition so I’m going to go forward with my positive volition and have absolute confidence that when I need a different “right” Pastor Teacher, which I may or may not, He will make it certain and clear and I won’t have had to do a thing except be positive to the word of God. 

 

  I have seen people reject the right Pastor Teacher doctrine and I have seen the shipwreck of their spiritual lives.  I believe it to be a very important doctrine and right up at the top of the scale of importance.  I also believe that one needs to have confidence in the timing and faithfulness of God, confidence in waiting on Him and not rushing out to do it all right.  I may go in the wrong direction at times, I may feel disturbed and uncertain but I am never ever to be in doubt of who holds me in the palm of His hand.  He can turn every curse into a blessing every wrong direction into a scenic route on the way to maturity.  I am NOT lost though I may feel it at times.The way is narrow but I don’t have to find it by myself.  There is only one man to follow and that makes it easy.  Be positive towards The Lord Jesus Christ.  Love the brethren.  Endure.  Believe what you can’t see.  Be very strong and courageous…

 

Sometimes we have thought the spiritual battle was only something the Kingdom of Darkness was playing at.  Sometimes we haven’t believed they are really trying to destroy us.  On the battle field the fallen soldier is never left behind, never scorned or derided for getting wounded or killed.  No matter his condition his fellow soldiers go into the fire and get him even if it’s only the body left.  Those on the front lines take the greatest risk and the highest casualties.  Those who have poured out their lives for us deserve honor and respect.  It’s only those who wouldn’t go to the front, who ran from the battle before it began that get the scorn and punishment they deserve.  We may be proud of those who have fought and served and were wounded in battle.  We must also continue in the battle ourselves and fight on without dwelling on our fallen.  If we fall to despair we are not useful.  And a good soldier is mindful of the purpose of the war and whom they fight for.  Don’t be afraid to hold your ground and don’t ever forget that the enemy is not trying to annoy you; he’s trying to destroy you.  Stand firm.  

 New orders will be handed down at the proper time.  Until then we must always tune out the shouts and taunts of the enemy.  Their shadows and illusions must be ignored. 

 Psalm 7:8 “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.  Though I fall I will rise, though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.” 

2 Cor. 11:3 “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from simplicity and devotion to Christ”

 “Life is not a bowl of cherries.  Sometimes the spiritual life is the pits.  Just keep listening.”  Pastor Joe

 These are exciting times,

Keep Sailing,

Mary

 

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