Saturday, December 6, 2008

Experience rights?

Let me ask a series of questions:
Where does someone get the right to tell you how to take care of your kids, how to lead your family, how to conduct yourself in work, how to go about missions?
What kind of person should be teaching parents and teaching business men? What kind of person should be leading churches or preaching at pastors conferences.
What kind of person can critique wrong practices in the church or in the declaration of the gospel?
In other words we are asking when does SOMEONE EARN the RIGHT to teach others?
For some this is clear, they would immediately go to the gray-haired but is that right?
Does knowledge dwell with the old? Not at all to be disrespectful but this is not so, we must NOT put such contingencies on truth. We should be concerned primarily with 'is it true' not, 'who said it' WHY?
Because even the BEST of men, the best minds of the most holiest men are ALL at best puppets of God, their wisdom is NOT there own, they must be held to biblical accuracy. TEST ALL THINGS and then what? "hold fast to the good".
Consider What possibly David had to say in Psalm 119: 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.
He's saying he was wiser then the older, WHY? because he thought, studied, and meditated more than them (when they were doing other things, he was still pursing these truths), but also more than that he APPLIED (kept) more than they.
Consider what Elihu says at the end of discussion in Job:32: 6And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said: "I am young in years, and you are aged;therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you.7I said, 'Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.'8But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.9 It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.
In other words Elihu declares 'Wisdom is from the Lord', not gained through time or experience but solely by the Lord.
That to say this, the best marriage counselor is the biblical one. The best man to teach about child-rearing is man who knows what the scriptures say about such things. This is important to understand because there are no Masters of subjects, although we can also look and learn from those who have BOTH experience and truth.
Yet let this be forever before your thoughts: Never receive from a man who only has experience, imagine a father who has raised 10 children and they are all involved in the ministry, then you ask him about fathering and he tells you things that you KNOW are unbiblical and very secular advice; well then you politely REJECT his advice even though his children are walking with the Lord. WHY? Primarily because little does he understand, that God worked COMPLETELY in spite of him, and so his experience is worth a nickel.
Lastly NEVER reject a man because he doesn't have experience; does the testimony of scripture show primarily men who had EXPERIENCE? No it doesn't. For that man you must receive his teaching as any man and test it against the scriptures; if what he says seems too picture-perfect and you think to yourself 'that's cause he doesn't have experience' it's more likely that he's not as BIASED as the rest and is being TOO biblical.

2 comments:

Whodat

Someone isn't necessarily wise just because they are aged. But time and experience are two of God's frequently used tools to teach people wisdom.

You're right that godly children don't necessarily mean that the father is godly, but if we're going to recognize others and be recognized ourselves by the fruit we produce (Matthew 7:16-20), then I think that godly offspring is a good early-indicator.

People don't have to be perfect to be godly. I know several experienced, godly men who have a terrible bedside manner. At first I would get angry or annoyed with them when they made sweeping pronouncements or judgments toward me. After a while I realized that my irritation came because I wasn't confident in my own actions and decisions. It didn't mean that I was wrong and they were right. It just meant that I needed to search and review my own motivations and standards a little more and make sure that I knew why they were correct (or sometimes incorrect). Like you said, I needed to test all things. But I concerned myself less with testing the words of the aged, advice-giving "offender" so much as testing my own ways and beliefs.

I think the difference was that when I tested the words of others, I did it with an agenda -- trying to dispprove them from the start. This was motivated more by pride than by a desire to gain wisdom. When I turned it back on myself and questioned my own ways, I either gained conviction or confidence. Either way, I less frequently became annoyed at rebuke.

When I do decide that someone is wrong about me, I pray to God that He will help me esteem that person more highly than myself (Philippians 2:3). That's really hard for me to do because it's against my nature, but I think it's important as it helps protect me from my ever-present self-righteousness and arrogance.

Since I can't just force myself to change my view of others, I employ a little strategy to help me along while I'm waiting for God to change my heart: I frequently pray that God will bless the person that I look down upon more than He blesses me. It's painful at first, but it works for me.

~S

Julius Mickel

To better clarify what i was writing about. The question being where does authority come from? Scriptures. Some examples that were goin through my mind as i was writing were; A young minister who went to an older minster discouraged becuase he was to preach on marriage and he felt he couldn't do it (either just married, or single can't remember) well the Older Pastor told him; 'then i guess you better never preach about heaven' that's it! So he was making the point that if you had to perfect something or have experience: then the majority of ministers couldn't preach much. Another ex: I know of older men, even pastors that i've overheard say things like 'well i can't receive that from some young guy' or 'he's too young to know what he's talking about'.
That's NOT biblical, no way around it , that's UNBIBLICAL.
The second intention was to warn those who are very quick to receive counsel from someone older (or even because they are good friends, or a close relationship) that is dangerous: not even the best intentioned loved ones should be received without testing against scripture. It's humble to question, since humility is all about dependance on God (in this case His wisdom-so we lean not on our own understanding).
By the way Matt 7 is dealing with the fruit that comes with salvation (something guarenteed), indeed the whole sermon on the mount ultimately is dealing with TRUE and FALSE Christianity.
The 'norm' of godly parenting is good fruit within the children (i don't mean children that have parents who just happen to be Christians-but intentionally raising their children in the fear of God). Yet with that said: there are exceptions.
God bless you bro!

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