Education Out Of Christ
The Apostles, Peter and John, were “unlearned and ignorant men.”
We know this from Acts 4:13. However, what they did know was Christ. Some of the gathering perceived their strength, that they did know Christ, and listened to them preach the Gospel.
Now if we examine contemporary circumstances, WE WOULD FIND IT EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. The liberals and others leading the church often have little or no knowledge of Christ but know a great deal about everything else. A great deal about everything else is what has comprised their education.
Let us face the situation in a decadent society and a decadent church. Many leaders of Christianity and members of churches have been educated OUT OF CHRIST. Then they come back to the churches and cannot give what the people and the churches need most: CHRIST. If there be no Christ, why have a Christian church? Call it something else and let the do-gooders and organization bureaucrats go about their business. They can then be honest people who make money off bureaucracies or enjoy patronizing others.
What we need to face about the too liberal is that they have been educated out of Christ. So what good are they in the churches? They don't know what they need to know in a Christian church: Christ.
Instead we have overeducated Apostles and PH.D. disciples, which is acceptable but largely secondary. What is needed primarily in the Christian Church is Christ. But liberals have been educated out of Christ. The God they then offer is not the wine of the Spirit but a diluted Christianity. Water has been substituted for wine. Their religion, which is often only a hand me down, has been watered down in secular schools.
I would then suggest that you consider if Christianity has not been tamed into insignificance by a false education. Liberal minds are often sick on doubt so they lack the ability to be spiritually and physically whole. They are made fools of by pseudo-scientific skepticism so their lives cannot be filled with grace.
The leadership of the churches is often in the hands and minds of people who have not Christ. They preach political irrelevancies and social modalities. But they do not preach the sum and substance that makes all fall into place. That is Christ.
The credentials of the Apostles, Peter and John, were that they knew Christ. They had known Jesus in the flesh and spirit whereas we know Him only in the Spirit. But He is there to be claimed by all peoples. Every person should know Christ and have a uniquely producing relationship with Him.
I tell you the heroes of the Protestant Christian churches by denominations are the Church of God, the Assemblies of God, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Churches of Christ, Biblical Baptists, Believers’ Churches, conservative Presbyterians and all those churches aiming for a Biblically based religion and a New Testament faith.
It is the blessing of these churches that they have tried to keep the Biblical faith. They emphasize schooling in Christ, not education out of Christ. Their preachers and ministers have not been tamed into spiritual insignificance by a secular education.
Do you want your churches to be ministered to by those educated out of Christ? That is so in England in the Anglican Church where a vicar who says he does not believe in God holds a parish. There a spiritually insignificant parson mocks church. But everyone, seemingly equally educated out of Christ, in the parish seems to be satisfied.
It is possible I might have been yet another secular dime-a-dozen liberal preacher of a diluted faith. I might have been another liberal wash-out with diluted faith or no religion. But God spared me that. I give Him praise.
I am fortunate through grace to have been visited by the spiritual presence of God. I realized then that I had been graced by God that my faith might not fall into spiritual insignificance. (Many have had a sense of the presence of God so I do not brag. But then I knew for sure God was.)
My visitation of grace is not the only reason I believe in God. Other reasons exist, but I felt the spiritual presence of God was an approval of faith. It was epiphany for me, a grace filled manifestation of God. Many have had such epiphanies.
If you want an experience of God, I advise you to well consider that desire since an awareness of God’s presence comes with serious obligations attached. To be blessed with light means spreading light. To have grace shine on you means you reflect grace on others. You must shine for others. You should live in the Spirit that others in grace may recognize grace.
Because of my obligation to God for the benefits of life and grace extended to me, I have made an effort to give back to Him. My religious writings can be found free of cost on this website put there by the foundation. I wanted no money for spiritual insights
My apostolate has been like Paul’s who paid his own way by tent making. I have not only written and preached but aided “block” churches (living room gatherings by people on the block) and “prayer houses.” (Houses used as meeting houses in neighborhoods too far from formal services. In the Old Days these were often referred to as “chapels of ease” because they were easy to get to.) I have serviced regular churches without pay and sometimes with pay. I have made an effort to respond to grace.
But no effort is ever great enough for God. Yet I desired to make an effort for Christ. The grace to give comes from God. But don’t think God gives and you walk away. To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)
Because grace must be answered by grace, and grace propels grace, and grace (like a magnet) attracts grace, consider if you are ready for a special grace! Might you even want a special grace?
Likewise a blessing is whatever brings you nearer to God. Do you really want something that will draw you nearer to God, given the irony of circumstance? Remember the words of the older hymn, “Nearer, My God To Thee.” Do you really want to be nearer to God, even though it be a cross that raiseth thee? God’s blessings are often sowed in irony.
You may say you want grace to shine on you, but, provided it materializes, such as in an awareness of God, or some other special way, are you prepared for the obligation grace entails?
The question that commonly lies before us all is: When and where does God wish to use us to His glory. When God is ready grace falls. But if grace falls, are we really ready for what grace, the unmerited favor of God, entails?
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.