THE KIND OF SCHOOL I WOULD LIKE TO SEE...
Once upon a time, accidentally, I became a student at the Faith Mission Bible College Edinburgh. I didn't agree with them on everything. Especially on the idea that it's OK for women to be ministers, as the Bible plainly forbids it:
"BUT I SUFFER NOT A WOMAN TO TEACH, NOR TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER THE MAN, BUT TO BE IN SILENCE." (1Timothy 2:12).
I can never understand it when people claim to believe the whole Bible and then proceed nonchalantly to ignore the parts which don't agree with their pet notions. It's precisely this attitude which causes all the problems in the church. What hope can there be if even basic honesty is lacking?
There were things though, that I did agree with. The clip which I have attached above, was taken during an element of the course which was called Communication Skills. I found this to be the best part of the course. The reason I found it to be the best part is because it was absolutely practical. Practical in that all that it consisted of was training, and then each of us in turn getting up in front of the others and preaching. We would then be assessed by the lecturer and our peers. We would be scored on all the various elements of the exercise, like voice projection, clarity, emphasis, pronunciation, body language and so on.
The method which the established churches ordinarily use for appointing ministers, in my opinion, is deeply flawed. Whatever else they do, the lion's share of the emphasis is squarely placed upon academic qualification - instead of practical ability. If you don't have this magic wand of education, all else is null and void. Never mind that the Bible tells us plainly:
"...NOT MANY WISE MEN AFTER THE FLESH, NOT MANY MIGHTY, NOT MANY NOBLE, ARE CALLED: BUT GOD HATH CHOSEN THE FOOLISH THINGS OF THE WORLD TO CONFOUND THE WISE; AND GOD HATH CHOSEN THE WEAK THINGS OF THE WORLD TO CONFOUND THE THINGS WHICH ARE MIGHTY; AND BASE THINGS OF THE WORLD, AND THINGS WHICH ARE DESPISED, HATH GOD CHOSEN, YEA, AND THINGS WHICH ARE NOT, TO BRING TO NOUGHT THINGS THAT ARE: THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE." (1 Corinthians 1: 26 - 29).
Nowhere in holy scripture is it even implied that ministers ought to be educated. On the contrary we have the above. And before anyone mentions the apostle Paul, I would point out that he was the exception, not the rule. And let us not forget this:
"NOW WHEN THEY SAW THE BOLDNESS OF PETER AND JOHN, AND PERCEIVED THAT THEY WERE UNLEARNED AND IGNORANT MEN, THEY MARVELLED; AND THEY TOOK KNOWLEDGE OF THEM, THAT THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS." (Acts 4: 13).
John Bunyan is a case in point. The following is reportedly true:
John Owen, probably the most prominent and respected academic leader of Bunyan's own era, once went to hear Bunyan preach. Charles II, hearing of it, asked the learned doctor of divinity why someone as thoroughly educated as he would want to hear a mere tinker preach. Owen replied, "May it please your majesty, if I could possess the tinker's abilities to grip men's hearts, I would gladly give in exchange all my learning."
Way back, in the dim and distant past, close to 2 thousand years ago, a small Christian community was set up on the remote Scottish island of Iona. Before the Pope through his usual guile and cunning managed to enslave them, it was a spiritually prosperous and self-sufficient college/school of the Bible which sent many missionaries to all parts of the known world. We can be confident that they were greatly used of God. And there was no such thing as "academic qualification".
Though, I stress, I am not saying we shouldn't have it, I am merely saying a high attainment of it must not be a requirement.
The established churches in our day have long since been holed below the waterline and are, like the band on the Titanic, continuing to play; but the Lord is not blessing it.
Because they are ignoring scripture.
What I would like to see is a truly independent (independent of denominations), practically-based school of preaching, open to any man, which doesn't force opinions on anyone, but simply exalts the Bible, has no exams, but simply assesses each man on practical merit alone.
All it would require would be a few like-minded Christians to come together.
Then get in touch.