Would you rather have degree in theology or understanding of God word through the Holy Spirit?
For myself I have no need nor desire for a degree in theology that is obtained from some university. Understanding and learning the word of God through personal study with the guidence of the Holy Spirit is and always will be enough for me. Studying the Bible in an unending task that I much enjoy.
A degree in theology may be helpful to teach others about God without knowing a miniscule of what God is all about in experience!
I totally agree grace. Praying for guidance from the Holy spirit before studying my bible is worth more to me than a degree hanging on the wall. Although a degree in theology would be nice to have. God can open our eyes to those things not even someone with a degree would understand. Great question my friend!
a degree in theology and $3 will get you a cup of coffee most anywhere or a job in most churches of men.(depending on how prestigious your degree is) It will also indoctrinate you with the beliefs of the particular group that owns the college .
My bible tells me there is only one way to receive ALL truth and that is by being baptized in the Holy Spirit and having HIM interpret scripture for you as YOU study.
And I choose to do things God;s way not the way of man.
One thing I learned early on that He will show you depths of meaning in scripture that make it even more enjoyable and bring you closer to Him. and He will continue to open up His word to you, the more you learn of Him the more He gives you. No man or school can take the place of the Spirit of God (Jesus).
Men want you to have a degree to control what you believe and teach. Also as a badge to show how informed their "church"is.
Also They do not want you to change as God does and discourage allowing the Holy Spirit to run the meetings in their "churches" because it may upset their plans and dreams for their "church program".
God wants you to know, understand and walk with HIM and needs no badges because He looks at your heart and knows you intimately.
And He wants to control what you believe and teach instead of letting man do it. after all He IS God.
I have no desire for theology, I desire a living open relationship with God and His understand of everything.
celafoe- As I mentioned above I do prefer peraonal study of God word over sitting in a class room to earn a degree in theology. To me it allows for a more personal relationship with our Father. Thanks for your answer.
If you wanted to preach, do you do it because you paid for a man-made diploma, or do you preach because the Holy Spirit lead you? That is why what you hear from the pulpit is lead by a salaried man for a price, not the Holy Spirit for free.
PandN- I don't know if your question is for me or not, but if I had the chance to stand up and preach I would do so just for the sheer joy of spreading the gospel of the Kingdom of God. To take money for it would be insulting. Thanks PandN.
Amen i have never been paid in 40 yrs of ministry around the world.
I am a bond slave not a hireling.
You both get it. It is not about us and our credentials to wave in front of man, but it is about glorifying His name ALWAYS. We are to count the cost, not require cost. The credentialed hirelings of man-made tradition do not understand Matt 7:23.
Wait a second are you three saying a man cannot have a degree, certificate of Baptism, acknowledgement of a position in a congregation, teach in a Christian school for pay ------- And study the Bible with the Holy Spirit as guide?
I dont study with the Holy Spirit as a guide so I dont know. I study with the Holy Spirit as my interpreter. i do not have a BC, have taught and led but never been paid so I dont know. Possible? -- maybe
Eric- What I am saying is I don't need a degree, certificate, a position or to be paid in order to spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Another great question from the master of questions. I have a degree in Philosophy and we covered much theology. Getting the degree was a good lesson in hard work and dedication to a goal. Getting the degree as a BS instead of a BA helped greatly in developing logical thought. Studying in depth many world religions was helpful to understand the difference between love/faith and religion. My Lay Eucharistic Minister II service likewise helped me learn much of man's ideas regarding churches.
So my perspective since I have both paths answers your question in the reverse. I try to get what I have learned from both and give it away everyday. As you so deftly end your question statement. "Studying the bible is an never ending task that I much enjoy".
I suppose that we can speak of "having" many paths to understanding, yet "we" do not have them at all. When I challenged my heart as to why God would lend me the knowledge that came from getting a degree the answer was clear: Christ did not seek monks as his disciples but rather a tax collector. The importance of the degree is as Paul teaches, "we must be all things to all people".
My training helped me relate to a priest just 4 Sundays ago. And in that discussion he agreed to more time for Bible study and singing and less time on sermons. Maybe that was the reasons for my degree, and maybe in our small gathering it may change enough for some to follow the great example you set and be free from religion and closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Eric- Whatever degree you may currently have I sure you feel the personal study is by far Most enjoyable and have far greater spiritual benifits. I'm sure that you find bible study more personal a enjoyable. Many thanks for your answer.
Yes, Brother Graceinus. We say the same thing. Indeed this last statement of yours is very pertinent. Higher thoughts to you.
There is the Mind, my brother, and then again there is the heart. The nature of the mind is to analyse, to separate, to chop things up. It never settles one place and moves around like a drunken monkey. Scholarship, intellect and even biblical study can walk along this road. Then there is the Heart ...
The heart is a brother to humanity. It is spontaneous, loves to identify and become one, it is as innocent and as pure as a child. It sees only 'we' and 'ours', while the mind sees 'me' and 'mine'. What follows through Grace and Compassion is of the heart and not the mind. They are inner experiences. Such is the nature of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and are infinitely superior to the mind. They can go together, as with St. Francis or St. Augustine, Paul and many others, but the presence of the spirit is essentially an experience of the heart and will slowly transform our lower nature.
Mental things, like a good football game or a political discussion, are mentally discerned. The Holy Spirit requires receptivity and gratitude as well as purity ... and is an experience from God. There is no compassion with the satisfaction of the intellect here. They are different things. Still, it is the flow of the Spirit which will guide the destiny of man, whether to be an intellectual, an altruist or a philanthropher, God has set His purpose for every man. All things have their uses, the key is to begin with the Source and go from there, for only then will we experience life's true purpose. Without God we simply do not exist.
you have confused me, what does all that mean to the question at hand?
manatita44- I think what you are saying is where our hearts lead are minds will follow in what ever God has for us to do in life. The spirit of the heart leading us towards grace and compassion from God. Can you give bible reference to this? Thanks
Yes, my brother, good attempt. The Holy Spirit is direct experience, while learning and study such as theology is of the mind. Still, the mango knows that its root is vital. In the same way, Grace influences all else. 2cor12:9,13-14;Eph2:8-9.Many mor
manatita44- I believe the Holy Spirit provides understauding of God's word as we study it. Our spirit within receives this understanding from the Holy Spirit. In turn, provide food to our soul (mind). This is what provides our relationship with God.
As usual, I have a parallel that may be appropriate here.
I am a recovering alcoholic. For 35 years, I read books, watched movies, listened to lectures and even facilitated some groups with my ex-wife on drug and alcohol abuse. I probably had the equivalent knowledge of a college degree. But all that knowledge didn't keep me sober because I didn't apply any of it to my own life. In other words, a degree on a wall will nor keep someone sober. Until I allowed myself to listen to other people that knew, by experience, and had recovered, I stayed drunk. I got sober by their word. By trying to apply what worked for them into my life. It worked. We have a saying that goes, " You have to give it away to keep it." That keeps me sober.
I believe a spiritual life can work the same way. If you can share with others how your peace and serenity by your faith in God has made your life a wonderful thing, you are spreading a word that can't be found in any book and no shingle on the wall can convey. A certificate does nothing but be a certificate. But a true, heartfelt story of your experience in God, can go a long way.
Theology is fact and knowledge. Understanding God's word is faith and hope. I ask myself, "Which one of those choices give me a better chance of making it to heaven?" The answer is quite obvious. Thank You for the opportunity to re-evaluate my own priorities.
IDONO, that is just about beautiful,,, ah hell it is! This comment is in my mind and will ride the journey with me. Just awesome friend. Merci Beau Coup.
IDONO- God grace will not be found hanging on one's wall. It is found in the depth of one's heart . Thank you for sharing.
Both the degree in theology and the holy spirit is good to have. Thanks God.If you have the holy spirit guide you trough life. It is a blessing. The reading and the knoledge you get trough education is part of the blessing.
erorantes- Thank you for your comment. For some a degree in theology is important to them. I, personally, have no need for it. Again thank you.
How do you know that without one? You do not know what higher level of knowing God you may receive.
Eric- Are you suggesting that a person who has a degree is theology knows God better than someone who does not have a degree? I am merely saying I don't need it. Thanks
That is kind of the point --- but let me put it this way: Happy man says he does not need God. You cool with that? Man filled with spirit says he does not need more education, You cool with that? Between the two Spirit. But both are better.
Well Eric, I guess there are some points you and I will continue to disagree on. But I also continue to look forward to your answers and comments. Thanks Eric.
We are Graced to live in such peace. You are a fine Theology professor!
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