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Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.


Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

This verse is rather interesting. It suggests a couple of principles that are often overlooked in churches today.

1. Allowance for different views and levels of understanding.

2. The average Christian is not to be told what to believe, but to be engaged and convinced.

Modern denominations circle their wagons around doctrines of theology. The word "theology" worries me. The "study" (ology) of the subject of God (theo) seems a little irreverent in that it often implies a subject which can be mastered by study.

Theology is often the package of doctrines of a particular denomination. Often what is learned in seminary is the defense of these doctrines.

I prefer an approach to Bible study that maintains reverence, makes room for that which is not known, elevates truth over "being right", and maintains humility.

The Catholic church took the Greek form of the academy and gave us modern scholasticism. This elevates man as the judge and gave us such things as the so-called age of enlightenment and German rationalism that dessicated Christianity to such a point that many found it easy to move from Christianity to political progressivism 100-200 years ago.

I think the apprenticeship (Paul and Timothy) method of instruction has more value than the classroom / lecture method. Christianity was always intended to be relational. We have tried many ways to make Christianity into an organizational system, but it is not a good fit.

Christianity is "Christ in you the hope of glory", not the achievement of smart people.

Each Christian is supposed to be engaged in learning and evaluating what is true;

Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Hebrews 13:17a Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: (better translation = Stop resisting and allow yourselves to be persuaded by those you have chosen to follow)

The idea of an insular clergy whose professional function is the administration of Christianity may often be the reality we find today. However, the purpose of church leaders was always supposed to be helping each one of us become like Jesus;

Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

The view of a church leader as a priest or pastor who has achieved a high level of Christianity through study and natural ability seems at odds with what the Bible says.

I think there are many well intentioned people who study theology and becomes pastors and priests. However, I think all too often we are using the wrong tools and going in the wrong direction. I make this statement by using the Ephesians measurement standard. How many of us are really growing to be like Jesus?


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