Monday, January 30, 2006

Prayer Request

Dear friends,

The Lord has stirred my heart. I am cancelling my courses as of today and will not be attending university any longer. The Lord Jesus has called my life into full time ministry, to the preaching of the Word and to prayer. I feel incredibly burdened by the condition of things, in the Church and in the world, and I feel now the time is short. Your prayers for me will be utterly appreciated and encouraging. There is so much work to be done, I'm not sure exactly where to begin, but I know the Lord is leading me and His will shall be done. I remember a Scripture that was laid on my heart a few years ago: "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39)

Lord willing, my time will be spent in preaching the Word, as much as possible, even daily on the streets as the weather permits. I will still spend a considerable amount of time using this website as a means to speak and keep people updated. I hope to do some travelling as the Lord permits, to different churches, or campuses spreading the Bible message, and also will be giving myself to prayer. All help would be happily accepted. On Thursday nights there is a prayer meeting which is now only three people, but I want to see it grow and see people praying for our city and for revival. Contact me about it if you desire to come to pray.

In all these things we are more than conquerors! God bless you brothers and sisters, and may the name of Jesus Christ be magnified in and through us! Blessed be the name of the Lord.

For Jesus Christ my Lord,
-Eli

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heavenly Father,
May Your Name be Hallowed in Eli's life. May Your Kingdom come in his life and through Your Word in his heart and in his mouth. May Your Kingdom come more and more in His family, in his neighbourhood, in the hearts and lives of the people of Fredericton...and Your Will be done in all this as it is in Your Presence, in Heaven! Give Eli daily what he needs from Your Word (Bread of Life) and Spirit (Living Water and Anointing Oil...) and also his daily food, health, provisions, wisdom, good relationships with family, friends, and mentors and mentees... Father, keep his heart clean and pure before you; help him to be forgiving toward everyone; keep him blameless; keep him from temptation and deliver him from the evil one! Yours is the Kingdom! Yours the Power! Yours the Glory! Forever and ever! Thank you for making us Your children through Your Grace and through Faith in Your Son, Yeshua, because of the blood He shed in our place, Amen.

Anonymous said...

How do you expect to get hired in full-time ministry without post-secondary education?

Shiloh*~ said...

Peter and John didn't have institutional post-secondary education, and they were full-time preachers of the gospel and disciple-makers, as far as I can tell. Paul did work to support his ministry at times (Acts 18:1-4). Even then, he was engrossed in preaching the Good News!

Micah and Katie said...

Hey Eli,

Micah and I want you to know that we will be praying for you as you walk in a new direction! We love you brother

Anonymous said...

I'm simply going to reiterate my point from my last post. A person who is seeking a job in full-time ministry (especially a pastoral role, as Eli, who describes himself as an "aspiring preacher," seems to want to have one day) would be VERY hard-pressed to find such a position without some form of post-secondary education. Its that simple.

Now, it depends what it meant by "going into full time ministry." To have a job flipping burgers and preach in the streets during one's spare time is one thing. But most people would say that going into full-time ministry means having some sort of job in ministry that pays money (i.e., a pastor). If this is what is meant, and I got the impression that it is, then that will almost certainly require some form of post-secondary education.

The comment about Peter and John not having post-secondary education is irrelevant. They were God-chosen apostles. They can be excepted. If Eli is the 14th apostle, then I rest my case (and, of course, I mean no offense by that remark). However, I will end by pointing out that Paul was an EXTREMELY educated man.

PS: The aim of my posts is not to discourage or offend or mock, but rather to offer some common sense and a dose of reality to the situation.

Angela said...

Actually, I believe if God has given you the gift of teaching, then he will bless you for using it. Many churches are started with one very gifted leader who has a heart for sinners.

I applaud you for your faith and your passion Eli. Remember that the church is really a place where two or three gather in His name.

(By the way, if you're wondering who I am, I'm Luke's sister!)

Anonymous said...

I agree completly with the 'annoymous' writer earlier on. Education is essential for anyone who is preaching the word whether it be professionally or part time. None of us can deny that we study to "show ourselves approved" and to know God's word in depth. Each of us consults commentaries and asks others for opinions relating to scripture. Every one of us listens to other pastors and learns from them. Everyone of us needs education. The reason I stand so firm for a post secondary education for preachers is that they can often times just get it wrong. Hermeneutical errors have lead people astray for centuries and usually by people who had great intentions but just didn't know the context to which the passage of scripture was written. It would be somewhat niave for any one of us to say that our teaching rests completely on the "annointing" of the Holy Spirit. I do believe that he does gift us with teaching, but he also creates arena for us to harvest that gift and to excel at it over time. No preacher will ever tell you that he or she was flawless from the get go because of an annointing. Post secondary education will always enhance your ministry and help you learn to preform exegetical commentaries properly. Needless to say, every successful preacher (from Paul to Billy Graham) has had training and teaching so that they might interpret scripture properly. It's not just to get a piece of paper but to educate one on how to walk on his own knowledgably.

Ben Peterson said...

After reading these comments, I see a certain polarization in the comments. There are those who are saying “go get’em Eli”, and others being more reserved and “cautious”.
I will attempt a middle ground. As one who has been in a position of “full time ministry” without a salary for 3 years now, I can say “yes, go for it”. I do not have a post-secondary degree. I left that world after one year because I didn’t have a clear call to stay. We all have a clear call to GO. It is a universal calling (Mark 16:15). So I went. So for the last few years I have been learning in the classroom of life, and gaining experience by doing. However, to bring balance, I admit that there are times that I wish I had better training. The privilege of education is not one to be despised. I greatly admire those who stick through years of university for something they are passionate about.
I have found, in my experience, that getting away from the education world can help us clear our minds. After 4 years out, I’m beginning to refine my interest, and discover passions. I am considering going back to school soon to become better at what I do.
So to wrap things up….Eli, do what you feel God is calling you into, but if you need special training to better serve him, don’t hesitate to get that as well. Gotta fly. sorry about the length.

Ricky Earle said...

I finished listening to the 2 messages "Wisdom for
Youth" by Eli on Saturday and Sunday (Jan 28 & 29) and as I did I just had in my heart the question "Why are
at a secular school?" I never would have said a word to you, then when I
read your site today I was blown away by your decision to no longer attend university. May our Lord Jesus Christ guide and direct your paths and may you be obedient to the Spirit.

In response to earlier posts,
not every successful preacher has post secondary education. As well, many preachers do have post secondary theology degrees and doctorates and they clearly preach and teach doctrines of devils, not of Christ and the Bible. So it cannot be said that those with training in ministry will heed according to the Bible.

We need more street preachers in Canada, no question. The contemporary church and the current methods are not reaching sinners. Eli and others need to be encouraged, exhorted, and prayed for immensely as they go to preach in the open air. Open air preaching (which is so much the biblical method, that I believe the church is grieviously sinning by not doing it) is not something you will learn in seminary. Bear in mind that the word preach in the orignial Greek means "to herald as a public crier". So when Jesus said "preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) He literally meant so. We need passion for souls, and that is from the Spirit of God and not man. This is not to devalue the seminary or theological training at all, and I'm sure if brother Eli feels led to make a move to study formally he will. However, we know he will be a man of the Word and will dig deep to study Scripture, learn of godly men from time past, and always seek after the LORD in prayer.

God bless

Adam O said...

Eli,
I will be praying for you as you make this transition. I can relate to the pull away from university, I have experienced many a time. I have chosen to stick it out though (graduating in May! woohoo!).
I have a lot of respect for you Eli. God bless!
-Adam O

Logic said...

There seems to be much debate over whether or not people in "full time ministry" should be well educated.

My first point is that, according to Christian evangelical doctrine, all Christians are called to full time ministry; you can't be a part time Christian. As far as being paid, someone pointed out earlier that Paul worked so he wouldn't be a burden to churches. Thats a good example for us all; also in working, you build relationships with non-believers.

While I would not try to argue that full time ministry, in the sense of being a paid church leader/elder/pastor is a bad thing, I would submit that para-church organizations, or any person not based out of a local church and being paid, is not biblical. Frankly, non-local church organizations are never endorsed in the Bible.

My question for Eli would be what does his local church and his pastor/eldership think of his decision to drop out of school? Is Eli endorsed and supported by a local church? Is Eli preaching on the street based out of a local church?

My suspicion is that Eli is not held accountable to any specific local church and is not submissive to any specific authority. While I could be mistaken, and do stand to be corrected, I have often observed people who act independently of the local church to be somewhat rash in their decisions. Many people feel "God calling" them to do something; but how, without the accountability that a local church provides, can anyone possibly be certain he/she is pursuing a profitable end.

For those of you who will claim that being based out of a local church is not necessary for ministry, I suggest you re-read the New Testament and notice how the entire focus of all ministry is to build and edify the local church.

A further point, which seems to be overlooked by everyone entering the debate about post-secondary education, is the question of the purpose of post-secondary education with regards to ministry.

Why do we get educated? Well, most people probably don't know. My take on it is that university education, if done properly, teaches a person how to think clearly, argue clearly, articulate clearly, and read properly. For this reason, I believe Eli should get further educated if he wishes to properly continue in his vocation and be effective.

My argument for this is simple (and please do not think this is a slam at his character). Eli has a very difficult time with exegesis, and with arguing logically. My evidence for this is primarily based on previous arguments I have read on this blog. The previous arguments I have had with him in "An Account of My First Laborings at the Tannery" should help to illustrate my point.

Observe the arguments I raised, how he replied (usually missing the point, downplaying the point, or not understanding the point), observe my responses, and then his further inability to argue. I challenge his exegetical skills on the grounds that he is unable to understand the arguments I have presented, and I challenge his articulation skills since many of his claims are clearly illogical, inconsistent, and irrational.

Again, I must make it clear that this is not an attack on his character, I am merely pointing out that he would benefit greatly from learning how to exegete without eisegesis, articulate, and argue. University teaches one this, and it would be especially beneficial for someone who preaches as Eli does.

Most people see inconsistency and failure to articulate as uncredible, at least most, if not all academics. This presents a huge problem when sharing the gospel. If you are unable to answer the arguments of people who object to the faith, and if you are unable to respond adequately to their questions and arguments, or even understand what they're saying, many people would write off the entire message due to the lack of credibility of the preacher. I, for one, would not be able to swallow the Christian claims if there was no rational reason to believe them. I say this because there is rational ways to defend the fatih, and to defend the methodology of sharing the faith, but I submit that Eli is unable to put up these arguments, at least to my satisfaction, and I know there are many more people who are less charitable than I.

In order to maintain credibility, one must avoid logical inconsistency, exaggeration, overstating the case, making dogmatic claims, and begging the question. Eli suffers from several of these ailments. This is not to say he is wrong in his claims, merely to point out that he is unable to keep his claims consistent, coherent, and well suppported/well argued.

That being said, Eli does deserve credit for his zeal and willingness to submit to God. Unfortunately, I believe he has overlooked the essential element of God instructing us to be part of a local church; thus his submission to God's will is questionable. To me it seems as though he chooses which areas of God's will to submit; but I am beginning to walk on thin ice, so I will end this line of argument. It all hinges on Eli's involvement, or lack thereof, in a local church and the degree to which he has put himself under that authority.

-Logic.

Anonymous said...

Logic,

Great post. I really like some of your points. I'd like to follow up on some of them, if I may.

First, about the para-church. You're absolutely right that the para-chrch is not biblical. But does that mean that the para-church, or working for the para-church, is bad? Consider that the first century AD was one in which the church was just starting to get established. Any form of para-church organization was not even in the picture. There can be no para-church without a local church, and at a time when the the local church was in its infancy, of course there would be no para-church, and of course it woulndn't be endorsed. Let me say that I myself am leery of the para-church. But I don't consider that an argument against it based on biblical silence is legitimate.

Great point about full-time Christianity/minitsry! This brings me back to my point from an earlier post: It depends what is meant by "full-time ministry." Nowadays, the phrase seems to have little meaning. It is used in reference to paid positions. It is used in reference to doing minstry-like things on one's own time. In my opinion, the phrase should only refer to a money-paying position.

Great point that every believer ought to be under the authority of a local church! It frustrates me when believers who are unhappy with the church respond by breaking off from the church (which is essentially the body of Christ!) and choose to do their own thing under their own authority. What kind of message does this send the world??? It tells the world that Christians are proud, arrogant, and divisive.
(By the way, this is not aimed at Eli specifically. I have no idea if he is an active, contributing member of a local church).

All in all, I really enjoyed reading your post.

Logic said...

This is in response to anonymous, 4:39pm.

I was not attempting to argue that working for a para-church organization was bad. While I strongly emphasized that it is not biblical, I would not advocate that it is evil (bad). I would, however, submit that it is not the most effective, efficient, or best way to accomplish Christian goals and objectives.

Since, as you admit, there is no endorsing of a para-church organization in the Bible, it seems to me that the burden of proof lies on why we should have para-church organizations at all. I would argue that since there is not an example of a para-church organization in the Bible, and we are not instructed to accomplish Christianity's goals and objectives by the para-church, but rather by the local church, there is no reason to have para-churches at all. Since we have been given instruction on how to reach the lost, teach the believers, disciple, and train leaders (all based out of a local church), it does not seem necessary to have para-church organizations at all. Para-church organizations need to be justified; reasons must be given for why they should be considered legitimate ways to reach the Christian objectives. And if the reason used to justify implementation of para-church organizations is the poor job that the local church is doing, I would argue the efforts would be better served building the local church so that it can function to the end that the para-church would.

I agree that it is unlikely that para-church organizations would form in the early church, but this seems to be more because the early church didn't have time to become ineffective. Generally, it seems para-church organizations tend to arise when certain goals (evangelism, apologetics, or small groups on a university campus) are not being met by the local churches. I would submit that when the local church is functioning adequately, there is no need for the para-church.

I think you misunderstood my argument due to my poor articulation of it. I hope this clears my point up.

In summary, since we have instruction on how to build the church based on the local church concept, adding to this methodology will require sufficient reason. Thus, para-churches cannot be justified since insufficient reason is available to have them. It is not that para-churches are evil (bad), but rather that they are good things that fall short of being the best thing (the best thing being a flourishing, vibrant local church). Less than ideal would be an appropriate way to describe them.

Thus my argument is more based on insufficient reason than Biblical silence. Perhaps the argument is better understood as an Ockham's razor objection to para-church (a needless multiplication of entities without sufficient reason to justify the multiplication).

I am very glad you enjoyed reading my post, I enjoyed yours as well. Thank you for taking the time to point out the lack of clarity in my argument, and I hope this argument is more clear.

-Logic

Anonymous said...

This is a message for Logic. I'm just a curious impartial spectator in this Blog's postings and commments. Now you seem to put a heavy importance on education and local churches, and by your comments I can see that you have both. I'm just curious as to what is your educational and church background (if you feel that revealing your individual church would out you, then just your denomination). I feel that more information about where you are coming from would give me greater insight into your comments. Thank you for your response.

Eli said...

Vanity of vanities.


Do you love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?

Do you obey Him? Have you consecrated your life to God? Do you still live for the flesh?

Are you laboring in prayer for revival? Do you groan for souls? Is your heart cold?

Do you long for Jesus' coming? Do you walk in the Spirit? Do you bear the fruit of repentance?

Do you love church, or do you love Christ? Do you want God's presence of do you want man's programs?

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God? Born again?

Do you love not your life unto death?

Can you say with Paul, "I have crucified my flesh, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ in me?"

Do you pray? Do you worship in spirit and truth? Do you love? Do you weep?

Do you take up your cross and follow Jesus, or do you put your hand to the plow and look back?

Do you see the plentiful harvest? Do you lift up your eyes? Do you labor in God's field?

Do you hate sin? Do you love righteousness? Do you fear God? Do you keep His commandments? Do you eat bread that lasts? Do you work for a treasure that fadeth? Are you living for eternity?

Are you proud? Do you stink in the heavens with pride? Do you stink with pride? Is there pride found in you? Pride of the devil.

Do you love the brothers and sisters in Christ? Love the body of Christ? Want to encourage and edify and serve? Are you a servant to all?

Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?

Luke Coughey said...

I don't think the great commission said, "Go get a Doctorate in Theology. Then seek a position in a church that will ordain you and who is willing to pay you a salary of $60,000 or more. Then go preach the Word to those who come through the church doors."
Evangelism isn't about a degree or about the money. It is about the Lord our God! Everything that Eli needs to spread the Good Word is provided to him through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the study of God's Word and through the prayers of the Saints around him.
It seems strange that the idea of univeristy education for everyone is something that has only been around for the past 100 years or so. Yet, the Gospel message has been passed on for a couple of thousand years without it.
As for income, I like to look at Dave Storey and how he is able to spread the Word to everyone he meets without a degree. In fact, he is in Doaktown planting a church with the Southern Baptists. For an income, he teaches guitar lessons. The Lord has blessed Dave with a wonderful family and the opportunity to see (I'm guessing) hundreds of lives won for the Lord.

Luke
"We don't need more preachers. We just need a few good ones." unknown

Anonymous said...

Hey Eli,
You don't know me, but I just wanted to say, go for your dream. God will be there with you, standing by you always, and thats all that matters. If you ever lose strength, turn to Him. He's there for you, and so are many people according to this blog spot. Good luck on your new journey!
God Bless! xo

anon said...

In response to Luke Coughey's post (9:48 am).

First, there were no Christian educational institutions in the first century AD. So Jesus couldn't possibly have told his disciples to get education. Otherwise maybe he would have (can't, of course, be proven one way or the other).

Secondly, Paul was chosen to be the apostle to the gentiles becasue the Lord saw that he was faithful. Faithful to what? Education in the Jewish traditions. This is manifest in his letter to the Romans.

I will not comment on Dave Story out of fairness to him, but I will point out (and I'm sure that he would agree) that he is one of the most controversial Christian figures in the Fredericton area. By the way, I know Dave and he knows me. And I do respect his burden for the lost and his love for God.

Lastly, about the quote, how do you expect a preacher to be good without a solid education? Dr. Roy Pointer was one of the best preachers that I've heard, and he had a doctorate. All of the best preachers in history have been men of great learning. Education and quality of preaching go hand in hand.

Eli said...

I believe our shallow concept of ministry is faulty.

I'm not against education, but you are against uneducation. I am for both, you are for one.

Let me show you from the Bible what is the qualifications for ministry:

"If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)

Prepared to do any good work... case closed.

Angela said...

anon said...
In response to Luke Coughey's post (9:48 am).

"Dr. Roy Pointer was one of the best preachers that I've heard, and he had a doctorate."

Funny, I heard Dr. Roy Pointer a time or two when vacation in Fredericton and although I agree that he is a learned man, I found him to be boring and I don't recall having learned a thing from him.

However controversial Dave Storey may be, I have also heard and have found him to be a far better evangelist. In my time spent with Dave (a weekend where my mother and I crashed at his and Lisa's house and when he was here for Luke's wedding) I was severely challenged.

Praise God for all who take the directive to go into the world and preach the gospel and actually do it!

BTW, I am not saying that education should be shunned, but I don't think it's a prerequisite for evangelism.

Logic said...

In response to Anonymous, 9:35AM:

If you wish to have knowledge of the local church I attend, and the education background I have, you will have to post your email so that I can send my information to you directly.

-Logic

Logic said...

In response to Luke Coughey, 9:48AM:

While I never advocated that a doctorate in theology or a salary of $60,000+ are necessary conditions for evangelism, I definitely hold to my position that education can only be helpful in sharing the gospel message clearly and effectively. Obviously evangelism is about sharing the gospel, and about bringing God glory by bringing more worshippers into the kingdom.

My complaint about many Christians is that they lack basic exegetical skills and misapply certain biblical texts. It is important, at least for credibility (especially among non-Christian intellectuals), that a person is consistent, not self-contradictory, and coherent. This is where having an education, not necessarily a university degree, is very helpful. A degree is not necessary, but certainly not a hinderance. University education helps people think clearly, and articulate themselves with clarity and precision. Proper education also enables someone to argue coherently and exegete accurately.

I will grant that everything Eli NEEDS to spread the gospel is the Holy Spirit, study of God's word (and the writings of theologians), and prayer. However, I would argue that Eli would be more effective if he remained in university. As I pointed out above, he would benefit greatly (as would most people) by learning better how to argue, articulate, and exegete. My point is not that education is a necessary condition for sharing the gospel, rather that it is helpful, and would be especially helpful to Eli due to his passion to reach the lost.

I do not think that a university education is necessary for everyone, only that it is beneficial to everyone. Obviously God can still use a person despite their education. I would also not debate that the Holy Spirit is our provider, and thus income is not an issue if you are living by God's grace. However, this doesn't mean we shouldn't work hard.

And in response to your reference to the great commission, you seem to be of the position (and my interpretation of your statement may be wrong) that the great commission is an instruction to evangelise. While this is not wrong, I would argue that the great commission is not so much to evangelise as it is to build the church. If it were simply for evangelism, Jesus would not have said "go and make disciples". Instead he would have said "go preach the good news" and left it at that. The word disciple indicates training and equipping others, which is the function of the church. Certainly people need to be evangelised, but discipling is a necessary supplement to evangelism. This is important in understanding my argument. I do not believe it is Biblical to preach the good news without integrating people into the church and discipling them. Why get people "saved" if they don't get plugged into a church? Saved & Discipled. Both are essential.

I hope this comment has made some clarity... but I feel as though I'm going on ad nausium so i'm going to stop here.

-Logic

Logic said...

In response to anon, 5:10PM:

Anon, your arguments are excellent. Excellent point about Paul. Faithful to education.

Your point reminded me that every good theologian has good education. Is theology necessary for evangelism? Well, if you don't know and understand God, how can you share this knowledge with other people?

I agree with your point about Dr. Roy Pointer, definitely one of the best. Well educated, good heart, integrous.

I also like your point about Dave Story. Great guy, great passion; I also have a great respect for him. And I agree, he is one of the most controversial Christian figures in the Fredericton area. Well said.

-Logic

Eli said...

I loved Dr. Pointer, his death changed my life.

I also respect Dave Storey and consider Him a great brother in the Lord with a heart for the lost. Much of the reason he is so controversal is that he takes the Bible seriously, and this stirs up the church-goers, much like this site has been doing.

Brother Logic, first of all, we have gone over this before: I agree that education is beneficial, but I say AGAIN that it is not final. I believe you have said now we are on the same page here.

But then all of a sudden you turn back to me and say "It would be better for Eli to stay at school." But brother, have I not said already that the Lord has told me to leave school at this time? Why is this so incredibly hard for people to understand? Do we still believe God speaks to us and tells us to do things, even when they seem strange? Such apprehension only indicates that there is a lack of hearing God's voice today in the Church and it manifests in people like you, dear friend.

I don't want to argue, but it seems every point I make you look right past. I will repeat: The Lord has told me to cancel schooling for now.

We can all make this blog more productive and less argumentative if we LISTEN to what each person is saying and allow the Word of God to be our guidepost to everything we say... not human wisdom.

God still speaks today, His ways are not our ways. Are we hearing Him?

Anonymous said...

Eli Said:
"We can all make this blog more productive and less argumentative if we LISTEN to what each person is saying and allow the Word of God to be our guidepost to everything we say... not human wisdom."

As I can tell, you haven't been listening to anyone. Logic has made excellent points about being involved with your local church and about education as being important to being able to understand scripture, other arguments, etc. You haven't made a single comment on the importance of the local church in your ministry. How do we know that your goal is to enhance the growth of the church?

In terms of the other posts I've read, no one but Logic and Anon have made any good points whatsoever. Everyone seems to be appealing to the classic "all I need is the Holy Spirit". While I think that every Christian should be reliant on the Holy Spirit, I am getting the vibe that it's merely a cop-out argument against education. The Holy Spirit honours education and I believe that if a person's heart is truely seeking to please God he will use that education. A problem occurs with uneducation because people can be lead astray (as with education - granted) and allow personal biases to influence what they're saying/doing. I find it hard to believe that the Holy Spirit will work with heresies. Heresies can easy start with people who don't get it right. How do you know you're getting it right? Is it that little tingly feeling in you? How do you know that's the Holy Spirit? Does it match with God's word? How do you know that is what God's word is actully trying to say? As you can see, there are many questions one should ask themselves before beginning on a missionary venture without thinking it through (ie with the local church and knowing a bit about what they're preaching)

ricky earle said...

"To this day field preaching is a cross to me, but I know my commission and see no other way of preaching the gospel to every creature".
John Wesley

anon said...

Interesting quote, ricky. I like it! It reveals a heart with a burden for reaching the lost.

John Wesley entered Christ Church College of Oxford in 1720 and graduated with the degree of Master of Arts in 1727. He spent seven years studying (at Oxford, no less!) before preaching in those fields.

Eli said...

Anon,

I don't understand your post. You too have overlooked all I've said. I haven't said once that local churches are bad, but you are insisting that I must declare local churches are the paramount of Christianity today, and this I will not do. The point of evangelism is indeed "to make disciples", not just to plug them into a local church. How this is done may look different. I agree, the local church can work well, but it also can work poorly. Stop attacking me because I don't bow down and worship the local church system. I feel like if I don't agree with everything you say, you will continue to attack me and never rest.

I HAVE answered all his questions. If you would discern what I am saying you would see this. On the contrary, you and Logic have not listened to me. I will write this again: Education is good... but the Lord has called me out of school. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

For clarity:

Must a person be educated to be used by God? No

Can an educated minister be useless or even detrimental? Yes

Have I once said a person should NOT be educated? No

Is the local church good? Yes, so long as it follows the Word of God and obeys the Holy Spirit (which is a rare church to find)

Is this thread going on too long because people aren't listening? Yes


Now I have a few problems with some of the things you said:

"The Holy Spirit honours education"

The Spirit does not honor education. The Spirit can use it, but He doesn't honor it.

"A problem occurs with uneducation because people can be lead astray (as with education - granted) and allow personal biases to influence what they're saying/doing."

If a person is led astray it is NOT because they are relying on the Holy Spirit. It is always because they cease to listen and obey the Spirit and begin to listen to their own selves. I find most educated people are the ones who are lead astray and lead others astray, is this not so?
Is it not the leaders that do this?

"How do you know you're getting it right? Is it that little tingly feeling in you? How do you know that's the Holy Spirit? Does it match with God's word? How do you know that is what God's word is actully trying to say?"

You do not understand these things? (John 3:10) You would do well to meditate on this Scripture.

"As you can see, there are many questions one should ask themselves before beginning on a missionary venture without thinking it through (ie with the local church and knowing a bit about what they're preaching)"

Friend, are you implying I have not thought this through? My life revolves around the Word of God and knowing what I am saying. I won't say anything more about this... the Lord knows how I spend my time and I don't need to defend myself against you. (Psalm 1:2)

God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Eli,

you have yet to tell anyone whether you are involved in your ministry with the local church. I find your sense of self defense a signal that in fact the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something. You are young and have much to learn and I would not shun the advice that others are throwing your way, positive or negative. I think above all things you should remember to be humble. Humility means accepting critism in all it's forms. I sense that you are becomming angry and yet you have not tgiven any answers to the questions we raise about you. It is not through hostility that we question you on these things. In fact, we have read Thessolonians' teaching that we ought to "test everything".

You should take some time to consider these things before your pride causes you to become immortal in your own eyes. Often people with the best intentions hallucinate under their own pride which they interpret as the Holy Spirit 'setting them apart'.

anon said...

Eli,

For the sake of clarity, anon (me) and Anonymous (not me) are different people. The recent posts by 'Anonymous' timed at 6:48 pm and at 2:19 pm are NOT mine. The posts timed at 5:10 pm and 3:19 am are mine.

Your post timed at 1:30 pm is directed to 'Anon'. Do you mean me or the Anonymous poster (or posters)?

Just making sure we're all on the same page...

Eli said...

Hi anon, yeah I was addressing 'anon'. Sorry about the mixup.

Anonymous,

No, brother, I am not angry, but I am finding myself frustrated, which is nothing new these days. Please try and understand:

I have simply obeyed the Lord and stepped out of school this semester, and have posted on here to let people know what is happening in my life.

Then all of a sudden I am hit by 3 or more different anonymouses, people who do not leave their names, and begin telling me "education is good, you shouldn't leave school" etc... while the whole time the LORD has led me to leave! This is a frustration, brother. Can no one see this foolishness?

Even if people don't like it and it doesn't make sense, I will obey the Lord.

If you do in fact have a vaild criticism, please use Scripture. I will only reasonably and fully respond to arguments which are supported by Scripture. The reason I am dodging some questions is because the basis of these questions are unscriptural and depend entirely on the teachings taught by men. To these I have nothing to say, or we will be in debate for the rest of our lives until we all find the truth in Scripture.

I am not immortal, and if indeed the Lord does set someone apart, the most obvious and historically proven response by others is opposition, criticism, accusations and condemnation.

Please try and understand my frustration.

And finally, if you do in fact know me, and I know you, I would appreciate you leaving your name so if you have to say something you will at least stand up and say it and not hide behind 'anonymous' like a coward. (I'm sorry, I don't know any other word to use here that doesn't sound so harsh.)

Burdened said...

Whether I know you or not has nothing to do with what I'm writing. I would agree/disagree with what you were saying anyways.

Before you put yourself on a cross, realize that our posts are in fact trying to guide you on a wise path for ministry. It is very easy to step out on your own and "follow the Holy Spirit". I do know that when God's will becomes apparent for someone, there is general agreement after LOGICAL consideration. Too many people make themselves into martyrs when others critize them. You are not preaching anything new. You are not doing something that all of us have tried at some point or another. You are not different. Many of us who are posting have done what you are doing and have learned from our mistakes. Perhaps you should meditate on experience as the Lord's teaching. If you want scripture for this argument, just read the entire bible. History teaches us about our experiences as a species.

One more comment on education. You say that education is not important or essential. Personally, I would want to give my congregation or hearers everything I possibly could. Education helps us do this. Getting the approval of others is a good way of discerning God's will for us. Do you think that if God was really calling you to do what you've done that he wouldn't help you get through education? It would not make a difference would it? So, by your own arguments, you have nothing to lose from education and everything to gain. By gaining a degree or two, you are saying that you were humble enough to "jump through the hoops", so to speak, and now you are ready to do ministry. You are saying that God has called you out of school. I am just wondering why God would do that. No where in scripture does God call someone to minister without education. Even these supposed people you mention as being great preachers without education have undergone some type of apprenticeship in their church and have been blessed by their church. Missionaries MUST be sent by a church or they will have no help or support.

This leads me back to the debate on the local church. Is your local church supporting your ministry? Have you talked with your leaders about it? What do they say to you about it? Are they keeping you accountable? I think you will find your ministry extremely exhausting and unfruitful if you dont join with the local church in your ventures. There has to be a goal beyond salvation of souls. When people are saved, where will they go to be fed? Do you have plans for this? How do you know that they'll be properly fed? Are you prepared to lead a church with all it's politics? Will other churches around you accept a new church with you as leader? You can say that the Holy Spirit will lead you, but many people have claimed that and failed..miserably.

Eli said...

Okay Burdened, friend, I see by your post you have not read the other posts at all. I really hate to carry this on, but this post of yours demands objection.

First of all, I will say this again for the millionth time: The Lord has led me out of school for the semester. If you simply cannot accept this, then I suggest 1) leave this blog or 2) Get in relationship with the Lord.

"You say that education is not important or essential."

I did not say this anywhere. You have not read this thread well at all.

"Getting the approval of others is a good way of discerning God's will for us."

Yes and no, usually no.

"No where in scripture does God call someone to minister without education."

This is one of the most ridiculous things I have read on any comments so far. It doesn't even require a rebuttal but I will. To reverse it, no where in Scripture does it say you must have an education to minister, and almost all of the ministers in the Bible were uneducated with the exception of a few, and history itself is marked with both educated and uneducated ministers (Billy Bray or Smith Wigglesworth for example).

Your devotion to education seems to surpass your trust in God and the Holy Spirit. This is a dangerous ground for serious error, friend.

Okay, is everybody ready for this? I am meeting with pastors from all over the city and setting forth my ministry to them. I am meeting with a pastor this Friday.

"You can say that the Holy Spirit will lead you, but many people have claimed that and failed..miserably."

This is a terrible thing to say. Do no grieve the Holy Spirit. At LEAST say that those people were actually NOT relying on the Spirit!

Friend, my suggestion to you is read what has been said already before commenting and get to know Jesus Christ in the most intimate way.

God bless,
-Eli

Burdened said...

Eli,
I almost can't believe your arrogance! I've challenged your ideas, you challenge whether or not I'm even close with Jesus. I'm actully losing faith in your integrity at this point. Everytime someone disagrees with you, you question their salvation!

You have mentioned continually that education isn't necessary. That's the point of the debate. I wonder if you've even read the threads?

Agreement among believers is of complete importance! Why do you think God established the 'body' of Christ? Why are their elders? Why are there bodies of deacons?

Every person in scripture has had education or apprenticeship. Name for me ONE person in scripture who has not had training in one form or another. All you have to do is read scripture! Realize that even the Apostles had 3 years of training with Christ himself.

My education seems to have surpassed my trust in God and the Holy Spirit?! If anything, my faith has been strengthened!! Once you see the arguments of the enemy and still stand in faith afterwards, you have stood your ground in faith! What a comment Eli!! You are walking on seriously dangerous ground, friend.

Many people have claimed to walk in the Spirit who obviously are not. Many travesties have been committed in Christ's name. I'm not grieving the Holy Spirit! I am criticizing their claims!

Be careful, friend, that your heart is focused where it should be. Out of the mouth comes what is stored in the heart. Read my words carefully.. from what you are saying you are walking dangerous ground.

- Burdened.

Eli said...

Burdened (for what, the lost?)

I do not question everyone's salvation, but I do question some.

First of all you say: "You say that education is not important or essential."

Then you say: "You have mentioned continually that education isn't necessary." So you've changed your accusation...

I'm glad you finally see that I did not say the first thing. And in regard to the second "not necessary" I will stand by that. I can't see why this is such a difficult thing for Christians to understand. It is the WORLD today that demands education be necessary. The Christians should not follow in their footsteps. But for the sake of clarity (because people find it so hard to understand) I will say again:

Education is good and beneficial, but not necessary to the ministry. You cannot show me in Scripture that this is wrong. By the way, I do hope to carry on my education in the future, but not so that God will use me! He can use me irregardless of it... but is helps. Please, stop enforcing it saying that it is a Biblical MUST! Such a thing to say is discouraging and a hateful thing to say... think of those people who do not have an education and will not have one. Would you like to look them in the eye and say "too bad God can't use you?" This is what gets me upset, Burdened. I do hope your burden is from the Lord.

I'd rather be walking on dangerous ground and doing the work of the Lord than sleeping in the big church bed that so many are doing.

God bless,
-Eli

Anonymous said...

Eli

"at least stand up and say it and not hide behind 'anonymous' like a coward."

This is very arrogant to say. Has it not occurred to you that people may not wish to be identified for reasons other than cowardice? i for one would not want to be identified by you for fear that you would tell me i was unsaved for questioning you and your infallibility.