Thursday, October 04, 2007

Too Cool For School?

…the anointing … abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you
(1 John 2:27 – ESV)

Teaching – Christ in us does not mean that we don’t need teachers. It is a self-refuting thing to declare that we don’t need teachers. Think about it: Isn’t the person who might say this trying to “teach” others this idea? Those type of statements do not align themselves with the whole counsel of God, for example Ephesians 4:11-12 / 1 Timothy 3:2 / 2 Timothy 2:2 / Titus 1:9 and so forth. We do need teachers, what we don’t need are spiritual goons who tell us that we don’t because we all have some special power, or spiritual gurus who tell us that they are the one with some special power. Using 1 John 2:27, John 14:26 and the like to say that you don’t need a teacher only proves that you do need one.

In this verse the Apostle John was condemning the notion of spiritual gurus, the agents of a mystical elite society, namely the gnostics. He was saying that scripture is perspicuous, or clearly presented and able to be understood. He was not saying that we don’t need teachers at all. He was a teacher himself. Truly the perspicuity of scripture is an important doctrine, but it doesn’t preclude being taught in the Word. It means that we don’t need to have enlightened masters to initiate us into secret truths. We just need to learn to interpret the Bible like anyone and everyone else can and should. The Bible isn’t a secret code for the swami’s to solve.

We must all start out as students, and students are not scholars, and even scholars learn and glean from others. When we talk of the doctrine of the perspicuity of scripture it means that we can understand the most basic and fundamental truths about salvation and such, not that we can all have an easy handle on all things. And so we do need teachers. You don’t have to have a PhD to study and learn and know the Bible, but a teacher can help you understand it more fully.

The reason we use terms in Latin like “sola scriptura” and “ordo salutis” and the like, or phrases or big words that may not be initially understood is that they communicate concepts. They help us to communicate without having to necessarily go over previously understood territory, which would only be a waste of time. They convey in a few words a whole lot of agreed on information, therefore we can discuss things without having to go over material that is already understood. Otherwise we would have to restate all of what is included in every instance in order to communicate the same idea that we want to get to. It helps get to the source of the discourse. When we say “justification”, for instance, we are using that word, a biblical word, to talk of right standing with God, how that is achieved, what it leads to, and so on.

By using the acronym TULIP, for example, it is understood by those whom can dialogue about such matters that it is a whole system of doctrine, and we can then go about and talk about its implications without having to go over exactly what it all means first, we can move on. It is the nomenclature, the vernacular, it is the “trade specific” language used by those in theological discussion. Liken this to an electrician, or plumber, or others who do the same things. Imagine if a team of builders had to explain all of the catch phrases to each other every time, that structure would never get finished!

You can say, “I don’t need teachers, I just need Jesus”. Well friend, Jesus is the one who gave us teachers (Ephesians 4:7-16) so that we may grow up in Him. Do you want that Jesus?

Hopefully after using many words to say it we can see why this one phrase is important:

We do need teachers.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

14 comments:

David said...

Good post, and an important point. I once believed that all I needed was my Bible and the Holy Spirit. Then one day I was reading Spurgeon (what was I doing that for?) and he said something to this effect:

It is amazing that some who think so much of what the Holy Spirit can teach them can think so little of what the Holy Spirit has taught others.

Spurgeon also commented on how Paul, who actually wrote major portions of the perfect book, still wanted his books when he was in prison. So Spurgeon was constantly reading and learning. If he needed teachers, I reckon I do, too.

Sista Cala said...

Excellent post!
The day we are soooooooooo educated that we say we need no one to teach us,,,, that is the day we become useless. Truly the old adage, "actions speak louder than words" applies to teachers above being taught. Who likes to listen to the arrogant?

Even So... said...

Thanks to all you Christian Research Network readers for taking a look over here...we post similar articles six days a week...

I'm still learning, growing in grace, and increasing in the love and knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ, how about you?

Garry Weaver said...

Amen!

jel said...

Morning!


have a great day! :)

Kim said...

I'll echo Garry's and say "Amen." As someone who is a life-long learner, and a teacher at heart, I appreciate this so much. Good teaching is one of the benefits of the Body of Christ.

Craver Vii said...

Goons and swamis and jargon, Oh my!

Great post, and I appreciate Thirstydavid's comment as well. We must keep learning, and of course need teachers. Otherwise, it would not be a biblical requirement for shepherd elders, right?

donsands said...

It's a humility thing isn't it.

Jesus said, " One is your Master". Matt 23:8

We need to always aknowledge the Lord is our Savior, Shepherd, and Teacher.

And He has under-shepherds, and under-teachers. I wouldn't say under-saviors, I don't think, though you may even be able to say that. 1 Cor. 9:22

This was, again, another fine teaching.
As teachers of His holy Word, we need to ever fearful, and praying without ceasing.

Even So... said...

This is a repost from February, but another one of those that we need to be reminded of again, and as we are still being blessed with new readers every day, some might need to see and ponder this for the first time...

Even So... said...

Too cool to post a comment?

Craver Vii said...

Speaking of teachers, did you get a chance to hear the two Oxford professors debate atheism last night?

Craver Vii said...

And now for something completely insignificant: Today, we're doing casual Friday at work, and I'm wearing a "Joe Cool" Snoopy tee shirt.

Even So... said...

Nice...but it could be used as a significant teaching tool...

;-)

Even So... said...

I just got a notice in my email that a comment was left on this post, and it was spam, but now it isn't in the comments meta...hmmm...dissappearing spam...