December 24, 2011
I was reading an article where it was describing for pastors the most dangerous person in your church. The author said that it was the unteachable person. I pondered on that a bit and this was my feedback to him.
Having been on both sides of the pulpit, I can agree that the know-it-all guy and unteachable one can be on both sides and when there is one on each side at the same time it is the unmovable object meeting the irresistible force. It is a lose-lose situation.
The problem is normally that a person is unteachable if he doesn’t agree with you. Is that not the problem with the Church period? The Holy Spirit was sent to do many things but one of those is to lead us into ALL truth and yet the Church is greatly divided on practically everything. If we were all being teachable then there would be no divisions and we would all say the same thing about every doctrine and yet we don’t. So who are the unteachable ones? Everyone would point the finger at the other guy.
Indeed, we have more church buildings and less impact than ever in the world. If you look at Scripture there was only ONE church per city not 100 different ones. Moving to nondenominational churches was supposed to tear down the walls that divide us and yet we are more divided than ever in 2K years. Indeed, it has been more destructive to the Church than atheists, cults and evolution. Instead of maybe 30 major denominations in 1900 we have thousands of one church denominations each with their own little twist on one or two doctrines that divide. So who are the unteachable ones? To denominate is to name so if you have a name on your church building you are a denomination of one and if you associate and work with others then you are not truly nondenominational. You just aren’t part of the older established ones. With the diverse doctrines interdenominational is tricky and really untenable.
All that denominations were about was that they agreed on a body of doctrine they considered to be sound and UNITED to work together and to win the world and teach that common doctrine. Dang, that was a horrible thing I guess since most people now go to church for the music, the small groups, the ambiance or the motivational talks and have no clue as to what the doctrine of the church is except for a doctrinal statement that most have never read.
Some would never go to a Baptist or Presbyterian Church but what they do not realize is that it is highly probable that unless it is a “new revelation” church that the church they are attending may actually be a Baptist or Presbyterian (or some other group) undercover to appease the culture. All the major doctrines have been pretty well hashed out and call the building what you like, but you will still be based upon some extant body of doctrine. Personally, I find that deceptive and cowardly. If you are something then say it and not be ashamed or kissing the feet of the culture.
I would have to say that few of us are really teachable. True, there must needs be divisions among us that the approved may stand out, but who are the approved? Those who automatically thought, “I am”, are you really? For the record, I have challenged my own beliefs many times over the years and have been in numerous debates/dialogues/arguments. What it is called depends upon whom I am speaking to about any particular subject. I have been called extreme right, compromising, and even a Liberal on some subjects. Since Jesus and the Apostles ticked off everyone at one time or another I may be at least close to the right path. 😉
I agree the most dangerous people are those in the Church. When we are not teachable to seek agreement on doctrines or truth how can we reach a world who doesn’t believe in absolute truths? We teach that there are absolutes, but we cannot agree on what they are and that is confusing to me let alone the unbelieving. Having six Christians with thirteen opinions on everything plus calling some things essential and others nonessential seems a tad off the path. Indeed, if God speaks to an issue can we really call it nonessential? Is that being teachable by the Holy Spirit or just a way to ignore issues that might cause problems with our theology or confrontation with others? Is salvation all that the Bible is about? If so, 66 books and speaking to any other issues not related to it seems like a waste of God’s time and resources.
Again, my initial premise is that if we were truly teachable there would be but one denomination and even one church per town speaking the same thing and showing a pure united front to a lost world that needs to see such a thing among people who claim to be the children and ambassadors of God. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and they is us.” This is what I have learned over nearly forty years of being a Christian with many mentors and having served in a few congregations in several states as well as conversing with many from other countries and other polities be they denominational or not.