Sled Dog Ecclesiastical Polity:
Dedicated to those in the slip-stream of intrinsically unqualified "elders".
Calvin's institutes were his footnote to calling for the king to bow to Christ. A distinctively political act. (nothing to do with this post, just an interesting Dugasism.)
Luther's debates on the Bondage of the Will etc. were a footnote on his initial declaration that The Church in Rome had it wrong in its very structure and organization. 5 years later he got into it on specific doctrines.
No question that formal schooling was never the prerequisite for ministry until recently. It is not intrinsically evil. But the stumbling blocks it puts in a man's path are significant.
1) Huge temptation for false superiority because of massive influx of theoretical information divorced from lived experience.
2) Irresistible "intellectual get rich quick scheme", you can pack in a life time of knowledge into a few brief years. It is the same temptation that smart pills would give you.
3) Sensory deprivation from Isolation in an environment conducive to building great towers that stand up only because of the scaffolding provided by the pretense --
in effect the virtual reality -- around you in students and faculty that it is really beautiful and functional. Yet it collapses the moment he steps into a real church . . . only he doesn't figure it out for years.
4) 3 years of misdirection getting you to focus on the young and ignorant pretending that they are the source of wise leadership thanks to their knowledge certification program (sort of like the Wizard of Oz's Graduation Certificate he gives the Scarecrow). Your top dogs (Pastors) spring immediately from the kennel of learning with worse than literally no real experience they have the illusion of real experience and begin to lead the pack. It creates a pack of followers who, to survive, must run behind him nose buried deeply . . . well you've seen sled dogs races, this is the foundation of sled dog ecclesiastical polity.
5) A natural self authenticating environment where Leadership inevitably becomes the province of the energetic and charismatic, not the wise or the spirit filled.
6) Since the only value is the value of books it is good to develop a conversation with the ages. But since the conversation is relatively divorced from the life of the Church their danger is the pastor you become as dead as they the people he spends most of his time talking to.
7) The Matrix like illusion is inescapable that the unqualified through can receive a down load from the knowledge banks and suddenly become qualified. It fills the pulpits with puss that tends to drive out the life giving stuff from the body.
8) a false list of the important things in seminary being ...(You who disagree and have read this far, this is your chance to name them. Make a list of all the assets of Seminary which I am not listing here but you decide what is good and put it in a list I have no argument against them and that they are good. I can wait until you complete it) All the good on your list is gained outside the body of Christ and give the impression that all good things can be had in the presence of like minded like aged people apart from the organic body of Christ. Boy do you have a rude awakening . . . or by now in most churches they are so dumbed down by lowered expectations they no longer have a clue to what they are loosing by groveling in the mud for things on that list. DorrisWedding vintage evening formal wears sales back to 1920s
9) The destruction of the Church from a methodology that achieves Certification by arbitrary exams from non ministering teachers instead of certification by anything Scripture says certifies an elder such as a life of proven value.
10) creates the inescapable fruit of the last 200 years of steady intellectual, cultural and social defeat. It is not the congregations who go liberal. It is the schools and the boards and agencies of the church administrations dominated by seminary educated men and women who go liberal and drag the congregations kicking and screaming with them. This is simple fact. Its truth rests not a whit on whether you agree or disagree that seminary is good or bad. This is the true cost of a Seminary education and the Church has footed the bill.
Like training a guy to be a psychopathic serial killer. he won't necessarily slaughter your family but so many of us are surprised when they do. Why? Can a man hold fire to his breast and not be burned?
With the jawbone of an Ass Sampson slew a thousand Philistines. With a similar weapon much of the church is being slaughtered as as effectively.
Now I'm not saying you can't be a good pastor and make it through this minefield.
I am saying
1) you'd be a better pastor if you didn't have to go through it.
2) It is more likely to destroy what many good men might have had to offer to the Church than to enhance the value of their ffering.
3) Because of the truth "where your money is there your heart is also," if you look at how the church invests in school-men, the graduate cannot help but think that his arrogant perch at the top of the investment ladder is where the heart of the church is,and that by definition he is fulfilling Ephesians 4. He must be surely the church is not castrated by its schools. . . . it can't be so we will declare that it is not regardless of the fact that we can't find our testicles. We will declare that if I teach, if I do 95% of the ministry, by definition the Church is equipped for the work of the ministry.
Example is the real teacher, just as Jesus.