Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

October 12, 2005

Let me quickly explain the business of the previou…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:03 am

Let me quickly explain
the business of the previous post (as well as commenting on some of the comments) before I get back to reading. First, the form is not designed to weed anyone out. The seminary is a serious place where everyone there (except myself) belongs there. The form is simply a way for the director of field education to be in direct contact with the sems WRT their internships. If there is any step taken to do any weeding, it is the teaching about how the reformed church views the inward call. It exposes some interesting things.

My rambling on the subject is this: First, if you haven’t got one (an inward call), then talking to someone about one is impossible in the sense that I (not having one) wouldn’t have anything to say about something which I haven’t experienced. It’s just like faith. For someone who has no faith to complain about or in any way deride a person who has faith is plain stupid. Without faith it is impossible to discuss it, since merely reading in a dictionary a definition for faith is not enough to enable or entitle you to carry on about it. Same with the call. Those that have it can talk about it; describe it; preach it; say you must have it. That’s fine. Maybe I’m the only honest one around. I am not going to say I have a call.

Second, the inward call is confirmed by the church by the extending of an external call. They recognize by your gifts that you have an inward call. Every inward call is accompanied by a gifting that God gives you. Well, unfortunately for me, I think it works or has worked bass-ackwardly.(I put that in there just so I could imagine my sister saying the word ‘bass-ackwardly’). I know I have a skill (and this was my thought) that if I studied for it, worked on it, put all my energy into it I would be a very beneficial tool in – yes, say it, brother- God’s hands. But no. I need the burning of the bosom – and why not call it that, since it is internal, why can’t it take that form. Axiom #1 “If you have the call, it is wrong not to pursue it”. Axiom #2 “With only skill and no call, it is wrong to pursue it”.

Thirdly, my motivation is highly questionable. Actually, it’s worse than that. My motivation originally was a backlash at the non-denominational evangelical approach for ordination which was that the guy who already has the paper gets to pass it on to whomever he wants to pass it on to. This hand-off is based on, guess what, and to be fair, in most cases recognizing an inward call which is confirmed by an outward call. Only the difference is, any rigorous training under a denominational institution is not required. In fact it would be a deterrent. I wanted to prove/show the way of truth. Many of my friends didn’t even know what a seminary was. Some thought it was a monastery. Some, college. Some thought it meant I was turning Roman Catholic.

Further, my original motivation was polemical with respect to Biblical understanding. I am slowly getting that out of my system. (Not that I still don’t think I am right on everything).

But the real issue is faith. How can someone who has come to see most of his religious belief as a nice theory constructed in my very imaginative mind be qualified to, on the one hand, believe in an inward call, or on the other, be entrusted to a body of innocent believers? There is the future, however. In ten years, things may have changed.

Son1 asked if simply having a ‘passion for the word’ didn’t constitute a call. I don’t know. I don’t have a passion for the word. Sounds good, though. The truth is I don’t have a clue about the ‘Word’. I am getting off to a late start on it – getting a clue, that is. The honest motivation for delving into the word is that it is a good distraction. It keeps my mind from wandering too far into areas I want to avoid. (Although, in the end, the word pushes me there anyway).There are lots of ways to distract yourself. This is just the one that works best for me.

I’ll close with the last line in ‘Candide‘: “Any questions?”



  1. Did you say “quickly”?

    Comment by Anonymous — October 12, 2005 @ 12:12 pm

  2. Well, it sounds like you need to have a talk with The Man about the contents of your form. Maybe you need to drop Ministry of the Word, and go back to just distracting yourself with pure theology classes.

    So here’s a question; did our mutual friend Andria take Ministry of the Word? Or is there an analagous class, like “Running a Women’s Auxiliary”?

    Comment by son1 — October 12, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  3. Possibly I am giving the wrong impression. I am not dropping the class. In fact, I like it a lot. What I am learning is exactly what I have been wanting to learn for a long time.

    Pure theology is not what I am into either. It’s the distraction, not the pureness.

    The Min. of the Word class is only on the MDiv track, so no women take it. I don’t know if they are allowed to take it, even as an elective.

    Comment by Bruce S — October 12, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

  4. GRRRRRR about women not being able to take this class. I think (arrogantly, perhaps) that I minister the word every time I mentor students or teach S.S. or lead a Bible study or or or….but your seminary would probably not like me.

    Comment by Sister — October 12, 2005 @ 6:48 pm

  5. They have a women’s program, and they definitely like women, although it appears that it helps if you are Korean.

    They take the term ‘man of God’ seriously. Also, their polemics skills are not trotted out just to demonstrate how good they are at it. They actually are Christian theologians.

    Comment by Bruce S — October 12, 2005 @ 8:56 pm

  6. Let me rephrase that. They have a program that women are allowed into, not a program exclusively for women.

    Comment by Bruce S — October 12, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

  7. Have a look at Phi 1.14ff. It is certainly evident that some of the preaching was not done by a preacher with an inward calling, yet Paul says if it is effective so be it. And I am sure you wouldn’t be preaching with an unwholsome motive even if you don’t feel you have the calling.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 13, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

  8. Thanks for the encouragement! I appreciate it.

    Comment by Bruce S — October 14, 2005 @ 5:29 am

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