Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Ignore the Young Preachers. What Do They Know?

Being a young Christian can be tough. Being a young preacher can be even tougher. It seems that a young preacher is often one who is less than 30 years old, has less than five years of experience and has either no wife, or a wife and no children depending on who you ask. I'm only 23 and have but 2 years (almost) of time spent as a full time preacher, so these two qualities seem to classify me as the young preacher.

Being a young preacher, in general, is not a bad thing at all, but it does often bring some stigmata with it and gives people a fairly illogical excuse to ignore what you say. I suppose this is really my first "rant about something" post, but I did say I would post stuff like this in my first post ever...right?

I'll set up the situation that brought this up in my mind. I write in the newspaper where I live. I write a Bible Q&A column where I answer Bible questions (basically what the name of the column implies). There is another man who writes in the newspaper's religious section. He has about three times the space that I do and about 1/4th of the Biblical content. That isn't really a concern to me, as I'm simply glad to have a space to teach about the Bible. A while back this man wrote an article claiming that baptism is not an essential part of one's salvation, but faith alone in Christ is enough. I sent him an e-mail responding to a few points he made and the error in the arguments and was sent back a simple "Thanks for the e-mail" response." I offered up the possibility of a debate since we are both public teachers and it must be that one of is is teaching something false as we contradict something so important. His response was that he had studied theology for 40 years and had written for the newspaper for a long time and to leave him alone. The basic idea behind that being that he was older and wise and I was young and foolish.

His suggestion was to write a letter to the editor, so I did. I answered every point he made with the truth of God's Word. This man later wrote an article in which he claimed Paul's inspired writings contained a mistake about the return of Christ, and the Paul thought and taught Christ would return in his lifetime. I sent him an e-mail asking him for the verse where Paul teaches such and was sent back a response claiming that I was harassing the man and other such things. Would it not have been simpler to just provide the verse?

This leads us to the point I want to make in this post. Today's article by the man was about angels. Halfway through the article he states that angels are sinless beings and need no plan of redemption. Shortly after that he notes that Satan was an angel who led a rebellion against God. Would this not be sin? This man who used his amount of studying and year writing to ignore anything I said makes a full-blown contradiction in one article.

Why do I point this out? To claim that this man is foolish or dumb? Not at all. Despite his error on many issues, he has had some good articles that make me think. The point is that no one is perfect, and that age and time studied does not make one perfect or untouchable on Bible discussions. One's age has nothing to do with whether or not he is speaking the truth from the Word of God. One can study the Bible for 60 years and still be wrong in what they believe or one can study God's Word for 25 minutes and teach the truth on issues.

Younger people may not have the best way of always dealing with a situation due to their lack of experience (at least we see that implied as a general idea from Proverbs) but that does not mean that what they say concerning the Word God should be ignored.

1 comment:

  1. This kind of attitude shows more about the one with the problem than anyone else. If this man honestly wanted to teach and spread the word, he'd be glad to discuss these issues with you. The fact that he brushes you off so rudely says a lot about his frame of mind.

    You'll keep growing and keep learning, and before too many years, you'll have the gravitas any young preacher lacks. Just make up your mind here and now not to be like that guy as you get older! Be an encourager, not a putter-downer.