One of the biggest jobs on earth is that of being the spiritual teacher of people, especially when saddled with the responsibility to taking them through the undiluted word of God. Simply put, being a pastor or teacher is not as cheap as some think it is. My thought at this moment is not even t debate how easy or hard the job of a pastor is but to ask an important question which should make every teacher of the word have a serious rethink and check what they are teaching.
Over the years I have listened to several pastors and I am still listening to pastors. Today I can say that there are two kinds of pastors who are both respected by their congregation and they passionately teach every Sunday behind lectern. From these two categories you will see those who are teaching the scripture and you will see those who are teaching culture.
Both the scripture and the culture will look like the word of God. In fact they will make you believe that they were told by God but those who have been immersed in the word of God know the difference. The scripture is the word of God only. There is nothing added to it and nothing taken away from it. Even if the teacher uses practical examples in the present day to explain the scripture, you will see that the effort actually makes the scripture clearer. It does not twist it in anyway.
On the other hand, you find those who preach culture and teach the culture of the people. Some of these people are people who even know the undiluted word of God but they still don’t teach it that way to their people. While they claim that they are trying to use what the people know to explain God to them, they accidentally remove God in the equation and teach only the culture of the people.
There are experiences I can’t put out here but you will be dazed at the counsel that some people are receiving from their teachers of the word. You will be forced to immediately ask if they are teaching the scripture or they are teaching culture.
Jesus himself says in Mathew 15:6 ‘…Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.’ Who are those rendering the word of God of no effect by tradition? The people who pick up the word, teach it and then say that’s the Bible for you. Then they remind people how things are done today within the culture or the system of the country.
The others try to find a footing for the culture in the Bible. Does the word of God disregard our traditions? The answer is no. but can the tradition hinder the word of God? The obvious answer is yes! Jesus was not here to teach the word as it aligns with the tradition of the people. He made a lot of illustrations using the things of his days that the people would understand but that did not in any way establish him as someone who taught tradition. In fact, he was a non-conformist.
Why are we now teaching tradition today and making it look like the real thing? You were not given the teaching grace so that you can twist the word of God as it suits the hearer! Even though we know that the word can be very encouraging, we must remember that it also rebukes and does not expect the people to conform. That’s why Romans 12:2 says ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ So when you start teaching culture, you will go against the scripture that tells the people not to conform and ultimately against the one who even gave you the assignment.
Check yourself today and review your teachings. Are you teaching the scripture or you have been teaching the people culture? Are you teaching them to conform or to transform?
Finally, and this is to the hearers of the word. You are first presented with the word and then given a chance to hear it repeatedly from people who have been schooled, supposedly by the Holy Spirit. You are also expected to grow in grace and knowledge in order to see that you must work out your salvation by yourself. You have to bury your own head in the word and see the truth for yourself. Whoever teaches you the wrong thing will be punished but it does not also mean you are totally free from judgement. Why is that? It is because you also have access to the word. Please work out your own salvation!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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