x463....Teaching--what We Lack

There is a very strong tradition--which comes from the Roman empire--from the church which the Roman empire corrupted--This concept is that the leaders of the church--the priest/pastor/bishop/elder (whatever he or she is titled) is the person who has the"God-given" right to do all of the teaching within the church.

This concept came from the Roman concept of uniformity. It came from the times which the Roman emperors owned the church and codified the church service--they made the Sunday sabbath church service the same for every one of their churches. The teaching in those days was handed down from the church hierarchy to be read by all of the churches so that all the people were instructed in the same way at the same time and the leadership knew exactly what was being taught and it all lined up with what the leadership believed.

This concept is definetly followed in most of our churches today. We have a concept, that somehow--"magically"--the pastor--the leader of the church receives a teaching--each and every week--that is perfect for all the needs of all the people. The pastor teaches from a position which again comes from the Roman government--the "pulpitum"--the pulpit--a position of authority from which the leadership rules the people--and most importantly from which there is no questioning or speaking to or against. The "one-way" pulpit exists in all the Christians churches that I know of--but it doesn't exist in the Bible.

Instead, teaching in the Bible was directly to the need of the people. It was done by individuals--in place (the homes of Christians which were the new covenant "house of God") where questions could be asked--where the Spirit of God would lead the teaching directly to the needs of the people. A place where people could honestly ask the questions they needed to ask--and thus their need could be met much more quickly. A person can sit in church for years--and never receive the teaching they need--when the person sitting right next to them in church could help them in an instant.--but we believe very strongly that only the pastor--only the leader can teach--and in fact it is often taught from the pulpit NOT to believe what an "unqualified" Christian teaches you--NOT to believe what someone who is NOT "in authority" teaches.

If we were to look at the Bible purely, and without our experience and tradition we would find that the bible tells us that the gift of teaching is a gift of ministry--a gift which is meant to serve God and serve others. These gifts are clearly "unto every one of us" (Ephesians 4). In Hebrews 5:12 the Bible tells us something extraordinary which we apparently have totally ignored about "teachers"........

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

"when for the time ye ought to be teachers,"

This verse states to the church that by this time all of you ought all of you ought to be teachers. This word "teacher" is the same word (Greek: didaskolos) used in Ephesian 4--it is the 5-fold ministry gift of teaching. The church here is being admonished of the fact that they are slow in God--that by this time they all ought to be able to at least teach--teaching is considered to be the least of the ministry gifts.

Again, studying the concept of teaching purely from the Bible we will find that "every man" has the right to teach doctrine within the church--

26 ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1Cor 14:26)

the word doctrine used here is a root word of teacher--the word means "a teaching"--

didace didache {did-akh-ay'} n f

----doctrine 29, has been taught 1; 30

1) teaching

1a) that which is taught

1b) doctrine, teaching, concerning something

2) the act of teaching, instruction

2a) in religious assemblies of the Christians, to speak in the way of teaching, in distinction from other modes of speaking in public

The bible encouragement is for all to become teachers--that all ought to be able to function in this gift in some way--and that God will only be able to function fully in the earth when we are encouraging all to be teachers. Is there this encouragement within our churches of today? Or are we sure that teaching is only the function of those who are qualified?

Again studying the bible about teaching, we will certainly find that on certain instances, large groups of people were addressed. There certainly is nothing wrong with one person speaking to all the people at once. For example we see Peter, at the day of Pentecost, speaking to a large group of people. However, what is very important to realize is that he is speaking to a large group of unsaved people. He is giving a salvation call to the unsaved--he is not speaking to a group of already saved people. He is not speaking to the church. Again, think about it --this makes sense--he knows that all these people need to be saved--need to accept Jesus as Savior--so he is speaking to the need of all these people. He gets the result that 3,000 are baptized in one day. Certainly there is nothing wrong with evangelists speaking ot large groups of unsaved people--this is important work and gets results. However, this is certainly not the bible example of how to operate the saved church! The assembling of yourselves together was a time when Christians gathered in large groups--and again there is certainly nothing wrong with one person speaking to a large group of people--but it is certain and Biblical that this was not the limit of teaching within the church of the bible. It is certain that the teaching within the saved church was in the homes of Christians--directly to their needs--and through the anointing of the Holy Spirit--Not all the teaching in the hands of one person who was "in authority" over the others.

We have assumed so much in the church from certain half-quotes in the bible--"forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" is taken and lived out every Sunday--as a place of ruler ship of authority over the rest--"submit to them who have the rule" is undefined rule which consumes the power of the church. It is half-doctrine which limits the church--which leaves us with the result that Christians sit in church for years and do not receive the teaching that they so urgently require--they do not receive the prayer they need--the guidance they need. At the same time, the great knowledge and gift of teaching that is within so many members of the body of Christ, sits unused in the pews. The ministries of teaching and pure pastoral ministry are simple, humble activities--NOT offices of ruler ship over the church as we believe and operate by.

So we have lack in the body of Christ--lack for those in need of teaching--and lack for those who can teach. It made sense to the people in the bible to teach one another drectly as needed--not in a uniform format under the authority of one person. The world understands this--we don't expect that all the students should be in one grade --right? We have many teachers in our school system--for all subjects and needs. In the bible the word that is used to describe teaching is always a plural "teachers"--Not "a teacher" over the church who receives the teaching for all the people--a teacher which then disallows the teaching of the rest that the Spirit of God within and the anointing within all the people would accomplish.