Apples ≠ Oranges

Yknow ... there are times when those of us who self-identify as “Christian” have been known to say some pretty ... well, dumb things.

For the most part, it’s unintentional, not based in a deliberate effort to spread disinformation. It’s usually a simple mistake, like comparing oranges to apples and later discovering (gasp) they’re not the same. And then blaming the apple for not being an orange, as if the apple’s failed its only task or – worse – deliberately deceived us.

I’ve lost track of how many books, blogs, pastors and/or teachers say something to the effect of: “God’s been showing me a lot recently about [insert topic here], and let me tell you, they didnt teach me that in seminary.”

The audience nods and chuckles; after all, can anything spiritually worthwhile come from seminary?

Im surprised that they’re surprised.

Weren’t they paying attention in class? Did they somehow get confused about the difference between seminary and the Holy Spirit?

Bible colleges and seminaries are designed to provide theological training, teach skills in biblical interpretation and application, and be a time of preparation and honing for students already following the Spirits leading – thats why theyre at Bible college/seminary in the first place.

The Holy Spirit’s job description is uniquely tailored to individual believers. He alone is our source of spiritual vitality and vision. The Holy Spirit uses Bible colleges and seminaries to hone and sharpen us, yes, but they were never meant to replace Him.

Insider Tip: Bible colleges and seminaries always challenge students to know the difference between head knowledge and heart transformation. To borrow a commonly known proverb, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Training facilities like Bible colleges and seminaries can only lead horses you so far – you have to encounter the Spirit on your own. Nobody can “make” you.

So, please, I’m beggin’ ya – for the love of all that’s good and right and holy in the universe – stop belittling seminaries because they arent the Holy Spirit.

Its like blaming an apple for not being an orange.

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