Why Bivocational? Part 2

      There are many fallacies of bivocationalism. Perhaps the worst is that the bivocational minister is only in “part-time ministry.” No, he is in full time ministry. All Christians are called to be ministers of the Gospel and to use the gifts and callings the Lord has given them; not all are called “to preach.” Nonetheless, bivocational ministers are not part-time although they may give on average 20-30 hours per week to the church on top of their “secular” vocation. Another fallacy is that bivocationalism is only for struggling churches who cannot support a full-time pastor. Again, this is true in some cases, but a growing number of churches of considerable size have a staff of bivocational pastors who fill different roles with their specific gifts and calling. Still another fallacy is that bivocationals are not totally dedicated to the Lord’s calling on their lives. On the contrary, many bivocationals are very adamant about their call to preach from the Lord, yet recognize that He has not called them to do it as a “job”—they aren’t hirelings and are pastoring where the Lord has placed them, not where they could get the best paycheck. The last fallacy that will be discussed here is the fallacy that bivocationalism can’t work and isn’t healthy for a minister. On the contrary throughout history and the Biblical record, most ministers called by the Lord appear to be bivocational. The prophets were bivocational at best if not completely self-supported. The early Christian deacons and elders were bivocational in many instances. Early preachers in America were almost always farmers, school teachers, or mercantile owners in addition to their church work. Bivocationalism is how the church often moves into new communities and meets people were they are with the Gospel message.

Open Door but No Peace, So You Left . . .

Have you ever had the Lord open a door but not been at peace? Paul experienced the same thing. I was reading 2 Corinthians 2 last night at got stuck thinking on this section:

“When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV

God opened a door for Paul but even though Paul was in God’s will, he was not at rest. Why? Because Titus wasn’t there. We too can be in God’s will and feel unsettled because someone we love and know is not present. Now I want you to notice what Paul does. Although the Lord had opened a door for Paul at Troas, Paul left because Titus wasn’t there. I’m not going to debate the theology of whether Paul should have left or not, that is not the point of the passage because of the next verse-thanks be to God! It is God who always leads us in triumphal procession for the sake of the Gospel! If you have repented of your sins and surrendered to Jesus, then God in His Sovereignty continues to spread the Gospel fragrance through our lives, which He purchased with His own blood despite our shortcomings, mistakes, and failures. (Going on in the context, I don’t want to neglect to mention that Believers are salt and light – refreshing each other and a reminder of coming judgment to outsiders, verses 15-17).

Gen1toRev22: A Way of Deliverance

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:7-24

Observations on the Context:

In verses 7-10 we see reiterated that all life perished. The Flood was global and catastrophic. The fountains of the deep burst forth and the windows of Heaven (water canopy) was opened. For 40 days and nights rain fell and it wasn’t no sprinkle but a torrential downpour!

Yet God preserved life. He made a way of deliverance, of salvation, for Noah who sought Him.

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Why Bivocational? Part 1

Beginning this series on Bivocationalism, my goal is to show the benefits of Bivocationalism. You may not receive any pay, minister, for obeying the Lord in your calling. But money is not the object anyway. I in no way wish to diminish the blessing of “full-time” ministers. But, guys, Paul was bivocational and our Lord Jesus spent most of His life in construction in Israel. So without further ado, here begins a series of posts from a course I took from Seminary Extension a couple of years ago:

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Book Review: A Reader’s Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan Edwards

A Reader’s Guide to Jonathan Edwards probes the historical and theological underpinnings of Jonathan Edwards, who has been called the greatest theologian of America.

I was privileged to obtain a copy through Crossway’s Blog Review Program.

It was encouraging to see that Edwards wrote as a ministry, not merely to get his opinions across but to defend apologetically the Biblical truth that was under attack in his day. It was also interesting to note that Edwards criticisms of Arminianism had more to do with the Wesley extremism than simply a historical matter.

Further, Edward’s legacy is one of a man who stood on the Bible while excitedly looking for evidences of God’s hand of revival in his day. Edwards did not diminish the need or reality of revival, but wrote on how true revival produces long-lasting fruit in individual lives.

Gen1toRev22: The Forgotten Fourteen

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:2-3

Observations on the Context:

It is often neglected that Noah did not just take two of every animal. He took seven pairs of male and female (14) of every clean animals and bird. Why? Because God commanded it. This is likely because there is some understanding of clean (worthy) and unclean (unworthy) animals for sacrifices and clothing. There would be more of these creatures needed because they were used for purposes that shortened their lives.

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Gen1toRev22: The Time Had Come

Scripture Passage: Genesis 7:1,4

Observations on the Context:

These two verses are connected. The time had come for Noah and his family to enter the Ark. The Lord reiterates that Noah is being preserved because he walks with God—he is righteous before the Lord in his generation.

It is interesting that God tells Noah specifically that it will be seven days before He sends the rain—yet notice how this 7 days before the Judgment appears to parallel the 7 years before Christ’s physical coming where the Church escapes the Great Tribulation by rapture.

The Judgment will be complete—God will blot out all living things from the ground (including birds which must rest on the ground).

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500 Years Ago on October 31st

500 yrs ago on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed these 95 Theses to the door of the church protesting unbiblical beliefs and teachings that were taught by the Roman Church. Today, we still need the Reformation, the back-to-the-Bible-movement. We still protest unbiblical doctrines. Read the 95 Theses here (its not that long):

95 Theses Text on Theopedia

 

Scriptures for Waiting on God

Waiting

Can I tell you this? Waiting is still important. Noah Webster’s original 1828 dictionary (a great, Biblically-based dictionary) defines waiting as: Staying in expectation. Are you expectantly waiting on the Lord? Psalms 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him….” Waiting on the Lord—being in His presence—is our place of rest. We often don’t get an answer from the Lord right away, but we can rest—we can be at peace and total stillness—as we wait upon the Lord. The reason most of us are not still and feel restless is because we do not wait well. Wait patiently, for God will show Himself mighty. Isaiah 48:17 promises us that the “…Lord, thy God [will] teacheth thee to profit, [and] leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

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