INFORMATION VS TRANSFORMATION Apr 6, 2006 11:15:17 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Apr 6, 2006 11:15:17 GMT -5
INFORMATION VS TRANSFORMATION
John 3:1-5 (New King James Version)
The New Birth
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus no doubt had the best seminary education available at that time. He had to in order to be in his position. He had heard rumors of this great “teacher” that was itinerating among the people and drawing great multitudes. Surely he could have a great discussion with this “teacher come from God” and obtain all sorts of exciting information and possibly be given powers that would enable him also to work great miracles. But Jesus went straight to the point and to paraphrase it said in essence to Nicodemus, “You must be born again. You need transformation of your heart, surrender to God, not more theological information or some magical powers.”
In the field of religion and spirituality today there are many "head trips" where people are running after teachers, going to endless workshops and seminars (and sometimes paying big bucks), reading stacks of books on spirituality and religion, always seeking more information but often there is little genuine transformation of the heart. There is a lot of popular shallow teaching on one hand and on the other hand a lot of learned book teaching in divinity schools but very little real “born again” experience.
Gene Edwards has put it so well that I’m simply going to quote from him:
If a student of theology were to decide to give his entire life to the study of the cross, never by such means would he lay hold of transformation. Neither theology, nor gift, nor knowledge—even scriptural knowledge—is of real benefit in the destruction of those things within us that must be destroyed. At some point, you and the Lord have to get down to practical business. . . .
Christendom is full of a lot of workers, semi-workers, would-be workers and just plain old ordinary Christians who are ambitious: Christians who think that they are qualified to serve the Lord because they have stacks of notebooks full of information. I’m constantly amazed how we equate the matter of knowing information with being qualified to serve the Lord. A seminary education is certainly an excellent demonstration of that. I enrolled in seminary at a very young age. A lady who took my application at the desk thought there had been a mistake, that no one that young could be allowed into the seminary. But because I was a college graduate, they let me in. After I had spent a year there on Seminary Hill and learned all sorts of marvelous things (all aimed straight at my frontal lobe), I began to be called Reverend. I even began to be treated in a more pious, holy manner by other people. What holy thing had happened to me? Nothing except I had been exposed to an enormous amount of information which had accumulated over the last 1,000 years. But nothing inside me had changed from the mere fact that I had acquired that information. In the seminary I attended, I was surrounded by 2,000 other young men and women who were also piling up a lot of information. I recall no one being changed by it, though.
The teaching may be right, but there will be very little to supply your true and deep needs unless your inner workings have been transformed. My primary need was not a seminary education but the transformation of my soul. That happens by my soul having a divine encounter which emits from my spirit.
. . . .
The assimilation of more Bible information, more retreats, more sermons, archaeology, theology and all the rest will not add one iota to your deep inward center. . . . The dearest, most uneducated, illiterate little lady in the world who knows how to turn and live in hidden realms has more true grasp of the ways of God than all the information hidden in the largest theological library on this continent. The Inward Journey by Gene Edwards, pp. 55-57