What is sin? That seems to be a rather straightforward question, but the very question will provoke a variety of responses. In recent decades many Christians have redefined sin in various socio-political categories – racism, patriarchy, whiteness, sexism. This reduces sin to a socio-political problem. When sin is reduced to socio-political issues it can be redefined by majority consent and definitions of sinfulness change with the political winds. If sin is indeed primarily a socio-political problem, then it is a human problem with a human remedy. If this is the case there is no place for God, except for the civil deity we construct for our political purposes.
The Church, the old ship of Zion, in the USA is sailing on stormy seas and caught up in a storm of moral confusion. Christians on the left and right are casting stones at each other. Christians on the left and right are blinded by the great logs of political pragmatism. Both sides see themselves as speaking prophetically – speaking truth to the corrupt powers. But, it seems to me, these bold false prophets are speaking with fiery tongues – the very world of iniquity (James 3:5).
A few weeks ago I posted an article by F. J. Lee, the 2nd General Overseer of the Church of God, on the need for ministerial training (see here). This is Heritage week and we are celebrating Church of God educational institutions. John C. Jernigan published this article in the August 5, 1922 Church of God Evangel urging ministers to take advantage of the training at Bible Training School (now Lee University) Jernigan served the church as General Overseer from 1944-1948.
After spending six months in the Church of God Bible Training School at Cleveland, Tenn., I feel impressed to give it a boost through the Evangel from a Bible standpoint.
This is a tough statement. I don’t pretend to be the judge of brothers and sisters who confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I simply see myself as one member, among many, dedicated to the teaching of Jesus Christ. We are all called to exercise careful discernment and be accountable to the truth of Holy Scripture.
The following article was first published in the April 23, 1921 edition of the Church of God Evangel. F. J. Lee served as General Overseer of the Church of God (1923-1928) and president of Lee University (1922-1923). It is presented here to demonstrate that Pentecostal leaders have always understood the need for a trained ministry.