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.
It’s been two months since I left the pastorate. The transition has been more emotional than I anticipated. Please don’t misunderstand; I’m confident that I made the right decision to accept the new ministry position at Pentecostal Theological Seminary. Even so, I find myself suffering grief. After thirty-eight years of pastoring the transition has taught me a few things.
In the Garden of Eden, God provided two trees – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of Life is the knowledge of God. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is life without the knowledge of God. To eat of the Tree of Life is to acknowledge that humans need God to flourish. To eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is to suggest that we can find our own way. This ancient narrative offers an appropriate way of understanding the affinity for liberal theology.
Various colleagues in ministry have suggested that Christians should not be engaged in culture wars. They insist that culture wars are harming the mission of the church. However, I’ve often noticed that even as they denounce the culture wars, they are compelled to #resist. If they are not culture warriors, what are they resisting? In fact, offering an alternative culture is the mission of the church.
Christians need to initiate a social grace movement. Jesus declared, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me and he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord!” These words have inspired a multitude of social justice movements – abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, right to life movements.