Witch Doctors, Scripture, and other Theology
The last two days have been somewhat of a grind, yet a good grind. Yesterday we taught a solid eight hours to our students. At some point your brain just becomes tired but the Lord was kind to keep us both strong. Our days start at 6:30-ish and mine usually ends after midnight. In between the is only a little time to rest, though a pool at where we are staying is a nice place to draw the heat out of the body.
The students seem to accept me. Many of them are older than me and so I need to really earn their respect. Almost every one of them have been in the pastoral ministry for quite some time so I must always remind myself that they are not your typical seminary student. When these people ask questions there is much behind them and wisdom is needed to discern what drives the questions. Sometimes what I learn is a surprise.
As an example, I taught on the inspiration of Scripture and they received it well. However one man pressed a question on if my statement “all Scripture” was valid. I kept pointing him back to the Scripture. Finally he changed his question to a statement. It was something like, “So you believe that the witch doctor’s writing are inspired of God.” It was not an accusation, it was merely a statement and most certainly not one I expected. I asked a lot of questions (American seminary does not prepare you for this sort of statement) and found that the witch doctors call their words and writing scripture too. They also tend to mix in actual verses during their incantations. Therefore, since they are called scripture and “All” scripture is inspired, their words are inspired too. The result led to a very interesting excursis that was quite animated. Eventually all was resolved and back to the syllabus we went.
Today we only had a half day of teaching so that was nice. Then we went to Philemon’s family’s house to meet a young lady’s parents. They wanted to honor me for the support my church has given to her as she pursues a doctorate in the USA. That was a blessing, though uncomfortable. They gave me a special garment with various symbolism on it that conveys a message. Also they gave me a special had made from a plastic twine-like substance. Very unique but it is also very kind. I promised them I would wear it before the church and preach from it. So my church has a great opportunity to chuckle very soon.
Tomorrow I preach at some church a few hours away and then I visit other churches. It sounds like a lot of bouncing and bumping but also quite fun.