I don’t want to hear it anymore. Only the person I authorize speaks for me. Otherwise, my Message gets twisted, the Message of the living God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Jeremiah 23:36 (MSG)
Many years ago I knew of a church who was in between pastors. The son of a church member had been educated and ordained in this particular church’s denomination. He had no job at the time and was living at home. So, the denomination and the church board tagged him to help fill the pulpit. The man was a nice person and extremely intelligent. But, he was not a gifted communicator. He had all the head knowledge and denominational credentials, but the words died on his lips each Sunday morning as the congregation struggled to figure out what he was trying to say.
In this particular congregation was another man. He lacked the denominational credentials and had not attended the denomination’s seminary. But, everyone in the church agreed that he was gifted in communicating God’s Message. When he spoke, God’s Message was alive and active. The Holy Spirit moved in the congregation. And yet, this man was eventually banned from the pulpit because he lacked the approval of the denominational authorities.
I am all for doing things decently and in order. I believe in education. Many times, however, I’ve watched as human organizations confuse their authority with God’s. I’ve observed how easy it is for us confuse man’s approval with God’s. Those who are gifted by God will be used by God. On the contrary, no amount of education or denominational credentials can manufacture God’s spiritual gifts.