A Publication of the Mid-Missouri Church of God
Volume XIV, Issue 2
The Ozark Newsletter
Lake of the Ozarks
FEBRUARY GREETINGS: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
By now, you are aware that due to hazardous weather conditions, the Super Sabbath scheduled for January 9th was canceled. It has been rescheduled for February 27th. We will follow the same time/format that was in the flyer that came with your January, 2010 Ozark Letter. Perhaps with a later date, the weather will be much better. Special Notice – We will be accepting donations of Gospel literature to help spread the Good News to all the World – So please bring something to share.
For the first time in a long time, we have experienced ‘winter’, but not as severe as some of our readers. We had about 6 inches of snow and the coldest temperature that I saw was -12. If you have already responded to the inquiry about receiving the Ozark Letter, thank you, and it is not necessary to respond again. I just don’t want to remove anyone from the list who does want to receive the Ozark Letter. In a previous newsletter, you were given the option of how you would like to receive this newsletter …i.e., email, snail mail, etc. Or you may opt to not receive this newsletter at all – you must make a positive reply to continue receiving this newsletter – the exception is those living in Canada or foreign countries. I will assume that they do want to stay on the mailing list, but should you want to get the newsletter via email, you will need to make a response. Thank you for your participation in this matter and I am always looking for articles to put in the newsletter. You may mail us back the top portion of the next page with your response or you may contact us by email at email@example.com with your response.
2009 HOLY DAY CALENDAR
- March 29—Passover (Lord’s Supper observed the evening before, March 28 Sunday, after sundown)
- March 29—Night to Be Much Remembered (Monday)
- March 30 – April 5—Days of Unleavened Bread (Tuesday-Monday)
- May 23—Pentecost (Sunday)
- Sept. 9—Feast of Trumpets (Thursday)
- Sept. 18—Day of Atonement (Sunday)
- Sept. 23-29—Feast of Tabernacles (Thursday-Wednesday)
- Sept. 30—Eighth Day Festival (Thursday)
TEACHING AND PREACHING
Taken from Servants’ News – July-August, 2009 by Roj Beaumont
Sent by Arlo Gisselman, Blue Springs, MO.
Teaching and preaching are 2 different words. Matthew relates that Jesus departed to preach and teach. Since two different words were used to identify what Jesus did, we might reasonably conclude that he did two different things. But in what ways are they different? What did Christ, Paul or the apostles teach and what did they preach, and to whom? The vast majority of times when the words teaching or teach occur in the New Testament they are translated from the same Greek word; didasko (Strong’s #1321). In Thayer’s explanation of the word it says: ‘to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them, deliver didactic discourses.’ Didactic means to instruct, but the definition of a discourse is to talk, converse, hold forth in speech or writing.
So teaching is more of a two-way process involving interaction with others. The question-answer process acted out in schools is a typical example of this. Pupils have interaction with a teacher often asking questions when information is not clear or it needs reiteration. The final instructions Jesus gave to his followers, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them…”(Matt 28:19) is to teach not preach. “For indeed because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again what are the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food” (Heb 5:12). So it appears we are to develop the ability to teach others. Since congregations are generally only “preached” to or at, this is going to be a difficult assignment because people learn by example. “But the servant of the Lord must not strive, but to be gentle to all, apt to teach, patient” (2Tim 2:24).
But what about preaching? In the New Testament preaching is generally translated equally from two Greek words, kerusso (Strong’s #2784, 62 times) and euaggelizo (Strong’s #2097, 54 times). Thayer’s Lexicon explains the word kerusso as, ‘to proclaim after the manner of a herald; always with a suggestion of formality, gravity, and an authority, which must be listened to and obeyed.’ The suggestion here is, be quiet and listen because I have something to say to you. In Thayer’s it adds, ‘to proclaim openly, especially used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian leaders.’ This is significantly different from teaching. What about euaggeslizo, ‘…in the New Testament used esp. of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation.’ (Thayer’s)
There are scriptures that include both words, teach and preach. In Matt 4:23 and Matt 9:35 we find on both occasions that Jesus was teaching in the synagogues and preaching the Gospel. Later the two words are used in Acts 28:31 where it relates how Paul spent 2 years in his rented home in Rome preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God and teaching about Jesus the Christ. “Whom we preach (Christ), warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1:28)”.
It must be noticed however other things on occasions are preached in the New Testament; the resurrection (Acts 4:2), Christ/Jesus (Acts 8:5, 35), Christ is the Son of God (Acts 9:20), and the remission/forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38, Luke 24:47).
Teach Fellow Believers, Do Not Preach to Them
Having looked at all the scriptures that include the words teach and preach and their derivatives, a very clear pattern shows up. On only one occasion can I find disciples or believers preached to and that is in Acts 20:7. This is the occasion that Paul ‘preached’ in Troas until dawn, and as stated in the NLT “…since he was leaving the next day.” Actually here the word ‘preached’ is neither from the Greek word kerusso or euaggelizo. Of the 60 times the word for “preached” occurs in the New Testament it is translated on this one occasion only from the Greek word dialegomai (Strong’s #1256). Here Strong’s adds; ‘i.e. discuss (in argument or exhortation)’. In Thayer’s Lexicon it adds; ‘to converse, discourse with one, argue discuss’, adding ‘drawing arguments from the Scriptures.’ So on the one occasion Paul is recorded as preaching to his fellow believers (in the KJV), he didn’t! He is, in fact, involved in discussion! Indeed, most other translations say “spoke”, “talked”, “discoursed” or something similar. This Greek word; dialegomai is where we get the word dialogue. Looking up the definition of this word in the Oxford Dictionary it says, ‘Conversation…between two or more persons.’ In order to follow Christ we must imitate Paul (1Cor 11:1).
- Paul’s habit was “reasoning with them out of the scriptures” (in the synagogue) (Acts 7:2)
- Paul every Sabbath “reasoned…..and persuaded….”(Acts 18:4)
- Paul “….entered into the synagogue and reasoned with….” (Acts 18:19)
- Paul, for three months, was disputing and persuading the things….” (Acts 19:8)
Reasoning and disputing again comes from Greek word dialegomai. Paul did not preach to them, but discussed with them most probably ‘drawing arguments from the Scriptures’.
Gospel Preached to Unbelievers
A large proportion of the times that preaching occurs there is the mention of the Gospel; examples include Acts 9:10 and Matthew 10:7. It would have been difficult holding a dialogue or two-way conversation in teaching the Gentiles since they would not have a basis on which to discuss much, as regards Christianity. The interaction with the Jews was different. So what was Christ’s example? It was Christ’s habit to go to the synagogue and meet others on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16), but what did he do there? There are ten occasions where it records he taught there, one where he read and only two occasions he preached. But what happened with the apostles and how often did they preach? They certainly preached among the Gentiles (Gal 2:2), but what about when they were in the synagogues? It was a place of verbal interaction, not one of an ordered and regular format. There are however two recorded examples of Paul preaching in the synagogue; Acts 9:20 and Acts 13:5.
But what about the meetings of Christians in the New Testament? There appears to be little to go on here except in 1 Corinthians 14:23-40. Orderly involvement could be the words to summarize what Paul advocated when he wrote to the Corinthians about their meetings. It would appear teaching applies mainly to the converted while preaching is to the unconverted. In the churches today, the vast majority of those attending each week are believers; therefore, it would seem to be inappropriate and unnecessary to preach (proclaim) to them week after week. Particularly when one considers that to preach is from the two Greek words; euaggelizo from which we get “evangelize” and the other, kerusso, which is to proclaim ‘always with a suggestion of formality, gravity, and an authority, which must be listened to and obeyed.’ As the congregations are effectively being taught to just listen and never to participate in discussions on religious matters, they will be relatively ineffective discussing ‘religion’ particularly with those outside the environment of the church, among friends and family. However, after services in many places I have found it rare that fellowship is about the sermon or in fact religious matters in general, which it appears it should be: “….call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words (Isa 58:13).”
Discussion Helps Us Remember a Teaching
Discussion in a service definitely encourages ‘debate’ after the formal service has finished. When no interaction occurs within a service this seems rare, it is as though the end of a service is the finish, what is said is a done thing and not open to debate or discussion. From my experience people rapidly forget even the topic of the sermon let alone the content of it. Discussion and interaction cements the information in the memory, it makes you think rather than just listen and maybe doze or dream of other things.
Did Paul, as he went from church to church, ever give a formal, kerusso? No, he taught them, didasko. “….He will remind you of what I teach…in all the churches wherever I go.’ (1Cor 4:17, NLT). As already stressed previously, teaching involves interaction, preaching doesn’t. The services are, certainly from my experience, notable in their complete absence of any interactive contribution from the congregation. But does it matter? Is it important? “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1Cor 11:1). Or as other translations put it: ‘Imitate me….’ This obviously applies to both the ‘ministry’ and the congregations. Both Christ and Paul regularly attended the synagogue on the Sabbath. (Luke 4:16, Acts 7:2). So we today need to go to an equivalent place to meet fellow believers. Since the synagogue at the time of the New Testament was merely a meeting place, (not a ‘church building’) we need to go somewhere where we can meet fellow believers whether it is at a ‘church-meeting’ or someone’s house. Based on the information we have in the New Testament what do we find Jesus and Paul doing in the Synagogue? In reiteration:
Jesus is recorded as reading on one occasion, twice preaching, yet ten times teaching. (Five times as much teaching as preaching?)
- As for Paul, his habit was to reason from the scriptures while there on the Sabbath (Acts 17:2).
- Every Sabbath reason and persuade (Acts 18:4).
- Three months disputing and persuading on the Sabbath in the synagogue (Acts 19:8).
Yet in only two recorded examples do I find Paul preaching there, Acts 9:20 and Acts 13:5. so when they met others on the Sabbath preaching occurs on occasions but definitely not every week. If ‘we’ preach or sit listening to preaching regularly we are not imitating or following Christ or Paul. If we are involved where teaching, being taught or discussing the scriptures occurs most or even some weeks, then we are imitating or following Paul and of course Christ. Preaching is a oneway process while teaching is a two-way process.
All Believers Need to Be Ready for Some Teaching
Should all Christians endeavor to be faithful? If so, then this verse is relevant: “And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well (2Tim 2:2, NAB).
Yes; we are all to develop into faithful people. Therefore, we also need the know-how, the practice and then the learned ability to become effective teachers. This is not in any way in conflict with James 3:1: “…let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” There is a difference between someone in a capacity of teaching, in the case of giving an active discourse in front of an assembled group (Apollos, Acts 18:26), and that of being approached by one or more and asked why we believe or do things as we do.
Many will also hold the view that with a ‘free for all’ people will end up believing different things and this will result in ‘anarchy’. But it says in John 16:13: “However, when the Spirit of Truth has come, it will guide you into all truth.” The assumption I make, however, is that the believers present will possess God’s Spirit. Note the word ‘guide’; it is not ramming anything down ones throat. “…and be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”(1Pet 3:15).
Meekness and fear is important to stress in this context. 1Corinthians 14:30 is a scripture that appears to be ignored by most. However, if this was applied then God’s Spirit would be allowed the opportunity to correct abuses and inaccuracies that I am sure we are aware happen all the time. “If a revelation is revealed to another sitting by, let the first be silent. In this way, all who prophesy (or teach) will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. Remember that people who prophesy (or teach) are in control of their spirit and can wait their turn. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches (1 Cor 14:30-33). John’s Gospel account (KJV) does not even include the word ‘preach’ or its derivatives: preached, preaching or preacher. The same however cannot be said for the word ‘teach’. It occurs three times referring to the teaching of Gentiles, Jews and believers. The word ‘taught’ occurs eight times usually referring to Christ as having taught in the temple or synagogue.
‘Teacher’ occurs on one occasion: “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher (Not preacher!) come from God” (John 3:2). Some have quoted Paul when he tells Timothy ‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine’ (2Tim 4:2); to say that here he is instructing Timothy to preach to the brethren. But does it say that? In context we read in the New Living Translation, “Preach the word of God. Be prepared whether the time is favorable or not.” Note that these are separate sentences from what follows: “Patiently correct and encourage your people with good teaching.” So we have the first part to preach persistently, the assumption that most appear to have is that it is to the brethren. The second part is to teach, but here in context it is to ‘your people’, in other words the brethren. Some may say the whole context of chapter 4 is that of instructing Timothy on how to minster to the brethren. This is not the case, since in v5 Paul instructs Timothy to ‘Work at bringing others to Christ’”. NLT Or ‘…do the work of an evangelist.’ KJV. You do not do that with brethren.
So what do I conclude after studying teaching and preaching?
- All believers need to develop the ability to teach others, but not to preach to them. Probably a much larger proportion of people are converted due to their interaction with friends and relatives than the ‘written word’ or mass media. Probably more success in ‘converting’ people would be incurred if some of our energy was directed to this end; that of teaching rather than preaching.
- Teaching is a two way process, so there is the obvious need for us to be actively encouraged to talk about our beliefs. (Hence ‘interaction’ is essential.) Since this definitely was not an activity that was at all encouraged in the past we therefore ‘all’ need this practice. Practice as they say, makes perfect.
- Preaching the Gospel (Gal 4:14) or ‘Christ’ Acts 8:5,35) is the active intention of people who are ‘called’ to such an activity “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Rom 10:15). This should be directed to nonbelievers in particular.
MID-MISSOURI CHURCH OF GOD
PO Box 92, Eldon, MO 65026/mailing address. Actual physical address is: 602 East North Street. Phone: 573-392-1232 or 573-498-3775; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mmcg.org The Mid-Missouri Church of God (MMCG) holds Christian Sabbath services each Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at 602 East North Street, Eldon, MO… A Bible Study and song service is scheduled at 10:30am before Sabbath services. Potluck meals after services are planned for the fourth Sabbath of each month. A weekly Bible study is held each Thursday at 6:30pm. It is best to call ahead and confirm times if you are traveling any distance to visit us (see the phone numbers above). Occasionally we will cancel local services to attend en masse elsewhere. Come and enjoy the fellowship! Also, the first Wednesday of each month the ladies meet for a “get together” and you can contact Martha Roberts at 573-496-3203 or Charleen Gitthens at 573-392-5965 for location and time if you plan to attend. You can also check the events calendar on the website.