Good or bad? (Read here to catch up).
Maybe my own reasoning would help.
I knew without much doubt that I was called to ministry at about 14 years of age. It really solidified at a place called “Word of Life” in Schroon Lake, New York. Not the snake handling, pew jumping, swooning, Word of Life, but the other one—the polar opposite one. Word of Life is a one year Bible institute program where you have some of the best teachers from around the world teach a book of the Bible for one or 2 weeks. You end up going through the entire Bible twice.
But the killer part of it (and the real reason I uprooted after my freshmen year in college) is the demerit system. Word of Life is more strict than West Point. Well it was when I went. That was one thing they were pretty proud of.
And guess what? I volunteered to go. No, it was worse than that, I insisted! And the reason I did was, even though I had known for years that God had a call upon my life, I was drifting. I was beginning to get in a rut and farther and farther away from being the man that God shaped me to be—living the mission for which He called me.
Don’t freak out. You have one too (a mission from God). We (Christ followers) all do. You just may not be aware of it. Anyway, I digress.
Why Word of Life? And what about Seminary?
For me it was a yes on both counts (Word of Life and Seminary). You see, the discipline of Word of Life helped me see that you cannot simply follow God on emotion. You have to “study to show yourself approved” as scripture says. Feelings alone can lead you pretty far astray from God’s Truth.
On the other hand, we’ve all seen what academics by themselves does. It creates an egghead—a feelingless, scholarly robot. And, ironically, the final destination can end up being the same (for either camp) as the Christian sitting in the corner, guitar in hand, singing “feelings,” Barry Manalow style—far from God’s Truth.
So, let me answer the question, seminary or cemetery?
Indulge me just a bit longer—believe it or not it’s not a one sentence answer.