Seminary: Was it Worth It?
This is an excerpt from my journal, written on a particularly dark and confusing day. Although the issues I am grappling with are real and pertinent, please understand that I am writing with an air of hyperbole. The phrase “my professors” does not accurately represent all of my teachers, and this post does not represent my final opinion of Briercrest Seminary.
Wouldn’t it be horrible if I graduated from seminary with some sense of certainty? If, for example, I knew what and how to preach, knew how to tell right from wrong, or felt confident in discerning thorny biblical problems? What if my confidence was ill-place? What if my confidence — ill placed or not — let me to pride?
This result seems to be hideous to the professors of my school. Determined to shatter any sense of certainty, they have “exposed” me to every wind of doctrine, while severing my anchor of certainty. I have been hurled headlong into the blustery, foggy, miserable dark night of the soul!
I am humbled, is true. And, thank God! I am not in danger of proclaiming a terrible, short-cited “certainty” on anything. But tell me — am I any good to anybody?
me, who does not know where Scriptures can be inspired, whether God can be trusted? me, who spends hours lost in clouds of speculative theology, but is unable to give a struggling teen clear direction on a pressing ethical question? me, detached, intellectual, bookish, “relevant”?
I have been taught to douse the flames of Sinai and plant roses on Golgotha – but where is that lamp, that once shone at my feet?
It is certain that that scholars will not call me stupid, or — horror of horrors — “anti-intellectual” — but what of the faithful? Will they welcomed me again into their midst? Or will I have become to them a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
For all my work, and all my tears — have I become only an old and worldly wise philosopher? Am I destined to spend the rest of my days watching little children and old wives singing joyously, laughing freely, living simply, all praying freely and sharing openly this faith which gave me birth, but to which I have been made a stranger? They are so certain in what they believe — but me? The strands of doctrine and thought and Scriptures seem like a spider web, wrapped around the end of a teacher’s yard-stick. Who can untangle that?
have I gained or have I lost?
am I lost or am I found?
may I help, or do I need help?
Was it worth it, was it worth it?
Have I learned, or have I doubted?
Am I faithful or apostate?
Have I become dangerous?
Was it worth it?
Was it worth it?
Who are you, Lord?
Would you smite me off my horse?
Would you blind me, yes, and cure me,
Would you knock me off my course?
Would you teach me, yes and teach me to suffer to be used
And in dying to be faithful, for this is the path I choose.