What They Are Not Telling You

Justin Johnson

For years we have had a graphic on our homepage that says:

Learn what most seminaries don’t tell you.
Learn what most churches won’t tell you.
Learn what most pastors should tell you.

It is intended to spark the thought that perhaps there are things you are not being told from people and places that ought to be pillars and bastions of truth.

Of course, not everything taught from seminaries, churches, and pastors is wrong, but leaving one important ingredient out of a recipe can turn what should be sweet into something bitter.


Seminaries claim to train Christian leaders, but here are some things most seminaries don’t tell you:

  1. The Bible has no mistakes. [1,2]
  2. God has promised to preserve his perfect words forever.[1]
  3. God has preserved the Bible in English and we do not need a hundred competing English translations.[1]
  4. Different Bible translations do affect major doctrines. [1]
  5. Difficult Bible verses can be resolved without changing the words or spiritualizing. [1]
  6. The most important tools for Bible preaching and teaching are free. [1, 2, 3, 4]
  7. You can understand God and the Bible without a Ph.D, M.Div, or Th.M.[1]
  8. The most profitable attributes of a minister cannot be taught in a classroom.[1]
  9. Christian ministry is not a means of employment. [1, 2]
  10. Churches are where you should learn to do church ministry. Preparing for church ministry at a university is like learning to swim in the desert. [1, 2]


With hundreds of churches in your county, you would think that you could find one that would tell you these things. Unfortunately, most churches won’t tell you some or all of these things.

  1. Not all the Bible is written to you. It must be rightly divided.[1]
  2. Water baptism does not make you a member of the church.[1]
  3. You should not be tithing. It was part of Moses’ law. It comes with a curse. God tells us to give voluntarily. [1]
  4. The church is not a building, and you are not required to attend. [1]
  5. Church growth is unrelated to last week’s attendance or the bank account.[1]
  6. Church service is not when the pastor speaks. [1]
  7. The church is not a travel agent, entertainment hall, or talent show.[1]
  8. There is nothing special about the altar in the front. [1]
  9. There are no holy days that the church is told to keep, including Sabbath, Christmas, Easter, Lent, or Lupercalia.[1]
  10. 80% of money in churches goes toward salary and maintenance.[1]
  11. Worship does not always involve music.[1, 2]
  12. The most important function of the church ministry is holding truth in purity.[1]
  13. The mission of the church is to make all men see the fellowship of the mystery.[1]
  14. The pattern for the church is not found in Israel, the red letters, or at Pentecost, but in Paul’s epistles alone.[1]


Leadership in churches is ultimately responsible for encouraging the assembly to hold fast to the truth. What things should pastors tell you that most are not? Here are a few.

  1. Pastors do not have a special anointing.[1]
  2. Pastors cannot forgive sins.[1]
  3. Pastors do not have a special source of knowledge inaccessible to you.[1, 2]
  4. Pastors are not your mediators with God. [1]
  5. Pastors do not have a special gift of spirituality or holiness. They struggle with sin like everyone else.[1]
  6. Pastors copy from each other. There are books of sermons and illustrations that help with just such a thing. [1, 2]
  7. Blessing the pastor will not get you a blessing from God.[1]
  8. You have all the spiritual blessings and riches from God that they do. [1]
  9. Everyone in the church is called to ministry and are equal members of the Body.[1]
  10. You are accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, not him. [1]
  11. Your salvation and your behavior are by grace, not by the law. [1, 2, 3]
  12. Everything necessary to save you was already done by Christ when he died for your sins and resurrected to offer you his grace. There is nothing left for you or the pastor to do, but believe.[1, 2, 3]
  13. God’s will for you is clearly revealed in scripture, but you may not like it. [1]

Why the Silence

Clearly there are things seminaries, churches, and pastors are not telling you, but the question is why? Some might turn immediately to conspiracy theories, but often people’s motivations turn out to be much simpler and more common.

Ignorance, unbelief, compromise, money, power, and reputation are sufficient reasons for these things to remain untold. The truth will only be known when these reasons are countered with an increase of knowledge, faith, humility, integrity, and trust in the living God more than in money or power.

Now that you have learned what they don’t tell you and why, what do you have to say? Will you tell anyone?

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Published: June 3, 2017
Last Modified: June 11, 2017
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