Back at the beginning of the 20th century, a massive change was taking place in the evangelical church in America. Denominations had become overrun by the ideas of Higher Criticism which was nothing short of an attack on the authority and inerrancy of the Bible. But the changes in the churches and denominations were only the symptoms of something much worse. The average person in the pew heard sermons from these compromised churches that denied the fundamentals of the Christian faith—so much so that J. Gresham Machen called Liberalism “another religion.”
These sermons were coming from the men that were trained at denominational seminaries where the professors had embraced the lies of liberal theology in many forms. Although begun as biblical schools, liberalism had kept in and taken over. From Europe to America, the eventual result was that the unwary Christian found himself shocked to hear the assault on the Bible coming from their pastors. But many Christians were ill-equipped to respond.
The historic Christian church did respond though. New churches were planted. Fellowships were formed to work together. Missions agencies were begun. And seminaries were started to train men for the ministry, and Bible institutes were raised up to equip the layman. The Moody Bible Institute, Philadelphia School of the Bible, Bible Institute of Los Angeles, and others sprang up to meet the needs of the church.
With our nation currently undergoing a dramatic change, the church has not been untouched. For decades many discerning believers have been sounding the alarm that what was once “evangelical” has changed. Although it is still known by that name, it no longer teaches the same things. The church in America as a whole has slid far from its foundations, and with it so have the churches, missions agencies, seminaries and Bible institutes. The reality is that liberalism never builds anything because it is parasitic. It only takes over its healthy host and then devours it from the inside.
The time has come for rebuilding once again. We must continue planting churches, form fellowships and partnerships, rebuild or replace missions agencies, and begin training our pastors and laymen in Bible colleges and seminaries that are faithful to the truth.
Not all is lost. There are still many who have not bent the knee to Baal. But with the way things appear to be headed, larger Bible colleges, Christian universities, and seminaries will have a hard time staying open with greater pressure put upon them from our government. We need to remember the power of the Bible institute.
Bible institutes are a powerful blessing to the local church. They can train local church leaders to better serve the church. They can be a source of training an army of Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, missionaries, evangelists, counselors, and more. They have low overhead and don’t often offer degrees, so tuition is affordable enough for almost everyone.
I’d encourage you to look up your local Bible institute and support it through sending students, praying for them, teaching if you are trained, and supporting them with your gifts.
If you attended a Bible Institute, what was your experience? Would you recommend them and how did it bless you and the Church?