Answer (Wo)Man

“Hey, pastor, I have a question for you….” As a pastor, do you feel like you need to have all the answers, all the time, to everyone’s questions? I’m not saying that as pastors we shouldn’t always be studying and learning and growing, but I think it’s a dangerous trap for us to feel like we need to have every answer.

Here’s what John Calvin wrote in The Institutes of the Christian Religion

“And since the Holy Spirit always instructs us in what is useful, but altogether omits, or only touches cursorily on matters which tend little to edification, of all such matters, it certainly is our duty to remain in willing ignorance.

“…Let us here remember that on the whole subject of religion one rule of modesty and soberness is to be observed, and it is this, in obscure matters not to speak or think, or even long to know, more than the Word of God has delivered. A second rule is, that in reading the Scriptures we should constantly direct our inquiries and meditations to those things which tend to edification, not indulge in curiosity, or in studying things of no use.

“…The duty of a Theologian, however, is not to tickle the ear, but confirm the conscience, by teaching what is true, certain, and useful.”

Study for edification, not curiosity. Teach what is true and helpful, not what is tickling ears. And don’t feel like you need to have all the answers.

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