Thursday, July 26, 2007

So whether you like it or not, you are dependent on me.

OK, so these types of quotes are easy to find. One doesn't have to listen to many tapes to find this sort of quote:

"The soul is a receiver. The lungs of the soul are apertures designed to receive bible doctrine. Either directly in Bible teaching or in Bible study or through the storage area of the human spirit.

The mechanics of this thing involves several aspects: You can store doctrine in the human spirit and use it later. You can take it directly through Bible teaching; and when you have become mature enough, so that you are spiritually self sustaining you can read and benefit from the Bible, but the worst fallacy in the world is the idea that a born again believer can sit down and read the Bible and derive spiritual benefit. That is a farce and every evangelist says 'Now read your Bible every day and everything will be alright.' and reading your Bible everyday isn't going to mean a thing, you have to be taught. So the greatest farce in the world is that you, a believer, a new believer, can sit down and read the Bible and learn something. That's why the gift of pastor-teacher exists in the church and its a long time before you get to where you can read and understand. When you see a passage you may not understand it, but once you have categories of doctrine, you can identify categories and work it out. So, don't kid yourself, when the day comes that any new believer can open the Bible and become an expert that's the day when we won't need pastors and teachers and I'll go to Hawaii or I'll go back into the service or something. ... So whether you like it or not, you are dependent on me."
Bob Thieme

Who in the world ever said we don't need pastors or teachers? You gotta love this all or nothing logic with this guy. We have pastors and teachers so it must be impossible for anyone to read the Bible and learn from it. Sorry, there is another option. Christian's can read the Bible and grow because the Bible says so and Christian's should also submit themselves to Pastors and teachers within the local church because the Bible says that too. (Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 3:15-17, Hebrews 10:25) Where did this guy come up with this stuff?


Jamal said...

I am not a Thiemite, whatever that really means, but I do use his material to study from, along with many other Pastors. I agree that he has taught things that are difficult to understand, and some things that I believe are not able to be backed up by scripture.
I do, though, believe that many of the doctrines he has taught, do help students of the Bible understand more of the Bible, than can be learned from most of the Pastors I have read, heard and even seen.
I especially appreciate the categorization of doctrine he has compiled for students. I know he did not create most of the categories, since they can be found in the writings of Lewis S. Chafer and other Theologians that predate Thieme, but he does clarify and present them in terms that I can use to teach my students with.
I am a conservative evangelical student of the Word of God, and I have found it impossible to find any teacher, except Christ and the writers of scripture who have got it all right.
I now also watch Pastor Thieme's son teach the Word, and I believe he is also doing a good job of teaching the Word. If I listened to him more, I am sure I would find difficulties in his teaching as well.
I really hope Christians never come to a point that they will only listen to perfect Pastors with perfect teaching.
So let us please not criticize too strongly a man's attempt to teach what he believes the Word of God is saying. All teaching from men has to be scrutinized and compared with other scripture. If it contradicts Grace. If I don't understand my Pastor, I ask him to clarify it for me. But when I choose to listen by radio or TV, or read a book with another man's teaching, I first try to understand where he is coming from first and what doctrine he is trying to teach. When I find that the man's teaching varies too much from scripture then I either choose to listen as much or listen only to understand what the otherside is saying.
I personnaly still have Thieme listed in my mind as a good source of doctrine when I am studying or compiling a message. When I read the teaching of Luther, Swingli, Josh McDowell, Chuck Smith, Billy Graham, etc., I don't throw out all of their teaching because I don't like one or two oppinions.
If you studied under Thieme for 30 years, I am sure you have a lot to be thankful for. Just as I have much to be thank for to all the teachers who have taught me over the years.

Chris said...


Thanks for the comment. Yes, Thieme has taught some things well. Especially early on. It was only later that things got progressively weird. Perhaps it was tied into his Alzheimer's disease.

With that said, the bad stuff is down right bizarre and cult-ish. He teaches that: Christian's can't read the Bible and grow spiritually, a popish doctrine of "Right Pastor" that means everyone has one and only one "right pastor" and they can't grow spiritually unless they are learning from him, abortion promoting doctrines, etc.

He also teaches an Antinomian gospel. More info on that is available here

The systemization he has done has long gone past that of Chafer. Check out the "spiritual" equations he has put together. They are nothing short of sheer lunacy. The gospel on crack if you will. I'll post those next.