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The Definition
of an Expert

March 23, 2006

Expert:  Someone who knows everything and nothing else

Hi Paul:

The negative evaluation in lesson 13 of the Basic Training Program is not a requirement, but I always welcome constructive suggestions to improve the training program. By constructive, Paul, I meant suggestions that would help people in their sharing the Gospel. That kind of knowledge only comes through time and experience on the field anyway and by that time, if faithful, you would be writing your own training program if that was God's purpose for you.

Paul, I am always here for you and welcome continued correspondence. Concerning the positive evaluation if you feel the need to do something more with it, that is between you and the Lord, but I thought it was okay as is. Through the positive evaluation you encourage other Christians about the importance of training in evangelism and through it multiply your own life in it in service to the Lord.

Paul, my comprehensive training program is the result of years of keeping an open mind. I know you do not do this intentionally (it seems to be a disease of all young people, LOL!) but often you come across critical and absolute, you do not ask questions about things you think may be improper. I spent the first ten years of my walk with Jesus going through several evangelism training programs while doing evangelism on the field. I always kept an open mind to the Lord and the Holy Spirit and so He was able to teach me and round off my rough edges. In saying that I still stand before the Lord and say "Jesus, I give all my education back to you. I know nothing, teach me." There are only two things in this universe that are absolute: the Bible and Jesus. We all have our presuppositions about things, but try to keep an open mind. It was having an open mind that helped me understand the proper approach to issues like water baptism and salvation through faith alone. At one point on the field I was approached by many people who taught salvation through water baptism or through receiving the Holy Spirit. While I was not convinced at the time of their position, I did not write them off, I got on my knees and cried out to God to open my eyes to His Word and what it truly teaches. The end result was the Holy Spirit taking me through the Book of Acts, a book these camps primarily use for their arguments, and showed me clearly how even Peter did not agree with their assertions. When it appears to you that someone is in error about a subject, don't attack them, ask questions: "Most Christians I know don't believe this way, why do you hold this position?" Then take what they say to the the Lord and ask Him to show you who is right and who is wrong. Ask the Lord to do this, to lead you into His word. When we go to the word to find answers we are only looking to support the positions we already hold. Only the Lord by His Holy Spirit, if we keep an open mind and teachable spirit, can open our eyes to our error or reaffirm our position in his word. This is what is meant by the Bible being the sword of the Holy Spirit, not manís sword. I held at one time as a young person to once saved always saved teaching and believed I had sufficient reasons for believing so based on the Bible. However, a later crisis in my life changed all that when the Holy Spirit forcibly showed me in the Word why my thinking was wrong. That completely changed and rearranged my thinking and theology. I in a sense had to start all over about my thinking on these issues. It was after this that, while at the moment I held certain views, I kept an open mind to the Lord to show me if I was wrong.

While I am absolute about the Bible being God's Word and without error, I am not absolute about myself that I am absolute about what God's word teaches on all subjects. I talk about this in the Advanced Training Program about how a true knowledge of God's word is more than reading a book. I did an exhaustive study of the constitution of man and developed a model from it years ago. However, the Holy Spirit later told me "I want you to read a book on this subject." It was "The Spiritual Man" by Watchman Nee. As I started reading it, it in many ways went against the then model of the constitution of man I held. Several times I threw the book across the room in protest, but God had commanded me to read it. As I continued reading it and further examined God's word I came to realize my model was not quiet right and made the necessary adjustments that were needed. Part of the frustration for me at the time was I had just spent two years writing the first edition of the Basic Textbook on Evangelism and was ready to publish it when the Lord had me read this book by Watchman Nee. I was so thankful to the Lord afterwards that I had not published the textbook because I would have been embarrassed the rest of my life whenever the book would have been brought up by someone. I had to completely rewrite the book and make the necessary adjustments in my model to make it line up more clearly with God's word. You see you do not come to a true knowledge of God's word through just studying it. That is were we start. However, only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to see the real truth that is there.

1 Corinthians 1:21 "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

By the way that is why it is so important that all Christians take time in their weeks to go out and share the Gospel with men and women.  Why?  Because only a Christian has the Holy Spirit living in them.  Only a Christian by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can see God's salvation for man through Jesus Christ in the teaching of the Bible and clearly communicate it to lost humanity.  When an unregenerate person reads the Bible all they see is the dos and don'ts of the Bible and the judgment of God.  Their dark heart and mind cannot discern its message of Salvation.  That is why Paul tells us in Romans 1:16-17,

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, ĎBut the righteous man shall live by faith.í"

Only a person who has the Holy Spirit can communicate the clear message of God's salvation through Jesus Christ in the Bible to an unregenerate man.

Job had an intellectual knowledge about what he believed and about what he believed about God. However, after his trial and God revealing himself to him personally, Job then said in Job 42:5-6 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes." By repenting he meant he adjusted his incorrect thinking and theology about what he believed about God as a result of encountering Him personally.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter [the Word, the Law], but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit creates-life."

Of course, a personal experience is never a higher authority than the Bible itself. Jesus said in John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God."  However, when we encounter the true living God it opens our eyes to what the Bible is truly saying, not what we think it is saying. A true understanding of Godís Word only comes through knowing God Himself.

John 1:16-17 "For of His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ."

Jesus said in John 18:37 "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTH. Everyone who is of the truth HEARS MY VOICE.í"

So it is a combination of study and spending time with and encountering the true living God that leads us to a clearer understanding of the truth. I say clearer because none of us on this side of heaven can ever be too absolute about our own understanding. We must always remain open and teachable. Only an expert knows everything and nothing else.

Paul, your only Achilles' heal I see is your critical absolutist attitude. Please do not be offended, because we all were like this at one time in our past, but I chuckle when I read your critical absolutist statements because I think "Someone is influencing him in a negative absolutist way." Paul, when I share the Gospel on the field, I am very absolutist in my presentation of the Gospel. I share it unapologetically as truth because I believe it to be the truth. However, at home and privately over the years I have had to make adjustments about my absolute truth, LOL. My salvation tract has been rewritten and adjusted many times since it was first written in 1989, more so than probably anything else I have written.  Nevertheless, when presenting the Gospel on the field you have to be straightforward, not wishy washy. God only gives people a clear understanding of the truth who obey Him (John 14:21). So yes whether perfect or not, God wants us to go out and share the Gospel as we currently understand it even if imperfect. However, in discussion with brothers and in your study of the word, if you want to grow in a true knowledge of the Word and God, you have to always maintain an open mind and teachable spirit that you may not be as absolute about what Godís Word teaches as you think you are. I am not talking about compromise. One of the reasons for my straightforward teaching on subjects is the result of watching the compromises of mainstream Christianity not based on Godís Word, but on trying to please everybody, so I am not talking about trying to please everybody. There is always going to be someone out there who does not agree with you.  I seek only to please one person: Jesus.  I am talking about an open mind only in the sense that while Godís Word is absolute, none of us is ever 100% absolute about what Godís word actually teaches.

1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

1 John 1:10 "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

Ecclesiastes7:20 "Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins."

In that sense we must always keep an open mind for God to open our eyes to see His absolute Word more clearly. I am attaching a letter below I wrote recently to an Expert who is associated with a friend of mine who always takes an intolerant absolutist position on subjects and therefore is not open to hear anyone else's view point. You will find it helpful.

Your Friend in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor Evangelist

February 17, 2006

Re: Definition of an Expert

Dear Jane:

How are you? I have been praying about a matter for some time regarding Sally and you. For the most part I have ignored it except in prayer, but this morning the Lord asked me if I would write you a letter. First, may I give you my definition of an expert:

"An expert is someone who knows everything and nothing else."

LOL! I was very thankful to the Lord for my Christian University education at Oral Roberts University. Why? Because I think they are the perfect Christian University and agree with everything they say, do and teach?  No. I remember the first time I heard that Oral Roberts had started a Christian University. I turned on the TV to find the Merv Griffin show on and that one of his guests for that day was Oral Roberts. I knew Oral Roberts was an evangelist and that God used him primarily to bring Jesusí healing power to people, but I was not aware until that day that he had also started and was president of a Christian University called Oral Roberts University. I thought to myself, "What is Oral Roberts doing in Education, he is an Evangelist?" I was in the middle of a degree (75') at a junior college at the time in Electronic Technology. A year later I was sitting in my room just having finished the last chapter of the textbook which completed my education in this degree. As I did the Lord flooded my room with His presence and He said to me,

"Well done good and faithful servant. Because you have been faithful in little, I am going to put you in charge of much. You are an Evangelist, Overseer, Teacher!"

Somehow in the process of completing this two year degree I had managed to miss one class and so found myself taking one course that Spring Semester to complete my degree. Along with my calling the Lord began to deal with me about my needing to complete my studies in Biblical theology. I had started in a Christian college in my hometown out of high school but my parents wished me to get a two year degree in what they considered a practical field first. I sought the Lord about it and He told me to honor them; thus how I ended up going through a two year degree in electronic technology.

Jesus had called me to the ministry when I was 15 years old. I did not know the Lord at the time. I was raised Catholic and thought he wanted me to become a priest. I decided maybe I should read the Bible and so I did. I read first through the New Testament. As a result I came to saving faith in Jesus Christ and entered into a personal relationship with Him. As time went on and as I continued to read the Bible, my religious convictions changed and eventually I left the Catholic Church. This happened to me right out of high school. This is a long story and not the intent of this letter, but a little bit of my background to understand what came next.

I first went to a Christian Bible school in my hometown right out of High School. However, after two semesters there I became very disillusioned since they were teaching liberal theology and everything that supposedly was wrong with the Bible. I decided I would do better to go to a junior college to start with and complete my liberal arts since it was cheaper and then seek a Bible college that had a higher respect for God's Word to complete my theological education in later. 

I was, would you believe, at this junior college for four years (another story for another time :o) )? Every day I was on that campus I went out and shared Christ with students. By the time my education was completed their I was a seasoned Christian. I had encountered every kind of ism and religion one could on that campus. The end result of that was it forced me to go home each day and open my Bible and search for Godís answers to what I was encountering. You see I did not develop my Biblical theology at Oral Roberts University, I developed it while out sharing the Gospel on campus at Fresno City College.

Now at the end of Godís education in my life at Fresno City College in obedience to God in honoring my parents, God now gives me His specific spiritual calling and then deals with me that I now need to complete my studies in Christian theology at a Christian school.

Because of the disillusioned experience I had had at the first Christian Bible school I went to, I was not ready to just sign up anywhere. I had had four years to think about what I believed and why and so I wanted to go to a Christian college which best related to those convictions and beliefs. The problem was where? I did my homework, looked into many different schools, what they where about and stood for. Oral Roberts University was one of those colleges. I did not know much about this University, but I was impressed that they had a whole man philosophy about their approach to education: spirit, soul and body. I was very much into aerobics in those days in exercise and Oral Roberts University was the only Christian school which had adopted this into their physical program. Would you believe that got my attention to them more than anything else? I thought to myself "If they are this together here, what will their Biblical theological education be like?"

This in itself did not decide my decision to go there per say. I decided to go on a fast for a week and seek the Lordís will for me in where He wanted me to attend Bible college. The end result of that fast was His telling me specifically He wanted me to go to Oral Roberts University and specifically what He wanted me to take.

The rest is history. I did attend Oral Roberts University and did graduate from their in Church Ministry Pastoral studies along with a study of the Biblical languages. As a result of my time at Oral Roberts University I found many things about the school I had trouble with. I guess that would have been true no matter where I might have attended Christian college, but the one thing about Oral Roberts University I really appreciated was the fact that it was an interdenominational Charismatic college. What does that mean? It means I had theological professors who were Baptists, Assembly of God, Prespyterian, Methodists and some other branches of Christianity. Each day I would go to class and of course not only did these Professors teach the subject of the class but also gave their particular brand of Christianityís view point on the subject. The end result was instead of just being brainwashed to one view point, I got several different view points on any one given subject. This forced me to dig into the Bible all the more to try and determine which view was correct. I spent many summers on my knees seeking the Lord about these many different subjects.

While many of these Professors held different convictions on different Biblical issues, on salvation, water baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit today, yet they could respect their differences of view point and even would have open debates in the learning center for the benefit of the students to listen to. You see I myself was a subject of debate within the theological departments because of my theological teaching on Evangelism. Many of them did not hold my view. My success with the students in training in Evangelism was kind of a sore point with some of them because students who had attended there for two years or more ended up taking my training course on evangelism. Afterwards they would then go to their Professors and share with them how what they came to Oral Roberts University to get in education they did not get until they went through my training program. Ouch! LOL!

Why am I sharing all this? I am sharing all this with you, Jane, because I know that you and Cindy have differing views to the views biblically speaking that Sally and I hold. However, Sally and I have never seen fit or found it to be in Christian Character to attack or assault you two on your differing view points in some of these issues. However, Sally has told me over the last year that (and if I am wrong forgive me) that whenever you have the opportunity instead of discussing your differing views on a subject that comes up with Sally, instead you take that opportunity to attack and demean Sally on the subject at hand. I have gone through this with a friend of mine who is a Catholic Priest. He thinks he is absolute and beyond error. I have had to write him a few times and share with him that there is only one God who is absolute and beyond error, LOL! and that the Bible teaches in 1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Also in Ecclesiastes 7:20 "Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins." (see also Mark 10:18, 1 Kings 8:46, Psalm 14:3, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:8-10)

What am I trying to say? Change your convictions? No. I am trying to say donít be so absolute about your own opinion and allow Sally the right of her opinion. Lets suppose that you are right and we are wrong. Does not God command you in Romans 14:1-4,

"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

Again in James,

James 4:11-12 "Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law; but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver-and-Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?"

Jane, you are a person of strong convictions and I can appreciate that because as you all well know, so am I :o) I guess that is one of the reasons I write, I express my view point through my writings.  You all live together and because you do you need to not badger one another about your differences or judge your sister because you donít agree with her on a subject. You need to have respect for each otherís differences of opinion and stay open and teachable unless you just want to be an expert (see the beginning of my letter). Allow Sally to hold her own opinion and even express it. You donít have to agree with it, but doesnít 1 Corinthians 13:1-10 state,

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away."

Note that Paul states here we all only know in part. While I believe the Bible is absolute and beyond error, yet I Dale am not absolute and beyond error about all that I think the Bible teaches; Sally is not absolute and beyond error, Cindy is not absolute and beyond error, and yes, I know it is a bigggggggg shock (LOL!), but neither is Jane absolute and beyond error. Paul wrote "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away." Only Jesus is absolute and beyond error and only when He returns will we then know fully. Until then we all look through a glass darkly striving for perfection, but never attaining to it in this life until we go home to Jesus or Jesus returns. So what does that mean? It means I believe that at the moment I am right, but that doesnít mean I am closed to the view point of my sister and even welcome it because as I hear the view points of others it shows holes in my own theology and provides the Holy Spirit the means to correct me. However, not through the criticism of others but through sharing with one another.

Jane, as much as I think I know, no matter how much I think I know, I come naked before the Lord telling Him I know nothing. The first thing I did after graduating from college was to give back to Him my college education and tell the Lord, "Jesus, I know nothing. please teach me." The Bible teaches that

1 Peter 5:5-6 "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time."

James 4:6 "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ĎGod battles-against the proud, but gives grace to the humble.í"

Let us be humble and respect each otherís opinions, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on each other.

You know Jane, when you guys first moved to your new apartment, Sally told me you guys wanted to have your own Bible study and I said to Sally that would be great if everyone is allowed equal input, allowed to share what is on their heart even though everyone else may not agree. I told her that was the only way the Holy Spirit could minister to you all and you all could grow in the Lord. However, when she told me that you and Cindy started trying to lord it over everybody else in this Bible study and take over and let Sally and others know they had nothing to offer you, I encouraged Sally to just find her fellowship and Bible study in the local church she was attending.

So what is it going to be? Humility in love, loving one another and respecting the opinion of one another? Or being an expert? Jesus had the following conversation with some experts in His day:

John 9:39-41 "And Jesus said, ĎFor judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.í Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and said to Him, ĎWe are not blind too, are we?í Jesus said to them, ĎIf you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, "We see," your sin remains.í"

Your Blind Friend in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor Evangelist

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