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Hirelings and Wineskins

Page history last edited by MrTundraMan 13 years, 3 months ago

Hirelings and Wineskins


Two examples of faulty Calvary Chapel teaching


Case number one - the way CCites use the word “hireling”. People (even non-CCites who should know better) have been applying it in various ways to people like Pete/Skip. The CC Distinctives say that a "hireling" is a pastor who doesn't control the board of his own church. I think that's the definition of a pastor, not a hireling.


Let’s start with the text first and see application second.


Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Jn 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Jn 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.


The John 10 usage of “hireling” centers around Jesus and the false Messiah’s that preceeded Him. They all fled and did not care for the sheep. Literally in many cases, they fled to the mountains when trouble came. Jesus did not flee from His “fate” in Jerusalem, rather He went to His death.


To use the John 10 passage word “Hireling” to describe a CC situation is anachronistic. They may think that they are messiahs, but they are nothing like that.


Then, what do we take away from the passage?


The passage shows that the call of a servant is to go to his own death. This was true literally, at the time of Jesus and is true today in many places of the world. To be a real sold out servant is to die - to die to self and perhaps to actually die.


After we set that groundwork we can ask if it is applicable to the current situation. Neither side would lay down their lives in the situation so none meets the “good shepherd” moniker.


A second example is Chuck’s use of “new wineskins” to describe Calvary Chapel over against the 4Square denomination in which Chuck previously served. According to Chuck, they are the “old wineskines” and Chuck’s vision is the “new wineskins”.


As tempted as I am to reach for the conclusion that now “chuck is the old wineskin” and “vineyard/emergent/whatever are the new wineskin” a good exegesis forces me to the text.


Jesus used old wineskins to describe the Jewish exegesis and praxis. He set His own exegesis and praxis over against it as being the new wineskins. Therefore I’m forced to conclude that “new wineskins” would apply to any Christian approach CC or other.


To call another Christian group “old wineskins” and one’s own group as “new wineskin” is extremely insulting. But Chuck does this sort of thing all the time. And he does it in writing. And he’s even clueless when he does it. How sad is that?


Reaching for an application without doing the groundwork in the text is a waste of breath and time for everyone - preacher and audience.


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