James said it plainly: “Not many should become teachers” (James 3:1)
How important it is in our day when almost anyone who has the time, money and inclination to do so can rent a building and set himself up as a preacher and teacher. Harold Camping is an example of this very problem.
Why not? There are plenty of reasons one could mention, but James cites only one—he issues a warning to all such people.
It used to be that men were thoroughly examined as to their doctrine and life before ordaining them. Most denominations had a period prior to ordination when a prospective preacher was licensed to preach under the supervision of elders. Only after proving himself fit for ministry was he solemnly ordained.
James issued this warning: “knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.” He was careful to include himself when he said that all teachers of God’s flock will be judged more strictly than others. He understood the responsibility involved.
God wants His people taught His Word accurately—and like the false prophets of old who taught improperly, He will judge those who fail to do so.
Reader . . .
Are you one who thinks he can teach, when you are really unprepared and/or inept? Peter says that untaught persons are unstable and twist God’s truth (2 Peter 3:16). Be honest; think clearly. Are you a satisfactory teacher of the Scriptures? If not, leave the pulpit (or SS class) and go do something that will provide money to support those who are. Churches have enough problems without you—don’t add to them.