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Doctors of the Air
We met at a Saturday afternoon fund-raising and promotional rally sponsored by a para-church organization. His calling card introduced him impressively. He was the pastor of an independent church congregation not aligned with any denomination, and a radio preacher. They called him "Doctor". And why not? After the good reverend's name, his calling card displayed the symbol D.D. for his honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
He was at least fifteen years my senior. For reasons I cannot explain, we became friends. I learned he never attended college or seminary. One day I dared to ask about his degrees. With what I hoped was jest, he quoted part of the thirteenth verse from the third chapter of the apostle Paul's first letter to the young pastor Timothy, which says that a minister "doth purchase to himself a good degree." So I was not surprised to learn later that his honorary degree was from a diploma mill--the same school from which ultimately earned his doctor of theology (Th.D) degree.
Radio and TV preachers, who are typically within the charismatic, evangelical, fundamentalist fold, are not known for having much formal education or having credible academic credentials. Some religious media ministry celebrities are college or even high school dropouts. One college drop-out who conducted a religious radio broadcast for decades told inquirers that he took a few correspondence courses from a Bible Institute but received most of his training from the Holy Spirit. Still he introduced himself as "Dr," and used an N.D. (Doctor of Nutripathy) degree to promote himself as "Dr." in media ministry and as a nutritional therapist.
What is nutripathy? Gary A. Martin, D.N., Ph.D., Th.D., D.Sc., who originated the system in the late 1970s, allegedly thanks to divine influence, taught that "nutripathy is a religious science of experiencing mental, financial, physical, social and spiritual health using specific universal laws."
While no other media minister I know holds the highly suspect Doctor of Nutripathy degree, other radio and TV preachers rely on honorary degrees as the base for their "Dr." title. I doubt that the use of the honorary doctorate and the abuse of the "Dr." title it conveys has been more popular than among ministers, including media ministers. While the honorary doctorate has no academic standing, because of the "Dr" title, it is a popular degree among those in some ministry settings who have little or limited formal education.
When a featured speaker is introduced as "Dr," people who listen to religious radio and view religious TV programs have reason to ask, what kind of "Dr" the title means: Is the reference to a D.D., (honorary doctorate with no academic value), the Th.D. (doctor of theology), a research degree strictly in theology, a D.Min. (doctor of ministry) a degree based on the practice of ministry, or a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy), a research degree that adds knowledge to the field in which the degree is pursued?
With the information in hand that the answer to the degree question asks, the next would be: What school awarded the degree? Just as it is no surprise that so many ministers, including those in media, seek honorary doctoral degrees, it should surprise no one that some Doctors of the Air are created by doctorates granted that are diploma mill degrees.
Dr A H Barbee is a minister and educator. He has served as church pastor, conference speaker, consultant to nonprofit organizations, businesses, Fortune 500 corporations, and professor offering courses in the humanities, management and organizational studies with five colleges and universities. He holds the Ph.D. in Human Resource Development.
3 Clues To Know Where You Fit In Ministry Part 2
Clue Number 2: You Have Spiritual GiftsIn part 1 you learned that talent is natural endowments; or ability and is a result of recurring patterns (connections in the brain) of thought, feelings or behavior that is applied in a positive way.If enduring talents are results of connections in the brain, what is a gift?Webster's Dictionary defines a gift as "something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a special ability or unusual capacity for doing or achieving something.
Matthew 24:34-24:35 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Satan is Let Loose One More Time
After the 1000 years are up in the Millennium Kingdom, two additional things must happen before we get our new heaven and new earth. These two events will seal the fate of Satan and all the unsaved people who have ever lived once and for all.
Theres No Time Like the Present
Today certainly is a present and we are to rejoice and be glad in it, because this is the day the Lord has made! Every day we rise to begin anew is definitely a gift from God.We've all heard the saying, "There is no time like the present".
God is God
God is God and besides Him, there is no other. He is the Holy Other, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Lord of all creation.
Human Evolution Timeline: Bible Quote and Science
The human evolution timeline is found recorded in Bible quotes (Book of Genesis). Adam's rib symbolizes the chromosome and is the key to the man ape evolution.
The Caribbean is the site of another thing which some would call a mystery. Until a few years ago I would have been inclined to put it in the paranormal control of soul category and I still believe that is part of it.
Choose Your Friends Carefully
For those of you who have entered into a true Spirit-filled, surrendered walk with the Lord where God and Jesus are now leading and directing your life in the direction They want it to go in - one of the first things that you will find happening to you is that God will start to prune out the people that He does not want in your life and start to bring in the people that He does want in.As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below - the Bible tells us to choose our friends carefully, that he who walks with wise people will become wise himself but that he who keeps company with fools will he himself be destroyed.
Story of Solomon
Without question, the greatest story in the Bible of someone who sought after the knowledge and wisdom of God and actually received it was King Solomon in the Old Testament. What happened to this man was just about beyond belief.
In Divers Places
Isaiah 65:17-65:25In Divers Places. A Look at prophecy and today's headlines.
God is not a Homicidal Maniac
One day on the listserve for my support group it got posted that it was all part of God's plan that we got HSP, so it was okay because God wills it. Bull! Somewhere along the way the genes got goofed up and that is why we have HSP.
Is it God Descending from Heaven or Another UFO?
The world that we live in today is in imminent danger. It is in danger of believing one of the greatest lies ever told.
Early Spring Cleaning
Has anyone noticed how fast 2004 is going? Hey, we are in December already. I really like December not only because people are nicer to each other and all the pretty decorations are around, but people stop and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
A Strong Anchor
Stories have been told about the only thing that saved the lives of the people aboard a ship in a storm was a strong anchor. But, there are also stories of those who perished when their anchor did not hold.
Living By the Truth, the Word of God
Let's be honest: Too many Christian books are nothing but fluff or teach a viewpoint that is borderline contradictory of what the Bible actually teaches. Christian publishing appears, to this reviewer at least, to be focused too much on marketing and profits, and not nearly enough on solid teaching for building up the church.
White Sun - Tao of Heaven. Showers of Wisdom ( Part 3 of 3 )
Everything one does in his life, irrespective of whether he remembers or not, is recorded in one's soul just like a memory bank of a computer. The images of these records create spiritual waves which resonate the spiritual waves of the others, irrespective of whether the others know that it is caused by you.
Obsessed with Armageddon
More and more today people are showing an obsession about things of the end times, especially Armageddon, the so-called end of times battle between God and the forces of evil. Not only has the Left Behind series sold 70 million copies, but now we also have the television mini-series on Revelation.
Politics and Christianity
Revelation 20:1-20:10Politics and Christianity - there has been many an article about this past election. Some, praising Christians and some condemning them.
Lets Restore the Word of Christ
"What? Trying to spread the gospel message without quoting from the New Testament? Impossible!" That may be your first reaction, but just think about it. Scholars tell us that the first New Testament book, either Galatians or First Thessalonians, was written in about 50 CE, nearly 20 years after that glorious Pentecost when Christ crucified was first proclaimed as the only possible remedy for sinners.
Amos And Social Justice Part 2
Amos was summoned by God to warn the Northern Kingdom of Israel of its impending doom due to the collapse of justice and the moral and spiritual decline of the nation. It should be understood that Amos did not travel to Israel in the footprints of Elijah and Elisha; working miracles and wonders.
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