The Conservative College and long socks

“Mr Edwards”….the voice came ringing across the study hall, “where are your long socks?”

David Kemp was certain of one thing, the students at Adelaide College of Ministries would wear long socks when they wore shorts, even if those students had never owned or worn long socks in their lives!

I headed to ACM when I was almost 20. It was a college defined by what it stood against, as much as what it stood for. Pre-millenial, dispensationalist…anti-charismatic. Growing up as a I did in a conservative family, and amongst conservative Christians, I found myself an idealistic ‘bible believing’ Christian, and enjoyed ‘proving’ to anyone who would listen why all the ‘sign gifts’ had ceased with the completion of scripture.

Having said all that, it was a great college, and I loved my time there. Dr John Napier was one of our key lecturers and it was said that in the morning he ‘glowed’ from being in God’s presence. I almost believe it! His passion and love for the scriptures, and the students, was just wonderful. Other lecturers such as Phil Congdon were refreshing and passionate. Even our Principal, Dean Woods, was genuine, entrepreneurial and interesting. At college I made some life long friends, including some who are still pastors.

The good thing about ACM was their three-fold emphasis on Academic, Character and Ministry. They taught us, discipled us and gave us opportunities for ministry. I preached my first ever sermon at Narracoorte Church. This was a church we visited on a mission trip. It was well received and appreciated, and I experienced for the first time a real passion and gifting for speaking.

Perhaps the beginning of the end of my conservative and idealistic nature began when I received a ‘D’ for a major assignment on why tongue speaking was no longer for today. I had not given up this belief just yet in my life, but my heart was no longer convinced of its importance or relevance. On the way back to Perth for a brief holiday I was talking to a girl from an AOG Church in Adelaide.  We discovered we had been both mutually sharing our faith with someone from my work at Pizza Hut. God was giving me a lesson ACM had not.

10 thoughts on “The Conservative College and long socks”

  1. Ditto to what Middo said 🙂

    I was especially interested in your time at ACM as my church has some kind of informal affiliation with that college, and only wants pre-mil, dispensationalist pastors (which quite frankly I think is not an important issue when selecting a pastor).

  2. Yes it does…..which is a bit difficult now when they don’t have many students. One of the lecturers there is a friend, and a great guy. But I have changed my view on a lot of the theology I was taught there…obviously.

  3. Ok, so you have to be pre-mil dispensationalist to enrol there? I was meaning my church is looking for a pastor and one of the requirements is that they must have that particular view of end times…which is why they often look to ACM graduates.

  4. Yes, I understood what you meant, and I know about Dally Baptist.
    Having such theology is fine in my view. The issue for me is how important you make it.
    In my view the key criteria for selecting a pastor would be…
    Love for Jesus
    Passion for reaching the lost
    Vision for the Church

  5. When I say it is fine, I mean that if you want to hold that view, I don’t have a problem with tha. But it is not something I think is that important any more.

  6. I would add belief in the authority of Scripture/keen to teach from Scripture to that list too.

    Yeah I agree – end times should not be an important issue ie. it is not a salvation issue. Unfortunately for many people I know, it is THE important doctrine, and it is just so divisive and destructive for relationships.

  7. Tony, your comment was caught as spam, sorry about that.
    But…no..I wont be wearing shorts anytime soon, but I did wear boardies to the Baptism on Sunday!

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