Seed-Harvest stuff


#1

Hi,

I was at a woman’s bible study that I have been going to (vineyard) and today we were discussing Mark 4:26-29.

**26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” **

Our group leader said this passage tells us that we should invest in God’s kingdom and God will give us a harvest. She read a portion from a book by Rod Parsley (pentecostal preacher) who defended this interpretation, and then gave us an example of how she invested $100 in someone ministry and God gave her $500. Now, she’s not trying to raise money from us. She doesn’t have a ministry of her own and is just a leader at the church, but she thought it was important for us to understanding this sowing and reaping principle.

I told her that I disagreed. I thought the man in the massage refers to God who sows a seed of faith in humanity and reaps a harvest of a people. But she said that the man can’t be God because it says, he does not know how the seed will sprout. Thus, it can’t be God since God knows everything.

While I am generally wary of this seed and harvest thing (prosperity gospel), and I think she’s wrong, I just didn’t know how to respond to that point. Is there another way to think about that passage?

Thanks,
Kendy


#2

I think your way of thinking about the passage is the correct one, particularly from the Catholic perspective. Having lived in the Columbus area I’m pretty familiar with Pastor Rod’s church, how it’s grown through the years and the lifestyle he maintains. I think the main one reaping the “harvest” at his place is Rod.


#3

The 1859 edition of the Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary says:Ver. 26. So it is with him who announces the gospel of the kingdom of God, as with the sower. For whether he sleep or rise, the seed will grow up while he knoweth not; and the well prepared soil will, by the blessing of God, be productive: so the word of God shed abroad in the heart of man, will increase and fructify independently of all the preacher’s solicitude, till he who has received it, being arrived at the measure of the age and fulness of Christ, shall be withdrawn by God from this world, and be called to himself.

This is similar to what St. Paul said to the Corinthians:
5What then is Apol’los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6I planted, Apol’los watered, but God gave the growth. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)


#4

[quote=OhioBob]I think your way of thinking about the passage is the correct one, particularly from the Catholic perspective. Having lived in the Columbus area I’m pretty familiar with Pastor Rod’s church, how it’s grown through the years and the lifestyle he maintains. I think the main one reaping the “harvest” at his place is Rod.
[/quote]

If you don’t mind me asking, how much “harvest” does Parsley reap?

Kendy


#5

[quote=Kendy]If you don’t mind me asking, how much “harvest” does Parsley reap?

Kendy
[/quote]

I suppose it was uncharitable of me to disparage Rod in that way (bad Bob! Bad!). I don’t have any factual information to go on. But if you look at the way World Harvest Church started and what it is today, as well as where Rod started and his lifestyle today, you tend to draw your own conclusions.

I suppose I am just suspicious of any group whose main message seems to be to send them money and they will receive a magnified reward in kind from God. I wasn’t aware He was an accountant.

But I was wrong to personalize it. Sorry Rod.


#6

Well I am going to say something about Rod Parsley. Because of him I am a Catholic in a way.

My brother started going to a Rod Parsley church a couple years ago now and this I dismissed since I really didn’t care. This was until he said some crazy things about the Catholic Church. I didn’t know too much about the Church at the time but out of curiosity wanted to check into it, and over time eventually shared what I learned with my wife and we came back to the Church.
(there, the short version)

I have watched several of his programs on TBN and you can see for yourself that it is a health and wealth gospel.

tbn.org/index.php/2/4/p/59.html

I looked to see what his financial holdings are but have been unable to find any firm figures. He has had a jet and pretty big financial holdings as of a few years ago.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Parsley

Even though he does seem pretty materialistic, he is involved with trying to improve situations for people and charity. So hopefully that touches him in a way for a more orthodox belief.

God Bless
Scylla


#7

Scylla,

What did he say about the catholic church?

Kendy


#8

He pretty much said that the Pope was the Anti-christ and that he would never go to Mass again.

I went to his house to find out where he got the ideas he was talking about and on his coffee table saw Dave Hunt’s “A woman rides the beast”

I peeked into it and skimmed through some of it, “I bought it later on” I have it, and have read it and looked into it now.

His wife, (my sister in law) then started going on about how the Catholic CHurch was a system made up of man made beliefs and if we knew about the anti-christ.
When I started to discuss this with him he became very agitated when I mentioned looking into his beliefs and where the Bible came from.
He said that all we need is faith and we shouldn’t think but just believe.
If you like I can mention other things he said in the visits to my house until a final explosion happened and they didn’t come back for a couple months.
This happened after I found some material online that contradicted their beliefs and they got very emotional and left.

It has taken a very long time to get them to visit and spend time with us, but now they do not want to talk about religion.

If you have any questions you can PM me, and you can search my previous threads if you would like to read how we came back to the Church, but this was a catalyst for me to study and look into the Church. Or just ask and I will post more when I have more time.

God Bless
Scylla


#9

Kendy, I think you are understanding this passage right, & the other person is misunderstanding it, just as others have said.
One thing I learned growing up, was that it is important when we are dealing with parables, not to try to make them apply to everything. A parable has one point, not half a dozen.
This has been applied to God & the Kingdom of God for a couple thousand years, & that is good enough for me.
All this prosperity “gospel” stuff is, IMO, garbage.( Actually, I think it’s :cool: worse than that, but there’s a :stuck_out_tongue: filter on that kind of :eek:comment…:wink: ).

God bless.


#10

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I was at a woman’s bible study that I have been going to (vineyard) and today we were discussing Mark 4:26-29.

Our group leader said this passage tells us that we should invest in God’s kingdom and God will give us a harvest. She read a portion from a book by Rod Parsley (pentecostal preacher) Kendy
[/quote]

well I heard an evangelical preacher last night on the Christian radio station, may have been Chuck Colson, doing a bible study on this, and in the context of stewardship, but he was equating the seed with the word of God and with our own cooperation with the Gospel. In fact, he sounded quite “Catholic” at times because he equated the seed also with our own works and actions in service of the Gospel.


#11

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I was at a woman’s bible study that I have been going to (vineyard) and today we were discussing Mark 4:26-29.

**26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” **

Our group leader said this passage tells us that we should invest in God’s kingdom and God will give us a harvest. She read a portion from a book by Rod Parsley (pentecostal preacher) who defended this interpretation, and then gave us an example of how she invested $100 in someone ministry and God gave her $500. Now, she’s not trying to raise money from us. She doesn’t have a ministry of her own and is just a leader at the church, but she thought it was important for us to understanding this sowing and reaping principle.

I told her that I disagreed. I thought the man in the massage refers to God who sows a seed of faith in humanity and reaps a harvest of a people. But she said that the man can’t be God because it says, he does not know how the seed will sprout. Thus, it can’t be God since God knows everything.

While I am generally wary of this seed and harvest thing (prosperity gospel), and I think she’s wrong, I just didn’t know how to respond to that point. Is there another way to think about that passage?

Thanks,
Kendy
[/quote]

Hi Kendy :wave: -

The NAB notation says…

Only Mark records the parable of the seed’s growth. Sower and harvester are the same. The emphasis is on the power of the seed to grow of itself without human intervention (Mark 4:27). Mysteriously it produces blade and ear and full grain (Mark 4:28). Thus the kingdom of God initiated by Jesus in proclaiming the word develops quietly yet powerfully until it is fully established by him at the final judgment (Mark 4:29)

Referenced with the passage is Revelation 14:
14 Then I looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” 16 So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

Note: The reaping of the harvest symbolizes the gathering of the elect in the final judgment

Subrosa


#12

[quote=Subrosa]Hi Kendy :wave: -

The NAB notation says…

Only Mark records the parable of the seed’s growth. Sower and harvester are the same. The emphasis is on the power of the seed to grow of itself without human intervention (Mark 4:27). Mysteriously it produces blade and ear and full grain (Mark 4:28). Thus the kingdom of God initiated by Jesus in proclaiming the word develops quietly yet powerfully until it is fully established by him at the final judgment (Mark 4:29)

Referenced with the passage is Revelation 14:
14 Then I looked and there was a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man, with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” 16 So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

Note: The reaping of the harvest symbolizes the gathering of the elect in the final judgment

Subrosa
[/quote]

Thanks (everyone) for helping me clear that up. I think the passage is relatively clear. It’s amazing that someone could read prosperity gospel into this. But you have to justify your behavior somehow.

I realize I should probably avoid these bible studies, but I am pretty attached to the people. Plus, so far my experience with the catholics at my local parish has left much to be desired. They are pretty nutty and occasionally ignorant of scripture.

Kendy


#13

[quote=Kendy]Thanks (everyone) for helping me clear that up. I think the passage is relatively clear. It’s amazing that someone could read prosperity gospel into this. But you have to justify your behavior somehow.

I realize I should probably avoid these bible studies, but I am pretty attached to the people. Plus, so far my experience with the catholics at my local parish has left much to be desired. They are pretty nutty and occasionally ignorant of scripture.

Kendy
[/quote]

Hi Kendy :wave: -

You do realize that Catholics are not bible people, dont you?
Is there any bible study in your Parish? I’ve been Catholic my whole life and only now, am 48 am I really studying it. Thursday at my parish hall.

I think that studying scripture with you friends is good, espescially if you can keep doing the stop-and-correct thing that you did.

Subrosa


#14

[quote=Kendy]Hi,

I was at a woman’s bible study that I have been going to (vineyard) and today we were discussing Mark 4:26-29.

**26He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” **

Our group leader said this passage tells us that we should invest in God’s kingdom and God will give us a harvest. She read a portion from a book by Rod Parsley (pentecostal preacher) who defended this interpretation, and then gave us an example of how she invested $100 in someone ministry and God gave her $500. Now, she’s not trying to raise money from us. She doesn’t have a ministry of her own and is just a leader at the church, but she thought it was important for us to understanding this sowing and reaping principle.

I told her that I disagreed. I thought the man in the massage refers to God who sows a seed of faith in humanity and reaps a harvest of a people. But she said that the man can’t be God because it says, he does not know how the seed will sprout. Thus, it can’t be God since God knows everything.

[/quote]

Spot on, Kendy. It’s a parable and it’s meant to be read as a parable. It conveys a theological truth, but not a dogma or doctrine that can be whittled down to “well, the sower can’t be God, because he doesn’t know what’s going to grow.” The point Our Lord was trying to make was just what you understood. Best of luck in trying to convey that to someone committed to the “prosperity gospel.”


#15

[quote=Subrosa]Hi Kendy :wave: -

You do realize that Catholics are not bible people, dont you?
Is there any bible study in your Parish? I’ve been Catholic my whole life and only now, am 48 am I really studying it. Thursday at my parish hall.

I think that studying scripture with you friends is good, espescially if you can keep doing the stop-and-correct thing that you did.

Subrosa
[/quote]

Hi Subrosa,

Oh, there’s a bible study all right :wink:


#16

[quote=JKirkLVNV]Spot on, Kendy. It’s a parable and it’s meant to be read as a parable. It conveys a theological truth, but not a dogma or doctrine that can be whittled down to “well, the sower can’t be God, because he doesn’t know what’s going to grow.” The point Our Lord was trying to make was just what you understood. Best of luck in trying to convey that to someone committed to the “prosperity gospel.”
[/quote]

My roomate said that we are the sowers. We sow seeds of faith when we share the gospel. Is that another way of looking at it?

Kendy


#17

[quote=Kendy]My roomate said that we are the sowers. We sow seeds of faith when we share the gospel. Is that another way of looking at it?

Kendy
[/quote]

Well, Jesus said “someone” or “a man,” so I suppose that’s reasonable. Of course, it’s God that does it IN and Through us, so we can’t really take a lot of credit can we? :slight_smile: We can just be sure it isn’t cash given for more cash to be received.

You have good instincts.


#18

It’s true :stuck_out_tongue: .


#19

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