One of the highlights of 2019 for PBC was our Alumni and Friends Tour of Israel. We are excited to share with you a couple of videos of our teachers lecturing live from the sites in the Holy Land. Click the images to watch on our Youtube channel.
Portland Bible College Board Member, Howard Rachinski, founder of CCLI and member of GMA’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame, has released his first book, Perpetual: The Secret To Finding God In Your 7 Life Seasons. Published by Starpraise Publishing and available through Amazon, Perpetual chronicles the seven life seasons that everyone experiences.
Much more than an autobiography, Howard examines his own personal tragedies and victories through the lens of Scriptural principles, specifically focused on the life of Jacob. There are four “Calling” seasons—Preparation, Productivity, Transition and Impartation—and three “Character” seasons—Despair, Famine and Refreshing.
Howard states, “Seeing the beautiful order of seasons in life turned my chaos into clarity.”
In one of the forewords, Grammy-winning CCM artist Michael W. Smith says,
“Thankfully, for readers, Howard kept good notes for each season. Those notes capture all the glorious, and sometimes gory, details of how our Father deals with those whom He loves.”
In the other foreword, Darlene Zschech, worship leader and writer of “Shout To The Lord” reflects, “…There is NO ONE who walks through life unaffected by certain seasons. We each have a choice as to how we respond to each season we find ourselves in. Howard pours his heart out, holding nothing back as he walks through his journey of finding purpose through the pain.”
In 1988, while serving as the Worship Director of Mannahouse Church (known as Bible Temple at the time), Howard founded Christian Copyright Licensing International, Inc. (CCLI) which now serves the music licensing and resource needs of over 250,000 churches and ministries in over 30 countries. Howard is recognized as an experienced seminar leader and contributing editor in music copyright law issues. His experience also extends to the local church, serving as an associate pastor and music minister. Howard is also recognized as an enthusiastic conference speaker and specializes in teaching on worship, music culture and leadership. In 2016, Howard was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to Christian music.
PBC celebrates Howard’s accomplishments and is blessed to have him as a friend and counselor; who has and continues to faithfully serve and support our school for many years.
This month hundreds of pastors and leaders from churches all over the world gathered together at the Mannahouse Rocky Butte campus for the recent MFI Conference. Ministers Fellowship International, established in 1987, is comprised a network of pastors and churches that gather annually for a time of community building, and inspiring sessions that encourage and refresh the leaders that attend.
This year our students had the opportunity to facilitate some of the sessions, introduce the speakers, and put into practice many of the skills that they learn while attending Portland Bible College. It was an opportunity to build connections with pastors and leaders, and glean from their wisdom on leadership, church planting, and team work. Students were so grateful to have the chance for a hands-on learning experience as they emceed for the sessions.Ana Julia, a Junior at PBC emceed for one of the sessions, and mentioned how MFI Conference impacted her life this year more than ever before. Ana and all of the students that attended the conference felt like they were part of what God is going all over the world, and were honored to represent the PBC community.
If you’ve been online or talked to any leaders at all in the last few days, you’ve likely heard the recent comments made by John MacArthur telling Beth Moore to “Go home”. This has stirred up a number of different opinions and emotional reactions regarding the idea of women in ministry. Now, I can appreciate that as leaders we may land on different sides of the fence theologically, but when we make it our aim to demean, criticize, belittle and devalue another leader or those from either gender, then we are not operating in a God-honouring way. In fact, we are doing quite the opposite. We are attacking the very image and nature of God expressed through His creation.
WHY IT HURTS
Honestly, as a male leader and pastor, I may not always personally feel the tension of this issue. In my mind and the minds of the leaders I serve with, our Father clearly created men and women in his image and commissioned each and every one of us to “Go and make disciples…” Period. End of story. Let’s go do this. So when I heard the comments, I shook my head, didn’t even give them any credence, and could have simply moved on. But then I saw how the words affected my wife, the woman I pastor with, admire, lean on for wisdom, and live out this God-calling with. I thought of my own daughter, who at a young age, already has a strong and wonderful call of God on her life. I thought of my three sons, who I pray would never try to demean any other person called to have a voice out of fear that it might diminish their own voice. And I thought of the women I know who are mighty and skilled leaders and preachers in my own church and churches around the world…and the pastor in me could not stay silent.
I love the church. It is God’s plan to spread the good news and proclaim redemption to mankind. So any attempt to devalue half of that mankind created in God’s own image is an attack on the very plan of God and the church. And this is why I am grieved.
JESUS SAYS “COME HOME”
Though this short blog post doesn’t lend itself to fully developing a doctrine of women in ministry, it is important to note that Jesus’ regard for women was much different than that of the contemporary culture of his day. He regarded them as beings made equally in the image of God (Genesis 1:27 Matthew 19:4), and addressed them as such. He spoke publicly with women throughout His ministry (John 4, John 8, Luke 7, Luke 8, and Luke 11 are just a few examples). He gave them worth and value in a culture that regarded them as second-class citizens.
The language of Jesus’ ministry here on earth was COME.
“Come to Me, all of you who work and have heavy loads. I will give you rest. Follow My teachings and learn from Me. I am gentle and do not have pride. You will have rest for your souls.” Matt. 11:28-29 NLV
“At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’” Luke 14:17
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Mark 1:17
The heart of His message was “COME HOME.” Come, be who you have always been called to be. Come, live on mission and be part of my glorious story. Come, and let me breathe life on those dreams I have put in your heart. Let me stir up the gifting and anointing you have to bring others home. Come Home. This is the heart of our Father. I grieve to think that women would hear any other narrative and disqualify themselves from coming to the one place that can truly set them free. Come Home.
So today, I celebrate and honour the call of God on every woman in the kingdom of God! You need to know that we can’t do this without you. You may have been silenced in the past, but that day is no more. Rise up and fulfill the call of God on your life to lead, to preach the gospel, to bring others to Jesus, to train and equip, to prophesy and pastor. There are too many lives at stake for us to discount anyone from walking out what God has called them to do.
You are home.
The subject of ordaining women into positions of church authority is one of varied opinions and deep emotions. Many women see the traditional model of male leaders as one that has contributed greatly to the oppression they have experienced. In order to eliminate much of that they are striving hard to promote the concept of gender equality into many areas of leadership structure. The force of this endeavor is now putting great pressure on the Church to adjust its traditional understanding of church government.
When debates on women in church government occur, the final word for many people rests on a few key passages in the New Testament. These passages, viewed by themselves outside their literary and historical context, appear to offer a clear-cut argument that women can not hold authoritative positions within the Church. It is on these passages that the traditional male lead model has rested. Many, however, are beginning to challenge the methods of biblical interpretation that have fueled these models, seeing them as incorrect and in need of reconstruction.
The three most used sections of scripture used to restrict women from positions of leadership are 1Cor 11:3-13, 1Cor 14:33-36, and 1Tim 2:11-14. As was stated earlier however, most of the time these passages are used they are quoted without a consideration of their historical or literary contexts. When they are studied in light of the time, geography, and culture in which they were written they do take on a different emphasis.
In reading through the whole book of 1Corinthians, it is obvious that Paul is laying out directives that will help the church of that city function the way it was supposed to. He makes some clear points. First, every member of the Body of Christ is to contribute what God has given them for the benefit of the other members of the church. Second, God pours out various gifting on people according to His will. And finally, everything done with these gifts is to have the intended goal of edifying all the other members of the assembly. Paul never limits gifting to males alone, but gives permission for women to pray and prophecy as long as it is done in an edifying way.
1Timothy also addresses situations that were present in the environment of the Ephesian Church. False teachings, marital conflicts, and competitiveness were all part of that city’s characteristics. The new believers coming into the church already had these in their lifestyle and thinking. As a result, the atmosphere within the church was affected by what they brought with them. Paul has to address these issues in order to help maintain a peaceful, orderly quality within the church gatherings.
Both the passages in 1Corinthians and 1Timothy appear to be addressing specific problems that had arisen in the Christian assemblies of two great cities. The directives that Paul gives in these passages also appears to be addressing specific problems in these two cities and not just general statements meant to be enforced in every congregational setting. A statement that Paul would make to a particular local problem in one geographical setting can only be applied to a church in another location if the same particular problem existed in that congregation also.
My conclusion is this. Paul’s restrictions of women functioning in authoritative roles within a church congregation are directed at the specific ways the gifts were being used in specific local congregations. Once women ceased to function in a manner that would lead to conflict or confusion, they were free to function in a way that would edify the church. The prohibitions in these passages are not against women functioning, but against women functioning improperly.
To read Mannahouse Church’s full doctrinal position paper on this issue, please click here.
“Since graduating from PBC over 9 years ago, my degree has been foundational to me as a follower of Jesus and in my work as a church planter and pastor in Vermont. When I prayerfully decided and was supported by my church to travel to Israel with PBC staff and alumni, I had no doubt it would be a meaningful time; adding to the foundation laid during my 4 years at PBC as a student. My specific prayer for the trip was that it would be formational to me as an individual disciple of Jesus and that it would somehow be a blessing to my local church community.
The time was incredibly formative for me. My biblical imagination was expanded — even more than seeing much of the landscape and geography of the Biblical narrative — I got to experience and know Jesus in new ways. One place in particular comes to mind as an example, Caiaphas’ house in Jerusalem where Jesus would have been held as a prisoner prior to his trial before Pilate. Ken led us in a prayer and reading Psalm 88 in the pit/cistern cell where Jesus would have been held. As Ken did so, the presence of God was very palpable and we were able to enter into a moment of the crucifixion narrative that many of us had never really imagined or thought of before… Jesus in a dark pit, alone, likely praying for all of us, as he waited his trial, torment, and crucifixion to come. There were many other moments like that on our trip, I bring it up as an example of an expanded biblical imagination and a simultaneous drawing nearer to the person of Jesus.”
-Ian Bailey, class of 2010
“I’ve been told by one of his students that the esteemed professor John Sailhamer refused to visit Israel because he did not want his personal experience to sully his understanding of Scripture as a God-inspired literary whole. I find that charming—in a “that’s good for you” sort of way. But there’s something about seeing firsthand the very settings of the passages I’ve taught for years. Of course, it didn’t add to the “meaning” in the text; but it certainly added depth to my understanding of that meaning.
In class, I teach on the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment in Herod’s palace. But in Caesarea, I taught the same material with the ruins of Herod’s coastal palace right behind me. I could touch the stones, smell the sea, and imagine Paul testifying before the Roman officials. I teach a course on the Tabernacle of Moses. But at Shiloh, I walked on the dirt where the tabernacle stood for hundreds of years, with an archaeological excavation going on around us. Sacrifices were offered there every morning and evening for centuries. The boy Samuel was called there. And afterward I had the opportunity to share with our group my thoughts on the significance of the tabernacle. In class, I teach about Jesus walking on water to meet his disciples in the boat. What a privilege it was to teach that material as we drifted on the Sea of Galilee in a tour boat.
My experience of Israel was priceless. It inspired me, but it also equipped me to present the text of Scripture with more color and clarity.”
-Professor Travis Arnold, class of 2007
The class of 2019 will be greatly missed! We are so proud of their accomplishments and are excited for everything God has for them. Want to see where some of them are going and what they will be doing?
Lindsey Rightmire is getting married and will be heavily involved in worship at the 217 campus of Mannahouse.
Danielle Allen is staying in Portland and TA-ing in our music classes.
David Evans and Crystal Ramirez are getting married.
Mayumi Fukuta is moving back to Japan.
Jacob Hanson is moving back to Maple Valley and getting married.
Alyssa Kienbaum is starting her own business in Idaho.
Michael Lianto is moving back to Indonesia.
Ryan Linton and his wife are having a baby.
Matthew Martin is working full time at a pest control company.
Jaasyel Monroy and Carlis Salomon are getting married and are part of the admin staff of Mannahouse.
Thais Oliveira is on staff at Living Hope church in Hillsboro, OR.
Cameryn Phillips is moving to get involved in the new Eugene campus of Mannahouse.
Cole Pyne is moving to Bend to become a fire fighter and is getting married.
Ricardo Rangel is moving back to Tri Cities to help at his parents’ church, will be working at a car dealership and is getting married in the fall.
Josh Ross will pursue an MBA with George Fox University and will continue to be involved in our Rocky Butte campus.
Kameron Truett will be serving at Rose Church in Portland.
Lauren Van Ouwerkerk is moving back home to Ventura.
Kenneth Nsamba is on staff at Life Church Uganda and will be teaching and training other leaders.
This year, a group of leaders from The House GDL church had the opportunity to take two Portland Bible College courses in Spanish at their church in Guadalajara, Mexico. The courses were taught by their lead pastor and PBC alumnus, Justin Jaquith (class of 1999). All of the course lectures were recorded to become part of our PBC en Español online certificate program courses. If you know a Spanish-speaking leader who would benefit from studying Theology in their own language, visit www.portlandbiblecollege.org/español
For more than 25 years, PBC has been an integral part of hosting one of the largest youth conferences on the West Coast “Generation Unleashed”. PBC Faculty are often invited to teach workshops on different subjects. If you were able to join us and would like to download an electronic version of this year’s notebook, feel free to do so here.
Hank accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was taken to Home of Hope Orphanage in China at the age of 12. Later in High School he had a strong sense that God was speaking to his heart and “pulling me into His family and preparing a special place for me in serving Him.” He came to PBC to get “a firm foundation for the rest of my life” Today, Hank is a successful businessman in China. “It’s not difficult to brag about my job and how God is using me in business in China and abroad. But nothing can compare to how He has helped me overcome fear and set me free from my past. God gave me the courage to face my past and turn a comma into a period. This has been the biggest comfort God has given me since I graduated. With this courage I was able to reconcile with my father and share the Gospel with him one week before he passed away. I am no longer holding on to regrets and sorrows but walking with peace and joy.”