Is the Sunset International Bible Institute a trustworthy organization?


Someone has invited me to study at a satellite school of Sunset International Bible Institute. Do you happen to know this Sunset International Bible Institute? Is it a trustworthy organization?


I have heard of this organization for a number of years. It is a man-made institution operated by members of the more liberal branches of the churches of Christ. Even so, other congregations of the same liberal branches are not always happy with what is taught at this school. For example, in 1998 Tommy Hicks of the Bellview Church of Christ complained,

"Now, in 1997, I appeal to my brother, Cline Paden, to answer: “When it comes to the subject of ‘Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage,’ which ‘position’ (singular) does the Sunset Elders, the School of Preaching administrators and the faculty say can be substantiated by a thus saith the Lord?” The temperature in Gehenna will drop to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit before brother Paden will answer that very simple question. Why? Because brother Paden knows that the teachers, in what is now called the “Sunset International Bible Institute” (S.I.B.I.), advocate “practically every viewpoint that anyone has ever entertained” on the subject of “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage,” and that they “present these positions in class in the form of questions and comments.” [Defender, January 1998].

But this isn't the core problem. The problem is that is is a human institute setting itself up to accomplish the work assign to churches and individual Christians to carry out. For a detailed discussion of this see: "The College Issue."

One of the harms caused by these institutions is that the institution becomes a centralize distribution point of teachings. When educators are corrupted, which is bound to happen because of Satan, the false teaching gets a very wide spread audience and since this institute claims to train preachers, the false teaching is rapidly spread to other congregations. This is what Jimmy Hicks was complaining about regarding teachings concerning divorce and remarriage.

When you look at the Scriptures, you will find a competely different approach to training preachers. One preacher trains other preachers who trains others in turn. "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (II Timothy 2:2). If you are interested in preaching, then I recommend that you find one or more preachers whom you find sound in their teachings and train under them for a few years.