Keeping Biblical Integrity in Ministerial Ordinations

God ordained ministers of the Gospel present a high level of integrity in conduct of life, in proclamation of Biblical truth, and loyalty to the calling God has placed upon those who serve Him. The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, “…set the example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. …devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:12b-16)

According to First Nation Church and Ministry, Kansas does not maintain a central registry of members of the clergy, and you are not required to undergo any specific formal training. People have seen this freedom presented by Kansas law on ministerial ordination as an opportunity to cheapen the pulpit. Thus, anyone can get on line, log onto different on line ordination websites, make their way through the on line process, after paying a minimal fee, have ordination papers enabling applicants to perform marriage ceremonies, do baby baptisms, and other religious ceremonies. One on-line sites writes, “Your complete ceremonial minister credentials package… includes all of the documents you’ll need to legally perform all life’s celebrations including weddings, etc. Ordination as ceremonial minister is valid and accepted anywhere in the world.” Most on line ministry ordination services do not inquire about the doctrine the applicants are teaching, examine the candidate’s conduct of life or if he/she is living in a reverent fear of the Lord. Whenever compromise is allowed in ministry ordination, people embrace false teachings, accept lifestyles that break God’s heart and continue to mislead the spiritually blind.

Holy Spirit anointed leaders take serious the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to Timothy. They spend years doing the hard work of study, so they can determine their Holy Spirit given gifts. These ministerial candidates allow themselves to be examined by spiritual leaders who have proved themselves faithful to God in the exercising of their Spiritual gifts. After three to five years of study, preparation and examination comes the school of hard knocks.  For a determined number of years, set by the overseers of the ministry a candidate desires to be ordained with, the candidate must prove himself/herself to be faithful: 1.) Can the ordination candidate be found faithful to exercise his/her gift through sacrificial love in trials, through the temptations of success and for the glory of the Lord. It is about Jesus, not the candidate. 2.) Can the ordination candidate pray through to a healthy completion his/her gift through “prophecy” (prophēteía) which is Holy Spirit revelation or direction in the call God has set before him/her. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers; Acts 13:1-3) 3.) Can the ordination candidate get others to join hands with him/her in ministry in hopes to influence others to respond to their work in the Lord?  (Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (1992). 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (Vol. 34, p. 139). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.; Numbers 27:18-20; Deuteronomy 34:9)   This time tested system has kept the church of Christ in line with the Apostle Paul’s instructions, “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.” (1 Timothy 5:22)

Ordinations embraced by the conjuncture of mankind have no influence on God called, Christ purchased, Holy Spirit anointed men and women sold out to the Glory of the Lord.  Which one do you look to for spiritual nourishment, for performing religious ceremonies and Biblical truths?