Friday, February 09, 2007

Ordination...Biblical?

Well a while ago I met with a youth pastor at our church. We talked for a few minutes about ordination. I thought it was biblical because of the laying on of hands discussed as elders were appointed to their responsibilities. I was using the unbiblical term "ordination" to describe a biblical act of pulicly installing a man that meets the qualification for eldership into that role in the local church.

Anyhow, he disagreed with me and was using the unbiblical term "ordination" to describe an unbiblical pragmatical reality of what "ordination" means in much of the church today. He said something to the extent that, "Ordination is just the title of pastors in churches that are paid...to distinguish between paid elders and unpaid elders." I agree with him that this is what "ordination" has come to mean. But I still think that there is a biblical mandate for "ordination".

Check out this article, Should Elders Be Ordained? . This describes my position pretty well. Here's the conclusion from Benjamin Merkle's article...
"Elders should be "ordained" if by ordination we simply mean the public recognition of someone to a particular office and ministry. Perhaps a more appropriate, and biblical, term is "appointment" or "commission." The appointment to a ministry was often accompanied by prayer and fasting and the laying on of hands. These public acts draw attention to the seriousness and importance of the appointment. In addition, elders should be appointed as soon as they take their office. [Pp. 23 of the 9news article]"

You should check out the entire thing.

1 comment:

Britton Wesson said...

In my experience, ordination has come to mean that a church has the authority now to "endorse" someone. In my case, my church can now "endorse" me to go teach elsewhere or lead worship at a camp or conference. For some reason, their endorsement is important. I am not called to be endorsed by a church or man. I go to 2 Timothy 2:15. I think that the laying on of hands is done so that people can recognize and respect the authority that the Holy Spirit gives to someone as they operate in their gifts as a pastor, teacher, missionary, etc. However, is it a biblical mandate that all ministers be ordained in order to serve the church in a pastoral position? No.